Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quintessentially lost...

Studying the various toupees from Bill Shatner's "Lost Years" period (1970-76) is a full-time job. Thankfully, we have hundreds of staff employed in just that very task! Which brings us to a recent picture we managed to dig up, though we don't know where it's from or on what date it was taken - though toupology can, at least, help us to zero in.

The toupological nadir of the "Lost Years" came between 1971 and 1974.

1970: Though technically no longer a lace frontal hairpiece, the "Jim Kirk" style still persists.

Sole Survivor (1970).

1971: The fashions of the times see male hair becoming increasingly longer, and Bill Shatner is no exception. But in terms of style, it's still arguably not too bad.

Ironside: "Walls are Waiting" (1971).

1972: The "Lost Years" period really takes off. Odd hairlines, excessive thickness etc.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1972).

1973: Perhaps the absolute toupological low point. The word "toupee" itself almost ceases to become applicable, with "wig" seeming more appropriate.

Impulse (filmed in 1973).

1974-75: It starts off poorly...

Big Bad Mama (1974).

...but some time during 1975, Bill Shatner's hair suddenly undergoes a truly drastic shift towards a more appropriate, stylish look - and one more akin to the "Jim Kirk lace".

On Geraldo Rivera's Good Night America circa '75 (a since-disappeared video listed this as 1974, but we think this may have been mistaken).

This trend continues. Bill Shatner is suddenly thinner, smarter etc.

This would thus tend to date the picture atop this page, with its extraordinary "high hairline" circa 1973-75. But as we often see, outliers can't be ruled out either.

By 1976, another rapid shift and the "TJ Curly" was born:

So what happened around 1975 that made Bill Shatner smarten up his hair, only to ditch this new look by 1976? We cant' know for sure, but we can present a theory:

Although Star Trek: The Motion Picture itself would not be made for a number of years, around late 1974, Bill Shatner may have heard the first rumors circulating that reviving Star Trek was seriously being considered by Paramount. Did these rumours cause the actor to tidy himself up should he get a telephone call?

When the calls did not come (the process of reviving Star Trek was rife with severe delays and false starts) and when Barbary Coast failed, was there a moment of crisis for Bill Shatner?

One night, standing on a bridge, weeping and filled with despair, did Bill Shatner suddenly tear off his new toupee and throw it into the river below? "To hell with Star Trek and to hell with you!!!" Captain Kirk, it seemed, would not come to the rescue after all. The new toupees, the weight loss, had all apparently been for nothing...

A revived toupee is thrown into a river.

Is that how the "TJ Curly" was born?

What did John Lennon do in 1969... soon as it was clear that The Beatles were indeed splitting?

He cut his hair.

Faced with disappointment, Bill Shatner changed it. Who needed the technology of Star Trek? Bill Shatner and his new hair would now have their (video here) own:

And who needed The God Thing (the name of the aborted Star Trek TV movie Gene Roddenberry was working on)? By 1976, the new Bill Shatner had Mysteries of the Gods!

The "TJ Curly" may have thus been a belated version of...

And by the time Star Trek came knocking again, it would have to accept the new Bill Shatner - more on that in our upcoming ST:TMP full toupological analysis.


  1. Some choice screengrabs from another Lost Years low point - the guest spot on The Six Million Dollar Man. Surely worthy of a full toupological analysis? I seem to recall that the plot is a rip-off of one of the Trek pilots, so an intriguing parallel.

  2. shats own real syrupSeptember 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    you have all outdone yourselfs....absolutely wonderful! a toup feast, of wonderment..Yes they did seem on the whole, to get a little worst, after the jim kirk toup, which was smart. sadly for bill, they all started to look more and more cheap, and toupee like. great work. you guys are the best, keep it coming.

  3. It looks like Shat has a new toup! Check out this video of Shatner discussing Star Trek vs. Star Wars. He seems to be moving back towards a Jim Kirk lace look!

  4. Yes, his new piece has a Jim Kirk Lace look about it. Perhaps he's gearing up to appear in the new movie.

  5. Wow Shat looked so much better in 75 than he did just one year later - younger and healthier. Amazing what a difference the right toup makes! He really looks better with a lighter hair colour

  6. It looks just like the toup he is wearing in that pic with de kelly and nimoy where they are lookiog over a script for star trek the animated series that they did the voice for

  7. Brrrrrr...This is 5 bucks toupee..

  8. I think what we are seeing circa 1975 is the influence of being married again, to Ensign DeFalco, right?

  9. i so much agree, all of a sudden, he was slim, with a great toup, and looked young enough, to still play the young kirk, why oh why did he do the tj hooker toup in 1976. It never suited him, and he had it stuck to his head, for 24 years, when it was the jim kirk lace, was the toup, that suited him, even now he would look good.

  10. One must remember the Jim Kirk lace only looks good with a lot of help from the make-up and hair people. And everyone on the set knows you're wearing a hairpiece, because they're constantly working on it. You can't wear it in public. You can't do Battle of the Network Stars with a Jim Kirk Lace. And so on.

  11. I agree with ghostradio. I think that Shatner in sixties didn't have much a social life or it would spoil the fantasy of the JKL.

  12. shats own real syrupSeptember 20, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    most certainly, the tj toup, was much better for bill to wear in public, as it was attached to his real hair, at the sides so it could withstand almost anything, and everything that would have made, the old jim kirk lace fly to the other side of the room. But it looked more fake, if anyone (and i dont believe there is) would think that the tj hooker toup, was real hair, i would be very very surprized indeed.

  13. The Shat on Star Trek vrs Star Wars. The paunch is more distracting than the toup

  14. Ratty Lost Years PieceSeptember 20, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    The Jim Kirk Lace: a toupee barely alive...
    Gentlemen we can rebuild it.
    We have the technology.
    We have the capability to make the worlds first full combat toupee.
    Bill Shatner will wear that toupee
    Better than he was before
    Thicker, Darker, Curlier!

  15. Ratty Lost Years PieceSeptember 20, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    @Shat is the Man:
    Good recent vid of the Shat. The paunch is distracting, but not as much as that whopper of a patch at the rear base of the toupee. It is funny to hear Shatner talk about ILM special effects and hair: "Who knows what they did to make those hair-dos?"

    Shatner's increasingly barrel-shaped appearance leads me to wonder - if he were cast in a Star Wars movie, what would be his character? I'm guessing R2-D-Toup.

  16. Thomas Jefferson CurlySeptember 21, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    i am of the belief that shatner is sporting the current vaguly Kirkesque toup as a last ditch attempt to be in the Trek sequel due 2013

    as if to say - "forget the Denny Katz special, the Kirk toup is cast me in the movie!"

    hopefully at some point shatner will go back to the dark thick TJ Curly...i want to see that make a fact if they had shatner in the Trek sequel in a brief cameo (like young Kirk Pine viewing some future footage given to him by Old Spock) maybe we could see a deaged 'Wrath of Khan' era Shatner complete with TJ Curly! (no need for CG enhancment on the toup as Shatner could break a vintage 82 TJ Curly out of storage)

    i was waiting for a scene like that in the 2009 movie! :(

  17. Thomas Jefferson CurlySeptember 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    correct me if im wrong but the official Shat Toup terminology goes thus:

    -the Jim Kirk Lace
    -the ratty Lost Years piece
    -the TJ Curly (both top piece only and full 'helmet' versions)
    -the Denny Katz special (aka the Denny Crane saturday night special)

  18. @shat toup blog. I would like to thank you, once again. This website is simply one if the best, and your hard work, does not go unnotice. And i would like to thank, everyone who post on here, you are all heros, as far as i am concerned.

  19. @shats own real toup Thanks for your kind words. -ST

  20. James Toupeerius KirkSeptember 24, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    ...Hi ShatToupBlog; when will that TMP-analysis be online?can't wait to read and compare with my researches ;-)

  21. Should be within a couple of weeks we're told. -ST

  22. Check this out : A Soviet Star Trek!

    But look : apparently the Captain, if you scroll down, was bald!! Was this an admission of the KGB's spying skills, having determined through intense espionage that Shatner was bald, and ready to expose this capitalist secret on their airwaves?

  23. shats own real syrupSeptember 25, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    looking forward to seeing, the next update@shat toup blog, hope we dont have to wait to long. And thank you for telling us the truth behind the toup.

  24. I couldn't help wondering if the Ironside episode reunites the Shat with Barbara Anderson. Deliciously, it does: