Sunday, October 30, 2011

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - a toupological analysis.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the first Star Trek feature-film and was released in the US on December 7th 1979. The entire extended cast, from William Shatner as James T. Kirk all the way to Grace Lee Whitney as Janice Rand are reunited in this $45 million epic for the first time since the run of the original series in the late 1960s.

Normally at this point we try to give an overview of the plot of whatever movie or TV show we are examining. But since we assume that most, maybe even all of our readers are thoroughly familiar with ST:TMP, we're instead going to do something a little different. We will try to relay the story of the film only through the significant central character moments/stories/threads contained therein:

James T. Kirk is now a desk-bound admiral. Promotion has left him restless and bored (this is inferred rather than seen).

When news reaches him of a strange, destructive energy cloud detected out there in our galaxy, Admiral Kirk senses his opportunity. After a heated conversation with his boss (again, described but not actually seen), he seizes control of his old starship - the newly refitted Enterprise. Only he, the admiral maintains, is qualified to lead such a potentially dangerous mission.

Meanwhile, something is up with Spock. Living back on Vulcan, he suddenly eschews the attainment of a higher order of logic because he seems to be sensing something out there. Is he in contact with this cloud? Is it contacting him? Why?

Back in Earth orbit, Kirk muscles his way into the command of the Enterprise, elbowing the young Captain Decker out of the way.

But Kirk appears to be masking a mid-life crisis.

Is he placing his own egotistical sensibilities above his now rusty abilities as captain? His sense of inadequacy grows as we see that the Admiral struggles to even find his way around the new Enterprise.

Kirk, lonely and lost, summons one of his two close friends in the universe aboard the ship. Dr McCoy protests. "I need you," Kirk exclaims. McCoy senses something is wrong.

Now en route towards the cloud, our suspicions about Kirk's competence are confirmed by an incident that almost destroys the ship.

Thankfully, the ousted Decker overruled Kirk and prevented disaster.

In a brief confrontation, McCoy gives the admiral an earful, accusing him of "using this emergency to get the Enterprise back". Kirk really begins to wonder about whether he's in over his head.

As the mission continues, the crew is stunned to find Spock suddenly showing up. Did he just miss his estranged friends and want to join in on this mission or is there more to it than that?

The half-human, half-Vulcan science officer seems to be acting even more strangely than normal. Not even McCoy's barbs stir any hint of the old-style sparring.

Spock, seemingly sharing his own tormented duality with the entity, then sneaks off into the heart of the cloud, and is lucky to survive the ordeal.

Can he be trusted? Has he gone off the deep end? It's alive, he says.

Is Kirk ignoring the fact that Spock is basically possessed? McCoy steps in...

Spock, it seems, holds the key and Kirk knows it.

The point we've tried to illustrate with the above is that there are plenty of seeds of characterization sown throughout the movie, particularly in the first act, but none of them are really fully developed into a dramatic punch or coherent story arc. At the beginning, Kirk is out of sorts; Spock is potentially under the control of some alien entity and McCoy doesn't even want to be on this adventure. Plenty of threads for a decent drama, but it all, sadly, falls apart as the movie continues.

The Kirk in-over-his-head aspect just kind of evaporates with a premature nod to Decker during the second act. Spock the possessed goes the same way (some of these scenes were actually cut from the theatrical release and only seen later in home video versions).

The character elements described above should arguably have provided the core of the movie, balancing out the journey towards the mysterious V'ger cloud heading towards Earth. And there was one person, the third man in the triangle, Dr. "Bones" McCoy, through whom these fireworks should, we think, have played off.

DeForest Kelley.

Ultimately, no-one is more ill-served by this movie than the George Harrison of Star Trek - DeForest Kelley. It gets so bad that after a few scenes, his character (watch the movie and count) actually ends up repeatedly entering the bridge, gawking and exiting again. That's perhaps the greatest symbol of what's wrong with Star Trek: The Motion Picture - the human core, McCoy, is suddenly rendered silent and barely relevant.

"Hi, I'm DeForest Kelley. You may remember me from earlier in this movie."

There's nothing one longs for more in ST:TMP than a good "Damn it, Jim!" moment or three in the second and third acts. McCoy could have argued with Kirk about the admiral's apparent inability to see that he's (still) in over his head; he could have also argued with Kirk about his inability to ask real questions about Spock's behavior and trustworthiness ("Why is no-one asking if we should even trust this guy? What if that thing out there has taken Spock over? What if he's trying to get us killed?"); he could have reminded Kirk about the fact that Earth too is in real danger and the consequences of all of this are huge etc. etc.

And then maybe Kirk, alone in his quarters, feeling the pressure, could end up giving some sort of a moving personal log entry:

"Is McCoy right? Have I lost what I once had? Am I in over my head? Maybe I should have stayed at that desk after all..." - that sort of thing. (Compare this to the Kirk arc in the sequel The Wrath of Khan, when the captain realizes "I know nothing" after his early cowboy approach comes up short. At the beginning, he feels old - by the end he says "I feel young").

What ST:TMP arguably needed somewhere during the second half is something very much like this:

It could have been dramatic. It could have been moving. It would have woven threads together that were stretched across the movie. But it just isn't there. Instead, everyone just ends up staring out into space waiting for something to happen.

That's what the hypnotizing excess of special effects, and wonder, and glorious music by Jerry Goldsmith can't conceal no matter how hard the movie tries to pretend that it's some deep philosophical tone poem. And there is only one reason for this: bad writing.

Harold Livingstone and Gene Roddenberry (source).

Behind-the-scenes accounts of the making of ST:TMP published in countless books and magazines paint a picture of utter chaos. What began as a low-budget TV movie soon morphed
into a pilot for a proposed new series, Star Trek: Phase II, called "In Thy Image". This then ultimately became Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The script was re-written and re-written, and shooting actually began with only the first act fully completed. It shows.

Two men fought and fought and fought over competing re-writes:
Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry and co-producer Harold Livingston.

Harold Livingston and William Shatner on set (source).

The latter recalled:

"Around this time, Roddenberry and I really began to get at each other's throats...I just didn't think that Gene was a good writer. He, for his part, considered me a total interloper." (source)

And so two authors, at complete odds creatively, often ended up sending competing re-writes to the set. It was dysfunction of the highest order and it ended up almost paralyzing the production.

What was wrong? We suspect that after a less-than-fruitful "Lost Years" of his own, post-original series, Gene Roddenberry somehow sub-consciously came to despise the one creation that had brought him success. As a result, given an opportunity to return to Trek, he decided to change it to prove that he was still creatively capable (maybe turn it more into a humanistic 2001: A Space Odyssey). The dramatically redundant Decker and Ilia would have been permanent members aboard Phase II (they later became the equally dramatically redundant Riker and Troi aboard TNG).

Anything, it seems, but focus on what had made the original series so great: the triangle (Leonard Nimoy would have been replaced by a new Vulcan called Xon in Phase II - he was later persuaded to return for the movie).

And so, during the 1970s, Roddenberry the terrific re-writer of TOS simply lost it. Head in the clouds, he seemed to forget the basic principles of good drama. With director Robert Wise unwilling or unable to do a Nicholas Meyer and simply seize the script and re-write it himself, chaos prevailed. Why Roddenberry didn't bring in TOS producer and master of both production and storytelling efficiency Robert Justman is perhaps the greatest unanswered question of them all. Was it simply ego, wanting to go-it-alone? We suspect this was the case. "You broke my heart, Gene," Justman would later recall telling Roddenberry about the matter, "But Gene didn't respond. He couldn't," he opined. The pair would eventually heal their wounds and work together again briefly on The Next Generation.

Robert Justman (right) would arguably have brought some much-needed discipline to ST:TMP.

Other problems, stemming from this script chaos, plague TMP too. Given the rush to make the December 1979 release date, the editing process became a frantic rush. As a result, the released movie was, in places, "essentially a rough cut" conceded Robert Wise (source) years later. Not only is pacing often dreadfully slow (say the wormhole "action" scene), but in some cases we see odd editing choices too (ironic as Wise was the editor of the legendary Citizen Kane).

Odd editing choices.

According to one account, "[At the premiere] Wise was seen to cover his face during some scenes as he'd requested more time to edit and fine tune the film, but Paramount said there wasn't any time left." (source)

And Wise's direction is rather shaky too. At times commanding, at other times it seems like he's fallen asleep at the helm (for example in the below scene).

Many (including Bill Shatner, who in Up Till Now noted "Robert Wise was a wonderful director, just not for this film") have questioned whether this director's often clinically detached directorial style was simply the wrong choice for this movie. Perhaps they have a point.

Interestingly, one of the moments where, towards the end, the movie suddenly gains a pulse and momentarily feels more like a TOS episode, with Kirk bluffing his way through a tense situation, was conceived by none other than Bill Shatner. Both he and Nimoy gained script approval after the movie went over-schedule. As Nimoy recalled of the scene in question "I mean Kirk and Spock were just basically staring at a blue-screen at the mercy of this...thing for pages and pages...[Bill Shatner's idea] tightened that particular scene, made it less talky, more interesting..." (source).

Yet for all its many flaws, it's impossible to completely dismiss the movie. For Trekkers of the time, the build up to the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a magical event in and of itself. A failed TV series, then conventions, then the Space Shuttle Enterprise...

"Anyone seen Shatner?"

...and finally the return of the beloved cast in a new live-action adventure. Magically geeky times indeed! The fervor that surrounded the release needed no manufactured hype - there really were thousands and thousands of people who simply could not wait until ST:TMP was released.

Eager Trekkies in 1979 (source).

Compared to today's often instantly forgettable and rather mind-numbing CGI effects (that said, we strongly applaud the subtle and inventive CGI approach used to add new F/X to the 2001 "Director's Edition" of ST:TMP, which were nothing like the jarringly "computery" effects injected into the later TOS remastered project), Star Trek: The Motion picture is something of a work of art, with particular credit due to director of special photographic effects Douglas Trumbull.

Those were the days...(source).

The beautiful model photography is a genuine feat of craftsmanship...

...and serves as a testament to a very special time in American cinema, the late 1970s, when guys with beards essentially made visual magic with spit and chewing gum in the newly revived science-fiction genre.

From this...

To this... The now, sadly, largely defunct art of model photography (source and more pictures here).

So one can't help but come away from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and think: thank goodness we had one Star Trek made in the 1970s; one Star Trek that was more about exploration than the militaristic adventurism of most of the 80s installments; one Star Trek with a budget and talent capable of making the Starship Enterprise feel grand and majestic both inside and out. It's a failed attempt at an epic, but at least it's an attempt. No other Star Trek movie tried what this one did. And that's largely why, we think, that despite its numerous flaws, ST:TMP still manages to hold a special place in many a heart...

Let's move swiftly to the hair...

Persis Khambatta has her head shaved for the role of Ilia - was Gene Roddenberry sending Bill Shatner a message by creating a new bald character in Star Trek?

So Star Trek: The Motion Picture is released and thousands of Star Trek fans end up saying the same thing: "It's different!" "It doesn't have the same feel as the classic series!" "Why did you change it?". Did Bill Shatner make a mistake with his new toupee style in a way that mirrors some of the dramatic shortcomings of TMP? Consider that long, drawn out scene early in the movie when Admiral Kirk surveys and surveys and surveys the Enterprise from every conceivable angle.

It might as well have been the other way round, with a miniature Enterprise flying around a giant head studying the intricacies of Bill Shatner's intricately redesigned and refitted toupee...

Majestic? Certainly. But right there, something of the spirit of the original series is missing. Sure TOS was low budget, but there was also something inherently awesome in watching the original "Jim Kirk lace" toupee get all disheveled during a hearty fight scene. That was surely part of Gene Roddenberry's vision too.

Toupological moments in TMP? No time for such things - too busy looking serious and staring at things:

Near the end of the movie, Kirk at least wears a gold tunic. Maybe as a kid you closed one eye, stuck you finger out to obscure from view the non-black collar in a rather desperate attempt to see the old Kirk. And then you thought (rather unfairly): "It's still not him. It's the hair, dammit! The hair has ruined this movie!"

What we have in TMP is a very subdued "TJ Curly" far less like the disheveled look in 1976's Columbo appearance (or in the subsequent Trek movies)...

It's a sort of patty, really.

A helmet (it changes somewhat throughout the movie). And judging from what you our readers have repeatedly told us, the look was more than displeasing, it was even downright traumatic! Suddenly, many of you thought: "Oh, my God! Shatner is wearing a toupee!!!"

Even toy-makers were confused.

All the while, traumatized children wept...

"Mummy, what happened to Kirk?"

So what should Bill Shatner have done? A return to the "Jim Kirk lace" would have probably made the actor resemble Quincy.

Jack Klugman as Quincy.

But there was, we think, a viable alternative. The lace-like, light, side-parted toupee that Bill Shatner had worn repeatedly throughout the 1970s.

In 1971:

In 1975:

And even in 1976:

Bill Shatner in Barbary Coast.

It would at least have been Kirk-esque, while also allowing for some growth and change to accommodate for the passing years and 1970s styles. We think that audiences would have accepted this. But it wasn't to be. Dylan went electric and Shatner went curly - that's just the way life is sometimes.

To be fair, and upon considerable reflection, maybe Bill Shatner did do the right thing after all. Perhaps sensing the new sets, the new uniforms, the sudden emphasis on special-effects rather than characters, the actor decided to make a definitive statement: This really isn't the old series. It never can be. That was then and this is now. If I go back to my old 60s toupee, then all of this will probably seem even weirder; even more different. At least this way, the memory of what was is protected by this one major change. At least now we definitively know that what we are doing is something new -- still boldly going where no man, where no hair, has gone before...

UPDATE: One additional toupological observation we couldn't resist underscoring. A montage of fake hair that really speaks for itself. There are many subtle reasons why Bill Shatner is the odd one out here!


  1. Impeccable analysis of the movie and what's on top of Shatner's head! Well worth waiting for!

    Agreed, the hair isn't great, but it seems befitting his character in this movie. Thank goodness it improved by the time TWoK hit the theaters.

  2. shats own real syrupOctober 31, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    wow @shattoupblog this is totally amazing, you really got the sprit of the movie to a tee....yes indeed, this is the movie that made many people think, "hey shatners wearing a syrup" this toup which rather looks like a raccoon stuck to his head, got a lot of people to say "if shatners not wearing a toup, then i am john wayne" even may local newspaper at the time, believed that not only was bill all wiged up but that he had had, a face life to hide the passing years....sure the movie is ok in places, but the whole is a heavy lost oppertunaty! And the cast for the most part look so darn the tos grandparents..having said that some of the other movies after this where so well made and acted who really cared.

  3. Bravo!! This analysis made my week!

  4. Completely agree with your analysis of TMP. I have never been able to sit through the entire movie without falling asleep myself.

    What I don't understand about the TMP toupee is not necessarily the choice of style, but the colour! Why would he choose something so dark? That's what made it look especially fake in my opinion. Maybe he was dyeing his remaining hair by that point to cover grey and they didn't make hair colour for men in lighter colours back then?

    Reminds me of my uncle - even his most 'natural' looking toupees looked fake because he was always choosing a very black colour and also dyeing his remaining hair black.

    He should have gone with this toupee.

    Similar style, but looks way more natural because of the colour. And this show was apparently very soon before TMP.

  5. Unlike TNG, it took too long to make this movie after the demise of the original series. I think in 1979, Shats could have still pulled off the JKL - maybe somewhat different style. But that opening scene of Kirk arriving in the shuttle craft and all you can see is his face - the portal hiding the dramatically different toupee - gives the audience the only glimpse of the old Kirk. When the door opens, it's all over.

  6. Terrific analysis. Trumbull's effects shots and Goldsmith's ethereal score saved this film. And it's true- this is the moment Star Trek enthusiasts knew that something wasn't right with Kirk's hairstyle, the first suspicion of toupological intervention. What was much more of a surprise was that the original Kirk hairdo was a lace- original series Kirk had me fooled long after accepting the TJ curly was a toupee.

    I do enjoy this super blog. Your affectionate and candid reviews of Shatner's work through the years are a wonderful overview of a complex man and a thoroughly engrossing and quirky actor.

  7. You hit the nail on the head with this review. The part about Bones coming on the bridge and just looking around makes allot of sense.

    About the toupee. His rug seems seems to change throughout the movie. When he first comes off the shuttle it looks half decent but most of the scenes on the ship his toupee looks like something up and died on his head.

    I want to mention although I usually go here for the hair reviews this movie review was honestly the best one I have read on this movie.

    Great work!

  8. Brilliant. This entry had huge expectations, and you've easily exceeded them.

    DeForest Kelly as George Harrison makes perfect sense, but it begs the question: is Shatner Lennon or McCartney?

  9. Excellent point about Bones being criminally underused.

    The three-way interpersonal dynamic of Kirk/Spock/McCoy is so badly missed in this film. It's a very powerful tool that should have been utilised in the script. Think of the final act in Jaws, the shifting alliances and petty bickering that turns a waiting game into a powerful study of humans forced into dealing with great peril, and each other.

  10. @Stallion Cornell -- I would say that the Shat is definitely McCartney! Shat/McCartney is the traditional heartthrob, while Nimoy/Lennon is the more dangerously sexy type :-P

  11. @TMK

    Who can forget Nimoy's infamous post-Star Trek breakup single "What Toup Do You Wear at Night?"

  12. @ShatToupBlog - haha Shat probably wears whatever toup stays on thru the night, though who knows how he sleeps!

  13. I suspect that Shatner’s overriding concern was to appear as youthful as possible, especially in comparison with his fellow crewmembers - natural for someone with such a competitive streak. How could he have opted for a light, modest, inconspicuous ’piece when Nimoy was being given the chance to sport something akin to a hippy wig in his early scenes? (Although, when set against the baroque, crying-out-for-a-chinstrap excesses of Hookerian periwiggery to come, this particular ’piece does seem rather light and modest.)

    On viewing the film in 1979, I was among those vast legions who felt there was something ‘not right’ about Kirk’s appearance (apart from the horribly redesigned uniform), but it wasn’t until the reviewer in Starburst magazine observed: “Strangely enough, Shatner actually looks younger - maybe it’s his new toupee” that the actor’s trichological plight was finally made plain. Another superlative post, incidentally.

  14. @Unanimous - yes very true! I wonder what kinds of toupees Shatner might have chosen had he not regularly been confronted with Nimoy's very thick, natural head of hair. Plus I think Nimoy's presence always tends to exacerbate Shatner's insecurities for whatever reason.

  15. Decker may seem dramatically redundant at first (in fact, I think the character was created for the spinoff show as a Kirk-replacement-in-waiting in case Shatner got too demanding).

    But, upon closer inspection, he does seem to serve a toupologically relevant purpose. Kirk envies Decker for his youthfulness and usurps his command of the Enterprise. Decker says: "You told me how envious you were and how much you hoped you'd find a way to get a starship command again. Well, sir, it looks like you found a way. "

    Of course, this is really just a metaphor. What Decker really meant was, "You told me how envious you were and how much you hoped you'd find a way to get a full, lush, youthful head of hair again. Well, sir, it looks like you found a way." By donning the thick "TJ Curly" (which does look more like young Shatner), Kirk/Shatner felt that he had found a way to regain lost youth.

    But of course, that was all an illusion. There is no going back to youth, even with the magic of the toup. (Even Stephen Collins seems to have a suspiciously non-changing hairline over the years.) There is only moving forward. Shatner's toupee, like V'Ger, reached the limits of the universe and had to evolve into another dimension, a higher level of being.

    Well, the "Denny Katz", anyway.

  16. Toup Sleuth Since 1984November 2, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    Great post.

    I don't think Shatner has had a facelift, but I do think he had his eyelids done sometime before TMP. That would also contribute to a "fresher" look. An eyelid job is not only a vanity play -- eyes are incredibly important to an actor. Nimoy has had his done as well, seemingly twice (once before TUC and once sometime before the JJ-verse). In TFF, Nimoy's lids looked droopy enough to be a vision problem for the actor. Whoever did his eyelid jobs masterfully kept the general shape without making him look like one of the Golden Girls. Same with Shatner -- tastefully done.

  17. Loved your review so much that I had to add my own two cents...

  18. @Stallion Cornell

    Thanks for the link - a great read.

  19. You missed (though the image you post shows it) that Wise taunted us viewers - the first shot seen in the movie shows him through the tram window but with the top of his head cut off. That built us up for the reveal nicely

  20. @Al

    Admirable toupological analysis. A great point!


  21. Excellent analysis. I actually look at TMP with more affection than most. Yes, the movie is replete with flaws, but there are moments (such as the Enterprise beauty shots) that I can watch over and over again.

  22. shats own real syrupNovember 4, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    the one overiding feeling i still get watching it, is how old everyone looks, the ten years that had passed by had really taken, a toll on them. shatner and nimoy where 48 then, and esp nimoy looked far older then that. Shatner who was a rather fresh faced actor (well in 1965) just looked hopelessly middle-aged. Scotty and bones where pushing 60, and should've had a stairlift, to help them about. even sulu all of 42 looked strangely old! Where these really the same people of ten years earier.....that and the overall weakness of the movie, made it a bit of a strange movie to watch, when i saw it all them years ago......but at least the other st movies where better, and it was easier to accept, them as a little old....i surpose my love for tos meant that i would almost overlook anything for a decent movie, and iam not saying that st:tmp had none....just too far of them.

  23. Ratty Lost Years PieceNovember 4, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Great Review!
    The similar cinematography b/w/ Enterprise and toup shots was a keen observation. The toupologically interesting characters - one bald, bearded Bones and Spock sporting a wig that rivals Shatner's own game show-era rugs - seem to chronicle Bill's Lost Years through various prisms of experience.
    It seems that TMP also diverges from TOS in the hair and makeup dept. During TOS, Shat used, and occasionally pilfered the studio-purchased Jim Kirk Lace pieces. For TMP, Shat appeared to arrive fully equipped with his own "appliance". Did the producers finance Shatner's move to Curly, or was this an idea that came off the top of Bill's head?

    1. Nimoy didn't wear a wig during the filming of "The Motion Picture; that was his own hair. He hosted the syndicated series "In Search Of.." at the time he was filming the movie, and he wore the Spock haircut while filming his segments (albeit with a part in it, maybe in a lame attempt to hide the Spock cut). Nimoy has always had his own hair cut into the Spock style whenever he has played the character. Except when he played Spock in JJ Abrams current "Trek" reboot films; then he wears a wig.

  24. @Ratty Lost Years Piece - yes I am also curious about whose idea it was for Shatner to switch to that piece.

    @shats own real syrup - I think Shatner looked older mainly because of the hair. Also, I think maybe the '70s lighting and makeup in the movie made everyone look older.

  25. I remember seeing some closeup pics of Shatner without wearing makeup that were taken in the early 1980's. His face had many more wrinkles and lines than you'd expect. They used a huge amount of makeup to try and conceal them in the Star Trek films. If they had botox back then, Shat would have been an early user. It's funny, he has fewer deep lines in his forehead now than he did in 1979's STTMP.

    1. he has less lines now because he has a fatter face

  26. George Takei outed the toupee way before '06. I interviewed him once in the early 90's while working at a radio station, and specifically asked him what he thought of Shatner's hairpiece. The only comment he'd give was "Well, it's a good piece."

  27. shats own real syrupNovember 7, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    the toup in the tenth level, was so good (and i have watched clips of it) that i wished he would have continued to wear it, its like 85 per cent jim kirk lace he just looked like captain kirk, in the 10 level, and he was quite slim, and looked fairly do he age quickly...but the tj curly, was useless, and just looked like a poor cheap rug. And you would have thought, with bill being so very precious about the toup would have picked a better curly no jk lace 100 per cent, he would still be suited for it.

  28. I remember watching the film and thinking "what the hell happended to his hair?" - I was only 14 at the time...

    For all on the blog, here's a quick cartoon I did - hope you like it!

    1. I was exactly the same, Hypervox. When those doors opened, to me, it wasn't Kirk that appeared, rather some strange looking imposter too slick for James T Kirk.
      Kirk from TOS had panache, a solid frame and cut a dashing figure with his entrancing, but fallible, follicle substitute. Kirk from The Motion Picture seemed a bit feeble in comparison and seeing hair in such immaculate condition meant I knew it was never going to get into any physical situations likely to endanger its perfect structure. Perhaps that was the problem with the film; Bill's hair was so perfect, so slick, that not only did it mean that Kirk was never going to get into a fight lest the 'nest' be disturbed but also it exuded an air of awesomeness that no film script could ever hope to divert attention away from it.

  29. hey guys this is a non toup related but pretty interesting article about when Garrent Wang (Harry Kim on Voyager) met Bill Shatner:

    "Wang said he met William Shatner for the first time last year.

    “I was at the Tulsa Trek Expo, I was in the green room, so this is a backstage room where only the actors are. So I walked up to him and said ‘Mr. Shatner, I finally get to meet you.’ [Shatner's handshake] it was limp wristed, he gave me this, like he was the Queen of England or something. So he gives me that, then in the middle of the handshake, he looks away, then he pulls his hand away and he wipes it off on his shirt, right in front of me.”

    “All I saw was red” Wang recalled. “You know what? God help me, I want to punch his fat belly right now. I was so mad.” I want to tell you guys, I love Captain Kirk, but I fricken’ cannot stand William Shatner. I’m gonna say that right now” “That is no way to treat someone,” Wang added.

    (maybe Bill just didnt dig Voyager and/or the Harry Kim just about everyone else on the planet LOL poor Mr Wang)

  30. shats own real syrupNovember 10, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    oh dear.....iam not the least bit surpized by the way shats is..his like that but you have to seperate, shatner the actor....who can be quite outstanding at times, and shatner the person shat is shat, he not changing for anyone.....he will do anything to appear nice when his being interviewed, but in person....oh dear he has rather an high opinion of himself, funny that as i have seen some of the biggest stars, and they have almost always been nice, autographs no trouble sadly shats only does autographs if you pay him 50 dollars, no getting out of it, if you like personable stars shats not it i can only ever like him asan actor, when i saw him at an autograph show, i spent about 130 dollars on his autograph 6 years ago, only when i loadly said "thank you william" did he say "thank you" without even looking at me, thats shatner.

    1. Shat did the same thing to me back in '08 when I was at an autograph signing for his book "Up 'Til Now". I spoke up to thank him; he didn't even look in my direction. I chalked that up to a 77 year old man keeping up a schedule that would wear down a man half his age.

  31. in that case if i ever meet shatner im going to give him $1000 bucks just so hes nice to me!

    that way i'll always know that Admiral James T Kirk, the man who defeated Khan, thought i was awesome!

  32. Ratty Lost Years PieceNovember 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Too bad this Phase I TJ didn't become dislodged during the Hooker Hood Slide.

    I'd have Bill sign that.

  33. in shatners defence maybe he had no clue who garett Wang was - he may have been abit bewilldered and thought it was some chinese fan who had somehow managed to get into the green room and wanted to meet him..

    or maybe he knew roughly who he was (i.e. a supporting actor from one of the spin offs - i doubt Shatners ever watched any DS9 or Voyager or knows any of the actors bar the ones who played the captains) and didnt like the fact this guy was part of something that helped water down Star Trek, taking some of the sheen off the original (which it did)

  34. Go to youtube and type in Robin Curtis and William Shatner's toupee. She spends a few minutes talking about staring at it when she was bored.

  35. I remember seeing this as a teenager and thinking how boring it was. RobertWise admittedly knew nothing about ST. The writing was terrible, although like in most cases with movies,the book is better. Nimoy did not look good, he looked really old considering he not even 50 yet. You could tell Leonard knew this was a mess in the making. I blame Gene for the script and Paramount for rushing it into theaters without the proper editting. At the time I didn't mind Shat's toup, I was too excited just to see them on the big screen, but looking at it now.....not good Bill. I wonder if celebrities have somebody, anybody in their lives who say "NO!" That looks terrible.

  36. Harlan Ellison reviewed this movie for "Starlog" magazine back in 1980. I remember the review was pretty negative. One thing I do remember about it was this. Ellison said a woman sitting next to him, who he did not know, said to him (during a scene where Kirk is entering a turbo-lift) "Look. His (Shatner's) toupee doesn't fit right".
    In the 1980 book "The Making of 'Star Trek - The Motion Picture'", author Susan Sackett wrote about Shatner's curly hair. Not once does she mention the toupee. Even though it was well known back than that The Shat wore one.

    1. And, courtesy of the blog "My Star Trek Scrapbook", here is a link to Ellison's review:

  37. Do my eyes deceive me? Is that a bald eagle next to Shat in 1971? Maybe he really did (does) want us to know that he was wearing a syrup (of figs)but has to do it in a subliminal way. Shats entertainment