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Television Media

Ask William Shatner 1097

At long last William Shatner has volunteered himself to be strapped into the Slashdot Interviewee Victim Chair. You know the gig: Post your questions for the man, the moderators do their thing, and in a week or so we post the answers. So here's your chance to ask questions to the star of Iron Chef USA, Miss Congeniality and TJ Hooker!
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Ask William Shatner

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  • by bsharitt ( 580506 ) <bsharitt@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:13PM (#4698066) Homepage Journal
    Do you like the Star Wars movies?

  • Trekkies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anthonyclark ( 17109 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:15PM (#4698082)
    Mr Shatner,

    What is the scariest experience you have ever had with one of your adoring fans?
    • Scary Vietnam Vet (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MacAndrew ( 463832 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:41PM (#4698510) Homepage
      One of the few times I have seen Shatner sympathetically was in an anecdote he told in part of a video shown at the Smithsonian Museum of Air & Space's gratuitous Star Trek retrospective.

      Shatner said he was picked up by a limo in the 70's to go to some function. The driver suddenly pulled over and said, "Mr. Shatner, I've been waiting a long time to talk to you." Shatner thinks uh-oh. "You see, I'm a Vietnam vet and was held as a prisoner of war." Shatner thinks, oh shit.

      The vet goes on to explain that while he and his buddies were held under torturous conditions, they used Star Trek to stay sane. They could speak to each other in the darkness and would try to reconstruct the scripts from memory, one person playing Spock, another Kirk, and so on.

      It was one of the oddest bits of Trek trivia I had ever heard, and related with sensitivity by a man infamous for being a dick in public and private. I still think he's an egomaniac, but not one incapable of turns of humanity.
    • Re:Trekkies (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:41PM (#4698512) Journal
      scariest experience you have ever had with one of your adoring fans?

      I don't know about danger, but they sure can get annoying.

      I was at a Trek convention once, and a pesky fan somehow got ahold of the microphone and kept saying, "Please please Mr. Shatner, my life dream is to have my picture taken with you, please please oh please fullfill my dream!"

      Shatner looked like he was thinking about it, then pointed to the autograph line and said, "No, I'm sorry, it would be unfair to these people who waited in line all this time." People then started shouting things at both the geek and Shatner things like, "Just do it and get it over with", and "Beam the f__ dweeb outta here!" and "skip the stun setting!".

      A bit later during another audience question, the person said, "You are my favorite captain. You are brave, you have big guts, uh, I mean lots of guts." Mr. Shatner was looking at his stomach and giving the guy a funny look. He was a good sport about it though. He seemed to enjoy playing along and getting into it, both praising the Trek series and telling about funny inside situations.

      People kept asking about books by other cast members who said bad things about him. He said something like, "I remembered that we mostly got along on the sets. I don't remember all those alleged battles in those books. I think they wrote them simply to sell books and make money. That is the only explanation I can think of that could explain our different memories of the studio times."

      He expressed dissapointment that the top effects studio went on strike during the filming of "Final Frontier". He felt it would have done better at the box office if they had full effects. Hmmmm. Perhaps they can re-release it and edit in better effects, like Lucas did to Star Wars. Should I ask him if that has ever been considered?
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:15PM (#4698083) Homepage
    You appear to have a healthy level of distain for "Trekkies" who become obsessed with the series. Where does this stem from, and what would you recommend that these people do instead.
  • by breon.halling ( 235909 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:15PM (#4698084)

    Do you think you take Patrick Stewart in a fight? =)

  • What if... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:15PM (#4698088)
    Wil Wheaton asks William Shatner questions on SLASHDOT?! It'd be like... Slashdot: Generations! My head might explode!
    • Wheaton (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MacAndrew ( 463832 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:43PM (#4698546) Homepage
      How does Shatner feel about Wheaton's success selling T-shirts emblazoned "I'm William Fucking Shatner"? see wilwheaton.net

      Tragically for Wil's semi-playful vendetta, he had a very pleasant encounter with Shatner at a television taping and, at least temporarily, suspended the jihad. :)
  • The Transformed Man (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:15PM (#4698089)
    I'd love to hear William talk about the Transformed Man LP. How seriously did you take the project at the time, and how do you feel about the way it's metamorphosed into a camp classic?
  • by KirkH ( 148427 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:15PM (#4698090)
    ...about being reponsible for the nickname 'captain' being given to all of us named Kirk in real life?
  • Gotta ask (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:16PM (#4698096) Journal
    Who bagged more babes in the 60's, you or Roddenberry?
  • cult vs. normal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tazochai ( 213288 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:16PM (#4698101)
    If Mr. Shatner had the choice, would he prefer to have his current acting status as a main character in a cult classic? Or would he rather have been a consistently good actor in "normal" tv-shows/movies/theatre?

    Has he started using pricelie.com YET?
  • Two questions... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by droopus ( 33472 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698106)
    A) What was your personal favorite episode of the Original Star Trek series and why?

    B) What did you honestly think of TNG, not as as a tv property but as a continuation of the philosophy of your original series?
  • 360 degree view (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nomad7674 ( 453223 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698109) Homepage Journal
    What has it been like to move from acting in front of the camera, to writing for the small and big sceeen, to directing, and then to novel-writing? While I don't always think you have achieved everything you set out for in each endeavor, I have always been impressed with the amount of different forms of creativity you have tried and done at least reasonably well in. And which creative outlet do you enjoy the most?
  • by ledbetter ( 179623 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698117) Homepage
    Did you get to keep any tribbles? Or did they just burn them?
  • Priceline.com (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Petronius ( 515525 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698119)
    How many shares of Priceline.com do you own? Any comments on the whole dot-com thing?
  • by Ezubaric ( 464724 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698123) Homepage
    It seems that much of your fame today continues to be good-humored self-mockery: the Star Trek Futurama episode, playing yourself in Showtime, singing for Priceline. I'm sure this brings in the bucks, but what are you doing today that challenges you creatively and for which you would rather be remembered? Of what are you most proud? What have you done that's just for the money?
  • Overacting???? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shftleft ( 261411 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698124) Homepage
    Over the years, much parody has been made of your apparent "overacting" on the original Star Trek series. How do you feel about this, does it bother you?

    "Shatner, I'd fight William Shatner." --Fight Club
  • by melonman ( 608440 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698125) Journal
    Does Starship Command run Open Source? How about the Klingons? I think we need to know who we should be rooting for.
  • by Planesdragon ( 210349 ) <slashdot.castlesteelstone@us> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:17PM (#4698127) Homepage Journal
    Will Wheaton has showed up on /. several times, and proved himself to be as geeky as any of the slashdot editorial staff.

    How much of a geek are you, Mr. Shater? Do you build your own PC from scratch and put Linux on it, or do you not even pay attention if your PC is Windows or Mac?
  • how does it feel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:18PM (#4698133) Journal
    How does it feel knowing that you, amongst others, have helped to inspire four decades of technically minded people to apply themselves to bring some portion of reality to the fiction you have portrayed?
  • by daeley ( 126313 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:18PM (#4698134) Homepage
    When you said on episode #18739 of Saturday Night Live: 'Get a life ... will ya, people? I mean, for cryin' out loud, it's just a TV show.', were you really reprising 'Evil Kirk' as Phil Hartman's (RIP) character suggested or did your motivation run deeper than that, say to 'Amok Time' when you had to battle Spock? ;)
    • by PunchMonkey ( 261983 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:40PM (#4698496) Homepage
      When you said on episode #18739 of Saturday Night Live: 'Get a life ... will ya, people? I mean, for cryin' out loud, it's just a TV show.', were you really reprising 'Evil Kirk' as Phil Hartman's (RIP) character suggested or did your motivation run deeper than that, say to 'Amok Time' when you had to battle Spock? ;)

      A wizard did it.
  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kaosrain ( 543532 ) <[moc.niarsoak] [ta] [toor]> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:18PM (#4698138) Homepage
    Mr. Shatner: What made you finally decide to allow us to question you?
  • by Desmoden ( 221564 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:18PM (#4698142) Homepage

    What work would you say you are most proud of? And then what do you wish you hadn't done or could redo?

  • by Hektor_Troy ( 262592 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:18PM (#4698149)
    when bare-chested?

  • Your input (Score:5, Interesting)

    by los furtive ( 232491 ) <ChrisLamothe@gME ... com minus author> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698153) Homepage
    Since Star Trek you've written a great deal of sci-fi novels. Did you have a leaning towards science fiction before your career as captain of the USS Enterprise? What are your most important sci-fi influences?
  • by iamwoodyjones ( 562550 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698157) Journal
    Seriously who's idea was it to come up with the new-guy-in-the-red-shirt dies every time you, Bones, and Spock went to the surface?

    Was it one of you guys or was it a writer? If so, which writer/writers was it?

  • by MyHair ( 589485 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698159) Journal
    Are you planning on releasing any new songs soon?

    (Anyone ever heard him sing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?)
  • by kenp2002 ( 545495 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698160) Homepage Journal
    2 Part question really, with a renewed popularity and, from what I gather, a content life, how has you affliction (I have forgotten the name) that causes the ringing in your ears been? I had heard that stress can cause it to act up. As of late has presence of the ailment been reduced or eliminated?
  • Esperanto? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xyzzy ( 10685 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698161) Homepage
    Did you really learn Esperanto for your role in "Incubus"? If so, do you still speak it?
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698171) Homepage Journal

    ..how was the green chick?
  • how do you think your career would have been different? (Not that the career that you have is bad in any way, just curious what you were gunning for originally.)
  • by sampson7 ( 536545 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:19PM (#4698177)
    We all know you started out as a Shakesperian actor, and I wonder what you learned from those rolls that you later applied in your science fiction career? What do you think of Shakespeare's place in the acting canon? Do you still stage act?
    • by alkali ( 28338 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:45PM (#4699234)
      Here's a variant but perhaps related question:

      Anyone familiar with the history of the theater knows the names of great actors like Richard Burbage (a member of Shakespeare's company) and Sarah Bernhardt. We know their work only by reputation, however; their performances are of course lost to history.

      You are one of the very first group of actors in history whose performances are, barring some cataclysm, going to be preserved forever. When you showed up to perform at Studio One or Playhouse 90, on anthology series like "The Outer Limits" and "The Twilight Zone," or later on series television like "Star Trek," did it ever occur to you that work you may have done with little or no rehearsal would have that kind of persistence? If so, did it affect your work? If not, is there anything you would have done differently?

      (What I'm trying to get at here is that while most everyone recognizes that some early television ranks with the classics, the fact of the matter is that television in the early days was very much a sausage factory: there was no backlog of syndicated material, and a lot of content had to be churned out. People generally didn't sit around saying, "Gee, we're creating a new genre of theatrical art, how should we think about that?" -- there was too much work to be done. Even years later people didn't appreciate the significance of the early years of television; a lot of film was thrown out or left to rot. So maybe the question I'm trying to get at here is really, "Now that we recognize that significance of the early years of television, do you think about your work as an actor differently now than you did then, and if so how?")
  • Favorite Movie Roll (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Marx_Mrvelous ( 532372 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:20PM (#4698183) Homepage
    I have to say that my one of my favorite characters you've been was the villian in "Loaded Weapon." Of your many rolls, which was or which were some of the most fun or most satisfying? Do you have a particular genre (sci-fi, comedy, drama) that you most prefer?
  • by 11thangel ( 103409 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:20PM (#4698187) Homepage
    What do you think of that T-Shirt on Wil Wheaton 's site, with the name tag, "Hello, my name is William Fucking Shatner".
    • ...and seeing as how you are The Man, if you want one, you can have one. I'll even autograph it for you. ;-)
      • by Hektor_Troy ( 262592 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:24PM (#4699005)
        Which brings up the next question:

        Would William Shatner appreciate a signed T-shirt from Wil Wheaton?

        Would Wil Wheaton appreciate a signed T-shirt from William Shatner?

        And if they were on Celebrety Boxing - who would win?

        This is what I think about when I'm home alone and the TV is broken.
      • by Kappelmeister ( 464986 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:02PM (#4700157)
        I don't think a lot of people take an auteuristic view of Star Trek, but I used to follow which directors were which on TNG and follow their styles.

        My favorite directors have to be veteran Cliff Bole ("Best of Both Worlds", "Silicon Avatar", Voyager's "Dark Frontier") and Les Landau ("Chain of Command II", "Family", "Night Terrors").

        Did you have any favorite directors, or did they all seem interchangeable like the old days of movies? Since "Best of Both Worlds" is better than some of the Trek movies, I'd really like to see Bole helm a feature. No such luck. Is there any particular reason? Can I get in touch with him? :)
        • by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) <wil @ w i l w h eaton.net> on Monday November 18, 2002 @06:50PM (#4701884) Homepage Journal
          Hey! He's Bill. I'm Wil. There can be only one!

          Okay. Here's my answer, based on my experience: When you're working in television, the director rarely has much room for "vision." The studio expects things delivered on a certain (usually unrealistic) timetable, and the director had better meet that schedule if he wants to come back.

          When you see the same director over and over again, it's usually because he or she gets things delivered on time, and "gets" the show.

          Less important, but still considered, is how well that director gets along with the cast. We had more than one director who raced through the schedule, but was a tool, and didn't get asked back. Conversely, we had some directors who we absolutely loved, but they were just too damn slow, so they suffered a similar fate.

          By comparison to TOS, we had a bit of latitude on TNG, because we were first-run syndication, and our directors were more or less answering to Gene, and then Rick, who were answering to Paramount. I'd suspect that it was different back on TOS, because they were first-run network. AFAIK, we were both considered "low budget," but I'm not sure how that factored into the studio's expectations.

          The two guys you mentioned, Les and Cliff, were really good guys, but vastly different. Cliff tore through the schedule, never wasting shots or over-covering scenes. He was a little gruff with me, but I'm sure I deserved it. I seem to recall the other cast members really liking him.

          Les started out as a First Assistant Director in our first season, and worked his way up to director (Star Trek has a long history of promotion from within...it's pretty cool).

          Everyone liked Les, but boy was he slow! We usually referred to his episodes as "Late Night With Les," because we'd go into overtime so much. I think they cut him some slack, though, because he was part of the family, and his episodes were always pretty good.

          When I was working on "Nemesis," Patrick and I walked past our old stages where they now film "Enterprise" on our way back to the make-up trailer one night. We saw some people we knew who were still at work, even though it was nearly 10PM on a Friday night.

          We asked how it was going, and the reply was, "Oh, you know...having fun on 'Late Night With Les.'"

          I was happy to hear that he was still in the family.
  • intelligent life (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smd4985 ( 203677 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:20PM (#4698188) Homepage
    as a actor you portrayed the leader of a crew that got to do an AMAZING thing - explore the galaxy/universe for new forms of life. what are your views on intelligent life? do you think there is OTHER intelligent life in the galaxy/universe? do you think humanity will last long enough to ever be able to explore the galaxy/universe? if so, do you think the 'star trek' universe captures that process accurately?
    • by pnatural ( 59329 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:24PM (#4699008)
      I'm gonna get flamed for sounding like a big fat meanie for saying this but, come on! Shatner is an actor. Actors act, they don't know squat about science, foreign policy, or the price of tea in China. (for the most part, of course, please excuse my generalization).

      Granted, actors are people too *cough*, and they're entitled to their incorrect opinion just like the rest of us. But to ask them questions on subjects based on their acting resume is just plain foolish. Shatner doesn't have some keen insight into the nature of the Universe because he played a star ship captain.
  • OK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:20PM (#4698191) Homepage Journal

    • When you started out in acting did you ever have even the slightest notion you'd be where you are today?
    • What would you have done differently during your career?
    • Is acting getting to be less creative in the classical sense for sci-fi as special effects technology becomes more pervasive?
    • How much tension is there between actors of the classical school and "successful" actors who have "sold out" for TV, etc.?
    • I've heard you're doing charity work lately. Tell us about it.

    P.S. I enjoyed your portrayal of the talk show host on Columbo!
    White Commanche, OTOH, I didn't finish seeing - sorry.

  • Roles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z4rd0Z ( 211373 ) <joseph at mammalia dot net> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:20PM (#4698197) Homepage
    As a young actor, you showed great promise in such films as Judgment at Nuremberg. Ever since Star Trek, however, it seems you have never stepped out of the role of Captain Kirk. Do you ever regret the decision to take on that role?
  • SNL skit (Score:4, Funny)

    by runenfool ( 503 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:21PM (#4698202)
    Did you really mean those things you said in that famous SNL skit?

    It took several years of therapy to get over those horrible comments.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:21PM (#4698214) Journal
    There is one! After looking through several masks to use for Michael Myers, John Carpenter settled on the William Shatner mask! Any comments?
  • by unicron ( 20286 ) <<ten.tencht> <ta> <norcinu>> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:22PM (#4698221) Homepage
    Mr. Shatner,

    Do you ever look back on your show with regard to how your character treated women and find it offensive? Kirk boinked anything with 2 legs and a pretty face, often pursuing them in a cave man-like fashion.

    And if you didn't find it offensive, do you think you're cursed to have been born way too early and not had your chance to lay the kirk-mack down on 7 of 9? Hell, cursed my ass, God singled you out for that heinous joke.
  • Funniest foe... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mulhall ( 301406 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:22PM (#4698222)
    Mr.Shatner, may I call you Bill?

    Which alien/enemy/foe made you laugh the hardest on set when you saw it?

    My personal favourite was the 'Pizza' that ate people - I think Spock mind-melded with it to save the day.

    Seriously it must have been a wheeze on set for Star Trek! Spock in dungarees!
  • by Irvu ( 248207 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:22PM (#4698224)
    Seriously, Kirk just got many more women than any other ST character in any series. Where did that mojo come from, and where can I buy it online?

    BTW his official site is: www.williamshatner.com/ [williamshatner.com] (predictably). It answeres many of the "what have you been up to" questions.
  • Favourite Parody (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hero ( 25043 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:22PM (#4698226) Journal
    Mr. Shatner,

    Star Trek has been parodied many times in many different formats; other television shows, movies, comics and so on. You yourself have probably been parodied as much or more in people's "Captain Kirk Impression" stand up skits and the like. My question is, do you recall a favourite parody for it's comedy or cleverness of either yourself or the series?

    Thank you.
  • What's Next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tarsi210 ( 70325 ) <nathanNO@SPAMnathanpralle.com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:22PM (#4698230) Homepage Journal
    After all this Star Trek biz and such, what's up for you in the future? Do you see yourself continuing your relationship with PriceLine and other commercial opportunities, or do you envision (or have planned) a larger project? Do you have plans to lay back and relax or to push forward into something else?
  • spin offs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FuddChuckles ( 581257 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:23PM (#4698232)
    There must be an incredible sense of pride at having been associated with a series responsible for so many high quality spinoffs (Next Generation, Enterprise, etc). What did Trek have that other TV shows didn't to make it so ripe for evolution/adaptation into other series? Do you like/dislike any of the series in particular?

    Thanks. We're big fans here.

  • by invid ( 163714 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:25PM (#4698265)

    In the near future (10 or 20 years or so) computer graphics are going to be nearly indistiguishable from live-action films. You know when that happens hundreds of Trekkers are going to start using your voice and image and create new episodes of the original Star Trek series. Many will probably do this anonymously just for the fun of it, despite legal issues. How do you feel about the possibility of your voice and image being used this way?

  • Galaxy Quest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dogfart ( 601976 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:26PM (#4698293) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever seen "Galaxy Quest" [popmatters.com]? What did you think?
  • by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:26PM (#4698298) Homepage
    Mr. Shatner,

    I remember once seeing a quick, confusing video clip on MTV that showed four different Shatner-acted roles, including Kirk, the Rescue 911 host, T.J. Hooker, and another that I can't remember. They all got into a car together and drove, then proceeded to argue on different issues. I'm sure there is an interesting story behind the clip. What do you know about it?
  • your reputation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tps12 ( 105590 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:27PM (#4698304) Homepage Journal
    I happened to have seen both of your Twilight Zone episodes (the famous "something on the wing of the airplane" one and the less-famous-but-no-less-interesting one where you are obsessed with a prophecy-dispensing toy in a diner) recently. I have to say that in both episodes I was taken aback at the unexpected quality of your portrayal. Even though everyone associates your face with Captain Kirk, the characters in the TZ episodes came through loud and clear, drowning out my preconceptions.

    For this reason, I'd like to ask what you think of your humorous reputation for bad acting. Would you blame some of the egregious hamminess of some of ST on the perception that TV (or SF) wasn't "real" acting or was it directing? Or some other thing?
  • by nucal ( 561664 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:29PM (#4698331)
    according to the Adam Sandler song. What was your religious upbringing? Do you consider yourself a religious or spiritual person? Has this had any affect on your creativity, particularly your SF writing?
  • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:29PM (#4698334) Journal

    Mr. Shatner:

    What is your single biggest regret over your entire professional career (actor, author, cult figure, etc.) and why?


  • You and Ron Asheton? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bernz ( 181095 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:29PM (#4698336) Homepage
    The Enclycolpedia Shatnerica states the following tale:

    " Ron Asheton, the gutarist for punk rocker Iggy Pop, claims that, in the summer of 1975, Shatner made a pass at him in an L.A. bar.

    Shatner supposedly approached him in the Hyatt House pub. "He wanted me to sit down, then he got kind of grabby," Asheton claims.

    Horrified that Captain Kirk might be anything less than straight, he fled the scene. "Probably if I'd been drinking I would have sat down just for the weirdness of seeing what would happen," Asheton says.

    (From "The Encyclopedia Shatnerica" by Robert E. Schnakenberg)"

    Now, we know that both you and your alter-egos are straight, including your bizarre turn as a muderous hooker in Impulse. You have had beautiful wives.

    Asheton himself has been the guitarist for a bisexual rock n roller. Yet HE denies any homosexuality. I've never heard your comments on it.

    Answer, if you will, the truth behind this bizarre and probably untrue story: it's possible origins, and such. It's such a weird urban legend. I'd love to hear where it got started if you know.

  • by rstewart ( 31100 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:30PM (#4698352)
    Harlan Ellison has always been bitter about the rewrites to City on the Edge of Forever and how his story was taken away from him. In the book about it he wrote that you had come over and counted the words in the script and had it torpedoed for due kirk having less lines than spock.

    My question is what is your take on what happend with his script and your response to his accusations in the book? There is plenty out there about this that I'm sure has never come to light and I was wondering what your point of view on this issue is.
  • by artemis67 ( 93453 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:31PM (#4698362)
    What was the locker combination in episode 25 [jt.org] after you left your quarters the last time and opened your safe?
  • Fight Club (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaffeineAddict2001 ( 518485 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:32PM (#4698380)
    If you could fight in hand-to-hand combat with anyone in the world, who would it be?
  • Fixing ST:5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by haplo21112 ( 184264 ) <[moc.anhtipe] [ta] [olpah]> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:33PM (#4698390) Homepage
    I know you have stated many times that ST:5 was not waht it could have been because of production problems? So my Question is how would you go about fixing it? What was wrong in your eyes with the film? Personally I thought the bad guy pretending to be God could have used more backstory. Perhaps you could somehow retroactively connect it with the Q continum books that came out in the ST:TNG series a couple years ago...the entity playing God reminds me alot of the antagonists in those books.
  • by martinbogo ( 468553 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:34PM (#4698409) Homepage Journal
    Dear Mr. Shatner,

    Over a generation ago, you landed an acting job on a show being produced by someone that wanted to make a cowboy show in space. The show was wierd, the pay was good, and the publicity was fantastic. ... not to mention Star Trek became the stuff of legend. Not bad for a gig.

    Since then, and after a long pause (mostly filled with shows like Dr. Who and Space 1999), viewing audiences have been treated to five perspectives on the Star Trek universe.

    Other shows have come out with varying degrees of sucess. Babylon 5, V, Farscape, and Firefly have come out to rave reviews, while others like Space Rangers and the TekWorld series have met unfortunate ends.

    What do you think is the formula for a successful science fiction show on television today? Why do you think the Star Trek series has enjoyed such a phenomenal and sucessful run?

    Finally .. different actors have enjoyed varying amounts of popularity. George Takei, Walter Koenig, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and yourself have enjoyed very robust post-trek careers. Others such as Wil Wheaton, James Doohan, seem to have tremendous problems making it work in a post-trek acting environment.

    What has enabled you to remain robustly and diversely employed as an actor post-star-trek?

    Martin Bogomolni

    Science Fiction Fan
  • by Irvu ( 248207 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:35PM (#4698415)
    What was it like to do the first on-screen interracial kiss? How much effort did it take to make the studio go along with it, and how much of an effect did it have on you and the show as a whole?
  • by Tsar ( 536185 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:35PM (#4698423) Homepage Journal
    After the tragic and untimely death of your wife Nerine, a recovering alcoholic, you took the courageous step of establishing a fund in her name to benefit Friendly House [friendlyhouse.org], an organization for recovering alcoholics. How is that work progressing, and has your involvement with this effort helped you work through this loss?

    I know that this subject must be painful for you, but I'm sure there are many in the slashdot community who would benefit from your experience and insights here.
  • Saturday Night Live (Score:5, Interesting)

    by billmaly ( 212308 ) <bill.maly@[ ]eodusa.net ['mcl' in gap]> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:36PM (#4698434)
    Years ago, when you hosted SNL, you participated in the now classis Trekkie sketch (actually, one of my all time favorite SNL sketches).

    Was that sketch a catharsis for you, a means of finally casting off some chains and letting the world know what you think and feel, or was it just a sketch? I am not dissing you, your work, or Trek fans, but, let's be honest here, some people do need to, in your words, "Get a life!". Do you/did you feel that way, or was it just an act? Come on, be honest..... :)
  • by defile ( 1059 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:40PM (#4698495) Homepage Journal

    Remember when you were elected weakest link by the rest of the Star Trek cast, and you put the moves on Anne Robinson? On the fineness scale of 1-10 where 1 is fine and 10 is supah-fine, where would you rate her?

  • Galaxy Quest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vrone ( 135073 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:40PM (#4698503)
    I will preface this by saying I am a mild trekkie and as such, I immensely enjoyed the 1999 film Galaxy Quest.

    I think everyone who has seen Galaxy Quest will agree that the show that it is based upon is, in essence, "Star Trek". It follows that Tim Allen's Character was essentially meant to be you.

    So my two part question is this:
    Did you enjoy the show, and, how accurate was their portrayal of life after Trek?
  • by chegosaurus ( 98703 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:45PM (#4698577) Homepage
    Ask him. Go on. I dare you. I double dare you.
  • by Geek In Training ( 12075 ) <cb398.hotmail@com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:47PM (#4698591) Homepage
    As a normal everyday guy from Canada, it seems hard for "the public" to grasp the diparity between "Bill Shatner, age 61, three adult children, loves horses" and "Actor/Singer/Producer/Writer William Shatner blah blah blah fourth wife ... blah blah blah personal tragedy .... blah blah blah inside scoop" that Hollywood and the Tabloid press seem to turn everyone's life into.

    At the end of the day, has the fame been worth the price? Is knowing that you've raised three daughters and entertained people for several decades worth the cost of your privacy? Do you feel that overall, you've gotten a fair shake, even after all the public airings of your alleged failings as a person? Are you going to continue to live in the limelight during your golden years, or settle in and call it good, letting the cards land where they may?

    Do you feel you've finished your professional legacy and are ready to leave it for media history, or do you fret over whether or not that legacy is "good enough?" And the same regarding your personal legacy as a man, a husband, a father, a son? What advice can you give to others so that they don't have any regrets?
  • by tuxlove ( 316502 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:51PM (#4698624)
    Hi Bill,

    I'm curious to know what you think of the "modern day" Star Trek shows that come out every now and then. I feel the shows have degraded in quality, and have become less reminiscent of the original series with each new series that comes out. The Next Generation was generally good, but following shows seem to be progressively less interesting and engaging. Granted, it's a tall order to create a show that surpasses the original Star Trek, but I think they could have done a lot better.

    At the risk of biting the hand that feeds (or fed) you, I'd like to hear the honest truth as you see it. What do you think of the four Star Trek spinoffs? Is the franchise still kicking after so many years, or is it time to put it out to pasture?

    By the way, I have to tell you that you were my idol growing up. I learned everything I needed to know about women from Captain Kirk!
  • MPAA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jhines0042 ( 184217 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:52PM (#4698636) Journal
    Concerning the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Do you consider them to be a boon or a bane to actors and actressess?
  • by lysander ( 31017 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @01:53PM (#4698648)
    The Onion AV Club just had an interview [theonionavclub.com] with Shatner. Besides being rather interesting, it's a list of questions that you can avoid reasking.
  • by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) <wil @ w i l w h eaton.net> on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:01PM (#4698753) Homepage Journal
    Hey Bill,

    Are we cool, or what? I mean, I always thought you didn't like me, but I had a good time with you at Weakest Link watching the World Series.

    So are we cool, or was that just pre-game strategy?

  • SEXUAL UNDERTONES (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:05PM (#4698801) Journal

    Mr. Shatner:

    Considering that Star Trek was supposed to be a serious show about the future, there were an awful lot of gorgeous women running around in skimpy outfits on the set and you had your shirt off half the time. How did you, the other actors, and Roddenberry feel about the sexual undertones in Star Trek? Was it something forced on you by the studio? Or did you feel it was a legitimate part of the show?


  • Time at McGill (Score:5, Interesting)

    by peg0cjs ( 572593 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:06PM (#4698812) Homepage

    It's fairly well known (at least here in Canada) that you attended McGill University for some time. They even went so far as to rename the Student Union building the Shatner Building.

    I've heard that you were invited to the renaming ceremony, but refused to attend. I've also heard that you generally speak very poorly of your time at McGill. What was it about McGill that was so dreadful/horrible/annoying/etc that has made you so sour on the subject?

  • You vs. Roddenberry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iscariot_ ( 166362 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:14PM (#4698900)
    How much of the Captain Kirk character was developed by you, and how much was developed by Roddenberry?
  • by airrage ( 514164 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:18PM (#4698940) Homepage Journal
    Some Film and TV roles seem to transend themselves and take on a life of their own. Michael Landon is Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie, Yule Brenner is the King of Siam, George Scott is Patton, and you are, of course, Captain James T. Kirk. I know you lampooned the trekkies on SNL, telling them to "Get a Life", but how much does the Star Trek genre affect your life and career. Even now, is it difficult to land roles without someone imagining you as Captain Kirk? Can you remember a time before you heard the word "Romulan" or do you envision a future where you can forget it? Also, can you give a sense of how annoying it is to be given Star Trek references while trying to run your everyday errands?
  • Give us some advice! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Badgerman ( 19207 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:19PM (#4698949)
    You've had, to say the least, a very interesting life with many ups, downs, and detours. So I have a two part question.

    1) Based on your life experience, what is one thing you'd advise no one EVER do, and why?

    2) Based on your life experience, what is one thing you'd advise everyone to definitely do (at least once), and why?
  • by pdboddy ( 620164 ) <pdboddy@ g m a i l . c om> on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:21PM (#4698974) Homepage Journal
    Mr. Shatner, I would ask you what you thought of the captains that followed in your footsteps: Captain Picard, Captain Sisko, Captain Janeway and Captain Archer, of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise respectively. What sort of input did you have, if any, in the four series? Are you planning to do any more scifi TV shows? I enjoyed your Tekwar series. Which do you like portraying more, a good guy, a bad guy, or an anti-hero? Thanks for allowing us to pester you with questions you've probably answered many times over. =)
  • by cacav ( 567890 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:24PM (#4699002)
    One of the best Saturday Night Live shows I can remember was when you appeared on it as a host. I thought the skit of you at the Star Trek convention was excellent, BTW. Especially when you tore into the Trekkies who seem like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

    Though your diatribe ("Get a life people") was brushed aside as the talk of the "Evil Kirk", what's your real opinion of the die hard fans? Granted many are a bit excessive, but do you appreciate the attention or do you find it annoying at all?

  • by dbretton ( 242493 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:36PM (#4699139) Homepage
    Do you use priceline.com to book all of your flights?

    Or do you no longer fly due to the whole "There's something out on the wing!!" thing?

  • Your Tinnitus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ez76 ( 322080 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMe76.us> on Monday November 18, 2002 @02:56PM (#4699388) Homepage
    As a tinnitus sufferer (brought on by noise trauma, like you), I take comfort in knowing there are celebrities such as yourself who have overcome this intrusive malady to live a happy life and accomplish great things.

    What techniques/treatments have been successful for you in dealing with this disease?
  • Galaxy Quest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by omnipotus ( 214689 ) <jason.lunn@gmail.com> on Monday November 18, 2002 @03:22PM (#4699716)
    Galaxy Quest [imdb.com] obviously satired not only the characters of Star Trek as they behaved on camera, but also the characters of the on actors that portayed them. Did you like the movie? Do you think the weaknesses of the Star Trek franchise that the film hyperboles are fair? Did friction between you and your co-stars on the convention circuit ever approach the levels suggested in film?
  • by orichter ( 60340 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @04:23PM (#4700350)
    As I understand it, Jeffery Hunter was originally offered the part of Captain Captain of the Enterprise (he played Christopher Pike in the Pilot), but turned it down after the Pilot was filmed. First, is this accurate, and second:

    Obviously, this was your big break into showbusiness, but did it feel like it at the time. How did this part come to you, and when did you realize this show would be this big, when did you realize you had been typecast and that you would be forever known as Captain Kirk, and did you go through any of the disgust with that typecast like Leonard Nemoy did?
  • by Inexile2002 ( 540368 ) on Monday November 18, 2002 @07:52PM (#4702345) Homepage Journal
    Looking back on the show with a bit of a post-modernist eye there were some really interesting subversive themes laced into the ST plot. The occasional anti-capitalist themes, the concept of the Federation as a nearly perfect communist society, the promotion of secular humanism and multiple episodes where the plot was literally man against god. There were the racial harmony themes, anti-religious themes and the prime directive itself could have been taken as a statement against cultural imperialism. All of this on tv in a world where Joe McCarthy was still a very fresh memory.

    Now I know that Rodenberry was responsible for most of it, but how did it feel to be caught up in something like that during the 60's? (This is such a set up for the response, "I was just a tv show.")
  • by Necromancyr ( 602950 ) on Tuesday November 19, 2002 @02:57PM (#4708756)
    Regarded as a historical TV moment, you have had stories related that you forced the 'kiss' between yourself and Nichelle Nichols to be put into the episode. What we're your reasons behind pushing for the inclusion of the kiss - was it purely on a moral basis or did others influence your decision? And, because of this action, we're you ever put into an uncomfortable position (threatened by certain groups, not permitted in a select club, etc.)?

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.