'How William Shatner Changed the World' Makes HistoryBy Michelle
March 11, 2006 - 5:34 PM
How William Shatner Changed the World, originally aired on the Discovery Channel in the Captain Kirk actor's native Canada, will premiere on US television this Sunday.
"You've got a cell phone at one ear, an iPod at the other...but just how did we get here? Blame William Shatner," declared LinuxElectrons, which explained that Shatner meets "the brightest minds of Silicon Valley and their Trek-inspired inventions that have changed the world" in the documentary. The actor speaks to such people as Marty Cooper, an engineer at Motorola who helped invent the first mobile cellular phone, and Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer with the SETI Institute which searches for extraterrestrial intelligence in outer space.
The El Paso Times noted that although Shatner's "iconic moment in the sun came four decades ago when he played Capt. James T. Kirk", his success in the past several years has been considerable, and this new documentary credits him with the popularity of Star Trek which in turn sparked numerous scientific advances.
The young viewers who were fans of the series in the 1960s "were deadly serious about 'Star Trek,'" Shatner was quoted as saying in The Wichita Eagle. "Scientists are a strange group in that they catch glimpses of something that is mysterious and wonderful. They can't quite put their finger on it, so they grasp at something. It's a step-by-step process. You climb on the backs of giants."
A review of the documentary in the L.A. Daily News stated that Shatner "is in full-bluster mode, mock-self-aggrandizing and mock-contemptuous of the project itself" as Shatner explores how Star Trek influenced scientists to develop medical procedures and devices such as the iPod. "It also gives credit to the show for prompting vast improvements in spacecrafts and computer technology, and perhaps even helping to usher in the concept of multiculturalism."
How William Shatner Changed the World debuts tomorrow night on the History Channel at 8 p.m. Eastern time.