Windom Not a 'Star Trek' Fan Before or After 'Doomsday'By Michelle
June 28, 2007 - 9:31 PM
Despite being recognized as Captain Decker, the man who piloted a shuttlecraft down the maw of the Doomsday Machine, actor William Windom claims that he was never a Star Trek fan.
In an interview with Star Trek Magazine (via Sci Fi Pulse), Windom said that he was not familiar with the series and became a fan of William Shatner (Kirk) "only after he turned funny about five years ago." As for Star Trek itself, "I wasn’t a fan of anybody involved with the thing! Not the storyline or any part of it."
Windom believes he was cast in the role because he was associated with playing broken characters like Decker. "I used to be known in those days as 'Willie the Weeper,'" he explained. "Whenever they needed someone to break down on a show confessing a murder or infidelity, anything where something happened to this guy and we watch him disintegrate on camera, they would say, 'Get Windom – bring in Willie the Weeper!'"
In "The Doomsday Machine", which Windom felt "seemed kind of silly, with the planet eater and spaceships," he was charged with playing a character who "falls apart telling Captain Kirk and company what happened to his ship and crew, how he lost everything because of the planet eater!" He said he acted as though he were in a cartoon and only years later thought about the episode as a version of Moby Dick: "I was playing 'Captain Ahab in Outer Space' but I didn’t think about it that way until years after I did it, when I read it in an article!"
Windom was also uncomfortable because he felt that the Star Trek set was not a happy one. "When I did the show Shatner was at war with Nimoy," he stated. "Shatner was not funny then...I like to clown around, so when I get on a set where actors don’t clown around, I get a little suspicious. That put me off right away."
The full interview is in the UK's Star Trek Magazine. Thanks to Sci Fi Pulse for these excerpts.