'How William Shatner Changed the World' To Explore Star Trek Innovation

By Michelle
October 15, 2005 - 1:07 PM

A new documentary on Star Trek and the development of technology, How William Shatner Changed the World, premieres next month.

Channel Canada reported on Discovery Channel's documentary, which explores how cell phones evolved to look like communicators and other curiosities of modern life. "You’ve got a cell phone at one ear, an iPod at the other, you know that Blackberry is now a verb and Spam is not only canned meat of questionable origin," noted the article. "Blame William Shatner."

Based on the Captain Kirk actor's book I'm Working on That, the Shatner-hosted documentary covers scientists and inventors who were inspired by Star Trek. For instance, fan Mark Rayman, who watched both Star Trek and the Mercury launches, grew up to become chief engineer on the Robotic Deep Space Probe project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Shatner also credits Marty Cooper, an engineer at Motorola who helped invent the first mobile cellular phone based on Star Trek's communicators. Others interviewed include space scientists, computer programmers and a brain surgeon who removes tumors with a laser knife, as well as Shatner's co-stars George Takei (Sulu) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura).

The documentary is scheduled to premiere on Sunday, November 13th on theDiscovery Channel. More information is available at Channel Canada.

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