Shatner On The Trek Phenomenon

By Caillan
February 23, 2002 - 6:06 PM

Even after thirty five years, William Shatner (James T. Kirk) still can't explain why Star Trek has become such an enduring worldwide phenomenon.

"I don't know," Shatner told CNN's Larry King. "I give a different explanation every time I am asked [why Trek is so popular]. It has something to do with the formula and it has something to do with the story telling device and the characters involved."

The actor said people watch the series for a variety of reasons. "There was science fiction, there was adventure, there was philosophy. There were the family of characters that they fell in love with. And yet, cancel that family of characters and bring in another family of characters and you've got another hit series called Star Trek, so I don't know."

King asked Shatner if he appears regularly at conventions. "Yes, I'm going to go to one in Seattle this Saturday," the actor replied. "And there are thousands of people. I don't go to many. I wrote a book called 'Get A Life,' which examined the audience."

Despite the infamous 'Get a Life' speech, Shatner is making a genuine effort to get to know the fanbase through his new web site. "I had a message on the message board, on that message board, saying that I was rather brusque at an autograph session I had in Sacramento. I took cognizance of the fact that I got a message that I was brusque. And I had this dialogue open up between the fans and myself. Well, what would you have me do? Would you have me sign quickly to get through those hundreds of people that are there or go one by one and very slowly and miss all those hundreds? I want dialogue on this. I want feedback. Please help me because I'm going to Seattle soon and I've got to adjust my behaviour."

The full CNN transcript, in which Shatner also talked about the tragic death of his third wife and the 'Mind Meld' DVD, can be found here. Thanks to 'Enterpriser' for this!

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