William Shatner cannot escape ‘Star Trek,’ however his voyage has gone effectively past it

Though it was early in my journalistic profession, I can recall coming away with two ideas: Shatner was kidding himself if he thought he may ever step out from beneath the yoke of “Star Trek,” and the chances have been he was unlikely to be related to one other hit of that magnitude.

Because it turned out, I used to be proper and incorrect. Shatner will at all times be finest remembered for the long-lasting function of Captain Kirk. However he managed to mount a 3rd act to his profession that has been actually spectacular, partially by leaning into the character’s swaggering, swashbuckling picture and laughing at himself.

Shatner’s deliberate journey into area aboard Blue Origin, at age 90, marks a end result and coalescence of these two threads — a large leap for the person that additionally trades off his connection to the starship Enterprise.

Directing, it turned out, did not signify the path to Shatner’s future. His alternative to direct the fifth “Star Trek” film, “The Last Frontier,” was typically thought of among the many low factors within the collection.

But the actor pivoted thereafter into various shrewdly chosen autos, making the unlikely transition from main man — a mantle he nonetheless bore within the Nineteen Eighties collection “T.J. Hooker” — to savvy second banana, with supporting roles in motion pictures like “Miss Congeniality,” or guest-star bits such enjoying because the Massive Large Head in “third Rock From the Solar.” He additionally hosted the favored actuality present “Rescue 911,” preserving himself within the public eye.

William Shatner speaks at the William Shatner Spotlight panel at New York Comic Con 2021 on Oct. 7, 2021 (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ReedPop)

Shatner then parlayed a stint on “The Apply” into his Emmy-winning half on “Boston Authorized” as Denny Crane, the pompous, eccentric lawyer who loved a very good cigar and claimed by no means to have misplaced a case.

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Shatner additionally joined within the “Star Trek” jokes, as he had on that “SNL” sketch. That included a 2006 Comedy Central roast, the place he good-naturedly endured one jab after one other about his overacting and extra.

That set the stage for his later-in-life run, starring within the short-lived however memorably titled sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says” and persevering with to work steadily, lately romancing Jean Sensible within the unbiased comedy “Senior Second.”

In essence, Shatner went from wincing when “Star Trek” was the primary query in an interview to an “If you cannot beat ’em, be a part of ’em” method, demonstrating that he may play alongside whereas bending the curiosity that got here from that venerable franchise into different choices.
Amid a deluge of jokes about what Captain Kirk will truly discover “on the market” as Shatner prepares for this symbolic second, Vulture quite cheekily went in opposition to the grain with the headline “‘Boston Authorized’ Legend Will Go to Area.”

Good attempt, however everyone knows what legendary banner Shatner is carrying with him. But what simply may have been his last frontier, because it seems, was simply the beginning of a journey that has taken him — boldly or in any other case — in instructions that skeptics could not have foreseen.

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