William Shatner AKA Captain Kirk at ECCC

William Shatner Captain Kirk ECCC
The final panel in room 4A was for William Shatner. Like the Buffy panel before, it took some time for everybody to crowd into the room, but soon William Shatner came bounding on stage. My initial impression was how much energy he had. Rather than staying seated like most of the people in the earlier panels, he took a microphone and walked around while talking to the audience. He also did not have a moderator. After all, this is William Shatner, and he’s done a convention or two in his time! He may not have always answered all of the questions presented to him at the panel, but one thing was for certain, the guy had a lot of stories!

One of the things that Shatner talked about was the Milwaukee Ballet who had decided to do a ballet using some of his music. Shatner has now filmed the ballet and some of the behind the scenes footage and packaged it as a film which will air on television some time in the fall, titled William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet.

Another topic that came up in the panel was the feud between Shatner and George Takei. He responded, “I don’t know what his problem is with me, except that it seems to be getting worse, and I haven’t seen him in 40 years!” He also joked about his Comedy Central Roast in which Takei came up on stage and made cracks about Shatner, which Takei actually seemed to mean. Right or wrong, Shatner seems genuinely baffled by why some of the cast of Star Trek don’t like him.

When asked how Shatner felt working with Christopher Plummer (General Chang) in Star Trek VI this led into another of Shatner’s stories in which he talked about having worked with Plummer, and understudied for him at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He then talked about doing a documentary called The Captains, in which he interviews all the captains in Star Trek including Christopher Plummer.
Captain Kirk William Shatner ECCC
One question came up regarding Star trek: Generations in which Kirk dies, and whether or not he felt cheated by the death of Captain Kirk. At this point, the audience booed the way Captain Kirk died, and Shatner replied, “boo is a good word.” This led into another of Shatner’s stories about the filming of Kirk’s death scene, and also about an accident he had on a horse, some time earlier. He joked that during the filming of Kirk’s death scene, the words “bridge on the captain” popped into his head when the bridge fell on him.

Another topic that Shatner brought up during the panel was about a new space-themed “rock opera” album that he is working on titled “Seeking Major Tom.” The album will feature musical greats such as Black Sabbath guitarist Zakk Wylde and Peter Frampton.

Another interesting question that came up in the panel was regarding Shatner’s appearance in Fanboys, and his line, “I’m William Shatner. I can score anything.” The questioner asked what was the best thing Shatner has been able to score. It’s not clear whether or not Shatner understood the question, but it led into a humourous story in which Shatner had his underwear stolen and had to organize an exchange with the underwear thief. However, if you think stealing a Star Trek actor’s underwear is strange, perhaps the oddest part of the story was that Shatner was unclear if this was something that had happened to him, or someone else, because he had told the story so often.

And with that, the panel was done, and William Shatner had left the building- Okay, maybe not the building, but room 4A. And so did we, because we had to take a break before one of my favourite panels of the day, Super with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson.