William Shatner is just as relevant as ever, perhaps more so. The man is a pop-culture icon, right up there with the likes of George Takei.
Now the Captain/Admiral is once again mining the lode that brought him all that attention. His latest project, a new documentary William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge, takes a look at the first two years of production for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Shatner was not on that show, of course, but that doesn’t stop him from bringing some insider info to light.
The documentary explores the early days of the TNG project through interviews with cast members. Among other tidbits, Shatner reveals that Patrick Stewart was not the first choice for Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He also talks about infighting and back stabbing that went on behind the scenes among other members of the cast.
The one-hour documentary gives particular attention to the role of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in launching and shepherding the TNG series.
The Toronto Sun calls the project “a rich, raucous look at the messy birth of TV’s most famous utopian future, and the two years that nearly ended the whole thing before it started.”
Shatner has been making the rounds of late, particularly thanks to his decades-old “feud” with Original Series and feature films co-star George Takei. The origin of their acrimony is still a mystery. Shatner denies ever giving Takei cause for animosity toward him, and contradicts the tales Takei tells about his on-set behavior.
Perhaps we will one day discover that these two have been playing us all and laughing all the way to the bank thanks to a rumor mill snit that really amounts to nothing.