Is there anyone out there who hasn’t noticed that William Shatner the actor has become William Shatner the character over the years? Give the man some credit for finding ways to reinvent himself. After Star Trek he was the only actor to find himself another regular television character and shakes the typecasting that most actors in the franchise have been victimized by. When TJ Hooker was gone, he found a few other shows and ways to take advantage of what could have been fleeting fame. By the time he did Boston Legal, he had completely reinvented himself as a somewhat humorous character and wonderful mate for James Spader. But all along there was and always will be more than a little Captain Kirk in the actor. And over time the two began to meld into a being that has been the fodder for jokes for most of the world. Shatner’s laughing, too, but not in the way you might think. Shatner’s been laughing all the way to the bank.
Part of his newfound shtick has been putting together these “films” that explore the mythology of Star Trek. As we climb ever closer to the 50th anniversary, expect Shatner to continue to cash in. His latest gets its name from an old Saturday Night Live skit in which Shatner admonishes some diehard fans at a convention to do just that. It’s still one of the best SNL skits in decades, and it’s an appropriate opening for this release. Unfortunately, we don’t get the entire skit. We only get enough for Shatner to deliver the titular line.
The piece starts with some really cool animation work for the opening title credits. Sure, it’s over the top, but if you buy a documentary from William Shatner, you were already ready for it. The piece takes a behind the scenes look at the 45th Trek anniversary convention in Vegas. It sports the largest group of vendors and attendees in the Trek convention circuit. Apparently 100 celebrities were on hand. You get to see some of the prep work that goes into one of these events. Of course, there’s plenty of footage of the attendees, particularly those in costume.
We get a close look at some of the attendees who share their love for the franchise with us. Many were influenced in life-altering choices because of the show. We’re talking anything from careers to spouses. Many are inspired and some overcome tragic circumstances because of the show. Those include the heart-warming story of Captain Dave. We met him on Shatner’s Captains documentary. He was a young boy who suffered from debilitating muscular disease. He was wheelchair-bound and could not really speak much. Trek became his escape from that harsh reality, and his mother got him to many events. He got to mingle with pretty much all the Trek big shots. Unfortunately, he passed by the time the shoot was finishing up.
Shatner also spends time with a professor in front of a fire while they discuss the philosophy of mythology and how all of this fandom experience ties in. It’s a bit new-age, and it gives Shatner a chance to deliver his practiced reactions and thoughts.
While there isn’t much new here and there have been documentaries on the Trek convention world, it’s a harmless hour where the fans get to be the focus for a little while. There’s about 25 minutes of bonus footage to round out the release. Some of the fans have more interesting stories than the stars, so this is the kind of thing a fan can’t resist checking out. Trek’s not going away any time soon. Here’s that wacky look at the weirdness that is Star Trek fandom. “They’re out there.”