No one ever involved with the Star Trek franchise has benefited from its enduring popularity and cultural legacy as much as William Shatner. And why shouldn’t he? This is Captain James Tiberius Kirk we’re talking about here, one of the most popular and recognizable heroic figures ever created. Shatner saw his own fortunes as a struggling young actor with great talent and promise rise considerably in the 1960’s when he signed on to play Kirk after the original pilot episode of Trek with Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike was poorly received. The show may have only lasted three seasons in the first place, the third of which was made possible by one of the most effective fan letter-writing campaigns in the history of civilization, but its countless television and feature film spin-offs helped the franchise become the cornerstone of a geek nation that stretches to every corner of the planet and one day possibly to worlds yet unexplored. Shatner is one of the show’s greatest champions, its most iconic character and star, and to this day continues on as a tireless promoter for Star Trek‘s undying themes and the power of its fans and alumni to inspire greatness in themselves and others. Plus, those residual checks must be pretty nice.
Most recently Shatner wrote and directed The Captains Close Up, a 5-part series for the cable channel Epix that expanded on the intentions of his 2011 documentary feature The Captains. Each of the five episodes were devoted to interviewing and profiling the actors who played Starfleet captains in the original Trek and its four television spin-offs and multitude of big screen sci-fi adventures. The entire series has been released on DVD courtesy of Entertainment One, and with a combined running time of two-and-a-half hours on one disc makes binge watching essential and well worth the time of any Trek devotee.
As a few of our regular readers have probably figured out by now, I have been going through a bit of a Star Trek kick as of late; and with all incarnations of the television shows available for instant streaming on Netflix, it’s a prime opportunity to become reacquainted with the final frontier. And so for this week’s review, I decided to dive into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
And yet, there are many fans who seem to consider DS9 to be the ginger stepchild left under the stairs.
I prefer to consider it SPECIAL.
…as in EXTRA SPECIAL COOL, yo.
Conceivably one of the most divisive series among fans, Deep Space Nine has been considered to be the best of the Star Treks by many fans, and yet the worse by many others. This is because DS9 takes a completely different perspective, perhaps even a bold one, by Star Trek standards: it stays fairly much in the one location.