Welcome to another Documentary about Star Trek by the one and only William Shatner. This one about, well the title says it all, the captains. After all who better to take us on this journey than the OG captain himself. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a Trekkie, don't judge me.
We start off meeting a man who runs an airplane company, he tells us how he got started because of his love of Star Trek. A lot of people started in their careers due to the passion that this series inspired in all of us.
Shatner starts his journey off talking to Sir Patrick Steward. The two talk about how they became actors and what drove their ambitions. A teacher gave Steward a copy of Shakespeare and he fell in love. He just seemed to understand it in a way that as a child he shouldn't have been able to. It changed his life.
Next we meet Avery Brooks, the man who played Captain Benjamin Sisko in Deep Space Nine. This man does a little of everything. Not only is he an actor and musician but he is also a teacher.
Third Captain on our journey is the great actress Kate Mulgrew who played Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. She talked about how her father would only send her to New York if she went to collage. She told her father that she was going, she dropped out once she got two leading roles in plays and never looked back. Through she didn't tell her father about her decision.
Shatner goes horseback riding with the one and only Sam Beckett, or well Scott Bakula as he is called in real life. The man who played Captain Archer on Star Trek Enterprise. He talks about how he considers himself more of a singer than actor. That's crazy, I didn't know he was a singer, I just knew he is one of the greatest sci-fi actors of all time. After all Quantum Leap is a classic drama/Sci-Fi show that I grew up loving. Almost on par with the original Star Trek itself.
As Shatner talks to the other captains we also learn a bit about him. He uses their stories and experiences to tell his own stories. He talks about how he started on radio playing roles like Prince Charming. He started doing films and live TV in the 1950's.
Last up on his list of captains is the man who would take over the iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk, Chris Pine. They start off arm wrestling. It's a drawl. He talks about how he likes to do stunts. It makes him feel alive. Pine is a 3rd generation actor. He talks about how as a kid he wanted to be anything but an actor since everyone in his family did it. He wanted a career out in the real world, not following his parents footsteps. He did a play in class as a kid and it sparked his love for acting, changing the course of his life forever.
Jonathan Frakes, the man who played William T. Riker on Star Trek the Next Generation talks about how each Captain was a smart choice and why. How each one was drastically different than the last. And how that is what made the series so iconic.
Bakula said that he had no interest in being the next captain, they told him that he misunderstood, they wanted him to be the first captain. His show was to take place a 100 years before Kirk and he couldn't say yes fast enough. Shatner tells him about how they called him in to do the second pilot for the original Star Trek and that he said if he was going to do this they would have to make the show more fun and light hearted, thus changing the tone of the show and creating what we know today.
Steward says that he only signed the 6 year contract because he never thought the show would last that long. The Next Generation lasted 7 seasons and 4 movies.
Shatner takes through his different roles in theatre. He tells us about how all of the captains got their starts in theatre, playing important roles on stage before going onto acting on screen.
Steward talks about how he had never worked in Hollywood before Next Gen and how he told the other actors that they weren't there to have fun. They were there to work but the other actors taught him that he could have fun while still doing great work.
Bakula talks about how he loved the OG Star Trek because of the relationship between Kirk, Bones and Spock. He said that was what brought him to the show. I couldn't agree more. That's what I always loved about the show. It made it so much more than it was. I disagree with him when he said that Enterprise didn't create the same thing. While Archer, Trip and T'Pol weren't as great a trio they were a close second. He pulled it off better than he thought he had.
The two men talk about how working on set killed their relationships with their wives. It's sad that following your dreams make it that hard for them to have personal lives. Television is a jealous mistress. Steward also talks about how he regrets the end of both of his marriages. He tells Shatner that he always knew that his work came first, always. Mulgrew talks about how her children resented her for not spending enough time with her kids. While doing Voyager she was a single mother. It was hard for her but she did it. Shatner talks about how impossible it is for these things to pass. Mulgrew agrees with him but if you really think about, she did so much more than anyone else. She survived as a single mother and the lead role in a 7 year TV series. She is an example of excellence. Brooks took more of a philosophical outlook on the whole thing, saying it isn't good or bad it is just how it is and his wife always understood that. He would be the coolest teacher, how did I get stuck with the bullshit one I have?
In-between the interviews they go around Star Trek conventions and look at all the fans. These shows and films have changed so many people's lives. It is amazing how much a 3 season show has done to reshape the world and everyone in it. Shatner says that he never really understood it until he started working on this project and talking to Steward.
This was such an awe-inspiring look inside the world of a universe that has changed the real world just as much as the landcape of TV and film for all time. Beam me up Scotty!
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