William Shatner On Modern ‘Star Trek’: Gene Roddenberry Would Be ‘Turning In His Grave’
No matter where he goes or what he does, William Shatner will always be associated with Star Trek and Captain Kirk. Clearly, Shatner has viewed that as something of a mixed blessing through the years. He’s openly poked fun at Trek fans in an infamous Saturday Night Live sketch, and he isn’t shy about voicing his opinion when he’s not enamored with whatever Star Trek is up to at any given moment.
And at this particular moment, it sounds like Shatner is not a fan of what’s going on in Star Trek. Shatner appeared at his very own panel at Comic-Con and at one point he was asked if he felt any of the recent Star Trek series compared with the original Star Trek show that Shatner starred in in the 1960s.
“None of them,” Shatner said, before adding:
I got to know Gene Roddenberry in three years fairly well ... he’d be turning in his grave at some of this stuff.
Gene Roddenberry died in 1991; the last Star Trek show he had any involvement with was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Shatner’s last onscreen appearance as Captain Kirk came in 1994’s Star Trek Generations, although he continued to write Star Trek novels for a number of years after that. But that means it’s been 30 years since either one played a major role in the franchise.
The current wave of Star Trek shows includes Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks. While I could see Shatner not liking some of those series — and indeed some Star Trek fans are not enamored with them either — the most recent addition to the Trek lineup, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, is a throwback to the original Trek, with a more episodic structure, allegorical sci-fi stories, and an upbeat tone. It’s the new Star Trek show for people who love vintage Trek.
Then again, Strange New Worlds is introducing a young James Kirk played by another actor so ... maybe that wouldn’t be to Shatner’s liking either. Regardless, all of these recent Star Trek series are available to stream on Paramount+.