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Pop icon William Shatner is best known for his distinctive voice and his roles on Star Trek and Boston Legal.
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Already known for his dramatic, but earnest delivery of his lines on Star Trek, Shatner recorded renditions of such songs as the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
Not long after the album, Star Trek was cancelled. The show, however, continued to live on in syndication and became even more popular. Star Trek became a Saturday morning cartoon that ran during the mid-1970s,
and it was resurrected a live action film in 1979. Returning to the role of Kirk, Shatner starred in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The film's warm reception by film-goers showed how much affection the public had for the old series. At the beginning of the film, Kirk has become an admiral, Bones has retired, and Spock has returned to the planet Vulcan. But the three return to work on a new version of the Enterprise to solve a crisis involving a mysterious cloud that has destroyed several spaceships.
In the sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Kirk had to overcome an old adversary, Khan Noonien Singh (Richardo Montalban), who was out for revenge. Around the time of the sequel's release, Shatner took on a new leading television role.
On T. J. Hooker, Shatner played a veteran police officer who turned in his detective's badge to return to a street beat. The supporting cast included Heather Locklear and Adrian Zmed as younger officers who worked with and looked up to Shatner's character. Unlike the original Star Trek series, T. J. Hooker was immediately popular with television audiences.
Shatner, however, never abandoned the part that made him famous. During the run of T. J. Hooker, Shatner appeared in two more Star Trek films, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). He remained a fixture on television even after T. J. Hooker went off the air, becoming the host for Rescue 911 in 1989. This was an early entry into the reality television genre, featuring reenactments of emergency situations.
The next chapter in the Star Trek film series received a lukewarm reception. For Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Shatner not only returned as Kirk, but made his debut as a feature film director as well. The film, unfortunately, received some fairly negative reviews. Movie critic Roger Ebert called it "a mess . . . . There is . . . not much danger, no characters to really care about, little suspense, uninteresting . . . villains, and great deal of small talk."
Not matter what the reviews said, the Star Trek film series continued at warp speed. The next installments were Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) and then Star Trek Generations (1993). In Generations, the members of the original Star Trek hand the franchise baton to the cast of the spin-off series Star Trek: The Next Generation. At the beginning of the film, Kirk is believed to have died trying to save the new version of the U.S.S. Enterprise from total destruction. He is later found inside a strange place called the nexus by Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), the captain of the Enterprise from a later time.
The TekWar series by William Shatner now available in ebook - download instantly to your reader, tablet, smartphone, or PC. Visit openroadmedia.com/shatner for full details.
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