Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Lost Penny: Shatner, pre-Trek

You don't have to watch all of this episode: in fact, you don't even have to watch all of the excerpt of this episode to get my point. Pre-Trek, Shatner was a good-lookin' dude by just about anyone's standards, though not particularly cocky about it. Not rugged, mind you: a little softer around the edges, a little androgynous, like Elvis or Tony Perkins. And he didn't overact, not here anyway. All the swaggering came later on.

My point is, if it hadn't been for Captain Kirk, Shatner might not have turned into the hulking ham-o-saurus he is today. But then again, he might have vanished, gone the way of Tony Franciosa and guys like that. Ah, the cost of fame! Something about Trek or Kirk or the '60s or SOMETHING made him explode into the kind of gut-busting histrionics which soon became his trademark.

Now he just plays on it endlessly, getting older and larger and showing up in ever more places, three or four series at a time it seems, plus ads. Every once in a while the nearly-reclusive Nimoy (who now makes a living taking pictures of fat women) shows up, shrivelled as an old matchstick, and I get the feeling that if you averaged the two of them, you might just have something like a normal human being. But still they dwell in their parallel universes: Obla-Di and Obla-Da.