It’s hard to even imagine what Star Trek would have been like if William Shatner had never been cast as Captain James T. Kirk. Back in 1966, Shatner first appeared as the iconic character, eventually going on to reprise the role in a series of feature films in the coming decades. While he’s made his mark outside of the franchise, the actor will forever be synonymous with Captain Kirk, given the continued popularity of Star Trek.
While attending South by Southwest (SXSW), Shatner reflected on his original casting in an interview with Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League (via THR). Shatner was asked to share the story behind how he was cast as Captain Kirk in the 1960s, and that took the 91-year-old on a trip down memory lane. While first joking that “talent” was all he had to say in response, Shatner delved into the whole story, first pointing out how the original pilot featured actor Jeffrey Hunter as Christopher Pike, a completely separate character that served as the captain of the starship. He recalls how NBC rejected that original pilot, feeling that there was potential there but something wasn’t quite right, offering them the chance to tweak the show with a new lead star.
“They presented the pilot to NBC and then there’s that moment when the gods — and, in this case, NBC executives — decide to buy or not to buy,” Shatner remembers. “To buy, or not to buy, that is the question! They said, ‘No, we’re not going to buy it, because we don’t like it. But we like the idea. So rewrite, recast and we’ll give you the money to do it.’ I’ve never heard of that happening before or since.”
William Shatner Made Star Trek More Believable
From there, Shatner just happened to be in the right place at the right time to receive an invitation to read for the lead in Star Trek. He also figured out what was wrong with the show, and once he brought along some changes with his casting, NBC ordered Star Trek to series.
“They went around looking for a new captain,” Shatner continued. “I was in New York doing some work. They called me and said, ‘Would you come and see the pilot?’ With the idea of me being the captain. And I watched the pilot [and thought], ‘Oh my God, that’s really good. Why didn’t they buy it?’”
Paying closer attention to the dialogue, Shatner also felt like the characters needed to be written a bit less wooden, as he explained, “Yet [the actors] were a little ponderous. Like, [soberly] ‘Helmsman, turn to the Starboard.’ You’ve been out five years in the middle of space, wouldn’t you say, [casually] ‘Hey, George, turn left’? ‘There’s a meteor coming!’ … ‘Well, get out of the way!’ So I added a little lightness. Then it sold. And that’s the answer.”
The rest his history, as they say, and every sci-fi fan is grateful.
Follow News Everything for News Today, Breaking News, Latest News, World News, Breaking News Headlines, National News, Today’s News
#William #Shatner #Recalls #Landing #Star #Trek #Role #Captain #Kirk
This News is Copied from This Source