Prepare to be beamed up for an unforgettable night with WILLIAM SHATNER live on stage as he finally makes it to South Wales. He was due to be in Cardiff a matter of days before the world locked down with the pandemic. Thousands of fans, who waited months for the date with their idol, were left disappointed, and wondering whether or not he’d return in the wake of it all. Well, wonder no more, William is returning. Not only is he here for a special screening of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, he’ll be on stage talking about the movie and his incredible 70 year career.
William is far more than an actor, although his achievements on that front are pretty ‘out of this world.’ He’s also an author, producer, director, screenwriter, and singer, yes, William even sings on hit albums, more of that shortly. In his seven decades of acting, I think it’s fair to say that he became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek franchise.
He went on to play the veteran police sergeant in T. J. Hooker, a series you should really try and watch on one of the streaming services. Yes, it is a bit 80s, but it stands up as much now as it did back then. The cast is also perfect. William Shatner is as good as he was in Star Trek, giving his all in every scene. And if the opening to the show doesn’t make you want to watch it, nothing will.
The acting list is seemingly endless. He hosted the reality-based television series Rescue 911 for seven years, which actually won a People’s Choice Award in America for the Favourite New TV Dramatic Series. William featured in two episodes of the detective series Columbo almost two decades apart. He also appeared in seasons 4 and 5 of the series 3rd Rock from the Sun as the ‘Big Giant Head.’He starred as attorney Denny Crane both in the final season of the legal drama The Practice and its spinoff series Boston Legal, a role that earned him two Emmy Awards.
For those of a certain age, in the early part of his career he appeared in an episode of the sci-fi series The Outer Limits. Also that year, he appeared in an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that also featured Leonard Nimoy, with whom William would soon be paired in Star Trek.
More recently, and much to the delight of us ‘Big Bang Theory’ geeks, he appeared in the latter run of the series, playing himself as it happens. And to complete the circle, Leonard Nimoy also appeared in episodes of The Big Bang Theory, albeit as an action figure of Spock.
But it will always be Star Trek that people will want to talk about. He was cast as Captain James T. Kirk for the second pilot of Star Trek, titled “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. He was then contracted to play Kirk for the Star Trek series and held the role from 1966 to 1969.
It’s hard to believe that during its original run, the series pulled in only modest ratings and was cancelled after three seasons. Like all great shows however, the audience built, word of mouth got out, and it went on to become the massive hit we all know and love.
In the mid-1970s, work began on a revised Star Trek television series, tentatively titled Star Trek: Phase II. However, the phenomenal success of Star Wars led the studio developing a Star Trek motion picture. William and the other original Star Trek cast members returned to their roles and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was released in 1979. He played Kirk in the next six Star Trek films, (spoiler alert) ending with the character’s death in Star Trek Generations in 1994.
William has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk, being a part of the franchise, and life after Star Trek. He has also co-written several novels set in the Star Trek universe, and a series of science fiction novels called TekWar, that were adapted for television.
And we must of course mention the music. Long before WILL-I-AM, there was WILLIAM. He began his musical career with the spoken-word album The Transformed Man, in 1968, with his own interpretive recitations of popular songs like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” paired with readings from famous plays. He actually performed a reading of the Elton John song “Rocket Man” during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards that has been widely parodied.
Ben Folds, who has worked with him several times, produced and co-wrote his really well-received second studio album, Has Been, in 2004. William then went on to release more records, leading to the release of his first country music album, Why Not Me, his first country music album. He later went on to make his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, which for may is the pinnacke of their musical career.
For us here at SOUTH WALES LIFE though, our favourite album, is his most recent. Shatner Claus is a Christmas album made up of duets with some pretty big musical artists including Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Todd Rundgren, Billy Gibbons and others.
And as incredible a career as that is, we’re sure William is particularly proud of the Order of Canada he received. It is a Canadian national order and given to exceptional citizens. It is in fact the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, after the Order of Merit.
So, there is much to listen to when William gets to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on the 31st March next year. This really will be an unforgettable night. You’ll get to enjoy a screening of the classic film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” followed by a live conversation with the one and only “Captain James T. Kirk.”
Pre-sale tickets are on sale at 10am tomorrow, August 6th, ahead of general sale at 10am on Friday August 7th. We are still waiting for confirmation on ticket prices and whether there’ll be the usual meet and greet opportunities. This is a funny old world we’re living in right now, so we just don’t know. If they do happen, they’ll be along the lines of the picture below.For more details, and to get your tickets, go here. WILLIAM