William Shatner and how I met my childhood hero

2 of 3

screengrab of William Shatner as Kirk from Star Trek: The Original Series

To Boldly Go…

There used to be a time when not everything was available as a digital download. Music came on cassette tapes, phones could only make calls and film and TV could only be rented on VHS from local outlets such as Blockbuster (remember them? no, you probably don’t). The local video store where I lived was called Video City and it was during a visit there that I stumbled across something I didn’t expect, a VHS entitled Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan. I was a bit taken back that there seemed to be completely different set of characters on the box art, no sign of Picard, Riker or Data, instead middle aged men and a man showing rather a bit too much of his chest populated the cover. Needless to say I rented the film and watched it that night and although I was confused by the film I loved what I was watching. It was only after seeing the film I was informed by my father that there used to be a TV show in the 60’s called Star Trek. You have to remember at this time there was no internet, so I had to find out about the original series through family members old enough to remember but then, when reading the TV guide, I noticed that the BBC were actually repeating the original series.

More from Star Trek: The Original Series

To this day I can’t explain the full reasons why a 13 year old boy would fall in love with a show that was created originally in 1966 when there was a more modern version currently on the airwaves. I was always a fan of the original Doctor Who’s as well, so maybe it was the way the sets and the aliens looked, the way it was filmed, lightened or filtered but for Star Trek, one of the major reasons was James T Kirk. I fell in love with the trio of characters that comprise in my eyes the real holy trinity, but it was Kirk, the flawed, passionate Captain prone to a mistake or two; a ladies’

“I fell in love with the trio of characters that comprise in my eyes, the real holy trinity”

man, the polar opposite to Picard, similar to Riker but a whole new ball game. This was the Captain that I had wanted to see and in the years that followed I watched as much Star Trek as I could, including all the films and the animated series. Purchasing all the VHS tapes when they were released, then upgrading to DVD and nowadays, Blu-ray. A collection of action figures and collectables adorn my walls and rooms all relating to the original series with some next generation thrown in for good measure. It was, however, always my hope and wish to meet the man who I would describe as my childhood hero, the man behind Kirk, Mr. William Shatner, something I never thought would happen until it did. Last year at Destination Star Trek the 50th Anniversary Convention at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.