Long Island Comic Con happened to be the final frontier last week at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. There, Trekkies of all ages lined up to meet the one and only William Shatner who is best known for playing James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise ship in the 1960s cult classic Star Trek.
The NBC science fiction television series, which took place in the Milky Way galaxy during the futuristic 2260s, has managed to turn itself into an unstoppable media franchise spawning television spinoffs, comic books, action figures and countless theatrical films—something that Shatner is still amazed at till this very day.
“It’s absolutely miraculous,” said Shatner. “I don’t understand it, but I’m going along with it. The reasons why Star Trek is 55 years old, I have no idea. It’s grand to be a part of such a unique event since it’s something that has never happened before in the world of show business.”
Star Trek ran on NBC for three seasons, which was comprised of only 79 episodes, from Sept. 1966 to June 1969. The series was canceled due to low ratings, but once Star Trek went into broadcast syndication, the series became a bona fide hit among viewers.
Before his weekend appearance at Long Island Comic Con, Shatner said he was excited to get out there and see all of his fans who have traveled across the tristate area just to meet him.
“I find it difficult to sleep at night. That’s how excited I am,” joked Shatner who has quite the sense of humor. “I have a great deal of fun. People dress up, people ask questions, people look at other people, people look at me, I look at people. We talk and everybody has a good time. It’s really an entertaining weekend that people should avail themselves of.”
Shatner’s fondest memories of working on the set of Star Trek involved his costars. Shatner said that Leonard Nimoy who played Spock, the human-Vulcan hybrid science officer and DeForest Kelley who played lieutenant commander Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the ship’s chief medical officer, were some of his best and closest friends.
“They were great buddies of mine. Their friendship meant a great deal to me,” said Shatner.
Other noteable fan favorite characters that were on Star Trek were Lieutenant Uhura, the USS Enterprise’s communications officer who was played by Nichelle Nichols, Lieutenant Sulu, the ship’s helmsman who was played by George Takei and Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, the ship’s chief engineer who was played by James Doohan.
At 87-years-old, the esteemed Shatner who is a two-time Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner doesn’t have any plans of slowing down anytime soon. This year, Shatner has two albums coming out as well as a book.
“I have a country music album coming out in the beginning of the summer that is called, Why Not Me? with Jeff Cook [from the band] Alabama,” said Shatner. “I’ve got a Christmas album coming out in October with a large number of fabulous artists who will join me on traditional Christmas songs but with a little bit of bend to them. They’ll be performed a little bit differently.”
Also, Shatner’s newest book titled, Live Long And…, will be out during the middle of the summer.