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June 4, 2023
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Star Trek Fans Come To William Shatner's Defense On His Over-The-Top Acting

“When Shatner overdid it,” wrote u/Sullanfield of the performer’s work on “Star Trek,” “it was virtually always because the script wasn’t good and he was trying to at least squeeze something out of it. When the story and script are already solid, he’s great and right on point.” This prompted u/ChronoLegion2 to chip in with a high-art hypothesis. “Some have also suggested that the weird pauses were because he was speaking in meter,” they suggested. u/Sea_Commercial5416 cottoned to this line of thinking in a big way, stating “Shatner’s acting on [Star Trek] makes complete sense once you remember that he was a Shakespearean stage actor before he got into TV and movies. He reads every line in [the original series] like it’s Shakespeare.”

Love it or hate it, William Shatner’s work as Captain Kirk was more than memorable. It was arguably the load-bearing performance across three seasons and seven movies, carrying the franchise charismatically across the threshold from “kooky space show” to “ubiquitous genre definer.” Looking back on those original episodes of “Star Trek,” it’s hard to imagine the weirdness working with a less theatrically enormous actor in the spotlight. 

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