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Review: William Shatner Goes Boldly with 'The Captains Collection'

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Oct 20, 2020
Review: William Shatner Goes Boldly with 'The Captains Collection'

Only a select few...

...have proven to posses the indomitable will and tenacity that is necessary to take command of science fiction's greatest television franchise. To sit in the center seat of the Starship Enterprise it takes an even more unique personality, and no one can fill William Shatner's boots. For more than 50 years the actor has been connected with his role as Starfleet's Captain James T. Kirk. The captain and crew set out on a five-year mission that was truncated to three in primetime and became infinite when "Star Trek" hit syndication. Kirk would follow Shatner for a better part of his career and become a pop-culture phenomenon.

The brainchild of television writer and producer Gene Roddenberry, "Star Trek" would secure its place in television history, capturing the imagination of every generation that followed the series after it premiered in 1966 on NBC, but would achieve an entirely new level of fandom when the series went into syndication. Cancellation may have been the best thing that happened to "Star Trek," which went through several evolutions before emerging on the big screen. It was inevitable that Paramount, the studio that owned the property, would eventually return to the well, and in the late '80s an entire "Next Generation" would take shape.

Available now in a 4-disc Blu-ray set from the Shout! Factory "The Captains Collection" features explorations into the final frontier from the perspective of none other than William Shatner himself. With in-depth interviews and anecdotes available for the first time in this format, William Shatner visits himself upon his peers in his acclaimed documentary series "The Captains," which takes a look at each of the five lead actors that have followed in his footsteps and braved the final frontier!.Shatner sits down with Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine, and sets phasers to stun. Every fan's dream is realized!

Shatner is a charmingly able interviewer and a truly colorful personality, and is ideally suited to sit with these talented powerhouses and reveal the unique circumstances in their careers that lead them all to eventually sit among legends as a part of "Star Trek" legacy. Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew both are the most electrifying to engage with Shatner, as is Avery Brooks, who compares mastering the techno-babble of each sci-fi script with familiarizing himself with a new sheet of jazz music. Scott Bakula also shares his own feelings of having had the opportunity to continue in the genre that made him famous, as Chris Pine (who played Kirk in the rebooted movie series) arm wrestles "himself."

The set also includes additional documentaries, all produced and directed by William Shatner, that take audiences behind the curtain of this beloved franchise, including the inner workings and trials and tribulations associated with bringing "Star Trek" back in "Chaos on the Bridge," the surprising story of bringing "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to life on the small screen, paving the way for its enduring popularity onto the big screen, and for the spin-offs that followed — including "Deep Space Nine," "Voyager," "Enterprise," and the big screen reboot films.

"The Captains Collection" comes to Blu-ray on October 20 from SHOUT! Factory, and will also be available in a Digital format. These candid and entertaining documentaries only enhance the mystique of Gene Roddenberry's "Wagon Train to the Stars," and along with the additional "The Captains Close-Up," and William Shatner's love letter to the fans, "Get a Life!," the 4-disc set also includes "Special Features" spotlighting "The Making of The Captains" and other stories from Shatner's vault of plenty. Go boldly and warp speed ahead!

"The Captains Collection" explorations by William Shatner is out on Blu-ray October 20.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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