Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

William SHATNER is 80 YEARS old.

Yes, that’s right. I have chosen to celebrate the great man’s passage into a ninth decade with a cheap crack at his notoriously eccentric delivery. He won’t mind. If ever there were an actor who revelled in his own ridiculousness …

Tue, Mar 22, 2011, 22:59

   
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Yes, that’s right. I have chosen to celebrate the great man’s passage into a ninth decade with a cheap crack at his notoriously eccentric delivery. He won’t mind. If ever there were an actor who revelled in his own ridiculousness it would be Mr Shatner. No, that’s not fair. Shatner is not ridiculous. He merely has an utterly singular way of tackling a line. Even the mildest, least momentous comment is delivered in a manner that — in apparent parody of Olivier — apes the peculiar stresses of Shakespearian verse drama. He is no odder an actor than, oh I don’t know, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken or Walter Huston. (I’m not saying he is as good as those men, you understand. I am merely saying they are about as eccentric in their deliveries.)

Anyway, if you want to celebrate Bill’s octogenarian status then you could, of course, check out the original Star Trek series or one of the better films derived from that show. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the obvious choice. Better still, for variety’s sake, hunt down Roger Corman’s excellent The Intruder. Starring Bill as a deranged racist, the 1962 picture is among the very best of Corman’s staggeringly prolific career. After that, settle down and listen to his extraordinary LP The Transformed Man. You’ve heard nothing like it (unless you’ve already heard the Transformed Man).

We love Bill!