(Above: William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. Source: YouTube video)
Fifty-four years ago tomorrow, September 8, 1966, Star Trek aired its first episode, “The Man Trap,” on NBC. In it, Dr. Leonard McCoy’s ex-fling turns out to be a salt-sucking killer. Who knew?
The original Star Trek, which ran for three seasons and 79 episodes on NBC, spawned nine subequent series (with more to come), 13 films, numerous novels, and a fandom legendary for its encyclopedic knowledge about the franchise. It is for those fans that free streamer Shout Factory TV will host a marathon of Star Trek documentaries on Tuesday, September 8.
The one-day mission launches at 9 am ET with The Captains, a two-hour 2011 documentary written, directed and hosted by William Shatner (Captain Kirk). Shatner sits down with fellow captains – Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Deep Space Nine), Kate Mulgrew (Voyager), Scott Bakula (Enterprise) and Chris Pine (Kirk in the current movie timeline) – to reflect on their Trek experiences and how the show impacted their lives.
The Captains was repurposed as an extended five-part 2013 Canadian docuseries called The Captains Close-Up. So, starting at 11 am, you can watch the same interviews again, but with extra material and divided into five episodes, each focusing on just one captain.
In some ways, Shatner’s tete-a-tetes with his fellow exclusive club members feels a bit like therapy. Shatner confides he once regarded his association with the science-fiction series with some embarrassment, but that he learned to embrace his place in Trek lore – and the enormous gifts it bestowed.
In fact, Shatner, the producer of two other documentaries – Chaos on the Bridge (4 pm) and Get a Life! (5:30 pm) – is Stark Trek’s unofficial historian and sociologist. In Chaos, Shatner discusses how creator Gene Roddenberry overcame enormous odds to get a prime-time slot for his space western. In Get a Life!, Shatner tries to make sense of the show’s obsessive fans.
At 7 pm, What We Left Behind: Looking Back At Star Trek: Deep Space Nine examines the legacy of the third Star Trek series, which churned out 173 syndicated episodes from 1993 to 1999.
Finally, at 9:30 pm, Shout Factory TV will show a Deep Space Nine panel from the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.
The Star Trek marathon will be viewable at ShoutFactoryTV.com; via Shout Factory TV apps for Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android; and over numerous streaming platforms including Twitch, Pluto TV channel 542 and Stirr.
For more information on Shout Factory TV platforms, visit shoutfactorytv.com/faq.
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