The real reason William Shatner never saw Star Trek

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Legendary film and television actor William Shatner has spent nearly 60 years boldly going where no one has gone before. In fact, that iconic line inspired the title of his 2022 memoir. In 2021, the outrageously proud Canadian, at 90, was declared the oldest person to have ever flown into space with his flight aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spacecraft, New Shepard .com Shatner’s journey into space isn’t the only thing that proves he shows no signs of slowing down at his age. In fact, his love of horses still runs strong, as at 91 he demonstrated his nimble riding talents on “CBS Mornings” on one of his trusty steeds.

As an actor, the “Rocket Man” made a name for himself with his unforgettable roles in projects such as “TJ Hooker”, “Boston Legal” and of course “Star Trek”. His legendary role as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Gene Roddenberry series, along with his appearances in seven films (directing one of them!) will forever remain the role most associated with his name. While he often pokes fun at himself and Trekkies, including being taunted in an infamous 1986 Saturday Night Live skit for “getting a life,” he reiterated to Reuters in 2012 that he was “full of gratitude” for the fans and the franchise that propelled his career into the stratosphere.

Still, the actor revealed that when it comes to his show exploring the final frontier, he probably wouldn’t be able to quote you a single line or even tell you a plot point.

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William Shatner has seriously never seen an episode of Star Trek

In 2021, the legendary face behind Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner, revealed to People that he had never seen an episode of “Star Trek.” “I’ve never seen ‘Star Trek,'” he said. “There are many episodes I don’t know, there are some films I don’t know.” However, he ended up directing and watching one of the films, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Shatner went on to explain, “I had to watch this. But it’s all painful because I don’t like how I look and what I do.”

Trekkies took to Twitter to express their shock and disbelief. But the ‘Rescue 911’ star has reiterated that he respects the impact of ‘Star Trek’ very much. In fact, he sees the show as a beacon of hope in such trying times. In 2021, he told People TV’s Couch Surfing that Enterprise’s adventures are as popular as ever because it seems like humanity is on the “brink of extinction” amid the world’s environmental problems.

“‘Star Trek’ says, ‘Hey! We exist in 400 years and we exist, so there is hope,'” he told the outlet. “I think that’s what the audience gets – that’s the hope. That’s the message of Star Trek, and that’s why I think Star Trek is popular.”

Star Trek caused permanent ear damage to William Shatner

There could be other reasons why William Shatner finds his portrayal in Star Trek and the accompanying films “painful.” On the set of “Star Trek” in the 1960s, an explosion went off too close to the legendary actor. Years later, he was diagnosed with tinnitus, which causes persistent ringing in his ears. According to The Baltimore Sun, Shatner described it as “a radio that stays on, but just the hiss. And you can’t turn it off.” The traumatic memories of that on-set explosion didn’t end with the relief of a diagnosis. In 2009, Shatner told The Globe (via Contact Music) that the ringing sometimes caused so much pain that it led to suicidal thoughts. “I thought I was going deaf or going insane. I thought about killing myself,” he admitted.

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There are other personal memories of the original “Star Trek” series that Shatner might want to avoid reliving. Most notably, he divorced his first wife, Canadian actress Gloria Rand, during filming. The series ran from 1966 to 1969, and their divorce was finalized in 1969, per Closer Weekly.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).