BOLDLY TALKING A TREK FUTURE
EVERYONE knows a Trekkie — that mad-keen Star Trek fan who gobbles up every trivia titbit, covets every piece of memorabilia, and can recite every episode of the original series, verbatim.
But what most might not know is that there are some seriously well-known faces who also count themselves fans.
In The Truth Is In Our Stars, the best known Trekkie of them all, William Shatner, is on a quest to speak to some of them, as he asks the question, “Do we, as a society, have the capacity to live up to Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision for humanity’s future?”
It’s a good question — and a big question — and one the people he’s gathered are all too eager to discuss.
He chats to the likes of actors Ben Stiller and Whoopi Goldberg, astronaut (and one-time commander of the International Space Station) Chris Hadfield, environmental activist David Suzuki, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the big man of physics, Stephen Hawking.
And, yes — they’re all massive Star Trek fans. It’s fascinating to see how a little sci-fi series, which first began with Shatner at the helm of the starship Enterprise way back in 1966, has had such an enormous effect on such a wide variety of people.
“Every one [of the people I spoke to] said at one point or another, how much Star Trek had meant to them, and their ambitions,” says Shatner, pointing out that many of the scientists he spoke to said they may not have pursued their chosen fields if it weren’t for the fire Star Trek lit in them as kids.
Shatner realises how lucky he is to have been such an instrumental part in all this.
“Star Trek has obviously provided me with a level of celebrity, and the ability to go on and do other things,” he says. “But it’s also meant I’ve been able to do this show — and I feel privileged to have been able to talk to these people.”
WATCH THE TRUTH IS IN THE STARS premieres Sunday, October 29, at 8.30pm on Discovery