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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

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