1 ‘Star Trek’ Actor Has Never Seen an Episode of the Show: ‘It’s All Painful’

Star Trek has been one of the most resilient sci-fi franchises in history, with several movies and TV series centered around life on the Starship Enterprise. Every incarnation of the cast has earned praise and a special place in Trekkies’ hearts, and the Star Trek universe continues to live on today with the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Picard.

L-R: William Shatner, Christopher Plummer and DeForest Kelly | Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

The original ‘Star Trek’ series started it all

Unlike Star Wars, Star Trek has its origins on the silver screen instead of the big screen. The original Star Trek TV series premiered on NBC in 1966 and aired for three seasons. The cast included George Takei as Sulu and William Shatner as Captain Kirk.

The original Star Trek series suffered from low ratings despite its cult following. A short-lived animated series emerged in the early 1970s, and several films were released throughout the ’80s.

The Star Trek: The Next Generation series introduced the world of Star Trek to many new fans in the late ’80s and early ’90s, thanks in part to stars such as Whoopi Goldberg and LeVar Burton.

William Shatner
Actor William Shatner speaks during “The Original Series” panel at the 18th annual Official Star Trek Convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 03, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

William Shatner has never seen an episode of ‘Star Trek’

Despite the original series’ worshipped place in the Star Trek universe, William Shatner admitted in a March 2021 interview with People that he’s not seen even one episode of the Star Trek series that started it all.

“I have never watched Star Trek,” he said honestly. “There are many episodes I don’t know, there are some movies I don’t know.”

William Shatner
Actor Avery Brooks and actor William Shatner participate in the 11th Annual Official Star Trek Convention – day 4 held at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

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The 1 ‘Star Trek’ thing William Shatner watched

Even though he’s never seen an episode of Star Trek, there is one thing from the Star Trek universe that he has taken the time to watch. He went on to say that he watched the 1989 movie Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but only because he directed the film himself.

“I directed one of the movies — number 5 — I had to watch that one,” he said. “But it’s all painful because I don’t like the way I look and what I do.”

William Shatner will always be remembered for ‘Star Trek’

Of course, Shatner has gone on to star in many successful movies and TV shows in the decades since Star Trek. But for many people, they’ll only be able to know him as Captain Kirk.

The longtime actor is still working hard today at 90 years old. He told People about his latest movie, Senior Moment, which explores the idea of finding love in old age. Interestingly enough, his character is a retired NASA pilot.