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The Captains (2011)

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The Captains is a feature length documentary film written and directed by William Shatner. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors whom have portrayed Starship captains within the illustrious science-fiction franchise.

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Storyline

The Captains takes the audience on a voyage of discovery as pop culture phenom William Shatner interviews Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek: The Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Captain Benjamin Sisko Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager), Scott Bakula (Captain Jonathan Archer, Star Trek: Enterprise), and Chris Pine (Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek 2009). With each of these celebrated actors Shatner explores the pressures and pitfalls that came along with donning the Starfleet uniform and reveals for the first time his own embarrassment over the role which made him a household name. With the help of his fellow captains Shatner learns to respect his work on the original Star Trek and finishes the film with a new perspective on life, death, and the legacy he will leave behind. The Captains also delves into each of the actors' lives and careers leading up to their landmark television performances. The film pays ... Written by TB

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star trek | independent film | See All (2) »

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The final frontier is only the beginning

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Documentary

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22 July 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Nana Visitor's introduction card lists her as having played Commander Kira Nerys on Deep Space Nine while in fact, she rank was a Colonel at the conclusion of the series. See more »

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Head Sci/Fantasy Con Promoter Debbie Hess See more »

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References Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Candid Conversations Among the Star Trek Captains
11 December 2011 | by (Orange County, California) – See all my reviews

This documentary is a series of interviews, actually conversations, between iconic actor William Shatner and the other actors who have played Star Trek captains. Jetting around the country, Shatner talked with Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Avery Brooks, Captain Sisco from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kate Mulgrew, Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, Scott Bakula, Captain Archer from Enterprise, and Chris Pike, Captain Kirk from the 2009 Star Trek movie.

Interspersed with the interviews were clips from a Star Trek convention Shatner appeared at in Las Vegas, where he met other Star Trek actors, including Rene Auberjonois, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, Connor Trinneer, and Nana Visitor, among others. Shatner also had a short interview with his old friend Christopher Plummer for whom he understudied at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario early in his career and who played the villainous Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). The only really obvious omission was Leonard Nimoy.

This documentary was fascinating in how it revealed as much about Shatner as his subjects. Topics ranged from how they got started acting, to how each actor got their Star Trek role, to how the Star Trek experience changed their lives and affected their families, to philosophical musings on death, and many things in between. Most of the captains are classically trained stage actors who weren't necessarily immediately onboard with playing a science fiction character for TV. Bakula and Brooks both have extensive musical backgrounds, Bakula as a singer and Brooks as a jazz pianist. In fact, Brooks provided the documentary with a pleasing smooth jazz score.

All of the captains came off as intelligent, hard working, and frank. It was nice to see that they all still took their roles seriously and were truly humbled by the fan reactions to their work. Shatner, especially, seemed genuinely moved when he found out that the Canadian head of Bombardier Aerospace was inspired to take up aerospace engineering from watching Shatner on Star Trek. There was also a poignant scene at the convention where Shatner greeted a young wheelchair-bound man whose devotion to Star Trek seemed to be about the only thing that kept him going.

The interview with Stewart seemed to have the most resonance. It was obvious that there was genuine rapport between him and Shatner. When they talked about how the long hours playing their roles negatively impacted their marriages, it was heartbreaking. Mulgrew's take on being a single mother during her tenure as captain was also touching.

Shatner turned out to be an excellent interviewer. He kept things light and often humorous, such as when he conducted Pine's interview at a card table on a busy intersection or when he met Mulgrew sitting in a cardboard box. This allowed him to get his subjects relaxed and able to open up about some of the deeper questions. Shatner used his personal experiences to draw out measured responses from the other captains. Shatner has a reputation for being egotistical and antagonistic, but none of that was evident here. Maybe time has mellowed him out.

The Captains is a journey of discovery for Shatner that is an enjoyable look at the world of acting in general and the Star Trek universe in particular. It is a sincere glimpse into the heart and soul of Star Trek.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not enough Kate Mulgrew luvmovies13
No Nimoy? Ultra_Nova
Captain Christopher Pike? marct99
Very inspiring, and a little sad hughes_wayne_m
Great how Shatner came to terms with his role eastcoastguyz
Subtitles? john-champaign
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