It's life as he knows it: Shatner salutes "Trekkies"

Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:04pm EDT
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By Shadia Nasralla and Clare Hutchison

LONDON (Reuters) - Not many 81-year olds would enjoy travelling across the world just to mingle with crowds of people dressed up in odd costumes, but William Shatner begged to differ as he faced thousands of fans at the Destination London Star Trek convention on Friday.

Shatner, who starred as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, joined forces with the other five Star Trek TV captains at the convention at London's ExCel center, the first live Star Trek event in Britain for more than a decade.

"There are a lot of people travelling from all over the world to come here. It's sort of monumental in its worth," said Shatner, who has also won an Emmy for his role in the U.S. drama Boston Legal.

"I enjoy meeting fans on a broad scale. There are 17,000 people...coming to this convention, it's a huge event."

There was a time, however, when Shatner did wonder what motivated Star Trek fans to flock to conventions, splashing out on merchandise and dressing up in replica costumes true to the series' humble beginnings.

In 1986 Shatner starred in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, in which he told a convention full of awe-struck Star Trek fans to stop wasting their lives on a TV show and to "get a life".

"I didn't want anything to do with a group of obsessives who paid to get together to talk incessantly about a TV show that had been canceled. It wasn't logical," he wrote in an article for British national newspaper Daily Mail in 2008.

But on Friday the Canadian-born actor appeared moved by the masses of fans who have undertaken the pilgrimage to celebrate Star Trek, the series that has turned him into one of the most-loved actors on the small and big screen.   Continued...

William Shatner who plays Captain James T. Kirk in the original version of Star Trek arrives at the Destination Star Trek London event October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett