Thursday 13 April 2017
If you have a little time on your hands I commend this excellent Strange Horizons article by Erin Horakova on our changing (and inaccurate) perception of the character of Captain Kirk:
It struck a chord with me because I had a related, if parallel, set of thoughts after watching the entire run of the original series. The popular culture cliche is that William Shatner is/was a somewhat crude and mediocre actor with a peculiar sense of ... timing ... in the delivery of his dialogue, and I went into the re-watch to some extent pre-conditioned by this notion. Regardless of the quality of the individual episodes, though, I quickly found myself wondering when this legendary bad Shatner was going to turn up, because all I was seeing - right from the outset - was an efficient and convincing portrayal of a man in a complex, demanding position of authority. Shatner isn't just much better at playing Kirk than the popular myth would have it, but the character itself is also much more plausibly drawn than the supposed brash womaniser of the insidious meme.
Erin Horakova dismantles this false Kirk in expert fashion, while lobbing a few well-earned potshots at the reboot films.