How William Shatner Changed the World Julian Jones

Based on William Shatner’s book I’m Working on That: A Trek from Science Fiction to Science Fact, this Discovery Channel documentary examines the effects Star Trek has had on science. According to host Shatner, Star Trek was responsible for the expanding exploration of outer space, the search for alien life forms, cell phones, iPods, racial equality and a whole host of other things. It’s interesting to see the connections that can be made, especially as they often come from those responsible for making these fictional advancements into a reality. While the focus here is on the original series, towards the end there is a rush to touch on the movies, along with TNG, DS9, Voyager and the franchise-ending Enterprise. This is also where the documentary actually picks up steam, with discussion on how the sequels could continue to present futuristic concepts 20 years after the original while also keeping up with the fast-paced evolution of technology, as well there’s a look at how Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s death impacted the show; his passing resulted in a much darker view of technology and ideas like the Borg. Shatner’s dry humour, cheesy jokes and forced puns keep things moving along but they’re just not enough to keep things interesting, even when he’s taking shots at himself and the show. And while the constant quick cuts to Trek footage create somewhat of an interesting interaction between the interview/discussion part and the characters from the show after a while it just gets annoying. Still, it’s interesting to see the inventors of these devices admit to an influence from Star Trek, which actually adds weight to the argument. How William Shatner Changed the World is worth checking out if you're a Trekkie, Trekker or just a plain old science nerd, although it might have been nice if they added more to this DVD than just a simple written bio on Shatner. (Seville)