star trek musical

William Shatner is 84 years old, which means he’s reached the age where he’s pretty much allowed to do whatever the hell he wants. It’s his prerogative as an octogenarian living legend. You don’t tell Captain Kirk what to do, especially now that he’s old and belligerent.

That’s the big problem with Shatner talking about wanting to put on a Star Trek musical for the franchise’s 50th anniversary next year. It’s a terrible idea. It cannot end well. Nothing about it sounds good. But let’s face it – would you tell the Captain of the Enterprise “no”? Find Shatner’s statements about this proposed nightmare, as well as a few reminders of his very, uh, eventful singing career after the jump.

The good news here is that Shatner seems to be having trouble getting any kind of Star Trek show off the ground. After all, the rights to the series, which are tangled up between Paramount and CBS, are a total nightmare. With Star Trek Beyond scheduled for a July 22, 2016 release, the last thing anyone wants is a Shatner-led musical special destroying the final shreds of credibility that the awful Star Trek Into Darkness left the franchise. Hopefully, legal red tape will prevent everyone from being subjected to songs about engaging to warp nine and fighting a Gorn – there are few things more cringe-worthy than that. Never forget:

Shatner shared his machinations with The Guardian, saying that he wants to do something with the history of the show that made him a household name and defined his legacy:

I’m attempting to sell a 50th anniversary show, but so far I’ve had very little luck. Maybe because Paramount’s going to do their own – but I don’t know how they can do their own without me. I’ve never been contacted.

I’ve been actively trying to do a 50th anniversary show … We had a big company say: ‘What about a musical or a music variety show?’ That got some traction – but nothing’s come of it yet.

Perhaps the best way to honor Star Trek would be to not put it through the musical grinder. You know. Just a thought.

We love William Shatner. He’s like everyone’s loud, weird, opinionated uncle. And while history has done its best to distort his acting through parodies and imitations, his work as Captain James T. Kirk has always been wonderful, even when it’s at its hammiest. However, he is far from the most vocally talented member of the Trek universe:

You’re probably familiar with Shatner’s many, many covers of songs you love, where he removes all musicality and just speaks the lyrics. Even when this schtick was new and Shatner was young enough to make it look almost cool, it was a curiosity at best. No one listens to a William Shatner song for pleasure. They listen because they cannot believe what they are hearing.

Well, most of the time that’s true. To be fair, Shatner did team up with Ben Folds for the 2004 album Has Been and the results were actually very good. Try to not fall in love with this shockingly good cover of “Common People.” What a difference the credit “arranged by Ben Folds” makes!

However, Shatner’s most recent work as a musical performer hasn’t been nearly as inspiring. If you can make if through the entirety of his cover of “Iron Man,” you are a stronger human being than us. You have eardrums of steel.

There is an alternate universe where a good Star Trek musical exists and is good (a hip-hop opera about the life of Alexander Hamilton exists and is excellent, after all). But let’s take a moment to remember that time the other big science-fiction series tried to do a little musical variety show:

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