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William Shatner Reveals He’s Never Seen an Episode of ‘Star Trek’: ‘It’s All Painful’

"I don't like the way I look and what I do," Shatner says about looking back on his performance as Captain Kirk.

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, Stephen Collins, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, 1979, (c) Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture”

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

While William Shatner is most definitely best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the endlessly evolving “Star Trek” universe, it turns out the actor has never seen an episode of the show. Shatner, who recently turned 90 years old, revealed to People Magazine in a new interview why he hasn’t watched “Star Trek,” which originally aired from 1966 through 1969.

“I have never watched ‘Star Trek’,” he said. “There are many episodes I don’t know, there are some movies I don’t know.”

Shatner did say, however, that he watched the 1989 movie “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” but that’s mostly because he directed the film.

“I directed one of the movies — No. 5 — I had to watch that one,” he said. Still, he said the experience of looking back on his performance in the long-running series is not an enjoyable one. “But it’s all painful because I don’t like the way I look and what I do.”

Shatner also pondered with People (via Entertainment Weekly) why the beloved series created by Gene Roddenberry has managed to endure over the years, spawning many a spinoff including, most recently, “Star Trek: Picard.”

“We’re on the verge of extinction,” Shatner said. “We are poisoning ourselves out of life, and the Earth will survive and this little cancer, mankind, that’s growing all around her will die off the way a body gets a temperature and kills the germs off. Mother Earth will get rid of us because we’re a pestilence. But we don’t have to be. And we can join with the rest of life that makes it here on Earth with equanimity.”

Shatner also said that the franchise offers a glimmer of hope for a broken world. “The fact that ‘Star Trek’ exists 400 years from now is sort of a promise that if we do those things, we will, your children, your grandchildren will continue to live and live in fairly decent circumstances if you follow what we’re supposed to follow,” he said. “‘Star Trek’ says we exist 400 years from now, so there’s hope. That’s what the audience gets, is the hope. That’s the message of ‘Star Trek,’ and that’s why I think ‘Star Trek’ is popular.”

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