In the '60s, these intergalactic travelers were sent where no man had gone before. This year, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have re-teamed for a series of Priceline.com commercials that have proved an earthly delight to many Star Trek fans. Here, TV Guide Online opens hailing frequencies to question Kirk and Spock about their small-screen reunion.
TV Guide Online: Any reservations about getting together again as pitchmen?
I didn't. When they sent me the copy of that first commercial, I thought it was hilarious. Bill and I have a relationship that works well for this kind of humor. So it's been an easy decision to do the spots.
Shatner: You know, the first time I did a Priceline commercial — the one where I was singing — it was extremely risky. The ad was a success, but it could have gone the other way, where people are saying, "Isn't he a fool?" Well, they did say that [Laughs], but in addition, they added, "Wasn't it fun?" It's playing the joke seriously so that people will say, "Does he know that's funny, or does he think it's for real?" That's appealing to the public.
TVGO: You both like to laugh at your pop-icon images.
We've been playing with our images for a long time. We do it because it's fun for us.
Shatner: Celebrity is weird. People think you are the part you play. Whereas, in fact, most of the time you're not, and if you are, then you're really sick. Whatever people think I am, I'm not. That amuses me that the image is pretty far off.
TVGO: Leonard, we understand you've hung up your Vulcan ears.
I am totally done with acting and directing. A couple of days now and again doing something fun are OK. But I have a lot of other activities that I'm involved with. My wife and I are very busy. We travel a lot, and we collect contemporary art. That's what my life is about now.
TVGO: Any young artists you like?
I'm not telling you, you'll rush out and buy one and drive the price up. [Laughs] We look for exciting artists. We look at a lot of stuff.
TVGO: Moving from art to law, we know Mr. Shatner is headed to the David E. Kelly series Boston Legal.
True. I had the best time working for David Kelley on The Practice. One day, I had an appointment to see David in his office shortly after I'd been hired. I knew he was wondering what in heaven's name I was coming up to see him about. I got up there and I could see the quizzical look in his face and I said, "I wanted to thank you for writing this role and the good time you're giving me." He had this look of surprise that came over his face. Writers don't hear that from actors.
TVGO: Meanwhile, fans must be suprised and excited to see your trek together continue.
I hear a lot from people on the street that they enjoy seeing us together again. They realize that we have a very good friendship. If we didn't have that friendship, well, anything we did together just wouldn't work.