Star Trek: The Captains (2011)


The Captains is a 2011 feature documentary that follows actor William Shatner through interviews with the other actors who have portrayed starship captains in five other incarnations of the Star Trek franchise.

Shatner’s subjects discuss their lives and careers before, during, and after their tenure with Star Trek.

They explore the pressures, stigmas, and sacrifices that accompanied their roles and their larger careers.

The film makes use of conversations, personal observations, interviews, and archival footage.


The film consists of a series of interviews conducted by William Shatner, who portrayed Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek with the various other actors who have portrayed Star Trek Captains: Sir Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and Chris Pine. The Captains delves into each actor’s life and career leading up to their film or television performances.

The film devotes attention to Shatner’s own acting roots, tracking his journey from his beginnings at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and CBC Radio and CBC Television, to headlining Broadway shows, and eventually getting his break in Hollywood at the helm of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek series.

Shatner’s travels take him from Los Angeles to Oxfordshire, England; to Toronto and Stratford, Ontario; Las Vegas, New York City, and Princeton, New Jersey. While in Stratford, Shatner sits down with his friend Christopher Plummer, who was instrumental in Shatner’s young career, and who would eventually play the role of bloodthirsty Klingon General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

The documentary also chronicles Shatner’s own six-decade career and reveals the embarrassment he felt over his role within the Star Trek franchise. During the process of the film, with help from the other Captains, Shatner overcomes his disdain and learns to embrace his best known character, Captain James T. Kirk.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): William Shatner.
  • Producer(s): William Shatner, J. Craig Thompson, David Zappone, and Kevin Layne.
  • Writer(s): William Shatner.
  • Music: Andy Milne.
  • Cinematography: Decebal Dascau.
  • Editor(s): Decebal Dascau.
  • Production: Le Big Boss Productions.
  • Distributor(s): Movie Central, The Movie Network, Epix, Corus Entertainment, and Ballinran Entertainment.
  • Release Date: 22 July 2011.
  • Running Time: 96 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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