It’s charming – as fans of William Shatner will assure you: ‘the Shat’s a charming guy!’ – and that’s the best that can be said for THE CAPTAINS. It’s a leisurely visit – a warm & welcome chat between the fictional captains who’ve populated the Trek universe. Sure, maybe there’s nothing all that revelatory here, but does there have to be? Instead of yet another dry, stuffing, and dated documentary examining Trek from its position on the pop culture ladder, Shatner’s documentary maintains a relaxed pace strolling through the more personal history of the Star Trek captains.
Shatner conducts interview with Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, and even Chris Pine, who took over the center seat as a younger incarnation of the legendary Captain James T. Kirk in Paramount Pictures 2009 STAR TREK relaunch that enjoyed solid box office performance. That I’m aware of, this was the first opportunity for Pine and Shatner to go on the record jointly, and, while there are no ‘shocking’ revelations, it’s still a pleasant visit between two talented men.
As for the other interviews? Everyone’s very cordial, and that’s no doubt the fact that they’ve probably met before at any number of the officially-sponsored conventions that occur regularly each year around the world. STAR TREK is a cultural phenomenon, and it’s very clear that each of these actors holds the franchise in great respect. Here, they get to sound off about how they felt about the responsibility, how they deal with fandom, and even sound off a bit on ways they first got involved in the craft of acting and what their various influences in life have been. While each of them may have some personal reservations about what effect serving Starfleet had had on their careers, they still embrace the reality of their situation with obvious love and charm.
Though I’ve no problem saying it: Avery Brooks (DS9’s Captain Benjamin Sisko) came off looking a little bit of a cuckoo! I remember reading that, last February (2012), Mr. Brooks was pulled over driving while intoxicated, and I have to wonder if that incident wasn’t some time about the time he sat down for his visit with Shatner. Watch the disc, and I think you’ll quite possibly agree!
The disc comes with one bonus feature (“The Making of The Captains”). Sound and picture are acceptable quality, and, clearly, a good time was had by all!
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for fans of the Star Trek franchise; mildly RECOMMENDED for everyone else
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to share that the folks at E-One (Entertainment One) provided me with a DVD screener copy for the expressed purposes of completing this review.