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All right. We survived yet another pledge drive without losing a single member to fund raiser flu. Which means we’re back with a little BarretTime trivia.

What actor or actress do all of these television shows have in common:

Howdy Doody, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Twilight Zone, 77 Sunset Strip, Route 66, The Outer Limits, The Reporter, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Fugitive, Hawaii Five-O, Columbo, and 3rd Rock from the Sun?

How about: Boston Legal.

And the gimme: TJ Hooker.

If we had needed it, the ringer would have been Star Trek.

Of course, we’re talking about Bill, aka Billy aka The Shat, aka William Alan Shatner. Wil Weaton, the actor who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek, The Next Generation, had an early experience with Shatner. Upon their first meeting, William refused to shake Wil’s hand. Wheaton said he explained what his character did on the Enterprise-D, and all Shatner could do was tell him, “I’d never let a kid come onto my bridge” and walked away.

Weaton writes, “Capt. James Tiberious Kirk, of the Starship Enterprise 1701, and Enterprise 1701-A, the only person in Starfleet to ever defeat the Kobiyashi Maru, the man behind the Corbomite Maneuver, the man who took the Enterprise to the Genesis planet to return Spock’s
katra, the man who I had admired since I was 8 years old, was immediately transformed into ‘William F’ing Shatner.'”

Of course, that’s been cleaned up for radio.

Regardless of how you feel about the good Captain, he’ll be in Houston on March 23rd at Jones Hall for a speaking engagement. Called Shatner’s World, the one-man show may not be all Trek, but it’s definitely a shot to see the legend locally. The show opened Yesterday on Broadway with the tagline, It’s Shatner’s world. We just live in it.”

If you can’t wait until March to scratch your Star Trek itch, look no farther than Starbase Houston, Houston’s oldest and largest Trek Fan Club. Their URL is starbasehouston.org and they conduct most of their business online. If you want an actual meetup, you’ll want to beam
up to the USS Zavala NC-100101, the new ship assigned to Starfleet International Region 3 serving Southeast Texas. The next Crew Muster will be an away mission to get some tacos this Sunday at 1400 hours. Hit usszavala.org for details on the departure. And since they’ll be
beaming down to West Belfort, you’ll definitely want to leave the red uniform at home.

If you think all of this Star Trek nonsense is silly, that Kirk was a wimp or that Deep Space 9 was a waste of time, then you’re an excellent candidate for the Space City Trade Federation, Houston’s official Star Wars fan club. Movie outings, conventions, picnics, parties and
light saber duels round out the groups bi-monthly meeting schedule. For details, hit the Jedi Council Forums at boards.theforce.net and drill down to the Houston page. We’ve actually done some light light saber repair work a few Geek Gatherings ago. That’s off the record, of
course… I’m not union and I don’t want to get loopylow in trouble.

And just to keep myself out of trouble, I’d better mention our last group of the night, the Houston Browncoats. Can anyone in the studio guess what show these guys support?

The Houston Browncoats are the Houston area Firefly/Serenity Fan Base. If you’re not familiar with Firefly, it was a single season television series, an American Space Western, if you will, produced by Joss Whedon. Whedon originally pitched the show as “nine people looking
into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things”. The show explores the lives of some people who fought on the losing side of a civil war and others who now make a living on the outskirts of society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. In addition, it is a future where the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. While it’s a very good watch, be prepared for disappointment, as the show was not renewed after the first season. There’s a movie to make things a little better, but the television version turned out to be the beginnings of a story that would never see an end.

And lastly, apologies to any Babylon 5 fans out there… Maybe it’s time you pick a real Sci-Fi franchise…

That’s that for talking Shat and that’s it for BarretTime.

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