UnXplained Ends Too Soon?

 DATELINE:  Shatner Show Sort of Ends…

 Survivor Mysteries!

For the first batch of the UnXplained series, Shatner hosted a bunch of tales of survival and unusual, perhaps supernatural, abilities that caused people to overcome the worst odds. Now, the most extraordinary of these survival oments came when a commercial interrupted the series, and William Shatner himself promised us that the series is not done, after all, and will return “soon.”

Such a threat actually became a delight.

The series brought its limited run to another intriguing close with an episode that again brought disparate episodes into a kind of cohesive pattern.

We saw a six-year old boy, lost in wilderness, who walked 18 miles overnight to find a road to safety. He felt something was following him: coyotes, or something else. How he chose to make the right turns is something inexplicable all right. But he did it.

One of the hosts ofAncient Aliens recounted his boyhood experience, also unusual, when time stood still and he was able to rescue a 13-year old friend from going over a waterfall to certain death.

Another tale, close to our heart and chilling to our personal experience, related to a Titanic survivor, one of the bakers, whose story is often recounted in movies as an episode that many would call fictionalized. The wonderful scenes are from A Night to Remember!

Yet, the baker who was soused, inebriated, managed to survive in below freezing water for two hours when most others who fell into the Atlantic died, of hypothermia, in ten minutes.How did it happen? Why? No one can explain.

There was the tale of the man whose parachute did not open, and he fell three mile—defying all physical laws to end up with a broken spine (that also miraculously healed) and he was able to walk away from what should have been sure death.

And, one of the other tales told a weird, extra-sensory experience about a British woman, Clare Henry, whose avoidance of a foggy car crash that should have killed her was owed to a casual friend who had recently died in a car crash.

Yes, that friend was Princess Diana who appeared before Clare and directed her to pull off the road before she would have been killed in multi-car pileup.

 

The moments gathered together all featured some rising above physical laws and physics to areas of puzzling survival. There are hints of guardian angels and directive spirits, protective forces, and other dimensions, yet as some of the experts note:  these things have not been studied by science enough to figure out if there are forces in the universe that transcend our world.

 

Yes, we want old bill Shatner’s show to return.

 

 

 

 

 

Shatner Show Tackles Remote Viewing

DATELINE: Brain on the Download

  

If irony lives, it is in the form of William Shatner hosting, forty years after Leonard Nimoy, a TV series about the unexplainable. It’s called inexplicably, The Un-Xplained.

In this week’s intriguing episode, Shatner asks about the capability of the human mind, and one of the concepts is “remote viewing,” or what we may have called the medium’s channel: séance.

Science has christened séance as a purely scientific endeavor, not paranormal.

Taking it out of the supernatural realm, the notion of remote views tells us that the mind—and gifted people—can see other places, other times, and collect data that is both historical and futuristic. We are aboard, Captain Kirk. Let’s go where no man has gone before.

We have been postulating the theory that we are not reincarnations of trans-dimensional beings, but that trans-dimensional beings channel us to see the world they once knew and receive updates on the human condition. It is one step beyond being a zoo specimen for those of us who are the orbs of another world.

Among the brain issues examined during this intriguing hour episode, we discover acquired savant syndrome—in which a man received a bump on the head, soon becoming a concert pianist without ever showing interest previously.

Remote viewing was shown to work in solving crimes by Los Angeles police, and used by the Pentagon first during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979. It was a means to identify people and their treatment while in captivity. Nothing was drawn to parallel séance—except to note that remote views have occurred in certain individuals for thousands of years, giving them an ability to see what happened at great distances at greater times. Soothsaying by another name?

Quickly moving toward the concept of downloading brain information, the show glossed over moral issues and whether a computer version of your brain would have consciousness.

Indeed, there seemed to be an opinion that the brain was wired to outside forces, like an Internet of the universe, tied to wormholes and other dimensions.

We have pondered whether remote viewing is a two-way street. Can the conscious entities of the past (trans-dimensionals) be looking at the world through us.Are we the channel for them?

Perhaps they see us as a spirit orb in their dimension, just the way we see them here and now.

 

 

 

 

Un-X-splained!

DATELINE: History Channel Unchanneled

 Shat Upon a Time!

We decided to take in an episode of the new series on History that is hosted by William Shatner. it’s on the same idea of In Search of.... that starred, first, Leonard Nimoy, and last year, the Nimoy clone of Spock, Zack Quinto.

Now, we have Captain Kirk taking over a limited series.

Of course, we had trouble finding it because we thought, silly us, that the name of the show was The Unexplained. Well, that chestnut was on several years ago for several seasons.

We readily admit we were dumfounded. We could not find the show on alphabetical listing, in search mode, or anywhere. Then, it dawned on us that we know how to spell–and heaven help us, it is now a disadvantage.

You guessed it: the show’s title is misspelled (deliberately. we suspect) in order to use the word, but keep it different from other series titles. You see, they took out the “e” from Unexplained. It’s Un X plained, all one big wrong word.

That is only the start of the battle. The host is remarkable: Shatner is now pushing 90 and seems unstoppable. There is a problem because he is stuffed into his expensive suit coat like a prize stuffed turkey, ready for Thanksgiving.

He is appropriately histrionic about various issues, and his delivery would make Khan blush.

We watched the show about Nature gone mad.

The show featured segments on the fire under ground in Centralia, PA, and the idea that trees communicate through their root system, and on and on.

It was amusing stuff, and the experts looked like the cast of Ancient Aliens and their resident experts. No, Georgio wasn’t there–but Mucho Kakookoo and Taylor Travis were giving their expertise.

All in all, it’s an amusing time-killer, but we doubt it is burning up the cable wires. It will be gone after a few more episodes.

Star Trek VI, Shakespeare Par-Broiled!

DATELINE:  The Final Undiscovered Country

Butrick recalled Merritt Remembered!

Did we miss this gem the first time around in 1991? We are glad to re-discover The Undiscovered Country, the last original cast movie of the Star Trek series. It is elegantly listed as VI.

This film, directed by Nicholas Meyer, is Shakespearean satire. It is delicious to behold. The sixth in the movie franchise of the original series, perhaps we had run out of steam and avoided it, but the characters had not abandoned their mission.

Christopher Plummer as Chang, the Klingon villain, delivers famous lines and taunts that you have to read Shakespeare in the original Klingon.

The movie is loaded with delights. Spock quotes Sherlock Holmes and mentions he is a distant ancestor. Christian Slater, a devotee and fan of the show, has a cameo.

Merrit Butrick, who played Kirk’s son in two movies, but had died of HIV in 1989, appears as his son again in a photo—and in a major plot device. We think Butrick would have been thrilled.

The Undiscovered Country deserves to have an elevated spot in the canon of Star Trek. As the last entry, it is bittersweet and, so many years after its appearance, meets the end exactly as we might wish.

The movie is loaded with one-liners and the usual attack that leaves the Enterprise in shambles.

Leonard Nimoy came up with the idea for the last film, and he knows how to play off the two main characters and his chemistry with William Shatner.

If you have not discovered the last franchise dedicated to Gene Roddenberry, you are remiss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Captains of Star Trek

DATELINE: No Vanity from Shatner!

man in box

When first we saw that William Shatner had produced, written, and directed a movie documentary about the five captains of the Star Trek franchise, we suspected vanity. He calls it The Captains, putting himself into a stew with the others.

How wrong we were about the ego of Captain Kirk’s acting creator. Shatner’s touching and delightful film shows what an erudite, generous, kind man he is. Each conversation with one of his successors in the Star Trek world is careful and insightful.

He talks to Scott Bakula, Sir Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew, Avery Brooks, and Chris Pine.  He genuinely likes these actors and respects their opinions.

Also around are those who were part of the franchise like Jonathan Frakes (The Next Generation) and even his old friend Christopher Plummer (from The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek VI). Shatner understudied Plummer in Henry V on stage at the beginning of their careers! 

Obvious questions were on Shatner’s mind in a personal way, and he turned it around to find out if playing a Star Fleet captain had an impact on the personal life of the actors. It deals with divorce to mortality. Of course, it is big.

Shatner notes how he might have been embarrassed to leave serious classic acting to do Star Trek, and how often he was denigrated for his work. Yet, talking to the other stars, he becomes more aware of why playing a leader required an attitude.

In the meantime, he shows humor and expresses insight into his own career. There are even clips of him, as a blond in the mid-1950s playing Billy Budd on Canadian TV.

He learns that every star suffered 16-hour work days on the series and movies, and that it had a devastating toll on their personal lives and children.

Yet, this is not a downbeat story: Shatner has come to revel in his role as Captain Kirk, not always something he could claim. Each actor he speaks with shares personal feelings that elicit a growth in Shatner on the screen.

What a marvelous little film, even if you may not have seen some of the Star Trek oeuvre, there is much to savor here.

 

 

Ancient Aliens Bring Captain Kirk Aboard

DATELINE: Von Daniken Beamed UP 13.14

shat Shat Upon Sagan!

It was inevitable. As 2019 starts a new special, Ancient Aliens Season 13, episode 14, brings in the most ancient astronaut of TV fame: there is William Shatner giving advice to Giorgio and the crew.

You have to love it. This is a special edition for sure. Cross-pollination is one of History Channel’s favorite Venerable Bede compliments. There is no one from outer space more ancient than Shatner. Where has he been for a 100 other episodes?

The reason for his appearance is to honor Erich Von Daniken. In 1976 Shatner made a movie called Mysteries of the Gods, which adapted more or less from one of Daniken’s books. Hence, the honor from History Channel. Clips of young Shatner appear, but no mention comes of Leonard Nimoy’s series In Search of…, which History is also remaking with the new Spock, Zachary Quinto.

The two-hour special is meant to be homage to Von Daniken’s amazing career since the 1960s when he burst onto the scene with his outlandish theories. We read Chariots of the Gods in 1968, before most the guests on this special were born.

We recall being surprised and more than a little confused as to why no one else had seen what the author revealed. It was mind-boggling, but then again so was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Now, he has more credibility than Carl Sagan. Indeed, the special has a clip of Sagan looking pathetic, attacking the notion of Ancient Aliens. Today, if the astronomer were still alive, he’d be ripe to serve as Trump’s Acting Ambassador to Mars.

The show manages to catalogue all the movies, TV shows, and other documentaries that had direct influence from Von Daniken: they also admit that Arthur Clarke and Stanley Kubrick slightly preceded him.

Von Daniken reveals his Jesuit education that influenced him, and he also discusses how his background in hotel management ruined him with academics and their Ph.D.-union card prejudice.

As one with a doctorate, we feel as do some NASA people and Dr. Travis Taylor, that lack of degree means nothing when it comes to creative minds.

This latest entry seems a premature obit for Erich Von Daniken, or eulogy in anticipation. It does not detract from his remarkable veracity.

Weekend in Hub of the Universe

DATELINE:  Where Humor Comes on Its Own

while tom sleeps

This was the weekend to be in Boston. A comic book festival brought William Shatner to town.

For those old enough to remember, he was the original Captain Kirk. For others, he was the star of your grandparents’ favorite TV show.

Robust at 85, Shatner went to Fenway Park to throw out the first ball over the weekend. He looked a little paunchy up on the mound, and without a warm-up, his pitch went flying into the dirt before home-plate.

Most honored guests would run off the mound in darkest, humiliating shame. Not Shatner. A man accustomed to re-takes, he demanded a second pitch. This time he reached the plate with us strike to the approving roar of the crowd.

Around the same time former Red Sox superstar Jonathan Papelbon found himself released from the Washington Nationals. And he proposed that he would be very happy to return to one of his most glorious locales, with the The Red Sox.

Though he pitches about as well as Shatner nowadays, he is not 85; he is the former Cinco Ocho. He could still help when the pennant with Big Papi as they did 10 years ago.

A little south of Fenway Park, the splendid Gronk was holding his own comic fest. He entertained a large crowd of fans doing standup comic stuff on a folding chair.

He demonstrated how to spike a football ball and imitated Tom Brady.

So, for humorists being in Boston unnecessary. In the hub of the universe we have everything from Captain Kirk to spacemen relief pitchers to compleat Gronk.