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March 07, 2011

William Shatner wakes up shuttle Discovery crew

Posted in: TV

William Shatner, stardate 1960s (Los Angeles Times archives)

The crew members of the space shuttle Discovery already know that they are on “The Voyage Home” — their ship will be retired after landing Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida — but they got a startling reminder on Monday when their “wake-up call” from Earth was a pre-recorded message from William Shatner along with the theme from “Star Trek.”

“These have been the voyages of the space shuttle Discovery,” the 79-year-old actor said with all the gravity you might expect. “Her 30-year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before…”

The shuttle program — which dates back to the February 1977 flight of a craft named Enterprise – is scheduled to end later this year, a heartbreaking decision for many supporters of the American space program. Shatner knows the feeling. He watched his old space partner Leonard Nimoy play a part in the most recent “Star Trek” film but he’s been left on the interstellar sidelines for four movies and hasn’t portrayed James T. Kirk in a new film or television show since 1994. J.J. Abrams and his team are preparing a new “Trek” film and although it’s unlikely that Shatner will be beamed aboard, he has plenty of projects on Earth, including the CBS comedy series “$#*!  My Dad Says.”

– Geoff Boucher

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