DVD Review: The Captains

The Captains – A Film By William Shatner

The Captains is a documentary written and directed by William Shatner that follows the actor on in-depth interviews with the other five actors that have played captains on Star Trek. His mission was to discover what commonalities they all had and what brought them to the roles of their iconic characters.

Shatner (Captain Kirk of the original Star Trek) interviews Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation) at his home in London, Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko of Star Trek: Deep Space 9) in New Jersey, Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager) in New York, and Scott Bakula (Captain Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise) and Chris Pine (Captain Kirk of the Star Trek 2009 film) in Los Angeles.

Each interview was unique to the actor’s personalities and provides a thoughtful and poignant look at each actor. Shatner does a great job of tailoring each interview and creating a unique experience. His interview with Stewart is by far the most interesting, as the two actors share experiences and an obvious camaraderie. The interview with Brooks is unfortunately awkward and strange. Poor Shatner asks questions, and gets Brooks responding with nothing but piano music. It’s both painful and humorous to watch. The interview with Mulgrew is both light-hearted and moving. Shatner’s interview with Bakula is by far the most relaxed and down-to-earth, as Bakula has that easy-going personality that made him a joy to watch. And the interview with Pine was the shortest. Though Pine, of course, has only starred in one feature film so far, as opposed to all of the others in multiple seasons of television. I still would have liked to see more interaction between the two. After all, Pine is the one “current” captain continuing the franchise at the moment.

Since Shatner was the first, and arguably the most important captain in Star Trek since he set the bar for all others following, I only wish he would have had someone specifically interviewing himself as well. Instead, he had to insert his point of view in his various interviews with all of the other actors, which made it feel like more of a conversation than interviews at times.

As a Star Trek fan, I found the documentary very interesting and well-developed. Shater has a unique perspective and can relate to each of them. Dramatic, seemingly heartfelt, with plenty of humor – The Captains is an excellent behind-the-scenes look at some of Star Trek’s most beloved actors.

Bonus Feature:
“The Making of The Captains”

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