Too many captains

What’s the big news for Star Trek fans? All five “captains” will appear live on stage together in London this October. William Shatner. Patrick Stewart. Avery Brooks. Kate Mulgrew. Scott Bakula. On one ticket.

It would be fun to see them all together but I can think of more important reasons to travel to London, like visiting my friend Tian and his beautiful family.

All too often, seeing stars of my favourite shows on stage is a bit of a letdown. I’ve seen William Shatner a few times and he is usually entertaining. I’d love to see Patrick Stewart because, of all the group, he’s probably the best actor, though not the best “captain.” (More on that in a moment.)

But I can’t think of any question I would want to ask Brooks, Mulgrew or Bakula related to Star Trek. For Bakula, I could think of questions about his roles in Quantum Leap, American Beauty and Desperate Housewives, but his role in Star Trek is not among my favourites. Brooks and Mulgrew really don’t deserve to share the stage with the rest.

Indeed, the thought of all of them together brings home another point: Star Trek simply overstayed its welcome on TV. The focus was on pumping out quantity over quality and the entire franchise suffered for it. I’d rather have great Star Trek on the big screen every couple of years rather than mediocre Star Trek every week on TV.

All five Star Trek captains will appear on stage together in London. A sign of too much Trek?

But I digress.

It should be obvious that Shatner and Stewart are my top two captains. Do I need to pick a favourite? They are both great actors, each in their own way. I think it comes down to which “character” I like the best – Kirk or Picard.

If I wanted to have a cup of tea and talk Shakespeare, Picard is my man.

But if I was a petty officer on the Enterprise, under which captain would I feel safer – the one with Kirk or Picard in command? Who would I rather have an ale with in the ship’s cantina? Who would I step in the way of a phaser blast to protect? Who is worth standing in line for two hours to get an $80 autograph?

Kirk wins.

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