Tag Archives: Kate Mulgrew

The Captains (2011)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Captains</strong> (2011)

(On-demand Video, March 2012) As far as premises go, this documentary keeps it simple: William Shatner goes around interviewing the five other people who have played a captain (as lead) in a Star Trek universe.  While there’s a little bit of footage of Shatner being himself at a Star Trek convention, much of The Captains is a series of one-on-one conversations between very different actors.  Shatner seems to be enjoying himself (he wrote and directed the film), as he adds another piece to his very public voyage of self-awareness regarding his most iconic role –you’d think that after a few books, and many self-referential appearances in Trek-related works, there would be nothing left to say, but there is thanks to his interviewees.  Patrick Stewart is grace incarnate as a top-level actor who has accepted his place in Trek history, but it’s his regrets at the toll the acting life has taken on his personal relationship that ends up being his moment in this film, much as Kate Mulgrew’s extraordinary description of the rigors of a TV series lead over a single mom’s life that ends up being the film’s emotional highlight.  Otherwise, well, Avery Brooks is one weird/cool cat as he riffs off jazz music and somber themes.  There’s no denying that The Captains is for trekkers: While it’s kind of entertaining to see Shatner arm-wrestle with Chris Pine, the film remains a definite vanity project meant to develop the kind of meta-Shatneresque personae that Shatner has been enjoying for the past two decades.  Even so, it’s remarkably entertaining for those who know a bit about the Star Trek universe: discussions between fellow professionals often are.