"PEOPLE WERE BEGINNING TO DIE," says William Shatner of his decision lo write his Star Trek Memories nearly 25 years after the series expired, "and before my number was called, I wanted to get down what I thought was the truth about the making of the series. Things tend to get hoary with legend and age."
But not so Captain Kirk of the Enterprise. At 62, Shatner still cruises at warp speed. He is host of the popular CBS show Rescue 911. And he's savoring his name above the titles of the Tek War novels, a best-selling series of 22nd-century adventures. Not surprisingly, Shatner—as executive producer, guest star and director—of the show's premiere is already transforming the books into a projected series of TV movies, the first of them scheduled to debut in syndication next January.
Shatner will concede to only one anxiety while he was researching his memoir: "Whether my batteries would last on my little Sony tape recorder." (Shatner conducted the interviews, and coauthor Chris Kreski did much of the writing.) He had no qualms, he says, about criticizing Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's much-beloved creator and executive producer, who died two years ago. In the book, Shatner calls the producer a "genius" but blames him for all but abandoning the series during its ailing final season. Shatner and wife Marcy, 47, commute between a house in L.A. and a horse ranch in Kentucky, and the erstwhile Kirk shows no signs of slowing. Why not kick back and relax? "I kicked back on a horse about six weeks ago, and he fell right on top of me," he says, "so I'm not going to kick back anymore."