Shatner's Log
Captain Kirk's deal with the Devil
Published October 29, 1999 in Dirt

The somewhat suspicious death two months ago of William Shatner's wife, Nerine Kidd, has prompted a renewed interest in the actor's long and checkered career. Through our extensive network of celebrity investigators, GettingIt has acquired portions of Shatner's diary from the 1970s, when he first encountered noted Satanist Anton LaVey. The explosive revelations contained in these pages just may be the "smoking phaser" that Los Angeles law enforcement needs to break the case of the untimely demise of the enterprising actor's wife. Read on and prosper.

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... in the Dirt section
... from October 29, 1999

Actor's Log: Star Date 6/6/74
Began shooting on The Devil's Rain today, a horror film with Ernest Borgnine and Eddie Albert. My agent thinks it might just resuscitate my career, but I have my doubts. Borgnine started drinking this morning at 8 a.m. and Albert just stays on the phone in his trailer between takes, pleading with Eva Gabor to appear in Green Acres: The Movie for Hungarian television. I guess we've all seen better days.

I just can't shake the feeling that Captain Kirk is the role that I was born to play, the white whale of my thespian odyssey. I suppose the unwashed viewing masses felt differently, though. By the end we had some of the lowest ratings in TV history. It still wasn't fair that we were cancelled before I could figure out what the trouble with Tribbles really was. But, there I go again.

Caught Ida Lupino eyeing me at the commissary during lunch. Maybe I'll throw the old bag a little action to keep her spirits up. Tomorrow, unfortunately, is another day.

Actor's Log: Star Date 6/9/74
Smoked some hash with a rookie kid on the set today. A hairy little grease-ball named Travolta. This is his first film, so I offered him some friendly advice. First, change your name to something more American, like Travelina or something. Second, don't ever do a television show. You'll never get a decent movie script again.

As soon as we'd finished the hash, he turned on the radio and started dancing around like a retarded Fred Astaire. I said, "Kid, whatever you do, no dancing. Everybody's gonna think you're a damn pansy or something."

It's a tough business, but I've got a feeling if he takes my advice, he just might make it.

Actor's Log: Star Date 6/10/74
Feeling thirsty on the set today, I whistled for a PA to bring me some water. Suddenly, a tall imposing man in a long black cape and a Van Dyke beard appeared with a glass in his hand. His manner was so bizarre, his presence so chilling that I just stared at him dumbfounded as I took the glass and drank. Smoke billowed from the top of the cup and my throat burned from the vile liquid inside, but I drank the entire thing down in a gulp as I stared at him, hypnotized.

Before I could say anything, the strange man just smiled and turned away, a faint smell of sulfur trailing behind him. Instantly I was energized, feeling better than I'd felt in weeks. I didn't drop a line or miss a cue all afternoon and after a while it almost felt like I was back on the bridge, phaser in hand, seeking out new life and new civilizations.

But, I digress. Lupino asked me to run lines with her in her trailer after shooting wraps tonight. I must be out of my mind to even contemplate banging the old tramp, but Jesus Christ it's been a while. How many wives have I gone through already?

That reminds me: Call Gene Roddenberry's office for Lt. Uhura's home number.

Actor's Log: Star Date 6/11/74
The mystery of the tall man has been solved. He's Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan and the film's technical advisor. I must admit I was a little creeped out by him at first, but he does make one hell of a flaming cocktail. You can really feel a whole new energy in the cast and crew since he came around.

Borgnine has that old demented twinkle in his eye; Eddie Albert says his shingles have healed; that kid Travolta is up for a part in a new ABC soap opera, Song of the Sweathogs, and I've got a date with Lt. Uhura this weekend! Now I've got to try and remember what her real name is. Who knows, the way things are going I might get laid and get a part in the next installment of Roots!

Actor's Log: Star Date 6/13/74
Went with LaVey to a ceremony at his place last night. What a scene! I hadn't seen so many celebrities walking around in black robes since they roasted Jackie Mason at the Friars Club. At the stroke of midnight, Sammy Davis Jr. banged the gong for silence. Then Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Keenan Wynn, and that pimply Travolta kid emerged from a secret door and carried a naked black woman over to a huge stone altar in the middle of the room encircled by candles. I watched, mesmerized as LaVey began chanting Latin backward in a low, sonorous voice.

As the chanting got louder and more chaotic, I saw the woman rise up off of the table. I could feel myself getting aroused and suddenly she was looking right at me, her supple legs spread as she pawed at herself, lost in the heat of passion. Staring transfixed between those luscious gams I could almost see into the void, into the vast emptiness of space.

And then I realized that this writhing goddess before me was my old bridge-mate Lt. Uhura! I could feel the power of the Enterprise returning to me as I ran to her, clutching at her nakedness, overcome with desire. My body felt as though I'd swallowed a handful of dilithium crystals, and the ageless universe was expanding with my groin at its apex. For the next three minutes I pounded away at her like my very soul depended on it.

Then, suddenly, she was gone. The room became black and I passed out and began to see wild, vivid visions of eternal youth, through network syndication; visions of teenagers, with braces and pocket-protectors, asking me questions in a convention hall packed with fans wearing Spock ears, and drinking Tang. And there was merchandise: T-shirts, backpacks, coasters as far as the eye could see -- all of them proudly bearing the Star Trek logo.

I even allowed myself to dream the dream I'd dared not dream since our premiere night in 1966: Star Trek: The Movie! And not just one or two of them, but dozens of sequels, prequels and requels -- so many that the sun could never set on our Star Trek Empire, the light never ebb from our phasers. Here, in the warm cocoon of NBC's wet dream, we would boldly go, where no science fiction show had ever gone before.

Then I awoke. The room was almost empty except for Ida Lupino getting into her truss with a grin like the Cheshire cat. LaVey sat in his high-backed chair, a raven perched on his shoulder and a forbidding look in his eyes. "Mr. Shatner," he said, "you have seen the future, and it is good. Now let's make a deal."


By Junior Downey
Junior Downey is the author of
Greedy Media: The Blind Leading the Retarded and a past recipient of the PEN/Faulkner award for bad writing.