James T Kirk, aka William Shatner, boldly going into space is strangely comforting – Susan Morrison

Had you lifted your eyes to the stars a few days ago, you might have caught sight of a heavenly body floating past. William Shatner got a lift in Jeff Bezos’s space rocket, Blue Origin.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Star Trek actor William Shatner, centre, celebrates after becoming the oldest person ever to go into space (Picture: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

If I owned a spaceship, I'd be wary of letting Jim Kirk aboard. His track record when it came to peaceful outings on his own ship wasn’t good.

Why, it seemed hardly a moment passed without the Enterprise fighting off belligerent boy aliens hellbent on blowing them to smithereens or scantily clad girl ones attempting to snog the bold captain to death. Sometimes both at the same time, in the case of some particularly bad-tempered lady monsters.

Definitely not Clydebuilt, the Enterprise. It rarely got out of second gear without something falling off, like a sort of intergalactic 1973 British Leyland Sherpa truck. No wonder they needed a Scot in engineering.

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Ah, but Captain Kirk is not what he once was. There’s more of him for a start. Getting him into his blue space jumpsuit looked like a risky undertaking. Reminded me very much of trying on jeans back in the 80s, when you never went into a changing room without a sturdy bootlace to get the zip up.

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Blue was an excellent colour choice for his fellow passengers and crew – red would have been disastrous. Everyone knows that the scarlet uniformed blokes of Kirk's crew stood no chance at all of surviving the first close encounter.

Clearly those guys were not unionised. At some point a shop steward would have said, no, mate. Total lack of risk assessment here, and no, taking that particular doctor along does not allay the member’s fears.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft lifts-off from the launch pad with William Shatner and three other civilians on board (Picture: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mr Shatner wasn’t in space for very long. Not even enough time to watch an episode of Star Trek, but close enough and long enough to see the edge of the universe where his fictional starship flew.

And it is strangely comforting to realise that Captain James T Kirk of the USS Enterprise really did go on a ten-minute mission and really did boldly go where no 90-year-old had gone before.

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