On Wednesday, 90-year-old William Shatner, the beloved Captain Kirk from the TV series Star Trek, made headlines when he flew aboard New Shepard, the spaceship owned by Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin company. What was not reported is that Shatner kept an audio log of his journey similar to the Captain’s log he kept on Star Trek. The following is an exclusive transcript of this recording, officially called “Shatner’s log.”
Shatner’s Log, StarDate 10.2021
At long last the day has arrived. My years of gleaning scientific knowledge and deep understanding of the cosmos in the original Star Trek series—and several Star Trek films—has made me more prepared for space travel than any other man or woman ever to don a space suit.
My mission, as always, remains the same: to explore new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before! Since the entire flight will only last up to 12 minutes, that may be difficult, but I’m up for the challenge.
I just met my fellow crew members. I despise every last one of them and their “Grandpa Kirk” jokes. They have no idea what space travel is like—the demands, the challenges, the sacrifices, the fortitude required. I wonder if this ship has some sort of flight attendant who can fetch me a Monkey 47 martini before liftoff.
T minus 15 seconds. Final flight checks are now underway. The air is crackling with nervous tension, myself included. Three … two … one … liftoff! I can feel the giant thrusters rumbling beneath me with tremendous power, rattling my seat. I think the ship is gonna blow! We’re all gonna die! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!! Oh, the humanity!
The ship and crew are safe. The rumbling in my seat was not caused by the giant thrusters. Where is Dr. McCoy with some extra-strength Imodium when I need him?
The g-force as we pull away from Earth is stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m pinned to my chair from the intense pressure on my body. I can feel the collagen from my cosmetic procedures shifting under my skin, like waves in a violent ocean storm. I knew space travel can physically alter a person, but if this keeps up, I’m going to return to Earth looking like the salt vampire from Planet M-113.
The g-force is intensifying! Emergency! Emergency! My hairpiece just flew off and is on the cabin floor. What to do? What to do? Think, Shatner, think! What would Kirk do? I’ve got it!
“Look, everyone! It’s a Tribble! There’s a Tribble on board!”
I think they bought it.
New Shepard has reached the edge of Earth’s atmosphere! We’ve unbuckled our seat restraints and have begun to float around in the weightless environment.
I just met my fellow crew members. I despise every last one of them and their “Grandpa Kirk” jokes.
“My fellow crew members, if I could have your attention for some personal observations. This must be what it feels like to be a child’s balloon, floating hither and yonder, having slipped the surly bonds of Earth and joined the tumbling mirth and … wait … there is an emergency message coming in from Starfleet Command.
“Roger that, Command … I understand. I’ll shut the fuck up for the remainder of the flight.”
We are beginning our descent back down to planet Earth. Sadly, the flight has been a huge disappointment. I did not do battle with Klingons. There was no attempt to assimilate me by the Borg. At no time did I have to order the crew to “set phasers to stun.” The closest I came to an alien encounter is when I met Jeff Bezos, who reminded me of my old nemesis, the evil and tyrannical Khan.
After all these years of dreaming about being in space, the final frontier … disappointment. As my old friend Spock might say, “Most illogical.” Scotty, beam me out of here. Shatner, out.
John Ficarra was the editor of Mad magazine