Road Rash Reviews

William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill Review****-

Cert 12 | 95 mins | 2024

4 star intimate and surprisingly moving documentary.

William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill is a 2024 American documentary film about the life of Canadian actor William Shatner (Star Trek: The Original Series, T.J. Hooker). It is written and directed by Alexandre O’ Philippe (78/52, The People Vs. George Lucas).

It is available in the UK on Digital Platforms and Blu-ray from 27th May 2024, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

“When you take away the mask, what is there to boldly go into? Boldly go into your life. Live your life fully, passionately.”

This is a very interesting documentary, filmed in an unusual style. There is no interviewer, merely chapter headings to separate out several topics for discussion. Nor is anyone else interviewed, all the material is provided by William Shatner himself.

The discussions are interspersed with numerous photos, from his childhood, early jobs, starring roles, right through to his present day projects, as well as lots and lots of clips of his work. Perhaps best known as the beloved Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series, he has starred in numerous other films and TV shows over the course of seven decades.

It’s a truly fascinating insight into the life and work of the man who made over-acting cool. He has undertaken many and varied roles, both in his public and personal life and it is clear that he has carefully taken what he can from each experience, including standing on a glacier and being the oldest person to go to space, aboard the Blue Origin spacecraft.

At 91 years old, he is enormously self aware and open about his life, his thoughts on death and it’s approach, as well as the influence the roles he played have had on the direction of his life.

“The occasion of your death is meaningless. You’re one of billions and billions who lived and died on Earth.”

What comes across most strongly is the depth of his love and respect for the Earth and all the things which live upon it. The film features some excerpts from his new concert “So Fragile, So Blue”, which shows his passion for our world and is very thought provoking.

It’s great to see someone use their own voice, to take charge of their narrative and that is exactly what he does here.

The song played over the final credits is also surprisingly emotional. I would thoroughly recommend this, but you should probably have a box of tissues at the ready, especially if you are a trekkie.

“The reptilian brain of passion overrides the frontal lobes of thought. It’s unfortunate,  but that’s what human beings are. What have I done?”

William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill is on UK Digital Platforms and Blu-ray from 27th May 2024.

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DirectorAlexandre O. Philippe
StarringWilliam Shatner
Available to buy on : Own William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill on Blu-Ray