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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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06/12/2004 Archived Entry: "Captain's Peril"

Captain's Peril
By William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Published by Pocket Books; 400 pages, $6.99
ISBN: 0671021281

Reviewed by Laurel Sutton

Plot Summary: Kirk and Picard are buds. (Please continue to suspend your disbelief. I know, it’s very hard.) They go on vacation together to Bajor (I know what you’re thinking and I want you to stop it right now) and solve a murder. Kirk remembers his first command crisis, when a crew member died on him. Other people die. Picard dies – no wait, he doesn't. There's a big squid that lives in an inland ocean and which is possessed by a Bajoran spirit. It's the last of its kind, but when Kirk rips out its innards, causing species extinction, that's a good thing. Then the galaxy turns into dust, or something; the book isn't too clear on that.

Review: There is so much talking in this book that it should have been called "My Dinner With Jean-Luc". We all know Picard is a windbag, but Kirk out-talks him, the Bajorans out-talk Kirk, and not much happens in between people getting offed.

Let us all agree on the fact that Shatner does not actually write these books. They are written by the oddly named Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, which in my mind is far too close to Peter Cook’s Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling (Greeb-Streebling?) in the Frog and the Peach sketch. I’m sure Shatner has plot ideas along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be great if Picard and Kirk solved a murder?”, and there are places where you can clearly hear his voice as Kirk, especially when Kirk remembers what it was like to be a young starship captain, invincible. Those are the good parts, which amount to about 10% of the entire book.

I think Shatner is responsible for the religious meanderings in the story, which are interesting but hardly break new ground; DS9 spent many eps debating the nature of the Bajoran Prophets, and the fact that Sisko went to join them in the wormhole only served to confuse the hell out of us all. (I was really hoping there would be a DS9 movie which would clear this up, but I guess it wasn't deemed cinema-worthy. As if the last TNG movie was.) It's the same sort of stuff he explored in STV, and the resolution here is just as unsatisfying.

If you want to read 200 pages of Kirk and Picard arguing about the worthiness of the Prime Directive, then this is the book for you. I will be selling my copy on Amazon, in case you're interested.

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