Space may be the final frontier but it doesn’t pay very well. This according to William Shatner, who has revealed that the Enterprise crew never received payments for reruns of the original Star Trek TV series.
Of course, Shatner and his fellow cast members did just fine thanks to decades’ worth of movie deals, convention appearances and merchandising, but they never saw a dime from residual payments for their time on the 1960s show.
“The series Star Trek that I was in, was so early on, there were no residuals. So none of us ever have received residuals,” Shatner said in an interview with IGN’s Scott Collura [via THR] on the Transporter Room 3 podcast.
The actor also revealed that had the show came into being three years later, this would not have been the case, as changes in the industry that saw TV actors being paid when their shows were aired in reruns wouldn’t come into effect until 1969. At the time, no one thought that Star Trek (1966-69) would live on for another 50 years in syndication.
Star Trek only lasted three seasons until its cancellation in 1969, but was revived as an animated series and made into a feature length movie in 1979 with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. As the film was quite costly to make, Paramount and even the cast believed that it would be the only Trek movie.
“Every movie we made subsequent, even Star Trek I, they burned the sets. There was no reason to store them, because there was never going to be another movie,” Shatner said.
Of course, Star Trek would not only live on but thrive, with Shatner and his fellow cast members going onto make several more movies throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. As such, the actor isn’t bitter about the lack of residuals over the years.
“I’ve worked gainfully all these years,” said Shatner. “I’m really grateful for it. It’s affected my life incredibly.”
Star Trek currently airs in reruns on BBC America and is available to stream on CBS.com and Netflix. A new series, Star Trek: Discovery, will air starting this September on CBS.
(Via: The Hollywood Reporter)