(News Item) William Shatner aims for real 'Star Trek'

Friday, October 22, 2004 Posted: 10:40 AM EDT (1440 GMT)

LONDON, England -- William Shatner wants to boldly go where he's only pretended to go so far.

The "Star Trek" star is among more than 7,000 people who have told Richard Branson they would gladly pay him $210,000 (£115,000) for a trip aboard his planned spacecraft, the entrepreneur said Friday.

I will now recount for you a tale, if I may.

When I was a young lad, I was a Star Trek FANATIC. I loved that show, what it represented, and the critique to our society it provided. There was a time I found myself sitting with my mother and home-room teacher (A Jesuit Priest, I was attending Fordham Prep at the time) discussing my scholastic situation. Father Ghiblin (I may have the spelling wrong, it was a long time ago) told my mother in front of me that I would amount to nothing as long as I inhabit my “Star Trek dream world”.

Today I am an editor at a major electronic engineering magazine, writing about advanced technologies and proselytizing forward development via increased industry communication. I strive to create a world, if not a “Star Trek dream world” at least one where mankind is free of this fragile bassinet and roaming the stars. I got my passion from his over-the-top enthusiastic portrayal of a futuristic Horatio Hornblower. I envy him tremendously in his actualization of our mutual dream of reaching the stars.