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William Shatner wants you to boldly go to Florida Supercon

Captain Kirk talks 'Star Trek,' promises good time for fans in Fort Lauderdale

William Shatner speaks to Local 10 News before his appearance at the Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, July 13, 2018.
William Shatner speaks to Local 10 News before his appearance at the Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, July 13, 2018.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – William Shatner is spending a few days in South Florida. Much like the iconic character he played in the original "Star Trek" series and movies, he'll encounter Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans and other galactic beings from far away places.

Heck, he may even encounter different versions of Capt. James T. Kirk -- some old, some young -- but all will be there to meet and get their pictures taken with the 87-year-old veteran actor.

Shatner headlines a lengthy list of celebrities in attendance at the four-day Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

He'll be joined by Gates McFadden from "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Lou Ferrigno from "The Incredible Hulk" and Michael Rooker from "Guardians of the Galaxy," among others.

Shatner arrived Friday afternoon on a flight that he spent watching tennis. It was, Shatner agreed, more pleasant than the flight Bob Wilson endured in arguably the most popular of all "The Twilight Zone" episodes. In the 1963 episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," Shatner's character is flying home after recovering from a nervous breakdown and spends much of the flight trying to convince his wife and the airline crew that there is a gremlin on the wing of the plane.

"Wimbledon was being played on the wing," Shatner joked.

Joking aside, Shatner said he's thrilled to be signing autographs and meeting die-hard Trekkies at Florida Supercon.

William Shatner meets fans during an autograph session at the Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, July 13, 2018.
William Shatner meets fans during an autograph session at the Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, July 13, 2018.

"This is a great convention for people -- I was going to say 'Star Trek,' but it's really a lot more than 'Star Trek,'" Shatner said. "It's a great, fun convention for people interested in science fiction and horror. It's very entertaining."

Although Shatner has had an acting career spanning more than 60 years, he's fully aware that his legacy was cemented in 1966 when he signed up for the starring role as captain of the USS Enterprise. That said, he doesn't have a particular favorite from the show's three seasons or six movies featuring the original "Star Trek" crew.

"I do, but I'm not allowed to tell you," Shatner quipped.

Then he fessed up.

"I don't really know because I've forgotten all the episodes by now," Shatner admitted. "It's all a blur."

Shatner also starred as the titular character in the 1980s police drama "T.J. Hooker" and won a pair of Emmy Awards playing Denny Crane on ABC's "The Practice" and its spin-off, "Boston Legal."

Still, of all his roles, whether comedic ("Airplane II: The Sequel" and "Miss Congeniality") or serious, fans can't seem to get enough of Kirk.

"There's a fascination about science fiction, the awe and wonder of what's out there, and so 'Star Trek' addressed that, and a lot of the shows here addressed that sort of awe," he said.

William Shatner shares a moment with a fan at the Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, July 13, 2018.
William Shatner shares a moment with a fan at the Florida Supercon at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, July 13, 2018.

The Shakespearean-trained thespian is also an accomplished musician and science fiction novelist. Shatner said he has a country album coming out in the next few weeks, a Christmas album set for release in October and an upcoming book called "Live Long and ... What I Learned Along the Way" due out later this year.

Shatner will be back Saturday for a question-and-answer session at 3 p.m. He promises a good time for all in attendance.

"What do you take away from a good time?" Shatner asked in jest. "Endorphins. You take away endorphins."