This year might be the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon (and the end of the original Star Trek), but William Shatner — in Cannes to promote his new A+E Networks show, The UnXplained — isn’t interested in the new space race. “I see all those ideas of colonising the moon and colonising Mars as fantasies to avoid thinking about the reality of this, the Carlton Hotel, being underwater in 50 years,” he told MIPCOM News. “We’ve got to fix that first.”

He is also firmly fixed on The UnXplained, which he executive produced and hosts. So, can he explain the UnXplained? “It embraces the mysteries that surround us. Why is the universe expanding, who is God, why are we here?” he said.

Each of the eight episodes takes a different theme — life beyond death, mysterious structures, bizarre rituals — and talks to scientists and other experts to attempt to find an explanation. For Shatner, whose career as a TV star has taken him to the limits of the universe, it seems to wrap up a lot of his interests. “It fits right in with everything that I’m doing,” he laughed. “I’m curious, and this curiosity has fed my life from early beginnings, but this show gave me a chance to feed this knowledge.”

The UnXplained has been a hit in the US, where eight episodes have aired on the History Channel, with more to come in early 2020. “It’s really extraordinary,” Shatner said. “Whenever I’ve done a show, people will come up and say ‘I like your show’, but I’ve never had this kind of reaction I’m getting on the streets from just the eight shows we’ve done.”

Shatner is keen to deliver the new episodes of The UnXplained, but he also has other ideas: “I’ve got a show I’m trying to sell that involves space,” he said. “I can’t speak any more about it, but it has to do with space and the final frontier.”


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About Author

Julian Newby is editor in chief of MIP Publications, namely the MIPTV/MIPCOM Previews, daily News magazines and supplements. He is also co-founder of Boutique Editions, a UK-based publishing and design house providing products and services for the international film, TV and creative communities.

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