William Shatner Interview: 'You become unglued because of the mysteries'
From the producers of ‘Ancient Aliens’ and ‘The Curse of Oak Island’, ‘The UnXplained with William Shatner’ on Sky HISTORY explores the world’s most fascinating, strange and inexplicable mysteries. Back in July 2021, Sky HISTORY caught up with William Shatner to talk about the series and why he turned down Richard Branson's offer to go into space.
How would you explain The UnXplained to people who have never watched it?
We're surrounded by mystery. There are these huge mysteries – life after death, the meaning of life, who created the universe – which are totally unanswerable. But then there are all these small mysteries, the unexplained that surround us which is what we explore in the series.
You cover some amazing mysteries in this season from great escapes to mysterious underground cities which was your favourite and why?
It's hard for me to say what is my favourite because they're all so mysterious. What fascinated me about the underground cities episode was that we see so many examples of engineering feats that we still can't do today, even with all our modern equipment. Yet, 1000s of years ago, they managed it. How did they do that? We don't know.
What do you hope viewers will get from watching the UnXplained?
A sense of the mystery of the world around us. Like, I say, everything you can imagine is mysterious. If you go from one mystery to the other, it's like leaping from one rock to another. You become unglued because of the mysteries.
Were you sceptical about aliens before you met the Ancient Aliens team?
I once talked to Bob Ballard who discovered the Titanic, who is a very serious marine scientist. He put a bathysphere [a deep-sea submersible] between the tectonic plates at the bottom of the ocean and saw sea worms and clams living there. There’s no sunlight there and they're living in sulphur. There's a whole mysterious form of life that is taking place there. What does that say about life on other planets?
The urgency of life seems to be such that it fits into every niche it can, whether it's 600 degrees or 70 degrees or the freezing cold.
Did you change your mind after meeting the Ancient Aliens team?
When I went on Ancient Aliens, like everyone I used to think that if aliens did exist why don’t they land on the lawn of the White House and say, 'Hey we're here, we want to talk to you'. For all these sightings, and evidence like that those films by the Navy pilots, I was loath to say it was aliens. My thought was it's explicable but we just don't know the answers.
But what I said after the session with the Ancient Aliens guys was that I was dubious coming in and less dubious coming out.
Recently Richard Branson Launched Into Space on Virgin Galactic Flight. Would you ever be tempted to go into space if the opportunity arose
A few years ago, Branson offered me the opportunity. And I said that sounds great. He says it'll cost you $250,000. So I said, 'Wait a minute, Sir. This should be the other way round. You should be paying me.' So that never came about