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I was disappointed in Avery Brooks’ interview


I watched “The Captains” (2011), a film by William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk in the first “Star Trek” series from 1966 to 1969, plus seven movies from 1979 to 1994. Shatner interviewed many actors from the Star Trek pantheon, primarily focusing on the captains of the various series:

  • Captain James T. Kirk of the original Star Trek series (Shatner himself, showing clips of the original series and of himself attending Star Trek conventions)
  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Patrick Stewart)
  • Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space 9 (Avery Brooks)
  • Captain Kathryn Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager (Kate Mulgrew)
  • Captain Jonathan Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise (Scott Bakula)
  • Captain James T. Kirk of the newer “Star Trek” movies (Chris Pine)

All of the interviews were interesting, and all of the people Shatner spoke with were well-spoken and thoughtful – except Avery Brooks. Brooks is a tenured professor of theatre at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he has taught since 1976. I was expecting a well-spoken, thoughtful interview like the others.

Instead, Brooks played the piano, sang, and spoke in fragmented, incoherent sentences. Darling wife thought he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s. I thought he was under the influence of drugs.

Either way, Brooks did not perform well, which was a surprise to me since he is a classically-trained professional actor. It was disappointing too, because I like his voice and his stage presence on the shows that he’s done.

Alas, theatre and real life are two quite different things. And the actor sometimes is just acting the part of an intelligent, thoughtful leader.


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