For the second time in less than three months Shatner would appear on an episode of The Kaiser Aluminum Hour, the short-lived but quality anthology program that only ran for one year (the 1956-1957 season.) And once again I have very little information about the program as it doesn’t seem to exist for viewing anywhere. But let’s check out what I did learn about the production as well as the fun Shatner connections that spun out of it, shall we?
According to TV.com, this episode was about “Gwyneth, a beautiful soprano singer (who) divides a close-knit Welsh family and spreads gloom over a small mining town after she becomes the obsession between two brothers willing to do whatever it takes to win her love.”
Apparently, the two brothers in this teleplay were played by Roddy McDowall and William Shatner. I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure I’m all that sad that this performance is lost to the sands of time. I mean, if I were to watch it I can’t even imagine Shatner attempting to affect a Welsh accent. It would be an understatement to point out that accents are definitely not something Shatner is all that good at.
So it is with mixed emotions that I quickly end this post, fingers crossed that this program is both found quickly and stays lost forever.
It’s time to detail all of the connections between The Kaiser Aluminum Hour’s “Gwyneth” and other Shatner appearances!
The actress who played the title character Gwyneth, Joanne Linville, would go on to appear with Shatner a number of times over the next twelve years. In 1958 she would appear with him in an episode of The United States Steel Hour entitled “Old Marshals Never Die.” In 1961, she would appear in an episode of The Defenders, “Killer Instinct.” Finally (and certainly most famously) she would co-star in a 1968 episode of Star Trek, “The Enterprise Incident,” playing the Romulan commander attempting to get it on with Spock.
Although Shatner would never act again with Roddy McDowall, they would both appear to talk about their equine loves in the 1989 documentary, Hollywood on Horses.
According to the always unreliable IMDB, an actor by the name of John Laurie would also make an uncredited appearance in the TV show Festival’s production of Julius Caesar starring Shatner in 1960.
As noted above, this was the second time that Shatner was on The Kaiser Aluminum Hour. His first was the episode “Mr. Finchley Verses the Bomb” and he would return one more time for 1957’s “The Deadly Silence.” All were executive-produced by Worthington Minor. Minor also created the highly influential Studio One series which featured Shatner in the episodes “The Defender” (parts 1 and 2,) “The Deaf Heart” and “No Deadly Medicine” (parts 1 and 2.) Minor would also be the Executive Producer for the show Play of the Week, which would showcase Shatner in the 1960 science fiction episode “Night of the Auk.”
You can Google The Kaiser Aluminum Hour and get more info on that yourself (and there isn’t a ton out there.) Interestingly, I did find that the main reason the show only lasted a year was because it went up against The $64,000 Question, a game show that was so popular President Eisenhower asked not to be disturbed while it was on. In addition, the nation’s crime rate, movie attendance and restaurant patronage all dropped during the game show. Not even Shatner could compete with that!