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Star Trek/Boston Legal: Walter Koenig Praises Denny Crane, Not Shatner

Star Trek star Walter Koenig didn't mince words about his friendship status with William Shatner but defended Shatner's run on Boston Legal.

There's no love lost between William Shatner (Kirk) and the other surviving cast members of Star Trek: The Original Series in George Takei (Sulu) and Walter Koenig (Chekov). The latest spat comes from an unlikely source, Shatner's last successful network TV dramedy in ABC's Boston Legal. To start, a Twitter user tagged both Shatner and legal drama co-star James Spader writing, "The laziest acting I have ever seen in a tv show, has to be [William Shatner] in #BostonLegal. He doesn't do anything. Just sits there and collects a check for laziness. They should have put a mannequin there instead, [James Spader] knows how to act with mannequins lol." As far as semantics go, Shatner doesn't believe the account tagged is Spader's, as he doesn't believe his co-star's active on the platform.

Star Trek: Walter Koenig Hates Shatner, Praises His Boston Legal Work
James Spader & William Shatner in Boston Legal. Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Star Trek: Walter Koenig's Backhanded "Boston Legal" Compliment

Shatner responded to the user with a series of emojis in a quote tweet, "🥱👇🏻👉🏻2️⃣ 📧Ⓜ️Ⓜ️🌱💰 🙌🏻🤣" Koenig, who notably played his TOS character's son Anton Chekov in a voice cameo on Picard entered the fray not bothering to tag him while giving him the most backhanded compliment writing, "Bill Shatner is not a friend but his work on Boston Legal cannot be disputed. He brought a great deal to his performance." The David E. Kelley series lasted five seasons from 2004-2008. The role of the managing partner and loose cannon Denny Crane elevated Shatner's TV career to its peak, garnering two Emmys, the first from his season eight appearances on The Practice and his second from the spinoff, Boston Legal. Shatner would be nominated four more times throughout the series' duration to add to his first Emmy nod in 1999 for his guest appearance in the NBC sitcom Third Rock from the Sun.

As far as Boston Legal goes, only Spader and Shatner stayed the entire duration of the series for all 101 episodes from the beginning, with Candice Bergen appearing in 91 episodes making her debut in episode 11. The series also starred Star Trek alum Rene Auberjonois, Mark Valley, Julie Bowen, Christian Clemenson, Gary Anthony Williams, and John Larroquette. Shatner has yet to respond to Koenig's shade. Also chiming in is Laura Ann Tull, who worked with Spader and Shatner on Boston Legal.


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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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