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William Shatner, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – Video Review

William Shatner
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

“Space — the final frontier.” William Shatner said those words more than 40 years ago in his voice-over for the introduction to the classic ‘Star Trek’ TV series. Shatner returns to space — sort of — in the recently released video for his one-of-a-kind rendition of Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’

The clip opens with an attractive young couple staring up at the evening sky, speculating whether there are other forms of life in the universe. A horizontal light in the shape of a mouth appears among the stars, and then Shatner — in his familiar, halting style of speaking — utters the song’s opening line: “Is this — the real life?”

The lyrics appear on the screen in capitalized white letters, and eventually the mouth shape morphs into something resembling an animated version of Shatner’s entire face, which sits dead center for the remainder of the video.

Shatner’s vocal is all attitude and personality as he hams up certain lines by whimpering and growling while (kind of) singing some others. Expect to laugh and groan at various points as Shatner does his thing over the complex music, which is quite faithful to the original version.

The finish is unexpected and clever at the same time. After Shatner whispers the last line of the song (“Any way the wind blows”), a fireball shoots from his animated face and lands at the feet of the couple. The foldout packaging for his ‘Seeking Major Tom’ album appears as Shatner’s version of the Norman Greenbaum hit ‘Spirit in the Sky’ plays.

The two-CD ‘Seeking Major Tom,’ featuring Shatner’s takes on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Spirit in the Sky’ and other rock classics, is out now on Cleopatra Records. Guest artists include Steve Howe (Yes), Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band) and Patrick Moraz (Moody Blues).

Watch William Shatner’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Video

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