Designing TekWorld, Part 2

Designing TekWorld, Part 2

Designing TekWorld, Part 2

In part one of this interview, William Shatner detailed the genesis of the idea that led to his creating TekWar, a virtual reality-like "drug" that can be deadly in its addicting qualities, and the cause of so many of the problems faced by ex-cop Jake Cardigan.


TekWar - Greg and Eugene Actor Greg Evigan, who played Cardigan in the TekWar TV movies and weekly series of the 1990s, sees a distinct difference between Tek and virtual reality, beginning with the fact that although both require a headset, Tek utilizes a specific chip that opens up your mind to any possibility. "It actually probes into the points of the brain that control your vision and all your senses -- like nerve centers -- which is different than virtual reality," explains Evigan. "Virtual reality is really a machine. You see a picture and it has an effect on your equilibrium, but Tek completely involves you. It's almost like you did Ecstasy or some drug that really can take you to another place, but you cannot tell any difference between reality and fantasy. You are going to live that reality as long as that Tek-set is running. You've gotta stay in that place where you take it and where you're using it. So, the difference is that one really goes in on the brain and the other is just kind of like a peripheral enjoyment. Like you're watching a movie or something. That's the explanation and if you think about it, we're probably on the road to something like that anyway."
Production designer and producer Stephen Roloff adds, "Tek is a great metaphor for a detective. It is illusion versus reality. What's real and what's not and the idea of having a drug which directly allows your brain to experience anything at all that you want to experience. It's a wonderful premise, and it's dangerous territory. The fear that exists regarding virtual reality is that it will become so seductive that people won't want to go out and live real lives anymore, because the virtual world is so much more interesting. A good friend of mine, who was a writer on Star Trek for some time, said, 'One of the things that I never understood about the show was the holodeck, because if I had a holodeck, I would park the ship and spend time there.' Just park the ship!"
Tekworld 3 Although Tek was a creation that Shatner was satisfied with, he still wanted the opportunity to alter the premise's time frame. That opportunity came in the form of Marvel Comics, which approached him with the idea of suing the novels as a springboard for a comic book series.
"I then began to think more consciously of what I wanted to do," Shatner admits. "By now I had stuck myself in the extreme futuristic world and when I had gone out to sell TekWar as a potential vehicle, people said, 'It's going to be too expensive,' and it's then that I began to realize that I shouldn't have gone so far in the future. So I had another shot when Marvel Comics came at it. We granted them the rights, but with the admonition that it be set 50 years from now, fantasizing again that the comic books could serve as storyboards for a potential movie. Some part of my mind was cunningly aware of that. Then, when the movie people came and said, 'Let's make a film,' I was prepared by that time to say, 'This story takes place 50 years from now, so we can use the architecture of today and just talk abut a new building being kind of creaky and old and needing refurbishing.' That's what worked for me. So that's the world of TekWar that slowly evolved from Star Trek into something more meaningful."

For part one of this article, click HERE.



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