William Shatner will be beamed down to Iowa tonight as part of a new reality show.
Capt. James T. Kirk himself plays a con artist to unsuspecting townsfolk in Spike TV’s “Invasion Iowa.” The first episode of a four-episode show debuts tonight.
“This is my picture of what America is,” Shatner tells the Iowans in the first episode, “and I’m Canadian.”
The setup of the show has Shatner and his bizarre friends move in on Riverside, Iowa, which dubbed itself the future birthplace of Kirk back in 1985, to shoot a sci-fi film starring Shatner and some locals. The film is a front, and the joke is on the townspeople as they seemingly have no idea what is happening as Shatner’s stunts get increasingly strange.
The first episode follows this formula to a tee. During a welcome dinner with the new cast, Shatner introduces an item from his made-up fashion line: hats dubbed “shats,” actually a set of three colored berets. Green means the wearer is in a good mood, yellow means proceed with caution and red means stay away. The cast willingly place the strange headgear on their heads.
Shatner adds an element of deviousness to the mix. He eats food off another’s plate, hounds his makeshift assistant when a cell phone won’t stop ringing during filming and visits the town’s 100-year-old church to ask permission to break a stained glass window for a scene in the film.
Shatner is not all jokes. When he reveals the premise to the town in the finale, he’ll also make a $100,000 contribution to the city.