According to Charles Tremayne, executive VP of programming for Cineflix programming, when the idea for their new series Weird or What came up in a bar, it was pretty easy to see that there was only one man who could host a show dealing with science and weird things.
That man was sitting him next to him at a press conference during the first day of MIPTV in Cannes. William Shatner is host and executive producer on Weird or What, the 10-episode series which will see Shatner taking what he calls a ‘jaunty’ approach to mysterious stories while figuring out the scientific reasons behind anomalies such as why running shoes with human feet inside them were washing up en masse on a Vancouver shore, or how a 15-year-old boy managed to lift a car off of his uncle, and why cows all around the world seem to be facing the same direction at the same time.
When realscreen asked Shatner why he seems to be moving further and further into non-fiction programming – with How William Shatner Changed the World, William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet and new documentaries in development through his own production company Melis Productions – the actor best known as Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk said he has a desire to know more about the world around him. He cited the work of the National Film Board of Canada and Robert J. Flaherty (Nanook of the North) as inspirations and said he feels that there is a drama that lies within reality that he would like to be a part of.
As for Weird or What, Tremayne says each story tackled by the program must have at least three different theories around it which can be explored. The series is currently sold to Discovery Channel U.S. and History Television in Canada, and Cineflix and Shatner are in Cannes taking meetings with international channels trying to find the right home for it in other territories.