Which 'Star Trek' actor is perfectly cast as the show's alien supreme commander?

By Dan Snierson
April 07, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s only early April, but already we have a good idea who should win the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series category at this year’s Emmy Awards. After a three-and-a-half-season wait, the folks at NBC’s ”3rd Rock From the Sun” will finally unveil the show’s oft-mentioned-but-never-before-seen alien supreme commander — a.k.a. the Big Giant Head — on the show’s season finale, May 25. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing… William Shatner!

In the hour-long episode, the former ”Star Trek” captain visits Earth to check on the progress of the aliens’ mission, only to wind up drinking to excess, trying to pick up chicks (including Jane Curtin’s Mary), and demoting High Commander Dick Solomon (John Lithgow). ”All the writers thought Shatner was going to be this imperious, difficult, larger-than-life guy,” says ”3rd Rock” executive producer Bill Martin. ”But he came in as this nice guy with eyes wide open who was willing to make an absolute ass of himself. He was terrific. We were all staggered.”

The episode will end in a cliffhanger. Hint: TBGH has a hand in the mysterious impregnation of Vicki Dubcek (Jan Hooks) — leaving the door ajar for Slick Willy to return next fall. Raves Martin: ”We’re all slobbering to have him back.”

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