Shatner and West: Alexander and Cleander?

You have to read this one from the LA Times … here’s the incipit (we’ll ignore the toga mention):

Capt. Kirk and Bruce Wayne together – and in togas?

Yes, before they took on their iconic roles on “Star Trek” and “Batman,” actors William Shatner and Adam West worked together on a buddy project called “Alexander the Great” that never aired – maybe no show was big enough to hold those outsized on-screen personas.

“It was so long ago,” Shatner said of the fizzled project, which started life as a 1964 television pilot but was shelved before it reached the air. “It was great fun to make. It was a pilot that was monumental for ABC just before I went and did ‘Star Trek.’ And I was deeply, deeply, horrendously disappointed when this series didn’t sell and then the following year or so I started work on ‘Star Trek.’”

The pilot depicted the Battle of Issus with a then-unknown Shatner as Alexander leading his Macedonian army in triumph and less-than-famous West as his compatriot, Cleander, who enjoyed a good party as much as a good fight.

“Bill was a very good Alexander and as the general Cleander I was the wine, women and song, Errol Flynn kind of guy,” West said. “However, just between us, it turned out to be one of the worst scripts I have ever read and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever done. We had wonderful people involved like John Cassavetes and Joseph Cotten and Simon Oakland in the cast.”

Shatner said he had high hopes that the show would find an audience for its spirit of adventure – it was made just eight years after Richard Burton’s big-screen turn in writer-director-producer Robert Rossen’s “Alexander the Great” – but it was destined to occupy a far different place in pop culture.

“Every piece of entertainment is made with the idea that it will be terrific but then it hits the public and then that’s when you find out if it’s really good or not,” said Shatner, whose current pursuits include the just-premiered documentary “The Captains,” an upcoming album called “Seeking Major Tom” and an October book titled “The Shatner Rules.”

“Alexander the Great” did make a comeback of sorts – it was aired as a television movie in 1968 to capitalize on the surge in fame by both Shatner and West, who was a sensation as the star of the campy “Batman” series that aired from January 1966 to March 1968.

… the article goes on a bit, but more importantly, contains some clips which appear to be the movie version (?) …

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