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Star Trek Cast Never Got Residuals For Reruns Of The Original Series

It would be logical to think the cast of the original Star Trek series make some money every time an episode airs on TV, but that's apparently not the case.

William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, recently revealed on IGN's Transporter Room 3 podcast (via The Hollywood Reporter) that neither he nor anyone else who acted on the series ever saw a dime from reruns because Hollywood had yet to set up a system for residuals.

"The series Star Trek that I was in, was so early on, there were no residuals," he said. "So none of us ever have received residuals."

Shatner pointed out that changes to the industry, which pays actors when their shows air in reruns, didn't come until after Star Trek went off the air in 1969. "That came into being about three years later," he said.

While the series only lasted three years, it spawned an entire subculture of fans and a multimedia franchise that stretched into an animated show and movie series, beginning with 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Shatner reprised the role of Kirk along Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Bones, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Sulu, Walter Koenig as Chekov, and James Doohan and Scotty in six films, and he also appeared opposite Star Trek: The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart in the 1994 crossover movie Star Trek: Generations.

"I've worked gainfully all these years," Shatner said, not complaining about the lack of residuals. "I'm really grateful for [Star Trek]. It's affected my life incredibly."

However, we probably shouldn't expect to see him back as an alternate version of Kirk in the rebooted film series.