The Original Star Trek Cast Never Got Paid Residuals

Credit: NBC

The fact that Star Trek is one of the biggest and best known sci-fi franchises in the world is really nothing short of a miracle when you consider it. Especially considering how progressive it was for the time that it aired in.

Part of the reason for the logevity does come down to the fact it was syndicated and reran a lot.

As series star William Shatner said in a recent interview IGN, however, had it been aired a few years laters, then the cast would have gotten paid for all those reruns.

That’s right. None of the cast of the original run of Star Trek received residuals from syndication. Actors are paid residuals for when previous episodes of their shows are aired.

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

They missed the shot by about three years, according to Shatner. No one really expected the longevity of the show, even the sets for the movies were always burned.

“Every movie we made subsequent, even Star Trek I, they burned the sets. There was no reason to store them, because there was never going to be another movie.”

Considering how franchised everything has become, I gotta admit that made me cringe a little bit. The original Star Trek cast had six full movies.

As for lack of residuals for all those reruns? Well Shatner, at least, isn’t angry about it.

“I’ve worked gainfully all these years. I’m really grateful for it. It’s affected my life incredibly.”

The original series can be streamed on and Netflix. Reruns of it air time to time on BBC America.

Bec Heim