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William Shatner looking forward to seeing 'Next Generation' cast in Toronto

TORONTO - William Shatner is not just an actor — he's working on a reality TV series, taking his one-man show back on tour in December and is currently busy promoting a "Star Trek" documentary he produced. So how does the 83-year-old relax?

"Up until three weeks ago, horses," Shatner said in a phone interview earlier this month from Los Angeles, referencing an accident that left him temporarily wheelchair-bound.

Shatner has been around horses a long time — he raises them on his ranch in Kentucky and has hosted the Hollywood Charity Horse Show for the past 24 years — but he wasn't exactly sure how the injury happened.

"I got a bruise on the inside and the outside of my leg," said the Montreal native. "How do you do that coming off a horse?"

Despite his injury, Shatner still managed to make it to San Diego's Comic-Con last month, the largest convention of its kind in the U.S. He's recovering rapidly and gearing up for his next sci-fi convention appearance at Fan Expo in Toronto. Not only does he love Toronto, it will give him a chance to get together with some old friends, he said.

"I'm going to meet with the whole cast of 'The Next Generation,'" said Shatner. "I'm very fond of all of them and am looking forward to spending time with them."

Patrick Stewart, known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, is one of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" alumni who will be in town for the convention. "The Next Generation" was one of many TV and film spin-offs of the original series that Shatner starred in as Captain Kirk. That series lasted just three years from 1966 to 1969, then soared to cult status after being syndicated widely in North America and 54 other countries in the 1970s.

"It's the biggest phenomenon in the show business that I know of," said Shatner.

Since the original series, Shatner has worked on seven "Star Trek" films and lent his booming voice to the animated show that ran in the 1970s. He has also co-written a number of "Star Trek" novels.

Using that name recognition to help people is important to him, said Shatner.

"I'm sending a 'Star Trek' doll into space which when it comes back I will auction it off and the money will go to children in need through a charity that I run," he said.

Shatner was trained in Shakespearean theatre, working with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival company in Stratford, Ont., early in his career, with Christopher Plummer and Lorne Greene as contemporaries. He has more than 50 years of experience on-screen, including two Emmy wins for his work on "Boston Legal" and "The Practice."

In addition to his work in theatre, film and TV, Shatner has dabbled in music and has written more than 30 fiction and non-fiction books — including the sci-fi "TekWar" series and a best-selling memoir. His curiosity is what keeps him going, he said.

"That's what I do — I create things and try to get other people to look at them," said Shatner.

More than 30 years after he got his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, he is delving into new TV territory with a reality show on renovating his home, starting in October on the DIY Network.

"I'm renovating myself more than anything else," he said.

Toronto's Fan Expo runs Thursday to Saturday and Shatner will be in attendance the final two days of the convention.

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