Invades the Set of Spike-TV's "Invasion Iowa"

Share Article publisher, Herb Kane, sneaks on the set of William Shatner's "Invasion Iowa" - incognito. Shatner later makes a phone call to the Critic Doctor.

When publisher, Herb Kane, was not allowed near the filming of William Shatner's "Invasion Iowa" movie (in September of 2004), he decided to take matters into his own hands. Kane drove to Riverside, Iowa (the self-proclaimed future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, Shatner's character from the original "Star Trek" TV series) and invaded the set of "Invasion Iowa" - incognito.

"The first thing I noticed was the film crew video taping everyone," said Kane. "I asked one gentleman why there were so many cameras filming people and he said they were getting footage for a documentary about the movie. Made sense to me. Boy, was I duped!"

Kane watched Shatner and crew screen dailies to the public (footage from the movie they shot each day) right inside a local eating establishment - Murphy’s Bar & Grill. This confused Kane immediately: "Dailies are normally viewed behind closed doors with filmmakers only. At the time I thought it was strange showing this in a public setting - especially with all the secrecy involved with closed sets."

Kane was also shocked by the movie footage. "My God it was cheesy! I watched the footage and my heart began to sink. I started to feel sorry for William Shatner and for the town's people."

Impressed by the way William Shatner interacted with all the people in Riverside, Kane said, "Shatner appeared to be a good-natured celebrity who was more concerned about having fun with people than concentrating on the seriousness of movie making.”

When Kane would later find out that Shatner’s "Invasion Iowa" was not a movie and actually a reality TV stunt, he was relieved: "I was so happy for the people of Riverside that they would not end up in some corny, straight to DVD sci-fi flick. It turns out William Shatner is a brilliant and creative man with huge heart."

Negative news reports and recent TV reviews of the show eventually surfaced and accused the show's producers of creating a cruel gag that sets out to hurt people. Kane disagrees: "The 'Invasion Iowa' movie may be a fake, but the personal relationships and bonding between William Shatner, his TV crew and the people of Riverside are genuine. My personal weeklong observation on the set of Spike-TV's 'Invasion Iowa,' and the experiences that would follow, confirmed this. I believe you will see a heartwarming, funny story unfold."

Kane met some new friends of his own in Riverside including Scotty, Carol and Travis Riggan (their son). Scotty played William Shatner's personal assistant in the show. "We've shared a lot of time together and they are very nice people as you will see in the show."

Recently the Riggan's were about to leave on a 3-week vacation and Kane wanted to do something special for them before they left. So he decided to contact William Shatner and see if he would call his house during dinnertime to surprise the Riggans. Shatner agreed. "The Riggans were shocked and delighted!" said Kane. "Shatner called my house as promised and they each took turns speaking with the famous actor. The smiles on their faces made my day."

Invading the set of "Invasion Iowa" is something Kane will cherish forever. "What can I say? "Invasion Iowa' was an experience of a lifetime and it truly touched my life.", a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based site that specializes in reviewing movie critics, will change hats and review what TV critics have to say about "Invasion Iowa." The 5 episode miniseries will begin airing on Spike-TV March 29 thru April 1st (April Fools Day). will provide a huge photo gallery and additional coverage of the show.

Click here to read more on Critic Doctor's "Invasion Iowa" invasion in his three-part column:


Herb Kane

Editor & Publisher

phone: 319-362-6201

cell: 319-270-9965



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