William Shatner as Captain Brandywine Gage in “A Small Beheading.”

Image: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

ABC’s martial arts-Western series Kung Fu, which aired from 1972 through 1975, was one of the most popular and acclaimed television shows of its time.

The series starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Chinese-American orphan who trains as a Shaolin monk before committing a murder and fleeing to the American west. The show followed Caine’s adventures as he searched for his long-lost relatives and used his martial arts training to fight for justice along the way.

Caine’s itinerant lifestyle brings him into contact with new characters and guest stars throughout the series. In the third season episode “A Small Beheading,” he meets a grizzled sea captain played by an actor who’d previously played a space captain: William Shatner. Read more…

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That time William Shatner played a sleazy sea captain in ‘Kung Fu’