Cable T-V’s Spike network has set a date of March 29th to launch its four-night miniseries called “Invasion Iowa,” featuring Star Trek actor William Shatner and a cast of unsuspecting Iowans from the small town of Riverside. The residents thought Shatner and his Hollywood crew were there to shoot an independent sci-fi movie, but they were actually there to see how people would react to over-the-top Californians. Riverside resident Diana Schultz was hired as Shatner’s cue-card holder. Schultz says she’d done some acting and auditioned for a role “just for fun,” to see behind the scenes of a production and to meet Shatner “because I’ve seen a lot of his movies and I’m a Trekkie.” Schultz wasn’t disappointed either. She spent plenty of time with the actor and while some of the crew was a bit strange, all were welcomed to the tiny eastern Iowa town that claims to be the “future birthplace” of Captain James Kirk, the character Shatner played on T-V and in the movies. While some feared the program might portray Iowans as a bunch of bumpkins, Schultz says she had a great time working on the mock project and made many new friends. She says the film crew received a warm reception from the Iowans “and basically the context of the show is to show how goofy Hollywood people are and that’s mainly what the ‘movie’ was showing in the first place.” Schultz says she’s not concerned about appearing to have been duped as she and the rest of the Iowans were just being themselves. To make up for the joke, Schultz says Riverside did get some great fringe benefits.The cast and crew donated 13-thousand dollars to the Riverside Elementary School’s book fund, while Shatner donated 100-thousand dollars to the town itself. Riverside hosts a TrekFest celebration every June, complete with a parade featuring a giant model of Kirk’s starship, “Enterprise,” and people dressing as Klingons, Vulcans and other un-Earthly beings. “Invasion Iowa” will conclude on April Fool’s Day at 9 P-M on Spike, available in 87-million homes nationwide.
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