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Created byWilliam Shatner
Original workTekWar
Print publications
Films and television
Television seriesTekWar
Video game(s)William Shatner's TekWar

TekWar is a series of science fiction novels created by Canadian actor William Shatner and ghost-written by American writer Ron Goulart,[1] published by Putnam beginning in October 1989. The novels gave rise to a comic book series, video game, and later TV movies and a series, both of the latter featuring Shatner.


The 22nd century universe is centered on "Tek"—an illegal, addictive, mind-altering digital drug in the form of a microchip.[2][3] The drug creates a simulated reality (and in the films and TV series taps into "the matrix" hyperspace). In the later novels, a new version called "SuperTek" has improved efficiency, is less likely to cause brain damage in users, and features a shared reality, similar to the TV version's "matrix". The protagonist, Jake Cardigan, is a former police officer framed for dealing the drug four years prior to the start of the first novel. Having been sentenced to 15 years' cryo-imprisonment, his release is brought forward by Walt Bascom, the head of private investigation agency Cosmos, who has uncovered the framed charges and exonerates him. In return Bascom wishes to employ him as an expert in a series of Tek-related crimes, mostly in Greater Los Angeles, referred to as "GLA". In the first few novels Cardigan is portrayed as a recovering Tek-user with several lapses, but this aspect diminishes as the novels progress - it is implied in later novels that to break the addiction for even a light user is impossible.

Partnered with the good-natured and charismatic Mexican Sid Gomez, the two make up a good cop/bad cop partnership with Cardigan's past continually being brought up as a foil for his new career - most honest people he meets distrust him, and most dishonest people attempt to kill him for perceived slights in the drug trade. However, the two prove an effective team and stay a core duo throughout the series, with input from a comprehensive list of informants, employees of both Cosmos, other detective agencies and Cardigan's son Dan and his girlfriend Molly - both of whom are enrolled in the GLA police academy and as such have access through their own informant to police files.

The 22nd century is populated with artificial intelligence such as integrated computer systems and "andies" which range from obvious metal robots to highly sophisticated simulacra, some of which are accurate enough to deceive an observer into thinking they are human.

Each novel covers a specific case, all are Tek-related, but most include sub-plots which involve non-Tek issues and travel out of the GLA, occasionally to other countries or as far as orbiting satellites. A shadowy government agency known as OCO - the Office of Clandestine Operations - is a frequent antagonist in the novels, albeit usually keeping to the background and supporting the particular novel's villain.


Shatner began to write notes that would become the novels on the set of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and has been quoted as saying that the original book was an attempt to blend elements from Star Trek and T. J. Hooker.[4][5][6]


  1. TekWar (1989) ISBN 0-399-13495-6
  2. TekLords (1991) ISBN 0-399-13616-9
  3. TekLab (1991) ISBN 0-399-13736-X
  4. Tek Vengeance (1993) ISBN 0-399-13788-2
  5. Tek Secret (1993) ISBN 0-399-13892-7
  6. Tek Power (1994) ISBN 0-399-13997-4
  7. Tek Money (1995) ISBN 0-399-14109-X
  8. Tek Kill (1996) ISBN 0-399-14202-9
  9. Tek Net (1997) ISBN 0-399-14339-4

Comic book series[edit]

In 1992, Tekwar was adapted in to a comic book series.

A new Tekwar comic book adaptation, entitled The Tek War Chronicles, by Shatner and comic book writer Scott Davis with art by Erich Owen and colors by Michelle Davies, was released by Bluewater Productions on June 24, 2009.[7] As of 2010, Tek War Chronicles is available digitally exclusively through Devil's Due Digital.

Trading cards[edit]

Trading cards with comic book artwork were published by Cardz in 1993.[8][9]

Television films and series[edit]

The TekWar novels became a television franchise with TV films in 1994, then a series.

TV movies
Title[10] Original airdate Runtime
TekWar January 17, 1994 97 minutes
TekLords February 20, 1994 96 minutes
TekWar: TekLab February 27, 1994 105 minutes
TekWar: TekJustice May 14, 1994 100 minutes

The first three were adaptations of the books, while TekJustice was an original movie.[11]

TekWar TV series
Episode no. Episode title Original airdate
1 "Sellout" December 22, 1994
2 "Unknown Soldier" December 29, 1994
3 "Tek Posse" January 5, 1995
4 "Promises to Keep" January 12, 1995
5 "Stay of Execution" January 19, 1995
6 "Alter Ego" March 2, 1995
7 "Killer Instinct" March 9, 1995
8 "Chill Factor" March 30, 1995
9 "Deadline" April 6, 1995
10 "Carlotta's Room" April 13, 1995
11 "Deep Cover" June 10, 1995
12 "Cyberhunt" June 17, 1995
13 "Zero Tolerance" June 24, 1995
14 "Forget Me Not" July 1, 1995
15 "The Gate" January 20, 1996
16 "Skin Deep" January 27, 1996
17 "Redemption" February 2, 1996
18 "Betrayal" February 19, 1996

Adult animated adaptation[edit]

An adult animated adaptation/reboot of TekWar was announced in September 2021. The project will be developed and written by Matt Michnovetz and produced by Pure Imagination Studios with Shatner's Shatner Universe.[12]

Video game[edit]

Tekwar was also made into a 1995 computer game by Capstone Software using the Build engine.


  1. ^ Shatner, William; Fisher, David. (2008). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. Thomas Dunne. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-312-37265-1.
  2. ^ "Chemicals, Drugs & Potions > Tek (TekWar)". Tv Acres. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  3. ^ "Tek Headz". Net.saipan.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  4. ^ [1] Archived June 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "www.retrovisionmag.com". www.retrovisionmag.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  6. ^ "Tekheadz". Net.saipan.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  7. ^ ""Tekwar Chronicles" Hits Stores This Week". Sliceofscifi.com. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  8. ^ "LEE SULLIVAN ART comics". Leesullivanart.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  9. ^ "William Shatner's Tek World Trading Cards". Shatner-store.stores.yahoo.net. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  10. ^ Benson, Jim (January 20, 1994). "'Action' packs wallop, gives markets a boost". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Garcia, Frank; Phillips, Mark (March 28, 2012). Science Fiction Television Series, 1990–2004: Histories, Casts and Credits for 58 Shows. McFarland. p. 326. ISBN 9780786491834. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (September 28, 2021). "William Shatner's 'TekWar' In Works As Adult Animated Series With Pure Imagination Studios". Deadline Hollywood.