TrekMovie LiveTweet Watch Party: Star Trek: The Motion Picture 7PM (Pacific) Sunday |
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TrekMovie LiveTweet Watch Party: Star Trek: The Motion Picture 7PM (Pacific) Sunday March 6, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Editorial,Feature Films (TMP-NEM), , trackback

This afternoon I got into a twitter debate with Free Enterprise director Robert Meyer Burnett over the virtues of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first Trek feature from 1979. We have decided to live tweet-watching the film starting at 7PM pacific. You can follow along below.


TrekMovie live tweet of Star Trek The Motion Picture

I will be live-tweeting while watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture this evening, starting at 7PM Pacific. I will be discussing and debating with Free Enterprise director Robert Meyer Burnett, who contends TMP is the best Trek feature, where rank it somewhere in the middle of of the Trek films. This is a last minute thing so I am just throwing this up quickly, but it looks like Star Trek Enterprise writer/producer Mike Sussman will also be joining us. You can follow along with the #tmptweet Twitter hashtag below (which will include our tweets and others who decide to join in). 

We will be using the 2001 Director’s Cut DVD and we will start the movie at 7Pm (Pacific) sharp (including watching the "overture"). You can follow along here:

UPDATE: Event over + maybe do Khan next
This was a fun event. Lots of folks join Rob Burnett, Mike Sussman and myself as we tweeted our way through TMP. You can read a transcript of the running commentary below. As noted, this was a last minute thing, but now thinking about doing it again for the other movies.



1. Markus McLaughlin - March 6, 2011

What a great idea! Please live tweet the films in order up to Star Trek XI! :D

2. MJ - March 6, 2011

Ah, The Motion Sickness — a great sf film and a bad Trek film.

3. bill hiro - March 6, 2011

Hooray for Robert Burnett!

4. davidfuchs - March 6, 2011

@2 Oh, it’s a bad sci-fi film too, but hardly dreck. Rather just what happens when someone makes 2001 A Space Odyssey a decade after 2001. First it’s iconic, then it’s just slow and plodding :P

5. Buzz Cagney - March 6, 2011

Whats going on with Free Enterprise2?

6. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - March 6, 2011

Just twittered for Tmp. That was a lot of fun. Next week. Lets get together for Star Trek 2 the Wrath of KHANNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!

7. Tiberius III - March 6, 2011

I’m in Mike!

8. jorDe' - March 6, 2011

Good lines.

9. MJ - March 6, 2011

@6. Yes, this was a blast.

10. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - March 6, 2011

We should do this every week for all of the trek Movies

11. Tiberius III - March 6, 2011

And then the TOS eps.

12. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - March 6, 2011

I just watched TMP last night, and it’s a lot better than I remember it being. The first time I saw it I thought V’Ger was a pretty lame idea, but I’m really starting to like it now. But will someone please tell me why the V’Ger/Ilia probe is not wearing pants throughout the second half of the movie?

13. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - March 6, 2011

if you do TWOK, everybody tweet “KHAAAAAAAAAAN!” simultaniously when Kirk screams it.

14. Buzz Cagney - March 6, 2011

#12 they constrict her hard-drive.

15. RobertZ - March 6, 2011

My favorite STAR TREK Movie!

But I’m twitless….”as in frightened out of captain sir….”

To all…ENJOY!

16. Dunsel Report - March 6, 2011

It’s interesting, though not referred to in the script, that Decker is the son of another Decker who merged (in a less happy way) with a machine.

17. Charlie - March 7, 2011

#12: You don’t like the “fresh out of the shower” look? I really like Ilia’s gams!!!

18. Basement Blogger - March 7, 2011

I love the Enterprise in dry dock scene. Yes, it’s five minutes long and has been maligned by others but it still gives me goose bumps. Jerry Goldsmith’s majestic music is absolutely magnificent. And get this. If you listen to the commentary on Star Trek (2009), J.J. Abrams says when he pans over the Enterprise for the first time, it was a homage to the first movie. Now for the next movie, let’s have a close-up of letters “The United Federation of Planets” and I’ll start to cry. :-)

19. Dunsel Report - March 7, 2011

The Trek 2009 Enterprise flyby is a tearjerker for me even more than in TMP.
“Jim, you gotta look at this…” The Spielberg-like glow from outside. Then the shot of the space station right out of the Franz Josef Technical Manual. So amazing.

20. captain_neill - March 7, 2011


The flyby in the new movie is a nice homage but the build up and Jerry Goldsmith’s music is still my preferred one.

I know some people call it boring and say get on with it already but I think it’s a great cinematic moment as you see the Enterprise on the big screen for the first time.

And no offence to the new movie’s designers but I did not think that the new Enterprise had the same beauty as the refit of the original did in this movie.

TMP is one of those movies that as a kid you find boring but as you get older you really get to love that film a lot more, and a film to appreciate as something unigque to Star Trek and something akin to 2001.

The Motion Picture also has one of my favourite scores and the visuals of the V’Ger are awe inspiring and beautiful.

I think the first and last movies are so oppositie from one another. The first one is considered too slow pace and the latest movie is the complete opposite as it’s so fast paced. Interestign that I find.

I guess this means I don’t think that new audience Abrmas brought will likely not like TMP. Which is a shame because I think there is some cool stuff in the movie, even if it is a bit slow in places.

21. Basement Blogger - March 7, 2011

@ 20 Captain Neill

I certainly hope that new Trekkers who came aboard after the last movie, will discover the original series, and all the Star Trek’s iterations. And I hope they discover what Leonard Nimoy said about the show in the 1973 convention story. Star Trek was entertainment, provocative and uplifiting.

22. Christopher Roberts - March 7, 2011

I’d love to take part. I’ve seen TMP more times than I care to remember. But I’m slightly out of phase with your space-time continuum.


It’ll be about 3am in my timezone.

23. wowseruk - March 7, 2011

It looks like you guys had a hoot! I’ll try my best to join in for any future events… I’m almost certain this is the reason why Twitter was created!

24. A.Dvorak - March 7, 2011

Ugh, the God awful TMP. Thank heavens they made Khan next and not followed along the same lines as the dreck of the first film.

25. captain_neill - March 7, 2011

Are you in the UK as well?

26. Christopher Roberts - March 7, 2011

Oooh Ahhh (looks at twitterfeed)

It happened already.

Blimey. That was short notice.

Hope you all enjoyed it. I was a sleep.

27. Christopher Roberts - March 7, 2011

25. Yep.

28. Tanner Waterbury - March 7, 2011

Hey, just out of random curiosity, does anyone else here use the TMP DE Commentary as a sleep aid? I swear when I hear Robert Wise’s voice on the commentary, it reminds me alot like my grandfather reading me a story before bed. I just doze right off hearing his voice, creepy huh?

29. captain_neill - March 7, 2011


The disadvantage of being across the water.

30. ensign joe - March 7, 2011

Agh! Missed it!

31. Damian - March 7, 2011

Star Trek: The Motion Picture has always been my favority Star Trek film. Great special effects, great music and it was the ultimate exploration of new life in Star Trek.

Some people complain about the plodding pace of the fly around of the Enterprise, but don’t forget, this was the first time the refit Enterprise was ever seen, so I think they wanted to give the fans some time to focus on that.

I thought it was a great film and love watching it. At the same time, it was one of a kind and I was glad for the change of pace for Star Trek II. After all you can’t do the same thing over and over again.

32. captain_neill - March 7, 2011


It also still has one of the best film scores ever in my opinion.

The Cloud is still a beautiful piece from Jerry Goldsmith.

33. Captain Hackett - March 7, 2011

I love this movie very much although it got the worst Vulcan nerve pinch that I had ever seen.

34. "Check the Circuit!" - March 7, 2011

There is an epic quality to TMP that no other ST film came close to surpassing. And the 2001 Director’s Cut improved on the original…IMHO.

Could still have been trimmed by 20-30 minutes. I remember seeing it in a theater a couple of times the first day it came out. The audience cheered during the opening credits and anytime an original cast member appeared on screen for the first time. And we howled with laughter at Kirk’s “thataway” comment to close the film. BUT…about a week later, I saw it again with a “normal” audience. And I remember noticing how I could hear people shifting in their seats during the Enterprise and V’Ger flybys….with what I realized was impatience or boredom. That’s when my fanboy-love started to lose it’s luster for TMP.

Still, I have to rate it in the Top 5 for shear ambition and epic scope.

35. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - March 7, 2011

Ready for Star Trek 2 The Wrath of KHANNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

36. MJ - March 7, 2011

@20. The Motion Sickness still holds a place in my heart as the first Trek movie, and it does have some very cool sequences and parts to it. But the pace of the movie is painfully slow and the Trek characters for much of the movie are joyless to watch.

37. MJ - March 7, 2011

@20 “I guess this means I don’t think that new audience Abrmas brought will likely not like TMP. Which is a shame because I think there is some cool stuff in the movie, even if it is a bit slow in places.”

I completely disagree. People today still like good movies, regardless of pacing or length. Look at the length and pacing of the LOTR films for example.

Unfortunately, Wise botched making TMP into one of the great Trek films, and that, combined with the lack of sentimentality that us old farts have for TMP, is why new Trek fans will not likely like it.

It is a decent hard-sf movie though.

38. Zotz - March 7, 2011

ST:TMP still ranks as my favorite ST film, despite the changes in story, characterization, and action that would mark the later films (and believe me, I can’t watch ST:TWOK enough times).

Even when viewed today, TMP generates a sci-fi sense of awe and wonder about futuristic space travel which is rarely matched by the sequels. The relatively slow pacing supports the grandness and formality which makes the film unique. Many cite the opening Klingon battle, the Enterprise fly-around, and V’ger flyover (with Goldsmith’s score conveying the vastness) as favorite scenes, but the movie is so much more. The look and feel of Engineering, with its pulsating vibe, swirling plasma, and long conduits down the spine of the secondary hull, has never been equaled.

Those who haven’t seen the ST:TMP Director’s Edition should do so. It is the definitive version, IMO.

39. Christopher Roberts - March 7, 2011

33. It’s slow-mo turn of the guy, that’s the problem. He looks like he’s just been inappropriately touched or something! :p

We’re so used to seeing an actor ‘spasm’ or contort their face in surprise, in reaction to the pinch and then collapse unconscious.

40. Damian - March 7, 2011

38–Agree about the Directors Cut. Robert Wise definitly cleaned things up a bit and changed the pacing a bit.

As an aside, I wish Paramount had given William Shatner his million dollars to redo the special effects for Star Trek V. I wonder if better special effects would have helped people warm to the movie a little more. I still loved it as much as I love any Star Trek (esp the character moments and music score), but it was my least favorite of the films. Improved special effects could go a long way to at least making the film look better.

41. TJ Trek - March 7, 2011

Putting in my 2-cents, I really, really liked TMP because it presented such an awesome epic mystery on a grand sci-fi scale. I hated it, because it included the crew of the enterprise. This is not because I hate the crew of the enterprise, but because they were superfluous to the movie. they were UNNECESSARY!!! Spock was the only character that actually had an arc that mattered. Sure Kirk had to go through dealing with his “get back into the captains chair” issues, but that was really a bad attempt to give Shatner….Something….anything, to work with. I would love to take the entire V’ger Idea and play it out with a completely original set of characters. maybe just one guy, like in SOLARIS. That would be cool. anyways….that’s my 2-cents.

42. Captain Braxton - March 7, 2011

TMP: still better than trek 09.

except for the totally useless scene with the wormhole which added nothing at all to the plot.

43. Majicou - March 7, 2011

Much as I love TWOK, I also love TMP despite its flaws. I really want Star Trek to take on more “big-idea science fiction” in the future, but I worry that I hope in vain after the way TMP polarized the audience.

44. SoonerDave - March 7, 2011

@40 Damian, I don’t think Trek V would have been helped that much by better effects. They were still trapdoored into an impossible story. I will grant without hesitation that the effects were the worst of any of the movies, and I can’t fathom why Paramount wouldn’t approve the extra $$ in the budget to have them done right before the film was released.

BTW, I posted during the chat last night as “DavidW” and made several comments negative toward TMP, but I thought it was important to point out that I’m not a TMP hater at all. The scale and grandness of that movie is inescapable, even if the movie was flawed. I would have preferred a story that allowed us to enjoy the reunion of the characters more, and also about 40% less blue and gray in the Enterprise’s interiors and uniforms….

And I like the notion that the “machine planet” that rebuilt V’ger was actually the Borg homeworld!

45. SoonerDave - March 7, 2011

@42 Re; “wormhole”

I’d disagree that the wormhole scene was pointless. It was specifically used as a device to demonstrate Kirk’s lack of experience with the redesigned Enterprise’s phaser cut-off due to the antimatter imbalance.

The novelization went into this in much greater detail. It talked about how Kirk had seen this cutoff idea midway through the Enterprise redesign plans, and vehemently opposed it. He assumed that his name and his experience would carry enough weight to ensure that the proposal was nixed. So he never followed up, and assumed it was implemented.

46. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - March 7, 2011


you just made my day.


obviously you’re a guy. do you enjoy her baldness too?

47. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - March 7, 2011


you put too many N’s and too little A’s in there, Commodore, sir.

48. trekboi - March 7, 2011

it’s my favorite as you get time to get comfortable immersed in the trek universe

49. Christopher Roberts - March 7, 2011

48. That’s a very good point actually. Trek immersion. So many scenes are dependant on SFX. Imagine if it was in 3-D or virtual reality.

50. MJ - March 7, 2011

@42 Re; “wormhole”

The wormhole scene was one of the best parts of the Trek becuase it finally tied up for the audience how in real physics warp drive could work. I love the wormhole scene!

51. DianaTiger - March 7, 2011

When will you be watching ST:2?

52. Ro Lando - March 7, 2011

TMP: Best SF soundtrack/score…..EVER. I put on “Overture/ Ilia’s Theme” at night to calm my baby down

53. Sebastian - March 7, 2011

I look forward to a “Free Enterprise 2″ as much, if not just a little more than the next ST movie. It’ll be like seeing old friends you haven’t seen in a long while.

Also am hoping it FE2 will have the same cast we fell in love with the first time. I know that Rafer Wiegel is a sportscaster on CNN now. Whenever I see his sportscast, all I can think is:

“Logan’s Run a sports movie?? Dude, Rollerball is a sports movie!” ;-P

As for twittering during a movie?
Not my thing; I’d rather give it my full attention, thanks (unless it’s just a sports’ movie… hee hee).

54. keachick - March 8, 2011

How can someone have motion sickness from a movie that many people refer to as – Star Trek – the Motionless Picture?

I don’t mind the movie at all. My teenage sons really enjoy it, despite the fact that we have an old videotape which was recorded off BBC television in England by a cousin in the late 80s. The quality is not the best.

The music is superb. It should have won the Academy Award. I thought it did. I was quite disheartened when I found out that the score did not win, just got nominated. Funny thing, it is probably music that many people will be familiar with, because it became the theme music to TNG. I doubt, though, that anyone remembers which original score won the Academy award that year.

For me, the best film music ever would have to be Howard Shore’s music for the LOTR movies. Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Just so gorgeous.

55. captain_neill - March 8, 2011


Just like Scotty trapped in a water pipe ading nothing to Star Trek XI.


Yes the music for TMP should have won the Oscar. Jerry Goldsmith did music to loads of great movies but he only ever won one Oscar where he should have got more.

TMP is a different kind of film from the rest but I do think it had an interesting story, I loved the story of V’Ger.

Also the film was rushed into production before the ending was realised to gurantee it’s readiness for it’s release date. In fact the Enterprise rushed out of Spacedock kind of parallels that.

56. trekprincess - March 8, 2011

well Captain Neill that’s your opinion I thought the humour in Star Trek 09 worked well for me in my opinion off course guess I am easily amused

57. SoonerDave (formerly Author of "The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers") - March 8, 2011

@54 – The “rush to production” was more than just a creative issue, it was a studio issue. Paramount had forced distributors to engage in what I think was called a “blind bid” for rights to Star Trek, and Trek had been *guaranteed* by the studio for a day-and-date release (12-7-79). As it was becoming apparent the production was troubled, there were increasing rumors that the film would not be ready on time. That precipitated rumors of lawsuits around the blind bid process, and Paramount was supposedly scared to death of the prospect of such lawsuits. That led to Paramount forcing Wise’s hand to get the “wet prints” out the door and to the premiere on time as promised…

58. Damian - March 8, 2011

55–Agree about Goldsmith. To me he ranked up there with Bernard Hermann (who scored a lot of Hitchcocks 50’s and early 60’s films). You could always tell when he scored a movie, yet he did a wide variety of music. I loved his scores for all the Star Trek films he worked on (many critics felt the music was one redeeming thing about Star Trek V), Alien, Planet of the Apes (another great score), Poltergeist and Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Twilight Zone: The Movie, even the music he did for the Disney movie, Mulan, was top notch.

I never cared for the Academy awards. My favorite director of all time, Alfred Hitchcock, only won one for best movie, Rebecca. He never won for best director, despite putting out classics like Rear Window, Psycho, The Birds, Notorious, Saboteur, North by Northwest, etc, etc. Awards that do not respect great movies like those do not get much of my attention.

59. Basement Blog - March 8, 2011

I liked Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s intelligent. It feels like Star Trek. It’s weaknesses are that it is a little like “The Changeling” and if you’ve seen that show, you have probably guessed what V’ger was by looking at the production stills. ST: TMP wasnt executed well. Too many first person shots traveling through V’Ger. The film needed more scenes of the danger to Enterprise to heighten the tension. Still, this movie launched the franchise from TV oblivion. Eleven films. Four more television series.

It’s interesting that comic Harry Plinkett of Red Letter Media calls ST: TMP his favorite in his reviewo of Star Trek (2009) He says it’s a “big movie version of the sixties TV show… the perfect Star Trek film.” (1:20 Part One of review; link below) I see his point.

60. captain_neill - March 8, 2011


I know it’s my opinion, I am not citing gospel. Just pointing out that for me that scene got less funny the more I watched it.

Why must you assume that because I have some gripes you assume I hate the movie.

61. captain_neill - March 8, 2011


To me the Academy Awards is a bit stuck up its own ass at times.

62. Robert Bernardo - March 8, 2011

Shouldn’t there also be a Tweet Fest when the S.T. movies are shown later this month at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood?

63. Robert Bernardo - March 8, 2011

Shouldn’t there also be a Tweet Fest when the S.T. movies are shown at the Egyptian Theatre later this month?

64. Gene L Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - March 8, 2011

61 Given the predilection of many of those in Hollywood, you are more accurate than you know.

By the way, “as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.” is one of the all time classic Spockisms.

65. Dr. Image - March 8, 2011

TMP is a timeless classic. Flawed, perhaps, but so is Blade Runner.
The DC needs a hi-def treatment. Daren, you out there? Paramount??
(Put that second “viewer off” back in!! Not to mention, “the new shields held.”)

66. Christopher Roberts - March 8, 2011

An NX-01 on the rec dec, for me in the Blu-ray Director’s Edit.

(Ducks for cover)

67. Melonpool - March 8, 2011

I wish I had seen this while it was going on. I’ve been working on a parody of this film for the last year and have probably watched it 30 times during the writing process. Oh well!

68. Basement Blogger - March 8, 2011

There was one of the great Dr. McCoy lines from this movie. In one line he shows you of the themes of Star Trek, tolerance.

Captain Kirk: Bones, there’s a… thing… out there.
Commander Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, M.D.: Why is any object we don’t understand always called “a thing”?

Cantankerous. Funny. All Dr. McCoy. And my request to Bad Robot again, is more Dr. McCoy for the next movie.

69. Tiberius III - March 8, 2011

To 64: I agree with you completely, however I think Sulu’s phrase was “the new SCREENS held.”

70. Tiberius III - March 8, 2011

Sorry, I meant 65

71. MJ - March 8, 2011

@65. Blade Runner is flawed??? Blade Runner is nearly perfect and is one of the Top 2 or 3 sf films every made. TMP couldn’t hold Blade Runner’s jock strap! :-)

72. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - March 8, 2011

Does anybody else think this entire movie is just a 2-hour long rip-off of “The Changeling” from TOS?

73. captain_neill - March 9, 2011


Which version of Blade Runner are you referring to?

Blade Runner is one of my favourite films.

74. Mark Lynch - March 9, 2011

I love both ST: TMP (more so since the DE) and Blade Runner. Both have their own flaws, but they are both grand epic films never the less.

We need those extra DE scenes re-rendered in 1080p so we can have a blu-ray edition of ST: TMP DE. How many years are we going to have to wait for this? I don’t have that long you know… :)

75. Anthony Thompson - March 9, 2011

Can you post the transcript you promised please?

76. MJ - March 9, 2011

@75. Huh? You looking to take this this to court or something?

77. MJ - March 9, 2011

@74. Blade Runner is consistently in the Top 5 on greatest sf movies of all time listings, and TMP never makes any of these lists that I have seen. In terms of impartial ratings, IMDB users rate Blade Runner an astoundingly high 8.3, whil TMP comes in at an OK-level rating of 6.2. 2001 BTW, gets an 8.4 rating on IMDB.

TMP brought Trek back for us, and had outstanding music, a cool sf story and some good sequence, but come on, let’s not make it out to be a great classic…it just wasn’t one folks. Remove the sentimentality from the equation of Trek moving to the bid screen, and what you end up with is a pretty cool looking and sounding movie with a half-ass screenplay and largely wooden performances from the actors.

78. Ron Albanese - March 12, 2011

To all those that tweeted – THANKS! I read like every one, and laughed and agreed with most … EXCEPT THAT I LOVE THE UNIFORMS!

Really … there’s some kind of repro slurge in my future, for sure.

As for the film, I love it in spite of itself. Roddenberry really went all out with it, but perhaps too FAR out – and away from what Trek had become loved for by the syndicated ’70s fans.

The serious sci-fi was just one slice of the Trek pie they adored – the comedy, the sometimes hokey-ness, and by God, the COLOR!

I think Shatner does a fine job, though – and ilia is of course HOT, and the sets are dandy. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.