EDITORIAL: Star Trek V at 25 | TrekMovie.com
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EDITORIAL: Star Trek V at 25 June 9, 2014

by Steve Vivona , Filed under: Editorial,Feature Films (TMP-NEM),TrekMovie.com , trackback


Let’s get something straight right off the bat: Star Trek V is a hot mess. Released 25 years ago today, my anticipation for it could not have been greater. By 1989, I was fully immersed in Trekdom, consuming all there was to consume: comics, novels, cards, making-of books, and of course, the actual movies and TV episodes.

Have your eggs and tomatoes handy because I’m here to say that Trek V isn’t all bad. Yes, it is far and away the weakest of all the Trek films. I think we can all agree on that. What I am here to say is that despite its flaws (which are legion) there are virtues, and I am guilty of watching The Final Frontier numerous times simply because it stars my beloved Original Cast.

Trek V was a gross miscalculation on almost every level. Trek IV was funny and hugely successful so the mandate was to bring the funny again. Some of the humor works. Some of it is simply juvenile. Going after God. Really? Haven’t we done the Supreme Being thing already guys? God never works. The non-ILM special effects are from hunger and always take me out of the story.

Then there’s the script. I know I recently accused The Undiscovered Country of numerous plot holes and contrivances, but Trek V is littered with them.

In order for the Enterprise to be successfully hijacked all the necessary elements are front-loaded into the story from the get-go: a poorly designed vessel with numerous flaws, a skeleton crew and no experienced commanders in the quadrant. As Jim Kirk sneers to Admiral Bob, “Oh please.” Let’s throw in some transporter malfunctions to ramp up the tension and give Bill Shatner an excuse to ride a horse. Spock has a half-brother? Gene was really pissed about that one.

And just how skeleton is this skeleton crew? St. John Talbot notes that they will bring up the rest of Sybok’s followers once they reach the Enterprise…which immediately warps out of orbit to avoid the Klingons. So the entire complement of the Galileo is enough to overpower the crew? I suppose Sybok is helping the situation by brainwashing the Enterprise crew into joining him one officer at a time. And just what the heck is Sybok doing to them?

The Klingons: would Klaa really bow to Korrd – a put out to pasture disgrace? Shouldn’t Korrd have committed ritual suicide before accepting such a humiliating assignment? In what universe could the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulans put aside their differences to develop a colony in peace and harmony? Obviously it didn’t work out, but the mere premise is ridiculous.

I could go on, but I did promise the film had its virtues, and it does. Was I massively let down by Trek V? I was. I loved TOS and had yet to accept TNG (eventually but not yet). I also knew that the original crew’s days were numbered, and the failure of this film might signify their swan song. And here I was only five years into true fandom.

However, in its own clunky way it captures the heart and soul of Trek, despite its numerous shortcomings. What I truly love about this film, and what I think it nails above all other TOS films, is the wonderful dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.


Trek II hinted at it, but for obvious reasons it was absent from Trek III, and Trek IV focused more on the Kirk-Spock relationship. Here we have our three leads interacting, bickering and working in concert in a way they hadn’t since TOS. And for the first time, they try to make sense of what draws them together during the campfire scene, one of my favorites in the film series.

I love the fact that Bill Shatner wanted to explore that dynamic and articulate what that bond was all about. It’s a poignant scene punctuated by some classic McCoy exasperation with Spock. By the way, the novel explains Spock’s seeming “marsh melon” boner as a trick played on him by McCoy, something I wish was in the final film.

I also believe that Kirk’s vision of “dying alone” is fulfilled in Star Trek Generations when he dies without his friends present to save him. I know he’s not literally alone when he passes, but the line is prescient, and while I doubt anyone was thinking about a callback to this moment when Generations rolled around it takes on a deeper meaning when we hear Kirk say it now. Although if memory serves, Shatner referenced it either in Ashes of Eden or The Return.

The film carries through on the promise of the campfire scene as the trio works together to wrest control of the ship from Sybok (an excellent Laurence Luckinbill). We all know Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley rightly refused to have their characters betray Kirk, and their refusal to do so only endorses what was said around the campfire. They are each other’s family, pure and simple. One could argue that McCoy’s role in Spock’s resurrection only intensified that relationship, but happily for us Spock still annoyed the hell out of him.

Star Trek V was demolished by a string of blockbusters in the summer of 1989 that included Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Ghostbusters 2, and Lethal Weapon 2. It could ill afford to be inferior to Star Trek IV, the only film which possessed the crossover appeal that put it over the $100 million mark. It’s the last Trek film to be released in the summer until Star Trek in 2009.

It’s a safe bet that all concerned knew they had a turkey on their hands. Bill Shatner blames budgetary constraints, rewrites, the 1988 Writer’s Strike and so on for the film’s failure. I have no doubt Harve Bennett and Ralph Winter knew this was a too-ambitious concept doomed to failure, but they were stuck with Shatner as a storyteller. He exercised the “favored nations” clause in his contract which allowed him parity with whatever Leonard Nimoy received, and I can’t imagine anyone in the cast or crew was thrilled at the prospect.

As I said up top, Trek V is a hot mess, a disappointment in almost every regard, and maybe I’m a bit more charitable than most. The mere opportunity to see the TOS cast in action (even a wasted one) meant a great deal to me (and still does). They’re my guys (and gal). The business with “the holy trinity” might not be enough to save the film, but it anchors it. It gives us something positive to focus on (although I have no doubt there are fans who think even that was handled poorly).

I think Bill meant well, but didn’t have the innate understanding of what makes Trek work. He is an amazing, incredible Captain Kirk, but let’s leave him in the captain’s chair, not the director’s chair.

The teaser poster, which promised far more of a ride than it delivered.

Steve also commemorated the 30th Anniversary of Star Trek III:The Search for Spock, which can be found here.


1. Elias Javalis - June 9, 2014

One of my Favorite Trek Movies! Silly and Fun Space Romp! Also First Star Trek Movie i ve ever saw here in Greece on April 1990!

2. Harry Ballz - June 9, 2014

Star Trek V makes Plan 9 From Outer Space look like friggin’ Citizen Kane!

3. Clay - June 9, 2014

I can’t be the first person to make this joke, but it needs to be repeated: Probably the reason why seat belts were put in theaters were to stop people from walking OUT of Star Trek V. I tease, but crappy as it might be, its the film that hooked a 10 year old me on trek.

4. CrazyJoesPizza - June 9, 2014

“Yes, it is far and away the weakest of all the Trek films. I think we can all agree on that.”

Think a more recent entry might challenge it for the title.

5. SoonerDave - June 9, 2014

Trek V was just awful for all the reasons stated, but there were *pieces and flashes* of good stuff here and there, few and far between though they may be.

The opening sequence – the rock climb, the campfire – really weren’t a bad open at all and could have been used as the presage to any better-constructed movie and given an unprecedented homage to Trek newcomers on how the triad relationship between Kirk-Spock-McCoy made the world work. But the rest of the movie was juussstt…..sooooo……baaad that it just fell apart. And sadder still is that the thing plays fractionally better on TV than it ever did in the theaters, but why Paramount was willing to let this beast go on the screen with the most horrendous, amateurish looking SFX escapes me. I guess they knew it was another odd-numbered Trek loser and throwing a pile more money to fix the FX weren’t going to improve its box office.

For all of Harve Bennett’s subsequent vitriol directed toward the JJ Abrams rebootiverse crew, there’s an odd irony of simply throwing the notion of canon in the space toilet with this whole notion of Spock’s brother, excusing it only because canon never said he *didn’t* have one. The Uhura-Scotty business was just forced and uncomfortable.

The few-and-far moments included the horse/fight scene at the encampment, and maybe even the Big Three’s scenes of personal introspection as Sybok revealed their “inner pains”. I could have done without qutie so much profanity (as it, too, seemed almost forced, and I recall Siskel and Ebert making the same observation).

I’ve seen videos and concept sketches about the famed “Rock Monster” Shatner wanted to do, and he may well believe it would have saved the film, but it wouldn’t have. This was a failed notion from the moment pen hit paper, which is really sad. It absolutely destroyed all the wonderful momentum that had been built by the WOK/SFS/TVH story arc…and to this day, I think Shatner is unapologetic for its failing.


6. TJ Draper - June 9, 2014

I mostly agree with this assessment. Even though many fans call it the worst Star Trek film, I would call it the second worst. The Motion Picture takes my top spot as worst Trek film.

Even so, Trek V has it’s merits as pointed out.

7. Alex Rosenzweig - June 9, 2014

I’m one of those odd birds who likes “Trek V” a lot more than several of the films. To this day, I think that where it really works is on the small screen; it’s a telefilm writ large.

For all its flaws, though, it offers a couple of things that really get to the soul of Trek, and that none of the other films achieve:

1] Its antagonist is something of a tragic antihero, rather than a scenery-chewing black-hat or an amorphous force. Sybok is caught up in obsession, but he’s not really trying to hurt anyone. He just *believes* so strongly in what he’s doing that he’ll do almost anything to achieve his goal.

2] Its the only Trek film to date in which exploration and discovery are central themes, as encapsulated in the exchange between Kirk and Sybok after the ship traverses the Great Barrier. “Because you, too, must know,” is still one of my favorite lines in all the Trek films. ;)

3] There’s also a lot of humanity in the characters in this film. They’re portrayed more as people and less as super heroes than in several of the films, and I think that actually works.

Unfortunately, the editing is so bad that it often just throws the story pacing totally off, and disrupts what’s happening, which detracts from some of what I saw as positives. Also, a 90-day post-production schedule would have been tough on any VFX house, and Ferren & Associates were not experienced in working with miniatures, a fact which shows up a number of times in the film.

So, for me there’s a lot of good to balance out some of the bad in this film, and in the end, its heart goes a lot farther for me than for others.

8. Dlope67 - June 9, 2014

I agree that the campfire scene and the general interactions between kirk, spock and McCoy are the only good thing in the movie.

I recently watched a fan edit that attempted to turn this into a one hour episode of the classic series (more or less) edited down to an hour, with some classic soundeffects and music over dubbed… I thought that could make this story work, but nothing makes this movie work. I appreciate William Shatner’s grievances about the troubles while writing and filming, but this is just plain bad. embarrassingly bad.

9. ados - June 9, 2014

Visual Chloroform….

10. dep1701 - June 9, 2014

Not only the were the SPFX awful, but so were the physical effects. Rocket boots thrusting Spock down to catch Kirk before he hits the ground…really? Also in the same vein, Spock leaves the bottom of the turboshaft to get his gravity boots, then descends ( DESCENDS!!! ) from somewhere ABOVE ( supported by a painfully obvious pole in a butt expanding body cast ) to pick up Kirk and McCoy, who are seen in certain shots to be being lifted by Spock with their feet dangling in mid air. Laws of physics? WHAT laws of physics? These are just a couple of examples of moments that completely destroy any minimal amount of credibility the movie attempted to build up.

The only really good thing about Star Trek V is Jerry Goldsmith’s score. His theme for Kirk’s climb up the mountain ( later heard in more melancholy arrangements during the campfire scene and at the coda ) is simply marvelous.

11. R.E.Moore - June 9, 2014

When I 1st saw it I sooooo disappointed! (high expectations will get U everytime!) The onlt redeeming value was Jerry Goldsmith (That man couldn’t make a “bad” sound-track if he tried) However over the years it has “grown” on me. I watch it everytime it’s on. I blame holes in the story, but I really hold Bran Ferren responsible for the “cheesy” effects (he should’ve NEVER been hired in Hollywood again!) When it’s all said & done even with ALL it’s many flaws, it’s about “friendship & family” . That’s what Star Trek has always mean to me :-)

12. Mr. Anonymous - June 9, 2014

What’s ironic is that, the movie poster (not the one about the seatbelts) is probably the best poster from the whole film franchise.

13. Mr. Anonymous - June 9, 2014

Also, I thought “Generations” also came out in the Summer.

14. Ran - June 9, 2014

Despite the obvious flaws, Star Trek V has one of the best troika scenes in Trek history. The “I need my pain” is one of the most powerful and well written scenes. The Goldsmith score is also magical.

15. Elias Javalis - June 9, 2014

12, He,he i own a litany of Star Trek V Posters – i agree, Theatrical Poster is Phenomenal. Colorful, imaginative, the Enterprises center above kicks a$$!!

16. Ryann8661 - June 9, 2014

Star Trek V is really just a vivid, strange dream of Kirk’s. It makes complete sense, and if you look at it that way, it becomes the most brilliant and profound Trek film… forgetting the fact that it was never “intended” to be this way — as theorized by this great blog post on Trekbbs:


17. Aurore - June 9, 2014

Thank you for this editorial.

18. TUP - June 9, 2014

Boy oh boy. I used to think this movie sucked. But it didnt. It had some of the best character moments.

I think a lot of people get down on this film more than they would have had Shatner not been writer and director. Shatner seems to understand the relationship between Kirk. Spock & McCoy better than anyone else.

Where Shatner faltered was in some of the things he didnt know as intimately as he does the Kirk/Spock/McCoy characters. For example, Klingons, Romulans etc.

I find the idea of a planet of peace very intriguing. And I can believe it too. I could see some diplomats somewhere trying to negotiate some sort of relationship that the military and politicial leaders dont really want, so to placate the peaceniks they send three ambassadors to this desolate planet. Its the appearance of peace when in reality, its hiding it, pushing it to the back burner. And I can also believe if you were going to do that, that you’d send three people that would be open to it. Almost a banishment. So I bought that too.

But this film almost undermines TUC by showing a softer Klingon and one willing to “save” Kirk. it shows Kirk willing to accept that olive branch. I suppose its not out of the question as Kirk was “friendly” to the Klingons in TUC as duty would require.

If the movie had some capable writers helping Shatner, better SFX and some polish, it would have been great.

19. DavidJ - June 9, 2014

Yeah it’s got the most ridiculous plot of any of the movies, but I frankly still find it a LOT more fun and watchable than TMP and Generations.

And it’s a heckuva lot better than many TOS Season 3 episodes as well.

20. Phil - June 9, 2014

I think you could make the argument that Generations is just as bad…

21. JimGrant1701 - June 9, 2014

For all the reasons stated, this was my favorite film because it was the most Star Trek. I liked ST4, but thought it strayed from the formula. A lot of the criticism I’ve heard was from those that didn’t like Star Trek, like the Voyage Home and was expecting a sequel. It wasn’t.
Even the bad stuff was OK. Was there plot holes? Yes, but so didn’t the series. Bad effects? Yep, but so didn’t the series.
I would like to see this film “Remastered” like TOS!
On another note, a friend of mine who didn’t watch Trek has watched them with me over the past year and she grew to be a “trekkie”. After the series, I showed her STV as her experience into the movies, and she loved it. In fact, she liked it better than the Wrath of Khan.

22. Lt. Bailey - June 9, 2014

While a lot of people may hate this film, I am one of the few who do like it. The fact that is does concentrate on the 3 friends is what does it for me and I get what Bill Shatner was trying to do with his film. I read the book his daughter wrote and his book and I listened to the DVD comentary to get a better understanding of his vision/film.
Could it have been better? Sure, it could and I have not doubt it would have been had Shatner got what he really needed out of the studio. My feeling is that it is better than “Insurrection”.

23. Trekboi - June 9, 2014

Star Trek 5 was a bit of a dissapointment at the time, it didn’t have the epic quality of the other films but underneath it all the film had heart & unlike the other films it spends time exploring the characters & the family themes of Star Trek.
For this reason I watch it more than some of the other films.

24. The Keeper - June 9, 2014

As bad as this was, it’s still light years ahead of Star Trek Into Darkness.

25. Ahmed - June 9, 2014

The campfire scene is the best thing about ST V, I loved watching these three men relaxing & just having good time together as friends away from all the problems of the universe.

26. Kev-1 - June 9, 2014

When I walked out of this movie in 1989, and saw the theater manager standing near the concession counter, I literally walked over and apologized (Yeah, too much, but I was young) because I knew he wouldn’t be making much money off this movie. I have to admit, though, that V has grown on me over time. The Kirk, Spock, McCoy stuff is pretty good; Jerry Goldsmith’s music is always stellar (no pun intended); Chekhov, Uhura, Sulu and Scotty have their moments; good character acting. And the bridge scene before they beam down to Sha Ka Ree? reminds me more of TOS than any scene in the Trek movies. Shatner gets some good shots as director, but it’s hard to overcome the FX, which are not up to standard, and the story flaws. It’s just tough to do religion satisfactorily. There is too much humor, much of it forced, and no trek movie should ever, ever, make the Enterprise the butt of jokes. The Enterprise is money on the table. Let it shine. Good uniforms on this outing too; lots of people like the assault phasers. I would have liked the rock men, if they could have pulled it off. And of course you get the “What does God need with a starship?” line, which is vintage Kirk. Who else could ask such a question? For me, this movie holds up more than some others in the series. I think some more money might have helped; Paramount has only been generous on TMP, 2009 and STID.

27. Phil - June 9, 2014

Oh, I don’t hate any Trek film, I just acknowledge that some are better then others. V and VIII are at the bottom of my list.

28. Trekboi - June 9, 2014

Lets not forget Herman Zimmermans beautiful production design & Jerry Goldsmiths Music.
While the bulk of the special effects were minimal & dissapointing I always loved the practical effects including the full sized shuttles & shuttle bay.
However the “Deck 78″ joke was unforgivable.

29. Phil - June 9, 2014

Oops…V and VII, not VIII…

30. Kev-1 - June 9, 2014

Excuse me, take a shuttle down to Sha Ka Ree.

31. David - June 9, 2014

This was the movie that made me a fan of the franchise, so it will always have a special place in my heart and a sentimental favorite.

32. Alt-Spock - June 9, 2014

As bad as this movie is, there are some incredible scenes. Some great humor with the bantering of McCoy and Spock, as the author notes, but also some heavy poignancy.

The scene with McCoy reliving his father’s death, and his role in it, is just so moving and powerful. “To preserve his dignity.” So true to McCoy, a doctor sworn to heal, yet also a loving son with a dash of his Southern sensibilities. We see the depths of his pain.

33. LogicalLeopard - June 9, 2014

It seems to me that most people disliked this movie because they disliked God, or disliked Shatner, one of the two. It has no more plotholes than any other Trek movie, and it has some of the best Kirk/Spock/McCoy moments ever. The campfire scene is a gem (anyone remember the marshmallow machine tie-in?). So is Sybok revealing the secret pain of McCoy and Spock. Speaking of Sybok, isn”t that first scene priceless? Fighting over a plot of land that means nothing. But it’s all the guy had. Did the writer lift that from that weird little cut scene in Hamlet about the Poles and Fortenbras fighting? Good stuff. And the brig scene is one of the funniest in Trek. I remembered seeing that for the first time at my grandfathers house (He had HBO) and thinking this was the greatest movie ever. I know that’s an influence on my thinking – seeing it so young, but I’ve never really heard anyone make a compelling argument of why it’s so bad. How is Sybok searching for God a bad thing? Every sentient life form in the universe could be expected to look for a Creator, since everything in the universe is so diverse and complex, yet so orderly. So, Sybok did, and he stumbled into one of the godlike life forms that the Enterprise tangled with every other week on TOS. The only weak part to me was that I never was quite sure what the Galactic barrier was….Some of the criticism the article makes sounds goofy. Would Klaa bow to Koord? If he personally respected him, yes. Ritual suicide? Well, would the Klingons even HAVE ambassadors then? *LOL* Why is it so surprising that Spock had a half brother? He was born before him, and I don’t know if he was raised with him, but Spock wouldn’t even talk about something the crew NEEDED to know, like pon farr, so why would he talk about his older step brother?

34. LogicalLeopard - June 9, 2014

Kev 1 and Alt-Spock: I hear you saying that the movie was bad, but you’re both talking about many of the scenes being great. What exactly made it a bad movie?

35. Alt-Spock - June 9, 2014

The author touched on many of the issues with this movie. Well-worn plot contrivances: “Sorry, the Enterprise is the only ship available” – really? Again? Are all the other ships at some poker game we weren’t invited to? And of course she’s undermanned, “not ready”, etc. Again.

Other plot annoyances like the ease with which Sybok takes control of the ship, getting to the center of the galaxy in a couple of hours, and the inconsistency of this “God” creature is so powerful yet is a terrible shot and can be subdued with a Klingon disruptor blast, etc.

Add substandard SFX, cheap-looking sets, and much of the film comes across as a half-hearted, amateurish production effort.

36. Chain of Command - June 9, 2014

Is this a Golan-Globus movie?

I saw this movie when I was 12. I was so excited I was shaking. However, as soon as the film began, I got a really sick feeling my stomach. Something just didn’t “feel” right about it. By the time the film got to the “planet of galactic peace” I really had a bad feeling. Still, I sat there, and gave the movie time. Maybe it was just slow getting started? Maybe it would get better….

By the time the film got the Enterprise I knew something was seriously wrong. The Scotty and Uhura interaction was really awkward and the ship “being in pieces” was not humorous at all.

However, I gave it a chance.

It all came crashing down for me when Kirk, Spock and McCoy were climbing the ladder in the turboshaft. I leaned over to my dad, who had graciously taken me to see this movie because I had bothered him all week and said, “I hate to say it, but I don’t think this is good”.

We both sat there and watched the film, trying our best to be good sports, but in the end there was no denying it: this film was awful. I was dumbstruck. How did this film get made?

I tried to like this film (much the same way that I would try to like Generations five years later), but it is a bad film.

If Golan-Globus ever made a Star Trek movie, this would be it. The story is an incoherent mess and the production values are beyond flawed. Shatner gets a lot of the blame, and he deserves some a good bit of that blame. However, Paramount should’ve known better.

37. Me - June 9, 2014

13 – Generations opened in November.

38. Alt-Spock - June 9, 2014

Oh, and… our friends surviving a photon torpedo blast just a few feet away.

39. ADeweyan - June 9, 2014

I actually put this one above several other Trek films. Nemesis gets my vote for the very worst Trek film, followed closely by Insurrection, and Into Darkness.

I loved the bookends with the trinity — it’s was exciting to see them hanging out as friends. I also loved the message, “I need my pain” — in the era, there were a lot of self-help books promoting psychobabble encouraging people to overcome (i.e. ignore) the pain in their lives. That’s what Sybock represents, and Kirk’s rejection of his message is a cultural critique.

I readily admit the search for God was ill-conceived (even if it was an original Great Bird concept), and there was absolutely no reason for Spock to have a secret half-brother. The disco Klingons were stomach-turning, and the special effects were inexcusable (no, really, unable to be excused). Uhura’s fan dance was just awkward and uncomfortable.

40. Kev-1 - June 9, 2014

32: I try to be positive; I mentioned the FX; the barrier and model work, particularly; Enterprise sets – especially the turbo shaft — TNG did that better in “Disaster”; silly stuff — Chekhov blowing on his communicator to simulate bad weather?: Starfleet seemed very disorganized in this movie, not just Enterprise, there just didn’t seem to be any direction; Kirk fighting “Catwoman” – Caitian?; Maybe if they investigated some force manipulating minds and found out “god” was doing it, it might have been better. It just looked like a TV movie in places, which makes it hard to judge it objectively.

41. Kev-1 - June 9, 2014

“direction” meaning Starfleet.

42. TUP - June 9, 2014

I hate the “only ship available” stuff. Nimoy handled this much better in TUC – “they’ll think twice about messing with the Enterprise with James Kirk in command”. Exactly.

People expecting a sequel more in tune with TVH, Im glad they were disappointed. Shatner got back to TREK with V whereas someone else might have gone in the direction of TVH and we’d have had nothing but Star Trek parodies with the original cast. I love TVH and it was a great cap to the trilogy but I couldnt stand Trek as comedy more than that. As it is, the modern films were too heavy handed in their humour. WAY TOO MUCH so in fact

43. Logicalleopard - June 9, 2014

35. Alt-Spock – June 9, 2014

Thanks, that gives me a better understanding!

44. NorthCoastie - June 9, 2014

I just had my first “I feel old” moment when I realized that I remember this movie being in the theaters like it was yesterday … 25, wow!

45. 2nihon - June 9, 2014

I absolutely love the opening scenes between the Three (even though the ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ bit is overdone). After that, stop the tape, nothing to see here.

46. Chancellor Gowron - June 9, 2014

This was the only Star Trek movie I didn’t like. I even thought Nemesis was good, but Final Frontier was awful.

47. Echo Over the Voice - June 9, 2014

As for the complaint in the article about the concept of the Federation, Klingons & Romulans having a colony together being absurd: They seem to get along well in the Star Trek Online game… enough to run a joint mission on a Dyson Sphere together…also: the colony failed not because of who was part of the effort, but rather who went to the colony (as St. John Talbot said ‘the dregs of the galaxy’) as well as the planet they chose. Had they chosen a beautiful nondesert planet with plenty of water and natural resources and populated it with, idk, people who’d be in actual colonies of each power, respectable people, ‘The Planet of Galactic Peace’ might have been a success…that is until the Chang Conspiracy would’ve effed things up lol.

48. Lt. Bailey - June 9, 2014

It is not that the ENTERPRISE was the only ship available.

I beleive that the line Admiral Bob (Harve Bennett) had “…other ships (available), but no expirenced commanders. I need Jim Kirk.”

49. James - June 9, 2014

I was gutted that the film sucked so bad – after The Voyage Home it appeared that Star Trek might attract a wider audience (and get some respect) – much the same thought occurred to me when there was all the hype for Generations.

Never mind though…20 years after this travesty we got the 2009 movie that finally brought Star Trek back to the mainstream again. Finally, for the first time since TMP – we were given a film that was an epic adventure.

I know people here bashed the Abrams movies (even though we’re discussing the ego-trip that was STV), but I can remember all the Trekkies – like the one that wrote this review, who hated TNG. Then the same thing happened with DS9 as people said it was too dark.

50. The Batman - June 9, 2014

Star Trek V works as a spiritual successor to the fun episodes of TOS, which most fans of Trek have come to hate because it makes them “kewl” and “hip” and “edgy.”

It’s not a perfect movie by far and it has a lot going against it behind and in front of the camera, not to mention the HUGE competition that summer 89 brought. I remember that summer well, because I was 12 and all there was to do was hit the theater: Batman, T2, Rocketeer, Last Crusade, and Star Trek 5.

It’s become fashionable to despise this film despite the fact that it has the heart of Star Trek, which can in fact be and SHOULD be fun. Not “fun” like stupid, juvenile humor in JJDrek 1 and 2, but the humor that comes from the spirit of adventure and friendship at the heart of the TOS stories.

A far worse film is Nemesis, followed by the two JJDrek films.

Goldsmith’s score is also beautiful; I remain haunted to this dayby the theme we hear as Kirk climbs El Capitain.

You can hate TFF all you like, but try to watch it without the large poles of “grimdark” and “social relevance” and “importance” up your asses, and you might find that you enjoyed yourself and were even inspired by the camaraderie of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. That’s the heart of the film, and it works beautifully despite the stuff that surrounds it.

51. Cygnus-X1 - June 9, 2014

Well, Steve…

Re-watching STV has been on my to-do list for about half a year now, and your article has just provide the perfect reason/excuse to bump this item up to the top of my list. My memories of this movie are that a substantial portion of it is going to make me physically cringe. But, I’m going to man up and push through the pain.

See you all on the other side…

52. James - June 9, 2014


Cool post that made me chuckle. I disagree with almost everything you wrote except we agree that Goldsmith wrote a stunning musical score.

You wrote that ‘Star Trek V works as a spiritual successor to the fun episodes of TOS’

Are you referring to ‘The Way To Eden’ as a ‘fun’ episode, ’cause that’s the episode that springs to mind when watching STV. For me, a fun episode would be The Trouble With Tribbles or the Gamesters of Triskellion.

I do hope that when the next Trek film comes out, there is no baddie with a big ship. I think that’s been a recurring theme from ‘Nemesis onwards…

As for the tone of the movies and the whole ‘grimdark’ thing. I loved the Voyage Home (campy fun), but STV was like Police Academy – with inept officers bumping their heads for a cheap laugh…

53. Red Dead Ryan - June 9, 2014

Let’s be honest here: “The Final Frontier” sucks. Sure, there are a few entertaing moments in the movie, but mostly for the wrong reasons.

The movie is a parody unto itself. Shatner sitting on a toilet in the brig, which is sealed with flourescent light tubes. The ship not functioning properly. Bad visual effects and cheap sets and costumes. The three-breasted catwoman. The ridiculous god-head creature near the end of the movie. Wimpy-ass Klaa.

DeForrest Kelley’s acting (top notch as usual) is easily the best part of the movie — alongside Jerry Goldsmith’s outstanding score.

54. porthoses bitch - June 9, 2014

Imagine if the effects had happened for the “rock monsters” first time I had this thought was upon watching Galaxy Quest and then this past spring when seeing Noah. Would love to see a directors cut. Even if it was a “ghost” director directors cut.

55. Alt-Spock - June 9, 2014

“…but no expirenced [sic] commanders”

Then Star Fleet, as an organization, is a failure. In TOS there were 12 Constitution class starships – I would suspect there are more by the time this movie transpires. So who do they have running those other starships?

Every captain in Star Fleet is inept except for JTK? I can’t buy that. That’s even worse worse then “they’re all tied up elsewhere.”

56. Trekbilly - June 9, 2014

It made for a great Jerry Goldsmith score….nothing more. Anyone who thinks this is better than TMP has a screw loose.

57. Steve Gennarelli - June 9, 2014

For true fans, I think the campfire scene, the Sybok reveals the Big 3’s pains scene and the brig scene make it all worthwhile. The rest of it could have just been better. No point in blasting what could have been better.
Luckinbill’s work is excellent and he does a lot with a less than stellar script. Surprised he never got a major film gig again although he always worked steadily.
While the effects were not up to the standard we were used to, Jerry Goldsmith really rose to the occasion and his music for the introduction of Sybok and the rock climbing scene by Kirk are truly memorable.
I’ve said this before on other blogs, had this been “Star Trek I” it would have been considered much better. The Trilogy that had preceded this had done such a solid job and it only got better as it went along.
Harve Bennett and his co producer both admitted on the DVD that they must have gotten a bit too full of themselves to think they could turn this movie into a masterpiece with the tools they had to work with. So with that said, blaming it all on Shatner is just not fair.

58. Corylea - June 9, 2014

This movie didn’t respect the characters and veered wildly away from canon, and most fans hated that. Making fun of SCOTTY’S knowledge of the ship? No way. Having SPOCK use the wrong word for a common item? Get real. Giving Spock an EMOTIONAL Vulcan half-brother? WTF?

Shatner wrote the story for this one, in addition to directing the film, and it made the anecdotes about his disrespecting his co-stars during the TV era a lot more believable, since he didn’t seem to respect anyone or anything except Kirk in this film, especially when you add in the fact that he wanted to have both Spock and McCoy betray him. Thank heavens Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Kelley stood their ground!

And … a Vulcan princess? Huh? Isn’t a hereditary monarchy illogical? Who except Shatner would be crazy enough to give Vulcan a princess?

I’m happy for those who like this movie, but I wish it could be excised from canon. Spock is an only child, Vulcan has no princesses, and the Federation isn’t cynical and corrupt enough to have a “planet of galactic peace” that’s actually a hellhole.

59. Tim Handrahan - June 9, 2014

I really feel that if the effects had been better, this film would have done better box office. Because it looked so bad as far as the effects go, it is easy to start nitpicking every element of the film. Was it a great story..not really.. but the character moments were very good. I consider it my guilty pleasure Trek film.

60. Alt-Spock - June 9, 2014

Yeah I didn’t like using Scotty as a laughingstock either. While others in the audience laughed (since it was setup to be humorous), I did not. Very similar to my reaction in JJTrek when Sulu takes the helm and doesn’t know about the “parking brake”. Oh brudder. #eyeroll

As for the Vulcan princess, whether logical or not Vulcan did start out as a matriarchy. Just FYI.

61. P Technobabble - June 9, 2014

It is unusual to see most everyone here having a unanimous opinion about something! STV has good and bad.

There were several campaigns to get a Director’s Cut and I seem to recall that Shatner offered to put up some money in an effort to make it happen.
There’s no doubt the SFX would’ve benefited mightily if they were redone. But what might be done with the story? Perhaps there was a bit of film on the cutting-room floor that might’ve been useful? Some strategic editing? But, most likely, there isn’t too much that could’ve been done.

Ideally, I would lose the “Spock’s half-brother” thing, lose the Uhura dance scene, lose some of those comic moments (like Scotty banging his head), and make the film as dramatic and heavy as possible. And I would juggle some of Goldsmith’s score around to enhance this. Or borrow from some of his other Trek scores.

And re-dub the Romulan ambassador’s voice. She blew it for me as soon as she opened her mouth.

Nevertheless, I never shy away from watching this film. There’s definitely something about it that keeps me coming back.

62. Disinvited - June 9, 2014

# 42. TUP – June 9, 2014

“Nimoy handled this much better in TUC – “they’ll think twice about messing with the Enterprise with James Kirk in command” — TUP

And yet, Nimoy’s VI went right ahead and had the Klingons, in cohorts with others, do exactly that which was why I admired the stab at something different, but ultimately found it and the line fatuous.

63. Keachick (Rose) - June 9, 2014

The opening scenes showing El Capitan and the music are beautiful. At first the campfire scenes were a bit cringeworthy, but they grow on you. Star Trek V does have one of the funniest lines in any Star Trek – that short Spock/Bones conversation…LOL

The scenes that seemed to bother so many others have never worried me much – like the Uhura fan dance or the fact that, for once, you find out that the Enterprise really does have places where people can yield to the call of nature, ie toilets and not before time, or three breasted (Caitian?) women (a great many mammalian species have more than two breasts, ie milk producing organs, eg canine and feline species).

Some of the bridge scenes were longwinded and boring and it was hard to believe that the main three and Scotty were the only ones not seduced by Sybok’s hypnosis/telepathy.

The inference of this movie, as it seemed to me, was that, if one is freed from that which has been a source of emotional torment and/or physical pain/suffering, that most individuals would end up becoming some kind of moronic sponge for whoever wants control…

Kirk’s “I need my pain” later on turns out to be his Achilles heel and I would respectively suggest to writers, producers, actors that for Kirk to say that he needs his pain is only because he really hasn’t a clue about what real pain is and how much no one needs it!

Just ask my better half!

64. Magic_Al - June 9, 2014

This film had a relatively big budget after the success of Star Trek V, and there’s location shooting and new sets aplenty, but anything to do with special effects is TERRIBLE. It can’t be due to money but due to the fact that there were so many blockbusters slated for 1989, the best people were busy on other films.

It would be interesting to see the thing reedited with new digital effects, including wire and support-bar removal and renumbering the turbolift decks, and especially new CGI to replace the terrible green-screen inserts in the mountain free-fall scene, but nothing’s going to help the goofiness of how the Enterprise is hijacked, or the soap opera stunt of inventing Spock’s half brother 23 years into our relationship with these characters.

65. Keachick (Rose) - June 9, 2014

#55 Lighten up.

The truth was that Scotty did not necessarily know everything about this newly constructed Enterprise. It was one of those silly moments that anyone like Scotty might say and then…oops…
I do not have a copy of Star Trek V, but I cannot recall Spock using the wrong word for a common item, but so what?

Actually, given what we already know about Spock’s (and Vulcan) secretiveness about things that his Chief Medical Officer should be aware of, but isn’t, it should really come as no surprise that this Spock might just have an older half-brother who he has not spoken about to anyone. After all, Sybok caused Sarek, family, community embarrassment by turning away from the Surak traditions which most Vulcans hold to be inviolate and sacred. Sybok was banished. Why would Spock talk about him, even if he knew much about him anyway? Not all Vulcans have embraced the Surak way. They are a small minority and Sybok was one of them.

What I find interesting is that Sarek – full Vulcan, Spock’s father, first married a Vulcan woman and had Sybok and then later, decided to marry (the more emotional) human woman, not once but twice…

66. D.J. Ammons - June 9, 2014

Star Trek V was the first Star Trek I was embarrassed by. I prayed none of my friends or family would see it because I feared they would judge all of Star Trek by it. Your review here is pretty much on the mark except you didn’t talk about the horrible SFX. STNG on TV at the time had better effects. As you pointed out Whatner makes an awesome Captain Kirk but proved the Peter Principle when he rose to the level of his incompetence by being made the director of a major motion picture.

67. Steve Gennarelli - June 9, 2014

In retrospect, William Shatner directing “Star Trek V” was something that was quite in vogue back then. They called it a vanity project. Hey, let’s let Eddie Murphy direct “Harlem Nights”. Richard Pryor had done “Jo Jo Dancer” There were a number other examples of a star directing a vehicle in the ’88-89 time frame. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
If you remember, Bill had held out on joining “Star Trek IV” until they gave him a better money deal and the green light for him to direct a “Star Trek V”.
Biggest problem was that Paramount couldn’t find the right story for him to direct. You’d think that after the trilogy, they could have come up with something new and different, but obviously Bennett and Team were just out of ideas.
The actors actually liked working for Shatner and he reportedly made it a pleasant shoot. Too bad what was on the written page just wasn’t up to snuff.

68. Keachick (Rose) - June 9, 2014

#61 – “or the soap opera stunt of inventing Spock’s half brother 23 years into our relationship with these characters.”

It has got to the point that, when I read words, phrases like “soap opera stunt”, “hack writers”, “lazy writing” and other similar catchphrases that have become endemic, or could that be epidemic?, I have difficulty in accepting the writer’s credibility.

Perhaps you might need to watch a film called People Like Us, a film about the fact that a young guy in his late twenties, for the first time, finds out that he actually has a half-sister who has a son, which makes him an uncle. Apparently this film was inspired/based on true events.

In fact, it is not so unusual for someone familial to come (back) into another’s life, and no one else know about this relation. This is just what happens between Spock and Sybok. I have no problem with this scenario or the fact that the Sybok character is part of ST canon. I hope that perhaps, in the alternate universe, Sybok may exist and have a place in the next BR film…

69. JKP - June 9, 2014

Personally, I love Trek V for the very points you make – it is the best on screen example of the relationships (KSM) that made Trek so special to me.

I could look past everything else for all that awesome KSM stuff.

Also thought the scene with Bones and his dad was one of De’s best ever. Really good.

Lots of flaws, but as the reviewer says, it captures the essence of the relationships that made TOS so special to so many of us.

70. JR - June 9, 2014

Why the seatbelts? The answer is obvious… to keep people from leaving.

71. Captain Smirk - June 9, 2014

A truly awful film, lifted briefly by the Kirk/Spock/McCoy triumvirate, but sunk by literally everything else. However, it did bring us this gem:

“Please, Captain. Not in front of the Klingons.”

72. Captain, USS Northstar - June 9, 2014

This was one instance where the trailer was actually better than the film itself.

I jest. The best parts as written above involve the dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

The rest? At least they had interesting desert action uniforms.

73. Dr. Image - June 9, 2014

Kirk to Spock: “Fire the rockets!!” WORST LINE EVER.
And poor Bran Ferren. He was a physical effects guy, primarily. What were they thinking? But thank God for Goldsmith on this one.
I still like the utter cheesiness overall, though- and the campfire scenes.

74. Jonboc - June 9, 2014

I love Trek 5. Yes, I know, I’ve heard the complaints for years. But under scrutiny they usually don’t hold any water.
Inferior effects effects? Just like TOS…not a problem.
Crew searches for God? No, ship is hijacked by madman who is looking for God. Everybody was hijacking the Enterprise in TOS. Not a problem. Spock doesn’t have a brother because we never saw him and he hasn’t been mentioned! Well, neither has Kirk’s Aunts or Uncles or Scotty’s grandmother. Doesn’t mean they never existed. Not a problem.
Uhura’s fan dance? A Starfleet officer, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Not a problem.
Too many decks on the ship? Big deal. Spock is a Vulcanian. James R. Kirk? Evil Kirk has scratches on right side…oops now left side…oops now right side. Big deal…not a problem.
I could go on.

What I loved?

Shatner’s direction. Sorry haters, the man has a great eye for framing and camera movement…it’s visually interesting. Love the line up of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Sybok outside the Galileo.

Speaking of the Galileo, absolutely loved it’s return.

Sybok was great. Formidable but not a mustache twirling villain.

The new bridge design was beautiful and the best update of the TOS bridge ever. Loved the return of the original bridge sound FX.

The theme of family.

The beautiful score.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy’s secret pain.

The teaser before the opening credits….very reminiscent of TOS.

Hand phasers that packed a punch. Great design and a return to the familiar blue beam.

The observation deck. It was a gorgeous set, too bad we never saw it in 6.

The campfire scene. I’m reminded of why I really love Trek when I watch this scene. It’s those 3 guys…Sorry, Nichelle, Walter and George…I can take you or leave you…it’s Kirk, Spock and McCoy that I give a damn about…and Scotty. Lol Do love me some Scotty.
How anyone can say the love TOS, and not at least “like” Trek 5 is beyond me. The positives more than outweigh the negatives. Great Trek movie, dripping with TOS goodness.

75. Rob - June 9, 2014

I had the pleasure of showing this to a friend recently. He hadn’t seen a lot of Trek before meeting me. We were making our ways through the movies. When we hit this one he was amazed this is one of the most lambasted ones in the series. We particularly like the scene with McCoy and his dad.

It’s not a perfect film by any stretch, but the abuse it takes from fans is silly. The things it gets right set it apart from any other film in the entire series.

76. Definitive Movie Reviews - June 9, 2014

STV sits on a high ledge and drops steaming ploppers onto Nemesis, Insurrection and Generations.

It also performs a Cleveland Steamer on all things JJ. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and sorry to anyone who’s heavily invested in the new movies. Lemme know how that case of Confirmation Bias works out for you.

77. JRT! - June 9, 2014

I enjoyed it for what it was,just fun and entertaining. Some crap effects,but I’m not big on nitpicking. Loved the Yosemite scenes,and had some nice scenery on the other planets too. And no,it’s not the worst Trek movie. At least not voted as such,that was anohter Trek that came out last year. But then again,Galaxy Quest beat a few of the movies as best Trek movie,lol! But what do the fans know,right? lol!

78. nate - June 9, 2014

It’s the first movie where everyone in the cast looks old and most of them besides Bones and Sulu have put on weight. The idea of Uhura doing a fan dance is ridiculous. And haters are just wrong if they think the last film was worse. At least Into Darkness is exciting and well paced as a summer popcorn film–it doesn’t hold up to a lot of story deconstruction, but is entertaining on a surface level. STV is badly made, cheap looking movie with an old cast doing their best. STVI is a far better film overall, despite some budget problems.

79. RaymondS - June 9, 2014

Sometime touched on this earlier, but there is a competent fan edit of STV that removes: references to Sybok as Spock’s brother, the 78 decks, Uhura’s fan dance, the Scotty/Uhura budding romance. They add in original bridge sound effects. The result is a very decent one hour Star Trek movie that holds its own, and suprisingly so. Shatner did a fairly good job directing, it’s the story concept that can’t be helped. Trying to reach the center of the galaxy would take longer than they’d be alive.

Plusses: I actually liked the concept of the Planet of Galactic Peace. It’s something politicians would do to appease their people. As mentioned the Goldsmith score is wonderful, and the costuming and sets are commendable. There is some excellent acting scattered throughout.

80. alphantrion - June 10, 2014

I think some Trekkies are too hard on this movie, its like Picard’s line from Insurrection “anyone remember when we used to be explorers”, I would make that “anyone remember when movies used to be fun”. This movie was exactly that, a fun, loving movie that is at its core a feature length TOS episode with excellent character beats. Besides it was the first Star trek movie DVD that I have ever bought and has a special place for me. I mean it is okay sometimes to enjoy a movie for all its faults.

81. Jeff - June 10, 2014

There were TWO disappointing movies that summer: Star Trek V and Ghostbusters II. It’s hard to decide which one was a bigger disappointment.

82. ironhyde - June 10, 2014

The very best newcomer Trek movie, bar none. Run ST2 for a newcomer and watch them never want to see Star Trek again. Run Final Frontier and let them enjoy the hour, and see potential. By far the most ambitious storyline, yes– and that’s not a bad thing! Truest to the original series plot-lines of the week. Some of the most important and memorable mythology.

I refuse to accept or agree with the hatred towards this film. It hold a high place in my love for Trek. Go climb a rock :P

83. ironhyde - June 10, 2014

And since a lot of people are throwing out best lines, here’s my vote::

KIRK: … you’re either with me or you’re not.
SPOCK: I am here, Captain.
KIRK: That’s a little vague, Spock. ..

84. Dr Beckett - June 10, 2014

I recently watched Trek V with my wife and her sister. Ironically, this was the sisters’ first ever full viewing of any Star Trek film.. and she loved it! I think Bill was aiming for a wider audience who may have been introduced to Trek via Trek IV, and to some extent might have succeeded had it not been for the stiff competition that summer. Still one of the best movie summers of all time in my opinion, remember it like was yesterday ;)

85. Dr Beckett - June 10, 2014

74. Jonboc – June 9, 2014

You’ve summed it up perfectly. Trek V is like a watching a bad, guilty pleasured episode from TOS season 3. (Yes, I even like Spock’s Brain ;))

86. dswynne - June 10, 2014

Okay, here goes:

1) Anyone who says that STV is better than TMP or STiD is a fan of ‘Trek more than a fan of FILM. Sya what you like about either of them, but at least both had a coherent plot and excellent special effects. AND THEY BOTH MADE MORE MONEY than STV.

2) Check out Red Letter Media’s STV’s commentary track:


All joking aside, it is insightful as the how the production of the film was indeed a disaster, including how it was almost sabotaged by a Teamster’s strike at the time.

3) However I think the production values are, I can still watch the film for its camp value (i.e. how the Klingons were more or less ignored like Wile E Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon).

87. Logicalleopard - June 10, 2014

58. Corylea – June 9, 2014
This movie didn’t respect the characters and veered wildly away from canon, and most fans hated that. Making fun of SCOTTY’S knowledge of the ship? No way. Having SPOCK use the wrong word for a common item? Get real. Giving Spock an EMOTIONAL Vulcan half-brother? WTF?

How did making fun of Scotty’s knowledge of the ship not respect his character? Its a joke. How many jokes has the cast cracked against Spock? I don’t remember your Spock reference, but what is the problem with giving him an emotional half brother? It’s logical to believe that some Vulcans may reflect upon whether or not Surak’s path is the right path, especially after being exposed to emotional cultures that didn’t destroy themselves, like….well almost EVERY other culture. Sybok was a prodigy. He just figured out something that most Vulcans would rather ignore.


Shatner wrote the story for this one, in addition to directing the film, and it made the anecdotes about his disrespecting his co-stars during the TV era a lot more believable, since he didn’t seem to respect anyone or anything except Kirk in this film, especially when you add in the fact that he wanted to have both Spock and McCoy betray him. Thank heavens Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Kelley stood their ground!

I think that’s kind of a stretch….he didn’t exactly have them dancing in tutus. Well, unless you think he disrespected Uhura, I can’t dispute that *LOL*

And … a Vulcan princess? Huh? Isn’t a hereditary monarchy illogical? Who except Shatner would be crazy enough to give Vulcan a princess?

The same people who made Vulcans fight to the death for their mates. *LOL* Vulcans are logical, but they also are very attached to their history and traditions, which is odd, but established. In Amok Time, it’s made very clear that Vulcans, contrary to what one would think, respect their ancient traditions with an almost sacred reverence, not even telling foreigners about them. A monarchy fits perfectly. I bet they don’t put that in the travel brochures for Vulcan. To borrow a famous line, it’s fascinating. Vulcans are such a weird, weird, weird culture. They say they’ve risen above everything, but come wedding time, it’s a picture of what it was thousands of years ago.

I’m happy for those who like this movie, but I wish it could be excised from canon. Spock is an only child, Vulcan has no princesses, and the Federation isn’t cynical and corrupt enough to have a “planet of galactic peace” that’s actually a hellhole.

Nimbus III is not a Federation planet. It’s in neutral space, that’s established in the movie, I believe. What happened is, they thought it would be a perfect place to promote peace between the three major factions, because it was smack in the middle of all of them. But what actually happened was all the criminals flocked to Nimbus III, because it was NEUTRAL and they couldn’t be chased down by the Federation, Roms, Klingons, etc. Unforseen consequence of a lofty idea.

88. Lyle - June 10, 2014

My vote for best line from the movie:

Spock: Sybok, you are my brother but you do not know me. I am not the outcast child you left behind those many years ago. Since that time, I have found myself and my place. I know who I am, and I cannot go with you.

Also, while I agree that the SFX in the movie were below-par for the most part, that first shot of the Enterprise-A hanging in front of the Moon is absolutely gorgeous.

This movie just cries out for a re-edit and re-done SFX. It wouldn’t fix all of the flaws, not by a long shot, but it would still improve the movie tremendously.

89. Hat Rick - June 10, 2014

Perhaps the best fate for Star Trek in this time of contemplation would be not a reboot, but a remake of all the movies of the TOS era. I haven’t had time to read the posts in this thread, but I think it would be a great deal of fun to have a literal re-make — shot by shot — of each of the following movies:

ST IV: TVH, and

What do I mean by “shot by shot”? I mean that the remake’s director follows, as closely as reasonably possible, the decisions of the original director, with the exception of:

– the actors, who would be from the contemporary generation;
– outmoded shots, preferring more modern techniques that look more “cinematic”;
– musical accompaniment, which would appeal to modern sensibilities;
– plot elements that could be revised (retconned);
– pacing; and,
– obviously, special effects.

The core elements of great movies subsist in each of these and I am waiting for the right director / producer to literally remake them so that we can see them again in a new light.

There are certain movies that cannot be remade. For example, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is timeless and cannot be remade because it is perfect the way it is. But each of the TOS movies can be revised so that they appeal to a younger generation. (For that matter, so can classics such as “Star Wars” (1977), no matter how “classic” we think it is.)

And they would win hearts and minds all over again.

90. TUP - June 10, 2014

#62. True. But because of the Bird of Prey that could fire while cloaked, they thought they would get away with it. And they were wrong.

91. Hat Rick - June 10, 2014

P.S.: If I had to revise my post, I would probably remove “Star Trek: TMP” from the list of movies that should be remade. It’s pretty damned good the way it is.

92. The Six Million Dollar Reboot - June 10, 2014

My word, I feel so much empathy with that review, those were my sentiments back in 1989 EXACTLY…The disappointment was profound after such huge expectations…

I was so relieved, yet of course sad, when the original crew bounced back with STVI, as this was the end of the original cast.

Maybe STV would have been a much better film if they had cut the Uhura dancing scene, the Scotty-Uhura romance, the Spock saving Kirk falling off El Capitan, most of the not so special effects….oh dear, the list goes on….Still, as reviewed, STV contains some of the most poignant TOS “Moments”….

93. dennycranium - June 10, 2014

Was at a convention in Niagara Falls Canada on the weekend,
Shatner was appearing and charging $95.00 for a picture and autograph.
He should pay me $95.00 for sticking with the franchise after STV :-)

94. Bart - June 10, 2014

You have completely nailed this editorial. Spot On! My sentiments exactly. I can still watch and enjoy ST V, with all it’s problems, just to see the Kirk-Spock-McCoy “trinity” moments.

Also, I love the soundtrack, love the “El Cap” photography and I love the whole Lawrence of Arabia opening scene.

95. Crusade2267 - June 10, 2014

I actually think that the exploration of the Kirk/Spock/Bones relationship is what elevates this movie to being not-the-worst. Star Trek V has a piece of the soul of the original show, and it has some great character moments. It’s much more watchable than the Slow Motion Picture.

96. DeBeckster - June 10, 2014

James Doohan often said that he thought that the reason Scotty was played as comedy relief was due to the bad feelings he and Shatner had for each other. A year or two ago I showed this to my children, who had seen all of the other Original Cast movies. My youngest, watching the part where the Enterprise flies through the Galactic Barrier, said, “Is this a cartoon?” “Nuff said.

97. DeBeckster - June 10, 2014

And, I have always maintained that the 6th movie should have been titled, “Star Trek VI–We Effed Up Last Time.”

98. AJ - June 10, 2014

Yes, this is the one where the FX were done by someone called Bran Ferren, based at the time out of Hoboken, New Jersey. Hoboken!

I love Hoboken, and lived there for a few years. It has the highest concentration of bars of any city in the world, is the debatable founding city of baseball, and the hometown of Frank Sinatra. Its politicians are famously corrupt/famously incorruptible, and it flooded bigtime during Hurricane Sandy.

Thank goodness it does not say “Birthplace of Baseball, Frank Sinatra, and The Great Barrier” as you enter.

Forgive and forget, I suppose. STV is a tough one in that respect. And the FX are hardly the reason!

99. Disinvited - June 10, 2014

When I hear fans go on and on about Sybok as an emotional Vulcan, I only think, what about the Romulans being nomadic Vulcans who left the planet Vulcan. Why? Because they chose not to deny emotions.

So what exactly is the beef that some Vulcans, like Sybok, remaining planetside might not follow the majority and chose emotions?

100. Disinvited - June 10, 2014

#99. Disinvited – June 10, 2014

Also, maybe this is because families aren’t large these days as they once were, but families have always had members that were referred to as “blacksheep” that were rarely if ever spoken of in polite company.

101. Victor Hugo - June 10, 2014

93. Old actors still charge for autographs? this is so wrong!

102. Picard's Fish - June 10, 2014

Big rumour!


103. TrekMadeMEWonder - June 10, 2014

You can ALWAYS find a few Trek gem moments in every “episode.”

The STV poster still needs a little help in the design. department

104. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 10, 2014

102. Picard’s Fish

Nice shot of an Enterprise ship there.

I wonder where that came from.

105. tman - June 10, 2014

If this is the one with Uhura’s fan dance this is definately the worst Star Trrek film ever. If it’s not, it’s the 2nd worst.

106. star trackie - June 10, 2014

Favorite of all the TOS movies. This film felt like a TV episode. The characters were all firmly in place and back in their groove, unlike the hit and miss efforts of the previous films.
If you don’t like this movie you must really have a hate-on for TOS, because Trek 5 is as close to TOS that the movies EVER got. Shat knows how to craft a classic TOS tale, that’s for sure. Too bad he didn’t have the studio bucks to do it the way he wanted.

Bones, about Spock… “God, I liked him better before he died!”

Pure TOS gold right there!

107. Picard's Fish - June 10, 2014

..annnd Nemecek has already clariied and debunked the rumour :(


108. Disinvited - June 10, 2014

I don’t get where fans of Trek, who’ve been exposed in episode after episode that not every sentient life form is going to meet Madison Avenue human aesthetic beauty standards nor agree with them, and should not be discriminated against because of it, can’t conceive that Uhura, who even on the show sings in public, read her audience on that planet and performed a dance that kept them enthralled? I mean I get it that 13yo boys don’t get it, but neither do they get that their are men other than their fathers that find their mothers sexy. Just because a 13yo can’t conceive of it doesn’t make it implausible or impossible.

109. THX-1138 - June 10, 2014

I would watch V before I would watch 09 and STID.

But then again I really, really, really enjoy TMPDE. No, it’s not for those with short attention spans. And I really do believe that people thought that they were going to get something along the lines of a Star Wars action adventure instead of the hard science fiction movie that TMP is. Recent events should remind us that Trek fans are in no way in concert when it comes to what appeals to them.

EVERY Trek film has stupid stuff. EVERY Trek series has stupid stuff. A real Trek fan just has to learn how to weed their own Trek garden to their individual taste.

110. Horatio - June 10, 2014

The quest for perfect Trek films, though noble, will always be elusive.

As has been noted in previous posts, Trek V had some of the best classic Trek moments in any of the TOS films.

111. TUP - June 10, 2014

He doesnt debunk it as much as he clarifies.

Star Trek is top content on Netflix

netflix has made overatures about a Trek TV program.

Personally, netflix would be ideal for Star Trek. Let’s assume its a 12-14 episode “season”, big budget. Good attract name stars and quality SFX.

The big question, ofcourse, would be in what universe it would exist. Theyd have to have Paramount sign off on it if its Abramsverse, no? So I’d suspect it would be a new twist on an old favourite. Probably new characters existing in the “Kirk era”.

112. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

I actually thought the Uhura fan dance was really good. So what if Uhura used her grace, singing ability and physical appeal to distract some of the men defending the compound? She was not dancing naked and what she did caused no real harm to anyone, other than provide a momentary, pleasant distraction. Men use their bodies, their prowess which can also include their sexual allure, to distract and deceive all the time and nobody says that it shouldn’t be in a story etc. In TOS, Kirk did similar, worse, eg in the Games of Triskelion with him tricking Shahna, his thrall trainer. Later he apologized to her. This is how human beings (male and female) can behave, for better and/or worse.

I guess they could have got hold of the *horses* by going in with guns blazing, killing and injuring many of the people and raising the alarm, but having Uhura do a wee fan dance just seemed to be a less harmful and quieter method of getting hold of the only available transport. Lt Uhura is to be commended.

113. Trekbilly - June 10, 2014

Keachick’s role is to always be the voice of opposition. Do you ever agree with anyone?

114. Trekbilly - June 10, 2014

Keachick’s role is to always be the voice of opposition. Do you ever agree with anyone?

115. star trackie - June 10, 2014

Keachick is right. It was the most effective way to obtain the objective. Very Star Trekish, TOS style solution.

116. Dom - June 10, 2014

A mix of beautiful and appalling. Kind of feels like the cast grabbed some cameras, threw back some drinks and had a laugh on the TNG sets! Like any drunken night, there are moments of profound insight, but also (mostly) stupidity you wouldn’t want to see on YouTube the next day!

Certainly, the film was a fatal misstep for ST, with TNG creeping up, and killed the future of the series with the original crew who, under good management, could otherwise have probably gone on for another three films.

The TNG films can be attacked for being mostly safe and dull, but their ambitions seemed never to be much more than the TV show. The original film series sought to be bigger and bolder (and mostly succeeded) so TFF was a letdown. TFF damaged perceptions of TOS so much that I can never like it much, but I can sit through it as a stepping stone to TUC, unlike Generations and its successors (even FC) which seem like a bad afterthought to All Good Things, which was a satisfying conclusion to TNG, a show I rate as a sci-fi show, but not as a Star Trek spinoff!

It’s the only film from TVH onwards I haven’t seen in the cinema (it was gone from theatres so quickly) and I don’t regret that!

117. King Zooropa - June 10, 2014

#32 > Alt-Spock “The scene with McCoy reliving his father’s death, and his role in it, is just so moving and powerful.”

Yes, a thousand times, yes. McCoy’s scene where he is forced to relive the euthanasia of his father is just gut-wrenching. To this day, it’s his anguished plea (“My God, don’t do this to me!”) that just slays me. It’s raw, real and heartfelt. Throw on the fact that he’s a doctor and they discovered a cure shortly after and you have tragedy.

Yes. The movie gets hammy. But for brief moments, it is ballsy and dramatic. For all the very deserved scorn he gets, I give credit to Shatner for at least trying to do some things to advance the characters’ arcs.

118. Steven - June 10, 2014

I saw Star Trek V for the first time when it came to video. A new release on VHS! I was 9 years old and loved it. I thought it was so great. I remember reading negative reviews later on and was confused. Then again, I was a weird kid. I also liked The Motion Picture!

But I really find Trek V under-rated. What are the odds that Paramount will release a special “Director’s Edition” box set of the original Trek movies for the 50th anniversary? Give Trek V a Director’s Cut and I guarantee it would rise a notch or two on people’s list of Trek movies.

119. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

TUC disrespected the characters, not TFF!

Yes, the scene with Dr McCoy bearing his pain and anguish over his father’s illness and death was so very poignant and topical. It did bring tears to my eyes and I think to others as well.

So many people find themselves in the position that Dr McCoy was in, whether they are doctors or not. With all the new medical technologies, medicines and promises of cures etc just being around the corner to aid the suffering and terminally ill person, dying and death has never been more complicated and ethically/morally challenging for those suffering and dying or for their loved ones.

Dr McCoy did what he truly believed was the best and honoured his father’s wishes. However, he could not get past the torment, the guilt, the grief and loss. He wanted and needed Sybok to heal him, which was something that Sybok could do. It was so unfortunate that Sybok became distracted and deluded, but for all we know, his delusional state may have partly been the result of being disowned and banished by his own family and people…sometimes healers are not able to cure themselves and also need help.

120. dswynne - June 10, 2014

Give the next ‘Trek series to BBC America. Less production cost, and a huge fanbase.

121. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

Hmmm – Let the BBC make the next Star Trek series…now there’s a thought… I wonder…

122. Viking - June 10, 2014

OK, Shatner gave his best effort and pooched this one. If you quit trying to shoehorn it into the pantheon of big screen Trek releases and just accept it for how it should really be critically viewed – a well-intentioned attempt to expand Trek lore – it actually would make for a pretty good entry as a small-screen two-parter. There were episodes and story arcs of Voyager and Enterprise that were butchered a lot worse. If nothing else, it certainly reinforced the bond that ‘The Trinity’ had with each other. I think those character-driven moments carried a lot more weight than equal attempts in the non-shoot-’em-up scenes in installments like Nemesis. Even Data’s death/’rebirth’ in that movie just rang a little emotionally hollow, especially when viewed in the same light as McCoy revisiting the memory of disconnecting his own father’s life support at the very point where a cure for his disease was being discovered, or Spock’s hidden pain of disappointing Sarek in the cultural and biological duality of his own birth. Even Kirk’s reaction to discovering these buried torments in the men he’d come to accept as brothers was a provocative moment. Unfortunately, the exploration of what bound these three men together so closely – and even more closely as the story progressed – got lost in a ham-fisted, pseudo-Old Testament plot with an ambiguous resolution. Another $10 million in special effects and rock monsters couldn’t have saved the rest of it.

123. Red Shirt Number 2 - June 10, 2014

I don’t know about ST V being the worse. I think Insurrection is the worst, followed by Star Trek V and then Nemesis as the bad star trek movies.

The whole god thing was done before in the original series, Shatner could have written the movie to study the characters without the need for that god entity.

124. Adama - June 10, 2014

This movie was terrible and a colossal mistake. For anyone to suggest Into Darkness was the worst Trek film ever compared to this atrocity, you need you head examined. There is a reason Gene Roddenberry referred to this movie as “apocrypha”. This movie should have been wiped out of the timeline. It has never been remotely acknowledged since that time. Sybok hasn’t been seen or heard from again.

I wonder how you can go from making three decent films to this piece of trash. It was terrible and Insurrection and Nemesis are right up there with it. It as a bad look for the franchise.

I honestly think that Star Trek belongs in a weekly episodic television show and they should call Ron Moore to do it. The new film series although fantastic can never do it justice. Just my opinion.

125. kmart - June 10, 2014

It captures the heart of Trek for me better than any of the others, and that certainly trumps goofs like the 78 decks and even the Sybok crutch. TMP, TWOK & TFF are the winners for me (TWOK & TFF always have been faves, it took a few years for the shock of TMP opening day disappointment to wear off), and I can pretty much take or leave any of the other 7 depending on mood. The Abrams pics are ludicrous and I wouldn’t own them unless they were freebies.

126. Alt-Spock - June 10, 2014

“Sybok hasn’t been seen or heard from again.”
A direct hit by photon torpedo tends to do that.

To put it another way: “He’s dead, Jim.”

127. Who cares - June 10, 2014

In other news Disney/Marvel is reportedly looking at Tom (Shinzon) Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch in their search for the actor to play Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme.


128. I am Roger Corby - June 10, 2014

I saw The Final Frontier in my mid twenties. It was by far the best Trek movie experience to me. Truly wonderful. TMP almost made me cry for the weird, alien, “body snatchers” feel to it. V — V was Trek.

33. LogicalLeopard – June 9, 2014 perhaps hits the nail on the head, whether it’s publicly acknowledged or not. A large portion of sci-fi heads simply bristle at the mention of anything bigger than their own intellect (sort of like Khan and his boy in II), let alone the idea that they owe everything to their Maker, God. So yeah, that’s almost certainly at the heart of the hate.

As for the other stuff? Nitpicking. Who cares about canon when ST never cared itself? From week to week the details changed according to the needs of the script or production team in service of a story that took us where no man has gone before.

Much irony in there if you’re open minded enough to see it.

129. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

I like Insurrection. There is so much that is lovely and fun about this movie. I thought it was better than TFF overall. I prefer watching it to TUC. Watching what Nimoy did to those fine TOS characters in TUC got to be too much of an affront for me…:(

I only have four Star Trek movies – Star Trek (09), STID, Star Trek IV and Star Trek – First Contact. I used to have all the movies on video but the tapes and players *died* and I have not replaced the movies – yet.

I am getting all the TV series and was just watching some Voyager episodes for the first time last night. I thought I had seen all of Voyager but it seems I have not. It’s fun and exciting to be seeing it for the first time – most of the episodes are really good.

130. Who cares - June 10, 2014

@Keachick. Nimoy did not direct Star Trek The Undiscovered Country, it was directed by Nick Meyer, the same guy that directed TWOK. Nimoy directed Star Trek The Voyage Home, you know, the one with the whales, the one before The Final Frontier. Nimoy did nothing to “those fine TOS characters” as you put it.

131. Keachick (Rose) - June 10, 2014

Leonard Nimoy was one of the film’s writers and executive producer. He and Nick Meyer worked closely together on this film, hence my statement.

132. Q - June 10, 2014

They should publish a directors-cut of “V” and an actors cut of “X” and we would have two great movies more in the line of good Trek-movies.

133. Disinvited - June 11, 2014

#130. Who cares – June 10, 2014

Nimoy also directed The Search for Spock, you know, the one where the director finds himself, the one before The Voyage Home.

134. Who cares - June 11, 2014



“Director Nicholas Meyer and Executive Producer Leonard Nimoy dispute who came up with the concept of using the film as an allegory for the fall of Soviet Communism, with both men claiming credit for the idea. Nimoy and Meyer also had a bitter dispute during post-production, with Nimoy preferring his own edit of the film to that of Meyer who refused to incorporate Nimoy’s changes into the final cut of the film.”

Doesn’t sound like a close working relationship to me. Sounds like an acrimonious environment where all parties apparently despised Nick Meyer who forced his stamp onto the film at every turn, ignoring objections from Gene, Bill, Leonard, Nichols, and many more. Some sources indicate that Meyer may have even disagreed with how Nimoy handled catching Kim Cattrall staging an impromptu nude photo shoot on the bridge set.

Nobody on the production team but Meyer was happy with the film, thus he takes full blame for any treatment of the characters.

135. Lomax - June 11, 2014

Our favorite Treks are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. We have 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 in the DVD collection, but never feel the need to watch them, due to overdosing or just plain boredom. As for 11 and 12, they do not exist in our reality. ;)

136. Paul - June 11, 2014

I greatly disagree with it being the worse Star Trek movie. Its not even the 2nd or 3rd worse. STV compared to Insurrection, Nemesis & STID is only the 4th worse even fans last summer ranked STID as the worse ever Trek movie……

STV has so much going for it:
1: Jerry Goldsmith’s amazing score
2: Kirk/Spock/McCoy TOS series level character interplay
3: Big budget sets at times (that bridge set alone & the other Enterprise sets cost a LOT of money in 1989!)
4: Grand ideological themes (most did not survive the savage budget cuts like the original powers of ten space pullback shot into Yosemite)

Blame the following for why it did not achieve what is should have:
1: Harve Bennett/Ralph Winter should have told Paramount the budget was nowhere near enough to make the movie BEFORE not after it began production.
2: Why was Bran Ferren selected to provide sub-standard VFX in 3 months? Again you have to blame Ralph Winter this time he should have known if ILM cannot do high quality work in 3 months how could you expect anyone else to in the photochemical optical printer heavy era!
3: Paramount for INSISTING on forced humour as they wrongly believed that was why STIV was so popular.
4: Shatner/Nimoy/Kelley for holding out to get more money ($14m of the $35m budget went to those 3 lead actors alone leaving little money to make the actual movie!).

STV was doomed from the start due to all of those factors & the egos involved both Studio & Actors. But its still the most TOS like movie & has so many genuine TOS moments the reputation many give it is not only unfair but also based on misconceptions that behind the scenes all things were equal!

137. pilotfred - June 11, 2014

I also like it for being more like star trek tv yes its not my favourite and yes I have problems with it but then I have problems with all the trek movie

138. Disinvited - June 11, 2014

If you’d like to see a Director’s Cut there’s a petition:


139. James A. - June 11, 2014

I was the same way as the article’s author. This was the first ST film I saw after becoming a Trekkie. Star Trek was only sort of on my radar for ST II and III, but by the time The Final Frontier came out I had discovered Star Trek and was really excited. As a 11-year old kid I could forgive a lot of the terrible stuff in this movie. Heck, I even saved up Kraft points to get a marshmallow dispenser. :)

140. Perry - June 11, 2014

I think Nemesis was much worse than V, but V is definitely not one of the better Treks. Many great comments here spelling out most of the big reasons (forced humor, horrible special effects, etc.)

My biggest issue with it, however is the basic plot itself: The Enterprise finds God (again). By my count, the crew has met God, or God-like beings at least three times already in TOS and the Animated Series. It’s been done to death! And with TNG already dealing God-like beings like Q, it’s just been so overdone in Trek, I think it gets very boring.

I know it was always one of Roddenberry’s go-to story ideas, and I certainly hope the third reboot movie doesn’t fall into the same trap.

141. Who cares - June 11, 2014

One last point Re: STTUC. Leonard Nimoy and two of the other writers credited for TUC almost had their writer credits stripped from the film as almost nothing from their original script survived in the script put together by Meyer and the friend he brought in to re-write the script.

142. Who cares - June 11, 2014

@Paul. No the fans did not declare STID the worst Trek film last summer. As has been repeatedly stated in numerous places the so called fan ranking was done with a group of 100 fans, out of a total of 12000 fans attending the convention, all of whom were hand selected by a person known for his anti-JJ rhetoric. That does not comprise a valid vote, any more than an experiment would be valid if the scientist performing it manipulated the experiment to give only the results he wanted. It’s garbage, pure, unadulterated, garbage, nothing more.

Now you show me a survey/vote involving all 12000 convention attendees and I will accept that as a valid representative sample, with a huge margin for error as 12000 is still only a tiny, tiny fraction of the total number of Trek fans.

143. NTRPRZ17 - June 11, 2014

It annoys me to no end that the vast majority of the time, the only way we have a Star Trek movie, or even story, requires the crew to be stupid as hell to ever be in that situation. Can’t someone come up with a legitimate foe who doesn’t supremely overmatch the Enterprise, or require requisite stupidity to disable the Enterprise?

Scotty overlooking main shuttle bay, activates intruder protocol, floods deck with anesthezene (scene and movie over).

Star Trek V pissed me off so bad at the theater, I can’t say enough about how much I cursed it. It could have been good, Luckinbill was awesome, the rest……and when did the Enterprise suddenly get like 150 decks?

144. TUP - June 11, 2014

Worst Ever is subjective. I could watch V (and have done so) more times than Insurrection or Nemesis.

The TNG movies were just big bidget tv episodes. First Contact was absolutely the best of the TNG films. But the rest were boring and just didnt work when looked at through any sense of realism.

Generations’ best scenes were the TOS scenes, in my opinion. I found myself wanting to stay in the Enterprise-B era. It was interesting to see the characters we know as legends actually treated that way by the “media” of the time. Harriman sort of represented a new ideal for Star Fleet, that change from the anything goes, living on the frontier, cowboy diplomacy of TOS to the TNG era of commanders who had to be politically correct. Harriman didnt seem to understand the dangers he would face. I wanted to see more of that.

I actually wrote some fan fiction just for fun that detailed Enterprise B after Kirk’s “death” where Chekov was brought out of retirement and assigned as first officer to “mentor” the Captain.

V had far too many great character moments to be considered the worst. I think of the issues was that this was the film where they truly showed their age. One could argue all the actors and characters were in their prime – that perfect combo of age and experience – for TWOK to TVH trilogy. But V, they were aged and didnt all get in fighting shape. And yet they were presented as a regular crew on regular duty.

TUC addressed their ages wheras V, it was difficult to accept and thats likely when the public began making fun of them.

145. The Squire of Gothos - June 11, 2014

I remember being so uninterested in this film when it came out in 1989. Batman was the one I wanted to see. The film’s story for 5 just sounded so awful.

It’s crazy that it has been 25 years. I still enjoy the soundtrack of the film and I do tend to look at it as more of an episode than a feature film.

I would be interested in a Director’s Cut, but I don’t believe it will ever happen.

Happy 25 Star Trek 5!

146. SoonerDave - June 11, 2014

@143 TUP

“Generations’ best scenes were the TOS scenes”


When the film switched from it’s Kirk-era context into the TNG-era context, the energy level of the entire film just changed instantly, from intensity and curiosity to the seemingly TNG-requisite somnambulism.

Really thought TPTB broke the code on TNG with “First Contact,” thinking they had even found their Nimoy in Frakes as a director who really seemed to “get” the concept, but then the others just kinda sucked the life out you while you were in the theater. And whatever studio politics let Stuart Baird direct Nemesis told you pretty much all you needed to know about where Trek, as a franchise, stood with Paramount (as in nowhere and/or the middle of the toilet, take your pick).

Mind you, no TNG hater here – just never thought the movies were chronically immemorable aside from FC. Admit I was never a huge fan of the Flying Marriot Enterprise that TNG had become, but sure thought the movies were going to be better, grander than they were.

And, yes, one of Trek V’s redeeming qualities is most certainly its Goldsmith score. Sometimes I think even Trek fans overlook the cred and value Goldsmith brought to the Trek universe…

147. SoonerDave - June 11, 2014

“Mind you, no TNG hater here – just never thought the movies were chronically immemorable aside from FC”\

ARRGH – I meant “just thought the (TNG-era) movies were chronically immemorable aside from FC…”

148. Alt-Spock - June 11, 2014

Agreed – the only TNG-cast movie worth watching again is FC. And even though I have problems with some of it, the drama and action outweigh the negatives.

149. Keachick (Rose) - June 11, 2014

It seems that it was not Leonard Nimoy’s fault that the characters in TUC were so horribly portrayed. It does seem that the blame lies mostly with Nicholas Meyer. If this is the case, why do I read where some people want this same director, who plopped hugely on these main TOS characters, to direct a BR Star Trek which deals with these same characters?

There is no way that Nicholas Meyer should be allowed anywhere near these new films.

To all writers and directors: No more Meyer-type dumps on these beloved TOS characters, in any universe!

150. Disinvited - June 11, 2014

#134. Who cares – June 11, 2014

Using the trivia section of IMD which does not cite its source for this contention is a very weak attempt at refutation.

According to that very same IMDB to which you refer, Nicholas Meyer used his writing skills on each of the following Trek Films: THE WRATH OF KHAN, THE VOYAGE HOME, and THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. With Nimoy in his capacity as an actor, Meyer, at the very least, in each of those, used feedback from him to rewrite lines in each of those scripts. They clearly had a history of collaboration.

#148. Keachick (Rose) – June 11, 2014

I think there’s plenty of blame to go around between the two. Granted they could bang heads (Meyer wasn’t happy about what Leonard, Harve and the studio conspired to do to his cut of TWoK.) Recall, Nimoy was the one on the VI set trying to sell Nichols on saying lines that she refused to say because they were racist. And he was the one that told Meyer to salvage it by giving one of the lines to the character Chekov.

151. Daoud, The Sinfonian - June 11, 2014

Much of STV would have worked by having Sybok being the one young classmate who accepted Spock. The one who acted “like” a big brother to him… to the point of his being his metaphorical brother. Simply put, Sybok might have decided Spock’s human half was actually a good thing, and because of Spock set out to become human. Literally taking Roddenberry’s concepts for Xon (the replacement Spock for Phase II modeled on a young Michael York) would have saved much of this movie’s premise. Plus, had they let GR comment, he might have suggested the same thing!
Cutting out the Fan Dance but leaving Nichelle’s singing would have worked. Cutting out Scott’s headbump though, should have been done. I’d have written him taking a wrong turn, realizing it, and saying “Crrrrraaaaap” in the “If it’s Not Scottish, It’s Crap” type of context.
A direct connection to “The Way to Eden” could have worked also. Sybok might have discovered Dr. Sevrin’s writings and research and was thus looking for that true Eden, where the same “One” was calling. It didn’t need to be in the ‘center of the galaxy’… it should have been somewhere near Nimbus III, but into Romulan-controlled space. Ke’thlynndaerr redubbed by maybe Robin Curtis would have become useful as a “way in”. Klaa still could follow cloaked.
This movie has some of the best Klingon dialogue. Klaa and Vixis are marvelous.

152. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2014

Can’t believe some here are suggesting that “The Final Frontier” is one of the better Trek movies. It is not. It’s also not a good example of what made TOS great.

TFF has more in common with subpar TOS episodes like “And The Children Shall Lead” and “Turnabout Intruder” as opposed to the classics like “Where No Man Has Gone Before” or “City On The Edge Of Forever”.

153. Cygnus-X1 - June 11, 2014

7. Alex Rosenzweig – June 9, 2014

I agree with your assessment of the 3 positives attributes that you mentioned.

154. Keachick (Rose) - June 11, 2014

#150 – So I guess I have come full circle. Both Nicholas Meyer and Leonard Nimoy have things to answer for.

This may also be the reason (so far) that none of the present actors are also any writer, producer, asst director etc. They are simply paid to be the actors of these characters and no more.

155. SciFiBrony - June 11, 2014

Honestly, this is one of my favorite TOS movies behind II & VI!

It’s been stated in this article but my reasons are summed up here.


156. Cygnus-X1 - June 11, 2014

I finally re-watched this movie, and you know what?

It’s really not as bad as I’d remembered.

There are many and sundry small problems with STV…

(1) The Pacing. The movie lags in places for no constructive purpose. I agree with whoever said that STV could be trimmed down to episode-length, and it would play just fine. In fact, the story would work better as an episode—TOS, TNG or DS9—than as a feature.

(2) The FX. Nuff said.

(3) The action scenes in general.

(4) The Conspicuous Contrivances. The Klingon villain is an underdeveloped nobody who’s just out for target practice and decides to go after Kirk, and wouldn’t you know it—after chasing the Enterprise throughout the movie, the Klingon ship shows up just in time to kill God and save the day at the end. As Steve Vivona said in the article, “In order for the Enterprise to be successfully hijacked all the necessary elements are front-loaded into the story from the get-go.”

(5) Paradise City? Planet of Galactic Peace? Huh?!? Three enemy cultures decide to get together and cooperate on a Mad Max-style settlement whose normal state of affairs is to be utterly impoverished and neglected? At any rate…

There’s one BIG problem with STV. And ironically, the movie’s biggest problem is also it’s saving grace…

Star Trek V is a half-baked attempt at tackling a very meaningful, very thought-provoking, very relevant and very complicated set of topics: metaphysics, cults, cult leaders, religion, faith-belief AND psychology.

Is it at all surprising that the end result is half-baked? Shatner bit off waaaaaay more than he could chew with just this story, never mind directing it as a feature film his first time out.

What exactly does Sybok do for his devotees? What service is he providing? When Sybok picks up his first follower at the beginning of the movie, he doesn’t appear to do much of anything for the poor tramp. When Sybok tries to up the Enterprise crew, he’s shown to do a bit more—talking them through their “innermost pain,” but how exactly is that supposed to make middle-aged grown-ups suddenly fall for Sybok? They don’t have counselors in Star Fleet to chat with them about family issues and whatnot?

And what’s with the holodeck-action sans holodeck in that room with the big ship steering wheel? McCoy, Spock and Kirk can all see Sybok’s recreation of Spock’s birth. How? Did he hypnotize them all? Doesn’t seem like it, because Kirk and Spock are arguing lucidly with Sybok. Anyway…

Who or what is the being pretending to be God? Is he like The Wizard of Oz—a smaller being using technology to aggrandize his image? Or, is he really as big as we see him? And how does the Klingon ship destroy him? The images of his presto-chango face appear to be projections, but the Klingon ship shoots at the big face and that appears to be what kills him. Was he a disembodied being just floating around the planet? How has he survived there for millennia alone? Where did he come from? What is the source of his power? If he’s so powerful, why can’t he leave? And if leaving is what he really wants most of all, why didn’t he just ask Kirk & the gang for help? Because then we wouldn’t get the whole false deity theme. And after all that, after that whole adventure of meeting fake God and so forth, Kirk sums it all up with a quick platitude: “Maybe God’s not out there; maybe he’s in here—the human heart.” Anyway…

The saving grace is that, while we have no shortage of complaints regarding the story, we’re also hard-pressed to think of anyone who might’ve done this particular story all that much better. Who in Hollywood takes on topics as complex as this? Metaphysics, cults, cult leaders, religion, faith-belief AND psychology? That’s a mighty short list, if it contains anyone at all.

So, Shatner made a noble attempt at an allegory comprising very deep, complicated and meaningful subject matter as a first-time writer/director…and he failed. Is it any surprise. It was an extremely over-ambitious project for Shatner, but you have to admire him for the attempt. Star Trek V is not eye-candy or brain-candy candy that tries to fool you into thinking it meaningful by pandering to your emotions, or trick you into thinking that it’s deep by having a convoluted plot that’s cut together at double-speed.

Star Trek V tries to be deep and meaningful by actually trying to be deep and meaningful—by taking on deep, meaningful, complicated subject matter and trying to distill it all into a relevant theme. And it actually kind of succeeds at the theme insofar as we’re not left confused as to the point of the movie. It’s clear what Shatner’s intention with STV was; it’s just that his intention splatters out into, as Steve Vivona said, a hot mess, as it plays out to the moral of the story at the end.

But, at least STV has a moral. At least this movie has a theme. And it’s actually a very thought-provoking theme. There’s an old saying, It’s not how you fall; it’s how you land. Well, in movies it’s both, and STV doesn’t land pretty, but it lands clearly. We all know what this movie was “about,” and that’s more than I can say for ST09 and STID. At best, you might say that the BR Trek movies are about things, but the things that they are about are mundane.

157. Dr. Cheis - June 11, 2014

I actually don’t mind the premise of the movie, or their “finding God.” But the execution left much to be desired for.

I thought Sybok was an interesting character and I regret that we never learned more about his history with Spock and Sarek.

158. Demode - June 11, 2014

What this film needs is a “Director’s Cut”. Some new FX in place of the bad ones, and a few scenes cut that audiences hated (like Scotty bumping his head) would make a world of difference.

159. ShatOnIt - June 11, 2014

I remember seeing this movie in the theaters. I was dumbstruck on how cheap it looked, and how the comedy just fell flat on its face. Star Trek IV was pretty funny, the humor in this movie was just lowest common denominator stuff. There were some good moments in it, but overall pretty horrible,

160. Cygnus-X1 - June 11, 2014

Off-topic, but if there was ever any doubt as to the influence of Star Trek upon our society, just have a look at this:


SPOILER ALERT: They haven’t invented warp drive just yet. But the fact that NASA is basing an entire area of study on a technological conceit of Star Trek is pretty damned impressive. And, of course, there are actual, working technological products commonplace today which were based on TOS and TNG tech conceits — iPads, cell phone design, video chatting…there are even rudimentary transporter experiments being conducted as we speak (it’s just basic teleportation of single, subatomic particles, but still…)


161. Who cares - June 12, 2014

@Disinvited. I only pulled that info from there as I know that Keachick is fond of using IMDB, and I felt it would be a convenient place for me to direct her to look. She could then, if inclined to find out more, continue her quest for knowledge in other places, around the net or various Trek related behind the scenes books (of which there are many), armed with a basic idea of what kind of incidents to look for.

That is literally the only reason I linked to IMDB, Keachick’s convenience, I learned about most of these various struggles among the cast and crew on STTUC years ago. I will admit that I had never heard about Cattrall doing a naked vulcan on the bridge before, and as soon as I read that section I had to corroborate from other sources. I checked 5, all told the same basic story, with 2 stating that while Nimoy expelled the photographer from the set, confiscated and destroyed his film, and so forth, Meyer had supposedly given Cattrall a tacit go-ahead. The other three sources do not mention this, and various google searches using varying keywords did not add any evidence in favor of this, therefore I conclude it to be a fabrication repeated by some sources.

The last thing I want to mention is that despite how it might seem I actually like STTUC, in fact it is in my top five Trek films. Sometimes we humans have to take a good long look at something ugly inside ourselves in order to grow past it. It is a very Trek message, and the emotional reaction as an audience member for me was a very real pain that some of my earliest heroes were just as human as I was, and an acceptance that “Everyone is human” and can defeat the ugliness we humans have visited on each other for so very, very long. I don’t want another Meyer Trek but hey I would still watch it. Besides which it’s not like there isn’t a lot of behind the scenes drama on most movies.

162. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 12, 2014

What did Kirk mean by saying, “I miss my old chair.”?

Was he referring to the old TOS chair? My favorite command chair.

163. William Kirk - June 12, 2014

Star Trek V is my favorite Star Trek movie. It is the most fun and has a great score by Jerry Goldsmith.

164. Disinvited - June 12, 2014

#161. Who cares – June 12, 2014

Thanks for explaining. And I was just trying to remind her that I had previously cited this work in another chain:


“Leonard Nimoy came up with the metaphor for Mikhail Gorbachev and perestroika, and it went from there.

‘Guess who’s coming to dinner?’ I had given that line to Uhura, which would be a little more savagely biting, but Leonard asked us to switch it to Chekov. Them being drunk at the dinner also was a clever way to approach it. It was an opportunity for me and then for Nick, who did a
really good job of polishing the scene, to make the metaphor of gunboat diplomacy and the imperialism of America clear.”” – Denny Martin Flinn, screenwriter for STAR TREK VI:the Undiscovered Country

“I mean, two of the actors were in their early 70s. and Star Trek V had not gone very well at all. It [STAR TREK VI] really was a pet project of Frank Mancuso [then-head of Paramount Pictures] because he needed a tentpole picture and he had this franchise that he thought could be resurrected. So, he went to Leonard, who didn’t want to act and anyway. The point is not to argue but to make it work.” – Denny Martin Flinn, screenwriter for STAR TREK VI:the Undiscovered

165. Yanks - June 12, 2014

I rank STV at the bottom of all the trek films too.

… but it is still trek, so I find a place for it in my heart.

Worst STV moment?

Uhura’s fan dance… it just felt wrong and I felt sorry for Nichelle.

166. John Tenuto - June 12, 2014

Star Trek V is a better film that Star Trek: First Contact anyday!

167. Who cares - June 12, 2014

@John Tenuto. Are you drunk?

168. Yanks - June 12, 2014

@ 166. John Tenuto – June 12, 2014

Not a TNG fan, are we?


169. B Kramer - June 12, 2014

Love the Kirk, Spock, McCoy moments in this film.

170. Long Haired Sybock - June 12, 2014

I look forward to being the villain in the next film.

171. P Technobabble - June 12, 2014

Forgive me if this has already been mentioned. Shatner takes quite a wallop for this story but, in fairness, Harve Bennett and David Loughery had their hands in it as well. I think Shatner’s original story was pretty good, except for Spock and McCoy betraying Kirk (which both Nimoy and Kelley were vehemently against). A great deal of change came from Bennett, who said “this won’t work,” and “that won’t work.” And I don’t think Loughery had a good enough feel for Trek. I think the actors made the character moments, not the script.

172. Cygnus-X1 - June 12, 2014

162. TrekMadeMeWonder – June 12, 2014

What did Kirk mean by saying, “I miss my old chair.”?

It was the first mission of the Enterprise-A (remember, they delf-destructed the original Enterprise in STIII) and Kirk is sitting in the new ship’s chair for the first time. Basically just a shout-out to the old ship for the fans.

173. John Tenuto - June 13, 2014


Hi Yanks, thanks for the message. I adore TNG. First Contact was a film with the TNG characters, especially Picard, almost unrecognizable. He kills a crewman, for example, with full awareness that Borg are redeemable and restorable (himself, Hugh). Worf threatens Picard? It is a good zombie film, but a bad Star Trek film. The “B” story on the planet was good, and the ending with the Vulcans was lovely. The music and effects were excellent. The adventure on the ship? I don’t even know who those people were that Patrick Stewart, Michael Dorn, and the others were playing. They were not their characters from TNG. A good example of how difficult it was to translate TNG to the movie environment. I like to call the film “Fist Contact” because of Rambo Picard in the film. Star Trek V was more in the Star Trek spirit and featured a great presentation of the trio of characters working together for the entire film. Thanks again!

174. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 13, 2014

172. Cygnus-X1

I am always looking for a reference to TOS when I watch any post 60s Trek. But your explanation makes perfect sense.

I just seemed to me like the adventure in ST IV took so long, that I think had missed that continuity. Rare in a Trek movie!

Thanks, Cygnus!

175. Bakerman - June 14, 2014

Let’s get something straight right off the bat.

No matter its abundance of flaws and lack of overall polish, I still liked and do like Trek V more than Into Darkness.

At least it tried things, there was ambition (sure, more than there was ability, but still) and it had WONDERFUL moments in it. McCoy dealing with his father’s demise, the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the fact that it wanted to be an action adventure epic rather than just another “here’s a villain threatening to destroy Earth” type of movie AND one of my all time favorite moments in all of cinema “Excuse me, what does God need with a starship?” (100% serious in saying that).

It’s far, far from what it could have and should have been. But much like The Motion Picture it tries to be something more, tries to be more Star Trek than the sci-fi b grade action movies that series entries like Nemesis or the horrible Into Darkness ended up being.

And unlike BOTH Nemesis and Into Darkness it didn’t rely the “let’s copy Wrath of Khan” formula.

Sure, Shatner was too inexperienced and too ego driven for the director’s seat and the cast was already far too old for some of the stuff in there and sure, some elements were very poorly handled.

But if there’s one single Trek movie out of the classic ones that I’d love to get a special edition with remastered effects and maybe some clever re-editing here and there, then this movie would be it.

At least Trek V had some ambition other than “money” and “let’s just rehash classic Trek moments for two damn hours as the fans will pay for that through their nose”.

However, keep in mind something else, Trek V’s poor overall financial and critical results ended up in Paramount bringing Meyer back for one final movie that ended being a really, really good one for most (and great for me).

For this viewer, Into Darkness failed completely at doing ANYTHING other than showcasing ILM’s vast talents at CGI. I felt this way watching it in cinemas and again after watching it at home for a second time. It is for me the worst Trek movie out of all them, and yet it did very well financially which means that I’m probably going to get fed more of the same.

If Orci is really the director for the next one, I have very little hope for the franchise. Unless somehow Orci always wanted to make a good movie and was held back by Abrams and the others. (doubtful, but still…)

176. Damian - June 14, 2014

I agree with the review. It was the weakest of the films IMO. I don’t hate it. I’ve actually never seen a Star Trek I hate. I even don’t hate the much maligned Voyager episode “Threshold” though it does test even my tolerance. I had become a Trekkie just prior to TVH coming out (I’ve noted before it was finally seeing TMP that brought me around–which is why that will forever be my favorite Trek film).

V had bad special effects, was the beginning for me of the over the top Shatner bad acting, and reportedly because of studio interference, to unfunny when it was supposed to be, and too funny when it wasn’t supposed to be. But it was probably the best of all the films when it comes to the triad of Kirk-Spock-McCoy, and it did have a great music score. Also, despite problems with the Sybok character, Luckingbill did an great job in the role. I also loved the forward observation room and that was one thing I was sad to see not used in TUC.

I also agree with the article, whether intentionally or not, Kirk did die alone, twice. Sure, not literally on Veridian III, but he was separated by his family.

So yes, there were many things that disappoint about Star Trek V. But it’s still Star Trek at its heart. I still own the special edition DVD and proudly own it with the other 11 films with no regrets.

I only wish Paramount had allowed Shatner to improve the effects for the special edition DVD. The story would have its flaws, but at least it would look like a proper Trek film like the other 12. It’s ashame. Even the much maligned Insurrection and Nemesis had decent special effects.

177. ME!! - June 14, 2014

Absolutely spot-on assessment. Precisely as I see it. It may be the weakest of all the Trek films, but it certainly isn’t the worst. There IS a difference.

I detest the ‘Spock’s half-brother’ concept & never fully accepted it, but Lawrence did a tremendously entertaining job of it.

The Spock, Kirk, McCoy relationship & interaction is top notch and exactly as it was in the Original Series. Nice to see it again. The relationship really feels like they’re old friends who’ve gone through a lot together.

For those reasons, I place Trek V above III & Nemesis in my list of Trek films. Of course, ANY Trek film so far is far and away above Nemesis.

178. JRT! - June 14, 2014

So in other words this wasn’t voted the worst by fans,’cos ST ID was. By 100 fans. Also on that list…..Galaxy Quest. LOL! I like all three so I really don’t care what’s voted worst or not. If I’m enterained by a Trek movie then that’s good enough for me. Of course,I don’t really overanalyze them like some fans do,lol! But if they have fun doing that,then by all means.


179. HubcapDave - June 14, 2014

I, too remember being intensely disappointed when I first saw this in the theater. It was the first Trek movie I only saw once in the theater. For me, it wasn’t so much the story that let me down, it was the special effects. When the Enterprise finally gets to the Great Barrier (or whatever thew hell it was called…), and it looked like some psychedelic backdrop you’d see in an old Jefferson Airplane video……..that’s when I lost all hope.

I remember back when the movies DVDs were coming out, after Wise went back and redid effects for TMP, there was a story somewhere about Shatner asking Paramount to do the same thing for V, which they naturally turned down. That’s too bad, because I think that if the effects were fixed, the movie would go from bad to passable (at least in my eyes.

180. John in Canada, eh? - June 14, 2014

I think the only unbelievable character moment for Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory” is when he argues with Raj that ST V is a better movie than The Motion Picture. There’s no way a self-respecting old-school Trekkie would say that ‘Final Frontier’ ranks higher than TMP.

While I love Goldsmith’s score for this one, this was the first flick released after the premiere of TNG – and I remember hearing people at the end of the movie complaining that they ‘used the same music as the new TV show.’ (Yes, I corrected them that TMP had it first.)

181. John in Canada, eh? - June 14, 2014

I find it interesting that two actors who are stuck with silly characters in this film – David Warner as St. John Talbot, and Charles Cooper as Korrd – both found redemption with far better scripts in “Next Generation”. Warner was fantastic as “Gul Madred” in the “Chain of Command” two parter; and Cooper played a much more interesting Klingon, K’mpec, in his two TNG episodes.

182. John in Canada, eh? - June 14, 2014

As awful as this movie is — and with the bargain-basement special effects, the blatant reuse of the TNG hallway sets, the clunky script and the barely-there characterizations of everyone but Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, there’s a lot of awful to go around — there are at least three nice moments in it.

One: McCoy’s father’s death scene. Damn, DeForest, we miss you.
Two: After Kirk declares, “Maybe life is a dream” in the observation lounge, the camera movement tilting downwards to the ship’s steering wheel, revealing the plaque “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Yes, it’s corny, but it actually gets a lump in my throat every time.
Three: Kirk’s “Excuse me…. What does God need with a starship”? One of the few moments in the film that is perfectly written, acted, and directed.

183. John in Canada, eh? - June 14, 2014

I spent an afternoon with James Doohan during the filming of this movie. He was in town for the dedication of a war memorial to his squadron; a friend’s grandfather introduced him to me. I asked him what William Shatner was like as a director; he politely deflected the question. A big difference from the hostility the two men would show in the years that followed… .

184. John in Canada, eh? - June 14, 2014

I’m not surprised that Paramount has backed away from a ‘Director’s Edition’ with improved effects. But I am a little surprised that Shatner hasn’t worked with some fans to put together a better cut with stronger effects.

185. Who cares - June 15, 2014

@181. David Warner only had to wait one movie for “redemption” as you put it, when he played Chancellor Gorkon in STVI. Besides which Warner is also the “classic” voice of Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul.

186. Yanks - June 15, 2014

@ 173. John Tenuto – June 13, 2014

Agree. I should have been more specific. I agree that TNG TV was wholly different than their movies.

The TNG movie that I thought was closest was INS. (which seems to be universally despised.)

187. Disinvited - June 16, 2014

#186. Yanks – June 15, 2014

In that it covered ground that had been covered ad infinitum in the series and which Picard pontificated on that the Federation had evolved beyond, I’d have to agree. I didn’t despise Insurrection so much as failed to see the need to shell out money to see this issue revisited, yet again, on the big screen and no rational dialog on how those hard learned lessons were now readily discarded as inconvenient truths.

I exited Insurrection thinking if they hadn’t bored me to tears with the TV episodes covering same still fresh in my memory, having yet another starfleet yahoo yet again going after the fountain of youth, in spite of Picard’s and Riker’s lectures to Q and others that the Federation had evolved beyond being tempted by such, that I’d enjoy paying to see it again for the performances. I even recall that I expected it to do well with audiences unfamiliar with the TV series and how it had already addressed the issue.

As it was, I decided that I’d just wait to enjoy it again for free when it made it to “free” TV, as I wasn’t going to reward Paramount/Berman for retreading a TV lecture which, itself, had been retreaded there as well. In fact, these days I just avoid the TNG youth pursuing episodes’ reruns and use those airing as an excuse to catch Insurrection when next it airs. I mention this to indicate how I don’t despise it, per se, but I am irked by the thought that they thought they had something new to say on the matter when they didn’t.

188. TUP - June 16, 2014

Someone mentioned the Worf death threat in First Contact – I agree. That bugged me. Even Picard calling him a coward was pretty heavy handed. I didnt have an issue with Picard killing the crewman. he had already advised the crew to not be afraid to kill assimilated crew members if need be. They were defending themselves and had little means to “save” all the assimilated crew. It would have been stupid to try and abduct them, bring them “behind the lines” and try to save them.

And ofcourse, as an example of the increasing anger and desperation of Picard, it was fine. The culmination where Picard snaps in the conference room still gives me the chills.

To be honest, I think the scene that bothered me the most was after Picard orders the crew to keep fighting, Crusher starts barking orders. Like come on…

189. Disinvited - June 16, 2014

#184. John in Canada, eh? – June 14, 2014

What surprises me is it seems I recall Paramount once putting out out what they called a “Director’s Cut” of “The Search For Spock” on DVD and I’m certain the favored nations clause in his contracts entitles Shatner to do at least that but it has never materialized. Maybe because he’s holding out for an fx redo budget? Maybe he could Kickstarter that?

190. DBdebris - June 16, 2014

But, Star Trek V is good…for riffing on. Seriously. You can make so many jokes about this movie.

191. Cygnus-X1 - June 16, 2014

175. Bakerman – June 14, 2014

I agree with everything that you said except perhaps for the rankings of the Trek movies. Prior to this article by Steve, I hadn’t watched STV in years and ranked it way down at the bottom of the list, above only the travesty known as Generations.

Having been prompted to watch it again by this article, however, and having read all of these comments, STV has risen considerably in my esteem. It was certainly ambitious and about big ideas; and it certainly failed largely at executing on all of them.

But, it does raise the critical question: Which is better—A half-baked ambitious product comprising big ideas that were poorly executed? Or, a titillating feast for the senses that is largely shallow and meaningless?

It all depends on whether you’re judging based on hedonistic, experiential values or moral values. Hedonistically, STID beats out STV, Generations and Nemesis. STID was definitely more fun to watch (especially in the theater) than the other three. But, STID isn’t so much fun to watch at home. In fact, I never watch it. I still enjoy certain scenes, but not the arc of the movie. And yet, it’s no surprise that STID made so much money (especially given the much larger foreign market today than in the days of the other three.

So, how do you rank the Trek movies from the bottom?

I still gotta put Generations in last place. God, that was abysmal in so many ways. And yet, even Generations, which had a clear, relevant theme, was more meaningful than STID. At least Generations was about something.

Nemesis, too, had a theme. But it was a muddled theme that didn’t have a whole lot of meaning for me. So, I’d put Nemesis second from the bottom.

Then, it’s a toss up between STV, STID and maybe TMP for third from the bottom. I’ll have to re-watch TMP, as it’s been a long time since my last viewing. But, prior to this article, I used to rank STV second from the bottom; so it’s moved up at least one notch in my esteem, possibly more.

192. Disinvited - June 16, 2014

Maybe Bill can take this to nuParamount?:

“Although millions were spent to create “Star Wars” Mark Hamill(Luke) termed it “the lowest high-budget film ever made” in a radio interview. He explained that the seemingly endless corridors and vast network of control rooms on the Death Star space station were actually a few sets that were turned upside down, inside out and redecorated to achieve the total effect.” — The Eastern Progress,.Thursday. July 28.1977, Page 3, ‘STAR WARS 20th Century-Fox’s out-of-this-world film adventure and commercial success’, By JUDY WAHLERT, Arts Editor


Ah, the things that got done pre-cgi…

193. Cygnus-X1 - June 16, 2014

187. Disinvited – June 16, 2014

I agree about Insurrection. If it hadn’t completely contradicted the way that very issue had been treated in the TNG series, and if it didn’t have so many annoying plot holes that take me out of the movie—Plinkett’s review analyzes them all very nicely and entertainingly (the review is as fun to watch as the movie!)—INS would have been a solid, enjoyable movie. Sure, it played like a long episode, but that wasn’t a bad thing per se. I rank INS immediately behind First Contact. FC likewise had many annoying plot holes, but the whole story was better, more entertaining and didn’t have the problem of contradicting past treatment in Trek of similar and related issues.

194. Disinvited - June 16, 2014

#191. Cygnus-X1 – June 16, 2014

Keep in mind Robert Wise was an excellent editor [CITIZEN CANE] so given the time, he was earlier denied, to do a proper edit in the Director’s Cut DVD makes that a superior version in that respect alone.

At the time of its premier, I estimated that Roddenberry, et al, just continued the shell game with TPTB of selling it as one thing, STAR WARS, while all along intending to hew closer to the harder science presentation as established by 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY which I think they surpassed in at least successfully matching new original stunning music to their equally larger than life stunning visuals.

I still believe that if the original blown up to 70mm prints that were needed to provide 6 channel discrete audio in the day are ever found and restored, cleaned up and adapted for a real IMAX Theater presentation, that mature thinkers will be as blown away as audiences were back in that day. Perhaps even more if his later intended edits are use.

195. Cygnus-X1 - June 17, 2014

194. Disinvited – June 16, 2014

(Everything comes back to Citizen Kane…)

Well, I’d love to see the original vision for TMP realized some day.

If you say that the director’s cut of TMP is better than the original, I’ll buy it.

But first I’m going to watch the original cut on Netflix.

(BTW, why did Netflix change their interface from its traditional slick-looking red to this cheap-looking white? There’s no accounting for taste, is there.)

196. NTRPRZ17 - June 17, 2014

Curious why so many give Goldsmith credit for his themes in ST:V, which he then completely ripped off and then reused in First Contact. The “god” theme and the Borg theme are nearly exactly the same.

ST:V bugs me because of what it came after, how poor the FX were, and seriously, if the Enterprise is falling apart, but they need Jim Kirk, wouldn’t they just have loaned him Excelsior? It isn’t like the ship was a new design, why would there be so many bugs and why is Scotty the only person in the Federation who can fix anything? Plus the Uhura and Scotty thing…….yeah right.

ST: V was a wasted opportunity like Insurection, to follow up on a really good commercial success and push Star Trek forward, and instead they botch it every time they get the chance, STID being the most recent. I mean seriously, who combines the Novel “Dreadnought” with Space Seed and comes up with that? Insurrection was dumb from the start.

I am starting to think some of these fan films are far more entertaining than what Hollywood thinks is.

197. Disinvited - June 17, 2014

# 196. NTRPRZ17 – June 17, 2014

“Curious why so many give Goldsmith credit for his themes in ST:V, which he then completely ripped off and then reused in First Contact.” — NTRPRZ17

When I saw the credits had his son Joel listed as collaborating with him on the score at the opening day of FIRST CONTACT, I took that as a sign that the infirmities of old age, if not a more serious illness, was making it harder for him to maintain the timescale of commitments he had made prior without regards to such things as winding down due to his advancing years.

As it turned out, his son, Joel, died of cancer at the age of 54 to which Jerry succumbed at the age of 75.

It is a puzzle why you think his score for V is somehow made “less great” or less worthy of credit because he supposedly reused elements in future scores? For example, it does not follow that the score of TMP is somehow less worthy of credit because its STAR TREK theme was reused for the TNG television series’ theme and appears on other Trek films he scored after.

198. JohnParrett - June 17, 2014

Does anyone else remember the Star Trek V teaser trailer that was an uninterrupted shot of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy walking from the shuttle, taking to the turbo lift to the bridge, and then the door half opening? It ends with Spock turning to the camera and shaking his head in disbelief. It is not on the DVD and I have not been able to find it anywhere.

199. Eleanor - June 18, 2014

I can’t get over how bad this movie is. I can’t even believe that Shatner dared to criticize the reboot when his own movie was a complete fail and even Roddenberry disliked it.

ps: please don’t call the scotty/uhura thing a romance. Read the novelization and the comics and you will only feel very sad and bad for her. Sybok manipulated her, she wasn’t even herself. After the fact they don’t even address how it could affect her. The old writers really didn’t give a s**t about Uhura or women in general. Having a woman of color as the aggressor in a mentally induced pseudo act of seduction towards one of her friends is absolutely bad taste and a slap in the face for Nichelle Nichols who had always wanted Uhura to get better character development and an actual, real, relationship.
This movie hit the jackpot of all the racist tropes.

200. feenix219 - June 18, 2014

This movie was fun, like an adventure serial, a throwback to the more adventuresome days of TOS. If Shatner’s budget hadn’t been slashed, this may have turned out better. There are some great scenes in the movie, even if the narative falls flat in a few places.

I really, *really* wish I could find the Fan Edit of this movie, that trims it down into a great 1 hour episode. It was called “In Thy Image” as a joke, and i had it until a hard drive crash. Haven’t found anything seeding it since.

Also, this was the first movie I saw in a dollar theater, back to back with Indy 3, which was my first exposure to Indiana Jones. Great Times.

201. Keachick (Rose) - June 19, 2014

#199 – What has Uhura’s colour got to do with anything?

What a stupid, racist comment!

202. Eleanor - June 20, 2014

201. Keachick (Rose) – June 19, 2014

I’m confused because I don’t understand if you’re replying to my comment or one that isn’t here anymore. If your reply was directed at me I have to admit I’d find it funny if you thought my comment was racist when I’m actually criticizing racism.

everytime someone is addressing the racism in the tos or the old movies, someone wants to pretend that race issues don’t exist.
Nichelle Nichols — and consequently Uhura too — is woman of color and it’s disingenuous to pretend it had never been an issue for her and it never influenced the writing of the character. Read her biography, they wouldn’t even let her have a normal contract like the other stars she even decided to leave the show at one point because they kept cutting her lines and wouldn’t even give her the fanmails sent to her.
It’s bad when people say that Uhura should be alone to be a ‘strong independent woman’ because the real reason Uhura wasn’t allowed to have a romantic relationship in tos was the racism.
In this movie (star trek V) now that she’s in her fifties and her ‘wanton female sexuality’ is apparently not threatening to the general public anymore, even here they won’t let her have a real ‘romance’.
The Scotty/Uhura thing is not so different from the Kirk/Uhura kiss: in both scenarios they had to force the character(s) and they removed her agency.
Putting her with the secondary and least attractive male character (the one the fangirls didn’t fantasize about) would, alone, fit with a number of tropes when it comes to the treatment of WOCs in tv (those rare times they’re allowed to be love interests). The fact that it wasn’t developed as a romance and she was manipulated by Sybok only makes the whole thing worse and bad taste honestly.
Nichelle Nichols herself acknowledged that only Saldana’s Uhura is in a romantic relationship that her own Uhura was never allowed to be in (though, she said that Roddenberry had wanted to set Spock/Uhura from the get go but — again — racism wouldn’t make it possible at the time)

“What has Uhura’s colour got to do with anything?”
short answer: everything.

203. Keachick (Rose) - June 20, 2014

You turn one issue into yet another.

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