Star Trek Interviews from ’79 & ’86

videoholic2007 has more golden oldies…first is a PM Magazine feature on ST:TMP and then a two part ET feature from 1986 (before STIV came out).

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Remember when it was exciting to see another Trek movie?

Geez Anthony how bout’ a “thanks pal” for tipping you off on that old school Motion Picture video. ;)

The hype surrounding that film was incredible – loved it.

Shatners hair looked cool back then.

Damn imagine the thrill of seeing little snippets like that on tv in the late 70s about the 1st Trek movie…a 40 million dollar movie with the same frickin cast!

Shatner looks the business in that interview – handsome and his manner is straight and Kirk like – now he’s old and always joking around. Damn why did he have to get old… :(

I guess in a way this new film is the closest in curiosity value to the 1st film….what the Ent gonna look like…what will the uniforms look like – will Shatner and Nimoy be in it etc

Ah, fond memories.

The first glimpse of the trailer for TMP with it’s blue and white(!) logo, sadly not eventually used, but which ended up a pale yellow, rather than a lively saturated one…the anticipation of seeing the gang on the BIG screen…with the hint of some fantastic special effects…the disappointment of the new bland, colourless uniforms and Bridge…then finally seeing the, albiet rushed, final version…and discovering it’s terrific soundtrack…and finding that the special effects were indeed mostly fantastic… yes, heady times.

What will the first trailer to the upcoming Movie elicit in me I wonder?

Probably the first trailer will have nowhere near the same effect because we will know the cast, the crew, the plot and everything else before it hits. The internet has changed a lot of things, including making it double tough to avoid spoilers in advance of a film.

I remember those days very well–the anticipation was unbelievable. I don’t believe we will see its like again in Star Trek.

the narrator guy talks about it like it could be as succesful as Star Wars…figures etc

I guess Paramount were hoping it would be on the same level..

It might have made alot more than it did if Wrath of Khan had been The Motion Picture eh?

then again WOK only exists cause of TMP.

Actually if you adjust all the money for inflation isnt TMP the most succesful trek film at the BO? or is it still Voyage Home?

and 40 million budget…isnt that like about 100 million in todays money?

btw – heres the BO figures and budgets of all the movies (according to imdb) – i think TMPs varies as sometimes people take into account the aborted Phase 2 tv efforts

TMP – Budget:$35mil, US Gross:$82.25mil, Total:$139mil,

TWOK – Budget:$11mil, US Gross:$78.6mil, Total:$97mil,

TSFS – Budget:$17mil, US Gross:$76.5mil, Total:$87mil,

TVH – Budget:$45mil, US Gross:$109mil, Total:$133mil,

FF – Budget:$27.8mil, US Gross:$55mil, Total:$70mil,

TUC – Budget:$30mil, US Gross:$74.9mil, Total:$94mil,

G – Budget:$35mil, US Gross:$75.7mil, Total:$120mil,

FC – Budget:$45mil, US Gross:$92mil, Total:$150mil,

I – Budget:$58mil, US Gross:$70.1mil, Total:$119mil,

N – Budget:$70mil, US Gross:$43.1mil, Total:$67.3mil,

I too remember those days fondly as well. No internet …only information came form Entertainment Tonight type programming. I even taped a segment of the Merv Griffin Show with a cassette tape recorder and listened to the interviews many times before the movie came out. Friends and I even called movie theaters months before the release to see if their current film had Star Trek trailers ,and we went to those theaters regardless of what was showing , just to get a glimpse of the new Star Trek film. Those were the days my friend!

wow sorry – I think TVH budget is a mistake there – it was more like 25 FF should be 32 million

the rest are round about right tho

What a shame, at the end of the Shatner interview, that they cut away to show a clip of the movie and we only heard the voice-over of the Shat say, “the part of Captain Kirk is an awfully good one!” It would have been nice to see his facial expression when he stated that sentiment. I cracked up, earlier in his interview, when Shatner expressed concern of whether to reprise the role of Captain Kirk. It’s hilarious when he expressed concern over it maybe presenting “career problems”! Hell, at that point in time, he didn’t have MUCH of a career, so what was the problem??

re 13 –

yeah i LOL at that too…he was obviously trying to make out that he was in demand and might not have been able to do TMP…

well he was in demand – in demand for shitty tv movies of the week and guest spots on Columbo!

I reality he was probably praying to god every night throughout the 70s that Star Trek would be resurected and he’d be Kirk again…

On another note – how unprecedented is/was it to bring back the tv cast for a mega budget movie? apart from Trek is only happened to X Files and Firefly – but those were made while the shows were still on/recently cancelled…

Star trek really is one of a kind.

in that interview Shatner dosnt look that different from how he looked in the 3rd season actually

the lighting wasnt very flattering in some parts of TMP.

Interviewer – ‘Does the original cast get along?’

Shats ‘Very Much’


That aside – i’ve watched and rewatched shatner in that interview a no of times now…damn he certainly has that X factor dosnt he…the look..the voice…the hair…you cant take your eyes away – even in an interview..

its crazy when you hear them talking about sequels (not just in this inteview but others too) when they were only on TMP…little did he know he had Khan and the whole Genesis thing coming up..

Here we just passed the 40th Anniversary and it’s amazing to see Shatner and company in those interviews from 1986 say Star Trek will go on for another 20 years and more.

just watched the Trek IV interviews

wow u get to see parts of the bridge of the NCC 1701 A you never do in the film..

wow Chechov goes on about his career being ruined through Trek…man was it THAT bad?!? Only 10% of actors work anyway…if it wernt for trek u think youd have been the 60s/70s version of Tom Cruise of sumthin?

chill out man – be like Scotty…

re 17

yep Shats and Nimoy are quite prophetic arent De kelley saying its his ‘since feeling that IV will pick up an audience that wouldnt normally go to see a Trek film’

then right at the end Shatner talks about V – oh dear….I feel like shouting at the computer screen “NOOOOO Dont Do It Bill!”

maybe we should all charter a space shuttle go round the sun and back to 1988 to stop Shatner filming Trek V eh or maybe take a dvd and show him

re: 19-

Maybe with the HD verisons of the Star Trek films to come, they will let Shatner have the moeny to remaster Trek V and do the CGI he wanted for the SD DVD!

well i think he was up for doing that with the SE dvd..but Paramount said no.

HD? Screw that!

how many times are we supposed to buy the same films?

Great interviews!

But honestly, I thought Shatner was being a bit disingenuous when he said that it was a difficult decision to do Star Trek TMP. Yeah right!

By the time the movie was in pre-production, he had already worked on the animated Trek a few years earlier and had agreed to play Capt Kirk again in a new Star Trek TV series. (As most of us already know, the TV series project was abandoned in favor of the theatrical movie.)

So why would it be such a tough decision to do a Trek movie when he was already doing some much Trek, including paid gigs at many Star Trek conventions throughout the seventies?

Star Trek TMP gave Shatner his first “gigantic payday” and I’m sure they didn’t have to twist his arm to be in the film. The Trek movies made him rich and even more famous, and opened the door for many future acting and directing jobs, including TJ Hooker and the current Boston Legal. These projects would never have come his was if not for ST.

Mike :o

wow not much talkback on this one – all just from Snake here.

anyway i had an idea today about the new film and all that – and i thought why dont they get Jim Cavizal as Pike? with the jesus/Jeff hunter connection and all

how about that for casting eh? – hes not A list so should cost half the budget – and he’s done SF before…plus is about the right age

re 23 – LAY OF THE SHAT!!



SERIOUSLY THOUGH – maybe The Shatner was abit influenced by all the media surrounding Nimoy at the time – about weather he was gonna come back as Spock or not..and thought he’d jump on it too

Nimoy probably got both his and shatners salarys increased significantly by holding out like he did. (werent/arent they on some kind of special joint Star Trek contract? where everything one gets the other has to?)

Note the temp track music and sound fx in the clips from TMP

Wow…I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen Persis with hair!

Great interviews…it is amazing to think about how Trek has endured, considering how the world (and TV) has changed since 1966. I got a chuckle when Shat mentioned that Trek would go “another 20 years!”…thinking all the way out to 2006! :)

It seems that there was something very special about Trek when it was still just one crew…one ship…one captain. (Okay, there was Pike as well. But you know what I mean!) :)

Here’s to another 20 years!

Was really nice to see that gorgeous Enterprise bridge set…we got, what? 2 minutes of it at the end of TVH? And from basically one angle. Always wanted to see more of it!

KS Trekker: watch MEGAFORCE….(or don’t :)) to see Persis’ hair.

i am only 20 , and i some times forget how old trek is , that was so 70s, and their making a big deal that star trek is 10 ! years old lol.

and how bad where those star trek figures lol

Ahh… Persis Khambatta. A beautiful name for a beautiful woman, bald or not. You can see in the interview that there was just something special, almost magical, about her.

Too bad she is no longer with us. :(

I always liked Harold Michelson and Jennings production design, but even though Zimmerman is well respected amongst the fans and has a long history associated with the series, I simply never enjoyed his aesthetic sensibilities for Trek.

Trek V is a prime example of Zimmermans minimalist preferences and tastes in visual style.

Contrast the refit bridge of the Motion Picture for example, against the Trek V and VI bridge. Despite the overall similarity- both are round, heh, the devil is in the details, and Zimmerman lacked the final finessing to his sets and design. There isn’t really a fundamental difference aside from decorative to all of Zimmermans bridge designs spanning all of the various series. Enterprise, Enterprise B, Enterprise E, Excelsior, DS9, Voyager, etc, the display graphics alone really established you were on a different ship.
The jump from Jefferies Bridge to Michelsons bridge, look how drastic the contrast was yet they were both fundamentally artistically related. You get no such distinction or contrast between Michelsons refit bridge, and Zimmermans Trek V bridge. There was a perfect oppurtunity to really make a statement and make a nice distinctive new bridge design, and it ended up entirely minimalist and overlit.


As yet another example, contrast Michelsons refit bridge with Proberts D bridge.

Am I the only one who really liked the (then) new gleaming white redress of the bridge set at the end of STIV. I never cared for the quasi Next Gen look of the bridge in STV…although, once again, Meyer improved upon it for STVI.

Great videos, thanks Anthony

And “how bad were those figures???” Irish Trekkie, I know you can’t mean those righteous Megos at the beginning of the video — a finer action figure has never been minted! Never I say!! ;)

Back in ’86 at Christmas on a visit to LA to stay with family my wife and I were lucky enough to get a tour (courtesy of Richard Arnold who we got to know at UK conventions in the 80’s) of the sets at Paramount – 1 day after STIV’s release, the sets were open for press visits, all lit for the press, and even had a starfield setup where the blue screen would be on the viewer, and got to sit in the captains chair, gotta say it was a dream come true, and even got to chat with Nimoy… also loved the look of the new re-dress of the set, I also was never a big fan of TNG living room bridge.

Thats when Star Trek was fun, waiting a few years before films dying to see the trailers at the cinema, exciting stuff – the anticipation and only imports of Starlog magazine could give us teaser photos!

I like how at the end of the last interview, the subject of Shatner directing ST:V comes up and the Shat says, “I get my own sandbox and get to build some castles in it”. With the way ST:V turned out I guess he forgot to mention what is often found in sandboxes…..CAT TURDS!!! That’s right, I said it!….wait, on second thought, I take it back…after all, that observation of comparing his directing efforts to shit found in a sandbox is AN INSULT TO CATSHIT!!!

All the movie bridges were disappointments. I didn’t like how they moved the stations around and who the heck cares about an extra turbolift on the bridge? No color. The movies could all be in black and white and it would make little difference.

Great videos. I remember the interview with Persis Khambatta and Robert Wise. I was eight years old and I was always watching the tube to see anything and everything that I could about ST:TMP. In those days there were only about 5 channels if you didn’t have cable TV (which we didn’t at the time). The anticipation for that movie was huge. Thanks for the flashback Anthony!!

#38 – STV is not all bad. The first hour is pretty good. It just had nowhere to go. Shatner painted himself into a corner with the God script.

A script with Spock’s crazy half brother with mystical powers taking hostages and commandeering the ship was by itself an ok idea. Just leave the god out of it.

Also, his budget was cut back quite a bit as compared to STIV…

# 38 ….Great stuff!!! I laughed so hard I had tears coming down my face. And number 41…Only the first 4 minutes during the credits were pretty good… until Kirk fell off the mountain. It went down hill after that (no pun intended) .As I’m sure the Spock would say, “it’s not the ground that would kill you, but the sudden stop”!

All this great footage is what SHOULD be on the DVDs Paramount puts out, otherwise if not for YouTube we’d never see it again. There are just hours and hours of interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff that is never seen. I remember when STII came out, for instance, Mike Douglas devoted one whole episode of his afternoon talk show to it, including Shatner, Montalban, Bibi Besch, Merritt Buttrick, and others. And what about interviews with Johnny Carson (who had quite an interest in astronomy, I remember, but I don’t know that he was a Star Trek fan). I also recall (faintly, cause I was pretty young) Shatner and Nimoy putting in an appearance on the Today show while TOS was on the air, wearing their uniforms and makeup. All KINDS of great stuff that would make buying the DVDS ONE MORE TIME worthwhile!

Great memories, I still remember the build up to the new Star Trek movies.

STV is flawed but has some of the most inspiring moments ever created in the whole franchise. I have defended the Godward direction in other posts. Tonight I will touch upon the scene where McCoy decides to discontinue the life support of his critically ill father. That scene is powerfully done, and speaks to me. My dad was a big Trek fan, watching it in its original run in the 60s. Unfortunately he got cancer last summer and passed earlier this year. The cancer ravaged his body and then his brain. So the scene where McCoy says he pulled the life support from his critically ill father to “preserve his dignity” speaks volumes to me.

Interesting look into memory lane. i liked the aformentioned scenes from Star Trek V but I felt the movie as a whole just was lacking in a decent script. Moments are not enough to carry a movie . Better effects could have been used. Yeah I agree using TNG sets were so utterly noticeable you thought you were on the Enterprise -D nor A. And I felt this movie needed more than retreading the looking for god angle that was covered in the first Star Trek Movie. I think thats what hurt Nemises in my opinion since its a near redo of TWOK.

On the subject of the Motion Picture itself the film should never been rushed to theaters .Mainly to cash in on the success of Star Wars. The script wasn’t finished when shooting began. Nimoy was the last holdout for the film frankly because the script wasnt all that great. I prefer the Directors DVD cut because its Robert Wise’s vision.
He made some great films. It’s too bad critically the movie was not very moving at all. Roddenberry became the fall guy till his death. Which lead to distrust between Paramount and Roddenberry himself and pushed him into a useless creative consultant title.

I used to get really excited over Star Trek Films. Went to every first showing. After 2 bad movies in a row slighlty a little wary now.

From an extreme nerd perspective, apart from the interviews themselves, it was cool to see a little more of that shiny birdge set that is actually in the film for all of 23 seconds. I didn’t really like the switch in the next movie, either, which is yet another reason not to talk about the next movie, and its name shall not be spoken. Amen… I guess.

The early movie bridge sets had lots of cool shapes and things all over the place, each spot a little different from the next. It produced a lot of variety for shot composition, adding to the visual fabric of the movie, which helps especially if a lot of time is spent in one set, much like TMP or Khan. Unfortunately in TMP they chose the blandest color scheme imaginable and made it look boring as frak, an ailment which seems to have been in that movie’s genetic material, much to the viewer’s detriment. They seemed to get the hang of it by Khan and later, but it’s disappointing to see that shiny new interesting version abandoned when they really got it going, and didn’t have to destroy the ship in the next movie. The next one is all TV screens in grids no matter where you look. Everything kind of looks the same.

Great videos, and great thread.

I chuckled when the journalist said that TMP might be bigger than Star Wars. The privilege of hindsight, ay.

I found it surprising, in Snake’s post of the $ figures, that Generations made so much more $ than STVI. Being sandwiched in between two bad movies, the figures for STVI belie its actual merit and worth.

Also, I’m a bit awestruck at the impressive feat of STII having been made for $11, yet, bewildered as to why it didn’t make more $ than TMP and STIV. I’m guessing that it suffered the disappointment of TMP.

STIII was a thoroughly enjoyable film, and, I guess it’s mainstream appeal brought home the bacon.

*sorry, I mean STIV was a thoroughly enjoyable film whose mainstream appeal….

I think TMP killed interest in II which is why it made less. btw does anyone know what the average viewership for Trek was in the 70’s?