TMP@30: Rare Video and Photos From Star Trek: The Motion Picture

We are in day six of our week long 30th Anniversary celebration of the first Trek feature film, Robert Wise’s Star Trek The Motion Picture. Today, thanks to one of our community members, we have some rare behind the scenes video from the making of TMP.



Rare TMP Video
(thanks to Graham/TrekkerTos and Vernon/VWVVWVVWV)

Behind the scenes

Alternative Wormhole scene

Rare Photos
The great site for Trek media, TrekCore, has a couple of interesting galleries for Star Trek The Motion Picture: firstly Behind The Scenes Gallery, plus Publicity Photos Gallery. Here are a few selections.

For much more visit TrekCores TMP page.



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At least they weren’t trying to use sex to sell this movie…

I always loved the admiral’s uniform.

Wish they’d taken another few months and trimmed the fat. TMP could be much better with better editing.

Still… always nice to see the gang looking so YOUNG.

Gorgeous! So special. Am having a Trekfest Saturday night at my house. Suggestions for refreshments?

Romulan Ale

I love the Pic with Kirk and Spock. Now that is a great Photo. This movie was a great movie. It was a little drawn out. But the directors edition did make it much better. If you have not seen the Directors edition then you have not seen The Motion Picture that way it was meant to be seen.


If you get the Directors Edition DVD, you will find your wish has been granted. And yes, it IS much, much better.

It’s always good to see some love for TMP! Sure, it was flawed but it was such a unique take on Star Trek whose style would never be repeated. It’s a gorgeous film.


I just rewatched my TMP Director’s Edition from my Collector’s Box Set of ST movies and there is a desperate sadness I find in it now, as I approach it as a Borg movie from start to finish. Our humanity starts something very ugly there. Everyone has such hope and such sureity about what has been accomplished in the moment, but it’s actually very frightening. I find this to be the most ominous and depressing of the Star Trek films. But what can you say? Humanity IS responsible for ALL the evil our world has seen. I guess it’s the intentions behind our actions that we can control, and not always the outcome…

My dream would be a cut without the wormhole sequence. That alone would improve the movie exponentially.

#10 – I couldn’t agree less. I find it heartening – the Enterprise crew didn’t go in with guns blazing, like our Klingon friends in the opening scene. Instead, our crew accumulated knowledge and saved the day through self-sacrifice and a willingness to explore rather than destroy. If I remember, there was a grand total of one Federation weapon fired in the whole movie. Spock’s arc is the most telling of all, because he finally realizes what we all know deep down – logic without emotion is a cold, lonely experience. His scene where he expresses “this simple feeling” is the epitomy of Roddenberry’s Trek.

In the end, V’Ger is us – seeking, learning, growing. It is a child, as are we all. “Is this all I am? Is there nothing more?”

7 – In the director’s cut, do you still get Sulu’s “Why, it’s Mister Spock!” not to mention the four hours of reaction shots going into V’ger?

I would like to see the director’s cut… one of these days. No bucks right now to get it, though.

Shat’s toupee was especially egregious in STTMP. The damn thing looks like it’s gonna crawl off his head and go about its own business at times.

The Wormhole Sequence:

Still the most laughably bad, downright embarrassing sequence in ALL of TREK filmdom.

“Tiiiime… toooo… iiiim-paaaaact!”

“Beeeee-laaaay… thaaaaat… phaaaaaaa-seeeer… orrrrrrrrr-derrrrrrrr!”

“Phoh-taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahn… tor-peeeeeeeeeeedooooooooohes… awaaaaaaaaay!!!”

What would have been good if is Lt Goodbody and Ensign Hartup were down below decks, away from their posts, going at it…picture it, if you will…all of the splendour and awe of the wormhole sequence…only with just sex!

Damn, I miss Cinemax.

#10 – I have always chosen to think of the Borg as the offspring of V’Ger – if it were to be declared canon, it would make TMP a more important part of Trek as a whole, and less of a “well-intentioned but flawed effort”, as it is largely considered to be now.

My dream cut would be to have the long “flyover” sequences sped up and truncated. Pretty to look at, boring to sit through.

#11 – You are entirely correct – but what if despite our noblest intentions, the V’Ger aspect of the merger proved to be more powerful and sinister than we knew – or even a trap from the beginning? The Borg Queen was not emotionless – possibly this was what V’Ger’s goal was all along – obtaining our best qualities to use to its own nefarious ends?

Think it over, the idea may grow on you.

I miss the days when they still used models for the ship shots. I know CG gives a lot more options to the film makers but there’s a realism that only a studio model can bring. I wish they’d use both, CG for the action shots and maybe CG enhances models for the close up and slower shots.

WOAH – That behind the scenes reel is so effin’ cool!

The admiral’s uniform was a great one. The problem was that they also had people running around in Class B and C jammies, tshirts and spandex. Glad they nodded to it with Pike’s uniform at the end of ST09.


To all those wishing the wormhole sequence was cut… I wish it was better done, but I think it’s important (showing Kirk’s unfamiliarity with the vessel.) The scene caused immense problems during production and was shot twice (once at the slow speed, and once at regular). Probably they should have done it at regular and kept the optical “trailing” effects, those were quite cool.

I liked TMP when I saw it as a thrilled 13 year old in 1979, and I still think it’s underrated in general. But for the life of me, I cannot fathom why on Earth Gene Roddenberry decided to have one of the world’s most beautiful women’s head shaved. It serves no plot purpose, the story would be just fine without a bald Deltan. Nobody left the cinema thinking, “the baldness really improved that movie thar”. What the heck was he thinking?

The Admiral’s uniform is one of two that looked pretty good in the movie, the other being Chapel’s sickbay uniform. Everything else looked like pajamas.

That second Ilia publicity shot looks like she was cast in Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers!


To each his own, but Persis Khambatta looked absolutely spectacular as a bald woman. If she had a misshapen noggin, maybe it would have been a disaster, but she pulled it off just fine.

The baldness just heightens the sensuality, you know? If the drapes match the carpet…

(Although, one thing we DID NOT need to see in TMP…

…DeForest Kelley rocking a Mr. Furley-esque butterfly collar, with exposed chest hair. All that was missing was an ascot!)

Persis Khambatta was an extremely gorgeous woman. May she rest in peace.

The saying goes…if the collars and cuffs match.

I had a poster of that shot with Kirk and Spock with the burst in the background. I think it was offered as a promotion through Crest toothpaste.


” If the drapes match the carpet…”

I’ve never been much attracted to, er… bare boards… either, to continue the dodgy metaphor.

Not to mention that not even Brazilians had bare boards in 1979.

I think the idea of having Ilia being bald was the result of the plan to show Deltans being more “evolved” than humans. And yes, Persis Khambatta was stunning, whether bald or not. As for whether she had “carpet” or not, we will never know. Unless an X-rated version of The Motion Picture was filmed but not released….

I never knew there was a “controversy” around the wormhole sequence. I think it did highlight Kirk’s “unfamiliarity” with the new ship, which was exposited more in the novel adaptation.

Actually, the novel made Kirk seem less stupid. The way it was described there was that he had seen the early designs for the new Enterprise that would automatically cut off phaser power, and he had fought the designs because they could only have been thought of by someone who had never taken a ship into combat. He thought his comments would have been accepted and the plans changed, but he never followed through to ensure it. The movie depicted him being, well, a doofus about how the phasers worked.

The Director’s Cut does a great service to TMP, but so much of its problems stem from a story being written as it was filmed that not even a Hollywood great like Robert Wise could miracle-work it into the greatness to which it aspired. How Roddenberry in particular, or anyone with Trek in general couldn’t see that the story was a rework of the series episode “The Changeling” in sometimes startlingly similar ways always amazed me. I remember Wise being quoted later as having said it “was a very sloppy way to make a movie.” And, to be sure, part of that blame went on Paramount’s head, too, and its constantly shifting Trek winds.

The only thing I genuinely disliked about TMP were those pajama uniforms. Think about it – if Kirk brought back the Enterprise after two more (unfilmed) seasons, then spent another 18 months rebuilding her, what kind of philosophical shifts at Starfleet would have to taken place in so short a time to explain a shift away from the simple uniforms shown in the series to the chronically blue pajamas?

And, in that movie, MAN was there a lot of freaking BLUE in the 23rd century….:)

IIRC, it was originally going to be the TOS uniforms, and Robert Wise hated them and insisted on new designs, and the pastel jammies were the result.

The wormhole sequence itself would be okay if it were trimmed a bit, it just goes on a little too long.

The idea of the Borg being the demon spawn of V’ger’s evolved form is interesting to consider, but really is impossible. V’ger’s evolution is meant to reflect our human condition, and, as part of its transformation, it became incorporeal.

Now the machine planet…THAT’s where the Borg story could start. V’ger arrived with simple programming: learn all that is learnable and return with that information to the creator.

What could have arrived at the machine planet to be transformed into the Borg? An efficient cyborg parasite which must grow to survive? Go figure.

Star Trek 2009: The most laughably bad, downright embarrassing, plot hole infested, silly, stupid thing in ALL of TREK filmdom.

#34 Most people who have seen this movie will VEHEMENTLY disagree with your opinion. I thought this movie was a great movie with only a few exceptions. Just because YOU don’t like this movie, doesn’t mean it is what you described. Quite the opposite in fact. Just because it isn’t “your Trek” doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone else. In my opinion, this movie is the third best, just behind “Wrath Of Khan” and “First Contact”.

I agree with #34. This movie was a turgid mess when I saw it on opening day and no amount of directors cuts, repeat viewings, nostalgia, etc. has made it a better film.

Aside from the incredibly subpar, written “on the fly” script, very few people realize that Bob Wise was just the wrong sort of director for Trek. He was obviously told by Roddenberry that he was directing something deep, something on the level of 2001.

He and Roddenberry took wonderfully alive, fun characters and turned them into somber killjoys without a shred of joy in them.

I’m surprised that people actually defend this piece of dreck.

# 36 – I was referring to the 2009 version of Trek.

I think TMP is the only “film” in the series. It’s certainly the only science fiction film.

# 35 – As far as my opinion on Trek 2009 goes it’s my opinion. No point getting upset about it. And last time I looked I was still free to have it and publish it. You might be interested to know I’ve refrained from posting here because I didn’t want to be seen as a troll but with all the pot shots being thrown at TMP I thought I’d better pipe up.

BTW you might want to look at the comments on IMDB. I am far from alone in my opinion.

#37 So what? Maybe it is just a few people repeating their dislike for “Star Trek 09”? Judging by the way the movie was recieved by MOST critics, MOST fans, and MOST newbies, I and a lot of others, including Anthony Pascale, would call this movie an “unqualified success”. Just because you don’t like the new movie doesn’t mean you get to rewrite the facts.
I am not being arrogant either. I’m just stating the facts.

warning to mugatu for hijacking/trolling

this is a thread about TMP, you are already posting your comments in other st09 threads, no need to try and pick a fight in this one

I love this film!!! :D

In 1980 or so they released a Super-8 sound abridgement of TMP!

It runs about an hour or so and is alot of fun to watch! Editing jumps around but it doesn’t drag!

I thought Persis Khambatta died of cancer. That’s what I thought was reported in the media back when it happened. However, I was just looking over her Wikipedia Page for some clarification about that, and was very disturbed to read the following:

In 1998, Khambatta was taken to the Marine Hospital in south Mumbai complaining of chest pains. She died that Wednesday of a heart attack. Her funeral was held in Mumbai, 19 August 1998. She was 49. However, not all have accepted Persis Khambatta’s death as being from natural causes. Edward Lozzi, the Beverly Hills public relations executive and a former boyfriend of Khambatta in 1985-86, sent a letter of concern to the authorities in India about the threats to her life he witnessed in the United States from political fanatics in India. Khambatta had been a strong supporter of Indira Gandhi and even campaigned for her before her assassination. Lozzi hired a private investigator in Bombay (now Mumbai) to investigate the autopsy, the body, the death certificate and to interview the hospital officials where she supposedly died. None of this was made public to anyone except that her body was cremated. Lozzi’s media company shortly thereafter sent out a press release announcing his fears that Persis Khambatta’s death was due to foul play. [2]

#3 – I still remember looking at them on screen in the theater when the movie came out and noticing how they had all aged a decade.

But yeah, compared to now, they were noticeably ‘younger’.

When will they release the Director’s Cut of TMP on Blu-ray?

#13 – The hair piece for Shatner was especially annoying because the script had them all playing themselves younger, not long after where the television series had left off, even though the noticeable change in their appearances, especially Scotty’s, makes that utterly unbelievable, and a mistake for them to have tried to pass it off that way.

I know it’s long been speculated that the V’Ger planet that the Voyager probe came back from was the home of the Borg, and I believe that some of the paperback novels even went with that premise, but it has never been established, let alone even been speculated on anywhere on screen in any of the Trek incarnations, so while it may be a novel idea (no pun intended), there isn’t a shred of evidence to actually support it.

#23 – The problem with Persis’ baldness was that it also made the scene where her android V’Ger replica is given that stupid head piece to wear in order to put her in touch with the feelings and emotions of her progenitor, and it looked all the more ridiculous at that point because it highlighted her baldness even more, and she looked silly.

Persis be a ‘disco diva’ in that third pic. And in pic 5 it looks like Shatner and Doohan took Steve Martin’s advice and “got really small”. Kind of a cool pre-CGI effect. Looks like they are really in that tin can.

I will rewrite/second guess history here, but I firmly believe that TMP only lacked an initial fight/conflict scene between the Klingons and Federation to give the film the additional punch needed before the long entry into V’ger.

Had the Enterprise battled with the Klingons when they reached the edge of the cloud, (the Klingons believing V’ger to be a weapon of the Federation which had supposedly devastated the Klingon Fleet) the entry into V’ger would have been more mysterious as we moved from the idea of it being a weapon to it being sentient.

The Klingon attack in the beginning of the film adds little to the film other than portraying V’ger as an big, bad entity. It does not heighten the pace of the film and therefore the film always has this long, slow feeling to it..

This can be contrasted with WofK which contains a slam/bang opening sequence which then allows for the slower exposition before moving into Khan’s initial attack.

Now given all the problems with the TMP special effects, this sequence would have been impossible at the time. But had the story been written as such and had the effects been possible, I think the perception of TMP (and its pace) would be quite different.

21. He was thinking of collecting it into a wig to foist on another unsuspecting actress. Poor Gates McFadden looked 10x better when she was able to ditch the wig. And how much hair would be required for Rand’s beehive? Rapunzel eat your heart out! Love GR’s creation, Trek, but the dude seemed to have a weird hair fetish, any way you cut it ;).