New Mission Log Podcast: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier


In Star Trek II we found Khan. In Star Trek III we found Spock. In Star Trek IV we found whales. What is bigger than all of that? One of us is looking for God. And – surprise! We find Spock’s brother! And we weren’t even searching for him. Strap in for a fun movie… or a movie, anyway. It’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

095 – Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Star Trek V is often regarded by fans as the worst of all of the Star Trek films. This week, John and Ken take a look back and see just how good or bad the thing really was and if its messages still hold up today. But, love it or hate it, you have to love the fact that it led to this remixed video of Kirk singing about climbing the mountain. Because it’s there.




POLL: Final say on Final Frontier

What grade to you give Shatner’s effort, speak out below and vote in the new poll.

[poll id=”727″]



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

i recall really enjoying the campfire scene…

Star Trek V is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It has some outstanding character moments and it was an honest genuine attempt to do something different and exciting. It also really captured the spirit of the original series attempting to boldly go where no man has gone before. No doubt it is a flawed movie but I believe it takes way more flack than it deserves.

The campfire scenes were good. I just watch those and fast forward through the rest, which is too painful to watch after the very good trilogy that precedes it. It is a plain awful Shatner vanity project at its worst – even worse than his albums, and they are lucky to have made VI after that abomination.

Outstanding score. Great idea of going where no man has gone before. A few good character moments.

On the other hand

Terrible special effects. Some not so good character moments. Moments of wtf and it adds up to a 2 1/2 star movie out of 4.

Even with all of its problems, it is better than any of the TNG movies, except maybe First Contact….


First Contact? The movie everyone raves about, but has the biggest plot loophole of all?

The Borg try to attack Earth in the 24th century and are repelled. So, what do they do? The Borg pop a ball out of the destroyed ship and go back in time to assimilate Earth in the past. Keep in mind, they go back in time as easily as you or I would cross the street (even easier). So, why didn’t the Borg just go back in time while safe in their own quadrant of space and then approach Earth at leisure to do the same thing, knowing no one could stop them?

To greenlight a movie with that BIG of a plot flaw is just plain stupid!


I commented SOOO many times on this film.
The real tragedy (beyond Shat’s silly-side coming to the fore in the director’s chair) is that there are a few good ideas in this film. With proper shepherding, they could have been done well. Hell, even the heinous execution of the cat woman was done well in STID (a film I do not compliment easily.) Shat is a great talent. I say that without irony or sarcasm. But, he must have someone to hold his leash. His love of convoluted storytelling, drawing a dozen ideas into a scene but not really showing most of them, and his weakness for slapstick that doesn’t work, kill this movie. That’s not even counting the continuity gaffs, the character assassinations, the science-out-the-porthole approach, or Nichelle Nichols nude a good 20 years too late. (Sorry, babe, but it’s true.)

Oh, and Harry… Hollywood doesn’t always get it wrong. Sometimes they do what they do because they specifically hate you.


CmdrR, you don’t actually think I take the flawed actions of Hollywood personally, do you?


the borg wanted picard, their plan was to assimilate earth in the past while having captured picard and making him watch their future’s end. The borg wanted enterprise to be caught in its temporal wake thus dragging their prize picard with them into the past.


The Borg had already gleaned all knowledge from Picard in TNG episodes.

Unlikely they would sacrifice an entire Borg ship to simply humiliate one member of an “inferior species”.

But, hey, thanks for playing! Johnny, tell him what he’s won!

Hollywood is like Corporate, Inc. (I used to say Corporate America, but Corporate, Inc. pisses on America, so…) Anyway, Corporate, Inc. loves your money. That’s it. That jealous love engenders hatred of all other things and people… including Harry I. Ballz.
First Contact is not top of my list for movies constructed out of money-lust. STID wins that prize among Trek flicks and there are countless disposable films even higher. You SHOULD take it personally. We all should. Corporate, Inc. is at war with America.

Oh, and the “I,” as you must know… is for “Itchy.”

picard was the bridge to humanity the borg desired and the queen wanted locutus back. This is the only logical reason for one borg cube on a suicide mission.


I must point out that it’s actually Harry B. Ballz.

That’s right……HARRY BRASS BALLZ!


12 – They had zillions of cubes in that interspace region.
It really is a plot hole. Unlike Harry, I don’t let it ruin the movie for me. I have given up trying to think through the plot holes in Dr. Who, Trek, and most time travel movies. I focus on the characters and the general story. Yes, it would be nice to see the writers sweat the details. But, First Contact was largely about the fun and action. I’ll take it as it is.

12 – They had zillions of cubes in that interspace region.
It really is a plot hole. Unlike Harry, I don’t let it ruin the movie for me. I have given up trying to think through the plot holes in Dr. Who, Trek, and most time travel movies. I focus on the characters and the general story. Yes, it would be nice to see the writers sweat the details. But, First Contact was largely about the fun and action. I’ll take it as it is.


Watch first contact again with my proposition in mind, it works :) resistance is futile…

someday someone will reboot tng and the borg and that would be awesome with todays special effects. We never got to see origins backstory or their homeworld.


the borg was afraid of humans because picard has knowledge on how to defeat the borg cubes. He was Locutus!

the borgs plan was to send one suicide borg cube to earth get picard to follow them into the past, change history and first contact, reassimilate picard ie locutus so the borg has humans technological and biological added to their own. The borg will then use picards knowledge to defeat the klingons, romulans, vulcans, cardassians, ferengi etc

somethoughts. It’s a plot hole.
The Borg could easily have fielded 50 cubes each for the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire.
Even if each cube had a womp rat-sized port that was totally unguarded and Picard knew about it… The Borg would still have beaten our side in the most mismatched fight since Godzilla vs. Bambi.


I will stick to my opinion that one borg cube on a suicde mission with their time travel plan was the most efficient plan :)

the plot hole was going back to the future, no way enterprise can recreate that temporal vortex to x date into future lol

“…Star Trek V is often regarded by fans as the worst of all of the Star Trek films…”

That is what I heard…

And, I can definitely see how some fans may regard Star Trek V as the worst of all the Star Trek films.

…Despite its flaws ( and some of my “issues” with it ) I, personally, still enjoyed watching it!

I did so countless times…


Thank you again for making these podcasts available, here on the site.

I deeply care for the Movie, despite its flaws😀.

Honestly it wasn’t a bad movie, the concept and the story line was actually a great idea, was it executed greatly, not really. I do know the studio had budget cuts and Shatner couldn’t give the movie it’s all. I like the movie every much, I wish the studio would give him money to redo alot of the special effects and do it the way he wanted too.

STV makes Insurrection & Nemesis look like TV movies!

The VFX & some story concepts were weak because Paramount would not allow anymore money or time to make the movie.

Its the closest they ever got to the spirit of TOS in the movies & has so much decent content I think its nowhere near the worse Trek movie the hate is uncalled for & not logical!

I agree, Paul. TFF truly was the closest film, in spirit and tone, to the original series. As a lifelong, die-hard fan of TOS, that’s the best I could ever hope for. Trek 5 delivered the goods. If you can’t see how this movie is more like the series than the other movies, all I can say is, you clearly haven’t watched enough TOS!

13. Harry Ballz

One thing is fo sure. It takes Ballz to admit that!

Fo sure.

6. Harry Ballz

Because Harry, you did not read the novelization.

The Borg used fluidic space to make the time jump. There just was not enough pure hydrogen to make the jump from where their arid planet is in the galaxy.

Hence their need to travel so close to the Earth during their jump.

How’z that for fluidic logic?

This was a character film and not a action type film. Its all about how the 3 main stars have delevoped a friendship over the years. But due to the prior 3 films, we got used to seeing action and the fans decided it was bad. I never thought it bad or the worst film as that goes to Insurection— another Starfleet admiral goes against the rules and regs!

What does God need with a Starship???

I didn’t see it in theaters because I read the novelization the night before it opened and could not buy that the loyal crew would betray Kirk. It just wouldn’t have happened. I saw it on home video a year or so later. Never liked it really.

On the other hand, sometime in the 90s my cousin and I returned home from a trip at about 6 AM. In the living room was his mom watching TFF on HBO or some channel, and she was absolutely glued to the screen. As far as I know, that was the only Star Trek of any kind she ever watched.

Also, my daughter’s favorite Trek movie is Insurrection, and she is a moderate SF fan overall. Who can account for taste?

I LOVE Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Yes, the premise is ridiculous, the effects are bad, the attempts at humor are terrible and the idea of Spock having a half brother comes out of nowhere. But under that, lies so much of the HEART that made us fall in love with the Original Series and that trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. This movie certainly has more heart and captures more of that spirit than the JJ Abrams films. That’s why Star Trek V is my third or fourth favorite Trek film.

Jerry Goldsmiths score is outstanding in this one. A glorious piece accompanies Kirk’s climb on the mountain. The film is a bit poor, but the music made it for me.

Ridiculous premise, ridiculously fun movie. It tried something different. It may not have entirely succeeded, but it had many, many great moments. The camp fire scenes are pure Trek… showcasing the warmth and humour of Kirk, Spock and McCoy and proving why these characters became so iconic. Would rank it 6 – not a classic, but certainly not the worse Trek movie (ahem, Insurrection).

I thought it was species 8472 who dwelled in fluidic space…

I remember coming out of the theater with my father, just like after every ST movie. I felt a deep sense of disappointment with the movie. Yes, it had nice character moments featuring my beloved original cast, but it was so bad in so many ways — the turboshaft with 100 decks, the drunken Klingon general, the bunch of homeless people taking over a Starship with guns that shot rocks — that it made it really hard to suspend disbelief.

I used to think that all it needed were proper special effects and some editing, especially near the end, but there’s a LOT to fix…

One BIG personal flaw of STTFF was the characterization of Captain Kirk. He orders Spock to KILL Sybok instead of simply taking him down by, let’s say, stunning him. They’ve stunned adversaries before, why now KILLING?
That and the special effects took me out of enjoying the movie. The Goldsmith soundtrack was beautiful and there were some brilliant scenes in it.

Regarding STFC – it’s a spectacle with much action and brilliant SFX. But, alas, as with STID: Plotholes and cringeworthy scenes all over the place.
STFC: As Harry Ballz said AND Picard’s stupid “Take down your weapons, so they won’t regard us as a thread!” So many crew members were borgified throughout STFC just to be borgified, weapons or not… So: Stupid! And don’t let me begin with the topic of The Borg Queen – regardless how sexy Alice Krige was…

And STID? Transporters and communicators now make the universe a pretty small place to be in. And don’t let me begin with the topic of Harrison/Kahn – regardless how good an actor Benedict Cumberbatch is…

#38 “One BIG personal flaw of STTFF was the characterization of Captain Kirk. He orders Spock to KILL Sybok instead of simply taking him down by, let’s say, stunning him. They’ve stunned adversaries before, why now KILLING?”

Kirk doesn’t order Spock to kill Sybock, he yells at him to “shoot him” while he is under attack. Spock didn’t even have a phaser, how is he supposed to “stun” Sybock with the only weapon at his disposal, a primitive rifle that shoots rocks? I’m sure, had Spock been fortunate enough to have a hand phaser tucked away in his socks, he would have gladly used the stun setting to drop his brother to the deck.

I agree with the consensus. “Star Trek V” has been called so bad for so many years now, its almost become underrated for the moments of magic it does provide.
I remember before the film came out, there was a negative buzz about it in the media. So watching it that first Friday night it came out and watching the opening sequence with Sybok, when Jerry Goldsmith’s soaring Trek theme subtly came on and we saw Shatner’s grand opening shot in the desert, I thought..maybe this might just be awesome despite the critics. Well, Trek V has some negative aspects…which include the Klingons having worn out their welcome and they are the least interesting, generic Klingons this side of a Universal Park adventure. The early scenes prior to the shuttlecraft sequence with Sybok’s army just seem unnecessary and poorly done. But the rest of the movie does seem very much like a Original Series episode even if it seems to have come from Season Three.
On the plus side, the best interaction between Kirk, Spock & Bones in any movie up to this point and time. Jerry Goldsmith’s soaring score. Last and not least, Lawrence Luckinbill does a remarkably good job as the charismatic Sybok.
Just adding something that no one else has mentioned, it seemed like a lot of the die, die, diehard Trekkies that went to conventions had it in for Shatner. I don’t know if they thought he was too Hollywood, too successful or just holding a grudge against him for the SNL skit, remember “Get a Life”. While these fans were ready to plant a tree in Israel for Gene Roddenberry, it seemed they were ready to push Shatner over in a barrel at Niagara Falls.
In retrospect, those fans and haters like Jimmy Doohan should have been kissing Bill’s behind for staying fit and youthful looking which was the main reason the movies in the 80’s did so well. Without Shatner still looking vital and still “being” Kirk, the franchise would have died out with the first movie.

#40 Indeed, it does seem that the fans who hate this film hate it due to Shatner and whatever Shatner reasons there may be. This film is just a great example of the friendship of Kirk, Spock & McCoy which TOS had going for it. Some Trek films are better than other Trek films, just as some James Bond, Batman, or Harry Potter films are better than others in their respective franchise.

I remember that I was 20 when this film came out and I was impressed with the ambition and not the execution. I mention my age because as a man of 45, I recently rewatched the film, thinking that it would age badly. However, that has not been the case. If anything, I see more clearly how studio politics clearly got in the way of what could have been a very bold experiment–they type of storytelling that represented the pinnacle of Trek during TOS.

I will grant that there are a few Shatnerian elements that could have been excised from the final edit, but it’s still nowhere near as bad as the nadir achieved by Nemesis and then surpassed by STID.