Shuttle Pod 32: A Deep Dive Into ‘Star Trek Nemesis’

Star Trek Nemesis art

You all knew it was coming. This week, the Shuttle Pod crew dive head first into what many call the worst Star Trek film ever made.

If you were stuck on a desert island with only DVDs of Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek: Generations, which one would you use as a signal mirror, and which would you cast into the ocean in a fit of anger? This and other hot topics are debated on this episode of the Shuttle Pod, in which Kayla, Brian, and Jared begrudgingly rewatched Nemesis so you don’t have to! (Editor’s note: neither Brian nor Jared could sit through a full rewatch).

This podcast, we discuss Nemesis from the inside out. What was the state of the fandom at the time, and how had the fandom changed from 1998 to 2002? What was the theme of Nemesis, and was it well portrayed? How did the TNG crew age (and why no explanation for either Wesley or Worf)? Why was Beverly Crusher the most devastatingly underused character?

The only thing they could come up with to put on Beverly's NEM playing card is one of her only (the only?) quotes from the film, "I can't overestimate the danger of Thalaron radioation".

The only thing they could come up with to put on Beverly’s NEM playing card is one of her only (the only?) quotes from the film, “I can’t overestimate the danger of Thalaron radioation”.

We also talk about what went on behind the scenes and why the utter lack of direction in the film may have had something to do with the fact that the film’s director, Stuart Baird, got the gig in exchange for editing Tomb Raider. True story.

What went wrong, Stuart? What went so horribly wrong?

Nemesis director Stuart Baird talking to Patrick Stewart on the bridge.

But, Nemesis wasn’t just hated by the majority of the Trek fandom, it was actually the worst performing Star Trek movie ever. With a budget of $60 million, it only brought in $43 million domestic and $24 million internationally. It squeaks past The Final Frontier in terms of audience ratings though. NEM boasts a Rotten Tomatoes score of 37%, the second lowest after TFF’s 23%. Ouch.

So, listeners, what do you think? Do we give Nemesis a pass because it gave the world Tom Hardy? Or do we give it the “Threshold” treatment and speak of it as little as possible?

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I would say it’s a pretty close race between Nemesis and Final Frontier, as to which movie was the worst. I know that Tom Hardy has repeated that Nemesis ruined his career, though that isn’t very evident today.

Story-wise they may be both equally bad, but at least TFF got the characters right. “What does God need with a starship?” “I need my pain.” Pure gold.

NEM, on the other hand? Generic wax figurines stumbling their way around the stage. And so awfully stuck-up.

“NEM, on the other hand? Generic wax figurines stumbling their way around the stage. And so awfully stuck-up.”

That sounds like an excellent description of TVH.

Yeah I really respect what Shatner was trying to do with TFF. He needed someone to punch that script up a bit he captured the voices of the characters. It had other issues…needed the budget to complete the effects, it sort of altered the Klingons and messed with that story one film early.

Oh I’d take Final Frontier any day of the week and twice on Sunday over Nemesis. For me it is a fantastic “bad” movie and pure comedy gold. Shatner does his best Shatnering in Final Frontier. He must have gained so much weight during the filming just from the sheer amount of scenery chewing he did

Tom definitely overstated lol Nemesis was a hurdle in his career but he’s doing just fine

Tom Hardy never said Nemesis ruined his career. Someone posted a link to a story posted on Trek Today on the Trek BBS and both featured headlines that took Hardy’s interview completely out of context. It wasn’t that Star Trek ruined his career, it was about how he handled the films failure, Hollywood’s perception of him and the addiction that followed. There’s a huge difference.

Nemesis was not the worst Trek movie the bunch…but definitely the most disappointing

But it’s a tie with Star Drek Into Dumbness.

I’ve seen every Star Trek movie on opening day – except this one. The trailer was so bad, we could tell it was going to be a disaster. I didn’t watch it until it came on the movie channels, and I felt like I wasted my time even then. I’d rather watch any other Star Trek movie – including the much-loathed Star Trek V, than this pile of …

If Nemesis is the “worst Star Trek movie ever made” then I the other 12 movies must he pretty damb good then I say. Nemesis is not a great movie, I agree. But its a reasonably entertaining movie in its own right which has some good SFX for its time, good production design and the acting is all mostly fine. Data’s death scene seems to be the one thing a lot of trek fans are really unsettled with and I can completely understand. The way the scene plays is really quite silly and convenient for the plot. But this movie is fine! Is is not a bad movie.

It wasnt very good. But not disappointing in a way STID was. I’ve seen Nemesis more times than I’ve seen STID and that will continue to be the case.

They just never figured out to translate TNG to the big screen. They were out of their element trying to make plot driven action movies with a character driven TV show.

With TOS enough time had passed and they still did a better job, maybe because the three leads of TOS were more out in front than the more-ensemble nature of TNG.

Plot driven? The TNG movies! Generations maybe, but First Contact is a simple action film, insurrection is an old school and rather simple film with the polar opposite role for the same Captain who moved those colonists in journey’s end. Nemesis is a tale of nature vs nurture. The plots of TNG films are hardly more involved or complex than the recent Abrams films. ST09, simple action movie. STID, a film about America’s loss of moral focus post 911 and Beyond? I dunno, I think Beyond was weak with an unfocused and incoherent plot. Just a trite message about unity being a strength. A sort of anti Brexit film?

Beyond was wholly forgettable but better then STId because it wasn’t actually offensive.

But still, a lot wrong with Beyond.

Certainly the power and influence of Stewart and Spiner at times hurt TNG films but I think it also kept the characters somewhat true or at least identifiable. Much like the influence of Nimoy especially but also Shatner, Meyer etc did for TOS films. The JJ films just don’t get the characters. JJ and Orci never understood the source material and in Bob’s case was so arrogant he never bothered to learn.

The thing is that Generarations handed the reigns over to the TNG crew for the movies. From there they were their own: totally new ship, no link to the TNG series (apart from the crew) and no mention of the original characters.

Sorry TUP but I’d take STID over Nemesis. As disappointing as the plot was, I maintain Cumberbatch made up for it. For me he’s always a joy to watch and I became a big fan of his other roles after watching STID.

Maybe Cumberbatch would have made a better Picard at 19 or 20 character.

it’s hard to argue because both had serious issues. Maybe it’s nostalgia that if I dislike both films I’ll prefer the one with the characters I genuinely like more (i love tos characters but JJ films change them into new characters).

And as great as Cumberbatch is I actually have a hard time watching him in Stid. It just emphasizes what a waste it was casting such a great actor in such a poorly written role. Plus he was very poorly directed. Maybe it was the material but he was chewing scenery left and right. And knowing he’s khan just took me out of the performance.

The performance I really love is Wellers. Really really good. And of course Greenwood. Shane they wasted his death.

Nem is boring but there is a forced sentimentality that is at least a bit heartening knowing it’s their last. And it’s a stark improvement over Insurrection which was more a variety show spoof of TNG.

They should have just made Cumberbatch a different villain. Not Khan but someone who disliked the militaristic bent of Starfleet. I will admit that was a big mistake to go the Khan route.

Yeah… That’s the goofy part. They could have pretty much done the same movie with the same baddie without calling him “Khan”. That was a tremendous mistake. They also should not have lifted all the WOK lines, either. I guess the felt it an homage but it just felt lazy to me. Although, if it were some other named villain there would have been no reason for the Spock Prime cameo. Which they really didn’t need either.

They couldnt have made him a “superman” then. or at least they shouldn’t have. I suppose he could have been the result of genetic engineering by Starfleet, thus his anger. But then you almost have to mention Khan and it raises the question of “why not use Khan”.

But a non-superman who goes rogue, goes Terrorist, sure.

The core issue with the story was the writer’s focus on telling a story that was analogous to the War on Terror but saying the terrorists are misunderstood victims forced to kill innocent people by the big bad US military.

That story was never going to work because the writers refused to show us any doubt in that direction. The argument against it was wasted on a character that was wholly wasted (Admiral Marcus) yet was the most interesting character in the film.

Because Orci couldnt show the other side of the argument, HIS argument unraveled.

My opinion was always they could have used Khan to a degree but made Cumberbatch Joachin (or however you spell it), pretending to be Khan. Beef up the Marcus character, allow his argument to have merit. Make Marcus and Pike different sides to the same coin, influencing Kirk.

Save Pike’s death til the end and let him be the one in the radiation chamber…and let him live when Kirk uses the super blood (which doesnt restore the victim, but prevents him from dying).

That shows us more of what Spock said about the universe fixing itself – Pike still suffers the same fate. Gives us a scene of an injured and scarred Pike, angry and bitter. And Kirk truly faces the decisions of Command.

You still get you’re “I am Khan” moment but its a lie. Spock Prime’s appearance is to reveal this lie, giving our heroes the advantage they need to defeat Joachin. And the film ends with the camera panning the cryotubes and lingering on the face of Ricardo Montalban.

The decisions Kirk faces is that in fact, both Pike and Marcus are both correct and both wrong and both aspects of that influence Kirk. Because really Kirk is both a man of action and a man of thought. Cowboy diplomacy and whatnot.

Anyway, I digress…

A movie review/discussion where most of the participants couldn’t be bothered to re-watch the movie before the podcast? Really?

Maybe it was not the worst Star Trek film ever made, but it certainly was the only Star Trek film that made me fall asleep on the first watching (during the buggy chase scene).

So, I’d just quietly ignore it. It was a product of its era, the sucky 00s – the era that would be best forgotten altogether.

Such a tragedy that this was the movie that sent off the TNG crew…


I wonder which was worse, that or the fact that Berman realized that truth and failingly tried to remedy it with the last episode of ENTERPRISE still unable to break the pattern and instead, sending TWO Trek crews off with tragically inept fare?

At it’s heart, Nemesis was a small scale story about nature vs nurture. Unbelievably weak film that insults it’s audience. Why no mention of Lore? A ship that can fire whilst cloaked, basically a mishap mash of TWOK, TUC and bizzarely Bloodlines! A dune buggy chase, weak CG and a by the numbers soundtrack from an ailing Goldsmith. By far the worst Trek film. Weak performance from a disinterested cast too. Some of them stated that the work was less important than them having a laugh on set. They’d had enough and thought they were above the material and it shows.

I would say Tom Hardy is the ONLY good thing about Nemesis but the fact that it finally killed those god awful Next Gen movies was, in retrospect, also a very good thing.

To this day, I feel if they’d gone with a different behind the scenes team after FC, Next Gen movies could’ve been something spectacular. They just felt a little too much like extended episodes or films that were trying hard to be films and just never quite made it to that point. And then get directors who respect the characters but can bring fresh cinematic ideas. Hell, Bryan Singer could’ve done a better Nemesis or Insurrection even.

My opinion…STV by far is the worst, but Nemesis is not very good at all.

The worst was the first reboot movie, followed by the second reboot movie. Nemesis and Insurrection would be tied for the next worst. On the other end, The Motion Picture is the best.

No way was the Motion Picture the best……I found it dull. TWOK is the best by far in my opinion.

I have to break the films into categories:
Love: TWOK, TVH, TUC, FC, ST09 (red matter, Spock-Uhura sucky face, and transwarp beaming notwithstanding)and STB.
Will watch if I’m in the mood: TMP, TSFS, NEM, and TFF

Nemesis commits the sin of being dull. Plus, I’m sorry to say that there’s a point where I just don’t need that much Brent Spiner, and this film goes WAY beyond that point. PLUS, Data’s death is Spock’s death. Of course, STID steals Spock’s death once again. Mmmm, good death! Insurrection is the dumbest of the films. GEN & STID mess up the franchise big-time. They insult the fans and offer nothing great for casual viewers.

“They insult the fans and offer nothing great for casual viewers.”

I guess that’s one step better than TVH. Where they insult the fans but give the casual viewers Star Trek that is nothing like Star Trek.

I liked TVH, didnt find it insulting to me as a fan at all…what do you speak of?

It was as if the actors forgot the people they were playing. They weren’t even the same characters we all grew to love. That was the main insulting part. They were like children who had no idea what was going on. I know the goal was to be light and funny but they could do that without completely abandoning who they were playing. TwTribbles accomplished it perfectly well. It was also filled with ludicrous plot holes and other silliness that could more easily be overlooked had the movie overall been even OK.

Here’s a nice plot hole from TVH. How do Starfleet Officers who attended Starfleet Academy in San Francisco not know where Alameida is?

Of course the biggest one is how can the Whale aliens hear the whale songs? Sound cannot travel through the vacuum of space.

Who cares,

Re: Alameida [ sic ]

Because of internet typo creep in Google’s Map over the centuries, by the 23rd century Alameda is known only as “Da”. :-)

@ML – Im not sure I can agree with that.

Yes, they did come across a little *too* out of their element in the 80’s. Being taken aback at the culture is one thing. Being perplexed as to how to talk to people or find places was a bit much but it was mostly one scene for comedy purposes.

Spock acting out of character was relevant. I thought his scenes of humor were very well done and appropriate. I always laugh like crazy at the “Do you like Italian” line as Spock cant lie but then tries to at Kirk’s behest.

Kirk is in his element as a charming hero. And the scenes of confusion and humor pay off the scenes when he turns on the “business” switch.

The B players get a little bit to do. Scotty does what Scotty does. Sulu flies in with the chopper. The hospital scenes were too over-the-top but served the purpose.

I disliked Chekov just revealing the plan to the Enterprise security guy. Why would he do that?

And didnt they leave a phaser with the US Navy??

Gillian choosing to leave was too thrown together. Why couldn’t they drop her off if they wanted? Realistically, Kirk should have beamed her off the ship as soon as they got the whales.

But TVH was enjoyable. Again, I more enjoyed the book-end scenes. Werent they written by Meyer?

Not just underused but “devastatingly” underused. Do writers even look up what words mean anymore?

I liked it. And Generations.

[This comment has been removed by a moderator.]

Not unlike how anyone can leave immature homophobic comments on TrekMovie.

Ted, judging from your comments, you’re either a child or a childish adult. Either way, you have some growing up to do. So please, go do that. Think about why you type these things and how you can do better. LLAP.

@Ted C: “Squeaky gay sounding voices and all.” Ted, you do realize that you are a pathetic little homophobic idiot, right? I mean, *we* all know you are, but it seems like you might not be aware of the hateful, stupid crap that you type here. Consider NOT being a homophobic turd for a day, mm’kay? You might enjoy it!

OK. OK. You’re bringing back bad memories as I listen to your podcast. While I will occasionally watch this flick, it is by no means good. If you’re looking for signs of cheap: How far into the film can you get before you notice how lousy the Romulans’ ears look? Also, the dune buggy crap reminds me of ‘Delta Force.’ Also… Yippee, now our sensors can find robot brains and starships ANYWHERE in the galaxy! Too bad our transporters get busted so easily. Yes, there is a LOT that did not work here. I’m afraid I blame Spiner and Stewart for going for the easy plot points, while not stopping Stuart Baird from ruining the pacing and continuity.

I like it a lot. Way better than the motion picture which was super boring. And go ahead and call me a young trekkie who doesn’t know any better. I’ve only been watching Star Trek since 91 and I’m not an over critical douche like a lot of trekkies are. Even the worst Star Trek movie is far superior in story, fx,acting, etc. than a lot of the garbage out there today.

18 mins into this dreck and I just can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what movie they watched because I don’t agree with any of their observations. Ugh, three Millennials busting on a movie. So irritating.

Ugh, one whiny homophobic moron busting on a podcast. So irritating.

In a world where Into Darkness exists, Nemesis is far from the worst Trek movie.

The bigger question….why do they keep releasing such horrid films?

The Characters are good but it’s the 3rd rate scripts and producers

(directors also) who think or don’t care at all except to get paid.

I’d like to Star Trek brought back as a series with Patrick Stewart

and his exploits while on the Stargazer. Shift your resources onto that

instead of a series that’s questionable. Paramount…wake up already!

Does anyone remember when “The Facer” annotated a leaked copy of the script several months prior to the movie’s release? I remember howling with laughter at the snarky commentary, agreeing with just how awful the script was. (Even the action description referenced other movies to describe a scene. Very lazy writing.)

If it’s not in the script, it’s not on the screen, and it definitely wasn’t in the script.

A deep dive into Nemesis is not unlike jumping face first into a cesspool.

Does anyone know what the proposed sequel to nemesis was? Wasn’t there a script?

I think there was a pitch or a treatment written. It was Logan and Spiner and not a serious proposition. It would have supposedly featured every villain from every Star Trek movie….which was absurd. That lead into the WWII style Romulan War film that Erik Jendresen was hired to write. I was under the impression for years that he wrote a screenplay. Supposedly it didn’t actually make it out of the same pitch/treatment phase.

Suposedly there was potential for a big sequel series mash up with People from both DS9 and Voyager with the TNG cast to fend of some catastrophe. At least, that was the rumor I heard…

Nemesis is a movie that I absolutely should hate but I don’t. In fact, the more I watch it, the more I love it. I’ve come to view it as one of the most (if not the most) underrated Trek films ever. Thematically, it’s a very dark film, and it embraces it wholly in every aspect. But for some reason, it works, and maybe that’s partly because of all of the performances the cast turned in. Virtually no one really looks like they enjoyed shooting their roles in the film from the TNG regulars, but it actually complements the tone of every scene. Tom Hardy is a villain that, at first, you think won’t live up to his hype but once the Scimitar is unveiled and you see just what a monstrosity it is, and how far he is willing to go to get revenge for a life he never had, you start to see just how dangerous he really was. The movie also didn’t play it safe like nearly every other Trek movie in the viewer expecting all of the major cast to survive. I remember seeing the film in the theater and I was shocked when they actually killed off Data. A ballsy move for sure, and I was devastated that it happened, but I’ll give the film credit for upping the stakes and actually making the danger come true. But this movie really shines in two major ways. First, the score by Jerry Goldsmith is memorable and haunting. The more you listen to it, the more it gets under your skin and you realize it was the work of a master composer. It saved the classic TNG theme music for just a few moments in the film but used them tremendously well for impact. The other place the film shines is in its tight plot and amazing action sequences. It’s only slow in a few spots, but it uses that to build suspense, and once the attack from the Scimitar commences, it comes full force and doesn’t let up for an instant until the end. This film absolutely isn’t perfect but it gets harped on way too much for being a horrible film when it actually wasn’t. I certainly would have made some changes if I had my say, but it’s an oddly satisfying movie and I think the fans need to try to look past it’s flaws and see that there are some great things about it.

I must agree that I don’t *quite* get the hatred for NEM (or TFF, which is still the better film). NEM was very far from perfect, of course; I thought the B-4 plot was weak. But I thought the Picard-Shinzon scenes were very well done, particularly the scene where the holographic Shinzon confronts Picard in the ready room. STID, Generations, and especially Insurrenction were far worse.

Star Trek Nemesis was one – if not the – best TNG movie ever! There is a Progress in the characters for the first time. Picard is not the “Arnold Schwarzenegger”-Style-Type, but a Philosopher. The theme of the Story is not only a classic one, it is the again a question about an ethic question! THAT is Star Trek. BUT if the would have included the deleted Scenes, especially the “Chateau Picard Scene” with Data, the movie would have had much more Impact. Also it was shown between “Lord of the rings” and “Harry Potter”. The Marketing was wrong!

I’m not really a podcast guy, and I’m not as nerdy as most of you, but I really enjoy these podcasts just because I love talking Star Trek and would love to contribute to the discourse. I wish in this case that you guys had done some more research though than just watching (or attempting to watch) the movie.

The script was solid, it wasn’t great but it was solid, definitely better than the finished product — it’s biggest problem was that there was no wow factor about it. Although it’s been a while since I’ve read it. It’s worth noting though that the script calls for the ridiculous picture of young Picard (as seen in the movie) to feature a Picard with “flowing golden hair” or something to that effect.

To hear John Logan in the deleted scenes he says that the theme is “family” something that never really worked for me, or rang true, but also something that makes a lot more sense it Picard’s journey — and Picard ACTUALLY did have a journey in the original story. Beverly was leaving to Starfleet Medical (see deleted scenes) and Riker and Troy were leaving for the Titan. There is a cut scene that would have originally followed the wedding of Data and Picard (the most important scene in the movie by the way!) in which Picard laments the loss of his friends, and voices some regret over never having settled down and having a family of his own (interestingly something was hinted at in Generations.) This scene explored the original supposed family theme but really delves deep into Picard’s struggle and motivation, which is actually handsomely resolved by the end of the movie in the original and cut ending, a far better ending not only for this story and Picard’s story but for the TNG cast, the scene that Jared referenced about Riker hazing the new first officer. I thought it was clever, poignant, in keeping with the tradition of Star Trek and more importantly resolves Picard’s story. He is as the script even stated “in his element,” ultimately choosing his career again and being content with it.

The original runtime for the film was over three hours long. Much of the best material was scrapped, including nearly ALL of Crusher’s scenes in which she was far more relevant as a confidant to Picard (when you compare to the final cut.) Worf had a quintessentially Worf scene that was cut, in it he’s talking to Deanna and Riker about their honeymoon at the Opal Sea. In the end all the director cared about was the action. If you watch the special features all he talked about was the technical achievements anyway, he didn’t understand the characters or care. In one of the tackiest bits of editing I have ever seen Picard says “the Opal Sea will have to wait Number One,” as he sets course for Romulus — I feel like we should have mentioned the Janeway cameo in the Podcast — I digress — he mentions the OPAL muh fuckin SEA in the movie even though the scene that explains the Opal Sea is DELETED from the movie!

All of your other complaints are legit. Logan was on record saying repeatedly that the movie was inspired by Wrath of Khan, and what a shame. Speaking of Wrath of Khan parodies — Into Darkness is actually the worst Star Trek movie. Incidentally Nemesis wasn’t a terrible MOVIE — it was a somewhat fun sci-fi action film. If it wasn’t Star Trek I think more people would accept it. Nemesis has the problem of being a fair movie but TERRIBLE Star Trek. Into Darkness is terrible Star Trek and a terrible movie. Beyond was terrible Star Trek and an OKAY movie also. Final Frontier was decent Star Trek but a bad movie. I feel there are two standards. Nemesis is passable in one arena and fails in the other. Into Darkness fails in BOTH.

I loved Nemesis too being an old timer and thought it was the best TNG movie. I hated the poster which felt way to cheap. Great Goldsmith score and was real shame it got chopped in the movie though.

Great post completely agree with you and other posters who think it was a good movie. Wonder if we will ever see a complete version of the movie? It might change perceptions of the film and actually give us the TNG ending we hoped for. I’m off to watch the extra scenes and the movie again

My one complaint is a complaint as a Trek guy… The Argo chase scene was pointless and even Baird said in the commentary that the scene was just an action scene and nothing else. I liked the movie just fine and it was for sure the 2nd best of the TNG movies. As just another movie it still would have worked and the Argo scenes would not have bugged me as much. Maybe I just expect better from Trek?

@ImPaul, interesting summation. I’m not sure I agree with BEYOND being terrible Trek. Or STID being a terrible movie, or terrible Trek. But these are your opinions. Both movies have flaws, just like NEMESIS. And if I were to accept the label that it too was Terrible Trek, then I’d also have to give that label to more than half the TNG episodes, because I thought this movie was an true-to-form reflection of the experience I came to associate with that series.

Well reasoned summation.

I think one thing that annoyed me was it seemed they tried to give Picard the same issues as Kirk – the lack of having settled down. Kirk is the more interesting version because his issues are deeper. He is, in essence, a womanizer to a degree, had more than one great love (in fact he seemed to fall in love on a regular basis) and had a son. The sacrifice seemed to be greater in Kirk’s situation.

But the TOS crew werent presented as “family” to the extent TNG was. So a theme of family is relevent. I guess the TNG films werent as connected as the TOS films were. In Generations, Picard laments family because his one Picard nephew dies and he’s faced with Kirk who is faced with the relevant issues of his life. We have Kirk telling Picard to essentially accept and embrace his career.

But to a degree it rings hollow. Its Kirk showing acceptance for HIS choices. Its a worthy resolution to Kirk. But he’s hardly in a position to advise Picard, someone he doesn’t know. It was there for the plot.

So Nem sort of picks up on it again. And Insurrection did too in that it dealt with aging…again, a theme from the TOS films. So you had Picard dealing with the same issues as Kirk.

And obviously Nem deleted so much good stuff. The idea that Crusher leaves, that Riker and Troi leave. It ran counter to their characters from TNG. Why leave now? A better resolution to “family” would have been Riker facing a promotion “for the last time” and choosing to stay (which is not a new idea but better then the sudden and unexplained reason to leave).

You had Wes there briefly. Resolving the family dynamic with Picard realising he can actually have it all – ie. the woman he loves and the son he maybe didnt realise he had (Wes) while keeping his other family “the crew” together at the end seems better to me.

Repairing Data by using spare parts from a “dying” B-9 and thus avoiding the “death in the family” and paying off the “we can all be together” idea of family would have been better too.

Its seems cliche that oh its the last film so lets kill someone and have the others all go thier separate ways. ho hum.

TOS did the same themes better.

Nemesis wasn’t very good.Bu it’s not the worst.
In my opinion – besides “FF” – “Generations” and “TMP” were worse!

Generations was a tale of two movies to me. Back then, the bff and I were really into all things Trek and we actually watched Generations 10 times in the theatre. But I was really mesmerized by the book-end scenes – ie. Kirk. It was like we could dose off after Kirk “dies”, wake up for the Enterprise crash scene and go from there.

TFF had some of the best character moments, Studio sold Shatner out on that one. It had a really interesting central premise and great character moments. Needed a script polish, better SFX (obviously) but was not the worst Trek film.

TMP is a classic. It reminds me STID to a degree in that it comes across as a big budget, slickly made FEATURE FILM version of Trek that is also missing the heart of the TOS “trilogy”. Although TMP is far more enjoyable then STID. STID can be said is a very strong production, slickly made, big budget feature film that has no heart but is also offensive in its screwing of the source material and the way the writers indulged themselves with the “what were they thinking” War on Terror story.

I hate to agree but…

“But I was really mesmerized by the book-end scenes – ie. Kirk. It was like we could dose off after Kirk “dies”, wake up for the Enterprise crash scene and go from there.”

That is exactly how I felt walking out of the theater. Stewart has great charisma and Shatner STILL overshadowed him in this. The best parts where when Shat were on the screen.

Ill agree with you too. When Shatner & Stewart were on screen together, Shat was WAAAAAAY bigger of a star on screen (save the fat jokes). Part of it was the writing in that it gave Kirk the better dialogue and never really gave them a great back and forth.

You had Kirk acting the fool. Picard acting befuddled. And then at the moment Stewart gets some juice in his dialogue when he challenges Kirk, Shatner is at his best blowing him off and the size of the Kirk character is really evident. Pircard gets no response so we get nothing back from him.

And then when Kirk realises its nonsense, he has the strong lines. its weird that those TNG writers would be so good at delivering lines for Kirk but those Kirk moments were really well done.

And perhaps it was by design, but Kirk & Picard as a duo, it was apparent Kirk was the one in control and calling the shots.

I know some people hate Kirk’s death scene (and it was stupid) but Shatner’s ad lib of the “Oh my….” just kills me. He shouldnt have died and the whole thing was stupid but Shatner took chicken sh!t and made it chicken salad with the actual death.

Agree 100%

@Joe Nick, I don’t disagree. But really it all depends on what your criteria is, and who’s ranking these films. I saw Nemesis in the theaters. I groaned at a few scenes, but all things considered I didn’t hate it, and I was surprised to learn it did so badly — something detractors like to point to as justification, when really there were a variety of factors that resulted in such a dismal box office.

Nem felt like a “bigger” film. Perhaps the influence of people outside the usual Berman crowd. But it was rather boring.

Some of it was just poor decision making and again, it comes across like they either didnt know better or didnt care about canon but that core audience, you cant alienate them. Picard’s clone looked nothing like young Picard. Oh he must be bald. Uh huh. And really, the resemblance was only passing anyway. I think the original idea was to have Stewart play his own evil clone…

The Data B-story, again, it hits some nice emotional chords but it feels tacked on. That, along with other scenes felt self indulgent, like the dune buggy scene, some of the Riker/Troi stuff too.

B-9 humming Blue Skies at the end…it was a nice note to end on in the moment but it sort of renders Data’s sacrifice moot and emphasizes that he was just a machine. So it never paid off Data’s series-long quest to be human.

I’ve found that a great way to make Nemesis seem like a good film is to watch Beyond first.

This movie’s biggest problem was that it was trying to be something else, and not a Star Trek movie. That was pretty much the problem with all the later Berman-era productions, both on TV and in the theater.

By the time they made Nemesis, the “franchise” had been milked for all it was worth. Additionally, the films started to become ego-driven by the actors (did we really need Data singing “Blue Skies” in the film or Picard driving a dune buggy? No.). Also, TNG didn’t even resemble itself anymore. Picard and gang went from being explorers to carrying phaser rifles around. It just didn’t make any sense. TNG was never meant to be an action series. It wasn’t built that way and it was stupid to try to change it into that just to make popcorn money every 2 or 3 years in the theater.

Yeah, I read most of the e-book by, I think Michael Pillar, talking about Insurrection and how the changes insisted upon by Stewart really changed it. He seemed more about doing something “different” with Picard each time out rather then presenting the character as is.

You look at the TOS films and the theme of aging that really runs through them all from TMP to Generations and the growth or change in the characters is far more organic and related to that theme of aging. They’re the same characters that evolve due to life experience etc. But Kirk doesnt suddenly become a song & dance man because Shatner was bored with playing the heroic Captain.

I love Stewart but they needed someone with more balls to keep him in line. He’s made a lot of X-men movies and I doubt he pushed the production around like he did with Star Trek. The diminishing returns should have told them that if he or Spiner played hard ball, go in a different direction.

I agree. It always felt to me that, by the time Insurrection was made, the films were nothing more than “vanity” projects for Stewart and Spiner. Add to that a stagnant production staff and you end up with a very bland and forgettable effort (or lack thereof).

“Also, TNG didn’t even resemble itself anymore. Picard and gang went from being explorers to carrying phaser rifles around. It just didn’t make any sense.”

Although I found NEM to be a horribly clichéd film, I can understand the reasons for carrying phaser rifles around when you think of the timeline in context with the Dominion War; INS explained they need all the allies they could get these days, and for the potential that the Romulans could have a secret super-weapon (albeit using a lone “human” seeking revenge); they don’t want to take any chances

why was crusher sidelined throughout the TNG movies?

as were the romulans as the shinzon story arc took hold.

i see this and ‘insurrection’ as the moment when the studio needed to up the budgets to improve production values as the films were now competing with ‘harry potter’ and LOTR for an audience.

I think it was just they couldnt write anything interesting for an ensemble. And the cost of Stewart and Spiner meant writing for them first and foremost. Crusher seemed like the obvious pick to have more to do given she was the Doctor and her relationship with Picard.

One thing that always bugged me was the forcing of lines onto the other actors that werent really in keeping with their characters, but designed to give them more to do. Like Troi piloting the ship or Crusher barking orders during First Contact.

but there had writers from the tv show working on the films who knew how the ensemble worked.

having a guest female character pushed crusher aside but she of all people should have been more prominent in ‘nemesis’.

This movie gets a bad rap. It did what it was supposed to to. Be entertaining and send the TNG crew off to other things.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again… The one and only one reason I think it is despised by those who prefer TNG to TOS is because it was not as good a sendoff as Undiscovered Country was. It wasn’t that the film was bad. It’s that it wasn’t as good as even the 2nd best TOS feature.

I don’t get the hate for Generations. It’s not great but there’s still a lot to like… seeing Kirk and Picard together was fun, and in general it’s the only TNG movie where I felt like I was watching the same characters as on the TV show– for the most part they were written consistently with how they were on the series. Maybe it’s because it went into production immediately after AGT. And it was written by Moore and Braga.

Again, not a great film, but not a bad one either. not nearly the garbage that Nemesis was and not nearly as boring or bland as Insurrection.

I agree, I like Generations. it’s just really boring. I love the opening Enterprise-B scenes. Seeing Shatner flash that Kirk grin as the turbo lifts door close…such easy emotional resonance, knowing what was coming.

I liked the Holodeck scene with Worf’s promotion. Stewart was good throughout. But the Data B story about the emotion chip was amusing on first watch but lame on subsequent viewings.

The Nexus was idiotic. It couldnt have been sillier had they used a leprechaun to bring everyone together (and if that was the idea, use Q).

The Shatner/Picard scenes in the Nexus were awful up until Kirk figured it out. But it really did a disservice to Kirk to have him acting like a fool. Picard figures it all out almost immediately. Kirk is a fool.

The idea of him wishing he had chosen to marry and have a family is an interesting one because it’s a theme with the character but then they chose a “love of his life” we didnt know or care about. Make her a young Carol Marcus with an infant David and the struggle to do it over becomes a lot more real to the audience and pays off the previous TOS Trek films better too. Especially if his moment of realization is something to do with David…

And ofcourse the completely moronic decisions by Picard and Kirk to choose the least opportune time to “go back”. It was really silly.

I was not a huge fan of Generations myself but it did have its moments. It was wonderful to see the USS Hilton finally bite the dust, for example. I would classify it as more disappointing than anything else. I was really expecting more interaction between the original crew and the new one. Not just Kirk and Picard only and even then for the last bit of the movie. I was expecting them together for at least half the film. But once we get past that it’s… Better than Insurrection….

I have to say one comment made in this podcast: bad production design, one thing that looks great are the new sets, definitely better than star trek 09’s effort

I have just endured the podcast and… Ugh… They really hated this thing. OK but they really didn’t give hardly any reason to hate it. 90% of what they were whining about was just nit picking. Nit picking that would have been completely ignored or explained away easily had they liked the movie. I mean, they moaned about “why was Worf there?” I didn’t think that needed explaining at all. He was attending the wedding of a friend and former colleague. How is that odd? Yet they joked away about Worf’s non-explanation in Insurrection. So that was the kind of inconsistent complaining they had. Precious little about the actual movie itself. They did say they didn’t care for the darker tone. OK. That’s a legit opinion. But there was not much of that kind of reasoning at all. Mainly just silly nit picks.

I could never understand why Patrick Stewart didn’t just play an evil version of himself. That alone would have made Nemesis much more entertaining to watch. The writers could have easily got around the question of why the two Picards were the same age even though one was a younger clone by saying that Shinzon’s genetic degradation had led to rapid ageing, or something like that. Perhaps the studio were just worried that they’d have to pay Stewart twice as much.

From what I read the original plan was to have Stewart play both roles. I do not recall why that concept was abandoned…

Maybe a cost issue. Stewart I think could have pulled it off. Its an intriguing idea.

SAG requires an actor playing two roles to be paid for each.

So sick of the Galaxy Quest thing… It’s a funny movie, it’s also fun. It is NOT Trek. If a Trek movie is on and Galaxy Quest is also on, I’m watching Trek. Why? Because it’s Trek. Part of the problem is when fandom wants to add it into the library of Trek movies. Enjoy it and everything for what it is, but c’mon man…

I’d choose GQ, as I haven’t seen it nearly as often as every Trek film and episode, with the possible exception of DS9 which is my least favorite of all of them.

Besides, everyone knows that the young Romulan-raised Shinzon looked like this:

Let’s not forget about STID. If the chief criterion for worst Trek movie is how watchable it is all the way through, I have as hard, if not harder, a time sitting through STID until the end as I do NEM. While there are a few compelling scenes in STID, the movie as a whole—especially after the mid-point, wherein it becomes nothing but boring, meaningless action scenes—rivals NEM and TFF for unwatchability. Hence, I think that I have to agree with Kayla about GEN being relatively watchable compared to the other bottom-dwelling Trek movies, strange as it seems. There’s no shortage of badness about GEN, but it is more watchable than you’d expect, given how bad of a movie it is. I’d have to do a scene-by-scene ana|ysis to figure out why. Which I probably will some day, when I have a few hours to kill.

I agree. STID is the Trek film I’ve seen the least. Its just too glaringly awful.

I’ve seen it on TV a few times and will linger on it for maybe 5 minutes or so. But I always think back to Orci’s rants and BS he posted here in defense of that garbage and just think how much better the franchise would be if they hadn’t hired a guy like that.

I think the big problem with these new movies is that the actors have only limited experience acting these characters. Damb good job done though!

The other two casts had a TV show preceding their big movies. Much more substance, and seasoned performances are the result.

Generations is a good looking movie, captures the feel of the TV show (TNG) brilliantly, has a decent villain played by Malcolm McDowell, and has the best ship crash landing of the Star Trek films. The music/score is fantastic as well. It has some faults but its above average for sure.

there are no bad ‘trek’ movies.
there are, like the bond films, merely disappointing ones.

Pretty fond of Nemesis for the most part, but how was it possible that the Remans could have ever had the opportunity or even freedom to become so powerful with the ship and weaponry right under the Romulans noses? I know they were aided by romulan military, but it seems crazy that the romulans would be able to not only help arm the Remans, but make them more powerful and advanced than even the Romulans. Romulus seemed to be pretty defenseless too for the capitol of their empire… Just 2 warbirds around and available.
I saw Gates McFadden at a convention in the Chicago area maybe 4 months before Nemesis opened and she was extremely positive about the film. Gates introduced the writer John Logan was there unannounced sitting in the audience, having come to take her dinner and check out the convention as he was living in the Chicago area and a big Trekkie. She was very praising of him, and eager for where the movies would go after Nemesis, mentioning it being the first part of an arc.

Believe it or not Tom Hardy ended up dating Linda Park aka Hoshi from Enterprise for a few years they met at the premiere and when Enterprise wasn’t on the air between seasons she lived with him in London and they were in plays together

I stopped listening at 11:37. That was right after Jared said he hadn’t watched the film since 2002, and, on trying again now, couldn’t make it past the wedding scene. Then Brian said he had only watched 40 minutes in preparation for the podcast, but had to stop.

If you couldn’t be bothered to rewatch the film after such a long time, fellas, then you have no business critiquing it. I don’t care what kinda Star Trek fans you think you are.

Wish I could’ve heard Kayla’s thoughts, since she was fresh from viewing the whole movie. Sounds like she was prepared to offer some insightful thoughts.

Great discussion, as always. There was brief mention during your podchat about how the Romulans and Remens came to be, along with their connection with Vulcan. I don’t know if it’s considered canon or not, but a great trilogy came out in the mid-2000s by Susan Shwartz and Josepha Sherman that not only explained it all, but framed it within Alpha Quadrant intrigue in the post-Dominion War era. Read more here:'s_Soul