Podcast: All Access Shares Its Pain With Laurence Luckinbill From ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 188 - TrekMovie - Laurence Luckinbill

[Laurence Luckinbill interview starts at 22:07]

Anthony and Laurie are celebrating the 35th anniversary of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier by chatting with Laurence Luckinbill, who played Spock’s half-brother Sybok. But first, they cover the news: the latest on who may or may not be buying Paramount, the addition of Paul Giamatti to the Starfleet Academy cast, Alex Kurtzman’s thoughts on the future of the franchise, the upcoming release of Prodigy on Netflix, excitement from one of the stars of Section 31, the Discovery box sets coming our way, Star Trek at the Peabody Awards, and the new podcast coming from Enterprise‘s Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating.

Then they settle in to talk with Laurence Luckinbill about the making of the Star Trek V, his feelings about it now, his interest in bringing Sybok back somehow, and more, plus he reads a section of his new memoir, Affective Memories.

They wrap up with a closeout sale on Eaglemoss ships from Master Replicas—with a chance to win one!—and a poetry book from the Delta Flyers.


Affective Memories by Laurence Luckinbill [Amazon]

Paramount/Skydance Deal Officially Dead; Yet Another Bidder Emerges

Paramount/Skydance Deal Runs Into New Snag, And Now Another Bidder Has Emerged

Paul Giamatti Boards ‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy’ As Main Villain

Alex Kurtzman Talks Avoiding Star Trek Fan Service And Explaining Floating Nacelles In ‘Starfleet Academy’

Netflix To Release All 20 Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Season 2 In July; Also Coming To SkyShowtime

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Season 2 Coming To Netflix In July

Anson Mount Says ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 3 Takes “Bigger Swings” Than Musical Episode

‘Star Trek: Section 31’ Actor Teases His “Very Intense” Character, Praises “Hero” Michelle Yeoh

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5 And Complete Series Box Sets Coming To Blu-ray And DVD In August

Star Trek Luminaries Including Patrick Stewart And Scott Bakula Assemble For Franchise Peabody Award

Connor Trinneer And Dominic Keating Launch ‘D-Con Chamber’ Podcast; Season 3 Of ‘InvestiGates’ On The Way

Rex Holman [Memory Alpha]


Anthony: Everything Must Go In Final Master Replicas Sale Of Eaglemoss Star Trek Ship Models

Laurie: The Delta Flyers poetry book

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The role of Sybok (especially as Spock’s never heard-of half-brother) was misconceived, but Luckinbill took what he was given and ran with it. He was absolutely one of the best things about that movie.

He was great in the part and I loved the dynamic between him and Nimoy. There’s a lot to explore here.

The script was not developed properly due to a writers strike at the time

Given that fact, it could have ended up a lot worse without an actor of Luckinbill’s caliber in the role.

‘You are mad!’

‘Am I….we’ll see…’

That’s the moment when he delivers for me a genuine Connery-level performance. It is just like something Sean did in MAN WHO WOULD BE KING in the middle of the film, when they depart from Kipling with a caravan. I have a feeling Luckinbill would be even better than he is if the film hadn’t been so rushed, that he probably would have found more moments to deliver nuance.


I get that but wow. We’re searching for God. In our galaxy because we are so conceited that we think God must live in our galaxy instead of the billions of others? And the center of the galaxy where there is a supermassive back hole and no planet? I mean I know this is SciFi but I expect better from Trek than that.

It written during time of the rise of the TV evangelicals, mega churches and not about ‘finding God’

Searching for God is one thing, But the sheer lack of science in that movie took me right out of it practically before it even started.

It certainly didn’t help anything. They should have gotten TNG’s science advisor to look through their script.

Also, the depiction of the Enterprise was just messed up. They had too many levels in the turbolift scene and I hated how they just reused the TNG sets almost totally unmodified for STV.

I get why they had too. Just about all the movie Enterprise’s sets were used and redressed for TNG and they just didn’t want to spend money converting them back or building new sets. It really took me out of the film for both STV and STVI, where the dining room is a redress of TNG’s briefing room, including windows that obviously aren’t on the Enterprise-A model. And the observation lounge in STV, while a very handsome set, has windows that aren’t on the model either.

This didn’t really happen when the movie Enterprise sets were created for TMP. I believe I read that Andrew Probert worked with Michaelson, the production designer and the other artists to properly integrate the sets into the space allowed for in the Enterprise. The designers for TNG gave the Ent-D the same loving care. In STV and STVI, however, the reuse of the now Ent-D sets is just so blatant.

Agreed. The “mess hall/conference rom and ESP Engineering were glaringly obv. In the case of the latter, they didn’t even try to change anything. I kept expecting Geordi to show up and kick Scotty out like he did in TNG (JERK!!!)

Yeah, I was kind of bummed by that. I think they figured that as long as they didn’t dwell on those shots, it would just be ignored.

The engineering set just isn’t as generic as, say, the sickbay set. Both those sets, of course, were originally the engineering and sickbay sets used in ST I to III. They were repainted and redressed to be the Enterprise D’s for TNG, so that when the original cast showed up for ST V, all they had was a badly damaged bridge set left. All the other sets were used for Enterprise D.

Compare that with the Enterprise E getting all new bridge, conference room, corridor, and Engineering sets for ST: First Contact. I believe they got more money than the TOS films did besides TMP where those original sets were created.

So, yeah, it was kind of a bummer to see the D sets (originally the original Enterprise sets) just used with little or no redress for the final two TOS films, STV and STVI.

it sucks that they lost the engineering room after ‘khan’

The theme of the movie was fine, it’s ultimately the story and screenplay that hurt it badly. Nimoy even said that “Bill was riding a bad script.” He really questioned Shatner whether he really wanted to direct from that story/screenplay. Nimoy and Harve Bennett both could see that it was a bad script.

It’s a real shame. Like a couple of other films (e.g. the horrifically bad Batman and Robin and the just lackluster Green Lantern), I left STV feeling just, underwhelmed. I had a similar feeling with ST: Insurrection and ST: Generations, that feeling that the film should’ve been much much better and more consequential. It sucks when that happens, when you’ve been looking forward to something as good as, in this case, STIV and you get STV. : (

The main character has a major theological epiphany (even if “God” was an alien masquerading as such). We also see a hint of the basis for TNG’s Klingon peace — that’s pretty darn consequential.

In 2010, the transformation of Jupiter into a second sun gives the USA and USSR, on the brink of war, reason to stand down. TFF and the God planet reminded me of that. The excellent cinematography and transcendent music (“The Mountain”) underscored this point.

IIRC, the novelization of TUC also states that Korrd, having found a new purpose after TFF, provided important political support to Gorkon in his decision to reach out to the Federation.

The script was incomplete due to that year writers strike so they had to go with what they had at the time

That’s what you get when you listen to your science advistor.

What dumb ass science advisor did they have??

Charles Beichman. The original script had it that ‘God’ was at the center of the universe, but Beichman said that was well beyond even the Enterprise range-wise, and I think he suggested center of galaxy on the basis of how it might look, which he also advised them on. This is all in that MAKING OF TFF book I mentioned.

Surely we can interpret “center of the galaxy” somewhat metaphorically — as in “center of theological thought” or even “vaguely nearer to the inner part of the galaxy than the fringes.”

If you look at a population density map of Earth, the population center tends to be near the Persian/Arabian Gulf. That explains the success of airlines like Emirates and Qatar in connecting passengers from Europe to points east. But it doesn’t mean that the population center is literally at Dubai Airport (DXB).

I also don’t get why people can accept superbeings like Q, or the Metrons, or Sunad’s species — or indeed perhaps more relevantly the “Nth Degree” aliens — but they have a problem with “God” in Star Trek V.


Science advisors don’t write scripts

Not that I was endorsing his views in the least, but I think sometimes they do. Naren was the tng Sci advisorwhile he started writing for the show and I think kip Thorne got a writing credit on interstellar

Yeah, the ‘center of the universe’ IS quite beyond the capacity of Enterprise, range-wise, seeing as such a location does not exist. The center of the *observable* universe just happens to be wherever you are, very Buckaroo Bonzai. Hollywood, sheesh.

He was very good in the role, but I think everyone here knows that they originally wanted Sean Connery for the part but he couldn’t commit because of the Indiana Jones flick and they ended up naming the planet ShaKaRee in his honor.

Apparently casting Connery was never an option, as he just wasn’t interested in the role. It must be interesting, to have lived a life so blessed by fame and goodwill that people go out of their way to honor you even when you turn them down.

Luckinbill was absolutely superb in the role — one of the most underrated performances in all of Star Trek, if you ask me.

And Star Trek V is hands-down the most underrated Star Trek film. It was the first to introduce the concept of (modern) Vulcans that reject logic. It explores themes such as the nature of revolutions, exile, and religious belief. It gives us actual character development. I also love the set design, particularly the bar with its ship’s wheel centerpiece.

And even if some of the film’s criticisms are justified, many are not. The humor sticks out like a sore thumb? Perhaps, but it’s not even approaching the way it does in LOWER DECKS or SNW. And a lot of that humor is bantering between friends (Kirk-Spock-McCoy, but also Sulu-Chekhov, for instance), which makes the context important — note that they instant they return to duty, they drop the banter (or in the case of McCoy, use it, Hawkeye-Pierce style, as black humor to diffuse a grim situation in the turbolift). (And “too many decks” notwithstanding, that turbolift is more realistic than the fantasy we saw on DISCO.)

Korrd was unrealistic? Hate to say it, but I’ve met my share of local politicos who display exactly the same kind of ennui that Korrd did. They often keep getting elected somehow, even if young reformers — Caitlin Dar! — try to shake things up.

The journey to the center of the galaxy was unrealistic? No more so than the Caretaker or “The Nth Degree” aliens, of which “God” might have even been one.

The Klingons may not have featured the finest actors we’ve ever seen playing Klingons, but I thought the concept of a young, headstrong, almost adolescent captain with a chip on his shoulder learning something was still a worthwhile theme.

Yes, I’d like to see better special effects. But special effects have never been the hallmark of Star Trek. Indeed, all the FX in the world couldn’t rescue the Abramsverse films.

I’m glad you enjoyed the film. I honestly can’t agree with many of your defenses of it, but at the same time have never felt it was entirely without value.

That’s how I feel too. There is some good stuff in STV, even if it is the worst. First, it’s got the holy trinity of ST, Kirk, Spock, and Bones, and they’re written well and we see their bond probably better than any other film. Second, it’s got Luckinbill’s Sybok. Third, I thought Shatner’s action shots on Nimbus III and some of his camera work were well done.
And the new bridge looked great. Also the shots of the Enterprise going through the barrier and the planet Sha-Ka-Ree. The more practical fluid sfx there worked well.

And…that’s about it. It’s at the bottom of just about every ranking of ST films and it belongs there.

I also agree with the point about the much-maligned FX of the Enterprise going through the barrier. I thought it actually looked somewhat other-worldly, and much better than the FX of Discovery going through the galactic barrier in S4. (It’s the same as the FX of Krypton in Superman I-II and MAN OF STEEL: the latter may have been more technically sophisticated, but the former was much more memorable and other-worldy).

In CAPTAIN’S LOG, I recall some text saying Shatner wanted a Dantesque “descent into hell” scene in which Shatner is surrounded by seraphim and cherubim that transform into hellish gargolyes. I’d have liked to see that. But Star Trek V was never going to get the budget that TMP did. I so often see it asserted that people would rather have a good, character-driven story than FX. I also see it asserted that they would prefer a villain-less story, or at least a three-dimensional villain than the moustache-twirler we’ve gotten lately. Well, that is TFF on both counts!

I agree that the film would have been better with the humor toned down. The studio was wrong to insist on including it so that “TVH didn’t stand out like a sore thumb.”

I’ll say this much for the film. The Yosemite scenes with the trio were the best the three ever had in movies or TV.

I still think the best ‘trio’ stuff is them in THE EMPATH (and some choice bits in BREAD AND CIRCUSES), but rate TFF right behind that.

Now, B and C is my idea of truly underrated Trek. Not a great episode by any stretch, but the script features some moments of genuine wit and great use of the Big 3; the take on 20th Century American television is as savage as Trek’s satire ever got; plus no one is going to convince me that Logan Ramsey wasn’t having a total blast playing one of TOS’ most memorable villains. The script was the sole joint writing credit of the two Genes, and given that Coon departed shortly thereafter I’m guessing the collaboration wasn’t a happy one. But as much fun as I find this outing, I wish there had been more.

I can see that too

I’ve maintained the biggest problem with the movie was editing. Another editing pass and redone VFX would improve it immeasurably.

Even as is, I prefer it to the whale one.

The Bran Ferren special effects didn’t kill STF for me. It was mostly the story/script. Better sfx couldn’t keep that film from being the worst ST film ever.

He really was one of the best things about STV. I really liked his character, even though, of course, his existence as Spock’s sibling was something of a retcon (though Michael Burnham’s was far worse in that regard). I didn’t know who the heck Luckenbill was, but by gosh, he gave a really charismatic and interesting portrayal of Sybok. He had a lot of humor and wit and I appreciated his rebelliousness as a Vulcan outlier. It makes sense. Not every Vulcan is going to cater to a godless, logic filled, philosophy. In a way, both of Sarek’s sons rebelled against his wishes, and, honestly, of the two, I think it’s evident that Sarek was more angered by Sybok than Spock. Also, Spock never embarrassed Sarek the way Sybok must have.

It’s kind of awesome that with Luckinbill’s casting, all the characters of the Sarek family, were played by really strong actors with Mark Lenard as Sarek, Lawrence Luckinbill as Sybok, and Leonard Nimoy as Spock.

You know what I really wanted to see actually: Mark Lenard as Sarek, Leonard Nimoy as Spock and Laurence Luckinbill as Sybok all doing a scene together. I’d especially want to see how Sarek would react to both of his “disappointing” sons. Come to think of it Sarek was just an all around terrible father.

100% the missing scene was Sarek and Sybok face-to-face. (And yes to Sarek being a terrible dad.)

For some reason they seem to be always missing potential scenes with Sarek. A Sarek and Spock scene was also needed in the Unification two parter in my opinion. I mean if you could get both Mark Lenard and Leonard Nimoy involved in the same episode but can’t put them together in a scene, it just seems useless to me. Also I felt like they could have done more with the Sarek character in Discovery.

 A Sarek and Spock scene was also needed in the Unification two parter in my opinion.

I must thoroughly disagree with this view; the lack of a Sarek-Spock scene, and their inability to reconcile prior to the former’s death, spoke to alienation in a way that no pairing ever could.

Personally, I don’t feel at all that the Burnham retcon was worse. She was a live-in salvage project for Sarek and Amanda during Spock’s childhood, not a half-sibling Sarek fathered on a “Vulcan princess” (ugh!) who then conveniently died to make way for Amanda. A black-sheep distant cousin Sybok would have sufficed, thanks.

Great interview, Luckinbill brought one of the greatest Trek characters to life. Star Trek V is a great movie for all its flaws. This is great Trek

Fantastic show, as always! I felt absolutely NO pain listening to your fun interview with Mr. Luckinbill.

Loved the interview Laurie.

Luckinbill is so well spoken, and I was genuinely surprised to hear how highly he thought of Shatner as a director (a rare opinion indeed).

I must say, while Prodigy’s imminent return brings me joy, the looming end of Lower Decks causes me great pain.

He had such a good take on Shatner. Acknowledged his ego, appreciates him anyway!

I might be wrong but I think I heard a lot of ST V was not what Shatner wanted and the Studio or *someone* over rided his decisions??/

If you dig up a copy of CAPTAIN’S LOG, which is the making of TREK V, you can get some idea of what happened behind the scenes, from a teamster’s strike to the writer’s strike and the studio’s obsession with matching TVH’s humor quotient, as well as their concern over the whole God business (can you imagine if Barry Diller had still been running things at Paramount? He’s the guy who took one look at THE GOD THING and killed it.) There are various other stories, too, including how Ralph Winter has admitted that the production team let Shatner down in certain ways. I talked with the physical fx supervisor, Mike Wood (not a vfx guy!), and he said that Shatner was having to deal with shortcomings and limitations every day in a way he hadn’t seen on a major movie (and this was a guy who had done POLTERGEIST and INNERSPACE and would later do a killer job on ALWAYS!) If you read CINEFEX 42 (the one with a TREMORS cover), you can get a pretty good idea about what happened with Bran Ferren’s VFX, though the American Cinematographer mag on the film is also a good source of info on this and other aspects of the shoot. Personally, I still have a lot of unanswered questions about the production. Like how and why, after doing what looked like the world’s coolest transporter beam effect in ALTERED STATES, couldn’t Ferren reproduce his work a decade later for TFF? The transporter effects were not done by Ferren at all, but farmed out to VCE, which also did the hand phaser animation (VCE did the TWOK phaser stuff and similar work on TUC as well.) I understand the studio not wanting to throw good money after bad once the writing was on the wall after shooting wrapped. But I really do not understand why they were so hell-bent on releasing the movie into a summer that was probably as competitive as the summer of 1982, one that saw Karate Kid and Bond both tanking and Trek taking a bashing as well. If they’d eaten a bit of interest cost and held it over to winter (which is when the original TREK movies did their best, going by TMP and TVH), it would have had less to deal with at the box office, plus the film could have been tinkered with in the meantime. Maybe they could have gotten a young excellent company in to redo some of the ship and God VFX, like DreamQuest or the Skotak Brothers. Also (and I got this from a serious trek scholar, somebody who knows more about TMP than most of the people who worked on it), there was another writer on that ‘making of TFF’ book who basically got paid off to abandon it, and it was hastily rewritten and credited to Shatner’s daughter. Now I think the book is pretty fair in showing mistakes made on all sides, but it does make me wonder if there was worse stuff that got suppressed. One last point: Shatner’s inexperience in dealing with studio higher-ups hurt the final product. I like to point out that when Nicholas Meyer needed to reshoot an explosion on TWOK (I think it was the part when the bridge gets blitzed during Khan’s first attack), the studio refused to pay (300K?) for it, so Meyer said to take it out of his director’s fee. Chagrined and maybe ashamed, the studio caved and ate the cost of the reshoot. That took balls and savvy on Meyer’s part. Compare that with early 1989, when Shatner needs more money to throw at the VFX, which are being funneled through a narrow pipeline at Ferren’s setup where there is only one optical printer. He asked for more $, didn’t get … and then didn’t throw a tantrum or issue an ultimatum over it. What if he had? Might he have gotten something more out of the studio, like Meyer did? He certainly had more of his own money to spend on it than Meyer did, if he had chosen to do so (and this is true years later as well, when he pestered the studio to spend $ to fix TFF for homevid … he could have spent the money from his chump-change at that point.) Now that I finally got a decent modern TV, I guess I gotta buy TFF on UHD 4K. All this keyboarding has got me fired up to watch it for what, the 65th time (that’s a low estimate, from years of watching laserdisc, dvd and bluray, plus several in-theater viewings.) I really only love three of the trek movies: TMP, TWOK and TFF. All have their failings, but these are the ones I will always dig in spite of… Read more »

Wow. Just W.O.W.!!! That was WAY more than I ever knew and thank you for the information!!!

I know I had paragraph breaks all through that, not sure why it printed as one long hard to read graph, sorry.

If you click on “Read more” the paragraph breaks return.

No worries at all

Instead of supporting follow up to a hit like ‘voyage home’, Paramount penny pinched on the budget for TFF and went with an incomplete script

Yet TFF ultimately wound up costing more than any of the TOS sequel films (the revised and possibly final budget I saw on tbbs was 33 mil, and the VFX actually cost more than any of the ILM films!

The short version that I heard was that Shatner actually wanted to do a Directors version of the film for home video like they did with TMP but was overturned by Paramount who apparently didn’t want to spend anymore money on the film. We should probably do a releasetheshatner cut hashtag of this :))

OMG let’s do it! If Snyder can get one anyone can lol. And Trek fans are way more vocal!

An actor I like listening to despite playing a character I can’t stand. I’ve grown to appreciate STV over the years because of the Kirk-Spock-McCoy aspect and the “I need my pain” bit is so perfectly Kirk that it’s almost a shame that it’s in *this* movie.

Please no more pain. Enough of that in the real world these days.

This pain has poisoned your soul for a long time

To be fair the pain of this world in the last few decades has hurt a lot of ppl. And I am not speaking of Trek per se.

The movie is about overcoming pain, not pretending it doesn’t exist, and not wallowing in it. I daresay Jonathan Haidt would approve.

I personally agree with the overall concept just not the execution.

As flawed as the movie was, it has some of the best Kirk-Spock-McCoy scenes. Especially around the campfire. The movie felt like an episode of TOS and not a big screen movie. But that was okay for me. After several viewings over the years, I have become quite fond of the movie.
I didn’t mind the Sybok character, and I didn’t mind that Spock didn’t tell anyone about him. The only REAL issue I had was in the shuttle bay when Kirk screamed at Spock to shoot Sybok. I found that to be out of character for Kirk. But definitely not one of the worst Trek films out there when you have Into Darkness filling that role.

Yes, the Yosemite scenes are great fun. They really “got” the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic. Whenever I rewatch the TOS films they kinda blur together for me (probably because I always watched them in order as a kid) and it still catches me off guard that this film starts so strongly.

Agreed, I saw it when it came out in theaters, and came away a bit let down. Sybok kind of came out of nowhere, and even as a young guy I thought the ‘long lost sibling’ choice to be bad and lazy writing, just like I did with Burnham). However, to me, the film has become a nice swan song for the Kirk/Spock/McCoy trio/friendship arc, the type of which we’ll never see again (no doubt someone will try, though). 🙄. I still watch TFF about once a year, and enjoy it.

(And will never watch STID again). Cheers.

Make that “half sibling.” Sybok was older than Spock, and it’s unclear how long they lived together, if at all.

Also, as I observed with Burnham, Spock just doesn’t talk about his family that much — as far bac as “Journey to Babel,” Kirk didn’t even know that Sarek, a famous diplomat, was Spock’s father, and his closest family weren’t even mentioned at the wedding scene in “Amok Time.” TFF is absolutely consistent with TOS in that regard.

The movie felt like an episode of TOS and not a big screen movie.

In some ways, it did indeed. But with the exception of TMP, it was also the most high-concept of the TOS films.

Delicious Interview!

I absolutely loved Sybok. He was truly mesmorizing. I had the privilege of telling Luckingbill on YouTube years ago how much I loved the character. He was like wouldnt it be great to revisit? I was like Hell yeah! And then Strange New Worlds hasn’t revisited that plot beyond a back head shot! Smh lol.

But SNW gave us musicals, hijinx, and Tawny Awesome. Ain’t life grand?

Oh, the pain, the pain of it all! 😂

I’m hoping S3 will revisit that

Me too, bro!

I mean, why even give the tiny hint if you are not planning to, right?

As always, a pain free listening experience. I rewatched STV recently and was surprised how much I enjoyed it, and Sybok really is a standout.

If nothing else, Sybok’s final line always sticks with me, “I couldn’t help but notice your pain… It runs deep, share it with me!!”

Yeah, even the late rapper Tupac put that in the beginning of his song, “Pain.” Loved it!

Terrific interview, y’all! Mr. Luckinbill has always deserved all the kudos he gets for that role; he’s magnificent in the movie (which is a mess but a very fun one).

This interview made my Friday! I’m now convinced Star Trek needs a crossover event featuring Sybok, Michael Burnham, and any other as-yet-unmentioned Spock siblings all getting together for a family reunion.

And we can call it ‘The Sarek Bunch’

I would love to see them all together at least once. Somehow.

Listening to this interview definitely took the emotional pain of watching Star Trek V away.

(this is a joke, I actually don’t hate this movie, so therefore I do indeed need my pain)

I’ve never hated STV. I still watch it and I can enjoy it, despite its many flaws. It’s like what Harve Bennett said about TOS. Some were great episodes, some were ok, and some weren’t good. But even the ones that weren’t that good had the characters and they carried a weak story. STV is in the same vein. Kirk, Spock, Bones, and, yeah, Lukenbill’s Sybok carry that movie.

And, y’know, STV isn’t alone in that category. I’d put ST Generations as a letdown too thanks to a muddled plot that didn’t nearly exploit the pairing of Captains Kirk and Picard as well as it should’ve been. Both Ron Moore and Brannon Braga admit that they blew the script, but Berman deserves blame too, since he put conditions on the use of Kirk, Spock, and Bones in the film (of course Nimoy and Kelly turned down their roles in the film leading to Scotty and Chekov being substituted for them). They had some bad and dumb constraints and they tried to write a satisfying movie with a set amount of action set pieces. They ended up with something that was muddled, contrived, and didn’t exploit the Kirk-Picard teamup, let alone Kirk’s death, well at all.

No more pain. No more suffering. Sybok should take away all our pain.

Your podcast relieves my paid every week.

STV was an epic movie! The sets, the music, the actors all pretty terrific. VFX were clearly unfinished and Shatner & the producers thought they were temp shots NOT the final product with no time to fix them!

Great interview, his performance has grown on me over the years, what a guy.

V;’s best bits Yosemite, the music, the trio and the god cave,

Oh I almost forgot, the DVD gave us the press conference

And it all led onto the best Star Trek VI

Spock: Sybok.
Sybok: This is my doing! This is my arrogance, my vanity…
Spock: Sybok, we must find a way…
Sybok: No! Save yourselves! Forgive me, brother. Forgive me. I couldn’t help but notice your pain.
God: My pain?
Sybok: It runs deep. Share it with me.

Exactly. Sybok is very much in the vein of the classic Greek hero. (I kinda regret not taking Nagy’s course as an undergrad and writing a term paper on the subject!)

How about a quote?
It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don’t agree. The wounds remain. Time – the mind, protecting its sanity – covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.
Rose Kennedy

Thank you for these pragmatic/practical/realistic quotations. The older I become, the more I tend to accept the validity/realism of this approach over idealism.

I was in great pain watching The Final Frontier during its initial theatrical release. But I’ve enjoyed hearing the behind-the-scenes stories over the years. In a mirror universe, it’d be fun to see the film Shatner intended to make without all the compromises.

The topic of pain does come up rather often in the context of Vulcans, even in TOS.

A wonderful interview with an amazing man and actor!

Pain (in honor of Sybok)

Not pane?

Great interview guys! I’m looking forward to reading his book

I’m surprised no one as offered up on Mr. Luckinbill’s question on what would fans want to see in a one person show. Let’s see:

  1. Some insight on the duality of a spiritual Vulcan?
  2. SNW’s was hinting that Sybok might have been a ward of the Vulcan state, because of his non-logical pursuits. Seems custom made to tell a Fahrenheit 451 type story there.
  3. After the events of ST5, Sybock rediscovers his spiritual self.

Anyway, it’s a beginning. And I suppose you need to know your audience. The character is deep, not sure a convention is a place where a one person show on self reflection would be received well.

Listening to the pod – especially the end, wasn’t a pain at all! ;-)

I like and respect Larry as an actor and he gave the character his all. He seems like a great guy.


I remember opening day 1989 in Boston, tickets for the first show had sold out so we were seeing the second — and as the people filed out, they were just walking out. No laughter, no excitement, no conversation about the film — just leaving. And I thought, “Oh, no.”

I was SO underwhelmed with V (and I’d finished the novel over the weekend).

Unlike ST4 which I saw in the theater 11 times (really) and countless times since on WHS/DVD, I saw the movie one or two more times. And less tha 10 on VHS or DVD.

I remember thinking, it just wasn’t good. Then or now.

Captain’s log really covers very well what happened, as does Shatner’s movie memories. Shatner and Harve correctly stated that the writer’s strike hurt the project, and there was SO much competition (especially Batman) and they should have released in December.

The relationship of Kirk, McCoy and Spock is awesome in the film.

But Nimoy said it best in “I am Spock:” “You’re riding a bad script.”

The writing, the script, I’m sorry, it’s terrible. And even if they had gone with Shatner’s ORIGINAL idea, still terrible.

For me Trek V is like Superman III — I love the actors, I love the characters, love th efranchise, but this movie is one where I look for the good where I can and ignore the rest.

I was at a Trek convention in Boston before ST6 in 91, and Nimoy said he wanted to call VI “Star Trek The Apology,” and added, “Unlike Five, my movie has a beginning, middle and end and all three make sense.”

Bad script. Actors gave it their all but a complete re-master with ILM level effects can’t save the bad script.

Must be all those marshmelons :)

Preaching to the choir, Linus. I agree with everything you said about V, 100%.

It all goes back to the script. Better SFX and even better production wouldn’t have saved it (although they would’ve helped the ending a bit).

I don’t really know what Shatner’s original aspirations were for the story. I believe I read that he wanted the Enterprise to find God. He wanted a story where that happened, but Bennett said that whatever Shatner’s conception of God was, that it wasn’t going to jibe with everyone, so they

steered the story into finding a being pretending to be God.

It just seems that there was a clear line on exactly how to tackle that original idea in the context of Star Trek and I really wonder what Shatner intended or even if he had a clear idea of what the story should really be.

It’s just a bummer, but, as I said above, Generations and Insurrection left me underwhelmed too.
Generations had a muddled script (that Nimoy was right about again when he rejected directing it after reading the script) that didn’t exploit the Kirk-Picard team up to the fullest. Insurrection was ok. The problem with Insurrection was that it just seemed like a longer TNG episode with better SFX and, honestly, I liked just about every single TNG two-parter more than INS’s story.

Oh, btw, your Superman III analogy is a really good one.

Sat in the cinema waiting for a 40th anniversary screening of Star Trek 3.

In my house, my kids think marshmallows are marshmellons!

Star Trek III TSFS is far superior to TFF.

And marshmellons are quite tasty!

What a great interview! He sounds like such a delightful person. Sybok is such an interesting character. His mind melds are better than all the CC’s of Inaprovaline for your pain relief needs! Here’s hoping we see a return of the character on a Strange New Worlds and that the original Sybok approves and enjoys it.

Any Shatner fans still looking at this thread should check hamiltonbook’s website. They put PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS on blu-ray for under six bucks, which is an insanely good deal (also got REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD for less than seven bucks, so even with four bucks shipping, this was an awesome day’s buy!

I wish it was THE INTRUDER on Blu for under six bucks! I buy a dozen! But hell, after buying Luckinbill’s book from Amazon the other day, I ended up ordering another Bluray copy of ST TFF, mostly to avoid having to spend half a day digging out a copy from my house-fulla-videos!

I haven’t read many actor bios in recent years (have been reading a ton of old Alistair MacLean books and thinking that most action flicks of the last 40 years have leveraged off bits from some of the lesser-known ones), though I did just read an oral recounting of the making of AIRPLANE from the film’s directors called SURELY YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS that had a few tremendous laughs in it. I was a little disappointed, as script pages printed inside the back cover reflect a shooting draft that includes a character called ‘ES Blofeld’ stroking a white cat, but there is no mention of this inside! That’s quite the pussy tease.

Kev: I will say that the more I watch TFF the more I enjoy it! I especially am impressed with the teaser opening* in the desert with the “holes” and it took me several YEARS to realize that the guy “digging” is the amazing Rex Holman, one of the Kyben characters struggling on the floor with Robert Culp in the OUTER LIMITS episode DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND, my personal most-loved hour of SF TV ever produced, which I’ve viewed more than any other film or tv episode of sf/fantasy.

*And why the flip didn’t teaser openings occur in more of the ST feature films?

I think using a teaser would have seemed ‘too TV’ to Wise, though the structure of the film would have been ideal; you hear the epsilon 9 actress (I’m being generous with that description) say ‘it’s on a direct heading for Earth’ and go straight into the opening credits.

TWOK would have been tougher, unless you decided to switch things around and put the RELIANT/Ceti stuff in at the front, and have a super long teaser that ends with Chekov and Terrell being confronted by Khan’s bunch.

TUC would have been a good candidate as well, with praxis wave leading into credits.

I’m always surprised by how much stuf Holman was in, as he is also part of Durning’s crew aboard HINDENBERG, plus a badde in THE WRECKING CREW (Sharon Tate’s final film) and tons of 70s cop shows. It seems bizarre to me that Holman and Luckinbill’s film careers both seemed to end due to TFF when they both really brought the goods throughout.

RE: OUTER LIMITS, watched DEMON and SOLDIER fairly recently and DEMON especially is still a great piece of work, despite the series’ paltry economics. (I’m a sucker for just about anything with Robert Culp in it, we preceded these two with THE ARCHITECTS OF FEAR, which I think is the inspiration for Martin Caidin’s THE MENDELOV CONSPIRACY, and obviously was for WATCHMEN.) We wound up seeing BLADE RIUNNER after DEMON because you can never get enough of The Bradbury Building!

I’ve always loved teaser openings, but blame that on the Allen shows. Speaking of which, Holman played a giant in an ep of Land of the Giants. He also put out an LP album of (I think) folk music in the 60s or 70s. The paltry economics of DEMON are precisely one of the reasons why I love it so much. It must have inspirred me in my pre-film school days too, because one of my early Super 8 silent films from the early 70s was “inspired” by that episode. Even Mister Rogers’ last tv series music director (a friend of mine from my Pittsburgh film society days) used to rag me constantly, spoofing the alliterative title of my DEMON takeoff, which I won’t repeat here because it’s so gawd-awful a pun!

You were mentioning Leslie Neilsen above, and my day with him at the studio in Culver City on the set of THE CREATURE WASN’T NICE was really painful at the time, although thinking back, I would have loved to discuss sf films with more than we did. He really had no idea at all that FORBIDDEN PLANET was considered a classic even in 1981, and he kept repeating, “Oh, really!” as I showed him magazines like the CFQ cover issue on FP. He was quite stunned! But I did manage to manipulate him into saying his famous line, “Don’t call me Shirley!” to me. He and Macnee got into a pun-fight on the set, that ceased only when Alex Rocco walked onto the set of CREATURE to see what was going on. Too bad CREATURE WASN’T NICE was such an embarrassingly unfunny film.

Ever since Roger Corman passed on (at age 98!) I’ve been re-watching the old b&w sci-fi films Corman and company cranked out in the 1950s. Very inspiring!

PS: Somebody from LOCUS schooled me that science fiction lit. is always “sf” and “sci-fi” is only used when applied to movies. M-kay! So I follow those orders nowadays (usually)! ;)

Sorry for going off on a tangent or two or three, but seeing a reference to Pierce in a book I just bought took me off on a nostalgia trip to the 80s for a while. :P

That’s cool. I’m still kind of in a stake of mild shock over realizing that I’m now older than the late Bill Cobbs was when he played ‘old’ Grand L. Bush in DEMOLITION MAN or Clint Eastwood when he did IN THE LINE OF FIRE. That means I’m Shatner’s age when Kirk died in GENERATIONS. I can remember — barely! — the first time I realized I was older than Shatner on TOS, and being horrified! Time doesn’t just fly, it warps!