Was Star Trek - The Motion Picture a bad movie?

The hugely ironic moment in this otherwise dull, leaden retread ofa movie is when Stephen Collins’ character realizes why V’Ger needs a human to merge with it, because humans can “leap beyond logic”. This is exactly what the film’s writer was doing when he came up with that scene.

Harve Bennet saved that series by giving the second movie a good hard yank back to reality.

I liked it.

I’ve seen dozens of hyper-kinetic sci-fi pics, so I kind of liked the slow moving pace of ST:I, where the characters slowly worked through a problem without having to go through a space battle every 10 minutes. And having not seen the Nomad episode, the ending was a satisfying twist for me.

Actually, it had more to do with TV than with Star Wars. What really kicked the Trek franchise owners in the head was how popular the original show got after it was cancelled. It exploded in syndication. And the Star Trek conventions were a real surprise, too. Trek had become a staple of sci-fi TV (even tho it isn’t really sci-fi) in the 70s.

So the Great Bird of the Galaxy tried to ring it back to TV. However, for some varied reasons, that idea failed. So all the money, ideas, scripts, new make ups, and whot not were salvaged into a theatrical release. And THAT’S why ST:TMP seems so disjointed and half written. It was, in essense, a failed TV pilot.

However, it did satisfy Trekkies (soon to change to Trekkers) with just being made. Even after TMP, there was still talk of bringing later TOS to TV again. What would that have been like? See STII:TWOK, STIII:TSFS, and STIV:TVH for a good idea of what it may it have been. Broken up into TV eps, of course.

When Gene (and others) finally did Trek back to TV, it was a new generation of actors, set in the future of TOS. I feel that TNG survived its first seasons on TV largely because the TOS movies brought enough of an audience to Trek in general. Plus, Trekkers were just happy to have a weekly fix again.

So, remember ::hand to head:: the success of all later Trek owes virtually everything to 70s syndicated TV.


Hey! Nemesis helped get a Doper banned! That’s no small feat for a weak sci-fi-ish movie.
Plus, we had a lot of fun with silly in jokes. Such as:

[spoiler]Was Picard upset when Shir-kan died?

Yeah, he was beside himself.[/spoiler]


I think you’re completely misreading this scene. The entire point of the scene was that Spock, after having been attempting Kohlinar on Vulcan for the last few years, was no longer the same Spock that Kirk knew so well, and he didn’t slip back into his spot on the ship smoothly. The awkward interaction between the two of them, where formally it had been so seemless, was a great way to illustrate this.

ST fans were vastly disappointed by TMP when it came out. As a film, it was dull and leaden, with what seemed like a half hour of watching the actors watch the forward screen and going “ooh” and “ah.”

The movie was, however, highly influential in both science fiction and filmmaking. The image of the shaven-headed Persis Khambatta has become as iconic as any in SF (not just her, but the concept of any shaven-headed woman). Also, it was successful enough for Hollywood to begin to start making remakes of old TV series: since a bad revival of ST made money, you could make bad revivals of anything and, by keeping a better rein on the budget, make money on them, too.

NoClueBoy writes:

> So, remember ::hand to head:: the success of all later Trek owes virtually
> everything to 70s syndicated TV.

Indeed, you younguns here might not realize just how ubiquitous Star Trek reruns were in the 1970’s. In retrospect, it’s seems like the main memory many people have of that decade was those reruns. I remember once around 1985 thinking to myself, “Someday someone is going to ask me, ‘So the 1960’s was the hippies and the 1980’s was yuppies, but what went on in the 1970’s?’. My answer would have to be ‘We watched a lot of Star Trek reruns’.”

Well now I know you must be near my age. I feel like I grew up watching Star Trek Reruns followed by Yankee Games. I born the day Star Trek Debut apparently.


We’ll just have to agree to disagree. The mischaracterizations of Picard and Worf and the stupendously illogical motivations of Shinzon are just too much for me and I can’t watch the movie without wanting to cause serious bodily harm eiher to myself or to someone related to the movie.

Originally, Gene Roddenberry wanted to start a new series called Star Trek II. ST:TMP was supposed to be the pilot.

Niether William Shatner, nor Leonard Nimoy were going to do it, so the characters of Decker and the Vulcan who gets fried at the beginning of the movie. (Incidentilly, Riker was based on Decker, Data was based on the fried Vulcan and Troi was based on the bald chick). I think the movie version suffered for trying to convert it to a movie and stuffing Shatner and Nimoy back in.

As for Nemesis, I enjoyed it for two reasons.

  1. I love space battles and the battles were awesome.

  2. It was the first (and only of course) Star Trek movie my kids were old enough to take with me to the theater.

Well, tdn said everything I was going to say. They just streeeeeeeeeeetched it out way too long.

Like others, I didn’t mind Nemesis. But Wrath of Khan isn’t my favorite, although I did like it. Undiscovered Country was definitely my favorite!

hey check out some of this trivia about Wrath of Khan from Wikipedia:

List? What list? No one ever tells me these things! runs off to search

It’s slow as hell, yes, and there’s some mighty poor acting in it.
I love the soundtrack, though.

Worth Posting though it is a highjack

I dug it out, but thanks, What Exit?

My experience watching TMP at home sums it up for me - I fell asleep while they were meandering along inside the alien, and when I woke up, they were still meandering along inside the alien. (For the record, I love sci-fi and will avidly watch just about anything sci-fi related, and I still fell asleep.)

Who? And how? And link?

I just have to stick my nose into other people’s business.


This thread helped show up his basic attitude and was part of the Pitting that led to his meltdown and banning. I twas a wild ride, too. The Nemesis thread was extremely mild compared to his running amuck in GQ and his reaction to the Pitting.

::sigh:: Where have all the fun jerks gone?

The Pitting

Long time paaaassing…

And where’s the pit-wise Hercules
To fight the banning mods?