I'm a little biased. I adore The Motion Picture
to the point where I almost can't look at the film from an objective, logical point of view. It's the first of the films that I ever saw (and the only one my dad would let me see when I was a little tyke--TWOK
had a bit too much blood).
I would say that a lot of the later TOS
films (mostly TFF
) suffered from the character's age, to the point where it ceased making any sense that these characters were able to be the action heroes that the scripts required. It made sense before the last couple of films, because those films directly dealt with the concept of growing old. They should have been making films throughout the Seventies. TFF
would have felt slightly less pathetic had the actors been in their prime. Although, props for TUC
being watchable on account of Nicholas Meyer and the amazing Christopher Plummer. I still have a soft spot for many elements of TFF
, and the campfire scenes make me all warm and fuzzy inside, but it was all a little too late for me.
In the end, I don't really think any of the films perfectly captured the feeling of the original show, but I don't think they ever needed to. It takes place later in the Star Trek universe. The characters are different, older people who are coming to grips with mortality. The films stand on their own as the next chapter in the saga; I don't think they ever needed to perfectly replicate the tone of the show. That's why I always appreciated TMP
. The tone was darker and colder, because it needed to be. Kirk had been bitter for being out of the center seat too long. Spock was a mess, struggling to come to terms with his human side, at first attempting to erase it entirely. In the next film, Kirk feels old and worn out. Of course it wouldn't be like the show. Times had changed, and I don't think that's a bad thing at all.