Could Star Trek V be salvaged

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Jolantru, May 29, 2009.

  1. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    List of problems TFF faced:

    1) No ILM, not even the C team. This was the first time Trek had to go outside the ILM framework to get their effects done and unfortunately, it showed.

    2) Writers' Strike. Shatner was unable to get the script professionally treated and submitted to a lengthy editing process by the guy he wanted. It ended up being rushed and that showed, too.

    3) Teamsters' Strike. Many location shots had to either be altered or canceled because they simply could not get the cameras and crew out. Teamsters are not people you want to mess with. Many of the location vehicles experienced 'unexplained' breakdowns. They were harassed and threatened.

    4) Paramount. They saw TVH's big profit and its humorous tone and demanded constant efforts to 'lighten' it up. Written by an experienced writer, this would not have been a problem. Unfortunately, the guy was inexperienced, leading to bumping heads, getting lost and all sorts of other business.

    5) TNG. This was the first movie to be done concurrently with a Trek TV production. Paramount decided this would be a good way to lower costs as much as they could, reusing TNG sets and 'reasoning' that the movie shouldn't get more since they already were paying for TV Trek.

    Ouch.
     
  2. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To: Harve Bennett, William Shatner & David Loughery.
    From: Paramount Big Wig
    RE: Star Trek V Final Draft

    I have read the final draft of the Star Trek V screenplay and have some issues. The story is absolutely workable, but there is far too much sophomoric humor and excessive plot holes. With this in mind, I feel we cannot proceed with filming until we have worked them out.

    Owing to the ambitious nature of the story, I have prevailed upon the board to provide additional monies for optical effects. We cannot go with a small effects house for his film. Star Trek is one of our largest properties and a higher quality product would produce larger box office revenue. We hope. Therefore, please look further into effects houses if ILM is not available. Associates and Ferren is not sufficient for this project.

    Now please note comments on the story and make appropriate changes.

    1. The prologue is great. Sets up Sybok and his quest well. Leave as is.

    2. Kirk climbing mountain. I cannot believe a 50+ year old Jim Kirk could do this free-hand. I would buy it if he used ropes or some sort of Treknology. A rope or Treknology which fails and he falls. I note the intended us of rear projection against which Bill will hang and flail his arms to simulate free fall. Please reconsider. Suggest only having an actual fall until Spock catches Kirk at the ver end (in other words, no back projection at all). This will provide a really fast, tightly edited and somewhat more exciting scene. The “drop in for dinner” crack actually works because it’s natural to play off shitting yourself with a joke. Even a bad one.

    3. Caithlin Dar. What’s the point of a Romulan and then giving her an Irish name? Yikes.

    4. Enterprise should not be junkily assembled. It had been years since we’d seen the grand lady in action and brining her back as crap was a bad move. Trek III already had her still damaged from Kahn, so we only got one torpedo out of her. Seven years, then, since we’ve seen her tough as nails. So, I’d change this.

    5. Scotty and Uhura. I didn’t have that much of an objection to them being cozy, but I would have started it here instead of picking it up as an established fact.

    6. The camping scenes are funny, but it needs to be less broad. Cut back some of the jokes, but keep the singing. It works as a bookend later.

    7. Klingons: again, no objection to their use – again – but instead of just some bored warrior, why not pick up the thread introduced in Trek 4? Send the BOP to get their hostage back. However, Kirk no doubt has a price on his head, so let Klaa take up the challenge once he realizes the Enterprise is involved.

    8. Sybok: lose the half-brother thing. Sybok, who always embraced Vulcan emotions, could have been that one Vulcan who understood and respected Spock. Remember, only his mother treated him well, so Sybok could have been “like “a brother to him, creating as strong a bond. In fact, seeing how his family and people rejected him, Spock probably would have had a DEEPER bond toward Sybok. Then, Sybok was banished and word came back that he was dead (“a lie?” “a necessary deception”) so Spock never had reason to bring him up. Let Sybok move too quickly for Spock to shoot him, but leave some doubt as to whether he would have or not. Kirk knows Spock can move quickly, so let him have a flash of doubt.

    9. “I need Jim Kirk.” This is the most ego centric line in the whole film. It needs to go and an alternate reason for wanting the Enterprise there concocted. This one is pretty easy: Sybok knew Spock was on the Enterprise and, in his hostage tape, demands the Enterprise comes parlay. Kirk knows it’s a trap, but Kirk runs from nothing and knows it’s the only way to free the hostages. He also feels he can turn the tables on Sybok. Spock, of course, recognizes Sybok and, as before, briefs Kirk – still not mentioning his closeness to the man. It’s not necessary. Or so Spock believes. Yet he does mention that the Sybok he knew would not harm the hostages. There is more to this. Kirk agrees, and continues the mission.

    This allows them to have the rescue mission and still have the surprise of the hostages winding up on Sybok’s side.

    10. Lose the fan dance. Period. Keep Uhura in the pilot’s seat in the shuttle, this works well for Nichelle and adds to her skill set.

    11. Don’t break the transporters yet again, but have Sybok put up a beaming shield around the building. He planned well in advance, so he would have the necessary widget for this.

    12. Getting everyone on the Enterprise without Kirk looking foolish. This is also easy, have a line of dialog where Kirk decides letting them aboard with him is better than them taking the shuttlecraft and leaving him on the surface. Even better, have Sulu and Uhura converted BEFORE lift off. This will still allow them to dodge the Klingon torpedo.

    13. When Spock fills in Bones and Kirk in the brig, lose the “you made that up” exchange. Kirk is not 12. But, without the brother connection, that dialog wouldn’t be necessary anyway. However, play up the scene to give some friction to Kirk and Spock. Kirk could confront Spock on his hesitation to shoot Sybok, and Spock tells them the rest of it.

    14. Center of the galaxy: let’s lose this, because it’s unnecessary as well as impossible. The Great Barrier could be a very dangerous anomaly surrounding a mysterious area in an off-limits sector. Nobody has been able to get through. Sybok can, but we don’t know why yet. . .

    15. Of course, lose the head on the beam pratfall. Have Kirk assign Scotty to sabotage the engines to stop the damned ship. On the way to Engineering, after Sybok discovers the trio is missing, Scotty is cut off by search parties. He is knocked out in the scuffle and sent to Sick Bay.

    16. Klaa realizes the Enterprise is on a course to the “forbidden zone” and follows cloaked. Make Klaa more shrewed and less of a bonehead surfer.

    17. Rework the turboshaft scene. Kirk and the guys have to get to the comm station deck by deck (and not 70+ of them). Have at least one scene of Kirk knocking out a follower, give Shatner a heroic fistfight. I picture McCoy feigning injury to distract the Sybokkian who goes around a corner and runs into Kirk, who kicks his ass. Another guy comes out and Spock pinches him. Once a firefight begins, they duck into the turboshaft, but only have a few decks to climb.

    18. Scotty is revived in sick bay, Uhura is not quite so fawning, but a little more affectionate thanks to the Sybok meld. Scotty takes advantage to talk her into letting him go to Engineering to work on the shields so they can survive the trip through the barrier. Thinking he is telling the truth and not going to sabotage anything, Uhura lets him go. But J’Onn (let’s give the guy something to do, he did have the big opening scene) steps in and says “you won’t object to some help, would you?” Sighing, Scotty goes with him (obviously, he won’t be able to do anything).

    19. The McCoy and Spock meld scene is perfect as is, but when Sybok does the big reveal of God, he mentions how God will let them pass through the barrier: he was told this specifically.

    20. As the Enterprise approaches, Sybok plots a specific course through a weak point in the barrier. Sensors get all scrambled. They don’t see (but we do) that the Bird of Prey is following directly in their wake. As the Enterprise emerges on the other side, the BoP is hit with a energy strike, sending them spinning off course. This is, we assume, sent by God.

    21. The intent is to beam down, but some force is preventing it from operating (we will learn that the God Thing needs a physical vessel to leave the planet). Kirk orders Scotty to find a way to punch through the interference so they have the transporter as a backup. Then they take the shuttle down.

    22. As much as it’s a nice scene, landing the shuttle craft miles from God make little sense. Have them land closer.

    23. Give God a more physical body once it is revealed it’s a trick by an alien. This will make it easier to buy Sybok wrestling with him.

    24. Once God Alien’s physical body was destroyed by the torpedo, but an energy form has broken free. ILM can make this very terrifying. The alien is weaker now and the interference lessens to the point where Spock and McCoy can beam up.

    25. Klaa attacks, shorts out the transporter, but the Enterprise fires back a few times. Finally, Koord talks to Klaa.

    26. Kirk was in the shuttle, so let him grab a couple of phasers, they were there. The God Thing is dodging and weaving all around him, while Kirk keeps trying to tag him with this two fisted shooting. The BoP swoops down, guns blazing, distracting the alien long enough for Kirk to be beamed up. Then, as the BoP zooms away, the Enterprise lets loose with a huge volley of phasers and torpedoes, scattering the creature.

    27. Kirk does not get an apology, since Klaa was acting on orders from his government. However, Klaa does respect the old warrior and out of that respect, agrees to not kill Kirk (besides, Koord ordered him to stand down). Kirk does not go to hug Spock. I mean, really, Kirk would do this in front of everyone? Harve, you are too sentimental. Let a nice smile pass from Kirk to Spock, who does his eyebrow thing.

    28. Sensors have showed the alien has reformed itself below, but is too weak to do anything to them (Roddenberry would like this a lot more if we didn’t kill the alien). Kirk plans on taking the Enterprise back through the same weak spot (but Scotty has reinforced the shields anyway). Koord will speaking to his government about repealing the bounty on Kirk’s head. Kirk, Spock and McCoy talk about God. But, one difference in the ending: Spock has his Lyre with him at the party. Uhura, oblivious to what she’s about to start, says “you going to just pluck that thing, or are you going to play something?”

    Kirk and McCoy smile as Spock starts playing “Row Row Row Your Boat” and we see Kirk and McCoy make the motions, but the orchestra picks up before they start singing.

    Thanks, guys. This will be a great picture.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cute idea... it starts off like an actual memo, but gets too specific into things that a production executive wouldn't be able to anticipate. "Treknology"? The Man Behind the Curtain's a tad too visible here. ;)


    :guffaw:


    STV is a wretched, unfocused story that meanders all over the place before zeroing in on a trite cliché summation. All the illogic, pratfalls and TV movie VFX are just more dead weight on an already sagging structure. The foundation is rotten. You can't fix it without rebuilding it.

    The only thing that makes it remotely watchable is the chemistry between the three leads.
     
  4. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That very list....probably existed, just had nobody who was allowed to make all those fixes!

    It would have behooved them to delay a little before continuing with V to allow some of the mess created by the chaos behind the scenes to be cleaned up.
     
  5. gastrof

    gastrof Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Isn't it ST V that a "certain known fan who works in the industry" did an edit of and made it into a one hour episode, as if the TV series had gone on for years and was now wrapping up?

    I'd still LOVE to get my hands on a copy of that, but I always hear it's "on torrents". Knowing nothing about that stuff and not usually having access to a high speed connection, it sort of leaves me stuck.
     
  6. Gary Sebben

    Gary Sebben Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the idea of a cult leader in the Trekverse is not bad (though done badly in Way to Eden). The way Sybok takes over the ship is original, but making people feel better about their mistakes - which is typical cult stuff, but this time done through telepathy. Its actually clever.

    And Sybok as Spocks bro also solves for continuity problems, even if it made Gene mad. Sarek MUST have been betrothed to a Vulcan woman from birth just like Spock. Something had to happen to her to allow Sarek a choice of bride. This makes as much sense as any.
     
  7. Lightinspire

    Lightinspire Lieutenant Commander

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    The copy I have is a fan cut it down to an hour and used it as a pilot for Star Trek Phase 2 or something like that if that is what you are talking about.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ILM had nothing to do with TMP, so that statement isn't accurate.
     
  9. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, you caught me. :lol:

    Actually, it started off as a generic list of "what would I have changed" stuff, but then I though it would be more entertaining as a memo. And I had also put in an intor explaining that I was the exec. But, it had already become enormous and by the time I sent it, I had spent over two hours on it. I was shot. :)

    So, if I were an Exec with a time machine, I'd go back in time and send that memo. :techman:

    What I did realize while doing this, is that many of what I noted were fairly easy fixes. Even if the money wasn't there to upgrade the effects house, al lot of this would be done on the page and without major changes in filming, sets and so on. The story isexactly the same, all I did was change some details and characterizations to keep them from being, well, immature.

    There IS a good film in there. Granted, we have the hindsight of 20 years (oh my God - 20 years), but with a fresh pair of eyes, the film could have been an winner and not a guilty pleasure at best.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  10. Bertie

    Bertie Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    No, it could not have been saved, because the writers wrote themselves into a hole from which there was no escape, at least not within the confines of Trek.

    Having beamed down to the planet to meet God, one of three things could have happened.

    1. They actually meet God. At this point, the entire Trek plotline is basically "over". There's nothing more to accomplish. Obviously, this alternative couldn't have been chosen.

    2. They meet some alien. The only possibility that can actually fit within established Trek storytelling. But when the audience is offered the prospect of seeing God, and all they get is an alien-of-the-week, well, that's a let down, even if the SFX had been better than they were.

    3. They meet the devil, or at least something that 23rd Century people of faith (such as they were) could interpret as such. The most intriguing possibility, although you'd have to scrap the "action" climax—if you can hurt it with photon torpedoes, it isn't really the devil. But can you really meet the devil in the Star Trek universe? A universe that had negligible discussion of real Earth religion? A universe that had (post-TMP) readopted an accessible, character based style of storytelling (as opposed to the grand, cosmic, epic sci-fi style of films like 2001 or Close Encounters of the Third Kind—a style which could handle meeting the devil, or God for that matter). I don't think it could have done so.
     
  11. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    The camping scene is fine as is..

    the FX are awful

    and the scene where SYBOK makes them see thier pain is, I think, one of the best acted scenes in any TREK movie...

    Rob
     
  12. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One of the worst things in my mind has always been the 'Captains Log' device breaking the way it did, there were at least reasons for why the Enterprise was a mess but a random piece of equipment also being busted is just stupid.
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think you're spot on with your observation. :techman: You can't do a movie about going to meet God and then not meet him, and in Trek you can't meet God. It's a good idea for a movie, but as a Star Trek movie it is doomed before pen is put to paper.
     
  14. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    What, can't a computer virus take out a laptop? If everything there is networked, then anything could pop off.
     
  15. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    And what about McCoy? He was always popping off!

    Rob
     
  16. Jolantru

    Jolantru Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think they had the right idea, to show a zealot so overshadowed by his own arrogance, that he led them right into a trap when he thought he was leading them to paradise.

    I had origionally heard that they were trying to get Sean Connery to play Sybok, but he was contracted for Indiana Jones at the time, and had to turn down the part. I think it would have been fascinating to see how he could have brought life to the character.

    When I look at this film, I just see the pieces of what could have been one of the best Trek films, but put together as one of the worst. I know the strike, really hurt the production of this film, and that's another factor that you have to consider. Alot of work done on this film was done by guys that had little or no experience, because they were filling in for the lockedout Union workers.
     
  17. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

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    Had Shat been able to film what he had in his first script (which I got to read years ago) it would have been great because it would have been a KIRK SPOCK struggle...Nimoy meddled with the script (wouldn't do it as written) and then Paramount later started slashing the budget...could have been a great trek movie..but I will give it credit for not being about a returning probe to Earth...or a sequel to an episode..or a sequel to a movie which was a sequel to an episode..

    Nemesis is the worst TREK movie all time. Even in real dollar terms it didn't make what V did. Nemesis was the Genesis of Berman's eventual boot out the door...Nemesis has worst acting than V, a idiotic villain and..well...crappier FX than V (CGI was awful, while pretending to be good)

    Rob
     
  18. Joker

    Joker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've read this from Bennett numerous times, and it always sounded like a piss-poor excuse for how crap the film turned out, ie) not our fault.

    Star Trek has dealt with the concept of God countless times, and has handled it well by and large. Regarding the ending, well... every movie is predictable in that sense. Either the heroes will win, or they won't. But, they always do. Did anyone think that the Joker would win in Batman? Or that Titanic wouldn't sink? Yet they were both very good.

    Go figure.
     
  19. Bertie

    Bertie Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    There's a huge, huge difference between dealing with some "God" that is really just a powerful alien, and dealing with God without quotes, the God of Abraham, the God that some sizable portion of the audience believes in.

    It is only the former "Gods" that Trek put on screen frequently. Other sci-fi/fantasy franchises have seriously handled the latter God, and sometimes handed it well, but not Trek.
     
  20. Prons

    Prons Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I liked this movie a lot more than I liked Star Trek III. Oh sure, i's not great, but the comedic bits had me XD!! more than once. It was a lot "under explained" than the TOS episodes though. The crew didn't even speculate what the big "energy face" was about, or even how they were suddenly able to cross the "great barrier."

    Was the great barrier just something no one ever tried crossing before? "Oh man that looks dangerous."