Shatner says he should never have directed Trek V in new book

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Khan 2.0, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. BigDaveX

    BigDaveX Commander Red Shirt

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    The Final Frontier's pre-production phase was after the point where Roddenberry had been "persuaded" to let Maurice Hurley and Rick Berman take over the day-to-day running of TNG, but before he became too ill to be actively involved as executive producer and executive consultant to TNG and the films respectively.

    That being the case, I suspect he had a lot of free time to bug Shatner and Harve Bennett about what he thought appropriate to put in the film, though they were under no obligation to actually act on his suggestions.
     
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  2. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I believe Harve Bennett disliked Shatner's original story and most of its elements as well and demanded there at least be compromises and he was probably more influential. Bennett was the one who came up with and pushed for Sybok being Spock's half-brother (which Shatner disliked).
     
  3. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was unnecessary and prevented us from learning more about Sybok. I suppose if he'd been Spock's friend we would have the same issue. A random Vulcan or Romulan might have been better. Saavik's brother... Now we're talking...

    If Sybok had been obsessed with this for decades, it would explain Spock's interest in helping the hippies in TOS.
     
  4. G. Curto

    G. Curto Commander Red Shirt

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    I do not believe your point is even debatable. Even Shatner seems to acknowledge that, now.

    I remember reading Shatner's "Making Of" book on ST V. He was intimidated and scarred from the start of production. I believe Nimoy and Bennett both tried to offer him some guidance prior to pre-production. He chose to ignore it. By the time production rolled around he was intimidated and scared. I also believe Paramount had a pretty good idea what kind of business Trek V was going to do and did what they could to reduce the loss.

    People who are forgiving with regards to ST:TFF are doing so based on watching on relatively small screens. They seem to forget how atrocious the special effects were on the silver screen. On a home television TFF is an acceptable movie-of-the-week production. In the theater were a certain bar of competence must at least be met, The Final Frontier was a miserable failure as produced. And the Uhura fan dance inspired many nightmares as it was about 15 years too late! :eek:

    I will say that Trek V had potential and with a top-to-bottom rewrite along with a competent director could have been quite good. The reality however was that it was God awful and was primarily only a delight to those who felt William Shatner needed a comeuppance.
     
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  5. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I take issue with anyone who says Uhura was too old to do a fan dance. That attitude just compounds the sexism. The real question is probably why were there so few women in the movie and why does pretty much the only female officer have to use sexual tactics as a distraction. It's as cringeworthy as the only female Romulan officer in Nemesis trying to seduce Shinzon.
     
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  6. Bad Robot

    Bad Robot Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think Nichelle Nichols was too old to do that scene and the scene itself was inappropriately sexist. You can't picture any other military outfit using its personnel for such a distraction. Thinking about it, I'm surprised Nichelle agreed to do it.

    Plus fans were critical of Alice Eve being sexualized in Into Darkness, and her scene was nowhere near as problematic within its narrative context as Nichelle's. There's certainly no reason to give Star Trek V a pass in this case if Into Darkness doesn't get one.

    But I also feel the need to play devil's advocate and admit that Nichelle's scene is the one I find cringeworthy -- again because of the age factor. I feel I should be allowed to admit that. Nor can I help it if I don't find Alice Eve's scene equally cringeworthy (or cringeworthy at all, just unnecessary and gratuitous).

    If you flipped genders, and had a male cast member being sexploited, would his approaching 60 not be what female viewers found primarily objectionable and creepy?
     
  7. thribs

    thribs Commodore Fleet Captain

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    Well hindsight is 50/50. He wasn’t that bad of a director. The story just needed more work.
     
  8. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Shatner's original concept was of the devil and God being one and the same being, not a creature pretending to be God but the crew actually discovering the actual God and finding Him to be evil; and of Sybok being more actively a 'telepreacher', a Jimmy Swaggart type individual, running about the galaxy converting people to his cause in a way that appears benign but carries sinister undertones. It's easy to understand why both ideas were watered down in rewrites. Conceptually I'll give it to Shatner, that is a powerful basis for a story.
     
  9. Jetboogieman

    Jetboogieman Commander Red Shirt

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    Sad to hear, I was lucky enough back in 2010, to have attended my first convention and see Nimoy and Shatner on stage together, I didn't get that impression but I guess, appearances can be deceiving.
     
  10. jaime

    jaime Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I watched V in the cinema at release, and again a few years later. I was in the Golden Age of SF or thereabouts...I.e between 9 and 15. It was fine, it was fun, and the main thing that annoys me later (the TNG sets) were barely noticeable because TNG was behind the great satellite TV paywall for me at the time.

    In terms of the dance and Uhura...well...yes, she was old. That’s sort of part of the point in the scene, as well as showing something about the citizens of Nimbus III. I don’t think Nichelle was unhappy about it from what I understand...and this was Trek. Shatter himself was sexualised on practically a weekly basis in the series, the previous film had Spock in his pants with a Whale... the fact the rest of the time we are shown Uhura just being Uhura, and she’s there on the planet in her assault jumper with phaser just like the rest of the team really helps give it some context. It becomes a funny scene, and in the era where Tina Turner is still a very big thing, I don’t think it should be seen as something exploitative. Through a modern lens? Bit of a maybe. It’s an older woman, which I am pretty sure could be seen as a progressive thing....it harkens back to her singing in TOS...and it’s very probably this film where she actually has the most to do compared to any of the others. She gets three full scenes in this film. All the TOS cast get more in Shatners film than in any other. It’s a bit of an action film cliche, being done by the TOS crew.
    Alice Eve? Well...yeah. Different situation. Her cheesecake scene advanced the plot zero, she was a new character, it told us nothing about her character...it kind of was just there to have her bra out, and because they didn’t follow through on the Kirk and Carol thing, it goes nowhere. If that scene was about her being uninhibited, Kirk being embarrassed like a farm boy, and then they get together later in the films? Yeah. Could have worked. Didn’t.
    But this is about gaze and viewer. Your average teenage b b b b boy (to quote high fidelity) isn’t going to find Uhura dance sexy...the audience knows it is Uhura, fifty plus Uhura. Older people? Maybe they find it sexy. But part of the joke is on the in universe audience...not only is it not some desert nymphette on that dune, but she’s got an armed team of grumpy old men hiding behind her ankles. Thing is, Shatner doesn’t amp up the look she’s old!’ Thing, more than is absolutely necessary. It’s well shot, and probably one of the most SF visuals in the series. Like the kind of seventies/eighties airbrush art that we only see now in GotG imagery. It’s a seriously interesting little scene when looked at in context, and I don’t know if I can just roll my eyes at ‘distract silly guards with sexy dance’ and call it sexist. There’s a whole lot going on there, especially in context of Trek and Uhura’s role in that and the feminism of TOS time. Not even gonna mention the ‘gaze’ thing...because it’s flip flopping there too, and taking the piss as it does so.

    Only thing you gotta feel for is that they redubbed the singing apparently. That did annoy Nichelle, and fair enough.
     
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  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And if it was a standalone movie with no connection to Star Trek, it might have worked a lot better.
     
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  12. I Am Kirok

    I Am Kirok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Shut the hell up Shatner, I love Star Trek V.
     
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  13. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Sybok in the actual film still pretty much comes off as a pop-evangelist converting people and, though I'm not really sure how the conversions or mind control work, it's better that he not be more malevolent.
     
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  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    But that's not a story. That's just a premise. The story is what is the challenge facing our characters? To me this is where Shatner got in over his head, because he didn't have a narrative through-line. Okay, so you have a televangelist...and? What are we trying to say about him? Or God? Or people's willingness to throw away logic in belief of something? I never once read or heard Shatner articulate any such details.
     
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  15. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

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    I had a friend like that. I loved them very much (still do), but they decided they didn't want me in their life after 15 years of friendship. It broke my heart, but it's what they wanted, and I respected their wishes. So, like you, I see each side and I can respect Nimoy, but my heart goes out to Shatner. That hurts like hell.

    When it comes to Star Trek V, though, I am a fan. It's one of my favorite Trek films. I realize things went horribly wrong, and maybe Shatner shouldn't have fiddled with the script as much as he did, but his direction was solid, and there are some wonderful scenes in the film.
     
  16. G. Curto

    G. Curto Commander Red Shirt

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    To be clear, you could argue "ageism" not "sexism" as I wouldn't want to see any of the TOS crew at that time do a fan dance. I mean, sweet Jesus, could you image Kirk, Spock, Scotty, McCoy, Sulu and Chekov doing a Full Monty type scene in that movie? Uhura fan dance nightmare to the power of 10!

    Aside from that you raise a good point regarding the lack of strong female leads in the TOS films.
     
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  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    My problem with that scene was always that it presumes that all of the guards were:
    a) male (or lesbians)
    b) straight
    c) human or attracted to humans
    d) stupid
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  18. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

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    We were fortunate that it turned out to be "D."
     
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  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Kirk was lucky. The audience...not so much.
     
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  20. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

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    Well *I* was entranced by fan dancing Uhura, even at the age of 10 (when I first saw the film). :D
     
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