Star Trek The Motion Picture: If You Could Remake It

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by CuttingEdge100, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    TItans has been a pet project of mine for some years and I've done a fair amount of research trying to pin down its history from various contradictory accounts and interviews. I've contacted several people who worked on it, but it's been so long they recall nothing about it. But here's what I can tell you with some confidence:

    The treatment Paramount approved was titled Planet of the Titans in October 1976. By the start of 1977 the film to-be was titled Star Trek—The Motion Picture. To date I know of no one who has ever seen a script, and there are conflicting account as to if there ever was a complete script. Some sources state a 1st draft was delivered before screenwriters Bryant and Scott’s exit on March 18, 1977 and was apparently rejected by the studio. The writers stated they were trapped between Roddenberry and Kaufman's conflicting ideas about what the film should be, Kaufman wrote at least one (undated) treatment, presumably after the Scott-Bryant exit. Kaufman was working on the story on May 8, 1977 when Jeffrey Katzenberg called to tell him the film was cancelled. Star Wars came out 17 days later.

    Ralph McQuarrie worked on the film under Ken Adam in London for ~6 weeks, but never saw a script.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
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  2. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 6, 2005
    Parsippany, New Jersey, USA
    :guffaw:With the Benny Hill theme playing throughout. :techman:
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  3. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2001
    Escaped from Trumpistan
    Thanks for the info, Maurice.

    Would be cool if the screenplay turned up in someone's archives at some point.
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  4. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

    Jan 27, 2010
    Sunny California
    How ironic, Stephen King wrote a book about a similar plot to prevent JFK's assassination. 11.22.63, a futile read BTW, since there's an outcome which must happen. Meh.
  5. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Commodore Commodore

    Feb 2, 2016
    Guess there's no point in watching the last 6 episodes of the new 11.22.63 tv show, then.....

  6. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

    Oct 9, 2014
    Standing Next To Kirk
    Yes! Especially during those endless shots of the Enterprise overflying V'Ger. Ugh!
  7. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999

    2)The script should have been written with Spock as the central character and his relationship with the probe, much like STNG's "tin man" was with Tam Elbrun.
  8. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005
    TMP is the only Trek movie I have never watched straight through, from beginning to end. I've never seen the whole film. It looks great, but its so boring. If I could redo it:

    -I would establish that Kirk and company did a second five-year-mission before Kirk became an admiral. It seems odd to me that they eventually established that Kirk had just one five-year-mission and went into the admiralty. A second five-year mission would also open up the possibility to sell books, comics, or other material to account for those years. Plus I could see Kirk being convinced more easily to leave the captain's chair after spending ten-years in deep space as opposed to just five.
    -I would have Decker as captain of the Enterprise for a bit longer so he would have some experience and his own crew. That would create more tension as Kirk comes back and might divide the crew between the old Kirk crew and the newer Decker era officers. Plus from what I recall Decker took his demotion a bit too easily. (Also Decker as captain and his adventures could be explored in novels and comics, much like how some of Pike's adventures were).
    -I would also have done more to flesh out Ilia's character. I don't think we got enough of her and her relationship with Decker before she was possessed by V'Ger.
    -Probably would've pumped up the action a bit more, particularly at the beginning when the Klingons encounter V'Ger.
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  9. 47of74

    47of74 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Feb 17, 2016
    I was just thinking about this, what I would have done differently.

    First I would have cut out some of the needless exposition in the film - such as the extended tour of the Enterprise exterior and V'Ger and tightened up the battle scenes a bit - making them more action oriented. The movie was two hours and twenty-five minutes long. I think you could've cut 1/2 hour out of the film alone and not done too much damage to the story.

    Secondly I would have ditched the idea of Kirk coming back and pulling command of the Enterprise out from under Decker's feet, or that it was a basically a brand new ship that Admiral Kirk was barely familiar with. With my remake it would be four or five years after the original five year mission, with the crew under Fleet Captain (or Commodore) James T. Kirk with Spock as first officer having just completed a shakedown cruise of the refit Enterprise and enroute to some Starbase to pick up supplies and make personnel transfers before starting the second five year mission. Before reaching the Starbase they get an emergency call from Starfleet about a menace on a course for Earth, and at the rate of speed the menace is traveling they're the only ship that can intercept the ship before it gets too deep into Federation space. I would have the ship rebuilt larger to make it more imposing on screen.

    Third go with an updated version of the 60s uniform instead of the pajama uniforms. I know some of the actors weren't comfortable in the uniforms TMP used and it showed (plus being a bit too revealing on some people).
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  10. drt

    drt Commodore Commodore

    Jun 5, 2013
    The extended version is 2'25", if you skip the credits the theatrical is just a tick under two hours.
  11. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

    Jan 27, 2010
    Sunny California
    There's some possible screen rust between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, but the script didn't allow the humor between the characters. I would've brought that element back for the cast. I would've had Uhura, Chapel, Rand, and the rest in guest spots and then move on with a new crew of young officers; eager to serve.

    Have the Enterprise stationed by a beautiful planet; Kirk gets a distress call from the Klingons, who's in need of help from some danger out in space. The young crew might be a little concerned about this new mystery; but Kirk boosts their confidence and engage the mystery.
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  12. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Sep 19, 2010
    Great idea. :techman: We would also have seen more K't'inga and 1701-Refit on screen interactions beyond what we saw in WOK simulator scene and TUC.
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  13. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

    Jan 27, 2010
    Sunny California
    I didn't think of that connection; it would've definitely bring that together.
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  14. In_Correct

    In_Correct Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 15, 2016
    This is a very long film. I would just delete the scene where the people die in the transporter, (this includes the scene with Commander Sonak talks with Kirk.) the "bring everybody out of retirement and demote Decker" scenes, as well as the "arguing with Decker" scenes. He wasn't even reassigned to a different ship. Kirk basically held him hostage. I would not cut any characters but Explain why Decker and Ilia are even important and such as what a Deltan is and why she has to be celibate. The movie really doesn't go anywhere until after the silly arguing is finished.
  15. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    I might have had the Enterprise meet V'Ger in Klingon space, after seeing some wrecks.
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  16. CuttingEdge100

    CuttingEdge100 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 14, 2005
    What was the first proposal Roddenberry made for a film? I know a proposal was made by March 1972. I don't know how long it takes to go from that to a movie
  17. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

    Aug 15, 2001
    The story of the TMP was very much a TOS story and it was workable, it just needed some serious polishing. So...

    1. Uniforms. Change 'em. I think this one has been beaten to death, and I'm not even going to suggest what they should be changed to- just change 'em.

    2. There was no need to promote Kirk to admiral only to have him fight for a demotion back to captain. This is Star Trek TOS, long before anything else came along. Captain Kirk is captain of the Enterprise- that's the way it should be and there was no need to agonize over it. In fact, this 'get your command back' theme became a sticking point through the remainder of the TOS Trek franchise up through IV.

    So, in the beginning, Fleet Captain Kirk is conferencing on Earth with the big wigs as his ship finishes up her refit. Spock, for reasons inexplicable, has resigned his commission and gone home to pursue Kolinahr. Bones has been thinking about leaving the service, shaken by all he's seen and experienced over the first five year mission. Kirk is struggling a bit with his new exec, Decker, and he begs Bones to stay in light of the new threat. This becomes the thread of the B plot, which is 'getting the Big Three back to where they belong- at each others' sides.' The later part of the movie actually did a decent job of handling this, especially after Spock's meld with V'Ger.

    3. No need for the transporter accident. Ilea is already navigator; Checkov is the new tactical officer. We can see Chief Rand in the transporter room during the course of the movie, acknowledge her presence, and all without having to invent a scene around her. Cleans up the edit and tightens up the pacing and run-time.

    4. Cut several minutes worth of the mind-numbing but pretty optical effects as the Big-E moves through the cloud. This, more than just about anything else, slowed down the movie.

    5. Let the third act pretty much play out as it did, with some judicious cutting of long effects shots for pacing and running time purposes. Ilea/Decker birth the baby on schedule, Earth is saved, and Enterprise is ready for her proper shakedown prior to the next 5 year mission.
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Aug 3, 2003
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    The big deal with Kirk as an Admiral is that they never really ironed out how much time had passed since TOS. Robert Wise seemed to go along with the idea that a decade had passed since the 5-year mission (in sync with a decade having passed in the real world) which also accounted for the changes in the cast's appearance. But Wise's view isn't supported by the onscreen references.

    Again this is where a proper rewite would have fixed things one way or another: Either Kirk and company have had two 5-year missions and now it's ten years later (where Kirk could now be an Admiral) or it's barely three years since the 5-year mission and Kirk is still very much a Captain and much of the rest can stand pretty much as we saw it.
  19. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 5, 2011
    Assuming we're keeping the same basic story and setup that the Enterprise has been refit, I'd change a few things.

    1. The film could use a couple more log entries to compress VGer fly-through or flyover scenes. You could also shorten much of the setup with a log entry explaining the basic setup and reuse clips from the existing scenes. Something like:
    "Captain's Log: Stargate 7808.16. Long range scanners have detected an object of enormous size causing a great deal of disruption within the Klingon Empire's borders (cut to a shorted montage of the Klingon Battle). Information retrieved by our Starbase along the Klingon border (cut to a montage of the Epsilon 9 scenes) indicates a force of incredible power that can destroy whatever lies in its path.
    Sensors indicate that the cloud is on a direct heading for Earth (perhaps use the effects footage of Epsilon 9 being scanned and stored).
    Admiral Nogura has asked that I take temporary command of the newly redesigned Enterprise since it's the only ship available to intercept the intruder and assess our options. I'm on my way now to take command from Captain Decker (cut to Kirk in the shuttle pod as he approaches the Enterprise in dry dock).

    2. I would somehow strengthen the visual that VGer has transformed. The current light show is lovely but I never cared for the fact that it just disappears in a burst of energy. At the very least, I would like to see something remain, a speck of light representing the merging of Decker and VGer that zooms away into the cosmos. Honestly, it's not clear to me that Decker survives his transformation or what lies ahead despite the bridge scene that states that they might have witnessed a birth.

    Otherwise, I really like the first Trek film and am only looking for ways to remove some of the bloat.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  20. m.lp.ql.m

    m.lp.ql.m Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 3, 2008
    The "Bubble"
    This! This always seemed very rushed and unsatisfying to me. There's this big light show that we see the Enterprise emerge from. That's it? V'ger and the whole cloud just disappears? No repercussions?