Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by los2188, Dec 1, 2013.
I actually think Nemesis is the ugliest Trek film.
One specific factor raises TMP's standing in my opinion--
With each subsequent ST film that AGAIN features an evil villain bent on destruction and AGAIN a space battle climax... TMP goes up a little more in my rankings.
TMP remains a highpoint if only to remind me that a Star Trek film does NOT need to be about evil supervillains and space battles EVERY TIME.
Although I find the Big Villain plot very tiresome myself, it must be remembered that if not for the return of Khan in TWoK - featuring the first Trek battle scenes since "Elaan of Troyius" in December 1968 - none of us would likely be here on this BBS.
Moreover, TMP does share one big element with the last three movies (as well as with TVH and First Contact): Earth itself is threatened, big time. I'm as tired of that as I'm tired of Big Villainy.
In live action, the Klingons and V'GER battled in TMP.
Perhaps you mean a battle involving the Enterprise? TAS had plenty of space battles. And while it's true that there weren't a lot of ship-to-ship space battles in the third season of TOS, The Tholian Web has a higher production number than Elaan of Troyius.
Yes, "Tholian Web" was produced later, but "Elaan" aired later - and yes, I was counting only non-animated battles involving the Enterprise. Nonetheless, a grape Nehi for you.
I agree. People went to see the first Star Trek movie because they liked TOS, and then what we got was ... nothing like TOS. Kirk isn't at the top of his game, Spock is off trying to starve his emotions into submission, and the characters spend WAY too much time staring at the viewscreen in awe and way too little time interacting with one another or trying to solve the problem. It felt to me as if the special effects were the star of that movie, and the human stars were extras in their own film.
And while "The Changeling" was a reasonably good TOS episode, it wasn't top-ten material. Why make an entire movie based around the same story? Plus, I thought "The Changeling" was actually a more interesting version of the story.
I think it's fascinating the way the creators of some of the most beloved science fiction series seem NOT to understand what they themselves have made or why people liked it. Roddenberry gave us a Star Trek movie that many fans disliked, and George Lucas gave us a second Star Wars trilogy that's almost universally regarded as much weaker than the first one. How could they create greatness and then not quite understand what they, themselves have made? Just one more way in which people are really interesting.
I was disappointed with TMP when it debuted. Except, of course, for the new ship. The flyaround could almost have been the whole movie as far as I was concerned.
But when TWOK premiered I was ecstatic. The old chemistry with the main characters was back. It felt like Star Trek again, but with the cool new ship.
I still watch that TMP flyaround with eyes wide, just like when I saw it for the first time on the big screen in 1979.
As long as it's understood that while GR and GL may seem to not get what made the originals so beloved in the first place, it should also be understood that they cannot be said to have made them wrong.
The simple fact is that while we, the fans, are dissatisfied with the end result, they the creators made exactly what they set out to make. Just because we would have done it differently doesn't mean they did it incorrectly. In fact, simply by not being GR or GL, we are the ones who would have made them wrong. We can really only complain that there was too little fan-service in TMP and the prequel trilogy.
It isn't so much that Roddenberry "didn't understand what he had created" back in the 1960s. It's that he didn't want to simply rehash it. He wanted to take it in a new direction. A conscious choice.
In terms of a difference in tone, I do think the script's origins as a TV pilot are at least partially to 'blame' for it being different to TOS. A lot of time and money had already been sunk into developing the Phase II concept, to 'adapting' the Star Trek format to what audiences in the late 1970s might expect it to be, taking into account how television had evolved in the ten years since. So, when the pilot was green-lit as a theatrical movie instead, they were effectively being told to shift gears... but Roddenberry, understandably, wanted to try and retain something of what he'd been working towards those couple years working on developing his concept to it's next stage. He might still have had an eye on maybe reviving the Phase II concept too, and was simply working towards that goal rather than trying to recapture something he'd already done ten years before.
I say that not as a criticism. I say it as an observation. Gene's parameters of what he wanted Star Trek to be had changed, and he was entitled to explore where those changes took him and his concept. George Lucas must have felt the same way with Star Wars. As he developed his prequel trilogy further, he evidently was taken by certain ideas that wouldn't have occured to his younger self, but which intrigued him at that point in his life, and he wanted to see where those ideas would take him within the boundries of his writing. Some people may not like the end result of Lucas' reimagining, they might not like what Gene Roddenberry did with TMP. But they are both 100% what the creators intended them to be. The fact that the audience may not have been completely on board with that development is neither here nor there.
Most definitely. And when I interviewed Billy Van Zandt (the alien bridge ensign) in 1984, he said that the mood amongst the two-line extras was often that they expected/assumed/hoped that the movie would still spin-off into something ongoing/regular and they'd all get invited back.
I remember being surprised at how many Epsilon Nine costumes were auctioned off in the It's a Wrap! eBay auctions. Someone definitely funneled some wardrobe finances into making far more costumes that were ever needed for a few brief scenes, and many went unused. They could have outfitted a space station-based TV series for several years with all the spare uniforms they made. I'm thinking that there were plans to thwart the perils of a TV-sized budget for a future version of "Phase II" (telemovies, TV episodes, movies) by "stocking up" on useful things such as alien ambassador's robes and generic space station uniforms.
Also remember that, among original plans for a Trek movie, were ideas such as casting Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Kirk and Spock. The idea that TMP would be a cast-reunion event came much later.
Damn, we have to prepare a slingshot. Newman would have been so great in Star Trek!
I'm from a generation born after TMP. Many of us don't really appreciate this looooooong and ugly movie and find TWOK well better.
For me, TWOK is the real start. TMP is more a kind of cute reunion. Hey look, I'm now admiral and I don't really like it, so I decided to kick the kid from my old chair and to interrupt Bones's disco solo career. It's really TWOK that established the universe of TOS movies where the Enterprise and her crew are both aging.
redford: the klingons are right behind us, we've got no place to go.
newman: we'll jump!
redford: into a wormhole?
newman: sure, they'll never follow. Would you jump into a wormhole if you didn't have to?
redford: I do have to, and i still won't do it. I want to fight them.
redford: I can't spacewalk. I get sick ...
newman: Hell, the gravitational gradient'll probably kill you!
newman&redford together: woooo-ohhhh!
as they fall into an oscilloscope pattern, leaving their bumpy headed pursuers (played by Strother Martin and Henry Jones) far behind.
Naah, I just don't see it ... plus, as I recall, the apocryphal story of recasting according to a facetious Susan Sackett and GR was Redford as Spock and Clint Walker (!?) as Kirk.
The Newman/Shatner issue IS interesting, since after James Dean died, Newman got all the parts Shatner was up for, including CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, which the latter was considered pretty much a shoo-in for.
Well, there are definitely articles out there where Redford and Newman were suggested - and Walter Koenig bumped into Roddenberry at the time and GR surprised him by offering to write Walter a small part as Chekov's father. (So I'm thinking the book, "Chekov's Enterprise", is the source.)
While I do appreciate the dramatic pathos that the 'Kirk, his crew and their ship are all dinosaurs in a new age' vibe the rest of the TOS movies work so hard to perpetuate, I also think it's such a shame that TMP is the only time we see the refit Enterprise as fresh, shiny and in mint condition. By TWOK, even the Enterprise is seen as a raggedy-ann starship whose best days are behind it (hardly a dignified bearing for the old girl). And while the 1701-A is a spruced up ship in TFF, nothing on her works in that movie, so she's really just as knackered as the old model.
There is something to be said for the simple majesty the ship carries itself with throughout TMP. Sure, she has teething issues. But they aren't major, and they certainly don't imply the ship is a has-been on the fringe of retirement.
Not a bad thing. And it was inevitable given TWOK is esentially a reboot. They pushed the setting forward in time and never again made any reference whatsoever to the events of TMP. It was treated as if it never happened. And yet I feel TMP feels more connected to TOS than most of anything else that followed.
A definite issue with me as well. I never cared for how the Enterprise was treated from TWOK oneard.
I've seen a theory posited elsewhere that you can see TMP as being a 'post-script' to TOS. It's almost a series finale in a way, in that (despite it also being a 'new birth' for the USS Enterprise herself) it ties up a couple of character arcs from the series. In particular, Spock conquers his human-vs-Vulcan emotion thing that had tormented him sometimes throughout the series, and he comes out the other side of the movie with a much better understanding of who he is than he's arguably ever had before.
I guess you could say that TMP is a sort of 'TOS reunion special', if you like. The movies, and the movie continuity, truely begin with TWOK and then go forward from there.
As TMP was set something like three years after the final events of the TV series, and because they resumed real-time-plus-centuiries-offset with TWOK, it helps to imagine TMP as a 1971 film rather than a 1979.
Well, if one is inclined to such speculative ways of viewing actual Trek production history, one could say (for example) that TMP bears the same relation to the original series as the short-lived hour-long drama The Bradys - of which I saw an episode, featuring nearly all the original cast, in spring 1990 - bears to The Brady Bunch. There's an argument to be made in favor of this analogy, I swear.
Separate names with a comma.