Star Trek: William Shatner Looks Back at The Motion Picture - Video

When the TNT network aired the extended version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, William Shatner sat down to share his memories of the film.

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By EdGross - 3/6/2011


What is the general feeling about Star Trek: The Motion Picture? Yes, it's an absolute borefest when it stops to painfully make its way through a number of visual effects sequences, but what do you think of the idea at the core of the film? Of V'ger seeking its creator, of the arcs of the characters? What do you think, if anything, is redeemable about the film?
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15 Comments
LEEE777 - 3/6/2011, 2:13 PM
Willy Shat-ner! ; P

Hey @ ED kudos on your Superman interview.. its up in Superman Homepage!!
EdGross - 3/6/2011, 2:20 PM
Thanks, Leee.
LEEE777 - 3/6/2011, 2:40 PM
Cool @ ED! :)

Damn watching that video makes me want to get a blu-ray set of the whole collection of Trek!

Only got a few on VHS lol (Not played a VHS in years haha) bought Star Trek IV on DVD a couple of days ago though, love that one!
Knightstalker - 3/6/2011, 5:09 PM
Enough with the polls already, they're starting to get ridiculous, even for this site.

The Enterprise.....the most beautiful ship ever to traverse the galaxy. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was huge when it first came out. This is exactly what the original TV show could have been with a decent budget. As for calling it a "borefest"....Ed, seriously, just because every movie isn't a non-stop action thrill ride does not make it boring. Some movies actually inspire us to think past the nose on our faces. ST:TMP was awe-inspiring, hence the word awesome.
EdGross - 3/6/2011, 5:17 PM
When I say borefest, I'm referring specifically to the 12-minute sequence where Enterprise travels through V'ger and the cast has little else to do but "ooh" various light shows. At it's core, though, I've actually always enjoyed the first film, mostly because of the way it dealt with Kirk's obsession over the Enterprise and Spock ultimately coming to grips with his human side. There's a lot of dopiness in it, too (Scotty gripping Kirk's arm in the shuttlepod, Shatner's reading of the line, "Oh my God" after a transporter malfunction and, worse of all, V'ger, with all of its accumulated knowledge, can't figure out that dirt is blocking part of its name of Voyager 6), but it's the film that probably comes closest in flavor to an episode of the original series. Despite my "borefest" comment, I'm actually a fan (and have been a fan of the original series since it debuted in 1966 when I was the ripe old age of six).
xXkryptoniteXx - 3/6/2011, 5:22 PM
Movie was boring as hell, but the other stark trek movies were good and entertaining aside from the will shatner directed movie, now that movie sucked
EdGross - 3/6/2011, 5:35 PM
xXkryptoniteXx, I would still argue that there's some wonderful stuff in Star Trek V (which Shatner directed), most notably the character bits between Kirk, Spock and McCoy (especially in the campfire scene) and the greatest Kirk moment ever: "Excuse me... What does God need with a starship?"

I had read the Star Trek V script prior to it going into production, and I'll never forget the writer's description of that moment in the script:

"KIRK: Excuse me... what does God need with a starship?

McCoy's eyes bulge as though Kirk has just farted in church."

Knightstalker - 3/6/2011, 7:44 PM
Point taken Ed, the journey to V'Ger's core did take a loooong time, but at the time, I think nobody envisioned the continuation of the franchise or the effect it would have had on popular culture. This movie was visionary for it's time. Close Encounters was only a couple of years old and it had it's ooooh and aaaahhh moments as well.

I missed the first run of TOS since I was only 2 when it first came out but the reruns that aired after school were the highlight of my day in grade school.
Eviltwin - 3/6/2011, 8:22 PM
Overall, I really liked the first Star Trek movie. The costumes sucked and I get that they used that stuff coming from the proposed new tv series, and parts were really slow. But, I thought the whole V'ger story was great science fiction storytelling. The story was by Alan Dean Foster who is a sci-fi writer.
Knightstalker - 3/6/2011, 9:55 PM
Just three words for all the Trekkies who remember..."I am Nomad"
Grimm - 3/7/2011, 1:30 AM
cool
gaikinger - 3/7/2011, 1:42 AM
I thought this was the most intelligent of the series. Long ponderous films like Assasination of Jesse James, Dead Man, The Hulk, i like that type of stuff that goes deep with a more meditative payoff.
DetBullock - 3/7/2011, 2:00 AM
It's my favourite Star Trek film, I LOVE it!
One of the few examples of an hard science fiction major film.
PS: I don't find it boring at all.
EdGross - 3/7/2011, 8:46 AM
Knightstalker, many of the fans subtitled the film "Where nomad has gone before."
niknik - 3/7/2011, 9:54 AM
There were too many segments in this film that you do walk away from feeling they were boring. Another that comes to mind is when they first attempt to go to warp and everything goes freaky blurry and slow motion like a bad acid trip. There were long drawn out scenes like these that slowed the overall pace of the film. One last rewrite (this script was originally a planned tv show sequal to the original series titled "Phase II") and a few hours in the editing room would have done wonders for this film. Overall though, once you get past those hurdles, there are some very entertaining moments. I most enjoyed and anticipated the scenes in which they each finally see one another once again after so many years, from Kirk first stepping onto the ship to McCoy being beamed in to Spock's sudden unannounced arrival. These moments made it worth while alone.

And yes, the main plot itself of a lost space probe being integrated with a higher artificial intelligence and coming back to earth hundreds of years later was a great idea. It was just poorly executed. The pace was waaaay too slow at times. Maybe if Nicolas Meyer had directed that one instead of Robert Wise it may have been better.

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