Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

There’s this theory out there that annoys most Trekkies, being that, of the films, only the even-numbered entries are good. This is mainly because everyone remembers Star trek V: The Final Frontier, as the worst movie in the series. They ignore that Star trek: The Motion Picture was a success and that The Search for Spock was also a hit. Star Trek: The Final Frontier may be a bad Star Trek film, but it was clearly a passion-project for its director and star, William Shatner. In this episode of Revisited we will examine what went wrong. It was the highest grossing movie of the franchise, and received rave reviews from critics. Even people who didn’t like

Star trek liked this earthbound adventure of the U.S.S. The franchise was riding on a new wave of popularity. After a rocky beginning, Star trek: The Next generation was finally settling down and the Original Series on VHS was reissued. The franchise was at its height of popularity, and it’s likely that this was the time when people were most interested in it. His follow-up film to Star trek IV was Three Men and a Baby

. It was the highest grossing movie in 1987. Nimoy agreed to return to the franchise but only this time as an actor. William Shatner was promised that he could direct Star trek IV following a pay disagreement. His getting the gig, like with Nimoy’s, wasn’t all too outrageous as he had already directed plenty of T.V. Shatner’s pitch was pretty good, citing the rise of televangelists such as Tammy Faye, Jim Bakker and others, as inspiration. While now that may seem out of place in a Trek film, it was VERY topical for the late eighties, and indeed the show itself had always fared best when tackling issues of the day, such as The Vietnam War and racism, metaphorically.Shatner had wanted Nicholas Meyer to help write the movie, but he was busy with his next film as a director, CompanyBusiness, starring Gene Hackman. Shatner, series producer Harve Bennet and David Loughery worked out the story together. He had previously written

Dreamscape and, in the nineties, would become a popular writer of action movies such as Passenger 57 and Money Train.Loughery did a decent job with the writing, toning down some of Shatner’s wilder ideas and bringing in Spock’s brother, Sybok, as the Evangelist character. Sybok and his followers hijack the Enterprise with the goal of finding God. The movie’s best dialogue is “what does God want with a starship?” Sean Connery had been courted for the role of Sybok but he ultimately chose to play Indiana Joss and the Last Crusade instead (good call Sean). Laurence Luckinbull would play the role instead. He’s the uncle of Wachowskis. If you are familiar with Star Trek lore you will know that Shatner was not always loved by the cast. They were shocked when they learned that Shatner was going to be their director. Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and others were not happy with the script, because it required them to side with Sybok, against Kirk. They refused to do this. George Takei, with whom he has a constant feud, did not want to be directed Shatner. He changed his mind, and to his complete surprise, found Shatner a highly professional and collaborative director.

In reality, everyone was impressed by Shatner’s skills on the set. Nimoy, DeForest Kelly and others, who have worked in many television westerns before, were amused that they would get to perform more physically, since the Enterprise is in disrepair. They have to do a huge rescue on horseback. This was Shatner’s doing as he’s always been a keen sportsman, and the film gives him ample opportunity not only to show off his skills on a horse but also his talent at mountain climbing, with the opening of the movie featuring Kirk scaling El Capitan – although he’s doubled extensively.So if the shoot went so well, what went wrong? Plenty. One thing was that there were no strong antagonists. Star trek IV

was a huge success at the time. Shatner and the writers injected humour in the script, especially the first act, when the team was on shore leave. When Kirk, Spock, and McCoy began singing “row your boats,” I was pretty much done with the show as a child. Shatner wanted to give more of a role to the supporting cast, but I think some of his choices are bizarre. Scotty and Uhura sort of/maybe hooking-up is one of them. Scotty’s pratfall is one of the worst jokes. He claims to know his ship like the backs of his hands before he hits his head on the pipe. It’s slapstick-level stuff.However, that is different from what torpedos the film. Shatner wrote in his book Star trek Movie Memories

that the special effects were not very special. Usually, ILM. ILM usually does incredible fx, but they were too busy with

Indiana J. and the Last Crusade. Paramount instead had to hire a company called Associates & Ferren. The name sounds like a Yacht Rock group from the 1970s, and their work was abysmal. The budget for the film was $33 million. This was higher than the previous movie, but still low for a space-epic. The main reason was that they only had three month to complete the work. This was less than half the time needed. They also took shortcuts and used too much unconvincing back projection. Shatner’s exciting climax had to be scrapped. Shatner’s final scene was supposed to feature a Rockman chasing him, but the suit looked ridiculous. Then, he was supposed be chased by an energy ball but the final effect was so bad that it was scrapped. Kirk is now chased by a villainous God-head who shoots puffs at him. It’s a horrible ending. It’s short. That’s one thing. It’s just over 100 minutes. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is also good, and he returns to the series after Star trek: The motion picture

. Lawrence Luckinbull, who plays Sybok, is excellent in the role. Shatner also directs himself well, delivering one of his loosest performances as Kirk. Shatner delivers one of his most loose performances as Kirk, but Lawrence Luckinbull as Sybok is excellent. It was a critical failure, grossing only $49 million in the US, a worrying figure for the franchise. However, it should be noted that the film came out during the infamous summer of 1989, which was jam-packed with blockbusters, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman,

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Lethal Weapon 2

. It was one of many sequels that did not do well at the box office. This includes the James Bond movies Licence To Kill andGhostbusters 2011001010. However it was very close to ending franchise. Series mastermind Harve Bennet pitched a Starfleet Academy Prequel starring a young Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Paramount, knowing that the franchise would celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1992, decided to bring back the old gang for one final hurrah with Leonard Nimoy and Nicholas Meyer at the helm. Next time, we’ll tell you about that.

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch