Sunday, 31 July 2011

William Shatner - Star Trek V

It has been a very long time since I have undated this blog - something that makes me very sad and fills me with shame - I have so much to post and so much to say. I haven't had access to a scanner, so I am posting the last scan I have off my computer: an article from Cinefantastique, June 1987 - "Shatner Directs Trek V?"

Now this article is obviously from before the movie was even in production - Walter Koenig leaked the possibility of Shatner's directing in a radio interview while The Voyage Home was still in filming.

Now everybody knows that my favorite two Star Trek movies were directed by Leonard Nimoy. The effects were great, the story was great, the drama was great. In conclusion, it was great.

And then we have Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. It was also "great" but the effects at times were so bad that I couldn't help but laugh - intentional? Perhaps, it doesn't matter. Why, you ask? Because of these scenes:

First we have Sybok in the desert - crazy exiled Vulcan Jesus style!

Then we have Kirk, who (after being distracted by hovering Spock watching him climb mountains) falls to what would be his death, had Spock not been wearing rocket boots and saved him in just the nick of time. This is the first scene that really made me laugh, because of the effects - starting when Spock turns upside down, and ending when Kirk is caught only inches from the ground. And then there is McCoy - standing and watching in utter horror with his "I told you so - damn it, Jim -You're a captain, not a circus act!" face (you know the one).

Uhura and Scotty start flirting on the bridge, and Uhura pulls out a bag of chips - the way to a fat man's heart, and she knows it.

Back at the campsite, Spock eats some of McCoy's "special" beans. Could there be anything cooler? I am I the only one fascinated by watching Spock eat beans? But it gets better...

Spock makes a marshmallow to roast, and we get this delightful quote:

SPOCK: I am preparing to toast a 'marsh melon'.
McCOY: Well, I'll be damned. A marsh melon. Where did you learn to do that?
SPOCK: Before leaving the ship I consulted the computer library to familiarise myself with the customs associated with 'camping out.'
McCOY: Tell me, Spock. What do we do after we toast the marsh,, melons?
SPOCK: We consume them.
McCOY: I know we consume them. I mean after that.
SPOCK: I believe we are required to engage in a ritual known as the sing-a-long.

Back to the enterprise early, and Kirk's shirt. He has a cool shirt. That is all.

I could never figure out whether it was Uhura or that cat-lady dancing here until I actually watched it frame by frame. It's Uhura.

Spock is finally reunited with his half-brother, and not under the best of circumstances. Silly illogical Sybok. Later on in the movie, Spock has the chance to kill Sybok, but cannot, and we get this quote:

KIRK: You stay out of this! ...Why, Spock? Why? All you had to do was pull the trigger.
SPOCK: If I had pulled the trigger, Sybok would be dead.
KIRK: I ordered you to defend your ship.
SPOCK: You ordered me to kill my brother.
KIRK: The man may be a fellow Vulcan, but that doesn't...

SPOCK: You do not understand me, Captain. Sybok, also, is a son of Sarek.
KIRK: He's your brother brother? You made that up.
SPOCK: I did not.
KIRK: You did too. Sybok couldn't possibly be your brother because I happen to know for a fact that you don't have a brother.
SPOCK: Technically, you are correct. I do not have a brother.
KIRK: You see?
SPOCK: I have a half-brother.
KIRK: I've got to sit down.

McCOY: Let me get this straight. You and Sybok have the same father but different mothers.
SPOCK: Exactly. That is correct. Sybok's mother was a Vulcan princess. After her death, Sybok and I were raised as brothers.

Kirk gets on Spock's shoulders. Spock is not impressed - he has put on quite a bit of weight. Luckily, Vulcans are stronger than humans. Can you imagine McCoy holding him up? He gets frailer looking every movie.

Spock gets his rocket/levitation boots, and Kirk climbs right onto his right side. McCoy, however (and as usual) needs a bit more coaxing... just look at his face in the second cap. They initially start sinking to the ground:

SPOCK: It would appear we are too heavy.
KIRK: It's all those marsh melons.

Syboks attempts to control their minds the way he did the others: by showing them, and then ridding them of their pain. McCoy relives "killing" his father...

And Spock watched his father hold him for the first time.

SAREK: So human. (AKA Son, I am disappoint.)

Luckily, it doesn't quite work out the way Sybok planned.

Sybok finds what he was after, and they all beam down to:

SYBOK: Sha Ka Ree.
KORRD: Qui'Tu.
CAITHLIN: Vorta Vor.

and move on to try and find "God". Sybok looks pregnant for a while because of the wind.

Umm... God? Hello? You might want to stop being so creepy, it looks like we're in the Lion King...

They find "God", and shoot it with phasers. (Please excuse the page-long quote)

GOD: And how did you breach the Barrier?
SYBOK: With a starship!
GOD: This starship. ...Could it carry my wisdom beyond the Barrier?
SYBOK: It could. Yes!
GOD: Then I shall make use of this starship.
SYBOK: It will be your chariot!
KIRK: Excuse me.
GOD: It will carry my power to every corner of creation.
KIRK: Excuse me. ...I'd just like to ask a question. ...What does God need with a starship?
GOD: Bring the ship closer.
KIRK: I said ...'What does God need with a starship?'

McCOY: Jim, what are you doing?
KIRK: I'm asking a question.
GOD: Who is this creature?
KIRK: Who am I? Don't you know? Aren't you God?
SYBOK: He ...has his doubts.
GOD: You doubt me?
KIRK: I seek proof.
McCOY: Jim, you don't ask the Almighty for his I.D.
GOD: Then here is the proof you seek.
(blue light rays shoot from God's eyes knocking Kirk backwards)

KIRK: Why is God angry?
SYBOK: Why? Why have you done this to my friend?
GOD: He doubts me.
SPOCK: You have not answered his question. What does God need with a starship?
(blue light rays shoot from God's eyes again knocking Spock backwards)

GOD: Do you doubt me?
McCOY: I doubt any God who inflicts pain for his own pleasure.
SYBOK: Stop! The God of Sha Ka Ree would not do this!
GOD: Sha Ka Ree? A vision you created. An eternity I've been imprisoned in this place! The ship! I must have the ship! Now ...give me what I want!
SPOCK: Sybok, ...this is not the God of Sha Ka Ree, ...or any other God!
SYBOK: I don't understand... Reveal yourself to me!
(an image of Sybok strides out of one of God's eyes)

SYBOK/GOD: What's wrong? Don't you like this face? I have so many but this one suits you best.
SYBOK: No! No,'s not possible.
GOD: Bring me the ship or I will destroy you!
SYBOK: The ship.
GOD: Bring it closer so that I might join with it. Do it or watch these puny beings ...die horribly.
SYBOK: What have I done?

KIRK: Kirk to Enterprise. Listen carefully.
SPOCK: Sybok.
SYBOK: This is my doing! This is my arrogance, ... my vanity...
SPOCK: Sybok, we must find a way...
SYBOK: No! Save yourselves! ...Forgive me, brother. Forgive me.
...I couldn't help but notice your pain.
GOD: My pain?
SYBOK: It runs deep. Share it with me.
(Sybok boldly enters the shaft and embraces his evil twin)

Only two people can beam up at a time because the transporter is low on power. Spock and McCot are beamed up, leaving Kirk to fight for his life. Suddenly a Klingon Ship comes (the one that has been chasing and trying to kill Kirk), and he is beamed onto that one to find...

Spock, the "new gunner" of a Klingon ship, swivels around in his bad-ass chair. Kirk goes up to hugs him:

KIRK: I ...thought I was going to die.
SPOCK: Not possible. You were never alone... Please, Captain. Not in front of the Klingons.

All is well - Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are back around the campfire, and instead of pondering the meaning of "Row Row Row Your Boat" and life being "but a dream" he plays it on his Vulcan Lyre while they all sing it in a round.

Shed a happy tear, roll credits, praise William Shatner.


  1. This movie inspires a lot of groans from me, and I don't plan on watching it again anytime soon. But you remind me that it has some very amusing moments, and isn't nearly the waste of time a lot of Star Trek fans says it is.

  2. I liked it from the beginning. I can see why people usually don't but I don't pay much attention to the flak. Besides TNG got the Type-6 shuttle from the mock-ups of the STV shuttles.

    And these days I can't help but wince a bit when I remember watching it with a religiously sanctimonious (former) friend (he's an ebay scammer and shoplifter too).
    `God' zapped Kirk - this `friend' LITERALLY leapt up from my couch, pointed at my TV, and screamed, "GOD WILL *SMITE* THE UNBELIEVERS!!!" True (face-palm-worthy) story.