The Rewatch 121: The Final Frontier

Series: Star Trek TOS era Films
Episode: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier(6-9-89)
Rating:  3/5
Redshirt Status:

Notable Guest Stars:
Laurence Luckinbill – Sybok. He is mainly known for his role in this film, but he also appeared in several TV movies as minor characters, and narrated the 1985 mini series Space.
David Warner –
John Talbot,.  He most recently appeared on Screen as Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins Returns. He would also appear in the next film as Chancellor Gorkon.
Charles Cooper –
Korrd.  He appeared as Judge Robert Boucher in the 90s TV series The Practice. He appeared in Star Trek TNG as K’mpec.
Spice Williams-Crosby –
Vixis  She went on to have a stunt career, being the stunt double of Denise Crosby and Jeri Ryan on Star Trek.  She married into the family of Bing Crosby and both her husband and son are actors as well.
George Murdock –
“God”. He has appeared in Torchwood: Miracle Day as Preacher, and had a reoccurring role on Judging Amy. He would later appear in TNG as Admiral J.P. Hansen.
Harve  Bennet –
Starfleet Chief of Staff.  He was a long time writer and producer of Star Trek films.
Melanie Shatner
– Yeoman.  She is the daughter of William Shatner.  This is her third appearance on Star trek, her first being the TOS episode Miri.  She appeared as a jogger in The Voyage Home as well.

Review:

 This movie in general is weird.  William Shatner’s original idea revolved aaround the idea of Televangelists who find followers and gain wealth from them.  Sybok, I am supposing, is the televangelist in this story.  He’s a Vulcan, Spock’s half-brother you later find out, on the search for the place of ultimate knowledge.

He gathers a following and lures the three major powers to Nimbus III to steal a ship. In the end it ends up being the malfunctioning Enterprise-A. He talks people into following his crazy, and gives the most awkward Nyota/Scotty scene ever.

He also psychologically tortures the main three.  Probably more.  He pulls up a painful memory and uses it to twist them into believing his truth. McCoy’s scene seems even worse considering DeForest Kelley had problems afterwards due to his own father’s illness.

I mean I guess I can understand helping people deal with the aftermath of such things, but Sybok spends the movie being a creepy fellow.  He’s not even the real villain, but it just weirds me out how he does things.

And lets face it, no one really remembers the evil dude at the end.  This is the Sybok movie.

This movie overall seems like production took its toll and it also has too many ideas put into one movie.  Sybok’s story seems like it should have been on its own.  Also there is the idea of Nimbus and the planet of peace.  That could have been a movie.

I will say one positive thing – the Klingon arc with James Kirk is building up to what it will be in the final movie. 

I have no opinion on William Shatner’s skills as a director.  I feel the production problems and budget cuts were mostly to blame for why this didn’t pan out better.  It is however probably the worst of the first six.  I don’t think it was TNG’s fault either.  It was Paramount’s rush to put the movie together without the budget it needed to be complete.  Although I will also admit there are elements to the story that I don’t think were necessary.

Like Spock’s birth.  I don’t understand how that was necessary.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by David Loughery
  • Directed by William Shatner
  • This script went through many revisions to satisfy the cast and production company from the initial idea pitched by William Shatner.
  • It had a very high opening weekend in comparison to other films, but afterwards dropped drastically.  It gained mixed reviews and is often not considered a ‘good’ Star Trek movie, helping continue the idea of only even number Star Trek films being good.
  • Production was plagued by problems.  There was a writers strike, which affected TNG as well as this film in pre-production.  Also there was a strike by truck drivers in the Hollywood union over pay cuts, which caused problems with getting sets to locations.  There was also a truck explosion at one point, requiring police escort afterwards. The desert scenes were done in over 100 degree heat, and problems abounded.
  • Locations include Yosemite Park, and Mojave Desert.
  • This is the last full crew film.  Sulu would be promoted to Captain of the Excelsior for the final TOS film.
  • First in-verse chronological appearance of LCARS in the sickbay

Pros:

  •  Background for the Neutral zone
  • The build up of the Klingon-vs-Kirk issue that will be the main plot of the next film and Kirk’s overall story.
  • Seeing the crew on shore leave.

Cons:

  •  Columbus did not prove the world wasn’t flat.  Science did that long before Columbus was born.  He just found out there was land between Europe and Asia to the left.  And even then, he didn’t realize for awhile that he hadn’t ended up in Asia.  I can rant about the stupidity of Columbus, but that’s not even what this movie is about. Perhaps one day I’ll make a separate post on my thoughts on Columbus and his ultimate fail.
  • There is a general not quite there feeling about the plots.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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