William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
David Warner (St. John Talbot)
Cynthia Gouw(Caithlin Dar)
George Murdock (God)
Sybok – a man who turns out to also be a son of Sarek – takes over Nimbus III, a planet that was intended to be the planet of galactic peace, but has kind of been forgotten. By holding the Klingon, human and Romulan ambassadors (yes, we finally see a Romulan in a movie and a female one at that) he judges that someone will respond by sending a starship. Both the Klingons and the Federation do – they send the new Enterprise, which is still having it’s faults ironed out bu Scotty. However, when the Enterprise arrives, and they try to rescue the hostages, it turns out they are on Syboks side. Sybok takes over the Enterprise, and they fly off to kind God, who is at the centre of the Galaxy. The Klingons follow. God turns out not to be God just some creature that has been trapped in this place (presumably by an advanced race who saw it as a threat). Sybok buys them time to escape with his life. Then the Klingons arrive, and are talked down by the Klingon ambassador. Everyone survives.
I really don’t want to come across as the stereotypical Trek enthusiast and slag this movie off. My memory of it before I watched it today was that it was a lot of nice moments that just did not add up to being a great film. Sadly, when I watched it today, I have realised that it isn’t even that.
I think the idea behind this film was to go back to the original idea that the story is about these three men – Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and their relationship. I noticed that all of the other regulars were listed as co-stars, for the first time in the movies. And they are marginalised in this film – even made to look a little foolish (Sulu and Checkov getting lost on Earth, for example). The ease with which Sybok influences them all is also a little frustrating, although he fails to convince Scotty (although the story had another way to make Scotty look foolish – “I know this ship like the back of my hand”).
It’s got some good guests – David Warner, a really good actor, is given very little to do (although they more than make up for this in the next film when he plays a Klingon, and later in The Next Generationwhere he plays an awesome Cardassian). Charles Cooper is good as Klingon Ambassador Koord – they obviously liked him, as he came back as another Klingon on The Next Generation.
This film possibly suffered because it was the first Trek movie to come out during the run of The Next Generation. It was filmed between the breaks between seasons 2 and 3 and came out during 3. This cannot have helped – season 3 was when The Next Generationreally found it’s feet and became a distinctive show of it’s own. The fact that many of the sets were just Next Generation sets redressed didn’t help – there are a couple of corridor shots that are blatant Enterprise-D corridors, not a redress in sight. It is a real shame.
So, all in all, the first bad film in the series. I genuinely think that this would have killed the movie franchise if The Next Generation has not been doing so well on TV at the time. Luckily, the original crew have one final outing to make it up so us…
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Writer: Meyer Dolinsky
I really hate this episode. In fact, it was not shown by the BBC in the UK until 1993 – they decided during the original run that it could not be shown because of the sadism in certain scenes. This is possible. I would rather follow the line used once by a British comedian called Jasper Carrott. “Why’s it banned? ‘Cos it’s crap!”
The basic idea is that a group of aliens with telekinetic powers have lived alone on their planet for years. Now there are only 38, but they have lived for thousands of years. However, they have no immune systems left and have started falling ill. McCoy cures the illness easily, and so is told he will be staying. The Platonians disable the Enterprise, and torture Spock and Kirk to get McCoy to agree to stay.
The torture scenes are bloody silly. I am not sure what the production team wanted to do, because there is one scene that is so cringeworthy and silly it spoils the whole episode. This is the moment when Alexander rides on the back of Kirk like a horse, complete with Kirk making horse noises. It is utter, utter crap.
This episode is also renowned because it contains American TV’s first interracial kiss. Bollocks. Both Kirk and Uhura are being controlled by the Platonians at this point – the action is not voluntary. So in fact what we have here is technically the worlds first televised interracial sexual assault. Brilliant. Well done.
Spock is forced to dance and cry. I cannot say anything good about this utter turd of an episode. Well done BBC for not showing the bloody thing for 25 years!
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 45
First Aired: 15th September 1966