Wednesday, 8 November 2017

STAR TREK - THE SLOW-MOTION PICTURE...



I remember 1979 almost as if it were only last week.  1979 was the year that STAR TREK The MOTION PICTURE was released, and I have to be honest and say I considered it a bit of a dud.  The movie came out a mere ten years after the TV series had ended, but for some strange reason that ten years seemed more like twenty.  The show had been repeated by the BBC a number of times since cancellation, and there was also an animated series in 1973-'74, so it seemed as if it had always been around in some form or other.  The fact, therefore, that there seemed to be an enormous gulf of time between the end of the show's first UK broadcast and the release of the movie strikes me as odd - almost surreal.  I guess that when you're only 20, as I was in '79, ten years feels like a far longer period of time, as it represents exactly one half of your life up to that point.  (I have to say that the movie seemed to last ten years when I first saw it - it moves at an incredibly slow pace and is devoid of action.)

As I said, 1979 doesn't seem that long ago to me, so it feels weird to now live in a world where so many of the original cast are no longer around, having passed away over recent years.  They'll live on, of course, in their performances, and to someone like me who never met any of the actors, I can experience them again in exactly the same way I first did as a kid and teenager - on television.  In that respect, nothing has really changed.  Does it ever?  Time travel is a fascinating hypothesis however unlikely it seems, but thanks to DVDs of classic shows, we can all return to our youth whenever the fancy takes us.  Anyway, these thoughts were swirling around in my head, so I thought I'd share them with the rest of you to make of what you will.

However, returning to the movie franchise, I'm glad to say that the next one - The WRATH Of KHAN - was a vast improvement, but my favourite was the last in the original series of films - The UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, which I thought was immensely entertaining.  The movie came out in 1991, an astounding 26 years ago, yet that period of time seems nowhere near as long as the ten years between the TV series ending in 1969 and the release of the first movie in '79.  Anyway, if your brain hurts as much as mine does after wading through all that, here's a nice pic of NICHELLE NICHOLS to make you feel better.  

Live long, and prosper.

23 comments:

Lionel Hancock said...

Oh yes a total DUD..I remember they played on Nimoy..Will he do it no he wont trick...He did like everybody else ..Reminded me of the New Avengers ..The original cast were all hams and the Two new ones both plastic... Highly Illogical...

Graham said...

I remember being SO disappointed when I got to see Star Trek The Motion Picture. I kept waiting for the action to get started. I'm still waiting.

Rip Jagger said...

I'm a fan of the first Trek movie, because it's what I always wanted a Trek movie to be, a ginormous episode. Still handled by Gene Roddenberry this one had all the ticks that made the series hum, but dialed up to eleven and mashed up with 2001: A Space Odyssey. I liked the look of the Trek universe in that movie and lamented the more military styles used in subsequent flicks, though that's clearly part of the mix. The Wrath of Khan has some fantastic beats, but in the end it ends on a downer and the follow up is not nearly as strong. The fourth one gets it again to my mind and is the best one aside from the first.

Rip Off

Kid said...

It seemed that they used that Nimoy hook on just about every original ST film after, LH. He was probably holding out for more money, but let's face it, they wouldn't have been the same without him.

******

I've got the DVD version with new SFX, G, but it still can't save it from being a bit of a turkey.

******

One of my friends at the time loved it, RJ, and to be fair, it was great to see the old team reunited, but it just moved far too slowly for me. Also, if I remember rightly, it was based on an old TV episode, so I felt it was going over old ground. However, we should all thank Star Wars, 'cos if it hadn't been for that film, Star Trek might never have been made and allowed to continue until they got it right. Glad you enjoyed it, but different strokes for different folks it seems.

Oscar Dowson said...

I think I liked TMP when I first saw it at the cinema, but it was no Star Wars. Or even CE3K. But the oldef I get the more I appreciate it, and the ambition of it. I also like the uniform & production design more than the more militaristic look that followed. The Director's Edition with the new fx irons out some but not all of the flaws. At least we get to see V'Ger's megaship. I'd have loved more of beardy medallion man McCoy though!

Kid said...

The uniforms were too 'Space 1999' for my liking, and a bit sterile-looking, OD. I think it was certainly an ambitious film, but, for me, its prime ambition should have been to thrill and entertain, and I don't think it achieved that for the majority of viewers. The pacing just wasn't quite right. Still, it's an interesting movie, even if it's not an exciting one.

TC said...

The movie's premise was the same as the episode "The Changeling" from TOS. A lot of fans grumbled, "I would not mind if it had amounted to just one more episode of the TV series, but did they have to give us a rerun?"

The gap between the last first-run episode of TOS and the first movie did feel like an eternity in 1979. Maybe because, as you say, when we were 20, ten years represented fully half of our lives at that time. Also, in 1969-70, we were children. Ten years later, we were young adults, and had experienced a lot of changes (graduating from school, moving out of our parents' homes, working at jobs). For a lot of people, the decade between age 10 and age 20, or between 12 and 22, probably seems longer than the same length of time between 40 and 50, or 50 and 60.

-3- said...

I remember thinking, after watching ST:TMP, that it was a product of confusion. With the other aborted efforts to revive Trek that led up to the movie, by the time we got the film it seemed to be a trainwreck collision of incompatible parts of the previous efforts. It was fairly well summed up by the initial approach to the Enterprise in stardock - long loving looks at what we missed. But the new bits were floundering at best, though they may have been born of good ideas.
It sure made that second movie seem great. (Okay - Nick Meyer did that)

I remember that issue of Ebony. Of course, it was purchased simply for Nichols on the cover. Well, and on the inside, too.

But, Damn! How long was my trek into town? Six postings missed?
I think i hit a frelling time slip...

Kid said...

Yeah, I think you're right, TC - it's all to do with proportions. I used to speculate as to whether 20 years to a 40 year-old seemed the same as 40 years to an 80 year-old, but as time seems to go even quicker as you get older, 40 years probably only seems like 5, not 20.

******

Talking of Timeslip, 3 (well almost), did you ever see the '70s UK show of the same name? It was quite good. The last time I watched STTMP, it wasn't quite as bad as I remembered it, but it still seemed far too long. Perhaps they should've had some musical numbers in it to punch it up a little? After all, it worked for The Sound Of Music, and that was directed by Robert Wise too.

-3- said...

I never saw Timeslip, but i did read about Liz & Simon and heard nothing but good about the show.
When you suggest musical numbers, i'm getting more along the lines of an insane Bollywood production. I think that's going to work much better.

Kid said...

Nah, not Bollywood - Hollywood! Now THEY knew how to make a musical.

-3- said...

You're not going to get anything but praise from me on the subject of Busby Berkeley. Heck, i'm even such a fan that i keep Stan Freberg's classic 1970 commercial for Great American Soup starring Ann Miller in the Berkeley parody musical production number on my hard drive. (And if you've never seen it, it's been remastered and is on YouTube)

Nonetheless, i still think the Bollywood style would be better suited to the science fiction and setting, not to mention Ilya's bald headed presence would find a natural fit.

Kid said...

Ah, of course, she was an Indian actress, wasn't she? I'll get around to looking up that Stan Freberg clip one day soon (I hope).

Oscar Dowson said...

Nice to see Timeslip remembered, Kid. I'd only ever seen the comics so I was glad to grab the whole series off YouTube. I recommend it. What starts as a seemingly fairly simple 'modern kids versus Nazis' adventure in the first story eventually reaches Fringe-like levels of weirdness. For those like 3 who've never seen it, it's still on YT.

https://youtu.be/JSg5q80D5nU

Kid said...

I've got both series on DVD. As we all know, Spencer Banks grew up and changed his name to Richard Osman, and now co-presents quiz show Pointless. (Oh no he didn't!)

-3- said...

Thanks for the tip, Oscar. It hadn't occurred to me to look there. Fortunately, other resources were available, and the Series One DVD is enroute.
Also, thanks for the pointer on the escalated levels of weird. Now i'm looking forward to the shows even more.

Kid said...

I'm wondering if you'll succumb to temptation and watch it on YouTube before the DVD arrives.

-3- said...

I suspect i can manage to wait the next 3 hours for it. I'm digging to organize and figure out what issues of TV21 should be on my hunt list to fill the gaps, then it's off to the kitchen to cook up a batch of curry. By the time i'm ready to sit, eat & enjoy some vid, it should be here.

Kid said...

I'll look forward to a review of it on your blog, 3.

-3- said...

With all the things piling up, it likely won't be too soon.
But, let me say Thanks! once again to Oscar. No subtitles on the DVD and my ears are pitifully bad. But there are online utilities to extract the auto-generated subtitles from youtube videos, so i was able to follow along. (Though the system does choke a little during pub scenes)
I wasn't thinking of how old the series was when told they start with a WW2 timeslip. It becomes much more interesting when that slip is still recent enough to entangle their current/future lives.

Kid said...

Would headphones plugged onto your TV or DVD player help at all, or is your hearing beyond help even by that means? If so, that's a shame. I first saw Timeslip when it was initially broadcast - when? Late '60s, early '70s? We only had a b&w TV at that time, so I can't date it properly without digging out the DVD. I saw it again when it was repeated two or three years later, and I think the first adventure is very atmospheric - more so than the later ones perhaps.

Oscar Dowson said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying it, 3. When you get to the one remaining eye-frying colour episode you'll be glad the rest is in black n white!

Kid said...

It would've been interesting to see them all in colour though, OD. Though the first adventure is nicely atmospheric in b&w, but I only originally saw it that way because we didn't have a colour TV.

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