“The creator has not answered.”
It wasn’t until syndication that Paramount realized that it had a property they could continue milking in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek TV series. Even then, however, they struggled to get a film adaptation made. After dropping the idea and settling for a new TV series called Star Trek: Phase II which they began developing, the theatrical releases of Star Wars and Close Encounters made them realize that science fiction movies could work. So back to the drawing board they went and after a few years, Paramount was ready to release Robert Wise’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture in theatres. It proved successful and spawned a massive franchise that has found legions of fans worldwide. Yet Wise’s film still has its detractors – whether it’s the pacing, the acting, or the plot, there are those who dislike the film. So is it a worthy start to the film franchise? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our biggest series to date – The Star Trek series – with 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
We look at the film’s trailer and talk about who it was marketed to and why it worked. We discuss the pacing of the film and why it’s caused such dislike for the film, even if it doesn’t sound like it was entirely intentional. We look intently at one scene and discuss the actors, the camerawork, direction, themes and everything else to see how that one scene fits in context of the overall film. We chat about split diopters and how frequent they are in the film. And we look at how well the film did (hint: well enough to birth a franchise!).
We have a great time starting up this new series with one of the more divisive films of the franchise. Definitely check it out (but bring your coffee!) then tune in! The Next Reel. When the movie ends, our conversation begins.
- Watch this film: iTunes • Amazon • Hulu
- Script Transcript
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- Star Trek: The Original Series — Wikipedia
Deep Scene Dive
Beginning this week, we launched a new segment we’re calling the Deep Scene Dive in which we discuss at length a scene that represents, to us, a high point in the film. In The Motion Picture, we’re discussing the Decker/Kirk confrontation after Kirk’s nearly disastrous phaser order in his attempt to extricate the Enterprise from the worm hole. Follow along in our discussion with this gallery to get a better visual sense of the scene as we talk about it!