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Shatner reveals when Star Trek failed

WilliamShatner.jpgWilliam Shatner has been speaking out about two things, the first and most important is his view on the fifth outing of the Star Trek film franchise and where it went wrong, and the second is his open disappointment that he's not (apologies, missed that word out) in the new Star Trek film from J.J. Abrams.

Personally I think that he shouldn't be in the new Star Trek film, but then I agree with what he's implying, that Star Trek should have moved on a long time ago, and although it has perhaps the studios should have had the guts to make the previous Star Trek stories stick.

Speaking about Star Trek V: The Final Frontier William Shatner seems to have a new outlook on the film as he reveals on MTV Movies Blog that:

"The extraordinary disappointment was that before the special effects went in, I asked the producer: Is this as good as I think it is? I thought it was pretty good, and the heads of the studio were saying 'good job'...The problem of that movie [was too many] compromises. The original compromise was: Let’s make it an alien who thinks he’s God. Soon, I realized I had compromised the whole movie."

Sounds like an all too common problem, bowing to studio and producer pressure to change the film when they are the business people behind the film providing cash and logistics, they aren't the artistic side.

I have to agree though, that was the first poor film of the franchise, but I don't think that Shatner should blame himself for that. Although the film may have been weaker than the rest it never really harmed the love of Star Trek, not really.

Then he goes on to talk about the new Star Trek and does reveal that he's disappointed not to be in the new film. His following insight into the success of the film is the way I've been thinking for some time now:

"Passage of time, for sure; that was me a long time ago...It’ll be interesting to see whether [the new movie] is successful or not. If anyone can make ‘Star Trek’ live, [Abrams] can do it. The question is: Is it still alive, or is it time for all of us to move on?"

Well it's moved on a good few times since then, in both film and television form, however no one has made the change stick and had the guts to keep going with it, I think that's why we find ourselves right back here.

Enterprise was perhaps the closest to that, and the one that seemed like it was going to make it, after all it was taking similar queues from series like Babylon 5 with the huge story arcs and it could be said that it was an early attempt at something akin to a reimagination like Battlestar Galactica, although much less so in it's vision.

I really enjoyed that series and it was going from strength to strength, and I do believe if the series had been given stronger scheduling and more backing that it could well have taken off and we could have seen a few films from it.

However here we are back at square one, and while I believe Abrams can deliver something exciting and interesting with Star Trek, I do wonder if going backwards is really the right direction.



As director and co-writer, he's got to take some of the stick for Final Frontier being so poor. I'm a little dubious about when he made the supposed compromise about an alien that thinks he's god as that's the driving point behind the whole film. It's not as if that's just a minor point they could have slipped in while filming was in progress.

This guy needs to proofread a bit better, especially here: "[Shatner's] open disappointment that he's in the new Star Trek film." Uh, I think there's a "not" missing in that sentence.

And frankly I'm tired of this repeated idea that it's time to "move on." Or maybe I'm just tired of that language.

We're not talking about getting over a death or a failed relationship, we're talking about a TV and film franchise. When it's bad and nobody watches, it gets put to bed; if there's some new spin/way to make money on it, it comes back.

And the only factor that really counts is the quality of the material; those who look at Enterprise's cancellation and say it was just Star Trek's "time" are missing the fact that the show just wasn't that good.

Case in point: Disney tanked their 2D animation division, saying that the form was dead when really it was their movies that sucked. Their 3D movies didn't do any better, then they absorbed/were taken over by Pixar, and because Pixar knows what's actually good they made Disney reopen their 2D shop.

"This guy" - that'll mean me then, couldn't you just have pointed out I'd made a mistake rather than be all passive aggressive about it? What I hate are how people ignore courtesy and respect when launching themselves on the Internet.

Now, let's move on and I'll fix that glitch for you now that you've pointed it out, thank you.

When you say that Enterprise wasn't any good, that is of course your opinion, and there are many who say it was.

As for Disney, well I'll let their material speak for that one.

Star Trek has always been moving on, we've seen it time and time again, and now we're seeing it going right back to the crew who started it.

In a way that's an overly romantic notion, going back to the original crew thinking that they'll help to bring life back to the franchise again.

We've seen it with Young Sherlock Holmes and Young Indiana Jones, the idea that bringing in a young version of a successful character is going to allow them to kick off another franchise to the same success of the previous hasn't always worked. Indeed has it ever?

A lot of people believe that they studio should have looked to something new within the Star Trek universe, rather than going back to this overly romanticised idea of the old characters in a young format.

I apologize, I didn't mean to sound snotty.

I am a huge Star Trek fan but I believe that Enterprise was a weak entry in the franchise. I agree that prequels rarely work (believe it or not, Temple of Doom was a prequel), but I have tremendous confidence in J.J. Abrams.

Cheers for that Jeff, much appreciated.

I agree, Enterprise was a weaker series, although I don't think the weakest. I think that comes down to what I used to call the Babylon 5/Star Trek divide.

When B5 first came out and Star Trek remained episodic, there were those that took to it loving the series long story arcs and there were those that hated it and loved the Star Trek episodic formula.

Of course I'm generalising, there were those that liked both, but it did seem to split the two. I think that caused Star Trek series which carried the longer story arcs some problems with Star Trek audiences.

You know you're comment, which was great because it sparked some debate, made me think about a new feature which I've just written up and we'll see on the site this weekend. Can franchises be restarted?

I totally agree that Star Trek by Abrams will be a great film, but will it truly restart the franchise, or are we just harking back to the good old days of the original series and hoping we can recapture that spark? Is that the right thing to do? - I'll get that feature online, you might like to leave a comment there too.

Oh, and I will proof read it Jeff! ;)

Im a fan but remember Batman begins Dark knight if its good people will want to see it no matter how old the idea or story.


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