25 years later, 'Star Trek V: The Final Frontier' still is the worst Trek film ever

25 years later, 'Star Trek V: The Final Frontier' still is the worst Trek film ever
By Jim Slotek ,QMI Agency
First posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:18 AM EDT | Updated: Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:47 AM EDT
Star Trek has died many deaths. The original series was resuscitated by a letter-writing campaign and still died two seasons short of completing its five-year mission.
In the 2000s, the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise led to many pronouncements of the death of the franchise, particularly after the poor reception and box office performance of Star Trek: Nemesis – the final film to feature the Next Generation cast.
Redemption, as always, lay ahead. Most recently with the popular J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies.
But this month marks the 25th anniversary of an all-but-forgotten “death” of Star Trek, the release of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
With all the nerd cred accorded me from having sat in Captain Picard’s command chair, I declare The Final Frontier... worst... Star Trek movie... ever!
The movie was a perfect storm of bad omens. In later years, producer Harve Bennett admitted he thought the movie was the end of the line.
The Final Frontier – in which Spock’s rogue half-brother Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) hijacks the ship to go looking for God at the centre of the Galaxy – was directed and partly written by William Shatner. We can guess the Shat had his nose out of joint after Leonard Nimoy directed Star Treks III and IV.
The difference was that Nimoy turned out to be a competent director (he also helmed the wildly popular Three Men and a Baby and The Good Mother with Diane Keaton).
Add to that a Writer’s Guild strike, and a literally threadbare budget (check out the frayed uniforms in certain scenes) that mirrored Paramount’s waning confidence in the films.
Put it this way. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier begins with Kirk, Bones and Spock camping in Yosemite and singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat around a campfire. And it gets worse!
Sybok was played by Laurence Luckenbill, at that time mainly a guest-star on episodic TV series and best-known as the husband of Lucille Ball’s daughter Lucie. He was plan B after Sean Connery declined for scheduling reasons.
In retrospect, the nuts and bolts of Sybok forming a decidedly un-Vulcan cult of God-worshippers via mind meld, and his improbable scheme to hijack the Enterprise via a ruse hostage-taking, was no more preposterous than many plots over the years. But the notion that the Creator could be found at the centre of the Milky Way and that the Enterprise could take them there meant that no geeks familiar with the science of Star Trek had any input (maybe they were all Writer’s Guild members?).
The centre of the Galaxy is roughly 35,000 light-years away from us. Star Trek would later launch a whole series, Voyager, based on the notion that a ship flung to the other side of the Galaxy would face a 70-year voyage home. Even at Warp-Whatever, the plot of The Final Frontier should have taken years. Instead, it was the equivalent of a left turn and a straight shot down the Trans-Canada from Winnipeg to Regina (shot through a swirl-filtered lens).
Shatner’s big idea was that Sybok and company would find God, but he’d turn out to be Satan. Gene Roddenberry, more or less an atheist, was turned off by the idea of importing Western religion into Star Trek canon. In the series, “God” always turned out to be a malevolent computer or a rogue alien. So ultimately….
That’s the direction they went.
In 2012, Shatner gave an interview to mania.com and was asked if there’d ever be a director’s cut release of his directorial debut. He had approached Paramount, he said, and “they laughed me out of the office.”
Twitter: @jimslotek
25 years later, 'Star Trek V: The Final Frontier' still is the worst Trek film e
I & III were pretty bad too.
#3  Top Rated Post
Yeah the first Star Trek movie is by far the worst. At least V had humour in it, the well known quips between Spock, Bones and Kirk, and it didn't open up with them singing row row your boat..... It opened to Kirk scaling a mountain with no safety gear.

Just because some Joe Blow sat in Picard's chair, doesn't make him am expert or right.

Hell, Wesley Crusher sat in his chair too.

The creature at the centre of the Galaxy was, as he stated, trapped there for a very long time, most likely as punishment or containment. The ship would have allowed him to escape. This concept has been visited by various episodes in various Star Treks more than once. The Next Generation did it at least twice.

The comment of how long it would have taken to travel is also a bit ignorant. Yes, in Voyager (2nd worst ST series imo) it would have taken 70 odd years to travel from one end of the galaxy to the opposite side.


Bajor is more or less halway to the great barrier and ships travel to and from there in about a week. Nimbus III was along the neutral zone between the Federation and Klingon Empire.

It might have taken a week or two from Nimbus III to the great barrier but does the guy in the OP expect the movie to show you all that? This isn't the Lord of the Rings where you spread the journey over three movies that span half a day.

Now.... I am not saying STV was great, but it is nowhere near the worst ST movie. STI, STIII and ST:Insurrection are all right up there. I loved all the TNG movies, First Contact being the best, followed by Nemesis, but Insurrection could have just been a two part episode not a movie.

Star Trek I has to be the worst of the worst however. Star Trek IV wasn't too good either and was more comedy than anything else.... With loaded 80's slap stick. But it wasn't the worst.

I've tried to re-watch the first ST movie several times and ended up either fast forwarding through a lot of the over dramatic scenes that dragged on forever, or just turned it off.

It's Boring.

I can still watch V and appreciate it.

There, I said my two cents.
Last edited by Praxius; Jun 20th, 2014 at 10:41 AM..

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