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Star trek: The final frontier - Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley

Stardate 8454.1
Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Episode propaganda

Holidaying Captain Kirk (William Shatner) faces two challenges: climbing Yosemite's El Capitan and teaching camp-fire songs to Spock (Leonard Nimoy). But holidays are cut short when a renegade Vulcan named Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) hijacks the Enterprise... and pilots it on a journey to uncover the universe's innermost secrets.

Persons of interest

  • William Shatner .... Captain Kirk, Storywriter, Director
  • Leonard Nimoy .... Captain Spock
  • Deforest Kelley .... Doctor McCoy
  • James Doohan .... Commander Scott
  • George Takei .... Commander Sulu
  • Walter Koenig .... Commander Chekov
  • Nichelle Nichols .... Commander Uhura
  • David Warner .... Terran Consul Saint John Talbot
  • Laurence Luckinbill .... Sybok
  • Charles Cooper .... Klingon Consul Korrd
  • Cynthia Guow .... Romulan Consul Caithlin Dar
  • Todd Bryant .... Captain Klaa
  • Spice Williams .... Vixis
  • Rex Holman .... J'onn
  • George Murdock .... God
  • Jonathan Simpson .... Young Sarek
  • Beverly Hart .... Vulcan high priestess
  • Steve Susskind .... Pitchman
  • Harve Bennett .... Starfleet Chief of staff
  • Cynthia Blaise .... Young Amanda
  • Bill Quinn .... McCoy's father
  • Melanie Shatner .... Yeoman
  • Gene Roddenberry .... Creator
  • Harve Bennett .... Storywriter
  • David Loughery .... Storywriter, Screenwriter

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Intelligence report

Oh, god. What a piece of crap.

I first saw this film when it came out in cinemas and since then I have avoided it whenever I could (which is to say all the time). It was only after undue pressure from various sources that I relented and watched the whole thing again so that I could do this review.

Where to start? The story? I have seen less cheese in a Swiss cheese factory. The direction? Add a meat patty and a bun and you'd have a cheeseburger. The effects? Not quite up to Battlestar Galactica. The acting? Smells like smoked pig and rhymes with Sam. The design? Right up there with the Nissan Cedric. In short: crap.

The faux New Age mysticism is offensively shallow, with no understanding or tolerance of this belief system. Healthy scepticism is a good thing but not at the expense of another person's dignity. Sybok's power to draw people's greatest pain from them is a cheap plot trick where it should be the cause for earnest investigation. The nature of god is toyed with but not examined. The closest you get to a definition of god is Kirk pointing at his own chest; apparently the creator lives in the Human heart (too bad for the other quadrillions of sentient beings in the galaxy).

In a truly frightening achievement, William Shatner has managed to direct himself to overact even more that he usually does. What's even worse (can you imagine such a thing?) is that he has also made everyone else overact. Characterisations bounce around with no sense of reality. Spock makes jokes, McCoy gets drunk and offensive, Scotty pays no attention to anything anyone else is doing... the list is long and torturous, just like the film.

There are four good bits in this film: Commander Uhura piloting shuttles, Uhura singing and dancing in the sand dunes with only a few palm leaves for modesty (where did those palm leaves come from?), Harve Bennett getting on-screen time as Bob the Starfleet Chief of Staff and Spock doing the neck pinch on a horse. The rest of it is unworthy of the Star trek name.

Security censorship classification

PG (Occasional low level violence, adult concepts)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Out now

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The final frontier is so bad that it's the only live action production which is not considered to be part of the Star trek canon.

See The Star trek canon concordance.

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