‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’ is widely regarded as the worst of all the ‘Star Trek’ movie series.
Series creator Gene Rodenberry didn’t like the ‘search for God’ element of the story, and it got absolutely eviscerated by the critics.
It was a painful baptism of fire for William Shatner too, who had taken over the directorial reigns from Leonard Nimoy after he had successfully helmed both ‘Star Trek III: The Search For Spock’ and ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’.
And now he’s said he’s sorry about it.
He told Entertainment Weekly: “I got the chance to direct a several-million-dollar movie, Star Trek V, and I did not get the help I needed in allocating my budget.
“So when it came to shooting the ending – needing a good villain and lots of computer graphics – I had run out of money.
“Sorry about that. [Laughs.] I had to use footage that I had already shot – and spit on it a lot.
“I wanted to give [the audience] earth-breaking granite monsters spewing rocks and fire. Instead, I had a few pebbles in my hand that I threw at the camera.”
It wasn’t just Rodenberry who disliked the movie’s plot – both Nimoy and DeForest Kelly objected to the idea that their characters Spock and Bones would betray Kirk, the script going through multiple revisions.
It was also hit by a Writer’s Guild strike, which ate into the movie’s pre-production.
The results, as one might expect, were not good.
Roger Ebert called it ‘a mess’. He added: “There is no clear line from the beginning of the movie to the end, not much danger, no characters to really care about, little suspense, uninteresting or incomprehensible villains, and a great deal of small talk and pointless dead ends. Of all of the ‘Star Trek’ movies, this is the worst.”
Maybe Shatner’s apology is not quite enough…
Image credits: Rex Features