Instant Guide to...
Star Trek - the motion pictures
selected from
Cult Times #50
All you'll ever need to know!
The Premise: These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise… To boldly go with a bigger budget, more impressive special effects and the odd big-name guest star or two

They're blue (da ba dee)... Spock & KirkBackground: After the original series was canned in 1969, Gene Roddenberry and the crew of the starship Enterprise were eventually recalled to active duty for a series of big- screen adventures in Paramount Pictures’ attempt to jump on the Star Wars bandwagon of the late 1970s.

First Run: The Motion Picture premièred in late 1979, and was followed every two to three years, or thereabouts, by succeeding, numbered theatrical gems. The latest, Insurrection, made its début in 1998.

Number of Episodes: Nine to date. The first six starred the cast of the original series, while The Next Generation picked up the baton for the most recent three, with a little help from stalwarts Shatner, Doohan and Koenig in number seven (Generations).

Good Guys: Apart from the obvious (and if you don’t know who they are – where have you been?), the Star Trek movies have featured a broad spectrum of good guys including assassinated Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (ST VI), heavy-drinking creator of the warp drive, Zefram Cochrane (ST VIII), and even a couple of humpback whales (ST IV)!

Bad Guys:
Where to begin? The best are the deliriously mad Khan (ST II), and the sexy little assimilator that is the Borg Queen (ST VIII). Honourable mentions must go to the Shakespeare-spouting General Chang (ST VI), scheming Commander Kruge (ST III), Nexus-loving Dr Tolian Soran (ST VII) and the genocidal Ru’afo (ST IX).

And Isn’t That...
These big screen Treks have attracted plenty of recognizable faces, even if many of them have been rendered almost unrecognizable. Christophers Lloyd and Plummer donned bumpy foreheads to be Klingons Kruge and Chang respectively. Kirstie Alley and Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall pointed their ears and plucked their eyebrows as Vulcans Saavik and Valeris. Malcolm McDowell succeeded in killing Captain Kirk in Generations, while Oscar–winning F Murray Abraham played the stretchy-faced Ru’afo in Insurrection.

Overdone Clichés: They can change the colour of the uniforms, but those nameless ensigns are still lambs to the slaughter.

Fashion Statements: Thankfully, the body-hugging beige outfits in The Motion Picture soon gave way to rather fetching wrap-around burgundy jackets in the later films. The advancing years of the original series crew were notable in The Final Frontier, when they took to wearing warm pullovers with elbow pads. Thankfully, The Next Generation returned fashion to the Enterprise with their moody grey and black jumpsuits in First Contact.


Tim Leng

Photo © Paramount
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Feature © Visual Imagination 1999. Not for reproduction.

Trek & Treat
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
A marvellous Trek romp, and a great action film in its own right. See it just for Kirk’s empassioned, blood-curdling scream: “Khaaaaaaannn!!!”.

Star Trek: First Contact
Picard and co whip out the big guns and take on the big, bad Borg in Trek’s most explosive blockbuster.

Cheap Trek
The worst of the bunch is Star Trek: The Motion Picture. We all know what the Enterprise looks like – and we don’t need to be reminded in an achingly dull 10 minute fly-by that is supposed to compensate for a vacuous plot.

Star Trek movies: current UK Transmission details

Sky Movie channels, various days and times.
See magazine for details

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