Redshirts Roundtable: The Best Goodbye

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Star Trek VI The undiscovered Country – the crew Lost in Translation Copyright Paramount

David Milburn
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

I first fell in love with Star Trek when the Next Generation found its way to British screens around 1994(ish) when the BBC were showing repeats. I was 14 years old when I first watched it, already hooked on SciFi thanks to the great British comedy Red Dwarf. I saw similarities in the shows but Trek took it a whole step further. At the time I didnt know that there was more to Trek than the TNG but when I went to visit a video store with a mate of mine, I saw the Wrath of Khan. Without hesitation I rented it. IT BLEW MY MIND and I found out about the Original Series. I always like the older shows, even when it comes to things like Battlestar Galactica or Doctor Who, the older shows were always more original with exciting story lines because they hadn’t been done before. So when I finally managed to see Star Trek the Original Series that became my Trek love.

I managed to seek out all the films I could which obviously at that time on VHS was the films featuring the original crew and to this day, love them all. Yes they have their faults and not perfect but I didn’t care (and still don’t). Star Trek The Undiscovered Country proved to be be the perfect send off for Kirk and his crew, one last adventure, one last saving of the universe and an emotional send off that suggested that yes even though its the end, they didn’t really want to go. in the same year I discovered Star Trek TNG, a new film was being released, Star Trek Generations. Was like i had won the jackpot. A film featuring members of the crew I just said goodbye too, alongside the crew that introduced me to the franchise. Bingo! as it were.

Then followed a series of Next Generation film releases and following a similar path set by Kirk and co, all great films but with faults (some with big faults… Insurrection I am looking at you) and then came Nemesis. Now, Nemesis has its issues but on the whole, its a decent Star Trek adventure. If it was part of the TV series then I think we could say it would have been a great episode but it doesn’t seem to quite work as a feature film. This film as we know marks the last appearance of the TNG crew on screen but the heartbreaking thing about this, is that the film wasn’t meant to be the last one. Brent Spiner had worked with John Logan on a script for a 5th and official last film for the TNG cast, one that would have no doubt brought back Data via the B-4 duplicate. This would have had a huge impact, although it was sad to see Data die at the end of Nemesis, to have him brought back and reunited with the crew in a 5th film that they ALL could have signed off with would have been something great. Over all I think its harsh to say that Nemesis was a bad film for the cast and characters to go out on because at the end of the day it was down to box office and critic responses that caused it to fail and a fifth film to be cancelled.

When you reflect back, if they had known the film was going to be the final one, then I am sure it would have received the same type of love and attention not only the Undiscovered Country but all the TV shows when they knew they where coming to an end (with the exception of Enterprise which, even though the makers defend is a pile of s**t). Maybe with Picard in the works, we can get some kind of closure on these characters as its really my fondest of hopes that all the TNG characters appear at certain points over the course of however many series they look to produce.