Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – Great concept, Poor Execution

1 of 4

Star Trek V: The final Frontier – Spock, Kirk and McCoy

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is without a doubt a touchy subject among Star Trek fans, there’s a growing segment of fans who have found enjoyment in it and still a large number who see it as the worst of the series.

In the weeks leading up to the thirtieth anniversary of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier I have spent a good deal of time considering what I wanted to say about it. I can recall being impressed with it when I was young, disliking it more as I got older and winding up with mixed feelings now. We could take a walk through my viewpoint and talk about the movies strengths and weaknesses, but I think it would be far more fitting today to talk about what it could have been.

The story behind the making of The Final Frontier is one of the most interesting of the entire franchise, and the truth is the concept of the movie wasn’t initially flawed, but everything that happened behind the scenes leading up to the release of it caused it to be poorly executed.

A little while back Elliot Thorpe wrote a fantastic piece entitled In Defense of William Shatner’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, if you haven’t read it, or haven’t read it lately I strongly suggest giving it a read, Elliot makes some great points that may just change your outlook on a few aspects of the movie.

The Original Concept was a solid one, then so much happened….

The first problem was one you wouldn’t expect to be a problem, the success of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home caused Paramount to hold on to the idea that the fifth movie had to be as funny as the fourth, it made sense to them because of The Voyage home having been their second best return on investment so far in the Star Trek franchise. Unfortunately, this would also help The Final Frontier to stand as their eighth best return on investment.

Some stories just aren’t comedies, that’s not to say that a serious movie can’t have laughs, but it was a mistake for the studio to step in with an expectation like this from a franchise that has managed to police it’s genre bending so well right from the beginning.

Then there was the studios failure to come to an agreement with the writer that William Shatner wanted to help bring his vision to life.  No, we can’t really blame the studio for a two-sided negotiation, but had they made the deal work we would have had a script written by a bestselling author.