On this date 26 years ago one of the two more forgettable Star Trek movies made with the original cast made it’s theatrical debut domestically.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was directed by William Shatner, Captain Kirk himself, this after Leonard Nimoy having directed the previous two films.
Sybok, an emotional Vulcan and Spock’s half-brother takes hostages on Nimbus III, the Planet of Galactic Peace in order to commandeer a Starship to finally fulfill his destiny in seeking God beyond the Great Barrier, unfortunately for Kirk and Spock it’s the Enterprise he gains control of.
Star Trek V as a movie is widely considered the least successful financially of the six films featuring the original cast. Some critics and fans consider “The Final Frontier” the worst overall of the first six movies, but I would disagree and say it’s the next to the worst putting “The Motion Picture” ahead of it.
What causes Star Trek V to be so awful? Plenty, if I’m to be honest, but to keep this post reasonably short, several things.
First would be the idea that the Enterprise and its crew are searching for God. Not that I’m bashing God, but the idea as a hole for a Star Trek movie in 1989 might have been to daring and thought-provoking of a premise for audiences to accept.
Second and biggest reason, the movie it self just doesn’t work regardless of the idea they’re searching for God. Cheesy lines, Scotty can’t walk with out running into something and the fact that nothing seems to work correctly on the Enterprise for the majority of the movie.
The only bright spot for Star Trek V was that it had the highest opening weekend for a Star Trek film of any Trek film that had been released to date, but that to was short lived as “The Final Frontier” would go on to only gross $52 million during its entire theatrical run.
David Warner who portrayed “St. John Talbot” the Federation representative on Nimbus III would go on to play the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and a Cardassian named “Gul Madred” who tortured Captain Picard in the two part episode, Chain of Command.
Charles Cooper, who played Klingon General Korrd, would return to Star Trek later on TNG as Klingon Chancellor K’mpec in “Sins of the Father” and “Reunion.” He passed away at the age of 87 in 2013.
George Murdock, who was God, would also play Admiral Hanson in Star Trek TNG two-parter, “The Best of Both Worlds.” Mr. Murdock would pass away in 2012 at the age of 81.