Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1991 article: "The Undiscovered Kirk"

 More from the 25th Anniversary issue of Starlog, issue #175, this time featuring an interview with Shatner about the newest movie "The Undiscovered Country." Besides the excitement over the film, Shatner talks a little about the last one which he directed, and explains why he felt it didn't go over as he had hoped. I don't blame Bill for everything wrong with the movie... he was a fair director, and with a better script he could have had better success. But, as with his Kirk character in ST 6, the responsibility for anything that happens on the ship falls onto the Captain... so he shoulders the burden for the relative lack of success of "The Final Frontier." This time, the ship was back under the command of Nick Meyers, who brought it back on course for one final glorious voyage.

(Click on images to enlarge; once it opens, you may have to click again to view full-size.) 
Bonus: Another variation of the "Spock with test tubes" shot from a photo session taken after the second pilot but before the first regular episode filmed.This whole set of pics made him look more like a chemist than a science officer, but at the time, a table full of test tubes and bubbling beakers was the fastest shorthand to suggest that a character was a scientist, "doing science." At least they didn't hand him a clipboard and stick him in front of a bank of old IBM computers with reel-to-reel tapes like "Lost In Space"!

 I still get extra nostalgic seeing pics from this session, since one of them was the first photo of Spock I ever clipped for my scrapbook, or even recall seeing.


EJK said...

It's not often that I feel sympathy for the Shat. However he was a good director, and the performances in STV are underrated. Every wank makes fun of "God needing a starship," but the Big 3's acting was dramatic, heartfelt and restrained, particularly Shatner. He got the most out of a weak script (which he cowrote) demanded by Paramount to be full of gags like STIV, a strike by the Teamsters, a strike by the Writer's Guild, budget woes and decidedly un Trek-like subpar FX.

Too bad Shat wasn't given another chance to do one more action-oriented blast before they had to do the obligatory goodbye that STVI became. STGenerations certainly showed the old crew could still have at it.

Anonymous said...

id have liked to have seen Shatner direct his Ashes of Eden novel as a proper Trek VII for 1993/94 - (with ILM doing the FX) hed obviously learned alot from making V plus the story was better. if Paramount had wanted a VII with the original cast (saving the 1st TNG movie for 1996) i dont think Meyer wouldve wanted to do another so maybe Shatner couldve done it (especially since it would be his story idea again).

Anonymous said...

Reading these Trek VI articles has reminded me back to 90/91 before VI came out and reading the updates of info from various sources like the letters editorial in the back of the Trek DC comics at the time (which I bought monthly for a couple of years), TOFC magazine (which I bought occasionally) and various magazines like Starlog and Starburst (which I very rarely bought, just flicked through). Obviously there was no net back then so checking out the magazines in comic stores on a Saturday was they way to do it. I remember being fascinated that it was to be a klingon based story (the first proper klingon film since III), that it would involve the klingon homeworld, an ice prison planet, Captain Sulu, the excelsior, a BOP and battle cruiser (not seen since TMP!), new space dock scenes (not just reusing FX from previous films), romulans, possible TNG connections etc and of course Meyer directing again…there were also rumours a major character would die (Kirk?). It all sounded really exciting - far more so than the previous one. Almost like the ultimate Trek movie was being made - encompassing elements of all the previous films (unlike V which was pretty stand alone) and even TNG, whilst also being a sort of 25th anniversary capper so expect some strong visual ties to TOS (which I felt the previous films didn’t do so much). I don’t think the regular film goers/media were that bothered about VI - due to V being ridiculed, TNG becoming a real force (due to its 3rd season), and the fact it was the sixth film (so in the eyes of non fans it was almost getting like Police Academy in terms of cracking them out) But for me the anticipation was HUGE (despite the disappointment of the last film) and usually when its at that level a film can only disappoint - but it didn’t. in fact it surpassed my expectations, and for a while (maybe a couple of years) I considered it the best Trek film (yes even better than Khan!). Actually I think it was pretty much the same in Trekdom e.g. Check out the Trek VI Cinefantastique issue and in there Ed Gross reviews all the films in a sidebar that goes throughout the magazine and he gives VI a higher rating than II and said it was now considered the best Trek film.

It was also good to see the regular Movie goers/media give it great reviews, buzz etc. almost like a ‘sleeper’ they weren’t expecting anything of due to the reasons mentioned, yet it turned out to be a great film so it became one to see for even non fans