Thursday, February 12, 2015

1984 ST:TMP Special Edition Article

In 2001, fans of Star Trek: The Motion Picture were treated to Director Robert Wise's "finished version" of the film (The Director's Edition), as he had considered the theatrical release so rushed as to not be what he wanted on screen. This is to me the definitive version, the one I take out and watch now whenever I get the desire to revisit the movie. The tighter edit, the more lush sound effects, the cleaned-up visual effects, and most of all the new visuals created for it (for those that could not be added originally due to the last-minute pressures)... all combine to make it a more pleasant viewing experience, in my opinion. (Finally, we know what V'Ger itself looked like in a long shot without the cloud! I never knew in all those years it even had a defined shape. It reminded me of the ship hidden in Halley's Comet in the film "Lifeforce.")

However, back in 1983 we were treated to a longer version of the film that added in cut scenes. Did it improve it? I feel it did in some respects; some of the cut scenes needed to be back in, others are today more rightly relegated to the "Deleted Scenes" extra on the menu on DVD or Blu-Ray. But back then we were so excited to see "more Trek" that even a longer and more drawn-out version of the movie was interesting to see.

In this article by James Van Hise from his Enterprise Incidents magazine, issue #13 (the first to go national after the promotion from fanzine), published in January of 1984, we have a scene-by-scene comparison of the theatrical cut and the extended TV cut, which turned up on home video later. The intense desire by Wise back then to have a "finished version" can be seen in the write-up, and it was something that took over 20 years for him to get to do. I'm thankful we got to see him accomplish that before his passing shortly afterward.

(Click on images to enlarge; once the picture is open,
you may have to click again to view full-size.)

Bonus: Below are two more pages from the 1976 Lincoln Enterprises "Star Trektennial" catalog that was the Trekker equivalent of Sear's Catalog. I have scanned the cover and first two pages before (page 1 here and page 2 here); and I intend on adding all of them in time. There are so many things on there that I wish I had ordered back then and had now.... 

Bonus #2: Below, the cover to my real introduction to Star Trek and the beginning of my love affair with it. I had never even seen a complete episode of the show up to that point, (only snippets here and there as the parents had me flip channels around) but was starting to become aware of it and absolutely loved what little I had seen. The animated episodes were next, and added fuel to the fire!
The cover blurb calls him Scotty, but tell me that doesn't look like Spock that McCoy is attacking with the SpaceVac!

Bonus link: Great poster from this Trekker Scrapbook blog! It looks like Pike and Vina are having fun and doing a great job at entertaining the inhabitants of Talos IV!


Rob Bignell said...

I so wanna join STAFC!

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like they knew back then already why they left out the Scene with Takei reacting to Ilia's pheromones. Would be impossible to watch that today after Takei came out of the closet. :)

Frederick said...

I thought of the same thing! :) Even many of the Sulu publicity photos from the series are funny in the light of what we know now...

Frederick said...

Rob, me too! I'd like to hear from someone that did, and still has the newsletters!

Anonymous said...

That's right, Fred. Most prominent example must be the fencing Scene without his Shirt. :o)
I guess they would have given that to someone else had they known back then that he was gay.

Erik J Kreffel said...

Frederick, have you discovered "Return To Tomorrow" ?

Great 660-page making of "ST:TMP" that took me a few weeks to pore over! It's well worth the price.