Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

star trek TMP“Any show of resistance would be futile, Captain.” – Commander Spock

Number of Times Seen – At least 5 times  (cable and video in the 80’s and 90’s, 13 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – The Enterprise crew is sent on a mission to stop an alien planet from trying to destroy Earth.

My Take on it – I am really shocked that this is the movie that created a franchise.

The only reason to watch this is to see the Enterprise crew in action again.  The story is extremely boring and there were so many times that I wished I could just skip ahead to a point where something meaningful actually happened.

I remember that I once watched this with a friend where we did just that and it took us maybe 30 minutes to watch the entire story unfold.

The reason for this is quite simple; this movie was originally proposed as a new TV series, but after the success of Star Wars (1977), Paramount felt that they too should make a series in space and since they had the characters and the pilot episode story, they decided to go for it and create a feature length movie.

The problem with that is there wasn’t enough going on for 130 minutes of screen time, so they added in A LOT of slow moving scenes that get us nowhere fast (I wish).

I was quite surprised to find out that the theme music for The Next Generation actually originated in this movie.  Whenever the music started playing, I started to look around for Picard, Riker, Data, Gordi and Westley Crusher.  But alas, they were no where to be found.

I also loved the quote above since it is pseudo foreshadowing of the Borg 🙂

They should have just kept this one as a 45 minutes TV episode; it would have been much more enjoyable that way.

Eventhough this is probably one of the worst Star Trek movies, it earned so much money in the theater that it spawned a movie franchise that to date has 13 movies

Bottom Line – Pretty mediocre ST movie.  It seems to possibly work better as a TV episode than as a feature length movie.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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19 thoughts on “Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

    • not memorable at all IMHO (and I’m a ST fan) Khan is clearly the best movie featuring TOS cast. I think First Contact is the best TNG and I liked the newest one the best overall IMHO


  1. Nice write up. I still love this movie. Saw it as a kid. Loved the FX and Jerry Goldsmith’s score is amazing and timeless. It was nominated that year. He should of won hands down.

    I was happy Robert Wise was able to do his director’s cut before he died. That version looks amazing and the pace of the film is so much better. Not the best Trek film but it was a decent start in my book even though I do agree it would have worked better as a TV film or series of episodes. I’m pretty biased about this one, though, since I’m a huge Trek nerd.

    Good work!


    • Thanks Vic.

      I like Star Trek a lot (the movies and TNG eps), but I’d never call myself a trekkie. I think this was actually an attempt to make a thinking man’s sci-fi movie (like 2001?), but it didn’t work IMHO. The pacing is still too slow in the DC (which is what I watched) and it is pretty boring the way it streches out the story unnecessarily.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Vic!


      • You are surely right about the story making an effort to be much more cerebral. You have a good point there and I would agree.

        It wasn’t anywhere near the level of 2001, of course, and despite the action and material being amped up in future films, STTMP is indeed sort of a weird entry, no? I totally understand why many feel it’s boring. Nothing really happens for long stretches at a time.

        I love TNG (DS9 is my fav series after TOS) and the films as well! Which is your fav ST movie? (Outside of the new reboots)

        Keep up the great work on the blog!


        • I would have to say that First Contact is my favorite of all the movies. I gonna re-watch them all now, so we’ll see if that feeling still holds up now.

          I loved TNG, but had trouble getting into DS9 or Voyager and I really enjoyed the first season of Enterprise (I’m a huge Scott Bacula fan).

          Last year I tried re-watching TNG and didn’t get too far, b/c I found a lot of the episodes pretty boring.

          Appreciate the comment Vic!


          • First Contact is my fav of the TNG films for sure. 2 and 6 (of the original crew) as well. Hope you enjoy re-visiting them. They are a lot of fun.

            I watched Enterprise all the way through and thought it was very good but it ended on a sour and abrupt note, unfortunately. Bakula was amazing as Archer. Good to see him back to work with NCIS New Orleans. Hope it goes well for him.

            I’ve been re-watching TNG on Netflx lately along with DS9. I didn’t care for Voyager, myself. I didn’t hang in there and stopped around the 3 Season or so and just watched occasionally there after.

            Keep up the good work on the blog!


  2. I also enjoyed 4 because the time travel aspect was fun, but 2 and 6 were definitely two of the best stories

    Cant wait for NCIS: NO with him!

    Thanks Vic for stopping by and commenting!


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