Dec 10, 2019
Star Trek: The Motion Picture on the big screen.
Forty years ago, Star Trek boldly went where it had never gone before: the cinema. A commercial hit—thanks in large part to feverish anticipation by fans whose dedication to The Original Series that had grown steadily since the show left the airwaves 10 years earlier—The Motion Picture proved less successful with critics. Over the years, its reputation with fans sunk lower and lower. Compared with the ballsy action and emotional drama of The Wrath of Khan, the The Motion Picture came to be seen as a misstep into hard science fiction. It is too long, ponderous, and emotionally distant. many say. In recent years, however, its stock has begun to rise. Today, Star Trek’s first big-screen outing is often seen a film that, while unusual , is an absolutely crucial installment in Trek canon. Poetic and soulful in its serious attempt to conjure the truly alien and unknown, 40 years after its premiere, The Motion Picture is gaining newfound respect.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, recorded live at the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s West End, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Drew Barker, Dana Kazim, and Ben Keeling at an anniversary screening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture to reflect on our own experiences of witnessing the film on the big screen for the first time. Of the six movies featuring the cast of The Original Series, the first perhaps benefits most from a theatrical presentation—even if the old 1979 prints now show significant signs of wear and tear. In our discussion, we consider how our opinions of the movie have shifted over the years, what we look for in Star Trek at the cinema, and how The Motion Picture fits into broader Trek canon.
Cinematic First Contacts (00:15:35)
The Perfect Trek Movie (00:21:00)
Just Beginning? (00:29:33)
Drew Barker, Dana Kazim, and Ben Keeling
Duncan Barrett (Editor and Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Tony Black (Associate Producer) Clara Cook (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)