Friday, July 07, 2006

Star Trek: The Not So Motionless Picture

A 'net friend from TrekBBS has the pleasure of providing introductions for the first four Star Trek movies at the Dryden Theatre, George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, this month. It is a series called "Star Trek: 40 Years into the Future" and they are showing 35mm prints for all four films, including a crisp new version of ST II that was prepared for the DVD release.

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" aliens discuss their cameo appearances in "Ex Machina", a recent novel sequel to the movie by Christopher L. Bennett

It was the pre-publicity for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (aka TMP) that made me into an avid ST fan, way back in December 1979. The nightly newspaper here in Sydney carried a week of facinating updates from the set by Aussie journalist, James Oram, who did interviews and observations during filming. It made me recall the animated Star Trek series (TAS), which played in colour reruns on "The Super Flying Fun Show" breakfast television, with Miss Marilyn! I hadn't really seen much of the original live-action series (TOS). The clincher was an intriguing review made by a school friend at my 21st birthday party. He'd just been to the Australian gala premiere of TMP - the old marble and art deco Paramount cinema had been populated by wacky fans in costume, who applauded all the opening credits and each actor's first scene - and it all really intrigued me.

Within a few weeks, I'd found the monthly screenings of TOS episodes on the big screen at ANZAC House, and the existence of the Sydney-based Star Trek Fan Club (the now defunct Astrex). By 1983 I was Astrex's president - and a lifetime of fannish activities has followed.

My contribution to Jared's speech, being delivered tonight, I understand, says that "... if you enjoy the film, the novelization is an excellent source of additional scenes that were originally envisioned as being part of the script. Indeed, the novelization was written by Gene Roddenberry himself, based on the script by Harold Livingston..."

Additionally, "Nichelle Nichols, who plays Uhura, assumed that she would have her character's customary earpiece as a prop for the film, but the propmasters had not anticipated that and had not created a new one for her to use. On Nichols' first day of filming, the propmasters ended up going through the boxes of props from the series and actually found one of the earpieces..." Thus, it was the only prop used on both the TV series and the film. By ST II, the prop guys had made a new one for her to use.

How amazing that we are still watching and discussing TMP in 2006. Break a leg, Jared! Wish I could be there.

1 comment:

Therin of Andor said...

Jared tells me the screening was a great success. The last time I saw TMP on the big screen Down Under, we watched TMP, ST II, ST III, ST IV and the trailer for ST V. Heaps of ST fans in the audience, many in costume.

(When they'd done a similar event in LA, someone made "Sit Long and Prosper" Tshirts. I bought one at an auction, thanks to Richard Arnold.)

TMP is superb in a big cinema!