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William Shatner’s Star Trek movie failed, and it’s all TNG’s fault

Even William Shatner as Captain Kirk couldn't save Star Trek's worst movie, but it's actually all Star Trek The Next Generation's fault.


By the time the fifth Star Trek movie came out, William Shatner was one of the popular actors of all like: delighting millions with his portrayal of Captain Kirk. By the same token, Star Trek The Next Generation has stood the test of time as one of the best TV series ever made. But can you ever have too much of a good thing?

Harvey Bennett, producer and writer of the Star Trek movies thinks so — and actually blames the sci-fi series for the fifth Star Trek movie flopping. “By the time Star Trek V came out… the fans were less hungry,” Bennett said in an interview for William Shatner’s memoir ‘Star Trek: Movie Memories.’

“Star Trek: The Next Generation was into its second successful year, airing in most markets on Saturday or Sunday nights, seven or eight P.M., and instead of having to go out to the theaters, the fans were getting served warm turkey without ever having to get off the couch.”

In this sense, you could argue that Star Trek was the victim of its own success. That pesky Star Trek The Next Generation cast are just too damn charismatic!

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Still, Bennett added that he wished the presence of TNG was “factored into [Star Trek V’s] performance.” He continued, “I’ve been told by the more casual fans, ‘Oh well, we wanted to see Star Trek V, but we didn’t wanna miss an episode of the new show, and by the time we got around to seeing the new feature, it was already gone from the theaters.'”

But while it’s arguable that the presence of The Next Generation made Star Trek V suffer, it’s simplistic to say that was the only thing wrong with the film. Star Trek V had a number of issues, including corny VFX, the reusing of TNG sets, and an uneven plot.

Fans who watched the film likely relayed it to others via word-of-mouth, leading to less fans going out to see the film because whats the point if TNG, which is actually better than Star Trek V. can be watched at home?

Yet, whatever you might think of Star Trek V, we can at least agree that TNG was one of the best TV series of all time.

For more on Star Trek, check out our guides to the Star Trek timeline, Star Trek characters, Star Trek starships, Star Trek captains, and the Star Trek Legacy release date.