A little history lesson might be in order. Unlike the present day where good, if not great TV, is seemingly in abundance, on this side of the ‘pond’ the mid-seventies were, charitably, a desert for anyone interested in science-fiction on TV. When ‘Quark,’ a thoroughly mediorce comedy is grasped upon, for something, anything to watch, you know the situation is a little dire.
As a kid, the mother’s milk of SF was still Star Trek, fuzzily pulled in by rabbit-ears from over 50 miles away. When Star Wars came around, one of the inevitable ripples was a Star Trek Movie (the production of which is its own long story), which as of this writing premiered 40 years ago today.
To be honest it’s not a ‘good’ movie, some of the design choices, especially the uniforms, are simply not good, which in turn leads to a definite chilliness which later films worked to correct. And yet in the eyes of the Tour it remains our favorite of the Trek movies because, when the story finally gets lumbering, the feeling comes through. It also happens to boast the best, and this we assert without equivocation, soundtrack (by the incomparable Jerry Goldsmith) of any movie we’ve ever heard.
It’s that rare piece of art that you like because you’ve worked so hard to like it, and will not brook much enlightened disagreement to the contrary. If you share the majoritarian view of ST:TMP, you owe it to yourself to re-evaluate it on its 40th Anniversary. You’ll be quite pleasantly surprised.