Star Trek Logs: An MTV Big Picture Special Edition (1991)

TV Special  -   -  Documentary
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Originally broadcast as part of MTV Networks' BIG PICTURE series, THE STAR TREK LOGS finds Counsellor Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the bridge of a deserted Enterprise-D as she ... See full summary »

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Title: Star Trek Logs: An MTV Big Picture Special Edition (1991– )

Star Trek Logs: An MTV Big Picture Special Edition (1991– ) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Originally broadcast as part of MTV Networks' BIG PICTURE series, THE STAR TREK LOGS finds Counsellor Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the bridge of a deserted Enterprise-D as she recalls the events of the "Battle for Peace" that eventually led to the historic signing of the Khitomer Accords between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForrest Kelley and the rest of the STAR TREK crew recalling the events of STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY as Federation history. Written by Anonymous

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clip show | tv special | See All (2) »

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Documentary

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November 1991 (USA)  »

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Counselor Deanna Troi: Counselors log: note the word 'loyalty'. A ship's crew cannot survive without it. And without it this crew would never have survived to face it's final and most important mission.
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Features Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966) See more »

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Counselors personal log, Stardate 45341.3
15 July 2010 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

There are many reasons why Star Trek V failed at the box office: the silly story, shoddy SFX and some killer competition at the cinema in the summer of '89. Also, it was the first year a Star Trek film faced competition from a new Star Trek series on TV. By the time ST VI came out, The Next Generation had amassed a lot of new fans that were unfamiliar with the 'old series'. So marketing wise, it was smart to have a Next Gen cast member provide a framework story for this MTV Big Picture Special. This way new fans could get better acquainted with what came before. And even old fans who refused to watch TNG could hardly object to some linking scenes (not only for this special but between generations) performed by major trek babe Marina Sirtis.

Just like Spock's guest appearance on the TNG 'Unification' two-parter made reference to the Kitomer conference from Star Trek VI, so is his meeting with Picard and Date the reason for Councelor Troi to look up the 'historical' starship logs of the original Enterprise. This despite the fact that she never interacted with Spock. Deanna explains that her Enterprise D is undergoing a routine maintenance, which is why she is the only person walking around the bridge. As she views (and occasionally comments on) clips from the original series (aka Star Trek TOS) as well as the first 6 films, these so called logs are augmented by interviews with the actors who portrayed the original crew.

The 24 minute special starts off like an actual episode, with a prologue that ends on a slightly ominous note (more about that later). This is followed by a really nice effect shot of the first Enterprise that has clips from the original series (and some of the movies) superimposed on the hull. During this shot, Deanna Troi narrates (surely another first). Since this was the early nineties and Paramount tried to keep as many of ST VI's plot points secret, MTV only had access to trailer footage and a couple of clips. Therefore a look back at the history of Kirk's crew filled out the special quite nicely.

Still, there is some criticism on these logs for mostly concentrating on the 'trinity' of Kirk, Spock & Bones and almost completely neglecting Scotty, Sulu, Uhura & Chekhov. This is certainly true, but can be explained by two things. One: the special's short running time and two: having to keep reminding viewers of the latest movie coming out every couple of minutes or so. Still, the remaining 'four dwarfs' do get a bit of screen time in which James Doohan says Scotty is 99% James Doohan and 1% accent. Well that explains why real Scottish people always laugh at the accent. Also, George Takei expresses how great it feels to command his own ship in The Undiscovered Country at long last.

And as far as promoting The Undiscovered Country is concerned, they purposely make it seem like this would be the greatest, most dangerous and of above all the (gulp) final mission of the original crew. The aforementioned 'Unification' episodes also hinted that maybe not all our heroes would survive the sixth film, which of course turned out to be a red herring.

MTV's Big Picture Specials often had access to other shows' sets and characters (the two hour long Wayne's World specials spring to mind). And here we have probably the first ST documentary cut together in the now familiar, breakneck MTV style. Remember, this was before Bill Shatner's 'Star Trek Memories' video, long before the many retrospectives made over the years (like the various BBC 'Star Trek Nights'), way before Justin Lee Collin's "Bring Back Star Trek" and of course light-years before anyone had ever heard of DVD extra features. Sure, if you're familiar with all of the above, this look back on Trek won't seem as special as it did in 1991. But none of the others ever featured new footage of Marina Sirtis in character. That alone should interest any self professed Trekker.

8 out of 10


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