Seventy-eight years after the legendary Captain Kirk is lost
during the Enterprise B's encounter with a strange
energy ribbon called the Nexus, the same space-time phenomenon
causes problems for another Starship Enterprise. Captain
Picard of the Enterprise D must prevent an amoral scientist,
Dr Soren, from wiping out millions of sentient beings in his
quest to enter the Nexus...
"Time is the fire in which we burn," proclaims Malcolm McDowell
as Dr Soren. Here's another time-related musing: every time
I watch this film, my opinion of it swings like a pendulum.
When I first saw Generations at the cinema, I was disappointed.
The trailer had been cut together in such a way as to suggest
that Kirk (William Shatner) would meet the whole of the 24th-century
crew, and consequently I felt let down when he only encountered
Picard (Patrick Stewart).
the destruction of the original Enterprise in Star
Trek III and the decommissioning of its successor
Trek VI, nor was I too pleased to see another
starship being written off, even though the special effects
were (and still are) truly awesome. Having said that, the
space battle with the Klingon sisters Lursa and B'Etor (Barbara
March and Gwynyth Walsh) seemed to be over as soon as it had
of all, the activation of Data's (Brent Spiner) emotion chip,
and all the overacting that entailed, was a big mistake.
Later, when I watched the film on VHS, my expectations had
been lowered, so I was able to enjoy the good bits for what
they were, rather than getting too irritated by what the movie
wasn't. Now that I knew Kirk wasn't going to reappear until
near the end of the film, I was able to get on with enjoying
the scenes with the Next Generation crew... barring
that dratted emotion chip and the unfunny "dunking in the
ocean" scene, naturally. This, I felt, was a visually exciting
movie, with lots of great set pieces: the christening and
subsequent devastation of the Enterprise B; the impressive
Stellar Cartography room; and, of course, the crash-landing.
the movie again on double-disc DVD, I find its visual impact
is all the more appealing. However, some old bugbears have
reared their ugly heads again.
couldn't better use have been made of Kirk? I realise there
were probably concerns that Shatner might overshadow the new
cast (well, new to the movies anyway). But if he had
reappeared earlier on in the story, he could actually have
been a device for introducing the Enterprise D crew
to uninitiated members of the audience, since the 24th-century
setting would be just as new to him. A golden opportunity
was missed by not having Kirk meet Worf (Michael Dorn) - how
would he have reacted to the presence of a Klingon in Starfleet?
Surely that would have been preferable to the potentially
confusing (and unfunny - Geordi is right when he says, "Not
funny!") holodeck scene that brings us into the 24th century.
only does Data's emotion chip lead to some truly embarrassing
overacting by Brent Spiner, it also reveals a major double
standard in Picard. When Data's emotions get the better of
him, the captain refuses to relieve him of duty, declaring
that the android must learn to live with his feelings whilst
continuing to perform his job. This from the man who, earlier
on in the film, abandoned his own duties to wallow in grief
over the death of his family.
Perhaps Picard's sombre mood explains why no one dares to
switch any lights on aboard the Enterprise D! The constant
near-darkness may be atmospheric, but it is also very distracting.
I just keep wondering how the crew can work in such conditions.
Maybe the former television set couldn't stand up to scrutiny
on the big screen, and the low lighting helped to obscure
I have now come to terms with the premature destruction of
this starship, and I accept that it is a great excuse for
some jaw-dropping special effects. It also lends extra drama
to the subsequent film, First Contact, because when
the captain plans to destroy the Enterprise E, it seems
only too likely, given the movie series' track record, that
he will go through with it!
2 contains more than two and a half hours of special features,
uncovering many of the secrets behind the making of the movie,
including the saucer crash sequence and the Stellar Cartography
set. There's also a tribute to Matt Jeffries, the legendary
set designer for the original series - but surely this extra
would have been more at home in one of the TOS box
There are a few deleted scenes as well, including the original
showdown between Kirk and Soren, though these clips are of
disappointingly poor quality. How come there is surviving
footage of the making of these deleted scenes, yet
all that remains of the scenes themselves are what appear
to be multi-generation video recordings? In fairness to the
director and producers, though, they were absolutely right
to remove these scenes - Kirk's pre-credit skydive, more from
the holodeck (did I mention this scene isn't funny?) - and
to re-shoot the ending.
where is the scene that was obviously cut from the middle
of the movie, in which La Forge (LeVar Burton) is tortured
by Soren? Afterwards, Dr Crusher (Gates McFadden) informs
the engineer that she has "removed the nanoprobes". What nanoprobes?
Presumably they were used by Soren to extract information.
I have whinged, but despite its flaws Star Trek: Generations
remains a very enjoyable film. Though not of the same standard
as the subsequent First Contact, it has a slight edge
over Insurrection - and it wipes the floor with Nemesis.
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