Star Trek is back in a big way, with a fresh TV series set to air later this month on Netflix and more big-screen Trek adventures in the works following last year’s Star Trek: Beyond. How good they’ll be remains to be seen, but in the meantime we have one question: which of the existing films in the franchise is the best? And which is the worst?
I go all the way back to 1979 to chart the history of Star Trek on the big screen and count down to my very favourite…
13. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
There are many egregious faults here: the cynical nature of the Kirk ‘death’ scene, the lack of drama surrounding the big Harrison/Khan reveal and, of course, the notorious Carol Marcus underwear shot. But what grates most of all is the execrable retooling of Wrath of Khan’s high notes to suit characters we’ve barely got to know. Don’t have Spock yelling “Khan!” Just don’t.
12. Star Trek Nemesis (2002)
The Next Generation goes out with a whimper thanks to a nonsensical cloning plot and a director in Stuart Baird who knows nothing about Trek (he thought Geordi was an alien). Throw in a horrible mind rape B-story for Troi and a death scene for Data that will make you wonder whether your emotion chip is switched on – and you really do have the fag end of the Next Gen franchise.
11. Star Trek Insurrection (1998)
“Saddle up, lock and load”. Massive cringe. Yes, it’s another Next Gen attempt to turn a cerebral, philosophising TV show into an action movie. They got away with it in First Contact (thanks to some effective set-piece stunts), but not here. Picard goes rogue for all of two minutes, while Riker saves the ship with what looks like a joystick from a Commodore 64. You know you’re in trouble when the highlight of the whole movie is Troi and Crusher talking about how their boobs have firmed up thanks to a planet of eternal youth.