Monday, February 15, 2010

ST:TMP first viewing

Given that I missed Star Trek: The Motion Picture at the theater, when did I actually see it for the first time?

As far as I can tell, it was on 8 October 1982. Here's a portion of my diary entry: "Today I went to Video Warehouse to pick up a VCR and 4 movies. My selections were Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Wars, Logan's Run and Silent Running. Super Dave came over at 5:00. We watched Star Trek, Star Wars, and Logan's Run. I watched Star Trek a couple of extra times when Super Dave wasn't here."

Then from 10 October: "Dave and I watched Silent Running this morning which he felt to be a very poor film though I thought it has some very special qualities, not the least of them being the lead actor. We also watched parts of Star Trek again. When Nur came over we watched Logan's Run, then Star Wars, and then Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The latter picture seems to get better with each reviewing, while Star Wars is as endearing as ever."

And from 11 October: "Also today, I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture twice (once in the fast frame, though) and Silent Running a second time."

Note that our family didn't own a VCR until 22 March 1983, so before that date we used to occasionally rent out a VCR (!) to watch movies.

I also eagerly awaited the arrival of ST:TMP on television.

These are clipped from my local newspaper and television directory. My trusty diary indicates that ST:TMP aired on Ottawa television Sunday 20 February 1983 at 9PM. Here is a portion of my diary entry:

"I like it better than the first time I watched it but I still find the movie to be lacking in excitement and coherence, though the latter could be more the fault of the editor than the producer. I also found Shatner's performance in the picture to be much inferior to his portrayal of Admiral Kirk in the second movie."

It aired again on Monday 12 September 1983 from 8PM to 11PM. From my diary: "I still maintain that it is a very slowly paced film and that there are a few awkward moments but for all these flaws it has a basic excitement and interest if you look hard enough for it."

The 20 February 1983 premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a big draw on Ottawa television, bested only by the last episode of M*A*S*H. I'm not clear on the precise ratings period to which the numbers in the article apply.

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