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Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments

Reviewed by Beth Hannan Rimmels

Retrospectives always have two potential problems — the format for introducing the clips and the actual clips chosen. Ultimate Trek: Star Trek’s Greatest Moments has some fabulous clips put together really well. Unfortunately, the framing sequences are awful.

UltimateTrekS.jpg (15669 bytes)

Gould, Alexander, Johnston

Jason Alexander is the host, and he does a wonderful impersonation of the immortal James T. Kirk throughout the show. But the excuse for the impression is weak: Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy have traveled back to 1999 California to prevent a glitch that ceases all Star Trek broadcasts forever, wiping out their future. The glitch is supposedly tied to the Y2K bug and the real-life surveys being done at http://www.startrek.com to determine the greatest Star Trek episode of all time. This provides an excuse for the characters to race around LA for the silliest setups to introduce the categories being saluted. I agree that just having a bunch of talking heads can be boring, but this was not an improvement. Dana Gould and Jay Johnston, who portray Spock and McCoy, do decent enough impressions, but the situations are so absurd that nothing looks good.

If you can ignore that, the actual scenes are a delight. While someone’s favorite sequence is sure to be overlooked — between four series and nine films, there’s too much material — the ones shown do give a good overview Star Trek. Better yet, it can remind lapsed fans like myself of the excitement Star Trek can arouse when done well.

The producers obviously had fun as well. Segments include "Sexiest Moments," "Most Beautiful Guest Stars," "Those Last Minute Heroics" and more. My only quibble is that most of the material in "Best Dialogue and One Liners" is less one liners than catch phrases. Can anyone really argue that "Make it so," "Engage," "Beam me up, Scotty," or "Energize" qualify as one liners? Still, a string of McCoy’s "Dammit Jim, I’m doctor not a [fill in the blank]" are funny all over again.

Near the end, the special pays tribute to DeForest Kelley, who died June 11 of this year. Besides some of his most beloved ST scenes, they also show a few of his pre-ST roles opposite Bette Davis and Henry Fonda. It’s a particularly well-done segment.

Also hysterical are ST-related clips from other shows such as Frasier, Saturday Night Live and Dilbert. The Dilbert sequence in particular is very funny and features the voice of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine. And the bloopers on this special are new, never-before-seen ones, so that’s a plus.

Since UPN wants you to vote on the Internet during the commercial breaks, use the silly framing sequences for soda runs and bathroom breaks, but don’t miss the special if you’re a Trek fan. The clips are worth some silliness.

Rating: B-

Ultimate Trek: Star Trek’s Greatest Moments airs 8 p.m. ET/PT Dec. 1 on UPN. Check local listings for the station near you.


Review 1999 Beth Hannan Rimmels. Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments 1999 UPN.  Star Trek 1996-2000 Paramount. Accompanying photo 1999 Michael Yarish/UPN.









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