We choose the danger this week as we look at the film that gave new life to the Star Trek film franchise: “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”!
New York Times bestselling author David Mack returns to the show to discuss the unfairly maligned sequel to “Wrath of Khan” and why it deserves more respect. After returning to Earth from Genesis, Kirk feels deeply the loss of his friend Captain Spock. But when Spock’s father Sarek requests that Spock’s body be recovered, Kirk and his crew will risk their careers, their reputations, and their lives to see their friend become whole once more!
As the third film in the franchise, “The Search for Spock” is often lumped in with the “odd Trek films are bad” cliché, but that viewpoint overlooks both the important contributions the film makes to Trek’s future and the skill and care with which it was created. The Klingons that fans would come to know and love have their origins here, as does the Klingon language, many original ship and tech designs, and the deep mysticism of the Vulcan culture. Also, the nuance and confidence of first-time director Nimoy is impressive, and for better or for worse, the legend of Kirk as a head-strong maverick originates with this film. On this episode, we talk about Kirk’s festering pain over Spock’s death, the sky-high stakes of the film, the film’s canny use of its ensemble, the way STIII evolved during its development, religious and mythological overtones, and losing everything to help a friend.
We also discuss how real-world tragedy can affect writing, planning the death of a book series, being a Star Trek Sherpa, “fixing” STIII, the Vulcan Kennedys, accidental brain shredding, the menace of Christopher Lloyd, greasy dog puppets, wanting more Mark Lenard, shake-and-bake planets, getting pranked by God, and Frank Force as “Nacluv”!
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