Shatner Looks back at Star Trek V.
From Slash Film via Entertainment Weekly, ((I got the chance to direct a several-million-dollar movie, Star Trek V, and I did not get the help I needed in allocating my budget, so when it came to shooting the ending — needing a good villain and lots of computer graphics — I had run out of money. Sorry about that. I had to use footage that I had already shot — and spit on it a lot. I wanted to give [the audience] earth-breaking granite monsters spewing rocks and fire. Instead, I had a few pebbles in my hand that I threw at the camera. ))
Here's the thing. Shatner will never fully apologize for Star Trek V. Out of all the TOS movies, it has the most flawed concept. Even Gene wanted to do something similar with an early Trek movie script, but realized it would have never worked. (Gene would go out of his way to stop Shatner from doing certain things in the script, but has little power over the movies.) Shatner went all in with “Kirk stands up to God”. Nope, sorry.
Yes, STV was an unfinished movie with a cheap budget, but the script would have never worked. And, I've heard Shatner harp on the Rock Monsters a lot over the years, but that wouldn't have helped the movie at all.
I have to agree with the Slash Film writer. The biggest issue with the movie is Shatner's EGO. The movie clearly goes out of its way to make Kirk look good, and all of his co-workers look foolish. Only Kirk can stand alone against Sybok (His co-stars refused to film it with just Kirk standing alone against Sybok, so they finally stand with him at the end of the scene as an agreement.) Only Kirk can stand alone against God and the Klingons.
It is a bit troubling that Shatner doesn't see the overall flaw of the movie above the cut budget. And, BTW, in order for Shatner to come back for the movies, Paramount had to offer him directing duties in the same way as Nimoy. Talk about ego.
STV is an odd movie to watch. It has some good things about it, but it just feels unfinished and uneven. The concept of searching for God never fully realized. Before DS9, Trek went out of its way to avoid these sort of things. But, Shatner wanted to leave his mark on Trek. Jerry Goldsmith's score is brilliant.