William Shatner Apologizes For Star Trek V Ending

William Shatner is joining up with Herny Winkler for a new NBC series Better Late Than Never, but [...]

Star Trek V

William Shatner is joining up with Herny Winkler for a new NBC series Better Late Than Never, but there are some fans who still shiver when Shatner's Star Trek opus The Final Frontier comes up in conversation.

In a sit-down with Entertainment Weekly, Shatner took a minute to apologize for that, and specifically for how it ended.

"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. [Laughs.] 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."

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was released in 1989, and was Shatner's Star Trek directorial effort following the last two films that were directed by Leonard Nimoy. The film encountered a variety of issues during production, including numerous rewrites to make the cast (including Nimoy and DeForest Kelley) and Paramount Pictures happy. Even after the script was approved, the film still had to deal with significant budget cuts throughout, which hamstrung Shatner's planned ending.

In the original script, Shatner wanted six of the alien rock creatures to populate the screen, but was forced to use just one, and even then he had to pull back on the effects for that one creature, resulting in an ending that was divisive anyway and truly unsatisfying for most.

Shatner and Winkler's new show Better Late Than Never premieres on NBC August 23rd.