Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) - Illustrated Reference

Star Trek: Insurrection was directed by Jonathan Frakes and premiered on December 11th 1998. Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Donna Murphy, Anthony Zerbe and F. Murray Abraham. Screenplay by Michael Piller. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. 103mins.

Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise travel to the planet of the Ba’ku, they discover that metaphasic radiation from the planet’s rings has regenerative properties making the Ba’ku practically immortal, and that an alien race called the Son’a have teamed up with Federation forces to take over the planet.

After the success of Star Trek First Contact (1996) Jonathan Frakes was given the next Star Trek adventure to direct too. After the darkness of the previous film screenwriter Michael Piller had the idea for a lighter film, the story - Picard and the crew find the fountain of youth.

Patrick Stewart (1940-) / Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Born in Yorkshire, England, Patrick Stewart has played Picard in 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and the films Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek First Contact (1996), Star Trek Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek Nemesis (2002).

Jonathan Frakes (1952-) / Commander William T. Riker

Born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Jonathan Frakes has played Riker in 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and the films Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek First Contact (1996), Star Trek Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek Nemesis (2002).

Brent Spiner (1949-) / Lt.Commander Data

Born in Houston, Texas, Brent Spiner has played Data in 178 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and the films Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek First Contact (1996), Star Trek Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek Nemesis (2002).

Ru'afo: You will return my men or this alliance will end with the destruction of your ship.

F. Murray Abraham (1939-) / Ru’afo

Ru'afo is the leader of the Son’a, a race descended from the Ba’ku. In alliance with Federation Admiral Dougherty they plan to move the Ba’ku from their planet so they could scoop up all the metaphasic radiation from the planets rings rendering the planet uninhabitable.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, F. Murray Abraham won a Best Actor Oscar playing Antonio Salieri in the movie Amadeus (1984). His films include - Scarface (1983 as Omar Suarez), The Name of the Rose (1986 as Bernardo Gui), An Innocent Man (1989), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Mobsters (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), Mimic (1997), 13 Ghosts (2001) and The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004).

Donna Murphy (1959-) / Anij

Anij is a 300 year old Ba’ku female who looks about 35 thanks to the planet’s fountain of youth elements.

Born in Corona, New York, Donna Murphy's films include - Jade (1995), The Astronaut's Wife (1999), Spider-Man 2 (2004), World Trade Center (2006), The Fountain (2006), Tangled (2010) and The Bourne Legacy (2012).

Anthony Zerbe (1936-) / Admiral Matthew Dougherty

Admiral Dougherty teams up with Ru’afo to covertly relocate the Ba’ku from their planet, so they can harvest all the rejuvenating radiation from the planets rings.

Born in Long Beach, California, Anthony Zerbe's films include - Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Omega Man (1971 as Matthias), Farewell My Lovely (1975), Rooster Cogburn (1977), The Dead Zone (1983), Licence to Kill (1989 as Milton Krest), See No Evil Hear no Evil (1989), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003).

Gregg Henry (1952-) / Gallatin

Gallatin is Ru’afo’s friend and second in command of the Son’a.

Born in Lakewood, California, Gregg Henry's films include - Body Double (1984), Raising Cain (1992), Payback (1999), Femme Fatale (2002), Slither (2006), United 93, The Black Dahlia (2006) and Super (2010).

Admiral Dougherty: Jean-Luc, we're only moving 600 people.
Captain Picard: How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong? Hmm? A thousand, fifty thousand, a million? How many people does it take, Admiral?

The planet of the Ba'ku was first settled in 2066 by a group of about 600 Ba'ku, they were fleeing from their homeworld because they feared self-annihilation.

The metaphasic radiation from the planet's rings allowed the inhabitants to live extended life spans.

Their simpler, quieter way of life eventually prompted some of the bored younger Ba'ku to turn against their elders, and an attempt was made to take over the settlement. When they failed, they were exiled from the planet and eventually became the Son'a.

An early story development that thankfully wasn’t taken seriously was that the Ba’ku were a race of children.

In the film Ru’afo dies when the Collector explodes around him, in the original planned ending Ru’afo falls into the planets ring system, the radiation making him younger and younger, regressing to childhood.

Deanna Troi: Have you noticed how your boobs have firmed up?

The rejuvenating properties of the metaphasic radiation has an effect on the Enterprise crew - Troi and Riker get frisky, Worf gets a huge pimple on his nose, Geordi no longer needs implants to see properly and Picard starts to dance the mambo.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the role of Ru'afo and Gene Hackman was considered for the role of Admiral Dougherty.

Star Trek Insurrection had a $22m opening weekend, grossing a total of $70m in the US and $112m worldwide, which was less than the previous film, Star Trek First Contact, but still a respectable box office gross.

Ru'afo: I'm going to launch the injector. In six hours every living thing in this system will be dead or dying.

The 9th Star Trek movie is an enjoyable though weak entry in the series, the story might have made a decent two-part episode of the TV series, there is no threat to Earth, the Federation or the Galaxy. Picard wants to stop the forceful relocation of 600 Ba’ku from a planet which wasn’t even theirs to begin with.

Captain Picard and the intrepid crew of the Enterprise will return for one last adventure in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

The Critics Wrote –

"The 60's science-fiction series has successfully survived a generational turnover and made a relatively smooth transition from video into films. If Star Trek: Insurrection, the latest installment, is little more than a glorified television episode, it still has all the ingredients that have made it a perennial. Insurrection is an appealing millennial throwback to the hippie dream that is part and parcel of Star Trek's utopian ethos." (New York Times)

“Fans young and old are definitely going to rally around the latest outing, a tight, highly entertaining film... Fun for most folks, heaven for Trekkies. " (San Francisco Chronicle)

"It just could be that Frakes is the best director the Star Trek movies have ever had... May this generation of Star Trek actors continue to live long and prosper. If this movie is any indication, the audience will certainly make it so. " (San Francisco Examiner)

“Aimed primarily at an audience of faithful fans. Latest entry is a distinct comedown after its immediate predecessor, the smashingly exciting Star Trek: First Contact, which marked the feature helming debut of series regular Jonathan Frakes.

Even though Frakes is back, Star Trek: Insurrection plays less like a stand-alone sci-fi adventure than like an expanded episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Still, new item strikes a deft balance of predictable heroics and quirky humor to ensure respectable if not spectacular theatrical biz." (Variety)

"It's old-fashioned sci-fi in the best sense of the word. With its cheesy-looking sets and not-so-special special effects, the film may be less spectacular than "Armageddon" and less stylish than "Alien," but it does what the doctor – make that Dr. "Bones" McCoy – ordered." (Washington Post)

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Comments 8 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Haven't seen this, but I want to comment on Anthony Zerbe. He is a wonderful actor who has never given a bad performance. He is one of only a couple of actors who played multiple villains on the Mission:Impossible TV series-a favourite show of mine. Usually guest stars only appeared once-he appeared 5 times. My favourite big screen movie of his is typically in the murder mystery vein: They Call Me. Mister Tibbs!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for commenting Flora. Zerbe is a great character actor, I think the first time I noticed him was as Matthias, a disfigured survivor of germ warfare in The Omega Man, a favourite movie of mine.

I have all the Mission Impossible episodes on one of my drives but I haven't got round to watching them yet. The Man from UNCLE too.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

As your Star Trek Illustrated Series hubs have reached The Next Generation movies....I am finding myself wondering if I have actually seen the movies featuring Picard's crew. Looking at the photos you have attached, they do not like familiar at all. Like I have no memory of F. Murray Abraham being in a Star Trek movie. So either I have not seen them or my movie memory is drawing blanks when thinking about these movies. In any case your hubs have me thinking I need to watch all the Next Generation movies again.

I agree with Flora...Anthony Zerbe is a great character actor....he was in the Best Picture Winner of 1971....Omega Man...his role scared the crap out of me when I was younger. I have also enjoyed the work of Gregg Henry. As for the reviews....I do not think Franks is the best director of Star Trek....I think Wise is the most accomplished director(Two Oscars)...and Nimoy got Star Trek to all movie fans not just Star Trek fans....so I would rank Franks #3. Thanks for putting together another winning hub.....and thanks for making me doubt my movie brain....lol. Voted up and awesome.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Hoho in my alternate Oscars universe Anthony Zerbe won Best Supporting Actor for playing an albino mutant in the Omega Man.

F.Murray Abraham said in an interview that he really enjoyed playing the villain in Star Trek and had a great time on the film. He was a good villain but not on a par with Khan or Kruge. He screams in frustration at one point in the film, was it the script, the make-up, the plot, a fluffed line? Not sure. :)

Thanks Cogerson, your comments are always appreciated.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Wish I could afford Picard's space yacht or at least lease it...I liked the movie and saw it many times on my VHS.;)


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for commenting Mentalist. I bought the film on blu-ray, very good quality. The screenshots though are from my old DVD, which is still very watchable. I'm just a little spoilt by blu-ray that's all. :)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Not the worst Trek film but far from the best. This one is a rather disappointing entry in the franchise. They seemed to be trying to recapture the light-heartedness that made "Voyage Home" so popular but it didn't quite work. (Data announcing that he can be used as a floatation device seemes to be a desperate attempt at levity.) Frakes does a nice job directing but the script lets him down.

F. Murray Abraham is capable of being a great villain, as his oscar-winning performance in "Amadeus" proves. Surprisingly, he makes very little impact here. Ruafo is a very forgettable villain. The supporting cast are mostly talented people (Zerbe, Murphy) but there wasn't much in the way of good material for them to make much of an impression.

It was good to see Riker and Troi get some decent screen time since the ST:TNG films seem stubbornly intent on focusing predominantly on Picard and Data, to the exclusion of the rest of the cast.(Once again, poor Beverly Crusher becomes an afterthought in the script)Worf's big storyline here is to get a pimple.

Donna Murphy made a more convincing romantic interest than woodard did in the last film and they had better screen chemestry. (Picard was being turned into a Kirk-like 'girl-in-every-port' stud at this point.)

I didn't mind that there was no big universe-in-danger storyline, since some of the best ST:TNG stories were small-scale dramas (Darmok, Iner Light, Tapestry) but this one had no emotional center to make up for the lack of action.

Over all, this was like a mediocre two-part episode of ST:TNG. Below overage all the way.

Your hubs, however, are always above average. Keep 'em coming.

Rob


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 5 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Rob, your comment/reviews are a welcome addition to these hubs. I hope you're a fan of Giger's Xenomorph, that's up next.

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