A long-standing mystery, solved at last

Back in the day, there was a phenomenon known as “The Curse of the Odd-Numbered Star Trek Films”.

It was first noticed in the eighties for films starring Jim Kirk and his buddies and labelled so, because fan-opinion (and I concur in this) is that the odd-numbered films were… well, let’s charitably say not as good as the others.

Others would instead go for the words “rubbish” or “terrible” or “so bad I wanted to poke my own eyes out so I would never have to see any more of this”. John Montgomery has even helpfully analysed the IMDb scores, and it does seem to be a valid phenomenon.

So I got to wondering, what could possibly correlate?

Well, let’s look at the first six films.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – not written by Nicholas Meyer
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan – uncredited rewrite by Nicholas Meyer
Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock – not written by Nicholas Meyer
Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home – co-written by Nicholas Meyer
Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier – not written by Nicholas Meyer
Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country – co-written by Nicholas Meyer

Whaddayaknow? It turns out that for all that time, by looking at the films that weren’t so good, we missed the fact that it wasn’t that the odd films were bad that was the important point – it was that the even ones were good.

And they were all written by Nicholas Meyer.

(Sadly, this analysis falls apart on looking at the Next Generation films. Ah well.)

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