Bring Back… Star Trek Review: The Shat Hits the Fan
BRING BACK… STAR TREK, Saturday 9th May, Channel 4, 9:00pm, Alert Me
Justin Lee Collins. A man so polarising it’s a wonder Marmite haven’t collared him for the requisite ‘Face of..’ campaign yet.
No matter your JLC-persuasion, it’s unlikely you’re going to find anyone better suited to man the helm of Channel 4’s Bring Back… series.
His boundless puppy-dog enthusiasm and insatiable drive to harass and stalk his pop-culture peers ensures that regardless of your interest in the subject matter, you’re inevitably going to end the programme as fixated and intrigued by the targeted shows as their die-hard fans.
Well, maybe not this guy.
But you get the picture.
With J.J. Abrams Star Trek cinematic reinvention setting faces to stunned all across the globe, there’s no better time for the notorious shaggy-haired Brumistonian to bother the stars of the original series. While JLC bounds around with all the furry over-excitedness of a Mr Blobby/Lion-O lovechild, it’s the fascinating behind-the-scenes gossip from each and every cast member that ironically bring proceedings back down to earth.
Unlike his other forays into occasionally misguided nostalgia, JLC has a worthy and valid point in positioning the show as life-changing and groundbreaking. An incredibly frank and unguarded interview with Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) will leave your mind spinning with the reminder that only 40 years ago, there had never been a strong, balanced portrayal of an African-American woman on American television. Where other Bring Backs… have the now requisite montages of drugs, drinks and prostitute hell, Star Trek brings us Martin Luthor King, racial equality and Mariah Carey’s spiritual grandfather.
Hilariously for us and undeniably infuriating for those involved, William Shatner remains the illusive, untouchable demigod behind the programme. An unshiftable presence, Shatner serves as the gravitational pull around which the other ‘stars’ revolve and his stubbornness and refusal to participate only amplifies his status as Diva and undeniable relevance to the show’s success. His overinflated ego may be as misguided as his legendary toupees, but the cast’s individual recollections of his dictatorial control place him close to Kim Jong-Il in terms or moral douchery – able to condemn lives and careers with nothing but a sneer, arched eyebrow and quiet ‘can I have a word?’ with the director of the day.
Bring Back… Star Trek may not provide the most spectacular ending ‘reunion’ ending yet seen, but that’s fitting considering that with Star Trek it’s not about the destination. Watching JLC boldly go and explore a Final Frontier consisting of actors that have had the required time and space to appreciate the series with the genuine tenderness of its fans, guarantees this is the funniest, most insightful and best Bring Back… yet.
For Matt’s Trekkie-baiting (but movie-lovin’) critique of this summer’s first great blockbuster, make sure to check out our Star Trek Review. And if you’ve always harboured a bewildering attraction to the Sci-Fi sex, you HAVE to read our Top 10 Confusing Sci-Fi Crushes (guaranteed to arouse, or, possibly, spark stomach reflux).