DarenDoc's Slightly Nifty Musings Inc.

The Cinefantastique that never was…

by on Apr.03, 2009, under Collecting, Star Trek

Back when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out, there was intended to be a special double issue of the great “Cinefantastique” magazine highlighting this release, devoting stories to the development of Phase II, the cancelling of the Paramount TV network, the other two aborted Movie Projects, and finally, the development of Trek TMP…  including script, visual effects, actors… the whole she-bang.


Well… for some reason, and I never have been able to determine exactly why…  That issue never surfaced… and all the material was sent to the four winds… usually to wind up with their creators.  Much like V’Ger.

The intended cover was designed to be a dramatic pose of the new starship Enterprise blasting out of the convines of a standard TV set, to boldly go beyond…  

The artist had the original painting for years… and a couple of years ago, he put it up for sale.

And that’s where I came in.

Seeing that I already had a small collection of original Star Trek artwork… in prints and paintings (you already know of one of them)… I decided that this painting should come and live with me.

So I got it.

And here it is:





The Cinefantastique Cover that never was...

The Cinefantastique Cover that never was...


10 comments for this entry:
  1. avatar

    Ah way cool dude! I still have all my old issues, and it is sO cool to see this “undiscovered” artwork, so thanks mucho for sharin’ it! 😀


  2. avatar
    L.M. Oliver

    For an entire generation, people have experienced “Star Trek” the only way it’s been possible – on the TV screen. But if you’ve only seen it this way, you haven’t seen it at all.

  3. avatar

    Ha ha… L.M… good call back to the Star Wars Special Editions!

  4. avatar

    I wonder if the CF editors were so let down by the movie when it did come out that they felt it wasn’t worth a special issue? Whatever the reason it’s too bad, I would have it in my collection for sure. They did such awesome stuff!

    Glad you discovered the cover art and shared it with us!

  5. avatar

    Daren–Hi… and this is intriguing stuff; I never knew about an abandoned CFQ issue. Any idea who the writers involved were, that might still have the unpub’ed articles?

  6. avatar

    I always assumed that some of the stuff that didn’t run in that STTMP issue of Cinefantastique ened up in those James Van Hise publications, like “Star Trek: The Lost Years” and “The Making of the Trek Films”. I think Ed Gross wrote a lot of those books, and I think he was writing for Cinefantastique back then, wasn’t he …?

    Also, I am super-envious of you owning that painting, Daren. I think Cinefantastique offered that as a poster very briefly, although I could be delusional on that count. I’ve had to settle for a copy of that STTMP teaser poster, where the Enterprise is similarly posed, with cast photos and credits beneath – which is happily hanging right in front of me.

  7. avatar

    Well, I’m also a big fan of the STTMP teaser poster… it was painted by sci fi illustrator extraordinaire John Berkey (who also painted the “Force of Life” painting that hangs in my living room… it’s a canvas print, not the original)… I’ve always loved it… I wish that someone would do a full size canvas giclee of the TMP teaser art…

  8. avatar
    Pierre Fontaine

    I always assumed the ST:TMP article was never published because Paramount threatened CFQ legally. Firstly, PocketBooks was releasing their own “Making Of” book and probably thought that CFQ’s exhaustive article would have cut into their publishing plans. As a result, Paramount probably refused to release images for the article and if you ever read the Phase II book, there was much turmoil during all aspects of production that would have made the beginnings of a new Trek movie franchise look bad.

    BTW, I recently got a look at the Christie’s Trek catalogs and found that one of the lots for sale was an enormous amount of Phase II material. I wonder who purchased those items and where that material is now. I’d dearly love to see more of the Phase II development process, even if the Phase II book that was published a few years back was pretty exhaustive in its research. I’ve seen photos of the Phase II bridge in various publications but I know that there must be tons more out there someplace!

    Great blog!

  9. avatar

    Pierre, I don’t know who bought that lot from the Christie’s auction that you referred to, but I do know that James Cawley purchased a good amount of Phase II material from somewhere. Specifically some of the costumes, but he may well have a lot more.

  10. avatar
    Cinefantastique Online

    Although I wasn’t working with CFQ at the time, I don’t think legal threats had anything to do with the non-publication of their ST:TMP issue. After all, the magazine went on to do cover stories on all the subsequent films.

    Probably the problem came down to scheduling. CFQ had double issues planned for THE BLACK HOLE and STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, both of which came out in December of 1979. The BLACK HOLE issue made it to the stands in time, but it would have been near impossible to get a second double issue out before the TREK film hit theatres. For years aftewards, the magazine promised that the ST:TMP material would show up as a “retrospective,” presumably in an issue about a new TREK film. But I imagine the writer got tired of waiting and took his material elsewhere.

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