Primitive Culture 59: A Safe Pair of Hands? / by Trek fm

Stuart Baird and Star Trek: Nemesis.


Running Time: 1 hour 25 minutes 33 seconds
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The lowest-grossing of the Star Trek films, 2002’s outing by The Next Generation crew—Star Trek: Nemesis—was the first installment to open below number one at the box office. Losing out on the top spot to the Jennifer Lopez rom-com Maid in Manhattan may seem bad, the fourth TNG trip to the cinema performed so poorly that it proved to be their last. In fact, it killed off Star Trek’s silver screen prospects for more than half a decade.

For years, many fans have blamed the failures of Nemesis—both commercially and critically—on its director, Stuart Baird. Better known for his work as an Academy Award-winning editor than for his three less lauded directorial outings, Baird apparently had minimal interest in the Star Trek franchise. This is said to have been true both before and, perhaps more surprisingly, during the making of the film. But is it fair to lay all the blame squarely at the feet of its director?

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Dr. Chris Nunn, a lecturer in film at the University of Greenwich in London, to take a fresh look at Nemesis in relation to Baird’s two other Hollywood movies: Executive Decision and U.S. Marshals. Will an examination of the director’s previous work change the longstanding view among Star Trek fans that Braid broke the odd-numbered curse for all the wrong reasons? Is it right to blame one man for a broth that had plenty of cooks around to spoil it? And, most importantly, is Nemesis really as bad as it’s cracked up to be?


The Presence of Time (00:01:25)
New Beginnings (00:12:16)
Baird to the Bridge (00:22:26)
Khan Revisited (00:37:20) Post-Nemesis (00:58:20)
Meanwhile, in a Parallel Universe … (01:05:00)


Duncan Barrett


Chris Nunn


Duncan Barrett (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Tony Black (Associate Producer) Clara Cook (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)