Exclusive Clip: William Shatner & Nicholas Meyer On ‘Star Trek II’ From ‘Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982’ Docuseries

Originally started as a crowdfunded documentary in 2021, The Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982 is now a new four-part docuseries debuting this Saturday on The CW. TrekMovie has an exclusive clip and more info.

Shatner, Meyer, and more on the importance Wrath of Khan from 1982 doc

1982 was a big year for geeky movies. Of course, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was part of that great year. In the following clip from The Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982, star William Shatner puts the movie in perspective relative to 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, while Nicholas Meyer talks about how he approached the film without worrying about how it would work for the fans. The clip also features high-profile fans talking about the importance of the film.

And that is just part of the docuseries coverage for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It’s one of the most celebrated and discussed films from the franchise, and Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982 writer/producer Mark Altman tells TrekMovie they were thrilled to find new details it for the docuseries:

1982 is an absolutely remarkable year ,and it’s one I’m delighted to celebrate in our new series, Greatest Geek Year Ever. And no discussion of 1982 is complete without talking about June 4, 1982, the day Poltergeist and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan came out in theaters. Obviously, in the case of Khan, this is a film that has been talked about and analyzed for four decades so finding something new to say was a challenge, but I’m thrilled to say we were able to uncover some really juicy nuggets about the film I never heard before and delighted that we had so many great people onboard to discuss it, ranging from William Shatner himself to director Nicholas Meyer to producer Robert Sallin to unit publicist Eddie Egan and super fans including Independence Day producer Dean Devlin, Legends of Tomorrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim and Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn, among others.

While Star Trek II is important, it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 1982. As noted by Altman, it was a big year for Shatner and geeky movies in general:

Of course, this isn’t simply a Star Trek documentary by any means, so it was great to have the chance to talk to Bill about his role in Airplane II: The Sequel and the season premiere of T.J. Hooker as well. We wanted to include Visiting Hours in the horror segment as well, but to his credit, Bill didn’t remember anything about it so we focused instead of films like Friday The 13th Part Three 3-D, Paul Schrader’s Cat People, Forbidden World, and Halloween II: Season Of The Witch, which finally gets its due among others.

Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982 debuts Saturday

There is much more from 1982 geek cinema covered in the doc, which features stars, directors, writers, producers, and pop culture historians sharing their insights about legendary films like E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, Blade Runner, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Star Poltergeist, Creepshow, The Dark Crystal, Tron, Conan The Barbarian, The Road Warrior, and more. It even finds time to explore cult movies like Megaforce. 

In the following preview, film critic and historian (and one of the producers of Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982) Scott Mantz puts 1982 into perspective in movie history.

Greatest Geek Year Ever: 1982 debuts on The CW this Saturday, July 8th at 8 PM and repeats on Tuesday, July 11th and airs every Saturday all July long. It is also available on the free CW app. For more info visit cwtv.com.

Find more Star Trek documentary coverage on TrekMovie.com.

Notify me of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What’s the greatest geek year SINCE 1982?

1984 may be the greatest movie year ever…..Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Star Trek III, Karate Kid, The Last Starfighter, Beverly Hills Cop, Police Academy, Sixteen Candles, The Terminator, Johnny Dangerously, Footloose, Splash and The Natural to name a few.

Temple of Doom, Tarzan, 2010

’89, most def.

Yeah, I was thinking of 89 too Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Licence To Kill, Star Trek 5, Ghostbusters 2 and probably several more I forgot.

LETHAL WEAPON 2 and HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY and KARATE KID 3, plus a slew of underwater pics including LEVIATHAN and THE ABU-ABYSS.

But 82 has got an endless slew of pics, even smallfry that are memorable, like ELECTRIC DREAMS, which I recently re-saw for the first time in decades (early Virginia Madsen, this plus CREATOR, wow! Before the platinumizing of her hair, she was seriously adorable.)

And for me, WRONG IS RIGHT, which is a mess of a movie but that hasn’t stopped me from watching it at least 30 times … and the politics of the thing keep getting more and more real-world accurate.) Might be the only time Robert Conrad was in a feature film comedy, and to top it off, he was used correctly. If anybody had seen this pic, he might have had a sub-career competing with (or acting against) Leslie Nielsen in Zuckerpics.

As long as we’re talking ancient history … did I mention that I found and acquired the official METEOR (1979) waste basket at a 2ndhand store? Barely a dent in it (I guess because the meteor was diverted.)

it’s a pity that you don’t find such lesser known movies on streaming services. I’m always looking from stuff of that era which I don’t know.

WRONG IS RIGHT is actually on Amazon right now and looks better than ever before. And ELECTRIC DREAMS is streaming someplace.

Oh, and KING OF COMEDY just turned up on P+ … the rat-bast^^^s put it up a week after I broke down and bought a new copy of the blu-ray. Timing is everything. Now why can’t they do this with LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, which is actually a Paramount film, which hasn’t had a physical media release above VHS level since a panandscan laserdisc 30-40 years ago?


You should ask: what’s the greatest geek DECADE since the 1980’s… ;-)
Hmmm… The 1970’s?

movie-wise, I’d guess 1966-1975 for best decade of movies. You’ve got corny stuff like FANTASTIC VOYAGE, but you’ve got old-school spectacle like WHERE EAGLES DARE, plus avant-garde both domestic and international, and some of the best cop flicks ever. Nearly all of the westerns are end-of-era or ‘western elements’ which are my faves, like BITE THE BULLET and THE PROFESSIONALS, plus WILL PENNY and THE WILD BUNCH. Man, I could go for 10 paragraphs on that stretch, e-zy.

Oh, and ZARDOZ (‘I have seen the future and it doesn’t work’ isn’t just the title of my unpublished and unwritten autobiography, it is the movie’s tagline and for me ranks way up there with ‘the warmest place to hide is man’ from THE THING and a CLOSE ENCOUNTERS spoof called CARNAL ENCOUNTERS which had on it’s poster ‘we do not sleep alone.’)

maybe the 90s? pretty much starts with T2 (or Total Recall in 90) ends with The Matrix, and inbetween the likes of Trek VI, Batman Returns, Basic Instinct, Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart, Heat, Goldeneye, Mission Impossible, ID4, First Contact, MiB, Face/Off, Starship Troopers, LA Confidential, Titanic, Blade, Dark City, XFiles, FightClub etc

The Phantom Menace

No fair, I was not alive yet

Me neither until 1977. 😉 Nevertheless I would have liked to live those times as a teenager. Starting with 2001 in cinema 1968 and then all those movies and series in the 70s and those in the 80s which I didn’t or couldn’t see as a child.

I saw 2001 on its first-run when I was 7-1/2, and that may have ruined me for movies going forward! It remains the movie I have seen the most times in theaters by far (with WESTWORLD a distant second at 7 or 8 views), even though the last time was 20 years back and only a 35mm print. I’ve talked to various people my age about it, and everybody seems to have had a different take. The concept artist Steve Burg actually went home afterward and spent days drawing out images from the movie, which helped him understand it. I had the more common experience of loving the first two-thirds and melting down over the last section, being a total NASA kid who was totally unprepared for ‘the ultimate trip.’

I kind of wish I had seen 2001 first as a teen — I think I would have appreciated it more, while still being overwhelmed by the credibility and abundance of detail. Even though I was much more critical by then, I think that first impression would have differed significantly for me, assuming I could have seen it in similar conditions (was in L.A. on a vacation and talked my mom into seeing it at what I guess must have been the Cinerama Dome — all I really remember is that the screen was enormous to the point of enveloping my field of view.)

My main memories of childhood are all movie-related (except for Little League, still the defining experience of my life, where I acquired all my cynicism after seeing how unfair life could be once the parent of a guy on the second place team started umpiring all of our games and calling us out on strikes from pitches that bounced on home plate), from GOLDFINGER before i turned 4 to PATTON and THE WIND AND THE LION showing me spectacle and character could live together well (probably owing to Jerry Goldsmith, my alltime fave composer.)

I think the last time a movie totally astonished me was CLOSE ENCOUNTERS … I remember on the drive home opening night (after 2hours of waiting to see it) studying how colors from traffic lights ‘lensed’ on raindrops hitting the windshield, it was literally eye-opening. I’m guessing younger folks probably had a similar experience with the first JURASSIC, but I admit that left me cold (much preferred the novel … oddly enough I liked the second film more, though the source novel there was perhaps Crichton’s worst.)

I don’t there has been one

Depends on what a person prefers. The year the LEGO movie came out was the best year for movies in my opinion

Well if you take geek to mean anyone passionate about something, particularly as a for genre fans and film geeks generally, then 1999 was probably one of the greatest years for cinema period – not only do you have the return of Star Wars, but you’ve got The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, Galaxy Quest, The Iron Giant, The Mummy, Being John Malkovich, Princess Mononoke, Blair Witch Project, Office Space, Election, Boondock Saints… American cinema truly ended the first century of film on a high.

What a great time it was to be a teenager then. Fantastic.

Mark Altman has introduced me to a whole new world of film and television. Thanks to him, I’ve become a fan of films like Battle Beyond The Stars, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Time After Time, Rollerball, This Island Earth, and so many more.

I watch Space:1999, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Wiseguy on Peacock. And spent an entire summer reading the fifty year mission.

I can’t wait to see this documentary!

I was 19 when BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS came out, so I was doing some looking-down-on-it that first viewing, plus a lot of ‘hey that music is ripped from Jerry Goldsmith’s PATTON and THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY and TMP.’ But it really stuck with me, especially a couple of the performances by old hands, and so I caught it again at a second-run theater, I think it was the Almaden Twin on a Saturday night that Fall. I don’t know what the main feature was, but I did notice that after it ended, the theater filled up. Thought that was kinda weird, but then when BATTLE started, it was like … well, I’ve never been to ROCKY HORROR, but it must be similar. There were guys up front who would stand and wave their hats and cheer whenever George Peppard came on screen! Definitely one of my top couple dozen moviegoing experiences, with emphasis on experience.

Can’t say the same about BUCKAROO. Was very hyped pre-releae, thought Weller would be great, , but read the novelization and that hyped me more. Had a lot that the movie didn’t include, so the flick just didn’t click with me at all (though I like the end credits a lot and the shot of the ship crashing out of the warehouse.) I’ve tried watching it at least fifteen times since and I never get all the way through it, though I always enjoy the jet car stuff up front. Somehow the movie derails when Ellen Barkin shows up, but it does have one of the greatest ensemble casts — I just wish they had more to do! W. D. Richter is a great writer, maybe not such a great director (he wrote my second-favorite love story — the 1978 BODY SNATCHERS remake — and had a hand in several other good films as screnwriter or script doctor.)

I finished a 3rd rewatch of Space 1999 a few weeks ago. It was my 2nd rewatch of Space 1999 on Bluy-ray. Have you seen it in HD? Stunning. A pity that TOS couldn’t be remastered that way too.

Funny, I actually watched about 10min of a 1999 s2 ep last night on streaming, till I finally remembered what the episode was. The colors were absolutely striking, and I can tell you for a fact that when channel 4 KRON aired the series in the 70s, it didn’t look anything like this, they must have been using 16mm prints.

I also can’t imagine that the show looked that clean and colourful in the 70’s. Which proves that they made the show future-proof. Unlike some shows from the 1990’s.

I think Star Trek Phase II might have looked similar.

There also exist 4 VHS-recut-movies of Space 1999. I have them on DVD and the quality is awful. They als changed the music and intros. Unlike the original version on blu-ray, this looks very dated.

As a 70’s sci-fi-fan I watched a few episodes of “the Starlost”, which had interesting plots.
Shot on video which might have looked modern in 1973, it now looks awful and is a bad example how modern technique (back then) can fail.

THE STARLOST always looked unwatchably bad, not just for stories, but mainly for shot on video aspect. POLICE STORY did one episode on video as an experiment with Robert Forster and it was equally unwatchable. I have never liked the video look except for certain sitcoms like BARNEY MILLER, and remember being horrified back in the 70s when Roddenberry ‘threatened’ to use magicam to matte actors onto vfx planetscapes. Would have made MESSAGE FROM SPACE look like 2001 by comparison if TMP had had to go that route.

The thing that stands out so much from this era is the variety of Sci-Fi. Everything from Star Trek to Gremlins, Poltergeist to ET. The imagination was unbelievable and it was so much a treat to be a young 20+ year old going out to movies then. All weekend in those days, sometimes twice a day!

Today all we seem to get is variations on a theme. Marvel and DC – same over and over! We need another brat pack of Lucas’s, Spielberg’s, Zemeckis’s, Burton’s, Cameron and others. Where is the new young and exciting generation of new Producers and Directors? Where has imagination gone?

1982 was the year when I became a sci-fi-fan forever.
I was only 5 years old and still remember having seen Battlestar Galactica as recut movies on VHS (the series wouldn’t air on german tv until 1989. When it finally happened I already had seen BSG in other countries). It made such an impact on me!
St II and Poltergeist also have a special place in my heart. I saw them 1983 or 1984 on VHS. My first contact with Star Trek. And Poltergeist creeped me for years!
I was way too young to become a geek in 1982, but it was an important year for me too. I wish I had been born 10-15 years earlier because the 70s and 80s were such great decades.

1982? Greatest geek year ever? Nonsense. That was 1989.

82 = Star Trek II, Blade Runner, The Thing, MadMax 2, Conan, Tron, First Blood, Poltergeist, ET
89 = Star Trek V, Batman, Indiana Jones, BTTF2, GB2, Lethal Weapon 2, Bond, BlackRain, Abyss

82 wins

What was GB2?

(Never mind, Ghostbusters 2.)

I graduated High School in ’82, so I may be biased, but the ’82 movies just overall seem better than the ’89 group. Wrath of Khan, E.T. and Poltergeist are classics. I don’t think anything from ’89 rises to their level, though Batman comes close.

1982’s genre movies were so superior to 1989’s that it merits no conversation.

If they are including TV in this doc lets not forget 1982 also saw the premieres of shows like Knight Rider, Voyagers, Cheers, The Incredible Hulk, Family Ties, Marco Polo miniseries (with Leonard Nimoy), The Phoenix (with Judson Scott, Joachim from The Wrath of Khan) Remington Steele, The Powers of Matthew Star, Tales of the Gold Monkey (with the disgraced Stephen Collins from STTMP) and of course TJ Hooker with William Shatner.

Hulk premiered in 77 or 78 (edit oh you mean the cartoon series)

Yeah, forgot to put animated series there.