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  Turkish Star Trek Highly IllogicalBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Hulki Saner
Stars: Sadri Alisik, Erol Amaç, Cemil Sahbaz, Ferdi Merter, Kayhan Yildizoglu, Elif Pektas, Sule Tinaz, Oytun Sanal, Füsun Olgaç, Nevhilal, Necip Koçak, Nermin Altinses, Yilmaz Sahin, Yilmaz Sulver, Neslihan Özgür, Sönmez Yikilmaz, Sönmez Yikilmaz, Kazim Oguz
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: The Starship Enterprise has arrived at the largest planet in the galaxy, which is inhabited by only two people, Professor Krater (Kayhan Yildizoglu) and his wife Nancy (Sule Tinaz), who is an ex of the Enterprise's resident doctor, McCoy (Ferdi Merter). Before they beam down to the planet, the doctor runs a medical on the crewmembers, but as the second in command Mr Spock (Erol Amaç) points out, he can withstand conditions far harsher than any human, because of his Vulcan ancestry. Captain Kirk (Cemil Sahbaz) sees the landing party off, unaware that they will be bringing a new danger onboard...

In 1973 there was an attempt to bring the celebrated television series Star Trek back to our screens that reunited most of the cast, but was not considered to be the equal of the original, merely a spin-off. This wasn't it, I write of Star Trek the animated series, but the same year the Turkish film industry, with their cheerful appropriation of other country's hit movies and series to their own ends, decided to put popular-in-Turkey comedian Sadri Alisik as his Omer the Tourist character into a spoof of the classic science fiction favourite, and this now-notorious effort was brought before the world.

Omer the Tourist doesn't appear until the story is well underway, and that plot will be familiar to anyone who has seen the first episode of its inspiration, as it's essentially identical, except with a comedian interrupting things every couple of minutes. To their credit, the filmmakers didn't simply splice in footage of the source, although we do get to see some of the opening credits and a few shots of the Enterprise zooming about in some clips that are in terrible shape, and the incidental music is the same, as are some of the sound effects, which weirdly have, for example, a phaser being fired to the tones of the transporter operating.

But otherwise this is a lovingly recreated version of the show, which although nobody could mistake for the real thing - the Turkish dialogue gives it away, for a start - has been assembled with some degree of respect. Apart from, that is, Mr Spock who has huge pointed ears, wears a yellow jumper instead of blue, and is driven to lose his temper with Omer's constant teasing. The actor playing him was apparently hired because he could raise an eybrow, a gesture which is given more attention that any of the special effects, and he has to suffer the indignities of Omer pulling that old putting out your hand to shake it then yanking it away at the last second trick with his catchphrase, "Zzt!".

Omer's dialogue would be best described as regional, with references to Turkish culture, making his presence onboard the Starship Enterprise all the more bizarre. If you know the episode this is based on, it will come as no surprise to see that the Professor's wife is actually a creature that can take on the appearance of anyone it wishes, and has a craving for salt which it is quite happy to draw from humans, thereby killing them as a side effect. At first, Omer, accidentally beamed aboard, is suspected to be the monster killing off Kirk's men, but soon the misunderstanding is realised and they can get back to solving the mystery. In effect, the Turkish Star Trek, or Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda as it was originally, is an early example of the fan video, more than it is a spoof familiar from a hundred television sketch shows, and it does raise a few laughs because of its sheer cheek. But it is faithful, Omer's presence apart.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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