Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Star Trek Assumption

Sicne the people have clamoured for it (ie Foo posted a comment asking), let's take a look at the "recieved wisdom" of odd numbered Star Trek films are crap (which seems to be the thing du jour). This was giving voice by Simon Pegg himself back in Spaced, although in this interview, he gives it a bit more context.

Although this was the geek view, let's get some data. In particular the ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. (Damn HTML coding doing weird things with tables.)

The Motion Picture6.250%
The Wrath of Khan7.890%
The Search for Spock6.576%
The Voyage Home7.384%
The Final Frontier4.921%
The Undiscovered Country7.282%
First Contact7.691%
Star Trek8.595%

According to the interview, this was about the first seven movies, so let's start with them. For the odd movies, the mean is 6.0 / 57%. For the even movies it is 7.4 / 85%. Certainly the evens are better than the odds. (Overall average is 6.6 / 69%.)

How does this extend to the rest of the series? Firstly, let's drop the recent reboot, and just look at the first ten. Odds are 6.1 / 56%, evens are 7.3 / 77% (overall 6/7 / 66%). Odds are still crappier than evens.

Once we throw in the last movie: odds 6.5 / 63%, evens 7.3 / 77% (overall 6.8 / 69%). Erm... although it scores really high on its own, it's currently not enough to drag the reputation of the odds out of the gutter yet.

(To be fair, I also tried medians. No change in conclusion, although the overall ratings were just above the odds ratings.)


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