"Star Trek" icon William Shatner's TV movie adaptation of his own "Tek" cycle of pulp sci-fi novels is just a television cop show extrapolated 50 years hence (bargained down, evidently, from the text's 22nd-century setting).
Jake Cardigan (Greg Evigan), a disgraced undercover officer, thaws out after serving four years of a 14-year sentence in suspended animation for allegedly killing cohorts while high on the virtual-reality narcotic "tek." Though far from satisfied that Jake is innocent, Walt Bascom (Shatner),
string-pulling head of the Cosmos Detective Agency, believes Cardigan can still use his contacts in the tek underground to locate a missing scientist who threatened drug cartels everywhere with an anti-tek frequency generator (since tek exists in microchip form it's vulnerable to such a gadget).
Cardigan teams with his former partner Sid Gomez (Eugene Clark); and, after Sid is wounded, a realistic robot simulcrum of the missing egghead's equally-missing daughter Beth (Torri Higginson).
Evildoers attack Jake and Beth until one leaves a clue pinpointing the master teklord's headquarters. A raid not only frees the professor, but nails the corrupt robot-cop who framed Jake in the first place.
The plot is mercifully pared down from the book's index-card narrative, and it's nothing that Rockford, Columbo, or Shatner's own T.J. Hooker couldn't have wrapped up in an hour. Evigan does okay in the lead role, but the real star of TEKWAR is a futuristic production design by Stephen Roloff,
full of funky details like billboard ads that follow cars around, and celebrity-impersonator bystanders. A mechanized hockey-player assassin clues one into the fact that most of the filmmakers are Canadians. On the debit side are tek pushers attired like hippie throwbacks, Scottish pop diva Sheena
Easton who's most unpersuasive as a sexy eco-warrior (the character in the book was a spitfire Latina), and an inconsequential detour into cyberspace that merely fills the screen with kaleidoscopic computer graphics.
Shatner's direction holds up until the stumbling, oddly-stylized fight climax in which half the combatants appear as shadows (one tek henchman gets the drop on Jake, then facilitates the hero's escape by yelling "The gun's jammed!"). Premiering in syndication in 1993, this and subsequent "Tek"
tales became a series on the USA Cable Network, which was cancelled by the time TEKLORDS arrived on home video in 1995.(Violence, substance abuse.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: "Star Trek" icon William Shatner's TV movie adaptation of his own "Tek" cycle of pulp sci-fi novels is just a television cop show extrapolated 50 years hence (bargained down, evidently, from the text's 22nd-century setting). Jake Cardigan (Greg Evigan), a… (more)