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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Originally Aired: 1986-11-26

Using a Klingon ship, the crew of the Enterprise return to 1980's Earth to retrieve two whales in an effort to help save the planet from a probe. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 7.25

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- Kirk and Scotty take measurements in English Imperial Units.
- Ugh, another use of the slingshot effect.
- How are whales able to communicate through space?
- How could Taylor scream during transport?

- This film establishes that the humpback whale will be extinct in the 21st century. Though with all the time travel fudging around in this film, that may not actually pan out.
- Brock Peters plays Admiral Cartwright (though we don't actually hear the name of this admiral until Star Trek VI). He later plays Joseph Sisko on DS9.
- This film was nominated for the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
- This film was nominated for Oscars in Cinematography, Music, Sound, and Sound Effects Editing.

Remarkable Scenes
- Sarek's appearance.
- McCoy, regarding the Klingon ship: "I just wish we could cloak the stench."
- Spock testing himself. The computer asking him, "How do you feel?"
- Spock's mother's discussion with him on Vulcan.
- Kirk: "May fortune favor the foolish."
- Spock's method of covering his ears.
- The cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey landing by the garbage men.
- The cast's entrance into the 1980s.
- Chekov asking people how to find "nuclear wessels." Hilarious! A Russian during the Cold War asking Americans in a city street how to find American nuclear secrets...
- Spock Vulcan neck pinching the punk rocker.
- Spock continually calling Kirk "admiral" in front of the commoners.
- Spock: "To hunt a race to extinction is not logical." Taylor: "Whoever said the human race was logical?"
- Spock Vulcan mind melding with the whale inside the aquarium.
- Woman: "Maybe he's singing to that man!" Taylor: "What the hell?"
- Taylor: "All right, who the hell are you and what were you doing in there?" Spock: "Attempting the hell to communicate."
- Spock clumsily integrating curses into his speech.
- Kirk clumsily trying to "explain" Spock by passing him off as a former hippy who did too much "LDS."
- Taylor questioning Kirk and Spock in her truck.
- McCoy's and Scotty's performance at Plexicorp.
- Scotty talking to the computer.
- Oh man. I love the random typing on the computer keyboard and the random nonsensical screens they bring up.
- Kirk spilling the beans to Taylor.
- Chekov, a Russian, captured in an American nuclear submarine during the Cold War. Just golden.
- Chekov's reaction to the interrogation.
- McCoy's disgust with 20th century medicine.
- McCoy: "It sounds like the goddamn Spanish inquisition to me!"
- McCoy taking over Chekov's surgery.
- McCoy: "My god, man! Drilling holes in his head's not the answer! The artery must be repaired! Now put away your butcher knives and let me save this patient before it's too late!"
- Kirk: "Scotty, beam me up!" Another very close line to the famous and much parodied but never actually uttered, "Beam me up, Scotty!"
- The Klingon Bird of Prey decloaking in front of the whale hunter ship.
- The Klingon Bird of Prey crashing into the sea in the 23rd century.
- Spock is clearly smiling and laughing with the rest of the cast at the end of this film.

My Review
I like the opening of this film, with the Klingons in diplomatic contention with the Federation council. Unfortunately, the plot goes sour fast as the cliches abound. Another alien probe, more time travel, and more slingshot effect magic time travel calculation nonsense. Having said that, the rest of the film redeems itself nicely. The humor is excellent and the ecology issue is original. Also, this film was regarded as the most successful Trek film of all time in terms of the level of appeal to non Trek fans; for perhaps obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the time travel issues are extensive. There is a lot of minor contamination, and some major; for example Chekov left a phaser on board the nuclear vessel. Though the radiation seems to have rendered it useless, it is still a futuristic device the 1980s has never seen before. These things can all be rationalized, but they weigh badly on the film; it shows carelessness. Ultimately, the entire story of the alien probe, the travel into Earth's past, and the whales is completely superfluous. As fantastic as the humor is, I can think of a dozen different and better ways to have used the stolen Klingon ship. I give the film an A for effort though, and I must admit it is one of the most memorable of the Trek films, despite my misgivings regarding its premise.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Wes on 2011-02-21 at 11:28pm:
    I just watched Search for Spock. It's frustrating to me that they change the bridge of the Klingon Bird of Prey between Search for Spock and Voyage Home. Have you ever noticed that? The new bridge set is very similar to that of the Birds of Prey in later episodes and movies, but very different from the set used for Kruge's bridge. If you ask me, Kruge's bridge was pretty fruity looking. It didn't look like a Klingon bridge with all the blues and lighter colors. The doors were lame. I'm glad they altered the set, but it's frustrating, too. Why didn't they just do the new design from the beginning?
  • From Wes on 2011-02-22 at 5:27pm:
    This is one of my favorites. I love the humor in it. I really liked the continuity seen in having the same guy play the Klingon Ambassador in this movie and in The Undiscovered Country (although, he gained a little weight between now and then).
    Another stage flaw! The set of the Enterprise-A bridge at the end is DIFFERENT than the bridge set in The Undiscovered Country. The set at the end of this movie is more like the set in the newest movie (Star Trek). That's a bit frustrating. It doesn't make sense to me either. You would think it would cost them more to change the set than to just keep what they had the first time.
  • From Overand on 2014-08-07 at 1:53pm:
    One fun tidbit about this film - that scene with Checkov asking about the nuclear vessels? That was filmed with a candid camera.

    It was the *actual* responses of people in 1986 San Francisco being asked about Nuclear Vessels by someone with a Russian accent.


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