Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Rating PG

Length 1Hr 59

Release 10.4.1987

About Living in exile on the planet Vulcan, the ragtag former crew of the USS Enterprise steal a starship after receiving a planetary distress call from Earth: a space probe has entered into orbit around Earth, disabled global power on the planet and evaporated the oceans. Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and the rest of the officers travel back in time to retrieve now-extinct humpback whales, which Spock has deduced will communicate with the probe and send it away from Earth.


First Thoughts

I always loved this movie. It still remains my favourite out of the Original Series silver screen outings. Yes, I am aware that Wrath of Khan is the ‘better’ movie, but I will always be too freaked out by the bug that’s put into the Botany Bay Landing Party’s ears.

So here it is, the equivalent of the Ewoks in Star Wars. We’re boldly going… so save some humpback whales.

The Good

  • It’s funny. Almost like a good Carry On in that harmless, social nuances and situational sort of comedy. It makes a nice change to have a lighter feel to a sci-fi and a wonderful contrast to the death and grieving that’s had over Spock.
  • On paper, it seems like such an outrageous plot. Time warping to save a pair of whales to communicate with an unknown probe. However, it has a strong message about conservation that are still being spoken about today! Not only that, it gives an opportunity to split the crew and send them all on their own McGuffins.
  • Gillian, played by Catherine Hicks is brilliant. I’d have loved to have seen a Buck Rogers type follow up to see how she was doing. In all seriousness, as a kid I looked up to her. A woman in a position of power that cares about animals. Today, I’m just as happy that upon arriving in the future she chooses her own path and insists “I’ll find you.” To the womanising Kirk.
  • DeForest Kelly! He always reminded me of a loving, but grisly, grandpa and he will forever be my favourite part about this film. Especially so when finding a lady on dialysis, he grumbles about the dark ages before giving her something that regrows her own kidney.

The Bad

  • The film feels like it takes forever to get going and land the crew in 1986’s San Francisco. Them being fishes out of water is really part of the film’s charm and I could have done with a few more scenes.
  • I’d have also liked to have seen more development of Gillian’s relationship with where she works and the bloke she slapped.

The Ugly

  • I don’t like that it doesn’t sit as a stand alone. You require an understanding of at least the previous movie to understand some of the films finer quirks. Films within a non trilogy/saga franchise should allow for a plot that nods to the fans, without alienating new comers. Even I struggled with it this time; Search for Spock being one of my least watched meant I had forgotten about the Vulcan’s memory loss.

Final Thoughts

I still love it. I still find it charming if not a little silly. It’s not ideal as a stand alone, but is the reward for putting up with pervious sub-par films.

One thought on “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.