Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan(Scotty)
George Takei(Sulu)
Walter Koenig(Checkov)
Nichelle Nichols(Uhura)
Jane Wyatt (Amanda)
Catherine Hicks (Gillian Taylor)
Mark Lenard(Sarek)
Robin Curtis(Saavik)
Robert Ellenstein (President)
John Schuck (Klingon Ambassador)
Brock Peters (Admiral Cartwright)
Grace Lee Whitney (Rand)
Majel Barrett (Chapel)

Writer: Leonard Nimoy, Harve Bennett, Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Nicholas Meyer

The fourth film in the series starts where the previous film left off on Vulcan, with the crew about to depart for Earth to learn of the consequences of their actions in the previous film.  As they leave, a strange alien probe heads for Earth and starts tranmsitting a signal to the Earth from orbit.  The signal causes mass power failure, and also disrupts the atmosphere, causing one hundred percent cloud coverage.  They send out a message for nobody to come to Earth, as the planet is doomed.

En route, the main Enterprise crew inside their stolen Klingon ship pick up the signals.  Uhura distorts the signal so that they can hear what it would sound like underwater, and Spock recognises the sound as the singing of the extinct humpback whale.  So Kirk suggests that they go back in time and get some!

After a successful Time Warp, they arrive in 1986 San Fransisco.  Kirk and Spock cry and find where the whale are kept, McCoy, Sulu and Scotty arrange for the tank to be built inside the Klingon ships hold, and Uhura and Checkov try to find a nuclear power source to collect radioactive particles to regenerate the knackered dilithium crystals.  It all happens, and when they return to the present the whales talk to the probe and it buggers off.  The only punishment they get for what happened in the previous film is Kirk gets demoted to Captain and is given command of the new USS Enterprise NCC 1701-A.

This is often mentioned in the same breath as film two, and whilst it’s not quite as good, it is an excellent movie.  It is the only story played for laughs (I’m not saying it is a comedy, it isn’t) and some of the humour is excellent.  Spock in particular, as he tries to fit into his new surroundings by using what he calls “colourful metaphors” are very funny, as is the scene where he mind melds with the whale.

The film is unabashedly conservationist, the message is hammered home with a lack of subtlety that could be off putting.  Luckily, it isn’t, and there are some moments in the film that are quite tense – when they only prevent their whales being killed by whalers in the nick of time it’s quite tense, although it’s so far into the movie and you know at this point that if they loose the whales there is no time to find any more.

I like the Gillian Taylor character – she is the marine scientist who is responsible for the whales in 1986, and it is nice that she ends up going forward in time with them.

It was also nice to see both of Spocks parents again – Sarek and Amanda both appear, although not together – she is on Vulcan, he is on Earth. 

It is a really nice film, and wraps up the unofficial trilogy of movies really well.  This is the longest story we get in Star Trek until we get into Deep Space Nine and I have to say that after watching the third film I had to watch the fourth on the same day.

So, I’m nearly there with this cast of characters.  Just two more movies to go, and after that I can only look forward to cameos of some of the characters in various of the future versions of the show…  I’m going to miss them, actually.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Score: 8.5/10


June 2, 2008 Posted by | amanda, andorians, contemporary earth, family members, inside another stafleet ship, klingons, mind meld, saavik, sarek, saving a planet, set on earth, set on vulcan, time travel, vulcans | | 2 Comments

Star Trek 2.26 (Assignment: Earth)

Robert Lansing (Gary Seven)
Teri Garr (Roberta Lincoln)
Don Keefer (Cromwell)
Lincoln Demyan (Sgt. Lipton)
Morgan Jones(Col. Nesvig)
Bruce Mars (Charlie)
Ted Gehring (Policeman)

Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Art Wallace

This episode was actually meant to be a pilot for another show, starring Robert Lansing as Gary Seven.  The Enterprise is sent back to 1968 to gather some information covertly, but they intercept a long distance transporter beam from a far off planet to Earth in 1968.

Gary Seven is there to prevent Earth from destroying itself, on this occasion the USA is launching a nuclear weapon into space, and he wants to stop it.  But due to the Enterprise interfering, it almost crashes in Europe and causes a war!  They sort it all out, and the Enterprise leaves.

It’s not that it’s terrible (although it isn’t that good either) but the Enterprise crew are in the episode an awful lot less – it really is Gary Seven’s episode, the actor even gets a guest star credit at the start.  Of course, it never made it to a series, and it’s easy to see why – it’s quite bland.  The Gary Seven character is rather like an inferior version of Doctor Who– he even has a device that looks and is overused just like the sonic screwdriver.  Being set on modern day Earth resembles the Pertwee era, only without the military backup, so perhaps he was actually working for Torchwood NY!

So, rather bland, and a silly bit at the end with the shape shifting cat.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 43
Score: 5/10

April 23, 2008 Posted by | contemporary earth, shape shifters, time travel | | 3 Comments

Star Trek 1.19 (Tomorrow is Yesterday)

First Aired: January 26, 1967

Roger Perry (Capt. John Christopher)
Hal Lynch (Air Police Sergeant)
Richard Merrifield (Technician Webb)
Ed Peck (Col. Fellini)
Mark Dempsey (Air Force Captain)
Jim Spencer (Air Policeman)
Sherri Townsend (Crew Woman)
Writer: D.C. Fontana
What’s going on? Confusingly, the episode starts in the modern day (well, modern for when it was made). The USAF scrambles at the sight of a real UFO, then suddenly you see the Enterprise in the skies of modern day Earth! It’s a quick teaser, but a really cool one!
When they are directly persued by a fighter pilot, rather than shoot him down, they lock a tractor beam on his plane, but it is not built to take that stress and breaks up so they beam the pilot up, but they cannot give him too much information on who and what they are. The history books also point to the fact that an ancestor of his does something vital in the future, so they have to put him back somehow!
The pilot, John Christopher, is played really well by Roger Perry – his sense of wonder and awe is excellent, but he also kind of takes everything in his stride.
We have the first incident of a silly computer – the ships computer has been given a personality by an all female refit team, and it wants to get into Kirks pants. Ugh.
This is an early example of a comedy episode that is very funny but also managed to not be very silly. The peril the crew are in is real enough, but there are some nice moments, such as when they are forced to beam up a military policeman, and when Kirk is kidnapped on Earth and told they will lock him away for 200 years. He gives a wry grin and says that that would be about right!
The way the end the episode is a bit twee, but I let them off: this is Trek done right and is one of the best.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 25
Score: 8/10

August 28, 2007 Posted by | contemporary earth, time travel | | 1 Comment