New Mission Log Podcast: “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”


Hello, computer? It’s another Mission Log Podcast! This week, John and Ken voyage back to Earth, 1986. Their mission? To capture a pair of breeding humpbacked… people? And deliver them safely into the future. Leonard Nimoy once again takes the director’s chair for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (aka “the one with the whales”), and puts together a really first rate production. Don’t like Star Trek IV? Well, double dumb-ass on you! Hit the jump for the latest Mission Log!

Mission Log 094 – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Saving Spock was relatively simple. How will the crew of the stolen Klingon vessel save the whales when the whales have been dead for over 200 years? Find out as Kirk and crew blast off from Vulcan for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.




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Eddie Murphy.
This film needed Eddie Murphy.

Ummm… no.

Nothing against Eddie Murphy. He was really good in the ’80s. But having him in VH would’ve been like Richard Pryor in Superman III. Just didn’t quite work. More a distraction than anything else.

Agreed, Vultan. My comment is not meant to be a dig at Eddie Murphy. I’ve loved many of his movies. The others? Well… It’s just that Trek didn’t need a guest “star.” It really excels when the guests are great character actors.

What I remember most about “The Voyage Home” are Scotty, McCoy, Chekov, and Uhura and that is just wonderful!

Kirk and Spock are a great comedy team, LDS and all; how different this film was and yet it was Star Trek, and I hold it close to my heart. Kudos to Nimoy too!

You know, the movie is actually very much relevant still as whale hunting (etc.; e.g. the Elephant) remains an issue. Maybe Kirk 2.0 and his crew ’ll one day discover some kinda space-Ark? Underscoring the connection between the human race and the animal kingdom once again…

TVH in particular was also a very ‘accessible’ movie for the general non-SF audience.

I;ve been listening to a LOT of these podcasts. I just finished Doomsday Machine, in which the hosts make a great deal out of how Kirk seems to “know too much.” That is, he gets a LOT of the expositionary lines. Guys, that’s because Shat was counting lines, by numerous accounts. There’s one point where Decker asks Spock a direct question and gets silence for an answer.

Fortunately, things on the the set of TVH seems to have been nicer.

I;ve been listening to a LOT of these podcasts. I just finished Doomsday Machine, in which the hosts make a great deal out of how Kirk seems to “know too much.” That is, he gets a LOT of the expositionary lines. Guys, that’s because Shat was counting lines, by numerous accounts. There’s one point where Decker asks Spock a direct question and gets silence for an answer.

Fortunately, things on the the set of TVH seems to have been nicer.

Great feel-good film, good for the non-Trekkie audience, but still enough to keep it good Star Trek.

Lots of humor, and the beginning scene between Spock and Amanda with the ending scene between Spock and Sarek make poignant bookends.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
ST II/III/IV is the best sci-fi trilogy.

It’s fun looking back on this film.

It was easily the most successful movie featuring either of the TV crews. I remember it coming out Thanksgiving weekend in ’86. I had been to a convention about a month before it came out and there was such a huge buzz about the film and the fans were practically drooling from the mouth with anticipation.

The film was a major crossover hit with non-Trekkies coming out to put it over the $100 million dollar mark (something that even “The Wrath of Khan” couldn’t do). But I would say that Trek II & III had been such big sellers in the Home Video market of the mid 80’s and both titles were very popular at video stores in that era..they definitely played a roll in the buzz that made IV such a blockbuster.

Newsweek Magazine even featured Leonard Nimoy as Spock on the cover when the film’s box office hit new heights for “Star Trek”.

It also allowed William Shatner another chance to show his comedic skills by him hosting “Saturday Night Live” including his classic
Trek convention skit and another Trek related skit which featured Dana Carvey as Khan. I guess we can look back to this period of his career which led Bill to having so much success with comedy on MTV, “Boston Legal” and the Miss Congeniality films.

Although “The Voyage Home” doesn’t get the attention some of the other films do, this one is special for taking the series to a new level of success, one that I don’t think it ever reached again.

Scott: Keyboards how quaint……

McCoy: Don’t bury yourself in the part! :^)

Can’t help but be curious about how this movie would have been with Eddie Murphy as the “Professor” character; though, I suspect that it would not have been as good. The humor in the scenes with Gillian arise out of her being a rather ordinary, straight character who’s totally sincere, distrustful and slightly annoyed by the bumbling antics of the two exotic fish-out-of-water, Kirk and Spock, as they try to fit in with their new surroundings and elicit her help in order to accomplish their mission. With Eddie Murphy, the temptation for him play the character jokey rather than earnest and sincere, like Catherine Hicks played it, would have been very strong. And can you see Leonard Nimoy trying to direct Eddie Murphy not to play a scene “funny?”

P.S. In other words, the humor in STIV arises out of the situations rather than out of the actors trying to be funny. The characters are actually trying to be serious and not attract attention to themselves, but they’re just ill-equipped to do so, having just arrived from 300 years in the future. I have a hard time imagining Eddie Murphy playing a character who never tries to be funny or melodramatic. It still could have been a funny movie, but it would have been a different style of humor, at best.

Great, great Star Trek film. Really gave the whole crew some moments, even Chekov! Loved the save the whales theme & loved the end with the new Enterprise, beautiful ship, great to see her back!

But my favorite bit was the punk rocker nerve pinch ;)

Kayla Lacovino – “Don’t like Star Trek IV? Well, double dumb-ass on you!”

You got that right, Kayla! Great film.

I recall my reaction when I first saw The Voyage Home in the cinema. I loved it and can remember actually running down Auckland’s Queen Street, leaping for joy at times, after I came out of the cinema, with some of the scenes and wonderful music whirring around in my head. It is so vivid for me. Just so wonderful! Such a funny, beautiful and inspiring film!

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, especially, were at their best.

I can’t remember having quite such a reaction again until I saw Star Trek (2009), when finally, I saw my favourite captain and his team back on screen with all the new possibilities…I never realized just how much I missed Jim Kirk et al and how much I wanted/needed to see them again, refreshed.

One of the best things about TVH is that there isn’t a villain in the traditional sense; the shortsightedness of the human race is the cause of the crisis.

@ Brian – Indeed, it’s refreshing to have a movie that doesn’t have an angry screaming bad guy in it.

It was a Caitian, not a Kziniti…

Well I certainly hop[e they fired the fashion design for this Trek.

And I agree, I little Eddie would have gone a long way in helping this move.
But, it did do fine without the extra Merph.

Is my memory messed up or was it the blockbuster success of this film that got TNG green lit?

#10. Steve Gennarelli – July 3, 2014

That’s only for domestic. According to it only hit $133 million worldwide. Starlog reported in 1982 that TMP raked in $175 million worldwide. Shatner was quoted during its run as saying TMP brought in $170 million worldwide and still hadn’t completed its theatrical run.

#20. Tallguy – July 7, 2014

Not really, it’s an assertion often made but the truth is Paramount always intended to have a STAR TREK series around to anchor the formation of a Paramount TV Network which was actively being pursued by the big P. IV’s success was used to promote the TNG series in IV’s home video release.

Here’s what NYT had to specifically say:

”The trigger for the new television series came when agents for Mr. Shatner and Mr. Nimoy asked sky-high salaries for the fourth ”Star Trek” movie, ”Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” ”We thought of establishing new characters in a movie we called ‘Star Trek: The Academy Years,’ ” says a Paramount executive who asked not to be identified. That idea was abandoned when the two stars signed for approximately $2.5 million each. But the seeds of ”a new generation” had been planted. ” — NEW ‘STAR TREK’ PLAN REFLECTS SYMBIOSIS OF TV AND MOVIES, by ALJEAN HARMETZ, Published: November 2, 1986, THE NEW YORK TIMES

”The old management’s attitude was, ” ‘We won’t show you the books unless you sue us, and lawsuits take a long long time.’ ” — Gene Roddenberry

But if you read the entire article, and ignore the Paramount TMP funny numbers used to justify their treatment of Roddenberry, you’ll get a pretty good idea of how things evolved.

I will say this is the first print article that I’ve dug up that reports on the Trek history I lived pretty much as I recall living it.

I am 59 and lived the history of attending these movies when they premiered.

Here, in a nutshell, is what happened at the time:

Star Trek:The Motion Picture: dull, boring, but we were so hungry for Trek we clamoured for more.

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan: Trekkies wet their pants. Everybody loved it.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock: death, friendship, sacrifice, resurrection…the drama continued beautifully. What’s not to like?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: The cast apparently wanted to “lighten things up” after all the drama of II and III. BIG MISTAKE! The ONLY reason TSFS made a lot of money is because the fan base was sold on II and III and then went to see IV expecting more of the same.

A lot of you here, through sheer nostalgia, love TVH, but believe me, a whole bunch of Trek fans were BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED after watching this goofball comedy. The hardcore fans wanted more of the drama and deep storylines, not light-hearted shtick.

Once ST:IV was such a big success, Paramount mistakenly thought that was what the fans wanted and the subsequent movies suffered for it, all of them filled with forced slapstick humour that made any true fan cringe.

The Star Trek movie franchise was downhill after that. What a f*cking disgrace! Knowing that there was a time limit for the TOS actors aging, every single one of the Trek films featuring the original crew should have been EPIC!