There Be Whales Here: ‘The Voyage Home’ at 30

On November 26, 1986 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home debuted on movie screens across the United States.  The film’s lighthearted tone and environmental message struck a chord with moviegoers, and became the first Star Trek film to have crossover appeal with mainstream audiences who normally wouldn’t be interested in the adventures of the Enterprise crew.  The movie often referred to as “the one with the whales” continues to charm audiences today, and we wanted to mark its 30th anniversary with a remembrance not only of the film, but of the time it was made in. We hope you enjoy it.

“It’s going to have whales.”

Sitting in a dimly lit Knights of Columbus hall in Mineola, N.Y., sometime in 1985 I heard those words from Adam Malin, the co-founder of Creation Entertainment, during a slide presentation about the following year’s highly anticipated Star Trek IV.

“Whales and Eddie Murphy.”

Excuse me?

My Star Trek fever had reached its apex after devouring Star Trek II and III, as well as all 79 episodes of the Original Series in very rapid succession between 1983-85. After years of denying how awesome Star Trek was, now I couldn’t get enough.

But whales and Eddie Murphy? Are you guys high? Try to picture a time with no Internet, no YouTube, when fandom was held together by conventions, fanzines, and genre magazines like Starlog and CinefantastiqueCreation Entertainment were the purveyors of said conventions since the early 70s, and as luck would have it, they decided to open a comic shop mere blocks from my home.

I had yet to attend one of their bigger shows in New York City, but they would host local “mini-cons,” that were bare bones affairs (no celebs, no dealers, etc.) but they were fun nonetheless, and there they would share morsels of information they had gleaned from their contacts in fandom and I imagine, at Paramount.

I was less concerned about the whale thing as I was the presence of Eddie Murphy. Don’t get me wrong: I loved him. Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours are still favorites of mine. But with his name attached, Star Trek IV became akin to Superman III, a disaster that shoehorned Richard Pryor together with the Man of Steel. The wounds were still fresh.

In this information stone age that was as much as we got. We knew Leonard Nimoy would direct, having earned his stripes on Trek III. I remember seeing William Shatner on Merv Griffin saying he wanted “a little” more money. Salary negotiations and his T.J. Hooker schedule were holding up production.

Fast forward to fall of 1986. I was feeling better about Trek IV. Eddie Murphy dropped out, and made The Golden Child. His character morphed into Gillian Taylor, the cetacean biologist played with pluck and zest by Catherine Hicks. Everything I saw and read made me confident this would be a winner.

More than anything, I was confident Leonard Nimoy would deliver. And deliver he did. 

Star Trek IV could’ve been an unmitigated disaster. In lesser hands, it would’ve been. 

Nimoy and producer Harve Bennett felt as though a lighter touch was in order. After all the death, destruction (and resurrection) of the prior two films, it was time to lighten the mood. With a script assist from Trek II director Nicholas Meyer they balanced the lighter tone with a grand sense of adventure and excitement, with no moustache twirling villain in sight (if there was a villain it was the human race hunting a noble species to extinction).

The story, that of an alien probe reigning destruction upon earth in a vain attempt to contact humpback whales, was a cautionary tale about our short sighted tendencies as a race, one that was never preachy or overbearing. The light moments sprouted organically from our intrepid 23rd century crew’s desperate attempts to fit into 1986 San Francisco while fighting a ticking clock in their attempt to bring two humpbacks forward in time to answer the probe.

Nimoy had proven his worth as a director with Trek III. As he often said, the training wheels came off with Trek IV. He was allowed to make his movie. He delivered a film that pleased fans and the general public in equal measure, and the crossover appeal led to huge box office returns, making The Voyage Home easily the most successful of the TOS films to date. My Mom saw it.

Leonard was particularly sensitive to the needs of his castmates, all of whom railed against the perfunctory dialogue they were often given, as well as their marginalized roles. Already well respected by his colleagues, Nimoy made sure each of them had their moment in the sun. Taking them out of their familiar roles on the bridge (or the engine room), each had an integral part to play in completing this most critical mission, and it was wonderful to see them stretch acting muscles left to atrophy. What a talented group of performers!

Nimoy elicited wonderful performances from his actors (and himself!) and got the best from his talented crew. Not enough can be said about the man’s professionalism, ravenous intellectual curiosity, and human decency. In all my years as a fan, I have never heard anyone criticize him, and one need only seek out his son Adam’s recent documentary, “For the Love of Spock,” to understand the esteem with which he was held by all who knew him. Seriously, seek it out!

As much as I loved James Horner’s previous scores for Trek II and III, Nimoy hired his friend Leonard Rosenman to write the music for The Voyage Home, and he delivered a buoyant, joyful soundtrack that perfectly matched the film’s tonal shift from heavy and operatic to light and fun. It remains one of my favorite Trek scores.

The Voyage Home represents perhaps the apex of my Star Trek fandom. That isn’t to say it ever waned or wavered, but we were in the midst of an era when we still had new TOS movies on the horizon, and as much as I loved certain further iterations, nothing has ever eclipsed my love for the original crew. I was immersing myself in fandom, and meeting people who shared my love for Trek. I was devouring books and ancillary material like mad. 

It took almost a year for Trek IV to be released on VHS (let that sink in). Repeating their prior strategy with Trek III, Paramount shrewdly released Trek IV at the sell through price of $29.99 and it was well within my 17-year old grasp. I watched it twice the day I bought it and daily for weeks afterward. In the thirty subsequent years, I have upgraded to laserdisc, DVD, and blu ray, from standard to special editions, from pan and scan to widescreen. 

It’s a film that richly rewards repeated viewings, and hasn’t lost a step. It’s the film that made the mainstream sit up and take notice. It is proof positive you don’t need a scenery chewing villain for our intrepid crew to oppose, merely a heroic quest for the good of all mankind. 

At the end of the day, it’s a love letter to the fans from Leonard Nimoy, executed with technical brilliance, but more importantly, with great reverence and intimate understanding of that which we all love so much.

Thanks, Leonard. We love you too.

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I watched the movie on DVD a few nights ago! It is still one of the best Star Trek movies ever made!

Wow, what a great tribute to this cozy, feels-like-home kind of movie. Mr. Vivona you have certainly succeeded in communicating your affection for this movie.

“… you don’t need a scenery chewing villain for our intrepid crew to oppose, merely a heroic quest for the good of all mankind.”

Boom! Exactly! This is precisely what we haven’t been getting in the last ST movies and what we need so much. Well said sir!

I agree 100% Stop the “villain” casting in the next ST movie. It’s all been just too repetitive. I understand the economics of Chris Pine stating you can’t make a cerebral ST movie in 2016 but the generalization he made too much. ST is not Marvel Comics! It never was. ST IV is a movie of heart, soul with comedy overtones and great intentions. Look at the success of “The Martian”. It’s got all that.

Right on. “The Martian” proved again you don’t always need a scowling, growling villain delivering speeches and megaweapons to make an entertaining movie. A survival tale and a race against time works too.

Arrival was a very good example too of sci-fi without a traditional villain. Great movie BTW.

Except Arrival had multiple villains that made the situation much more difficult.

We should really ask this: Either make a Star Trek movie, or make another movie! Call it Star Warfare or something!

Unfortunately, audiences want a Star Wars influenced Star Trek. Hopefully,the new show will be continue in the tradition of the good Trek shows.

Thank you!

I fine Trek film and ending to the Genesis / Accidental Trilogy, shame about the music score tho. Finally watched Beyond a couple of times this week, that doesn’t get any better the more you watch it.

Respectfully disagree

Which, Beyond being average or the score to Voyage?

Nice article, but one nit-pick: “script assist” from Nicholas Meyer? How about “he wrote the dialogue for the entire body of the movie?”

He did acts two and three. From ‘judging by the pollution content in the atmosphere, we’ve arrived in the twentieth century’ before going out on the poem about the whales

Yes–what I”m loosely calling “the body/middle,” i.e. Acts 2 & 3. Harve wrote 1 & 4. In any case, writing half the movie and dubbing that an “assist” feels a bit understated here.

Let’s also give credit to Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes who wrote the original script that Harve and Nick Meyer added to.

I am tempted to say that this is the best Trek movie. The decisions to down play “Treknobabble”, traditional villains, and space travel were wise ones. My only complaint is the flaccid score. I know Horner would not have worked here but what about Alan Silvestri ? He would been terrific.

Great article about a wonderful film and probably my favourite of the original cast movies. I recall first seeing it on release in the UK in Spring 1987. Tears of joy for me at the end when NCC-1701-A leaves space dock accompanied by a majestic rendition of the Original Series Main Title/End Title credits music, before warping off-screen. Movie magic.

You just reminded me of another horrid thing. After we just sat through this terrible movie the neat and trite way they wrapped up the trial was nauseating. And then it seems they just happened to have a Constitution Class starship lying around they repainted and added an “A”. Pathetic. This was Trek at it’s absolute worst. It makes “The Final Frontier” look like Citizen Kane and “Encounter at Farpoint” a laugh a minute action packed adventure.

Dare I say sir, your opinion is in the minority.

Popularity does not = good.

I agree wholeheartedly with your comments, Steve.

This film, above all the others, IMO, really captures the essence of “Star Trek” in all its wonder. The humor, humanity and love that the crew and actors feel for the material and for the whales is quite palpable.

If there will be another JJ Abrams universe Trek – I would advise him to watch this film….”Shore Leave” and “Mirror Mirror”. Those 3 elements would make for a great kind of big screen experience.

Its time for the JJ-verse to stop looking for its next “black hat”.

I wouldn’t hold my breath. The guy doesn’t care about Trek. He just wants a Star Wars clone. Hell, he can’t even direct a genuine Star Wars movie.

Maybe you would do well to watch The Doomsday Machine too

I was 31 when I saw Star Trek IV on opening night. After the wonderful drama of II and III, it was a HUGE disappointment. That’s when Star Trek “jumped the shark”for me and never fully recovered. What a piece of crap!

I’ve never heard anyone dump on Voyage Home before. You sir, are an idiot!

Well, I never ‘dumped’ on it per se, but I remember not being particularly impressed by it when I saw it in theaters. I thought it was just okay. It has grown on me since then, but it isn’t my favorite at all.

Harry… The movie was (and still is) garbage. Just because you disagree with opinions doesn’t make those people “idiots”.

Although I don’t think Trek jumped the shark then. It was in a pretty deep hole it didn’t crawl out of until “The Undiscovered Country”.

ML31 – It’s true, people who disagree with my opinion are idiots. I’ve gathered a large group of Scottish bagpipe singers and Vegas showgirls and spent a year researching my opinions and cross referenced them with the opinions of others and the data was clear – those who disagree with me are idiots and sometimes morons.

Voyage Home = Greatest Trek movie ever! Undiscovered Country was ok but come on, funny jokes and whales trump boring cold war references and bad cgi floating purple blood every time.

I was 31 when I saw STIV and loved it. So did my wife, mom and friends.

BTW: Great article and tribute to the film and Leonard Nimoy. Saw Nimoy at a speaking appearance at UNCC a few weeks before the film opened. He finished by saying he recently saw the final cut and said, “I think you will like it.”

Leonard Rosenman scored the COMBAT! TV series among his many noteworthy efforts. Vic Morrow, one of COMBAT!’s co-stars (along with Rick Jason) was a friend of Nimoy and may have helped Nimoy get cast for at least 3 episodes as a guest star. I wonder if this was how Nimoy met Rosenman.

Totally get the jumped the shark feeling. Having to go get whales IS a bit hokey. For me Trek 4 was always more a comfort food while TWOK was epic entertainment.

not hokey as the concept of the whales and probe are centre stage where as the genesis device a mere mgguffin to allow for a lot of space battles.

proper ‘trek’ concept used well.

There is definitely some suspension of disbelief in how easy it is to time travel. And ofcourse TVH makes the entire Orci-inspired Bad Robot crap fest moot as far as time travel.

But TVH was very enjoyable. They fought whatever urge might exist to make it completely stand alone and continued the story of II & III. Spock still learning to be himself led to some wonderful moments that sprung organically from the evolution of the character.

My favourite scene is still where Hicks asks them out for pizza and they do a yes, no, yes, no routine ending with Kirk saying “I love Pizza. And so do you”. Shatner got to be funny, showing off skills that would earn him awards years later. And he was good.

Little things like using the eye glasses Bones gave him Kirk in WoK…and ofcourse he got less money for them because he had carelessly broken the lenses.

And ofcourse, the chickens finally came home to roost as the crew faced judgement for their prior actions and it turned into a good news scenario.

@Harry Ballz

re: Star Trek “jumped the shark”for me and never fully recovered.

I agree completely, though there were some moments I enjoyed. The worst thing is the horrid music score, muddy/smoky/hazy cinematography, terrible optical shots (the bird of prey appearing/hovering over the whaling vessel for example), and of course the moronic floating CGI heads sequence. Oh, and uh…John Schuck. The worst of the original TOS-cast movies.

‘I love Italian. and so do you’

shame paramount has not learned the lesson from this great film.
not every ‘trek’ movie has to be a clone of ‘wrath/khan’.

Yes! That was the line (i wrote it as “pizza” above). Great scene. Great comedic timing by both Nimoy and Shatner.

Not funny. Lame. And out of character for both of them.

Hands down, Voyage Home is my favorite Trek movie. Yep it beats WOK, which is a close second.

I don’t think it’s right that Trek III was priced “sell through”. At least …not initially. It was the first movie I ever bought…and I KNOW I paid 80 dollars for it. That was a lot for me when I was 14 years old! I cherished it.

Trek 3 absolutely was priced sell through. I bought it the day it came out and was 14 also.

I was robbed!

Did you buy it on half-inch videotape or LaserDisc?
In my area I found it strange that the LD was cheaper than the VHS or SuperBeta.

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BTW the ad is from March, 1985.

Also, I remember Trek III coming out on video in early 1985, certainly not a year later (which would have been May-June.) I clearly remember walking in a K-Mart around late January and seeing Star Trek III running on all the TVs in the TV area.

Trek IV came out on home video in Sept. 1987 and had a preview for TNG. Trek III came out on home video in Feb. 1985.

I really enjoyed TVH because it was outside the box, not the usual round of space battles and bad guys. It was clever, with a great message. Only Star Trek could have pulled this one off. That was the greatness of Trek.

One really has to wonder how Eddie Murohy starring in a Trek film would have changed the franchise. This would have hands down been the highest grossing Trek film of all time, including the Abrams films …

This I have long argued is the thing that holds Trek back, the lack of star power. Abrams and Paramount gambled that their inexpensive up-and-coming cast would catapult them into super-stardom and thus Trek along with them, but sadly that gamble failed. None of them have really achieved that kind of status. It’s just so disappointing they don’t treat Trek like the Marvel and the DC universe franchises. Even Star Wars gets better treatment as they brought the original stars back, who if they didn’t achieve super stardom, they earned legendary status.

Had Eddie Murphy been in the film, it would have watered down the “Star Trek” part of the story. Did you notice that there was only like 1 or 1 1/2 scenes that tell Gillian’s (Catherine Hicks) backstory. With Eddie, he would have commanded a lot more screen time and rightfully so…
The Star Trek cast was royalty and they didn’t need
a heavyweight guest star that would take away from their screen time.

I would say Zoe Saldana is doing nicely

Eddie would have over-shadowed everyone and everything. It would certainly have tested Nimoy’s efforts. Shatner would have felt the need to out-shine Eddie and the race would have been on.

Regarding no big names in the JJ films, again, you wonder where all the money went. They paid for a big name producer and didnt get the results. Could have had big name guest stars and didnt. Although Peter Weller was great, but under-utilized by Orci’s self-serving script. And clearly, they didnt have any money for a big name actor. Then again, they did try to get Del Toro which would have helped…

Huh? Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba? (To say nothing of Eric Bana and Peter Weller.) Those are certainly big names. Cumberbatch was miscast, IMO, but you can’t say they went small on the names.

I was there that first Friday night. It was and still is a great Star Trek film!
I still have my Star Trek 4 poster magazine, movie magazine and a newspaper ad for the film!!!

It is the best of the Star Trek movies, but Star Trek Beyond is more than a competitive second place, even with the mustache twirling villain. I hope Simon Pegg gets to take a hand in another soon, he has it all down, a fun movie that rollicked from start to finish.

I hate when people say that the movie had no villain. It most certainly did! When I watched it growing up, that probe was a scary thing and very villainous. Hence the urgent need to stop it from… you know… destroying Earth.

it is man who is the real villain according to mr meyer.

short sightedness in the past led to this but can we say that the probe is attacking earth or its signal to the whales absent from the 23rd century merely causing unintended mayhem?

They never specify for sure that it is unintended though. Just random speculation.

i heard mr meyer say it in a featurette about the movie villains on the ‘trek’ TNG movie boxset

Aaron (Naysayers are gonna nay),

Re: that probe was a scary thing and very villainous

I hate when people watch STAR TREK and fail to pickup on its most basic precept: that because some other entity’s alienness and strangeness frightens you, it doesn’t automatically mean that it therefore has evil motives which are requisite to it actually being a villain.

If you go out for a morning jog listening to tunes and obliviously step on an anthill on your circuit, your oblivious action makes you a danger to the ant colony but not a villain.

I love The Voyage Home. It has all of the quirks necessary to make it fun all these years later. My Grandpa wasn’t a sci-fi guy – but he actually watched this one with me and enjoyed it. Good memories. Plus, my step-dad was on the Enterprise when they filmed this movie, so even more good memories.

Not to burst your bubble, but as I recall, the aircraft carrier posing as the Enterprise was actually the USS Ranger…

I have avoided the film for years. When the blu ray set came out the thing that gave me pause was the inclusion of this film in the set. I bought it anyway and gave the movie another chance since I hadn’t seen it in so very very long. Maybe seeing it decades later will give me a different perspective than the negative one I got when I watched it in the theater that one time. I have to say it. This film is STILL by far the worst Trek ever. I can appreciate the lighter tone but unlike “The Trouble with Tribbles” the jokes in this one NEVER worked and the characters were so far away from themselves they all were barely recognizable. The script was terrible and the story line was worse. The whale thing was so monumentally dumb words cannot accurately describe it. The message was so in your face it made “Let That be Your Last Battlefield” look nuanced by comparison. And then there was the time travel thing. A tool that had already become tired even then. Plus the way they did it made it seem like traveling through time was about as difficult as catching the 7:15 train to downtown.

There is so very much wrong with this movie from Nimoys sub par directing to the the awful Rosenman score to the afore mentioned plot. I found myself wishing they did a similar story but place it on Vulcan. Thought it would be a fun twist to see the humans need to blend in with the Vulcans instead of the other way around. Or they could have… Wait… There was far too much wrong with the film to list all the things they could have done to make it better.

And I thought I was the only one who doesn’t care for this film! After 3 films with amazing scores, I couldn’t stomach this one. And though I really appreciate the tone and lack of a villain, the film itself just comes off as schmaltzy to me. From the dialog, to the acting, to the half-assed composite shots… I would put this film at the bottom of trek films, only remarkable for it’s nostalgia and whatever merit you give for cross-over appeal.

The fact that this is the Trek film that actually has crossover appeal pretty much cements the concept that Trek will never be a popular movie series. The worst and most non-Trekish movie of all is the one that non Trek people flocked to.

And yes… You are not alone in your opinion of “The Voyage Home”.

How was time travel a tool that had become tired by then? It hadnt been used in the previous films and TNG hadnt even come out yet.

Characters were not far removed from themselves at all. They were ‘fish out of water’. I think its not that TVH was bad, its that it went over your head.

So you are saying that Scotty was too stupid to realize he was in the 1980’s. A time when one could not talk to a computer. And that it was quite normal for McCoy to run around a hospital screaming about what barbarians the doctors of 1986 are. Sorta like when he was when he was pumped full of cordrazine.
This was hardly “fish out of water”. It was just full on stupidity on the part of our intrepid crew. It was quite embarrassing to see them act like children. Maybe if it were actually funny or clever. But it didn’t even have THAT going for it. It was just sad to see.
As far as time travel is concerned, there were a number of time travel movies in the 80’s already. It was just a tired concept by then not just for Trek but in general.

Again, you’re so angry about making your point, you’re failing to use common sense. I dont recall if they knew they were in 1986. I do know they knew they were in “late 20th century”.

Bones wasnt running around screaming until he was actually exposed to the medical knowledge of the time. He didnt arrive with that knowledge. In fact he seemed quite surprised.

If Scotty had gone back to early 20th century, I could see your point. But your judging Scotty’s knowledge of events YOU know about a time YOU live in. If you were plopped in the “late 18th century”, you might not have intimately knowledge of the technology of the time. Especially of technology that was readily available within a few years.


Re: I dont recall if they knew they were in 1986

If their computer knew of humpback whales but not of this, “WWVB: A Half Century of Delivering Accurate Frequency and Time by Radio “:

and how to decode it to determine exactly that, I’d have been curious. Not to mention Uhura monitoring standard radio transmissions and not stumbling across it even if they didn’t know. The broadcast also has an audio component that identifies what it is etc. in plain English.


Re: A time when one could not talk to a computer.

I don’t think the fictional Scotty was the one being too stupid:

“By 1971, IBM had developed its next experimental application of speech recognition. The Automatic Call Identification system enabled engineers anywhere in the US to talk to and receive “spoken” answers from a computer in Raleigh, NC. It was IBM’s first speech recognition system to operate over telephone lines and respond to a range of different voices and accents.”

A great time travel plot, a smart take on the alien culture theme, superb performances all round and plenty of excitement. There’s literally nothing in that movie that doesn’t work. Well, apart from the score, obviously.
And so many quotable lines!
‘Just one damn minute, Admiral.’
‘Computer…hello computer!’
‘Everyone remember where we parked.’
‘How will playing cards help?’
‘I think he took a little too much LDS.’…
Oh and lest we forget, this is the first time in the franchise when we saw a female starship captain. And (quite wonderfully) African-American, no less. Take that modern Diversity Police!

Rosenman’s score did get nominated for an Oscar so it can’t be
that bad.
His music for all the space scenes is just fine in my opinion. Some of the music during the earth bound scenes are more average…but his best work is the music where our crew’s Klingon ship goes into time warp…and the post verdict music.

Thanks for reminding me…

“‘Computer…hello computer!’”

That was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back for me. After that weak joke (calling it weak is an insult to weak jokes everywhere) that made Scotty look like a blithering idiot I checked out of the movie. I finished it just because I already invested time so I might as well see where that tire fire would go. But that was point when all hope for an enjoyable or worthwhile time at the movies was gone.

In the hands of another actor that line may have seemed silly rather than funny, but I think Doohan’s delivery made it work.
In any case, as a Trek joke i’ll take that over the ‘hilarity’ of Keenser sneezing on a doorknob any day of the week.

I’m sorry but it didn’t work because it made Scotty look like a moron. In fact, pretty much everyone forgot they were 300 years in the past. Except for Sulu who somehow knew how to operate a 300 year old flying machine. That’s quite a stretch.
The jokes in “The Final Frontier” ALL worked better. For all the other problems with that movie at least the scenes with Kirk, Spock and McCoy around the campfire were excellent.
“I’m sorry Doctor. Were we having a good time?”

Firstly, Scotty bumped his head in TFF and knocked himself out. That was stupid.

He didnt look like a moron in TVH. He looked like a genius working with technology that was very dated to him. Can we extrapolate that unlike most Star Trek character, Scotty was not an expert of late 20th century technology? Not sure where he was in the technology timeline…

He then began typing at lightening speed and within seconds had written the formula for transparent aluminum. Yup, moron.

Except… Bumping his head was actually funny because of the timing of it. “I know this ship like the back of me hand.” KLANG! Not a great joke but light years better than talking into a mouse like an ignorant fool. Twice. One does not need to be an expert in 300 year old tech to know that there were no automobiles around in 1500. What Scotty did was equivalent one of us knowingly being whisked back to 1517 and then waiting for a streetcar on a London corner. If he was THAT unfamiliar with I/O devices of early computers how is it he could whip up the complex formula on that ancient keyboard? I seriously doubt any newspaper printers could just whip up a page on a 1500’s printing press just like that. So yeah… Talking to an ancient computer… Moron. One of a number of instances that were completely out of character for our gang. Perhaps you loved it because it was geared for the lowest common denominator of non-Trek audiences. Aimed low enough for you?

You’re equating not knowing the computer couldnt respond to a microphone in the late 80’s to cars existing in the 1500’s? If you want your point to be taken seriously, compare apples and apples.

Scotty knowing he’s in the late 20th century, coming from 300 years in the future and he’s supposed to know? Come on…You act like computers couldnt handle voice commands for another 500 years. Which is clearly untrue. Use some common sense.


Re: not knowing the computer couldn’t respond to a microphone in the late 80’s

Actually, ML31’s making a fundamental mistake, and you are going right along with it, that because voice recognition didn’t exist in home computer models that it didn’t exist back then or that Mr. Scott would know that in an industrial setting the computer he was going to use was of such a home model with such a limited capability.

It’s the equivalent of assuming that because that Apple computer had no internet access that therefore the internet backbone didn’t exist and therefore it would be ridiculous if Scotty had instead used “the internet”, which I was using in 1980 to access a Cray supercomputer back then, in looking for answers to some problem back then as well.

Here’s that actual “history” that ML31 mucked up in ignorance:

“By 1971, IBM had developed its next experimental application of speech recognition. The Automatic Call Identification system enabled engineers anywhere in the US to talk to and receive “spoken” answers from a computer in Raleigh, NC. It was IBM’s first speech recognition system to operate over telephone lines and respond to a range of different voices and accents.”

‘how quaint’.

‘gentlemen, we’ve come home’

or “My friends (since Uhura was there), we’ve come home”.

…and because I thought the movie was so good…I felt like this was Shatner saying…the series had come full circle and we were back to the 2nd season where “Star Trek” was great.

damn it, knew I got it wrong.

I forgot.
‘Tell her…I feel FINE.’
Not a funny line, but still the best of the movie. The perfect end to the Spock arc begun in Khan.
You know when I think back to the day I first saw that film, on a 20 inch tv on pan and scan vhs (sadly, the first Trek I ever saw in the theatre was The Final Frontier-yes, your sympathy is welcome) well, it’s just pure nostalgia. I almost wish I could go back to the eighties and live there. But at the same time, it makes me a little sad.
If you’d have told my thirteen year old self, sitting there in blissful ignorance watching Spock swimming with whales and calculating impossible odds, that twenty years hence when I was all ‘grown up’, my favourite Vulcan would be beating the shit out of people and diddling Uhura-i’d never have believed you. Not in a million years.
Say what you like about your perceptions of the film’s flaws. We didn’t know when we were lucky.

actually TMP gifted that spock character arc to the trilogy.
melding with v’ger chilled him out about his heritage.

You are quite correct.

I’ve always wondered if Shatner’s involvement with Greenpeace in the ’70s had anything to do with the “save the whales” message of STIV. I saw him at a convention in ’78 and he spent most of his time talking about the importance of saving the whales, but then also talked about a movie idea with an environmental message: something about the ship being out of resources and finding a planet that could replenish their supplies — but doing so would wreak havoc on the environment of the planet. I’m not sure that’s the right plot, but I’ve always liked the idea of a movie where the crew is forced to make a really difficult decision.

Trek IV’s concept was all Nimoy. Bill was still busy with “TJ Hooker” at that time, but I do recall Shatner being interviewed on his horse ranch by Merv Griffin and Bill just being elated when he said how unique the storyline was for “Star Trek IV” which was already in production at the time of the interview.

I need guidance with something. After 4’s initial release on vhs..years Later a Director’s Edition was issued. I recall this vhs version had a making of featurette I believe never was ported over to the dvd/BD issues. It was a fair sized featurette on the fake whales/animatronics aspect. Am I correct and did this never again appear on future releases of this film?

I got the only copy I could find in mail yesterday. The cover was correct..however the vhs inside was NOT The Paramount Director’s Series release w/ Nimoy’s segment. Paramount only did 2 such releases…the other was “Fatal Attraction”. I have searched google, Amazon, ebay. Only a handful of the standard theatrical release version is out there. Help! This segment NEVER got ported over to dvd or Bluray! Need this!

but then the OS was known for silly humour.