Shuttle Pod 27: “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” On Its 25th Anniversary

This week marks 25 years since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, what would be the last film with the original crew, made its silver screen debut. Today, the Shuttle Pod do a rewatch and take a deep dive into a film that spoke volumes about the state of the world at the time, and perhaps even today.

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“For one quarter of a century they have thrilled us with their adventures, amazed us with their discoveries, and inspired us with their courage. Their ship has journeyed beyond imagination. Her name has become legend. Her crew, the finest ever assembled. We have traveled beside them from one corner of the galaxy to the other. They have been our guides, our protectors, and our friends. Now, you are invited to join them for one last adventure. For, at the end of history lies The Undiscovered Country.”

Join the crew of the Shuttle Pod as they take a deep dive into The Undiscovered Country including what it meant at the time and how that message resonates today. Brian and Jared recount key moments of an old favorite, and Kayla rekindles the love for a film she never knew she had.

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One of the best.

My favourite movie with the original cast!

December 13th. A good time of year to release Star Trek movies IMO.

Did you notice the colors of the Praxis explosion shockwaves are roughly the same as Klingon blood in this movie? Varying shades of pink and purple. Nice touch.

So some good Trek IS coming then. Great news considering this whole Discovery cluster-something-or-other

This could also be a cluster thing. Pegg and Jung were not supposed to be writing the movie

I had a roommate at the time working at ILM. He worked on this film AND Hook. He would torture me with tiny bits of info but never enough to break his NDA. He brought home blueprints of the Enterprise with the battle damage marked on them and just left them out for me to sneak a look at… he also commented on Kirk being vaporized in the trailer. He said “it’s not what you think, it’s something that happened before in the series”, meaning a doppleganger but not saying as much.

Since it wasn’t discussed in the podcast, maybe it can be discussed here: Is this movie making Spock a rapist or not? I mean, the way he gets the information about the people behind the conspiracy from Lt. Valeris looks quite forced to me.

I wouldn’t call it rape so much as “advanced interrogation techniques.”

Great movie! Also my favourite Enterprise bridge set. It’s perfect!

Agreed on both counts. That bridge is familiar enough to see “possible” but still futuristic enough for me to believe it’s from the 23rd century. It’s ironic that I feel that way though since the ST:V bridge was entirely touchscreen.

This was easily the 2nd best Trek movie yet. They got everything right here. A favorite scene is Spock smacking the Phaser out of Valeris’s hand. He was PISSED! Nice to see after the two weakest entries in the series. And that teaser trailer… It was absolutely awesome!

One last note, the one thing that would have made the movie better would be if they could have kept the traitor as Saavik. Would have been a bit harder to see that coming. Otherwise, top marks.

I really only had one nit pic that wasn’t brought up in the podcast.

First, I want it made clear I love this movie and consider it #2 all time. That said…

Uhura speaks about the equipment the Enterprise is carrying to detect gaseous anomalies. The Enterprise wasn’t doing that. The EXCELSIOR was doing that! Sulu said so in his opening Captain’s log.

I loved this movie when I saw it in the theater in my Junior year of high school, but I have to say that it hasn’t held up all that well. It’s not a bad movie, but today I find the whole some people are afraid of change moral of the story to be a bit awkwardly presented, in that we never see any of the conspirators saying or acting in any way as to suggest that they’re motivated by fear of change. Kirk just declares that fear of change is the villains’ motive, and then the story moves on. Also, it never made sense (and it still doesn’t) why Marta stays in Kirk-form after the people she’s double-dealing with spring their little trap. It’s only because Marta remains looking like Kirk that her employers decide to shoot them both. She could have just gone back to looking like Iman to save her own life at any time, but neglects to for no reason other than plot convenience. This is more of a nitpick, but it always bothered me, when Kirk gets rescued (beamed up to the Enterprise) just before he would have gotten shot, that his only reaction is to be annoyed with Spock for rescuing him just before the bad guys were going to reveal their whole, sinister plot. After the harrowing experience on Rurapenthe, freezing out in the snow, and getting rescued just before he’s about to meet his maker, his only reaction is to complain? That has always struck me as excessively ridiculous and takes me out of the movie.

The Valeris interrogation scene is by far the best scene in the movie, for me. It’s brilliantly shot and performed by everyone, and really rings true. I agree with all of the comments in the podcast about how heart-warming and even a bit tear-jerking the ending of the movie is. Meyer did it perfectly.

All in all, I regarded TUC as the third best Trek movie for a number of years (behind TWOK and TVH, respectively). But, today TUC is tied with TSFS. I enjoy both of those movies about equally, even with the many and deep plot holes in TSFS.

To Jared Whitley,

Unless my ears are playing tricks on me, it sounded like pronounced “Schizoid” in a strange way in the podcast. It’s pronounced the same way as the first part of “schizophrenic,” as King Crimson demonstrates here:

LOL. I thought the same thing, Cygnus. I believe you are correct. It’s the first part of Schizophrenic.

Christopher Plummer was just perfect as Chang, I’m glad he agreed to play as Chang again in 2000 for the PC game Klingon Academy.


I remember specifically, shortly after TUC was released, that the Klingon blood in zero-G was touted in articles as being especially cool-looking CGI.


Re: especially cool-looking CGI

I recall there was some later revelation of that as a PR misdirection move purposely pulled on the fans by Paramount to balm over the fact that the original rendering of floating blood in red was going to earn VI a MPAA R rating for gratuitous gore and violence. Apparently Paramount’s negotiations with the MPAA to get the movie a rating they felt was imperative to its financial success at the box office was so fragile the suits thought the risk of censorship sensitive fans rising in protest would screw the deal with the MPAA so they decided for a PR move to sell it as a CGI limitation that just turned out to make sense with them being aliens.

Maybe kmart has the real scoop as to why they went pink?


Re: especially cool-looking CGI

My research shows kmart is of the school that the blood rating was Berman sliced baloney.

FWIW, there appears to be no reference to the Klingon blood color in either of these copies of drafts:

but both specify Martia’s blood as green

For anyone who’s interested, Shatner actually understudied for Plummer at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, the most prestigious theatre festival in Canada.