Review: ‘Star Trek V’ And ‘Star Trek VI’ On 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Beautifully Upgrade The Final TOS Movies

Just ahead of Star Trek Day 2022, Paramount Home Entertainment has released the newly remastered 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions of The Final Frontier and The Undiscovered Country. The release of these two films finishes the work of bringing all six of the TOS era movies into 4K UHD. The films are available individually and in a new Star Trek I-VI boxed set.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition is also out today on 4K UHD Blu-ray, and will be covered in a separate review.

With the individual movie releases, you get a 2-disc case that contains the Ultra HD Blu-ray version of the movie, and a standard HD Blu-ray disc version. The Blu-ray discs feature the same newly restored versions of the film, just in 1080p. These new versions of the 1080p Blu-ray movies are also sold separately for those who haven’t made the leap to 4K/HDR.

NOTE: This review focuses on the 2022 Star Trek V and Star Trek VI releases. For the first four original series films, please see my review of the first boxed set Paramount released for Star Trek Day 2021.

Star Trek V

The Final Frontier is a bit of an odd duck. The success of The Voyage Home meant the studio felt the need to include more overt humor, and because Leonard Nimoy had directed one of the movies, the “favored nations” clause in Nimoy’s and Shatner’s contracts meant that Bill Shatner got a turn too. Star Trek V can be a very good-looking film at times, Shatner does a fine job directing, and the cinematography by Andrew Laszlo is very good. The plot itself at least tries to yield some interesting ideas about faith, with a dash of commentary on our quick-fix society. Ultimately, the film is let down by pretty awful special effects and misplaced humor. That said, the troika of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy have some lovely intimate moments around the campfire, and there’s some compelling insight into the characters around Sybok’s revealing of their pain, so The Final Frontier is worth a place in your collection for these moments, if nothing else.

Kirk and McCoy question Spock about Sybok.

Star Trek VI

After the mixed results of The Final Frontier, the future of the TOS film franchise was uncertain. With the 25th anniversary (1991) fast approaching, a plan was eventually hatched to make one last movie with the original crew as a proper send off. Star Trek II director (and Star Trek IV co-writer) Nicholas Meyer was brought back. While there were some obvious budgetary limitations, The Undiscovered Country managed to pull off a film similar to what Khan had done a decade earlier, which was to make a compelling film on (mostly) existing sets and in a short time. Also back was ILM for the visual effects, fixing a major mistake made with the production of Star Trek V. The plot smartly used the idea of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent dissolution of the USSR as inspiration for starting the process for peace with the Klingons. At the time, I remember eating this all up as viewer. I do wonder about the need for this (contemporary—now historical) context for younger fans when they watch this movie, and if it carries as much weight without it. Regardless, when everything is done and the cast is literally signing off on the screen, it’s hard not to get a bit teary eyed, knowing this was an exciting and generally satisfying send-off for our beloved crew.

For this new Ultra HD release, both the Theatrical Version (109:56) and the slightly-longer Director’s Cut (113:21) are included. For whatever reason, the standard Blu-ray edition only includes the Theatrical Version.

The Director’s Cut isn’t really required viewing. It restores a few interesting little scenes, and also reinserts the “Scooby Doo” ending first seen on the home video version of TUC in the ’90s, where the Klingon assassin is exposed as Colonel West (René Auberjonois).

Both the Director’s and Theatrical versions are now framed at 2.39:1. Director Nicholas Meyer has confirmed to Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits that 2.39:1 is his preferred framing for the film.

The TOS crew heads off into the sunset.

Video Quality

Just like the previous four films, these new 4K scans of the films look significantly better than the old 2009 HD versions. They look like films again, far less processed than the previous releases, and that alone makes the set worth getting. The wider color gamut of Ultra HD allows for richer colors; for example, the “monster maroon” uniforms are a shade of rich deep red. The films also benefit from a restrained HDR grade that helps retain details in the brighter scenes.

Nitty-gritty details: Without a doubt, the films look much better than they ever have on home video. The previous versions of the films which were released back in 2009 and then repackaged ever since had a number of shortcomings. They were overly processed, which meant the natural look of film was often scrubbed out. The biggest symptom of this over-processing is that faces looked waxy or leathery: The Undiscovered Country was probably the worst offender. These new versions of the films may at first appear “soft,” but that’s not correct; what this new scan of the movies did was restore a natural filmic look to the movies (film grain), and finer details are more visible now.

A closer look. Click to enlarge.

NOTE: The screenshots included in this article are from the standard Blu-ray 1080p release. The 4k HDR versions look even better. Staring at still frames of a motion picture isn’t exactly how a film is intended to be watched, so take these as a general demonstration of the changes.

For The Final Frontier, the biggest correction is fixing how “hot” the 2009 version was. The contrast was pumped up way too far. This blew out details in bright scenes, most egregiously in the scene with “god” which effectively made the face in the energy column un-viewable.

2009 Blu-ray

2022 Blu-ray (from 4K scan)

Audio Quality

The audio mixes are the same excellent lossless 7.1 Dolby TrueHD mixes previously released with the Blu-rays. I will say I’m slightly disappointed Paramount didn’t remix the movies in Dolby Atmos, but that isn’t a deal-killer by any means. The mixes are great and sound really good on a modern surround system.

Special Features

As this release is all about bringing the movies into UHD there are no new special features, but each film carries over pretty much all of the special features from the 2009 versions of the movies, which in turn carried over most of the DVD features from before. I recommend you check out our review from 2009 for more.

As is common practice, the Ultra HD Blu-ray discs have minimal special features to allow maximum space for the 4K video. So the majority of the extras are found on the standard Blu-ray discs.

Full list of features:

Star Trek V

UHD Blu-ray disc features:

  • Audio Commentary by William Shatner and Liz Shatner
  • Audio Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman

Blu-ray disc features:

  • Audio Commentary by William Shatner and Liz Shatner
  • Audio Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman
  • Library Computer (HD)
  • Production
    • Harve Bennett’s Pitch to Sales Team (SD – 1:42)
    • The Journey: A Behind-The-Scenes Documentary (SD – 28:55)
    • Makeup Tests (SD – 9:50)
    • Pre-Visualization Models (SD – 1:41)
    • Rockman in the Raw (SD – 5:37)
    • Star Trek V Press Conference (SD – 13:42)
  • The Star Trek Universe
    • Herman Zimmerman: A Tribute (SD – 19:09)
    • Original Interview: William Shatner (SD – 14:37)
    • Cosmic Thoughts (SD – 13:05)
    • That Klingon Couple (SD – 13:05)
    • A Green Future? (SD – 9:24)
    • Star Trek Honors NASA (HD – 9:57)
    • Hollywood Walk of Fame: James Doohan (SD – 3:07)
    • Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 005: Nimbus III (HD – 3:02)
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Mount Rushmore (SD – :18)
    • Insults (SD – 2:03)
    • Behold Paradise (SD – :52)
    • Spock’s Pain (SD – 1:02)
  • Production Gallery (SD – 4:04)
  • Storyboards (HD)
    • Sha Ka Ree
    • The Face of God
    • Escape
  • Theatrical Trailer 1 (HD – 2:42)
  • Theatrical Trailer 2 (HD – 1:34)
  • TV Spots
    • Vacation Is Over (SD – :32)
    • Renegade (SD – :32)
    • Challenge of Rebellion (SD – :31)
    • Brothers (SD – :32)
    • Beyond (SD – :32)
    • Adventure (SD – :16)
    • Warp Speed Now (SD – :17)
  • The Gag Reel (SD – 1:08)

Star Trek VI

UHD Blu-ray disc features:

  • Audio Commentary by Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flinn (Theatrical Version Only)
  • Audio Commentary by Larry Nemecek and Ira Steven Behr (Theatrical Version Only)
  • Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda (Director’s Cut Only)

Blu-ray disc features:

  • Audio Commentary by Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flinn (Theatrical Version Only)
  • Audio Commentary by Larry Nemecek and Ira Steven Behr (Theatrical Version Only)
  • Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda (Director’s Cut Only)
  • Library Computer (HD)
  • The Perils of Peacemaking (SD – 26:30)
  • Stories from Star Trek VI
    • It Started with a Story (SD – 9:46)
    • Prejudice (SD – 5:02)
    • Director Nicholas Meyer (SD – 5:57)
    • Shakespeare & General Chang (SD – 5:53)
    • Bring It to Life (SD – 23:26)
    • Farewell & Goodbye (SD – 7:04)
  • The Star Trek Universe
    • Conversations with Nicholas Meyer (SD – 9:33)
    • Klingons: Conjuring the Legend (SD – 20:43)
    • Federation Operatives (SD – 4:53)
    • Penny’s Toy Box (SD – 6:06)
    • Together Again (SD – 4:56)
    • Tom Morga: Alien Stuntman (HD – 4:57)
    • To Be or Not to Be: Klingons and Shakespeare (HD – 23:04)
    • Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 006: Praxis (HD – 2:38)
  • Farewell
    • DeForest Kelley: A Tribute (SD – 13:19)
  • Original Interviews
    • William Shatner (SD – 5:05)
    • Leonard Nimoy (SD – 6:26)
    • DeForest Kelley (SD – 5:00)
    • James Doohan (SD – 5:33)
    • Nichelle Nichols (SD – 5:39)
    • George Takei (SD – 5:28)
    • Walter Koenig (SD – 5:28)
    • Iman (SD – 5:04)
  • Production Gallery (SD – 3:24)
  • Storyboards (HD)
    • Praxis
    • Assassins
    • Rura Penthe
    • Leaving Spacedock (Omitted)
  • Promotional Material
    • Teaser Trailer (HD – 1:28)
    • Theatrical Trailer (HD – 2:23)
    • 1991 Convention Presentation by Nicholas Meyer (SD – 4:43)

What’s missing

The only bonus feature that would have been great to see is the multi-part documentary by Roger Lay Jr. (who did the excellent documentaries on the TNG-R and ENT Blu-ray sets) commissioned for the 50th anniversary boxed set in 2016.

It’s understandable why this feature isn’t on the TUC disc; the other parts weren’t included in the other 4K discs either. This was a separate documentary commissioned for the 50th anniversary set, but it would be nice to get them into a new set at some point.

Final thoughts

The TOS movies have never looked better. Are they perfect? No. But it’s pretty darn close. As fans who enjoy these films and want to have them in the best possible format, this is a must buy. Fans need to vote with their wallets. Remember, there’s more at stake here than just these movies. If we want the TNG movies available on disc (which we assume would be released next September), the studio needs proof that there’s a demand for it.

If people don’t buy these on disc, it also sends the message that streaming-only is okay. Streaming rights come and go, and vary by region, so the only surefire way to collect these movies in 4K to keep as your own is on disc. And at least for the US version of these films, it comes with a code for a digital copy of the movie, so you can have your handy digital version while also showing your support for the disc format.

Available today

Star Trek V and Star Trek VI were released today, September 6 in the USA on 4K Ultra HD. Each is available on Amazon for $19.99 (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) and (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). You can also pick up Blu-ray editions of both for $14.99.

Also out today

Today Paramount also released Star Trek: The Motion Picture—The Director’s Edition in 4K Ultra HD. Look for a review of that later this week, but you can pick it up at Amazon for $25.96. The standard Blu-ray edition is selling for 17.99.

And for The Motion Picture: Director’s Edition they also released “The Complete Adventure” (limited edition) boxed set. This includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray of Theatrical + Special Longer Version and an Ultra HD Blu-ray of the Director’s Edition plus the Blu-ray of bonus features, and various collectible swag.

Amazon has already sold out of this version which has a MSRP of $107.99. There does seem to be limited stock at Best Buy, so check both vendors.

You can also pick up new individual releases of the other TOS era movies priced at 19.99 for UHD Blu-ray or 14.99 for standard Blu-ray (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home).

And all six original series movies are available in 4K UHD in a new Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection box set. It includes the theatrical cut of The Motion Picture with UHD and standard Blu-ray discs for each film along with digital download codes. The new TOS movies set is available at Amazon for $107.99

Packaging for six-movie collection


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I just received TMP special edition which was $85 so I am not sure if I want to double-dip (for TMP included again) for the full set here? I may wait 6 months so that I can get this for $60.

Great review — it’s so good to hear that they did not half-ass this.

The Director’s Cut isn’t really required viewing. It restores a few interesting little scenes, and also reinserts the “Scooby Doo” ending first seen on the home video version of TUC in the ’90s, where the Klingon assassin is exposed as Colonel West (René Auberjonois).

I never thought of it as a Scooby Doo ending. You made me laugh. Made my day better. Great analysis! I will be picking up the golden 6 on 4K for sure.

Where have you been? People have called it a Scooby Doo ending forever.

I’ve never heard that term used to describe that cut of TUC before either.

…neither have I.

He’d have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddlesome geriatrics!

I saw that ending on my old videotape version. I thought it was dumb.

In fact, having Col. West brief the president of the federation on the rescue plan for Kirk and McCoy in front of the Romulan ambassador in that version was a weird mess up by Nicholas Meyer. I’m glad those scenes were eliminated from the theatrical cut.

There was one scene though, with Spock, Scotty, and Valeris where they were visually counting the torpedoes in the Enterprise’s torpedo bay that was eliminated on my blu ray that was on the VCR version. I do miss that scene. Yes, it’s probably extraneous but its another nice scene with Nimoy and Doohan who aren’t here anymore. : (

ST VI is a great film. I wish Paramount had given Meyer and Nimoy more money though. This last film with the original cast deserved it. I always disliked seeing the very obvious use of the TNG sets in ST V and VI, even though a large chunk of those sets, i.e. engineering, some of the corridors, sickbay, and the transporter room, were originally built for Star Trek the Motion Picture for the movie Enterprise. They even used the TNG briefing room as the dining room of the Enterprise-A despite the fact that model of the movie Enterprise had no windows of that shape at all. And then, of course, two movies later when First Contact comes around, the Enterprise A gets a bunch of all-new sets.

It just underlined how parsimonious Paramount Pictures was with regard to the TOS films.

As for these new blu rays, I don’t have a 4K TV or player at the moment and I already have blu rays of all the films and the DVD of the TMP director’s edition. For you 4K folks out there, what do you think? Is it worth it?

Thanks for the review!

I was very bored one weekend last year, so I started playing around with iMovie and made a fan edit of Final Frontier, cutting it down to about an hour so it was more like an episode of an 80s TOS revival series that never was. The plot is what it is, but it’s quite a bit more watchable with the goofy jokes removed, that’s for sure. No bonk-bonk on the head for Scotty in my cut!

The Scotty head bonk was the funniest gag in all of Trek feature films! Yes, it’s kinda slapsticky but it works.

Not really. It’s awkwardly staged, even as slapstick, to the extent that it makes Scotty look stupid. James Dothan hated it.

Awkward indeed. Besides that, what does it add to the narrative? To lead us to another weird ‘romantic’ moment between him and Uhura that goes nowhere? I cut that out, too.

And if you cut out those two things, the next time you see Scotty after the jailbreak, if I remember right, he’s working on the transporter — exactly where you want Scotty. So yes, the goofy things aren’t missed.

It added nothing but a laugh. Nothing wrong with breaking the tension. And it took Scotty out of the equation because had had he not been caught things would have been easier for Kirk, Spock & McCoy.

The gags in TFF were some of the best of the film series, quite honestly. Please do not take this as me thinking TFF was a great film. It wasn’t. But there were some good things in it. The humor was one of the things it got right and removing them would just make the sub par film worse.

Yep, it’s a knee-slapper alright. Worthy of Hee-Haw.

Certainly better than anything in TVH. I’d suggest editing that one but even without the lame gags there is still the entire crew coming across as dumb as the Galaxy Quest aliens and the lame plot.

Now it’s out: ST V is their first attempt at Lower Decks! They were 3 decades ahead of their time!

On the contrary. Every time I see the scene it evokes a laugh to this day. It was perfectly executed.

What made Scotty look stupid was talking to the computer in TVH. In fact, a lot of things in that movie not only made Scotty but everyone look stupid.

Confirming my ‘blue-haired lawyer theory’ about the internet. Doesn’t matter what topic it is, someone will come out of the woodwork to defend it.

Didn’t you yourself confirm that already?

Uh sure, why not.

Regarding VIs end of Cold War theme, perhaps they should give Meyer Trek XIV to reflect current events (with the Kelvin Klingons, and elements of Yesterdays Enterprise?).

Of course, this is just the beginning. no one knows how far things will go..

He really is an excellent writer with very good instincts as a director, he performed so well under enormous pressure and constraints. Star Trek owes him so very much. I’ve no idea if having bountiful resources would ruin his special sauce, but I’d love to see what happens.

I think Meyer’s inherent cynicism, which he came by honestly (the guy said in a mid-80s interview he didn’t think we’d survive to get out of the 20th century, and this was BEFORE he wrote that laugh line in TVH), would make it almost impossibly hard to do an entertaining story that reflects the current turmoil. I mean he chose to make TREK seriously retrograde in TUC (not just Kirk’s pride and Spock’s prejudice, but all the stuff that made TSFS’s political paranoia seem validated, which seemed just SO retroretro), and I found that pretty abhorent, and to make a Federation that would be run by something like what we just had creeping through the Oval would be going bridges too far in the wrong direction for Trek, or so I think.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture-The Director’s Edition includes “The New Frontier: Resurrecting Star Trek” and “Maiden Voyage: Making Star Trek: The Motion Picture” from the 50th Anniversary set and The Wrath of Khan contains “The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan”. “The Dream is Alive: The Continuing Mission: and “End of an Era: Charting the Undiscovered Country” from the 50th Anniversary set are not included in any 4K release.

I just spun up The Wrath of Khan Blu-ray disc from the 2021 4K set. “The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan” is there. Same as it was on the 2016 release, as you noted in the review of that release.

Really disappointing that they don’t have dolby atmos!!! There are much “smaller”, insignificant and older films out there that receive a dolby atmos upmix. I REALLY hope they will upmix the TNG movies in dolby atmos – I’m the biggest tng fan but if paramount is not willing to give me the best possible product (sound in this case) for my felt 50iest time buying these films, I will not buy them (again).

These discs are wonderful upgrades to the frankly atrocious blu-rays. They’ve been a long time coming. Let’s hope the TNG films are coming next year.

Was going to order the TMP remnaster until I saw it was included in the Box set. I ordered the Box set yesterday. A bit disappointed to hear the extended cut of TUC is missing from the BD. I don’t think it was all that necessary, however. And I do still have the original DVD that was that cut.

The documentary mentioned would have been good to include. I don’t think I’ve seen it. I’ve seen so very many, however I just wonder if it has anything in it that hasn’t been seen before? If anyone has any thoughts or could tell me about that doc I’d appreciate it.

I ordered TMP Directors Edition The Complete Adventure from Amazon UK since the disks are region free and the UK set comes with the new DE on a separate Bluray Disk instead of the digital download like in North America. That drove me bonkers when I saw it was a digital download in North America.

Just be sure you have a region free player if you are in N America. Which I am seriously considering.

I’ve seen vastly superior fan-made CGI replacements for the dreadful STV FX on YouTube. If Paramount had wanted to do an upgrade on the cheap, it wouldn’t have been difficult.

Seems like such a missed opportunity to do this for The Final Frontier, Generations and even Insurrection. Work with the director to identify shots that could be augmented or swapped out with improved VFX they couldn’t do back then and then spend a small amount with any of the VFX houses working on Trek to give some added value when asking fans to buy these films again for the umpteenth time.

I’ve seen those videos too. Some are really impressive. Get on that, Paramount!

I’m still of the opinion that you could fix most of V’s effects by simply using different stock elements from previous films, then recomping them with other backgrounds (there aren’t THAT many shots where you see whether the -A is there or not.)

And just about anything would have been better than the toe-painting-looking and backlit-cottonball center of galaxy — I have always said you could take the vger cloud stuff and mess up the color while skip printing and get a very suitable center-of-galaxy that had scope and looked pretty.

The only things any of these sets are missing are the animated menus that came with the old DVD sets. Those were awesome and its a shame they werent reproduced for any of the later releases. At least all of the bonus content is included though from those same DVD sets!

As wonderful as the sixth film is (and it’s my favorite in the canon) the fifth film is 180 degrees the opposite. I tried to rewatch that abomination last week and gave up less than an hour into it. Horrible, horrible, horrible. I’m a first gen, all in ST fanatic and watching ST-V is about as painful to me as someone beating my hand with a hammer.

Great review and I’m glad we finally have confirmation that these new remasters are also on the standard Blu-ray Discs too. I hate the 2009 transfers so replacing them entirely with the box set is the obvious choice for those who can afford it.

My one gripe is that here in Australia, as is now sadly the norm, we are only getting the single UHD individual releases for each film. No remastered BDs, no bonus discs and certainly no box sets.
So, I will be importing my box set from the UK which, while it solves my personal collector’s issue, doesn’t help the cause here in AU. If everyone does what I’m doing then Paramount will assume that Aussies only want to stream. There may not be as many physical media collectors here as in the rest of the world but if they released the same UHD/BD box set here in Australia I reckon they’d find there would be a reasonable number who would buy it. Perhaps a limited release? Stamp a ‘1 of 500’ sticker on it. They’d sell then!

Anyway, rant over. I am so happy these films are finally available dressed in their best.
I am very excited to see the four Next Gen films in the future as the photography in those is uniformly gorgeous and well deserving of a first class UHD release. I just hope those films get a 7.1 upgrade…or better!

LLAP

TS

Maybe Nemesis will finally get re-released as a very extended edition with 45 additional minutes how it was supposed to be from the start?

Too bad they didn’t use that opportunity to fix the bad and unfinished fx of ST V (and Sybok’s messy and inconsistent hair cut ;) )

are these new 4k versions also the ones that are now available on Paramount +?

Star Trek V in 4k is ready for download on iTunes, but VI is only in HD. When do we get the 4k Version of it, are there any news?

Another question I have…is anyone else having trouble playing their digital copy of the Director’s Cut of Star Trek VI on AppleTV 4K? All I get is sound, no video. It plays fine on my reg HD AppleTV…

My old SD Version of Star Trek VI DCut works fine here on the latest Apple TV 4k, but its not the version that you can buy today in the Apple Store. Did you test it on an iPhone or Macbook?

yeah, works fine on my Macbook. I haven’t tried on my iphone yet. I was talking with 8 different support members from Apple last night, and no one could figure out the issue.

I would try to reset the Apple TV, but you have tried this, I am sure…

Try it again, Part VI is now back in 4k in the iTunes Store in Germany, maybe this version has the DC of the film in the correct version.