Star Trek: The Voyage Home (1986)

One of the best Star Trek movies, and there are no real villains! A great example of doing good without a classic structure, and taking some chances.

We’re looking for the Whales

In the third episode of the “Genesis” trilogy, the premise is definitely the most silly of all star trek movies:

A space probe that disrupts electro-magnetic fields threatens to end all life on Earth.
No communication is possible at it seems to emit signals resembling that of whales, alas long extinct.
The disgraced crew of ex-Starship Enterprise embarks on a dangerous mission to save Starfleet.
They must jump back in time to the 20th Century, when Earth still had living whales, and bring some back along with them in hopes to stop the probe.

On paper, this looks like a disaster…
But what a pleasant surprise this movie brings. Everything just works!

It’s very funny and entertaining.
The story flows nicely and there’s very few boring moments.

Park the ship in the park

The crew of the enterprise in the 80’s world works so well.
It’s really fun to watch:

  • Chekov asking random people where he can find Nuclear Wessels
  • Scotty trying to speak to the computer
  • Spock going around looking like a hippie, mind-melding with a whale
  • Kirk able to adjust better because he read books with some slang

It concludes a very good story arc, as Kirk accepts his punishment for the events of the previous movies, but because he literally saved Starfleet’s ass he’s just demoted to captain and given back a refitted Enterprise.

Once again it looks very nice, the ship models are still awesome to look at, and the sound design is very good.

The actors seem to have had a great time, and it really shows. William Shatner is so charming and fun.

Good job by Leonard Nimoy, who managed to improve greatly with his second time in the director’s chair.

Annie, just shut up for God’s sake!

On negative points we could mention

  • Gillian is a caricature of a whale-loving person (the I love whales bumper sticker on her truck haha)
    • Catherine Hicks plays Gillian, after Stephen Collins in the first movie, they later would later play as husband and wife in the abysmal show 7th Heaven
  • The lack of explanation around Whale probe, what it is, what it wants
    it arrives, wrecks everything, then just speaks 30 seconds to the 20th century whale then fucks off to space with zero explanation

The future will save the past

The ecologist message / conservationism is very strongly stated in this movie.
But it’s not really an issue, it’s not hammering you over the head with it (also it is indeed illogical to bring a species to extinction).

Overall one of the best entries in the franchise.

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