Thought it would be fun to re-watch these, since I finally picked up a copy of Star Trek - Into Darkness from the cheapie bin, which  means I now have copies of all of them.


So, on into space, the filmic frontier...

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Star Trek V - The Final Frontier (1989)


Directed by William Shatner

Story by William shatner & Harve Bennett & David Loughery, screenplay by David Loughery.


  1. Nimbus III - apparently this is where the Futurama writers got the name for Zapp Brannigan's flagship.
  2. I have no beef with Laurence Luckinbill's performance as Sybok. I just can't personally buy the whole "Sybok as Spock's long-lost half-brother" idea.  It just doesn't work for me in terms of my idea of Spock as a character.  Even if they'd made him Spock's uncle or something, I think I could buy into it better. YMMV, of course.
  3. Sybok's littlle buddy is called J'onn,  apparently. A Martian Manhunter fan in there, somewhere?
  4. The score by Jerry Goldsmith was OK.
  5. The camping scenes with Kirk, Spock and McCoy were fun. One did get a sense of three guys that have known one another for a long time.
  6. I also liked the characters of St. John Talbot (David Warner), General Korrd (Charles Cooper) and Caitlin Dar (Cynthia Gouw). I wouldn't have minded a story of the three of them having an exploit together.  I'd love to know how a Romulan got an Irish name!
  7. Hmm, fanatics following a charismatic leader come riding out of the desert to attack an outpost of "civilization". That story sounds familiar.
  8. There's a hint of a possible relationship between Scotty and Uhura here, which I don't recall them doing much with afterwards.
  9. "Bourbon and beans, an explosive combination."
  10. "I've always known I'll die alone."  Way to bring everyone down, Captain Morbid!
  11. "I am preparing to toast a marshmelon."  I suspect Spock of trying to be funny, here. And McCoy doesn't get it that he's joking.
  12. "Were we having a good time?"  Now I"m sure he's being funny.
  13. I liked Klaa and Vixis - a fun Klingon "power couple".
  14. I think they overdo the whole "the ship is in lousy shape" bit.  I'd expect someone to be cashiered for the ship being in such poor condition.
  15. And once again, they're the only ship available to go.
  16. As for Uhura's fan dance - not a choice I'd have made for that character, were I writing this.
  17. "Hold your horse, Captain."  And then he neck pinches a horse!
  18. "The great barrier at the center of the galaxy."  I thought the barrier was at the edge of the galaxy.
  19. Scotty knocking himself out is kind of lame. Also, Sybok takes over the ship too easily.
  20. "Sha Ka Ree - the source".  He wants to breach the Sourcewall!
  21. "Don't just stand there, God's a busy man."  Surely God has all the time in the world?
  22. I also don't like that they let the Klingons sneak up on them.
  23. "What does God need with a starship?"
  24. So, we end up with yet another false/incomplete/failed (strike where applicable) god character.
  25. "Damn you, sir. You will try."  Spock's got the hang of bad language, now. 
  26. "Please, Captain, not in front of the Klingons."
  27. Apparently, a "Melody Shatner" played a yeoman in this. A Shatnerdaughter, I assume.
  28. And Harve Bennett played a Starfleet rep.  Always nice when you can put yourself in your pictures.


Overall:  I was surprised by this picture. I had remembered it as being the worst one they did. Well, I think I still feel that way, but it had alot of good moments. I think that with a little re-writing and some judicious editing, this could've been quite good.

I few good moments but beyond that I didn't like it either.

It didn't have the ending that Shatner wanted.

And they made Spock an only child in the TV series to prevent writers from using Spock-siblings as story ideas.

This was the fruit of the deal Leonard Nimoy made to revive the Spock character after he was killed off in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. To wit: He agreed to come back in the third movie if he could direct an installment in the series, which he did, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Well, William Shatner couldn't abide Nimoy getting to direct a movie if he didn't get to direct a movie, so Shatner got his turn, with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is well-regarded as a popular favorite in the series. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier cemented the popular notion that the even-numbered movies in the series are the good ones, and the odd-numbered movies are bad.

Yes, Trek V gives us lots of the Big Three, but I found their interactions simplistic and clumsy.

As General Korrd turned out to be key to the resolution, they shouldn't have portrayed him as a rude, drunken fool right up to the end.

Bad playing by the rest of the cast (some good actors, and that Romulan non-actress) resulted in Luckinbill getting over-praised by contrast. Heck, there's no wrong way to play a crazy holy man, but he almost did. "Very well, do what you have to but no more." "He has his doubts!"  Makes me wince.

I dunno, maybe they need a director. I remember Shatner making the rounds of the talk shows thinking it was the best damn picture ever. He seemed to think that "Nimbus Three" was really clever.

Goldsmith's score was the only good thing about it.

We start with a dedication to the crew of Challenger, which I thought was a nice touch.

Unfortunately, today they would have to include Columbia. And maybe a nod to Apollo I.

The "Leningrad" reference dates the film a little

For those who don't know, the city name Leningrad has reverted to its old name of St. Petersburg; Stalingrad, to Volgograd. Of course Chekhov might not be wrong. Putin probably wants to change them back again.

"This is an extremely primitive and paranoid culture." Lots of dumping on the 20th Century in this.

We couldn't be too bad or Star Fleet wouldn't have ever existed.

The bus passengers all applaud Spock for knocking out the punk. But why? They don't know what the Vulcan neck pinch is - for all they now, Spock just quietly snapped the guy's neck.

Good point. I hadn't thought of it. OTOH, Maybe they didn't care if he snapped his neck.

They could have just beamed Gillian back out of the ship again, at the end. sure hope she wasn't meant to have any important descendants or anything.

She wouldn't necessarily have to have important descendents. All the people she and her children (if any) would interact with in the future would have been affected. (Unless going to the future WAS her destiny)

Earth is lucky the whales told the probe to leave.

Yeah. If the whales held a grudge they could have said "The humans killed all my family and friends. Wipe them out!"

And they get a new Enterrpise. I recall some source material suggesting that they just took a new ship that they happened to have ready and hastily re-named it.

That does make more sense than building a new ship that large and complex from scratch in very little time.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Yeah, it was kind of odd that they left the invisible spaceship in the park and it was fine. I would have to think that more than a few people might have bumped into it, and that would have attracted some attention.

They should have had that in the movie. A guy bumps into the invisible ship and calls the cops. They consider taking him in for psychiatric observation.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is well-regarded as a popular favorite in the series. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier cemented the popular notion that the even-numbered movies in the series are the good ones, and the odd-numbered movies are bad.

Although I've seen all the movies my collection consists of I through IV. The Voyage Home is probably my favorite because of all of the interaction with "civilians."

I often think that instead of coming up with new scripts they just should have adapted some of the old Star Trek books. "Spock Must Die" by James Blish would have been good to see on the screen.

I saw V in the theaters and once on VHS. I remember it being almost unwatchable. It also made me reluctant to see VI in the theater (but I am glad I did).

Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country (1991)


Directed by Nicholas Meyer (No more letting the actors direct them, I guess!)


Story by Leonard  Nimoy and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal

Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer & Denny Martin Flinn


  1. "For Gene Roddenberry"  - This was released in December 1991, and Roddenberry had died in October.
  2. The music was done by Cliff Eidelman. I thought it was OK.
  3. Hikaru Sulu is now captain of the Excelsior. I beleive this is the first time his first name was given iin anything "canon", although it had been used in several novels over the years.
  4. "That suits me, I just bought a boat."   whenyou're in a movie, never buy a boat just before you're about to retire.
  5. "The Klingon Empire has roughly fifty years of life to it."  This always kind of bugged me. Granted, having a moon blow up is catastrophic, but is the Empire that fragile that it would be doomed afterwards?
  6. This picture is, of course, an extended metaphor for the end of the First Cold War, as well as that dopey "end of history" nonsense that was floating around back then.
  7. "Are we talknin about motballing the Starfleet?"  This also bugged me, as though the Klingons were the only potential threat to the Federation.
  8. "There is an old Vulcan saying: 'Only Nixon could go to China.'"  Apparently, it it logical to be a smartarse occasionally.
  9. "They're dying." "Let them die."  I've read that Shatner hated that line, and did his best to make it look like Kirk regretted it the minute he said it.
  10. We meet Valeris, played by Kim Cattrall, who plays her as being somewhat smug and pleased with herself. I've read that the character was originally meant to be Saavik (and much of her dialogue resembles Saavik's), but Roddenberry didn't like the idea of turning Saavik heel, and also Alley was unavailable, and Meyer hadn't liked Curtis' performance and didn't want to re-cast it again.  This does sort of make it look as though Spock has a habit of "mentoring" likely young Vulcan lasses. ;)
  11. "The Lieutenant was the first Vulcan to be graduated at the top of her class at the Academy." You mean it wasn't you, Spock?
  12. I like how Kirk has a black-and-white photo of David.  Apparently, the secret of color photography is lost by the 23rd Century.
  13. "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end."
  14. David Warner return, this time as Gorkon, the doomed Klingon chancellor.
  15. Christopher Plummer is amusing a Chang, the Shakespeare-obsessed Klingon.  One does wonder what the average Klingon grunt makes of his CO spouting bizarre Earth poetry all the time.
  16. The dinne rparty scen was amusing.
  17. Wow, there sure are alot of racists in the Federation, aren't there?
  18. There's John Schuck, again. Always fun to see him.
  19. Even when I first saw this, I was suspicious when they had the Romulan ambassador sitting in on a high-level Federation meeting.
  20. "I bet that Klingon bitch killed her father!" 
  21. I liked the Klingon courtroom scene.  It was fun seeing Michael Dorn playing Worf's grandfather.
  22. Rura Penthe was an interesting notion, too. Sort of cements the "Klingons = Soviets" thing.
  23. I like how Spock indirectly claims Sherlock Holmes as an ancestor.
  24. Iman was OK as Martia the shapeshifter. I wonder if her people are related to Odo's people?
  25. "Not everybody keeps his genitals in the same place, Captain."
  26. Brief cameo by Christain Slater on Sulu's ship.
  27. "Perhaps you know Russian epic of Cinderella." Chekov, you idiot.
  28. The bit with them all fumbling with books to translate Klingon was a bit too goofy.
  29. One thing Nimoy has always done well is show the force of the emotions that lie hidden beneath the layers of Spock's Vulcan training.  By Vulcan standards, Spock seriously loses his s*** when he finds out the Valeris has sold them out. The scene where he forcibly mind-melds with Valeris is downright disturbing.  Granted, it's a desperate situation, and Valeris is a traitor and he's doing it at Kirk's order, but Spock hurts her, in an extremely intimate way.  It's at least as creepy as if he'd done something comparable physically to her to get the infromation out of her. I think he feels this, too, on some level, since he takes to his bed immediately afterwards.  One begins to think that maybe it's just as well that the Vulcans suppress their emotions, after all.
  30. "I've been dead before."
  31. Plot glitch: Uhura talks of the Enterprise carrying equipment to "categorize gaseous anomalies", but it was the Excelsior that was doing that.
  32. "I'd give real money if he'd shut up."
  33. "If I were human, I believe my response would be 'Go to Hell'. If I were human."
  34. And we end with Kirk passing the baton to the next Generation: "..Boldly going where no man - where no one  - has gone before."


Overall:  By and large, this was a pretty good final outing for the entire original crew. Very much a film of its time.

I liked it ok, but there were some plot problems. They should have been working on a way to crack that cloaking device on the way to the conference, not just when they got there.

The Baron said:

"They're dying." "Let them die."  I've read that Shatner hated that line, and did his best to make it look like Kirk regretted it the minute he said it.

Around the time the movie was out, I saw William Shatner on some TV show discussing that scene. He said he said the line, but immediately shook his head and waved his arms to show he didn't mean it, but that bit landed on the cutting room floor.

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