“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 1991 / Director: Nicholas Meyer / Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy ... / DVD released 26 January, 1999 at Paramount / Features of the DVD: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC „
* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to Star Trek films The Undiscovered Country which was the last one featuring the original USS Enterprise crew to be made is pretty much unknown and in 21 years since it was released I cannot recall ever seeing it listed on any TV channel.
It is very surprising for such a well know brand, especially as it has the best storyline of any of those featuring the original cast and is throughout the film pretty obvious to see prejudice and the different perspectives existing in society - this time between the Klingon Empire and The United Federation of Planets that is represented throughout by Starfleet. It is also commonly known as Star Trek VI as it is indeed the 6th film produced by Paramount Pictures.
I grew up on Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Bones McCoy, Chekov and Sulu, so it is not surprising that I love all 6 of their films and that I have developed a love (in most cases) for this type of science fiction although I found it impossible to enjoy the newer Enterprise TV series, Deep Space Nine or the newer first 3 films of the Star Wars hexology.
The Undiscovered Country is a very enjoyable film which I originally bought on VHS as part of the full box set and later on DVD as part of a rather expensive DVD and magazine subscription to the full Star Trek The Next Generation collection which included all ten films that had at the time been released - not only was this expensive but from memory took at least a year and a half to complete. In terms of features my copy includes Theatrical and Teaser Trailers. It is rated PG and runs for 109 minutes.
The Undiscovered Country has a pretty good story line..... The Klingon moon of Praxis is the Klingon homeworld's key energy production facility explodes as a result of years of over-mining of resources and in so doing destroys their ozone layer. As the result of the explosion the USS Excelsior captained by Hikaru Sulu is on a scientific mission near to the neutral zone and in fact he is enjoying a cup of tea as a shockwave hits the ship. Despite the Klingons being a warlike race and an unnatural peace existing between them and the United Federation of Planets. With that in mind Sulu takes the unprecedented step at attempting communication with the Klingon homeworld to offer aid which is initially rejected. Sulu however discovers that in fact very little remains of Praxis.
After the Klingons have had time to reflect they realise that they can no longer continue with their hostile footing Starfleet orders the USS Enterprise under command of James T Kirk to escort the Klingon chancellor Gorkon's ship to Earth where negotiations are due to take place to end hostilities. Kirk however is rather put out to do so as the Klingons killed his son, David. He does however reluctantly agree and invites Gorkon aboard the Enterprise where he is to be Guest of Honour for a dinner party. Gorkon is joined by his chief of staff General Chang who is opposed to the truce. Later that night the Enterprise fires photon torpedoes at the chancellor's ship disabling its artificial gravity and 2 crew beam aboard and assassinate Gorkon. Kirk beams across with McCoy with the intent of saving Gorkon's life but fail in the attempt, and are promptly arrested by Chang for high treason.
In fact, as we are later to learn it is part of an elaborate plot by Federation and Klingons to prevent a truce being agreed and the trial of Kirk and McCoy that follows is purely for show and their sentence predetermined - they are sentenced to life imprisonment on the penal asteroid Rura Penthe.
Meanwhile Gorkon's daughter (Azetbur) is elected as the new chancellor. Spock who now commands Enterprise must very quickly establish the facts behind the assassination and rescue Kirk and McCoy. The Enterprise crew will also need to head for Earth to prevent a second assassination and be reunited with their former crew member now commanding Excelsior.
This is a very fitting end to the crew I knew and loved once more combining to save civilisation from total disaster and well worth watching.
The film was released through Paramount Pictures in December 1991. It is available from Amazon for £4.75 DVD or £6.99 Blu-ray although there are many versions available on the site that are from various re-releases.
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
Produced by: Ralph Winter, Steven-Charles Jaffe
Screenplay by: Nicholas Meyer, Denny Martin Flinn
Story by: Leonard Nimoy, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
Starring: William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan (Scotty)
Walter Koenig (Chekov)
George Takei (Sulu)
Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)
Kim Cattrall (Valeris)
David Warner (Gorkon)
Christopher Plummer (Chang)
Rosanna DeSota (Azetbur)
Music by: Cliff Eidelman
Cinematography: Horo Narita
Editing by: Ronald Roose
William Shatner's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier recieved a severe critical mauling and flopped badly in the North American blockbuster summer of 1989. It was widely presumed that the Star Trek series was now over and this feeling was exaccerbated by the obvious fact that the cast were obviously not getting any younger. DeForest Kelly was actually in his seventies by the time the 1990s arrived and the others weren't too far behind. However, 1991 would mark the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek and the studio felt that it would be something of a shame to let this special celebration year go by without putting anything in the cinema even if it was just for old time's sake. At first it was proposed that the sixth Star Trek feature film would dispense with the original actors and revolve around Kirk as a young man at Starfleet Academy and show how he met his redoubtable crew for the first time. The dreaded reboot. After careful consideration (and even a screenplay) this project was ultimately shelved (to be resurrected by JJ Abrams much later in 2009) in favour of a final adventure for Shatner and company instead. After the problems with Star Trek V the studio wisely returned to The Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer to write and direct what eventually became Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Meyer have proved himself to be adept at turning in a good film on a limited budget and they desperately needed both of these qualities now. Meyer and Leonard Nimoy came up with a topical and relatively inventive story that drew parallels with US/Russian glasnost and the end result is certainly a big improvement on Star Trek V and a nice way for the cast to finally say farewell. The film opens with the explosion of the Klingon moon "Praxis" - their Chernobyl obviously - with the disaster detected by the USS Excelsior under the command of Captain Hikaru Sulu (George Takei). Good for you Mr Sulu! Captain at last. Praxis was a key energy facility and power source for the Klingons and the terrible accident has damaged their ozone layer. Or something.
"Two months ago," says Mr Spock (Nimoy). "A Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon, Praxis. We believed it was caused by overmining and insufficient safety precautions. The moon's decimation means a deadly pollution of their ozone. They will have depleted their supply of oxygen in approximately 50 Earth-years. Due to their enormous military budget, the Klingon economy does not have the resources with which to combat this catastrophe. Last month, at the behest of the Vulcan ambassador, I opened a dialogue with Gorkon, Chancellor of the Klingon High Council." The Klingon Empire is shattered and broken and reluctantly decides to open negotiations with the Federation to secure peace and some much needed assistance. Captain Kirk (Shatner) and his crew are assigned the mission of escorting Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner), his battle commander General Chang (Christopher Plummer), and their entourage through Federation space. However, all does not go according to plan. Someone is out to sabotage the tentative and uneasy peace and Kirk himself is not happy at all with his mission. He absolutely hates Klingons - with good reason too after all they've put him through in the previous films! When the Enterprise appears to fire on the Klingon warship they are escorting and Chancellor Gorkon is assassinated, Kirk and Dr McCoy (DeForest Kelley) are sent to the prison planet Rura Penthe for crimes against the Klingon Empire and Spock has a very puzzling mystery indeed to solve if he is to save them and prevent war breaking out again.
While the subtext of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is none too subtle, in the capable hands of Nicholas Meyer this is a considerably more entertaining and satisfying film than The Final Frontier. Meyer keeps things moving along at a fair clip while once again making the film somewhat darker than the other Star Treks both in terms of the look and the mood of the picture. The Enterprise seems more shadowy and smaller here and there are distinct shades of grey in his treatment of the Federation - which is somewhat racist in its attitude to the Klingons and also militaristic. The gung ho Kirk is a dinosaur now and wonders what will happen to him and his generation now that a new era of peace seems to be sweeping the galaxy. "Captain's log, stardate 9522.6: I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I could never forgive them. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion, and I'd like to believe him, but how on earth can history get past people like me?" Not everything in Star Trek VI makes sense and there are plot holes you could fly a shuttlecraft through but there is much to enjoy here. Kirk (amusingly) fighting himself on Rura Penthe after supermodel Iman's yellow eyed shapeshifting alien Martia tries to deceive him, the zero gravity attack on the Klingons, Christopher Plummer gorging on the scenary as the Shakespeare-spouting General Chang, some spiffy space battles, and Kim Cattrall as the slinky Valeris (the Enterprise's new Vulcan navigator).
I like the way Spock here has to turn Sherlock Holmes to work out who was behind the sabotage attack on the Klingons. "An ancestor of mine maintained that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. If we did not fire those torpedoes, another ship did." Although the film did not have a huge budget the special effects and designs are much better than Star Trek V and it serves as a worthy swansong for the now rather old crew. The film is undeniably daft at times but fun and the humour feels far less shoehorned in than it was in the last film. The brisk pace - especially in the second half of the picture - means that one is never bored and it builds to a satisfying resolution and touching finale. When Kirk signs off with closing narration and the signatures of the cast appear for the last time together one by one across a star strewn background at the end of the picture there will be a lump in the throat of any Trekkie worth his salt. They have been put out to grass at last and handed the galaxy hopping baton over to Captain Picard. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a worthy addition to the series and serves as nice farewell and finale for the characters we've come to love and know so well. At the time of writing you can buy a two disc version of this for about a fiver with an audio commentary by Nicholas Meyer and screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn, a text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda, a tribute to DeForest Kelley, several making of featurettes, a documentary about the genesis of the Klingons, and interviews with the cast as they sign off on the last adventure for the original Star Trek crew.
This, without a doubt, is the best of all the Star Trek films, including even the new one and that's even though this is the 6th entry, and is the final one to have all the original cast in it. It's written and directed by Nicholas Meyer, who also did The Wrath of Khan, which explains why it's so good as The Wrath of Khan was also outstanding. But this has the edge because it has such an outstanding and clever plot, whilst also some of the best acting in any Star Trek film. Apart from staring the usual cast including William Shatner, Leonard Nimory and DeForest Kelly, there is also support from David Warner, Kim Catrall and the outstanding Christopher Plummer. Then there is the brilliant action and the plot that is a reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the USSR.
The film starts near a Klingon moon called Praxis, which explodes. Captain Sulu, who is in charge of the USS Excelsior feels the shock wave and immediately offers help while trying to find out what happened.
It turns out that Praxis was being mined too much and ended destroying itself (perhaps a reference to Chernobyl, which exploded for much the same reasons). Praxis itself was the most important energy producing planet, and its explosion has also destroyed the ozone layer on the Klingon home planet, giving them just 60 years left to live.
In turn, they come to Starfleet for help, and Spock acts as an ambassador to try to help them and end the seemingly cold war between Star Fleet and the Klingons. Spock volunteers Captain Kirk to also act as another ambassador. Soon, the Enterprise crew are travelling again, and meet with a Klingon ship that is carrying the highest members of the Klingon Empire.
Upon meeting the Klingons, everything seems to be going to plan. Everyone seems to be getting along, and it seems that peace could be something that is possible. However, when the Klingons return to their ship, their ship is attacked and the Klingons assassinated. To make it worse, it seems as if it was the Enterprise that attacked, even though everyone knows it wasn't. It soon becomes a race against time the crew attempt to prove what happened, leading to a classic showdown.
This is a huge improvement on the previous 5 films. Even though the Wrath of Khan was excellent, this outstrips even that. The Undiscovered Country has a very clever and relevent plot, clearly mirroring the feeling at the time that the Berlin Wall was coming down and that the USSR was collapsing. The destruction of the moon Praxis refers to the Chernobyl disaster. So there are a lot of small references to different moments in Cold War history. The action is just as good and is relentless as the crew move from one part of space to another. The prison scenes in particular are very well filmed, and the final climax is outstanding.
This also benefits from the best acting seen in a Star Trek film as well. Shatner and co are as good as they ever were. But this also has brilliant support from Kim Catrall as the Vulcan Valeris, David Warner as the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon and even a young Christian Slater as a member of the crew.
But none of those compare to Christopher Plummer in his role as General Chang, the Klingon who doesn't want peace. His delivery of the dialogue is slick and perfectly time and he steals every scene that he's in.
All in all, this is the best of the Star Trek films, and is very stylish and slick. It has perfect characterization, an outstanding plot and some brilliant action. A fabulous film.
The last ever Trek film to feature the original Enterprise crew and it's a corker. Returning to the director's chair is Nicholas Meyer, returning after producing one of the best Trek films of recent years - The Wrath of Khan. The Undiscovered Country comes very close to the perfection of Khan and is a fitting end to the life of the original crew.
The Undiscovered Country is about the Federation's attempt to reconcile the animosity between themselves and the Klingon Empire. The film begins with the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis. With Praxis destroyed the resulting atmospheric change means the Empire has only fifty years of life left in it. Spock begins peace negotiations, but the old guard are pretty much against any form of reconciliation. When the Enterprise is sent to bring Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner) back to Earth it appears the Enterprise attacks the chancellor's ship. Gorkon is murdered and Kirk and McCoy are put on trial. Sent to Rura Penthe, a notorious Klingon gulag, our heroes seem powerless to help the impending situation at the peace talks. Will they be able to escape and save the day?
The film works very well as both a fitting tribute to the original crew as well as an excellent whodunit. The whole premise of the film is very clever, with the Klingon race stirring up mixed emotions in the crew. I liked the similarities between the coming down of the iron curtain that was happening at the time they made the film and the destruction of Praxis. "If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it.' Says David Warner to Shatner.
I liked the whodunit aspect of the film as well, with some parts playing out a bit like an Agatha Christie novel in space. Meyer manages to blend both of these elements nicely together to produce an excellent film.
Shatner here is excellent as well, knowing that his time as the captain is coming to an end. One of the funniest moments in the film is when Iman, a shapeshifter who he spent the night before kissing turns into a carbon copy of himself.
Shatner: I can't believe I kissed you.
Martia: Must have been your lifelong ambition.
Spock too is at his most logical, here sporting some more spiky ears than I remember in Final Frontier. He and the rest of the old crew do a sterling job to breathe new life into an old franchise. As their days were numbered, The Next Generation crew had already started and the next film would pick up with their new adventures. It's a bit of a shame, as while the crew here looks a little long in the tooth, I'm sure there were many more stories to tell.
Kim Cattrall also turns up in this film, now more famous in Sex and the City. Here she plays the Vulcan Valeris, seen by Spock as his natural successor. Also appearing briefly is Christian Slater who gets a bit of a telling off by Sulu!
The special effects in this film far surpass any of the other films in the series. The destruction of Praxis is excellent, I remember seeing this film very soon after it came to video and being amazed at how they did it. This was the beginning of the CGI age and you can see why Star Trek wanted to be the first to use this new toy.
When Gorkon is shot, pink globules of blood spurt out of him. Whilst obviously CGI'd by today's standards, they were amazing at the time and is reminiscent of the Terminator piecing itself back together at the end of Terminator 2.
The Undiscovered Country is by far one of the best Star Trek films. Wrath of Khan, Fist Contact and The Undiscovered Country are by far some of the best Trek hours you are ever likely to see. If you are new to the series, or have been spurred on to investigate after seeing JJ Abrams recent reinvention, then there are the ones to watch. Amazing.
At the end of the eighties, the world changed in ways that we could hardly imagine. One of the factors was the Chernobyl accident in 1986. When the Ukrainian reactor exploded, sending a radioactive cloud across most of Western Europe, it became clear that the Soviet economy and infrastructure was in dire straits. The subsequeunt events reshaped the political world and ushered in a brief era of peace, culminating in those memorable days when the Berlin wall came down. After the disappointing Star Trek V, the sci-fi series needed an explosive film to end the Original Series era, and by reflecting the world shaking events of the time, The Undiscovered Country certainly proved to be a memorable swansong for the original cast.
When Praxis, the moon of the Klingon homeworld explodes in an industrial accident, the Klingon Empire finds itself at a crossroads in its history. With their economy in tatters and no longer able to pursue their aggressive foreign policies, the Klingons take the opportunity to sue for peace with their traditional enemies, the Federation. Spock has met with the Klingons to arrange peace talks between the two powers on behalf of the Vulcan Ambassador, and presents this at an emergency meeting with Starfleet. He has volunteered the Enterprise and Captain Kirk to extend the first hand of friendship and meet the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon at the border. Kirk is livid though, as he still has a deep hatred for the Klingons, who he blames for the death of his son.
Nevertheless, the Enterprise makes it's rendezvous with the Klingon ship, and Kirk even goes as far as to invite the Klingon delegation to dinner, a dinner that sees animosities barely restrained. Kirk has barely slept off the effects of the Romulan ale consumed at the dinner, when the Enterprise suddenly fires at the unshielded Klingon ship. The Klingons lose their gravity, and two space-suited figures beam aboard and assassinate the Chancellor. Kirk in an attempt to salvage the peace process surrenders to the Klingons, and in an effort to help, beams aboard the stricken Klingon vessel with Doctor McCoy. The Klingon General Chang arrests the two officers and charges them with the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon.
While Kirk and McCoy stand trial on the Klingon homeworld, Spock must discover what really happened and who it is who wants to destroy the peace initiative. For while the peace talks have been rescheduled, the real assassins are still out there.
The picture on this disc raises a rather contentious issue, not least for the fact that it's absolutely dire. If the resolution wasn't low enough, the picture itself is soft and indistinct in itself.
It's a considerable shame as Director Nicholas Meyer creates an atmospheric and moody style for the movie. Many of the scenes are dark and expressive use of light and shadow creates a style not seen in Star Trek prior to this movie.
It's a shame that one of the best produced and memorable of the Star Trek movies, which is also the last hurrah for the original cast is presented on a disc which is little better than the VHS version.
On the other hand, the sound is presented in impressive DD 5.1 English or German, with a DD 2.0 Surround track in Czech for good measure. The surround is powerful and effective, though of course it isn't up to the thunderous standards of modern sci-fi movies. The sound is suitably atmospheric when needed and conveys the action well. When starships are zipping by at warp speed and photon torpedoes are pummelling vessels, your speakers make you fully aware of the fact.
Cliff Eidelman provides the music and it is an excellent score that suits the story perfectly. His music is ominous as required as the opening credits presage events of galactic consequence, as well as the fitting fanfare for the Enterprise' final voyage.
Two trailers make up the bonus features, how unusual for Paramount.
"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!" Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a fitting end to a generation's voyages. A compelling story and exciting action figure strongly in a film that will entertain fans and non-fans alike. The witty script allows us to see the regular cast at their best, and in a nod to Sherlock Holmes, we see a good old-fashioned mystery on the Enterprise driving the suspense in the film.
The movie very closely parallels the world events of the time, and the hopeful message of peace is all too evident here. While the film does take a while to get going, the climax is explosive and thrilling, and they do send off the cast in the right way.
The entire original cast are comfortable in their roles and it's great to see the magic one final time. Notably, William Shatner's Kirk in this film is a more human character, a little world weary and burdened by his losses. He's more a small player in big events rather than the heroic Kirk of previous movies, and this film is all the better for it. Each of the original characters has his own part to play in the proceedings and gets to make his or her mark on the story.
The guest cast is also good and play off the regular cast well. David Warner stars in his second Trek in a row, this time as the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. Kim Cattrall is the Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris and is a fundamental character in the story. Christopher Plummer is General Chang and his propensity to quote Shakespeare at every opportunity makes for an entertaining character and something more rounded than the usual Star Trek bad guy. Added cameos include Iman as a shapeshifter and Christian Slater as a crewmember. Star Trek links include Michael Dorn as Colonel Worf, the grandfather of his TNG character and an early Trek appearance for Rene Auberjonois, who would later play Odo on DS9.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country isn't as good as I remember it to be. A tiny niggle, but one that bugs me every time I see it is the addition of a digital clock to the bridge of the Enterprise. Supposedly there to add dramatic tension, now all it does is scream continuity error every time it comes into camera. Slightly more problematic is the amount of exposition. The middle act of the film is quite bloated in terms of dialogue and information to be put across. While the forms of the courtroom drama, and the mystery are usually quite effective in disguising this, and Nicholas Meyer uses directorial flourishes to enliven the dialogue, it still tends to slow the film down considerably.
Those problems aside, Star Trek VI is still an entertaining romp A good film is let down dismally by a pitiful picture quality
After the total lunacy of the fifth Star Trek film released in 1989, the sixth film in the franchise had to be something different and also had to be something special, given the fact that this would be the last time the crew of the USS Enterprise would be together on-screen.
Released in early 1992 in Europe, the film centres on the Klingons. It has been discovered by the USS Excelsior that he Klingon moon of Praxis has been destroyed by an internal explosion from deep inside the planetoid; this in turn has left the home world of the Klingon Empire with an estimated sustainable life of just 50 years due to the ecological build up of Ozone in the atmosphere. To Captain Kirk's outrage, the decision is taken to hold peace talks, an opportunity that the Federation cannot refuse as this would bring peace across the galaxy. The Enterprise- A is the olive branch sent to meet with the Klingons en route to Earth to start the long process of peace negotiations. After dinner the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon departs the Enterprise-A with his crew, when on board his ship is almost destroyed in what looks a Photon Torpedo being launched from the Enterprise-A, the fine line is set between peace and all out war between Earth and the Klingon home world.. Balanced in the middle are Captain Kirk and Dr McCoy who have both been arrested for murder of the Klingon Chancellor. It is now up to Spock and the crew of the Enterprise-A with the help of the newly promoted Captain Sulu and crew of the USS Excelsior to unravel this conspiracy and determine who or what is behind this plan to sabotage the peace plans.
There have been a number of changes in the crew of the Enterprise under command of Kirk. Commander Sulu has now been promoted to Captain of the USS Excelsior. I thought that this was a good idea as this has opened up a new possibility with the way the films could go. Unfortunately the idea was attempted for its own TV series but never came to pass. Sulu plays a vital role in the story and is there for the Enterprise at times of need as back up. It was good to see George Takei have a larger role than before in the film and also be on equal rank as Kirk.
In addition to main cast members that haven't changed at all for at least two films we have Christopher Plummer as General Chang. Now bearing in mind that Plummer played the role of Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music, Plummer appears in the film in full Klingon regalia with the obligatory ridged forehead and interestingly an eye patch that looks as if it has been nailed on. Plummer can only be described as getting into the character as he plays the part of Change with some force and in various parts of the film refers to Shakespeare in Klingon. You get the impression that he is here to rattle some cages, but the focussed manner in which he does this means that he delivers a strong performance which via the script is the intention to somewhat bury Shatner's depiction of Kirk, which in this film is far more moody in nature than what we have become used to and has become established as the character itself.
One surprise is that the replacement for Sulu on the Enterprise is another Vulcan called Lt Valaris. Surprisingly played by Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, she plays a tolerant officer who Spock believes has the calibre to replace him as Captain of the Enterprise one day. The character is fleshed out with a decent back-story as well which is raised in conversation in the early part of the film. Cattrall does play the part well and has the Vulcan method of delivery down pat, she also manages to deliver the Vulcan eyebrow raise with perfect timing!
The victim of the film is Chancellor Gorkon as it is his assassination early on that is the catalyst for the rest of the film playing out. David Warner, who was also in Star Trek V, plays the Klingon Chancellor with a full English accent. The accent doesn't actually seem out of place but makes the character far more of a creepy and chilling Klingon that due to the make up that has been applied makes him look a little like Abraham Lincoln in appearance with a stare send a shiver down your spine. Even though it is a small part in the film that Warner plays, it is also another character that plays a important piece in the script.
Bringing back Director Nicholas Meyer back for the sixth film was not only the sensible thing to do, but was also inspired with the job required as he had directed Trek II and co-wrote Trek IV. The previous film, Trek V had made Star Trek a laughing stock due to the inconsistencies and script. So with Meyer in charge things were going to change for the best and that is precisely what he has done. A far more dramatic, dark and moody film that conveys the story of two races that have to get on with each other. Add an unknown presence that is taken the task to destroy what potentially can be built upon. Bottom line is that this is a whodunit movie that has been written by Meyer and Denny Martin- Flynn, a script that reflected reality and the politics with the end of the Cold War. It is due to the script that the more sombre approach is taken and the music for the film is far heavier than what we heard before. It is less dramatic in tone and is a far more heavier piece that plays over the credits and is heard throughout the film, the practice of continually referring the Star Trek theme at various times has been totally eliminated. It is also the inclusion of lines from Shakespeare that is also one of the many themes in the film and to hear the word "To be or not to be..." in Klingon is something that is a complete left field inclusion in the story.
It's easily noticeable that the set designers have gone for a similar approach last seen in the earlier films, thankfully far less colourful and bright than that of the previous film and is far darker in the colours of the tones that are used with a number of shots showing how tight the space actually is on the ship itself. We also get to see other areas of the ship such as the Galley and crew quarters as well which interestingly is a mix of both sexes rather than all male and female quarters. For me personally this is takes away a little of the sci-fi aspect and makes the whole set up a lot more believable in nature to watch.
I should also mention that the opening scene of the Klingon moon exploding is a treat to watch with the TV on maximum as this is the first Star Trek film to totally embrace the use of computer effects and which when used properly allows us to be introduced to a shape shifter in greater details using the morphing method. The shape shifter in the story, called Marta, is played by David Bowie's wife Iman. In fact I think its safe to say that one of the final shots of the Enterprise -A will be a mouth watering treat as the ship is shown in some granular detail and really does show off the effort and thought that Industrial Light and Magic have done with the special effects.
Overall this is definitely the best way in which the original crew departs the franchise as they are leaving on a high. The pressure they apply to the roles is somewhat of an acting tour de force in the nature of the Trek films. The story as a whole is epiphytical in nature; it is two races that don't really understand each other at all and are forced together in a scenario no-one thought about. Kirk having good reason to question everything as it was a renegade Klingon that killed his son, David Marcus, back in Star Trek III. Throughout the film the character is stand offish to the Klingons who are in a difficult position themselves. Shatner is obviously the leading man of the story with a lot of issues on his shoulders to deal with, but it is what is on his head that the eye is always focussing upon. The black hair has and has been replaced with a salt and pepper colour style, the style being slightly reminiscence of the earlier films and TV series of how Kirk had his hair styled. It is good to see that the remainder of the crew have had all their parts balanced out and are not ejected to just filling a space at the back of the screen. The sixth film is easily the better examples of this happening as well.
As with all my DVD's, the version I have does not have any extras at all. But other releases since from Paramount have gone to town with Commentaries and Deleted Scenes. Meyer has since re-cut the film to flesh out some of the unanswered questions towards the end of the film as well as showing what the proposed opening sequence of pulling the characters out of retirement for the mission could have been. However in my mind the film is just right as it is and the quality of the film itself is something that the Next Generation crew has never really surpassed.
The sixth film in the Star Trek saga featured the usual crew of the Enterprise, with guest appearances by a variety of stars and celebrities including Christopher Plummer, Kim Cattrall (long before her 'Sex and the City' days), Christian Slater (in a brief cameo) and Iman.
Relatively recent in relation to the making of the film, the collapse of the Soviet Union had an impact on the storyline of the film. Because of the imminent annihilation of their own planet due to their mismanagement of their environment, the Klingon empire decides to attempt to make peace with the Federation. With Spock instigating the decision, Captain Kirk is sent on a diplomatic mission to escort the Klingon chancellor to a peace conference, much to Kirk's disgust - he has a very real hatred of the Klingons because a member of that race killed is son in a previous movie. The story then unfolds in the manner of a Sherlock Holmes mystery (and indeed Spock quotes Holmes at one point) as a scheme to disrupt the peace process is uncovered by Spock, and the rest of the crew.
The special effects are magnificent, and this is a joy following the poor effects evidenced in the previous film, STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER. It appears that Paramount threw more money at this film, fittingly as it is a send-off to the original crew (although Kirk, Scotty and Chekov make an appearance in the next film, which introduces the NEXT GENERATION crew to the big screen).
The acting is also superb, and this is surprising again considering the wooden-ness of the acting in the previous film. The only sour note is Kim Cattrall in her role as a Vulcan, she just seemed to annoy me throughout the film. It is telling that her character, Valeris, was originally written as Saavik, the Vulcan/Romulan hybrid from the earlier movies, until the powers-that-be decided that the character development the character goes through in this film would be inappropriate for Saavik. The new character of Valeris was then created instead.
One of the most amusing scenes in the film is the dinner between the Klingons and the Enterprise crew. There are a number of puns and other examples of verbal wit, my favourite being "You haven't read Shakespeare until you've read it in the original Klingon language."
I very much enjoy this film, having seen it a number of times. On the basis of this one, it is a shame that the complete crew of the original Enterprise were not able to continue to make further instalments in the saga. Ah well, I'll have to go back to my Star Trek novels to get more adventures of the original and best set of characters in the Star Trek franchise.
Star Trek 6 - The Undiscovered Countrywas the last movie to feature the full cast of the original series, and although a few of the members appeared in Generations, this really was a last goodbye to the gallant crew of the enterprise. (I am unsure if many will shed tears at this, but it does mark the end of one era and the beginning of another) Throughout the first five movies we have watched the crew grow older and wiser and yet there is still a little sparkle left in Kirk's eyes as he command his ship, and there is still mischief in McCoy's eyes as he argues with Spock. The camaraderie that has developed throughout the series and the movies is very evident and natural. The movies bought back Star Trek, building on its cult status, and renewing interest in the enigma enough to spawn several new series (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise). Building on the storylines, production qualities and charatcers we have seen the movies become more sophistiocated (in a similar way to the improvement in the new series.) The movie helped catapult Star Trek into a more mainstream market making it more available for non-trekkies. There are still those who scoff at 'trekkies' but Rodenberry has given us a glimpse into a possible future, one that isn't that far away. ***The Movie*** One of the moons of the Klingon's home world explodes due to a mining accident; they seek peace with the Federation after it is found that their planet will become uninhabitable after the disaster. This is unprecedented in the history of the Federation / Klingon encounters and thus both sides move with caution and distrust. The once mighty Klingons already are fighting a losing battle with the Federations and this last desperate act of peace both surprises many Klingons as well as much of the federation - years of war and anger have left their mark on both sides making peace seem an almost impossibili
ty, although with a few pioneers on each side, the impossible might just become the possible. A leading Klingon Chancellor (David Warner) who advocates peace is sent to discuss a cease-fire with the Federation. Spock, already an advocate for peace throughout the galaxy, volunteers the Enterprise to meet and bring the chancellor to a peace summit by providing his ship with an escort. Kirk is angered by this as he still has a burning desire for the revenge of the death of his son by Klingons in 'Search for Spock'. Kirk perhaps represents old school federation who cannot bring themselves to trust the old enemy. Before the Enterprise can complete the assignment, the chancellor is assassinated, and Kirk and Dr McCoy are accused of murder. Even though they are defended by a high ranking Klingon, they are convicted and sentenced to live out their lives on a prison asteroid - Rura Penthe- that is a foreboding, remote and isolated asteroid. The movie moves into high gear with Spock leading the search for evidence to prove the innocence of Kirk and McCoy while trying to prevent the unraveling of the peace negotiations with the Klingons, who cannot believe that a dishonorable Federation will now be trustworthy. Meanwhile, Kirk and McCoy begin to form alliances in prison, including with a beautiful shape-shifter (the romance element - she provides an interesting distraction for Kirk - who then realizes he has kissed an ugly alien!). Together they plot to escape the planet, even though it is likely that any attempt will be deadly. The movie moves very quickly and has a few surprises in store for Kirk as well as the crew of the Enterprise. As it builds up into a tumultuous ending the movie delivers on its promise and perhaps becomes one of the most satisfying movies of the Star Trek series involving the original crew. ***My Opinion*** This is perhaps my favorite of all the original series movies as it is
very convincing. The characters face several difficult tasks, and we see Spock's logic working at its best. As with many of the previous movies there is a comedy element, mostly involving Kirk (e.g. the fight with a huge alien ends when Kirk kicks the alien's knee - little did he know that this was the aliens genitalia!). The plot is well written, logical and suspenseful. It draws the watcher in very quickly as we wonder how Kirk will survive his latest desperate situation. It had elements of humour throughout, which added to the overall enjoyment. After the poor special effects of the previous movie, the producers have learnt from their mistakes and provided some excellent special effects - including some strange floating purple Klingon blood. The space ships look and move realistically, and the many explosions are very dynamic. This is probably one of my favourite Star Trek movies as it contains all the elements that made the original series a cult hit. With a combination of suspense, comedy and action it was an excellent movie. ***Cameo appearances*** Watch out for a general who looks suspiciously like Odo from Deep Space 9, and also from a Worf look-alike (I believe it is his Grandfather). ***Conclusion*** It is always sad to see a series come to an end, but this is a very good ending. As we see the transition from the old series to the Next Generation, I will look back in fondness on some of the great movies that made Star Trek such a classic.
Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country kept to the famous Star Trek traditions. What really struck me about this film is the obvious plagiarism of Gustav Holst's Mars The Bringer Of War from his Planets Suite during the opening titles. It was either that or a very peculiar arrangement. The other thing that struck me about this film and the others in the series and in the TV series, they still refer to spaceship movements as if they were in an old clipper or galleon. I mean one third rudder! What rudder? All the old crew were on hand to boldly go wherever such men and women go, although Lieut. Sulu now had his own command as a fully blown captain. Spock has matured well and looks better for it as does Uhuru. There is a lot more of Scotty than there used to be but then doesn't that apply to all of us as we progress through life into our twilight years and spread a bit along the way. The good Dr. McCoy doesn't look a great deal older but then his craggy, weather beaten, cowboy face was always older than his years. Chekov the obligatory Russian still hasn't lost his accent after a lifetime at Star Fleet and carries his years well. Finally the captain. James T is fatter in the face and the corset does its job well and stops him from spreading too far. The story? Well a Klingon moon explodes and Enterprise sets off to offer help. They meet a Klingon warbird en route to peace talks between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets and after a face to face encounter, appear to fire two torpedoes at it. The captain and doctor are put on a Klingon trial for killing a high Klingon official and sent to a prison planet. The Klingons must be a tough race of people as Chang had an eye patch riveted to his face. The story line seems vaguely familiar, not in space but on earth. Not from one particular film either but from a number of different ones. But then you can say that about
most of the stories from Star Trek. The enemy of the good guys could be the red Indians, the Russians, the Japanese or the Germans in a different setting. I'll swear that the prison commandant in addressing Kirk and Bones said something like, "welcome to ???? stalag." Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country is one of the better films of the big screen series and seemed to bring things to a neat conclusion.
After the disastrous FINAL FRONTIER, the series needed a shot in the arm, and that is certainly what it received with THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. The storyline has Kirk and McCoy accused of murdering some very important Klingons, and Spock having to work hard to prove their innocence. Everything about the movie is great, from the storyline, to the special effects, to the music, to the acting of both the regulars and the guests. The only aspect to let the movie down is Kim Cattrall as Valeris. Thankfully though the powers that be decided to not bring back Saavik, which was the original plan. Although I love the Saavik character, to have had her turn traitor would have been painful.
Although Star Trek V had made money, it was not a success, and it was all change for The Undiscovered Country. Nicholas Meyer was recalled as director, and Nimoy wrote the script. Meyer?s input means a return to a more militaristic style, and although this film does not share the brilliance of The Wrath of Khan, it is one of the best. A peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingons is in prospect. But someone is trying to sabotage the process. Admiral Kirk must find out who and stop them, putting his own prejudices to one side in the process. This movie attracts a number of stars including Christopher Plummer, David Warner and a cameo by Christian Slater. But from the start, this film was conceived as being the final outing for the original Star Trek crew, and the spotlight remains on them throughout. George Takei has the opportunity to shine as the new captain of the USS Excelsior. But one of the best moves is putting William Shatner and DeForest Kelley together for some great scenes, reminiscent of the classic series. This film had some top rate action, special effects, tension and twists. And Shatner?s final reading of the ship?s log made one of the most moving moments throughout the entire series of movies. It was a worthy epitaph.
This is quite a sad movie for me as it sees the last time the crew of the Starship Enterprise embarks on a mission. Having said that they finished their trips with one cracker of a movie. The storyline for this one is fantastic and too in depth to get into, suffice it to say its fab! The special effects for this one are great also and you just don't know how this movie is going to finish or who is behind it all. The crew certainly finished on a high note anyway.
The final film to feature the entire original Star Trek cast, and a well crafted finale. After an explosion on a Klingon moon, Kirk et al are sent to meet the delegation looking for peace with the Federation. Naturally things go wrong, and Kirk and McCoy are charged with murder and put on trial. If you can get your head around Klingons spouting Shakespeare at every possible opportunity, this is a highly enjoyable film, and well worth seeing. The special effects are up to the modern standard we now expect from sci-fi movies, the plot has some real (if predictable) twists, and the finale is suitably spectacular. Excellent.
After the critical and box office failure of Star Trek 5 something needed to be done to turn the franchise around. What better way to do it than to bring back the writer and director of Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan, the movie that saved the film series in the first place. What we have here is a Sci-Fi story based on the cold war and the fall of the Berlin wall. And it asks the question of whether there is a place for the players of this cold war in this new world. This is a great Star Trek movie that ,again, will appeal more to Trekkers. It's full of humour, space battles and like the 4th movie it has an important message. This was a fitting finale to the series of movies starring the entire cast of the original series. Even the most heartless of Trekkers will get a lump in their throat as the Enterprise sails of into the sunset for the last time. The Actors signatures on the end credits are a nice touch too.
Star Trek V left us nowhere to go but up, and with the return of Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer, this sixth instalment restored the movie series to its classic blend of space opera, intelligent plotting and engaging interaction of stalwart heroes and menacing villains. Borrowing its subtitle (and several lines of dialogue) from Shakespeare, the movie finds Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) and his fellow Enterprise crew members on a diplomatic mission to negotiate peace with the revered Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner). When the high-ranking Klingon and several officers are ruthlessly murdered, blame is placed on Kirk and crew. The subsequent investigation, which sees Spock taking on the mantle of Sherlock Holmes, uncovers an assassination plot masterminded by the nefarious Klingon General Chang (Christopher Plummer) in an effort to disrupt a historic peace summit. As this political plot unfolds, Star Trek VI takes on a sharp-edged tone, with Kirk and Spock confronting their opposing views of diplomacy and testing their bonds of loyalty when a Vulcan officer is revealed to be a traitor. With a dramatic depth befitting what was to be the final movie mission of the original Enterprise crew, this film took the veteran cast out in respectably high style, with the torch being passed to the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the following movie, Star Trek: Generations. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com