Episode 2: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

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Sean and Cody beam up to a smelly Klingon bird of prey to boldly go where the cast and crew of the Star Trek franchise have gone many, many times before. Starring the usual rogues’ gallery of Star Trek personnel (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols etc.) and directed by cast member Leonard Nimoy, the fourth feature-length movie in the franchise sees the enterprising Starfleet gang flashing back from the future to collect a pair of humpback whales that they hope will tell a mysterious space probe to buzz off and stop screwing up Earth’s oceans. The environmental premise of the film is that by the 23rd century humpback whales have become extinct, presumably as a result of over-hunting.

Is the humpback whale really that close to the brink (or was it in the ‘80s?) How did “Save the Whales” become a cliché of environmentalism? Who’s James Watt and why did he hate the environment so much? What does Eddie Murphy have to do with Star Trek? Does Scotty really know how to use a first-generation Macintosh from 1984? Is Kirk secretly a fan of trashy Sidney Sheldon novels? Did Spock lift his costume from the bathroom of a Holiday Inn? Does the transporter work or doesn’t it? You mean he’s just going to hang around the bushes while we eat? These are the burning questions at the heart of this whale of a voyage home on starship Green Screen.

Here is the original theatrical trailer for Star Trek IV. Notice a funny thing? Whales are never mentioned, nor shown with the brief exception of an animatronic tail coming out of the water.

A high quality remaster of the infamous “I Hate You” punk song, written and performed by Kirk Thatcher (who also plays the punk on the bus, and was the executive producer).

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home on Letterboxd

Next Movie Up: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

The screenshot from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is presumably copyright (C) 1986 by Paramount Pictures. Its inclusion here is believed to be permissible under fair use.

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