Film & Water #75 – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home



To close out 2016 (and Star Trek's 50th anniversary year), Rob welcomes back Doctor G, Man of Nerdology to discuss Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the final chapter of the unofficial "Genesis" trilogy! We love this movie, and so do you!

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30 responses to “Film & Water #75 – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

  1. The never mentioned writing team did an early draft that didn’t work for Bennet and Nimoy. But WGA rules kept their names on it. Bennet did the bookends (future) stuff while Meyer tackled the present day bits. I like this one, love it even, but talking whales don’t beat the 2 or 6, but I truly love the whimsy and fun.

    And a comparison to Superman 3?!? C’mon. Only Into Darkness reaches the depths of that stinker.

  2. I’m surprised neither of you mentioned Nimoy broke character in the scene where the Bird of Prey had crashed under the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Also, the Excelsior is a thing of beauty. I don’t get this “toilet” comment.

    The lady on the street wasn’t supposed to say anything. She wasn’t paid for it. But she kept speaking during the take and it was kept in the film – and she got her SAG card out of it.

    And no love for Sulu?!? He flew a Huey. And San franciso. He was born there, you know.

    And yes, Bones was wonderful in this one. He is the best of all doctors.

  3. I got to see the this movie at one of the first THX theatres. It was at the Ranchmart Theatre at 95th & Mission Road. I remember it was real quiet when they had the note about the USS Challenger and the audience gasped when they saw NCC-1701A for the first time.

    We also get the first female starship captain, I think aboard the Saratoga.

    1. We tried to see Star Trek: TMP at the Ranchmart on opening night but it was sold out,. We ended up watching it at the Plaza Theatre.

      My most vivid memory of the Star Trek IV viewing experience? Discovering my car battery was dead in the Oak Park Mall parking lot.

      My favorite parts of the film involve the bits and pieces of the Federation and Starfleet beyond the crew of the Enterprise.

  4. You’re right, who doesn’t love this movie? I certainly do, and of all the classic Trek films, my kids enjoyed this one the most. So the appeal is indeed very broad, but we already knew that.

    This was another film my Dad took me to see, just me and him. Not to sound like I was a deprived child, but that didn’t happen too often. So that increases the fond memories for me. The “colorful Earth metaphors” line was used around my house a lot when anyone swore.

    I’m one of those people who actually will SOMEWHAT defend Superman III (at least certain aspects of it), but c’mon Dr. G… this movie is two whales better than Superman III. I agree if the Eddie Murphy idea wasn’t axed, THEN you would have had an apt comparison.

    Great discussion, and thanks for another great year of Film & Water!


    1. Chris,

      Yeah I probably shouldn’t have compared Star Trek IV to Superman III even though I like Superman III. Superficially I think of them as similar due to the heavy lean in on the comedy. Still as goofy as Superman III is you got evil Red Kryptonite Superman, 80’s video game Brainiac, and what could pass as a decent Maxwell Lord in Robert Vaughn. Also I love Richard Pryor.

      1. I love all of those things too…just not Pryor in a Superman movie. I still maintain Superman III is very much like a typical Julius Schwartz-edited, Bronze Age Superman comic. But an average comic isn’t necessarily what you want adapted into a major motion picture.

        Rob, I really think you need to cover Superman III and excorcise these demons! Call me…and Michael Bailey.


  5. You want dark?

    That punk on the bus blasting the song about praying for a nuclear bomb to wipe everything out? It’s entirely possible that he lived to see that actually happen with either the Eugenics Wars or World War III.

  6. ST IV is a lovely and always watchable chapter of the saga. I can hardly add anything that hasn’t been mentioned on the show or in the comments already.

    Rob you’ve been doing great work on the Star Trek film series. Each episode has been a joy. David and I are set to break the streak 😉

  7. So I am not going to come in an rain on everyone’s parade but I will be the one that says he doesn’t love this movie. I like it but for various reasons that I don’t want to get into here I put it towards the bottom of my Trek rankings.


    It was really fun to listen to Rob and Dr. G go over why they loved this film. All of their reasons are sound and they obviously see something in the movie that I don’t. They made me want to go back and re-evaluate the movie.

    The only negative I will say is that while the score itself is good I hate the opening theme. It sounds like the opening music for a Star Trek Christmas Special. Cue the track up and once it gets past the build up start shouting out, “WILLIAM SHATNER, LEONARD NIMOY, CHER, MEAN JOE GREEN, CHARRO…” and so on.

    And just to finish making everyone question my taste I’m a big fan of SUPERMAN III. The Richard Pryor scenes are hard to get through but I LOVE the Clark/Lana scenes and the fight in the junk yard. It’s not the best but I have a lot of love for that film.

    1. Mike-

      I want to live in the alt universe where there was a STAR TREK HOLIDAY SPECIAL. The perfect venue for Captain Kirk to sing, a visit to Vulcan for Pon Farr Day, a dance from Uhura, and a cooking segment from Harry Mudd.


  8. When the camera is panning past the crew as the charges are read at trial, notice that Scotty’s eyes dart slightly to the right when the mention of the sabotage of the U.S.S. Excelsior is mentioned.

      1. I also like when Uhura arches her eyebrow a bit; otherwise, Mike, I agree with you about the scene between Spock and Sarek, that together with the scene when Spock says he stand with his ship-mates never fail to put a smile on my face, and a lump in my throat.

  9. This film was actually my very first introduction to Star Trek. I didn’t grow up on the TOS and this was the only movie from the series my mother had on tape. I’d later discover TNG during summers spent at my grandparents, as it was appointment viewing for my grandfather. In many ways this shaped my notion of an ideal Star Trek story, where the villain isn’t a person or even a race but rather the circumstances that the crew must overcome. I appreciate good Trek villains when they come up (Khan, the Borg, Gen. Chang, etc.) but stories like this, or TNG episodes like “All Good Things,” “Relics,” or “Inner Light” are the true essence of Trek in my own personal estimation.

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