Trekathon 217: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (MOV)

April 14th, 2010

The final voyage of the original crew.

I think this is probably my favourite of the original Star Trek movies. Star Trek IV is probably better as a pure movie, but as a piece of pure Star Trek I think this has the edge.

The movie has a nice feeling of closure for the original Star Trek. Kirk looks (and acts) old, there’s a fundamental change in the landscape with the Klingons coming to the peace table. There are echoes of the end of the cold war here, underlining the Soviet-proxy nature of Klingons in the original Star Trek.

As I’ve mentioned before in these reviews, I love the Klingon politics stuff, and I also like court room episodes. So the middle act of this was great. The prison planet sequence is the main hole in the pacing, it just feels a bit tacked on and unnecessary given everything else in the film. Valeris is an interesting character, although this time around I thought her betrayal was a bit too telegraphed. Personally I found the mind meld scene to be quite disturbing. There’s a strong implied element of force, which makes it feel quite disturbing. I’m not entirely sure if it’s consistent with Spock’s character, even with the general emotion he was showing after Valeris’ betrayal.

About 5 years too late, but this also provides a nice transition to the new crew of Next Generation. There’s the appearance of Worf’s ancestor in the trial, and most directly the closing narration of Kirk correcting ‘no man’ to ‘no one’ in the famous credits line.

And that’s it for Bones and Uhura, at least in this version of the timeline. Everyone else gets at least one more go around.

217 down, 520 to go.