Film (1986). Paramount. Directed by Leonard Nimoy. Written by Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Harve Bennett, Nicholas Meyer, based on a story by Nimoy and Bennett. Starring the lead players from the Star Trek television series, along with Catherine Hicks. 119 minutes. Colour.
Returning to Earth on their captured Klingon spacecraft to stand trial for exceeding orders in various ways (see Star Trek III: The Search for Spock ), Kirk and the crew of the (late) Enterprise are faced with an unidentified probe evaporating the oceans in order, it is somehow deduced, to communicate with humpback whales (now extinct). The only thing to do is to go back to twentieth-century San Francisco, get a couple of whales, and use them to talk the probe out of destroying Earth; this they do. It is perhaps unkind to criticize the Star Trek people for their liberalism, but why do they always choose such safe issues? There is some lively humour connected with the crew's attempts to come to grips with twentieth-century culture. This was by consensus the most relaxedly watchable of the series to date.
The novelization is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) by Vonda N McIntyre. [PN]
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