Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), directed by Leonard Nimoy.

Warning signs of a series going off the rails, with Star Trek IV as a case study:

Catherine Hicks, last seen in The Razor's Edge (1984), is the scientist who loves her whales. Her role is important, as she represents the viewers, including those fans who would rather be in the Trek reality rather than in their own. She reaches a point where she has to believe the unbelievable and make that leap of faith to save her whales. So do we earnestly hope that the optimistic Trek future might actually come to pass.

On a more modest scale, we also hope that any one entry in the Trek canon does not spoil the whole Enterprise.


Available on Blu-ray with two commentary tracks.

The first track is a happy rewatch with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. I don't remember ever hearing them together before, but they are obviously good pals. Nimoy talks more, but Shatner is more thoughtful than I expected. Both have serious eco-consciousness. They go silent sometimes.

The second is by two fans turned pro who worked on Star Trek (2009). They sometimes don't have a lot to say and have obvious gaps in Trek knowledge. They both think the "time travel by slingshot around the sun" was a new invention that needed to be explained. It was used twice in the original series, so I think you just accept it without explanation.