The most popular movie in the "classic Trek
" series of feature films, Star Trek IV
was a box-office smash that satisfied mainstream audiences and hard-core fans alike. The Voyage Home
returns to one of the favourite themes of the original TV series--time travel--to bring Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura and Chekov from the 23rd century to present-day (i.e., mid-1980s) San Francisco. In their own time, the Starfleet heroes encounter an alien probe emitting a mysterious message--a message delivered in the song of the now-extinct Earth species of humpback whales. Failure to respond to the probe will result in Earth's destruction, so Kirk and company time-travel to 20th-century Earth--in their captured Klingon starship--to transport a humpback whale to the future in an effort to communicate peacefully with the alien probe. The plot sounds somewhat absurd in description, but as executed by returning director Leonard Nimoy, this turned out to be a crowd-pleasing adventure, filled with a great deal of humour derived from the clash of future heroes and contemporary urban realities, and much lively interaction among the favourite Trek characters. Catherine Hicks plays the 20th-century whale expert who is finally convinced of Kirk's and Spock's benevolent intentions. --Jeff Shannon
For their fourth big-screen outing the crew of the USS Enterprise abandon their usual 23rd century time frame for Earth in the year 1986. In order to save the planet from a rogue space probe in the future, Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Bones (DeForest Kelley) and co must travel back to the twentieth century to find the only creature capable of communicating with it: a whale. The story is given comic treatment - Spock hides his Vulcan ears with a headband and poses as a burnt-out hippy, while the normally intrepid Kirk gets lost on a bus.