Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Voyage Home

The year was 2285. Out of the vast darkness of space, a mysterious probe appears in earths orbit. Its high pitched distressing communications, interfere severely with the planets environment and all surrounding power sources, including starships. Earthlings are powerless and panic is rife. All of Starfleet is on red alert. The probe is the bad guy and wants to find out why his friendly humpback whales are no longer answering. Little does it know humans have murdered them to extinction.

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Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home is a supreme space adventure concerning an extremely powerful alien probe, Time travel, late 20th century paranoid earthlings, Captain Kirk's heroic crew of explorers, a Klingon ship and the small matter of saving earth with George and Gracie. Packed with wit, mischief, neat special effects, a funny Spock and great storyline, the Voyage Home is one of my favourite Star Trek movies. Star Trek IV is epic in nature and spirit and has all the ingredients of a great sci fi movie.

After three months of exile on Vulcan, Kirk decides to return to Earth with his loyal, gallant Enterprise crew mates, in a Klingon B'rel-class, Bird of Prey to face charges of theft, damage and saving Mr Spock's life.

The odds of returning in one piece in the enemy's shabby Klingon ship, did little to inspire Dr Mc Coys confidence. He named their new ship "HMS Bounty" courtesy of the Klingon Empire and Lord Kruge of course, who got snuffed out by Kirk on the Genesis planet. Yessss! The crew voted in favor of going back to Earth and facing federation justice for their "crimes." So much for being the good guys.

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Kruge's stolen D-12 Scout rattled and groaned as the crew approached warp speed. I remember this had me on the edge of my seat, rooting for my heroes as I prepared myself for our warp 10 around the sun. I felt like part of the crew. This was an exhilarating moment for me and my eyes never left the screen. When the "Bounty"crew did arrive at earth it seemed so realistic. When I was a young Trekkie, I recall looking out the Klingon viewer on TV and seeing earth. Kirk's crew had arrived secretly. Wow I said, "This is whats its like in space."

Spock asks Kirk about the use of language which has altered since their arrival. "It is currently laced with colourful metaphors."Double dumb ass on you" and so forth " enquires Spock innocently.

"You mean the profanity, that's simply the way the way they talk here. Nobody pays any attention to you if you don't swear every other word. You'll find it in all the literature of the period." replies Kirk.

Spock: For example?

Kirk: Oh the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harrold Robbins....

Spock: Ah.... The Giants....


It was the ships chronic condition, whining dilithium crystals, destabilising hull, warping around the sun, the chase around the hospital, and Chekov's capture by earthlings that really got me amped. I realised anyone of these could put "the mission" in serious jeopardy. McCoys dialogue with the hospital surgeon is hilarious, Spock gets to grips after coming back from the dead with amusing "best guesses" for his usually precise time computations. Stay clued for Spock's profanity on the planet. Star Trek IV really is a pleasure to watch. The cursing bit is just so not Spock but Spock despite Captain Kirks vain attempts just can't remember.

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KIRK: Spock.....
SPOCK: Yes?

KIRK: About those colorful metaphors we discussed. I don't think you should try to use them.
SPOCK: Why not?
KIRK :Well, for one thing, you haven't quite got the hang of it.
SPOCK: I see.
KIRK :And another thing... It is not always necessary to tell the truth.
SPOCK :I cannot tell a lie.
KIRK :You don't have to lie... You could exaggerate.
SPOCK :Exaggerate.
KIRK :You've done it before. Can't you remember?
SPOCK :The hell I can't
KIRK :(Sighs) What else did you learn from your mind meld?
SPOCK: They are very unhappy about the way their species has been treated by man.
KIRK :They have a right to be... Do you think they'll help us?
SPOCK I believe I was successful in communicating our intentions.

The real stars of the movie "George and Gracie" were two Humpbacked whales. They respond to the mystery space caller, after Kirk warps 300 years into the past and beams them away from their 1986 hostile environment. 23rd century earth of the future filled with Starfleet hopefuls is saved. Yes! It worked. Earth was saved. lets not forget however that the plight of 21st century whales is a real one which the movie clearly demonstrates.
Here's some amusing dialogue between an extremely worried Dr "Bones" McCoy as he demands of kirk,

" Are you sure this is such s bright idea?"
"What do you mean?" answers Kirk calmly.
"I mean him, back at his post like nothing happened. I don't know if you've got the whole picture but Spock's not exactly working on all thrusters!!" retorts a worked up McCoy

"It'll come back to him" reassures Kirk with doubt written all over his face.
"Are you sure?" presses McCoy
Kirks looking lost now.
"Thats what i thought." An anguished McCoy leaves Kirks side.
"Mr Sulu, take us home." commands Kirk.



Kirk seemed to take Mc Coys antics in his stride. Its a pity McCoy didn't prescribe himself some of his own medicine! A hypospray or two is good for you! Doc! It would have done wonders for his stress levels. Uhuru which means freedom in Swahili was at her communications station.

Sulu was at the helm and Chekov was at the weapons station. The plan was to warp the Bounty around the sun accounting for time computation, warp capability acceleration and decelerating the ship mass, etc and of course most important of all,

" making the best guess that I can." said Spock earnestly to Dr McCoy at a critical moment.
Scotty held the ship together in the engine room with the re-energized Klingon crystals. One of his funniest lines in the movie is when he informed Kirk,

" Admiral I have replaced the Klingon food packs, they were giving me a sour stomach!"
" O, Is that what it was?" Clearly Kirk discovered something only he didn't care for the details.

One solar flare colliding with the Bounty could have sent them off course but the ship survived. The slingshot around the sun succeeded saving the whales from Earth of the past in time to save 23rd century mankind from a destructive interstellar space probe.. The HMS Bounty and the Enterprise crew sweep down on Planet Earth just in time to release the whales. The message in the movie is these endangered humpback whales belong on our world just as much as humans. Its is because of our activities there is only one third of Humpbacks roaming the Seven Seas so we've got to stop the slaughter and pollution of our oceans. The Voyage Home has been hailed as one of Star Trek's popular and successful movies and I highly recommend watching this movie.

Live Long and Prosper, Trekkies!

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