The crew of the starship Enterprise try to figure
out how to buy a newspaper in Star Trek IV.
Last night I got in bed and propped myself up on my nice new big comfy
pillow and, after a brief amount of channel surfing, ended up watching
a movie — Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
The movie was directed and in the main written by Leonard Nimoy. The
plot summary as given by the Internet Movie Database runs "To save Earth
from an alien probe, Kirk and his crew go back in time to retrieve the
only beings who can communicate with it, humpback whales." And that's
pretty much it. Nothing really complicated, just go back in time, pick
yourself up a couple of huge-ass whales, bring them back to your own
time period, and thus save the Earth from total destruction. Hell, the
crew of the starship Enterprise do that kind of stuff almost on a weekly
basis. In fact, between 1966 and 1969 they did do it on a weekly basis.
In case you haven't figured out from the plot summary, this movie is
unabashedly 80s style tree-hugger, environmentalist, save-the-whales
propaganda. Which is perfectly all right. I myself don't mind that kind
of thing. Although Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks) does deliver a
lecture at the whale aquarium that I probably could have done without.
I suppose they threw that one in for kids who might not have been reading
all the latest on the subject. And in any case I didn't mind Dr. Taylor
nearly as much what with her feathered hair and semi-clingy blouses worn
with no bra and her perky little ones pushing out. God, do I miss the
One of the great things about this Star Trek is the humor thrown into it.
There are a lot of good lines. Like Chekov running around San Francisco
asking everyone in a markedly Russian accent "Which vay to the nuclear
wessels?" It was still the Cold War back then. Hilarious. And perhaps
another favorite of mine, Kirk saying "Uhura, open a channel and search
for whales." I don't think that one was really supposed to be funny, but
it was regardless. And there are other good bits that I won't mention for
those three or four of you on the planet who haven't seen the movie yet.
I saw the movie when it came out, with my mom, in Tempe, Arizona.
I asked her if she would like to go see it, and to my surprise she said
yes. So we got together one afternoon and went down to the mini-mall just
off the Arizona State University campus and saw it. Then we stopped in
at a little shop and I looked at a pair of Rayban sunglasses — always
a needed accessory in Tempe. Then we stopped in at a bar for a couple
of drinks and laughed together remembering scenes from the movie.
Me and my mom didn't see another movie together until 2004 when we
went to see The Passion of the Christ. And trust me — if you have a choice
between making a pitcher of Margaritas and putting The Passion of the
Christ or Star Trek IV into your DVD player, pick the later. Even if
you've seen it. Especially if, like me, you haven't seen it in a long while.
Some things just wear well with time. And this Star Trek movie is one
Don't, don't you want me
You know I don't believe you when you
Say that you don't need me