Hollywood Lost and Found

"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"

An often heard opinion among "Star Trek" fans is that the even-numbered films are the best of the bunch. Though arguably true, it can certainly be said of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986).

The crew of the starship Enterprise, exiled on the planet Vulcan as a result of the events in the previous movie, all make the decision to return to Earth and face the consequences of their actions. During the journey, they intercept an distress signal from Earth warning everyone to stay away. An alien probe is vaporizing Earth's oceans as it transmits an indecipherable message over and over. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew take it upon themselves to find the solution, which requires them to travel back in time to 20th Century San Francisco.

Of the six "Star Trek" movies that feature all the main original cast, this film is the most satisfying - for fans AND non-fans of the TV show. Directed by Leonard Nimoy with a lot of humor, a great sense of adventure, and a not-so-subtle ecological message, it is a very satisfying entertainment with a much wider audience appeal than what one might expect from a science fiction series. And those who may have missed the previous movie should have no trouble picking up where the story left off.

Don Peterman's cinematography, Leonard Rosenman's score, and Mark Mangini's sound effects all earned Oscar nominations.

The "Special Collectors Edition" DVD offers many extras, including a commentary by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, a text commentary by Star Trek experts Michael and Denise Okuda, and several documentaries.

- Steve Lee
14 August 2006
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