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Star Trek: The Motion Picture, German title: Star Trek: Der Film

Release date: 7th December 1979 (US) 14th December 1979 (UK) 27th March 1980 (Germany)

Written by: Alan Dean Foster, Harold Livingston and Gene Roddenberry

Produced by: Gene Roddenberry

Directed by: Robert Wise

After 3 Klingon warships are destroyed by a mysterious ebergy cloud, Kirk is called on to retake command of the newly refitted Enterprise. Spock and McCoy, both retired from Starfleet are obliged to come on the mission, in Spock's case he was interrupted by the presence of the cloud while having a ceremony to get rid of his remaining emotions.

On arriving at the cloud, the Enterprise flies through it and finds a huge ship inside. On getting closer to the ship a probe appears and zaps the navigator, Ilia, before returning a perfect automated copy to the Enterprise. The ship is then sucked inside what turns out to be a living machine called V'ger. Kirk and Spock realise that to stop V'ger from destroying earth they must tell it where it's creator is. Kirk, Spock, Bones, Ilia and the former Enterprise captain, Decker go to a strange 'island' where they find a beat up space probe called Voyager 6 and realise that V'ger is calling for man. V'ger, a machine can't take this and demands proof. Decker and Ilia join with V'ger, giving it all the knowledge it needs, and V'ger departs with Decker, leaving the Enterprise to start another 5 year mission.

All I can say about this film is....it was good that Trek came back. Shame it came back with a....thud. Sitting through this is a pain in the arse-literally. It's based on 2001, thats obvious, but why is it so drawn out with tedious special effects and a not-very-interesting story? Also, all the Enterprise sets look like isolation wards, with pastel shades everywhere. Also, Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley are restricted from the friendliness and ease that they had in the series and everyone looks bored. Almost as bored as the poor suckers in the audience having to watch this turd. This review is based on the Director's Edition DVD, which believe it or not improves on the original, so imagine what you will what the rest of the film is like!

 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, German title: Star Trek 2: Der Zorn des Khan

Released: 4th June 1982 (US) 16th July 1982 (UK) 4th November 1982 (Germany)

Written By: Jack b. Sowards, Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer

Produced By: Robert Sallin

Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

The USS Reliant is on a survey mission, supporting the Genesis project, headed by Drs Carol and David Marcus. The captain of the Reliant and Chekov beam down to what they believe is Ceti Alpha 5, looking for a dead planet so they can test Genesis. Soon after arriving they discover a landed ship and find out who lives in its converted bays-Khan, the psycho genetic expriment that Kirk left on the planet 15 years before. Khan is now a madman, bent on getting revenge on Kirk and Spock for the death of his wife, Lt. McGivers.

Khan takes over Chekov and Terrell's minds with Ceti Eels, parasites that leave the victim open to whatever Khan says. Khan then hijacks the Reliant and ransacks the Regula 1 Lab where Genesis was developed, murdering a few scientists along the way.

Meanwhile Kirk is having a midlife crisis. He feels depressed as he's getting older and teaching a bunch of cadets isn't helping much. To make matters worse it's his 52nd birthday. Soon, he is on the Enterprise, supervising a training flight, when he sis contacted by Carol Marcus who demands his help to stop Genesis being stolen. The Enterprise rushes to Regula 1, but is fired on by the Reliant and badly damaged. Khan apears and demands Kirk surrender, but Spock manages to damage the Reliant enough for the Enterprise to get away.

Kirk and Bones find the science lab ransacked and the dead scientists and realise that Carol and David took Genesis to a nearby moon. They find Chekov and Terrell still alive and beam to the moon, where the Reliant men then contact Khan and Khan beams the Genesis device aboard the Reliant. Kirk then orders Spock to beam them up and then tels Sulu to take the ship into the Mutara Nebula for a final battle with Khan.

Both ships are heavily damaged but Kirk manages to outwit Khan and almost destroy the Reliant. Khan switches the Genesis device on, and with the Enterprise unable to get away, Khan thinks he has had the last laugh. Enter Spock, who rushes to Engineering and repairs the warp drive. The Enterprise gets away but Spock is fatally overcome by the radiation from the engines, and dies in front of Kirk who can do nothing to save him.

Later, after the Enterprise heads for home, Kirk meets his son David and comes to realise his life is not lost after all.

This is a fantastic film. Actually it's my favourte film of all time! The plot is superb and the acting top notch. There are 2-3 minor problems but they don't detract from a scorching film. Montalban is well over the top, spitting out Moby Dick, Milton and Shakespeare in a scenery chewing, campy performance, and Shatner reigns in the overacting just enough. Nimoy is enjoying himself with a few snide remarks for Bones, and De Kelley is equally snide back. This is based on the diretor's cut of the film, and the scenes added actually improve the film from it's already great standing. Of particular interest is the scene with Scotty's nephew which answers a few questions. If they'd added in a line or 2 to cover over a couple of plot points then this would be perfect. Overall, well worth watching for Trekkers and non Trekkers.   

 

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, German title: Star Trek 3: Auf der Suche nach Mr. Spock

Released: 1st June 1984 (US) 6th July 1984 (UK) 16th November 1984 (Germany)

Written by: Harve Bennett

Produced by: Harve Bennett

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

After returning from the battle with Khan, Kirk learns that Bones has been given Spock's memory and decides to return to Genesis to try and recover Spock's body. One small problem, Starfleet has decided to retire the Enterprise, and so Kirk is forced to resort to stealing his ship back. In dock is a flash new ship called the Excelsior, which tries to stop the Enterprise from leaving, but fails miserable, thanks to Scotty.

The Enterprise arrives at Genesis, to find a psycho Klingon named Kruge has destroyed a science ship, and is holding Kirk's son on the surface, along with a rejuvenated Spock. To show Kirk he's as mental as he makes out, Kruge orders for Kirk's son to be killed. Thisis the last straw for Kirk, who invites the Klingons aboard the Enterprise, then sets the ship to self destruct.

The Enterprise takes most of the Klingon crew with it down in flames, and Kirk and Bones find Spock. Kruge then beams down and he and Kirk fight to the death on the rapidly disintegrating planet. Kirk kills Kruge and beams aboard the Klingon ship, where they transport Spock to Vulcan, and his mind and body are rejoined.

If they really wanted to search for Spock, they ought to look behind the camera! Nimoy's first turn in the director's chair is good, but it takes a while to get going, and the end is a load of superstitious bollocks. Having said that, this is an enjoyable film, that has to be watched for the continuation of the story begun in Wrath Of Khan.

  

 

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The official Star Trek website

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, German title: Star Trek 4: Zurück in die Gegenwart

Released: 26th November 1986 (US) 10th April 1987 (UK) 26th March 1987 (Germany) 

Written by: Nicholas Meyer, Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy

Produced by: Harve Bennett

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy 

Returning to Earth to face charges for breaking all the rules in the previous film, Kirk, Spock and Bones are horrified to find that Earth is slowly being destroyed by a mysterious alien space probe. Spock realises that the probe is trying to find out why a spieces has become extinct, namely Humpback Whales.

Kirk decides they must travel back in time to the 20th century to find the whales and then return to the present and stop the probe. The trip back causes the Klingon ship's dylithium crystals to drain, causing Uhura and Chekov to be ordered to find a way to recharge them. Sulu, Bones and Scotty have to build a whale tank while Kirk and Spock try to find the whales. After culture clashes and misunderstandings, they find the whales at the Cetation Institute in San Francisco. The whales are being kept safe by Gillian Taylor, who is upset that the whales will soon be released into the sea and be at risk from whale hunters. Kirk convinces her that his intentions are peaceful, and tries to convince her to give him the whales.

Chekov is injured during the dylithium recharge mission, and is taken to a local hospital, while Scotty changes history and 'invents' transparent aluminium for a local plastics factory.

Gillian then finds that her boss has released the whales, so she goes to Kirk for help. Kirk explains that he can't help just yet because Chekov is missing, so he, Bones and Gillian go to the hospital and break Chekov out. Gillian convinces Kirk to let her go with them to the future with the whales, and they then try to find the whales.

The whales are beamed aboard the ship and the crew return to the future, where the whales tell the probe to get lost.

The crew is then brought in for court martial, but all charges are dropped. Kirk is busted back to captain, and given command of a new ship, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A.

This is a fun film, but it's not one of my faves. The tone is off from the previous 2. I know that Nimoy and Harve Bennett wanted to make something less dark and military, but an eco friendly comedy just doesn't seem to fit. That said there is a lot of fun to be had if you can take the story with a pinch of salt, and it's entertaining. It's fluff, but superior fluff.

 

 

  

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, German title: Star Trek 5:  Am Rande des Universiums
 
Released: 9th June 1989 (US) 20th October 1989 (UK) 16th November 1989 (Germany)
 
Written by: Harve Bennett, David Loughery and William Shatner
 
Produced by: Harve Bennett
 
Directed by: William Shatner 
 
Kirk, Spock and Boneas are on shore leave while the Enterprise is being readied for its first mission, when news comes from planet Nimbus III. A rogue Vulcan named Sybok has kidnapped Klingon, Romulan and Starfleet ambassadors and is demanding to have a ship come to mediate for their release.
 
The Enterprise is oredered to go to the planet, and rescue the ambassadors, much to Kirk's annoyance. Once they arrive at the planet, Sybok quickly takes the landing party and hijacks the Enterprise, wanting to takew the ship to the centre of the galaxy and meet God. Spock reveals that Sybok is his half brother, and Kirk Spock and Bones try to send a distress call, that is picked up by Klingons, who then chase the Enterprise into the centre of the galaxy.
 
Sybok tries to heal Spock and McCoy's pain, but Kirk refuses to have his hurt revealed. The ship arrives at the centre of the galaxy, and Sybok is delighted to find a powerful being on a planet in the very centre. The being then gets nasty and lasers Spock and Jim, and it becomes apparent that the being is not God at all. Sybok fights the being while Kirk beams Spock and Bones back to the ship. Spock then takes command of the Klingon ship and saves Kirk's life.
 
Spock regrets his brother dying, but Kirk assures him that his family are Kirk and Bones, and Spock accepts it.
 
Er.......well, which bright spark came up with this plot? Was he on prozac or harder stuff? This is one of the most stupid films I've ever seen! Shatner tries his best but the story is just not there and the acting at points is lousy. The special effects look like they were made with a kid's chemistry set too. This is by far the worst plot and film in Star Trek history, beating out Spock's Brain by a hairsbreadth.

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, German title, Star Trek 6: Das unentdeckte Land
 
Released: 6th December 1991 (US) 14th February 1992 (UK) 5th March 1992 (Germany)
 
Written by: Leonard Nimoy, Nicholas Meyer and Denny Martin Flynn
 
Produced by: Ralph Winter
 
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
 
A Klingon moon, vital for environmental reasons, explodes, which causes the Klingons to sue for peace with the Federation. Kirk is not at all happy that his final mission as captain of the Enterprise will be to escort the Klingon Chancellor to a meeting. After a tense dinner, Kirk is told by Spock that there is an unusual phenomenon close to the Enterprise. A torpedo then appears out of nowhere and hits the Klingon Chancellor's ship. Kirk and Bones beam over to try and help and are horrified to find that he has been assasinated by Starfleet officers. They are arrested for killing the Chancellor, by Chang, a maverick Klingon general, and put on trial.
 
Spock has analysed the unusual reading and works out that the torpedo came from a cloaked ship. He starts searching for evidence, in an investigation led by Valeris, a new Vulcan crewmember. Eventually they find the evidence they need and try to fund Kirk and McCoy, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment on the ice planet Rura Pente.
 
Kirk of course, escapes and is beamed aboard the Enterprise just as he was about to be told who assasinated the chancellor. He and Spock think that there is a traitor on the Enterprise and lure him or her into the open. It turns out to be Valeris, who gives away what the Klingon's and Federation members plans are. Rushing to Khitomer to stop the peace talks from being disrupted, the Enterprise is attacked by the cloaked Klingon ship. Sulu, now captain of the Excelsior shows up and together, Kirk and Sulu find the cloaked ship and destroy it.
 
Kirk and McCoy manage to stop the conference on Khitomer from being broken up, and the Enterprise then heads home for retirement.
 
This is one of the best Star Trek films of all. The plot is interesting and the charcters all believable. The tone is a lot darker than before, and much more military, which Roddenberry hated. Unfortunately for him everyone else loved it! The scenes on the ice planet are very convincing and the film has some good humour too. All in all, not very entertaining for non Trekkers but great for the converts!
 
 
 
 

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