Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Director: Nicholas Meyer

And now here I boldly go, cos hitherto Final Frontier was the most recent Trek film I’ve seen… hence why I actually chose to watch my own copy of it cos SBS2 were running it and the sixth film together, so I thought I’d better get this write-up out of the way before sitting down with the next film. Anyway, again, Memory Alpha has a wealth of detail on the production nightmare; to be honest, I vaguely recall being surprised at the time that this film was made at all, cos I knew the fifth film was generally considered something of a tanker, but it seems Paramount thought the old crew deserved a better final hurrah than Final Frontier. However, they also decreed that film number six absolutely must not cost so much as a dollar more than number five had done, and things apparently only got worse from there… Anyway, the finished film takes us back into M-rated territory (I presume the remarkable zero-gravity gore played some part in that), and also into fairly old-fashioned noir thriller territory too; the Klingons are suing for peace at last but Kirk—still not exactly over the murder of his son at Klingon hands—is accused of murdering the Klingon Chancellor. Gene Roddenberry saw the film two days before he died, and was reportedly unhappy with the racism towards the Klingons, but surely that’s actually a large part of the point of the film, Kirk realising the misguidedness of his prejudice against them (and Spock realising his own prejudice in favour of one of his own people)… Whatever, I enjoyed it immensely; a terrific and honourable send-off for the original crew which kindly allows the viewer to forget Final Frontier ever happened. And “not everyone keeps their genitals in the same place” may well be the single best line in the entire franchise…

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