Back at Golden Gate Park, Taylor tells Kirk that was the briefest dinner she's ever had and the makes it clear she doesn't believe Kirk's story at all. Kirk asks what the whale's radio transmitter's frequency is, but Taylor refuses to tell him, citing that it's classified information. Kirk then tells Taylor that he is here to take two humpbacks to the 23rd century and if he has to do so, he will go to the open sea to get them but he'd much rather have hers as it'd be better for him, for Taylor, and for the whales.
Gillian once again implores Kirk to tell her who he really is, but he ignores the question and asks her to think about this but not to take too much time and if Gillian changes her mind about helping them, he'll be right there in the park. As Taylor drives off, Kirk walks toward where the Bounty is parked and Taylor hears the transporter beam taking Kirk aboard and sees the light in the corner of her eye.
She looks back and sees Kirk gone and drives on, puzzled. Aboard the Bounty , Kirk asks for an update.
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Spock says the tank will be finished by morning and there has been no word yet from Chekov and Uhura since beam-in. Kirk grows frustrated that they are so close with two whales that will work great for them if they don't let them slip from their grasp. Spock says there is a possibility then their mission will fail.
Kirk reminds Spock he's talking about the future of everyone on Earth and as he walks away angrily ask Spock that as he's half-Human does he not have any feelings about that? McCoy and Scott look at Spock but he does not answer and simply stands there contemplating Kirk's words.
Chekov and Uhura continue to collect the photons. On the Enterprise bridge, their attempts have been noticed in the form of a power drain evidently coming from somewhere aboard and the Enterprise crew begin investigating. Meanwhile, in the reactor area, Chekov and Uhura have gained enough photons and Uhura calls for transport but the signal is very weak. At that same time, the Enterprise crew confirm the power drain and the duty officer calls the commanding officer and reports intruders aboard.
Uhura finally makes contact with Scott but as power is down to minimum, he'll have to transport them out one at a time. Chekov sends Uhura first with the collector. Uhura transports out safely with the collector, but due to radiation, Chekov's beam-out fails, and as soldiers converge on the reactor area, Chekov continues to try to contact Scott but his signal fails and he is discovered and taken prisoner.
Chekov is held for interrogation. Chekov kept his Starfleet ID with him which is discovered by the investigator. He asks Chekov why is on the Enterprise and what the communicator and phaser are for. Chekov simply reiterates the truth about being a commander in Starfleet and gives his rank and serial number. The investigator and his aide see that he's obviously Russian but the main investigator says about Chekov " …of course he's a Russkie, but he's a retard or something! The investigator tells him to go ahead and do so.
Chekov tries, but the radiation has disabled his phaser. He attempts to escape captivity but just before he can get off the Enterprise , he falls off a ledge and is injured. The Marines who were chasing Chekov call for a corpsman. On the Bounty Uhura is desperately searching for any sign of Chekov. Kirk comes on the bridge and asks if she's found anything and Uhura says she should never have left Chekov behind, but Kirk tells her to keep looking and then she did what was necessary.
He then contacts Scott and asks for a progress report on the recrystallization. Scott says it'll be well into the next day but Kirk says that's not going to be good enough and he needs to speed it up.
Scott acknowledges and mutters to Spock how Kirk is in "a wee bit of a snit". Spock agrees and offers that Kirk is a man of deep feelings and Scott wonders what else is new. That same day, Taylor arrives at the Institute and lets herself in. She then heads back to the aquarium where she is shocked to see the whales gone. She runs back inside, horrified, only to be intercepted by Bob Briggs who tells her that to avoid a mob scene with the press they were taken away the night before and they felt it would be easier for her.
In tears and anger, Taylor slaps Briggs hard across the face and calls him " You son of a bitch! Sulu meanwhile, has the helicopter he was speaking to the pilot about earlier and is using it to transport the large pieces of plexiglass to Golden Gate Park to be installed aboard the Bounty. Just then, Taylor arrives in the park and begins yelling for Kirk, when she sees the helicopter lower itself down and then she sees a man seemingly appear waist up out of thin air. After being stunned for a brief moment, Taylor begins running toward that spot still screaming for Kirk when she bumps into something invisible.
She stands and feels along the cloaked Bounty 's landing gear, screaming for Kirk still and saying she needs his help as the whales are gone. Scott notices her and yells down at Kirk that they have a problem. Kirk sees Taylor screaming for him on a monitor and then transports her aboard.
When Taylor materializes in the transporter chamber Kirk tells her " Hello Alice , welcome to Wonderland. Kirk shows her the whale tank and she tells him that the whales were taken the night before without her knowledge.
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She says that while they're in Alaska by this point, they're tagged as she said so they can track them but Kirk says that they can't go anywhere just yet. When Taylor wonders what kind of a ship this is, Kirk says it's a ship with a missing man. Just then Spock appears to tell Kirk full power has been restored.
He then greets Gillian and welcomes her aboard and Taylor can only nod back at Spock, seeing him without the headband for the first time and his ears and eyebrows are exposed to her. Chekov is going into emergency surgery and he is not expected to survive. McCoy comes up and tells Kirk he's got to be able to go to the hospital and begs Kirk not to leave Chekov in the hands of 20th century medicine. Spock comes up and tells Kirk he believes McCoy to be correct and they must help Chekov.
Upon questioning from Kirk, Spock concedes that it is not the logical thing to do, but it is the Human thing to do. Kirk asks if Gillian can help them. She asks how and McCoy says they'll have to look like physicians. In the hospital, McCoy, Kirk, and Dr. Taylor begin their search for Chekov. While McCoy walks down a hall he passes by an elderly woman who is in serious pain.
He stops and asks what's wrong with her and she says it's kidney dialysis. McCoy mutters to himself about this being the dark ages. He reaches into his bag, gives the woman a pill and tells her to swallow it and if there's any problem for her to call him, then very kindly touches her face. She takes the pill and he walks away. Kirk and Taylor finally locate Chekov and after meeting up with McCoy, the three grab a stretcher, put Gillian on it and cover it up, and run for the elevator.
They reach the next floor and when they try to go into the operating room where Chekov is in, they're stopped by hospital security. Taylor screams as if in pain and McCoy tells the police guards that the woman has " Immediate postprandial upper abdominal distention!
Just then, McCoy steps up to the operating table before the attending surgeon can start drilling on Chekov's head. The surgeon demands to know who they are and then what sort of device McCoy is using. McCoy diagnoses Chekov's problem as tearing of the middle meningeal artery. The surgeon asks if McCoy's degree is in dentistry.
McCoy gets angry and asks how the surgeon would explain a slow respiratory rate and pulse with coma and he says fundoscopic examination will be useless in this case. The surgeon says the pressure can be relieved by a simple evacuation of the expanding epidural hematoma. McCoy passionately tells the surgeon that the artery must be repaired and you can't do that by drilling holes into the patient's head.
He then asks the surgeon to let him " put away your butcher knives, " and save this man before it is too late. The surgeon threatens to have the new arrivals removed, but Kirk takes his phaser out and moves the surgeon and the nurses and the other techs into a small room where he melts the lock and McCoy can now heal Chekov's injury with 23rd century medical technology.
When Chekov comes to, Kirk asks him his name and rank. Chekov recites his name and gives his rank after looking at Kirk as admiral. McCoy, Kirk, and Taylor come out with Chekov on the stretcher. The guards ask how the patient is doing and Kirk says he'll make it. But the guards realize they came in with a woman which Kirk simply mutters " One little mistake!
Realizing their cover has been blown, the three start running the gurney down the hospital corridors with the police guards after them. They run around several corners and pass the elderly woman who McCoy gave the pill to and she's happily telling everyone that a doctor gave her a pill and she's growing a new kidney which has all the hospital doctors and nurses stunned. They continue running and when Chekov tries to look up, Kirk puts his head back down on the gurney. They finally run into an elevator and the police officers run down the stairs intending to catch them at the next level but the four have disappeared from the hospital and have been beamed to safety while the elevator was in motion.
When Kirk asks where the whales might be, Gillian says she can show them if there's a chart on board. But all Kirk wants is the radio frequency. Taylor wants to go with Kirk but Kirk says their next stop is the 23rd century but Taylor, saying she has no one there, insists on helping the whales but Kirk won't hear of it. He then asks her again for the radio frequency and Taylor tells Kirk it's megahertz. Kirk thanks her for everything and then orders himself beamed up but Taylor jumps into his arms just as he's being beamed aboard.
On the Bounty , Kirk and Taylor come on the bridge just as Scott calls Spock to tell him that he's ready. Sulu is taking a few moments to readjust to the Bounty 's helm console as he got used to the Huey. Kirk accuses Taylor of tricking him but Taylor says Kirk will need her. He tells Taylor to sit down and orders Sulu and Chekov to take off.
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The Bounty , still cloaked, lifts off from Golden Gate Park just as a couple of joggers are running by and they get blown over by the dust and wind. The Bounty lifts up into the skies above San Francisco and head toward Alaska. As power settles in and stabilizes, Kirk orders Uhura to start scanning for the whales on the frequency Gillian gave him. When they reach the proper altitude, Kirk orders full impulse power which Sulu estimates should get them to the Bering Sea in twelve minutes.
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Scotty reports the whale tanks are secured but this will be the first time he's ever beamed up four hundred tons before. When Kirk asks why it's that much, Scotty reminds Kirk they're having to beam aboard not just the whales, but the water around them as well. Kirk then checks with Uhura but the whales haven't been located yet. At that same time, McCoy checks on Spock who appears to be concerned.
Spock says that he has tried to use the calculations he used to get them to the 20th century as a reference when calculating to return to the exact moment they left the 23rd unfortunately there are some issues with the calculations that just aren't working out. McCoy says Spock will have to take his best guess. Spock says guessing isn't in his nature and McCoy says that no one is perfect. Just then, Taylor recognizes the whales' signal and Uhura confirms.
Just then, she detects another signal, which is determined to be a whaling ship. Kirk orders the Bounty into a full power descent and they arrive over the whales just in time to prevent the whaler's harpoon from hitting one of the whales. When the harpoon bounces off seemingly nothing the whalers are confused.
Just then the Bounty decloaks over the whaling ship causing the whalers to panic and turn away from the whales in terror. Scotty asks for ten seconds to redirect power from all over the ship to the transporter. Scotty then beams the whales and the surrounding water into the whale tank. The tank creaks, but holds the whales and water securely. Scotty tells Kirk they have full power and as the Bounty leaves Earth behind and enters warp, Kirk takes Taylor to see the whales. But first, he stops and asks Spock about his time calculations and because Scotty couldn't give Spock exact figures he will have to make a guess.
This statement surprises Kirk, who calls it extraordinary. When he and Gillian leave, Spock thinks Kirk is confused but McCoy tells him that means Kirk feels better about Spock's guesses than he would most anyone else's facts. Spock then understands it as a compliment and endeavors to make the best guess he can. Kirk then notes the irony of how in the past when men were killing the whales, they were destroying their own future. Scotty notes the whales seem happy to see Gillian and hopes she likes the tank. She calls it a miracle but Scotty says that's still to come and Kirk explains that their chances of getting home aren't great and she might have been better off staying where she belonged.
Taylor says she belongs with the whales as she is a whale biologist. And suppose they do make it to the 23rd century, who there knows anything about humpback whales? Kirk admits her point there. Just then the ship shudders and Scotty reports a power fall-off. Kirk tells Gillian to stay with the whales and heads to the bridge. The ship is at high warp approaching the sun and Scott reports that warp 7.
Spock reports that not only can they not make breakaway speed, they might not even escape the sun's gravity so he shall try to compensate by altering their trajectory. Spock then requests thruster control which Kirk grants. At the right moment, Spock orders the thrusters fired and the Bounty again disappears behind the Sun. Everyone wakes up again and Kirk asks if the thrusters fired. Spock reports they did and Kirk wonders where they are.
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Just then, he hears the drone of the probe as the Bounty begins to lose power. As the ship's systems shut down, the Bounty plunges through the Earth's atmosphere and when McCoy wonders where they might be Kirk can only tell him " Out of control and blind as a bat. Cartwright calls for it to be restored just as the window shatters as it did before. This time Sarek points at something which is revealed to be the Bounty , and Cartwright notes it's heading right for the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Bounty sails under the bridge and crash lands in San Francisco Bay. Kirk orders the hatch blown. He looks outside, sees it's the right place and now the task at hand is to get the whales out before the Bounty sinks. Kirk orders everyone to abandon ship.
When he can't reach Scott, Kirk runs toward engineering after telling Spock to ensure the safety of everyone else. Kirk runs down toward the whale tank and manages to force the door open, and pulls Scott and Taylor out of the tank area which is almost completely submerged. Taylor notes the whales are trapped and if they're not freed, they'll drown. Scott says the bay doors have no power and that the explosive override is underwater. Kirk sends them out through the bridge hatch and he swims underwater to the explosive override and pulls it open, knocking the hull of the Bounty open and allowing Kirk and the whales to swim out of the ship.
Kirk reaches the surface just in time and is pulled up to safety by Spock and Taylor. After a few moments the whales are seen swimming. Meanwhile, the probe keeps calling for the whales and everyone at Starfleet just watches and waits as the power completely fails. Just then the whales begin to sing back to the probe. After a few minutes of communication with the whales the probe deactivates its scanner and the weather on Earth begins to calm. Power begins to be restored all around the planet and as the probe leaves the way it came, it passes Spacedock and power is restored aboard the station.
As the skies clear over Earth, the Enterprise crew and Gillian celebrate at the Bounty 's crash site. Kirk pulls Taylor in the water and everyone else except Spock jumps in. Kirk gets up on the ship and manages to toss Spock in, going with him as well. The crew celebrates the end of the crisis in the water as a Starfleet shuttle heads toward them to pick them up and George and Gracie head toward the Golden Gate Bridge to explore the new world they've entered, free of hunters and because of them the Earth is saved.
However, Kirk and crew still have to face court martial. In the Federation Council Chambers, the President calls the trial to order. Kirk, McCoy, Scott, Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura are brought in from where they are held, only to be joined by Spock, who was sitting in the Council with his father. The president reminds Spock that he is not accused, but Spock intends to stand with his shipmates and the president accepts.
He then lists the charges and specifications against the Enterprise crew: conspiracy, assault on Federation officers, theft of Federation property the starship Enterprise , sabotage of the USS Excelsior , willful destruction of Federation property again, the USS Enterprise , and disobeying direct orders of the Starfleet commander. The president asks Kirk for his plea, and on behalf of all the officers, Kirk announces he is authorized to plead guilty.
The president then says that because of "certain mitigating circumstances," though, all charges are dropped, except for one, and that charge: disobeying a superior officer, is directed solely at Admiral Kirk. The president asks Kirk if he recognizes the need for keeping discipline in any chain of command and Kirk tells the president he does.
The president announces that Kirk's punishment is that he will be reduced in rank to captain, and as a consequence of that rank, he is given the duty for which he demonstrates unswerving ability: the command of a starship. In a remarkable display of movie making common sense, Paramount not only asked Nimoy back for another crack of the megaphone, but even said to him 'we want your vision', and allowed him to oversee this distillation free of meddling.
The heavy sci-fi themes of life, death and revenge across time were gone, to be replaced with a gentle environmental theme that was considered to be 'on message'. Naturally, this resulted in a story where the Enterprise has to travel back in time because everyone in the 23rd Century is dying of an ebola like disease.
It's a light-hearted movie that effectively begins with trillions of people coughing up their own pancreas. Eventual rewrites steered the story towards something more familiar, with modern day well, 80s San Francisco being the main hub of the film, and a pair of humpback whales being the target.
With Nicholas Meyer on board to actually make something saleable, Nimoy on board to get the best from the characters, and even Paramount on board to not needlessly meddle, the only thing left was the cast. William Shatner in particular had pay demands that made some at Paramount consider continuing Trek as a TV show again rather than a film series.
The other bridge crew were of course on board, but the San Francisco setting meant there was an opportunity to bring on board a big star name to promote the film to a wider audience. Ah well, we can only hope. Interesting note: Eddie Murphy also turned down Ghostbusters. Anyway, the part was rewritten for Catherine Hicks, meaning her two most famous roles have been alongside captains of the Enterprise.
The last step was to bridge the film to the wider Star Trek storyline. After III the crew were trapped on Vulcan, fugitives for stealing and then blowing up the Enterprise, but going back to Earth would require facing punishment. Harve Bennett wrote the first and final sections dealing with this to form something of a trilogy, and also to provide a framing device for the time travel story which makes up the meat of the film.
The Klingons want Kirk because of Genesis, Starfleet wants him to stand trial for stealing the Enterprise, and Kirk is quite willing to hand himself in and face the music. Starfleet tells the Klingons to Klingoff setting up the events of Star Trek VI , and then give Kirk a slap on the wrist demotion and issue him with another Enterprise.
This is the civilised 23rd century after all, no eye for an eye here. There is one oft-cited criticism in all this though, and it is one that would be levelled at other even numbered films - The Voyage Home is Trek- lite. This was deliberate, and even played up in the marketing - in this country, the official title is The Voyage Home: Star Trek IV , designed to give a wider audience. As such, much of the philosophy that defines Trek is absent.
The one big question posed, when McCoy asks Spock to describe death, is brushed off with a glib although unnervingly deep remark that there is no frame of reference that could make the conversation make sense. I have to admit, this lack of a big idea is what put me off the film for a long time, although my opinion has softened over the years. I'm as conflicted as the film is about its message.
The fact that I do take this away means that, as philosophical Trek goes, this one has problems. I do have another beef with this film, and much bigger than any philosophical worries after all, no one watches an 80s time travel comedy because the library was out of Kant - I think a lot of 80s comedies were crap.
Not all comedies, but the broad appeal, PG rated comedies generally starring Steve Guttenberg. View all Gaming Sites. View all Comics Sites. View all Cars Sites. View all TWD Sites. View all GoT Sites. View all Star Wars Sites. View all Entertainment Weekly Sites. Tweet Share Pin Comment.