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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Paramount Pictures, 1986; see also 1986 in film) is the fourth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. It is often referred to as ST4:TVH or TVH. TVH completes the trilogy started in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and continued in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (TSFS).

Table of contents
1 Synopsis
2 Themes
3 Notes


A huge alien vessel arrives at Earth and begins probing its oceans, causing widespread mayhem and draining the power from nearby ships. Returning from their mission on Vulcan to revive Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), the one-time crew of the Enterprise reasons that the ship is trying to contact humpback whales, which unfortunately were hunted to extinction centuries ago.

Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) orders their hijacked Klingon Bird of Prey to slingshot around the sun to time travel to the 20th century. Arriving in the 1980s, the crew hides their ship in San Francisco, California, and the crew spreads out to find materials to repair the ship's drive so that they can return to the future, and to find and procure some whales to repopulate the whales of Earth's oceans in the future.


TVH is played broadly for humor. Mr. Spock's memory and sense of self have not fully recovered from the events of the previous films, and his pilgrim-like appearance in Vulcan robes makes him the subject of a number of jokes, although he gives as good as he gets. Every member of the crew gets an opportunity to star in a few scenes.

Nicholas Meyer and Harve Bennett cowrote the script, with Meyer writing the 23rd Century scenes and Bennett writing the 20th Century scenes. The film is thematically not as strong as the previous three, being essentially a lighthearted adventure. The loose threads from TSFS involving the crew's disobeyance of Starfleet orders is handled perfunctorily at the end of the film, thus denying viewers the opportunity to see Kirk and company have to own up to their actions.


The film was directed by Leonard Nimoy, who also reprised his role as Mr. Spock.

The next film in the series is Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.