Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

4.5 12
Director: Nicholas Meyer

Cast: Nicholas Meyer, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley

     
 

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) was re-released on DVD in early 2004 in a double-disc Collector's Edition, complete with a brace of extras and a commentary track by director/co-screenwriter Nicholas Meyer and co-screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn. The latter is clearly supposed to be the highlight of this reissue, and one wishes that the audioSee more details below

Overview

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) was re-released on DVD in early 2004 in a double-disc Collector's Edition, complete with a brace of extras and a commentary track by director/co-screenwriter Nicholas Meyer and co-screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn. The latter is clearly supposed to be the highlight of this reissue, and one wishes that the audio commentary here came up to the standard of earlier volumes in the series. Nicholas Meyer, however, sounds very sluggish and uninvolved, almost disengaged, as though he's going through the motions of doing a commentary. His tone is a mix of pomposity and unpretentiousness that seems awkward; his best moment comes when he reveals that actor Brock Peters had serious problems making a speech in the opening that was laced with racist sentiments, and that Nichelle Nichols had a similar problem with a comedic line. But Meyer never goes anywhere with the information, and that's the problem with the whole commentary track. Flinn makes a livelier contribution, but it just seems as though Meyer never catches fire -- he grabs at ideas, such as Kim Cattrall's performance here versus her work in Sex and the City, and seizes on the first scene between Spock and Valeris as key to the script, but he doesn't really do much with any of it. It's all terribly dull, and quite different from the commentary by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy on the Collector's Edition of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which ran more briskly in its pacing than the movie itself. The other special features are all on disc two of the package, and principally consist of little featurettes that try to tie up the various loose ends. Meyer is actually more successful here in "The Perils of Peacemaking" than he is in his commentary track, and Leonard Nimoy's contribution is essential as well, giving the best explanation of the evolution of the script. Additionally, the contribution of Dr. Angela Stent of Georgetown University and other scholars will help future generations of viewers understand the film's relationship to real events. "Stories From Star Trek VI" fills in all of the holes that were left unfilled in the commentary, including what makes Nicholas Meyer tick and his outlook on filmmaking. The section on the creation of the Klingon legend is entertaining and explains the evolution of the Klingons' appearance and their changes across the decades; production designer Lee Cole displays a delightful sense of humor, but all of it is good viewing. "Federation Operatives" goes through the multiple roles essayed by different actors in different corners of the Star Trek franchise. "Penny's Toy Box" has the Star Trek archivist at Paramount, and "Together Again" brings William Shatner and Christopher Plummer together to discuss their long history together prior to Star Trek VI. "Farewell" is comprised principally of a tribute to DeForest Kelley by the regular cast members and also Christopher Plummer, with contributions by veteran producer A.C. Lyles and others out of the actor's past. The tribute is sincere and nicely put together, and the second disc is, in its way, more successful on the whole than the first, but only because the commentary track is so disappointing. Both discs open automatically on easy-to-use menus that, in the case of the second disc, advance automatically as each selection concludes. The transfer of the film looks just fine; however, if someone already owns the earlier edition, it's difficult to suggest replacing it with this release.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The last Star Trek adventure to focus on the original show's characters -- portrayed by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, et al. -- The Undiscovered Country is suspenseful and exciting, but it also has a wistful undercurrent that suggests cast and crew alike knew the torch would soon be passed to the Next Generation. The story begins after a Chernobyl-like disaster, with the Klingon leader attempting to make peace with the Federation. Sent to escort the official to peace talks being held on Earth, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew are stunned when unknown conspirators murder the Klingon and the blame is fixed on them. The race to clear their names takes on added importance for Kirk and friends when the peace conference itself is imperiled. Director and co-writer Nicholas Meyer, whose involvement with the series dates back to the excellent Wrath of Khan (1982), knows these characters well and gives all the regular cast members a few fleeting moments in the sun before we say goodbye to them. The murder-mystery angle isn't especially well developed, and the final outcome is never much in doubt, but Meyer goes through his paces and delivers what Star Trek fans expect to see. The familiar cast members, by now wearing their characters like comfortable old sweaters, are predictably delightful in their final outing together; and newcomer Kim Cattrall, well in advance of Sex and the City stardom, makes a fetching addition to the crew. There's a not-unexpectedly sappy windup to the film, but Trek fans wouldn't have had it any other way. On balance, however, Undiscovered Country makes a perfectly satisfying coda to one of sci-fi's most cherished series.
All Movie Guide
One of the more successful Star Trek movies, the sixth installment benefits mightily from the writing and directing of Nicholas Meyer. Meyer is a big part of the reason Trekkers maintain that the even-numbered films in the franchise are the best. He wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and co-wrote (with unsung producer Harve Bennett) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Here he and four other co-writers utilize the Chernobyl incident and a dry wit to keep things interesting. Another new twist: this time around, star William Shatner shelves his usual histrionics and machine-gun delivery for a more subtle approach, and except for the talented Walter Koenig, the normally reliable supporting cast chews the scenery. The worst offenders are Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, and especially the late DeForest Kelley, who seems incapable of delivering a line without putting a spin on it. Still, the rousing score and supporting actors (including Christopher Plummer, John Schuck, and Kurtwood Smith) are first rate. There's also a warm tone to the proceedings that gives the gallant original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise a fitting send-off. They deserve it: For 25 years, they entertained viewers well.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/27/2004
UPC:
0097360677348
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:53:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by Star Trek VI director Nicholas Meyer and screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn; Text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda, co-authors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia; Widescreen version enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround; English subtitles; Motion menus; Scene selection; Movie-Making: Stories from Star Trek VI (six featurettes); The Star Trek Universe: "Conversations with Nicholas Meyer," "Klingons: Conjuring the Legend," "Federation Operatives," "Penny's Toy Box," "Together Again"; Art Imitates Life: "The Perils of Peacemaking"; A Farewell: "DeForest Kelley: A Tribute," original cast and crew interviews; Promotional material: Theatrical trailers, 1991 convention presentation by Nicholas Meyer; Archives: Production gallery, storyboards

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Shatner James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley Leonard "Bones" McCoy
Kim Cattrall Lt. Valeris
David Warner Chancellor Gorkon
James Doohan Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Walter Koenig Pavel Chekov
George Takei Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols Uhura
Christopher Plummer General Chang
Mark Lenard Sarek
Grace Lee Whitney Janice Rand
Brock Peters Admiral Cartwright
Leon Russom Chief in Command
Kurtwood Smith Federation President
Rosanna de Soto Azetbur
John Schuck Klingon Ambassador
Michael Dorn Klingon Defense Attorney
Paul Rossilli Kerla
Christian Slater Excelsior Communications Officer
Edward Clements Young Crewman
Douglas Engalla Prisoner at Rura Penthe
Mary Jo Slater Actor
Robert Easton Klingon Judge
Clifford Shegog Klingon Officer
Brett Porter General Stex
Jeremy Roberts Excelsior Officer
Michael Bofshever "Excelsior" Engineer
Angelo Tiffe "Excelsior" Navigator
Boris Krutonog Helmsman Lojur
Iman Martia
Tom Morga The Brute
Todd Bryant Klingon Translator
Jim Boeke First Klingon General
Carlos Cestero Munitions Man
Katie Jane Johnston Martia as a Child
Matthias Hues Second Klingon General
Darryl Henriques Nanclus
David Orange Sleepy Klingon
Judy Levitt Military Aide
Shakti ADC
Michael Snyder Crewman Dax
René Auberjonois Colonel West (uncredited)
William Morgan Sheppard Klingon Commander
John Bloom Behemoth Alien
B.J. Davis Actor

Technical Credits
Nicholas Meyer Director,Screenwriter
Scott E. Anderson Special Effects
Brooke Breton Associate Producer
Cliff Eidelman Score Composer
Scott Farrar Special Effects
Denny Martin Flinn Screenwriter
Edward French Makeup
Marty Hornstein Co-producer,Production Manager
William Hoy Editor
Steven Charles Jaffe Producer
Lawrence Konner Original Story,Screenwriter
Mickey Michaels Set Decoration/Design
Michael Mills Makeup
Hiro Narita Cinematographer
Leonard Nimoy Executive Producer,Original Story,Screenwriter
Nilo Rodis-Jamero Art Director
Ronald Roose Editor
Mark Rosenthal Original Story,Screenwriter
Dodie Shepard Costumes/Costume Designer
Mary Jo Slater Casting
Ralph Winter Producer
Douglas E. Wise Asst. Director
Herman Zimmerman Production Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Feature
1. Opening Credits [3:19]
2. Starfleet Headquarters [2:46]
3. Kirk Meets Valeris [5:51]
4. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? [:17]
5. Bones Operates [5:49]
6. Diplomacy [1:34]
7. Klingon Justice [4:27]
8. Rura Penthe [2:32]
9. Chekov's Clue [3:21]
10. Ice Campfire [6:07]
11. Surprise at Sick Bay [1:18]
12. The Secret Weapon [4:58]
13. Space Battle! [2:08]
14. Assassin [3:50]
15. End Credits [6:02]

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