I hope you’ve brought popcorn! Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is the last film in our Star Trek Summer Rewatch. This film has it all—action, humor, and a great send-off for the full crew of Star Trek: The Original Series. But before we get into the full review, let’s watch the trailer for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Now that we’ve seen that, let’s dig into my thoughts on the film.
What Works: Great Story and Supporting Cast
This is the last gasp of the Klingon War. Old prejudices are worked through and put aside. Forgiveness is given, and fences are mended. But we’ve got a long way to go to get there first. As this film was released during the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation, our audience should know that the Klingons have now joined the Federation. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country allows viewers to see them come into the fold. But it’s a rocky road to get there.
We have David Warner returning from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but this time as Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. We also have once and future Trek alums including John Schuck, Mark Lenard, Brock Peters, and Kurtwood Smith. Kim Cattrall joins our cast as what seems to be the role that each of the Star Trek films since Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan have had—the token female hot young Vulcan, Lt. Valeris. I know Kim from her sci-fi roles in The Incredible Hulk TV series and one of my favorite John Carpenter flicks, Big Trouble in Little China. However, I’d wager more readers of Fangirlish would know her as Samantha Jones in Sex and the City and future Sophie in How I Met Your Father.
The late, great Christopher Plummer plays Chang. I’ve got to say, after watching his performance in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, I’d hazard a guess that his daughter, Amanda Plummer took some cues from him in her performance as Vadic in Star Trek: Picard. Chang definitely has a bit of unhingedness in his performance that Vadic does. He’s also a different sort of Klingon than we normally see. Sure, he’s aggressive and downright menacing as all Klingons are, but we also see that he’s a man of intelligence. He has more to him than just sheer brute strength. It makes him a truly sinister foe of Shakespearean quality and a delight to watch.
If you love a good villain, then you definitely want to watch Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Besides, you’ve not read Shakespeare until you’ve read it in the original Klingon. Bonus: you get to see Michael Dorn play his own grandfather as Klingon Defense Attorney Colonel Worf. You also get to see Christian Slater in a walk-on role as the Excelsior Communications Officer. That’s pretty dang cool in my book.
What Works: A Proper Send-Off for the TOS Cast
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country really gives our Star Trek: The Original Series cast their due. Sure, we see a few of our Original Series cast members in Star Trek: Generations, but this is the last hurrah for all of our Star Trek: The Original Series crew. Each person in the cast showcases their strengths and gets the job done. Kirk’s monologue at the end of the film closes the book on Star Trek: The Original Series and passes the torch to Star Trek: The Next Generation. If you’d like to wave farewell to our Star Trek: The Original Series in style, be sure to add Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to your watchlist.
What Works: Gorgeous Score
It almost feels redundant to say that a Star Trek film has a gorgeous score, but it’s true. No matter how you may feel about any particular Star Trek film in question, every single one of them has a fantastically composed score. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is no exception. The score was composed by Cliff Eidelman, who was barely out of his mid-20s when the film was released. It was this score that put him on the map for film composition.
While he’s not done as much science fiction since this film, he did compose the scores for a couple of films I’ve covered here in my #WayBackWednesday column—Now and Then and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. He also has worked on a couple of unofficial Star Trek projects, Star Trek: The Final Darkness and Star Trek: Enterprise E. Be sure to add the score for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to your queue. It’ll make whatever you’re doing more epic.
No real notes from me on this one in terms of critique or anything that didn’t really work. I enjoyed the film from the moment I pressed play on my laserdisc player. Yes, you read that correctly. I have a laserdisc player because I am always kicking it old school. Anyway, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a great all-around Star Trek film. It has everything you want from a summer movie—action, excitement, a bit of comedy, and a happy ending. I’m glad to have revisited it with you all, and with that, our Star Trek Summer Rewatch has come to a close. Don’t worry though, as my Star Trek coverage here will continue. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is back and my review of the premiere is already up!
Thanks for joining me for this fun trip back through the Star Trek: The Original Series films. I hope you have enjoyed these reviews and will set your hailing frequencies to Fangirlish for all your Star Trek weekly episode reviews, news coverage, and more.
What did you think of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.