The Undiscovered Country

With William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Kim Catrall, Grace Lee Whitney, Mark Leonard, Christopher Plummer, David Warner, Brock Peters, John Schuck, Michael Dorn, Iman, Christian Slater
Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Reviewed by JB

Short range communicators never really caught on    One of the main reasons many fans hold to the theory that only the even-numbered STAR TREK films are worth watching, STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is the sneakiest of all Trek movies.  While not the epic adventure that WRATH OF KHAN or THE VOYAGE HOME was, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is a solid Trek film that seems to get better with each viewing. 

     Centered around an important moment in Trek history, the opening of peace negotiations between The Federation of Planets and the war-loving Klingons, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY builds its storyline around the mystery of an assassination that is seemingly done by two unknown members of the crew.  When Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy beam over to the damaged Klingon ship to help sort things out, they are arrested and sent to a penal colony, leaving Spock and the rest of the crew to figure out who killed the ambassador and how to rescue the Captain and the Doctor.

    Aside from the usual fine work of the main cast, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY benefits from a terrific guest cast which includes David Warner as the ambassador, Kim Katrall as Spock's protege Lt. Valeris, and, best of all, Christopher Plummer as the Shakespeare spouting, war-mongering General Chang.  Keep your eyes peeled for a quick, cameo by Christian Slater, who is said to have framed the $750 check he received for appearing in the film.

    Like several of the previous films, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is a deft mix of action, character and humor, but has fewer big moments than the usual Trek film.  However, the filmmakers accomplish what they set out to do, allowing the cast of the original series to go out on a high note in their movie career, especially after the horribly-conceived and equally horribly-received THE FINAL FRONTIER.  If you are a true Star Trek fan, you may find yourself choking up a little during the ending credits, where each original cast member (except for Grace Lee Whitney) signs their own names, one by one, on the screen before the rest of the credits roll.


"Course heading, Captain?"
"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning."


Michael Dorn, who played the Klingon Worf in two different Star Trek series, plays the character's own grandfather in this film.

Rene Auborjonois (curiously uncredited) plays a Federation colonel in this film.  A few years later, he would join the Trek world again as the shape-shifting Odo in the series Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

In 1996, the TV series Star Trek: Voyager aired an episode titled "Flashback" which used footage from THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY mixed with new scenes featuring George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney reprising their roles as Sulu and Janice Rand.  Actor Michael Ansara, who appeared as the Klingon Kang in three different Star Trek series, makes a cameo in this episode also, as Kang.

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