9/10
A fitting end for the crew of the NCC-1701-A.
14 September 2004
The journey that began on the small screen in 1967 comes to its end on the big screen in 1991, after three TV seasons, six films, and the creation of a cultural phenomenon unrivaled in the history of television. The crew of the original series had met with mixed results on the big screen, producing the excellent The Wrath of Khan, but also the inexcusably bad The Final Frontier; the other four ranged from passable to good. After the financial failure of Star Trek V, Paramount brought back Star Trek II director Nicholas Meyer, and commissioned from him the final voyage of the original cast. As Star Trek so often does, the events depicted mirror the glasnost of the late 1980s, as the collapse of the Soviet Union eased global tensions and heralded the beginning of a new era. In the Trek universe, the possibility of rapproachment between the Federation and the Klingon Empire raises the hackles of hardliners on both sides, and Kirk and co. must prevent the weak peace from being destroyed. The original cast is in fine form, all of them giving their all to make the (potentially) final appearances of their characters memorable. Despite William Shatner's reputation as a ham actor, he delivers a great performance here; his final log entry is one of Trek's finest moments. As the villain of the piece, we get General Chang (Christopher Plummer), a Klingon out to insure "no peace in our time". Plummer is superb, chewing scenery and spewing Shakespeare with a wonderfully loathsome presence. I would rank Chang below Khan and the Borg Queen, but far above all the other Trek villains. There are some tacky anachronisms typical of Meyer's style, and the usual amount of discontinuities and canon issues; but that's inevitable, and I can accept it if it leads to a good story. Trek VI is a good story. 9/10.
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