Name: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Running Time (minutes): 119
Description: To save Earth from a destructive space probe, Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to 20th-century Earth to recover two humpback whales, who are the only Earth beings who can respond to it.
Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Without a doubt, the best damn Star Trek film so far. Though the premise might be a little far-fetched and Gillian’s faith seems highly improbable, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Light-hearted, good humour and DeForest really shone this time.
And what a fine score. I didn’t know Leonard Rosenman at all, but will be looking out for more of his material from now on. The main theme is fantastic and so incredibly catchy, though its performances were mostly a disaster: the trumpet players were terrible at the beginning of the film and during the end credits, everyone briefly did their own thing. Oh well, I know what I’ll be humming for the next few days and the infinitely superior re-recording by Erich Kunzel will be beamed up to my speakers regularly. There was not a lot of score in the film at all, but surprisingly, the silences really worked well most of the time. The overall package was so refreshing and appropriate: I finally felt like I was part of an adventure in space. Goldsmith’s fanfare for the first film was great, but the rest of that score was endless droning. Horner’s two subsequent entries were droning without adventure. This one, at last, provided some excitement and there was even a nod to Horner towards the end. Not an ideal thing to do, but far better than Horner dropping Goldsmith’s fanfare entirely.
Something very interesting happened in the audio description as well. At about twenty minutes into the story, the narrator suddenly had a bit of extra time and used it to describe Kirk and Spock’s age, clothes and appearance. This might sound like a very straight-forward thing to do, but it’s really nice to hear that the writer(s) thought of this right in the middle of the action. Not everyone does.