Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home



119 Min

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home


To save Earth from an alien probe, Kirk and his crew go back in time to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it, humpback whales.


Nov 26th, 1986


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  • SPOILER: In the final scene, in which Saavik appears with the crew members, Kirk says "Saavik, this is goodbye." The line would be somewhat prophetic as the film marked Saavik's final canonical appearance.
  • This film features the only instance in which Kirk says "Scotty, beam me up."
  • In 1987, Leonard Nimoy read various poems and prose on the Paul Winter/Paul Halley album "Whales Alive", which also featured whale songs.
  • Susan Sarandon was considered for the role of Dr. Gillian Taylor.
  • Originally subtitled The Adventure Continues.
  • SPOILER: The device Dr. McCoy uses to heal Chekov's head injury is part of a model kit of an AMT movie version Klingon battle cruiser.
  • This is one of two 1986 time travel films in which Catherine Hicks (Gillian Taylor) plays a supporting role. The other is Peggy Sue Got Married.
  • The film's novelization was one of the first two Star Trek novels to be adapted as a Book On Tape.
  • Catherine Hicks improvised the hard slap that Dr. Taylor gave to Bob Briggs. Scott DeVenney's reaction is real.
  • SPOILER: After Scotty moves George and Gracie to the ship, Kirk recites part of a poem about whales, with Gillian indicating that it belongs D.H. Lawrence. David Herbert Richards "D.H." Lawrence (1885-1930) was a well-known playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter, author of novel books like "Sons and Lovers", "The Rainbow", "Women in Love" and "Lady Chatterley's Lover", and poems like "Snake" and "Whales Weep Not", where the quote mentioned by Kirk originates.
  • The film was originally supposed to have Eddie Murphy instead of Catherine Hicks. Murphy was supposed to have played a professor concerned with UFOs who spots the decloaking Klingon warship at the Super Bowl. Apparently, all others are convinced the ship is a half-time special effect while Murphy believes it is real. Paramount declined this script for two reasons: They did not want to combine their two most profitable franchises (Star Trek: The Original Series and Beverly Hills Cop), and Murphy had signed on to do The Golden Child instead.
  • Early scripts featured Admiral Morrow from Star Trek III, but the part was eventually changed to Admiral Cartwright.
  • When Chekov is running away in the aircraft carrier, the Finnish Jaeger march is playing in the background.
  • The line "Nothing unreal exists", the so-called First Law of Metaphysics from Spock's computer on Vulcan, is actually a direct quotation from the introduction to "A Course in Miracles".
  • Leonard Nimoy has said that when the film first came out, whaling rights activists caused an uproar. These groups believed that the effects and models portraying the whales were actual footage, and that actual whales were held in captivity or filmed too close to their habitat.
  • When Nicholas Meyer was asked to help with the script, the first thing he wanted to do was change the location from San Francisco to Paris because he had previously written and directed a San Francisco time travel film called Time After Time. But since Starfleet is supposed to be located in San Francisco, he was overruled. Oddly enough, scenes in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, as well as scenes from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine depict the Office of the Federation President to be in Paris.
  • According to Leonard Nimoy, about 95 percent of the Humpback whale footage in the final cut of the film, was of man-made models and effects.
  • The older triangular building in the background of the San Francisco street corner scene was built in 1907 and was at one time home to a restaurant named Caesar's, one of the alleged birthplaces of the Caesar Salad. The building is now owned by Francis Ford Coppola, and is mostly occupied by American Zoetrope Studios and Café Zoetrope.
  • An original story idea centered around the crew traveling back in time to a slightly primitive rain forest to find a cure for a plague drastically effecting 24th century Earth. However, this proved to be too great a contrast to Leonard Nimoy's desire to give the movie a lighter and more positive nature. In addition, Nimoy felt audiences would not have gotten a proper payoff by the plot's resolution.
  • San Francisco was chosen as the setting largely due to its proximity to the studios in Los Angeles for location shooting, and the fact that Starfleet Headquarters is based in San Francisco. The setting was also likely a hold over from the original drafts which had scenes depicting a Super Bowl. Super Bowl XIX was played in the San Francisco area not long before the first drafts were written.
  • The phone number for "Capitol Cab" is 555-1300.
  • Sulu was supposed to leap into the Huey helicopter when the pilot was outside, looking the other way, and make off with it. George Takei had just run the San Francisco marathon when they were supposed to shoot this scene, and was too sore to leap into the helicopter. They tried having a grip throw him in, but could not get this to look realistic, so the scene was cut. In the final edit, Sulu is shown talking to the pilot, then shows up flying the helicopter a few minutes later.
  • John Schuck (The Klingon ambassador) was formerly married to Susan Bay, who would later marry Leonard Nimoy.
  • SPOILER: When Kirk talks with Spock about the way to speak in the twentieth century, he mentions Jacqueline Susann and Harold Robbins. Jacqueline Susann (1918-1974) was a writer and occasional actress, known by her novels "The Love Machine", "Once Is Not Enough", and specially "Valley of the Dolls". Harold Robbins (1916-1997) is considered one of the greatest writers of all time, with 25 novels being best-sellers, author of titles like "The Carpetbaggers", "Never Love a Stranger", and "The Adventurers".
  • When the time travel storyline was proposed, a few different time periods were considered. Ultimately, the contemporary (1986) time period was selected largely to make use of the opportunity for extensive outdoor location shooting. In addition, there would be no budget constraints relating to the use of period costuming, sets and props.
  • CAMEO(Bob Sarlatte): The waiter in the restaurant.
  • First Star Trek movie since Star Trek: The Motion Picture to be released for the holiday movie season as opposed to the summer. This was largely due to William Shatner having become free of his commitment to the television series T.J. Hooker, which had been cancelled.
  • Kirk R. Thatcher did such extensive work on the film that he was promoted from "Production Assistant/Visual Effects" to "Associate Producer" by the end of the film.
  • Leonard Nimoy provided the low "wub-wub-wub-wub" sound that the cigar-shaped alien probe makes while flying through space. Sound Effects Editor Mark A. Mangini had come up with several possible sound effects for the probe, none of which Nimoy liked. Finally, Mangini asked, "Well, what do *you* think the alien probe should sound like?" Nimoy thought for a moment, then did a vocal impression of the sound he thought the alien probe should make. Mangini said, "Okay, let's use that." Nimoy stepped into the recording booth, and did a two-minute voice recording of the "wub-wub-wub-wub" sound. Mangini took this recording of Nimoy's voice, and mixed it with electronic feedback and whale songs to make the alien probe sound.
  • SPOILER: The antique glasses that Kirk sells to make some cash are the pair that was given to him by McCoy for his birthday in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982). It's suggested that once sold in the antiques store, those glasses hang around until they are bought by McCoy, in the future, and then Kirk takes them back in time, and so on, in which case one has to wonder where the glasses "originally" came from. This constitutes an "ontological paradox", an old favorite of science fiction writers, and raises too many questions to discuss here. (It's possible that these glasses existed in two places simultaneously, like characters in Back to the Future and its sequels, rather than being caught in a causal loop.) The same paradox arises when Scotty helps Doctor Nichols "invent" transparent aluminum. If the formula is "found" for the first time in the twentieth century, but only because Scotty took the information back, then this was never invented in the first place! (This may not be a paradox once Scotty only gave Nichols the chemical formula but not the manufacturing process.)
  • According to George Takei, when McCoy, Scotty and Sulu are standing in front of the building with Yellow Pages advertisement, a door opens and an Asian woman appears. The scene in the movie ends at this point but originally this woman was to begin shouting for a young boy named Hikaru, who would run into Sulu. Sulu would realize that this boy was his great-great-(etc.) grandfather. The young boy hired for this scene began to cry on the set before the shot and they were unable to get him to do the scene. With no one to replace him, the scene was never shot.
  • Catherine Hicks says she knew absolutely nothing about Star Trek: The Original Series before being cast in the movie. She credits Leonard Nimoy with pausing in her auditions to explain things about the series, and says she opted against watching episodes of the television series or previous movies after getting the role. Hicks credits her unfamiliarity with the Trek franchise as making Gillian's "outsider" encounter with the Star Trek universe more natural.
  • CAMEO(Kirk R. Thatcher): An Associate Producer plays the punk on the bus who is nerve pinched by Spock. Thatcher expressed displeasure at the music chosen for his boom box, and asked to write and perform a song that he felt would be more representative of his character. The result was the song "I Hate You."
  • Majel Barrett appears as Christine Chapel for the final time. A year later, she would begin her recurring role as Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which she also played on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She also provided the computer voice on "The Cage" (Roddenberry's original pilot) and all TOS and TNG episodes and films; Voyager, DS9; Enterprise and TAS episodes.
  • When Spock takes the test on his homeworld, there is a question that asks: "What were the principal historical events on the planet Earth in the year 1987?". The answer is not heard but you can see two answers written by Spock. "Computers cloned from carrots", and "New York Times is last magazine to close doors." Then the computer answers "Correct".
  • The officer on the Saratoga who announces that the thruster controls are offline is of the same alien race as the Federation President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This race has never been named, but is identified in some printed materials as Efrosian, named after Mel Efros, Unit Production Manager for this film.
  • The base of the distinctive Transamerica Pyramid building can be seen in the background of the San Francisco street corner scene.
  • Until Star Trek Beyond (2016), this was the only Star Trek film not to be primarily set onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. All prior and subsequent films used the then-current starship bearing the name Enterprise as the film's setting. Also, this and Star Trek: The Motion Picture are the only Star Trek films without a discernible villain.
  • SPOILER: During the final scene of the movie, where the Enterprise crew is in the shuttle, Sulu says "With all respect, I'm counting on Excelsior." In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Sulu is the Captain of the Excelsior.
  • During Spock's memory tests, the computer speaks very rapidly, almost too rapidly to discern. The first question it asks Spock is, "Who said 'Logic is the cement of our civilization, with which we ascend from chaos, using reason as our guide'?".
  • The scene with Chekov and Uhura sitting on the rocks looking at the aircraft carrier was shot in San Diego at North Island Naval Air Station.
  • This is the first Star Trek project where this is stated that the Federation has no monetary system. Gene Roddenberry insisted on including this in the movie, even though this contradicted references in earlier Star Trek projects. The new idea was mentioned often on Star Trek: The Next Generation and less frequently on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. On DSN, the Federation has to recognize the non-Federation intercultural currency of "gold pressed latinum" when dealing with non-Federation people. TNG and DSN writer Ronald D. Moore has stated that he considered the no-Federation-money rule to be a bad idea, but felt bound to acknowledge this in his scripts once continuity had been established.
  • SPOILER: During the film's 1 hour 59 minute runtime, there's only a total of about 1 minute 13 seconds worth of shots of the Enterprise - the shortest amount of time the Enterprise is seen on screen in any Star Trek movie. The first 33 seconds of this during the beginning courtroom scene was stock footage of the Enterprise's destruction from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The other forty seconds of this, were shots of the Enterprise-A towards the ending.
  • William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy improvised the continuing "Yes" "No" response to Gillian's question about liking Italian. Initially, Kirk was to say "Yes" at the same time Spock said "No", but the actors came up with the alteration while filming the scene.
  • Some shots of the whales were in fact four foot long animatronics models. Four models were created, and were so realistic that after release of the film, U.S. fishing authorities publicly criticized the filmmakers for getting too close to whales in the wild. The scenes involving these whales were shot in a pool underneath a Paramount parking lot. The shot of the whales swimming past the Golden Gate Bridge were filmed on location, and nearly ended in disaster when a cable got snagged on a nuclear submarine and the whales were towed out to sea.
  • Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy (Spock) died only two days apart: Bennett on February 25, 2015, and Nimoy on February 27, 2015.
  • Eddie Murphy was originally going to play an astrophysicist at Berkeley, but the deal fell through, and Catherine Hicks' Gillian Taylor was worked into the script to replace him.
  • CAMEO(Majel Barrett, Grace Lee Whitney): There are brief appearances of Christine Chapel and Janice Rand, beloved Star Trek: The Original Series supporting characters, at Starfleet Headquarters during the alien probe's arrival.
  • In the DC Comics adaptation of the film, the science vessel Gillian was assigned to is identified as the U.S.S. Clarke, likely an homage to Scientist/Writer Arthur C. Clarke.
  • Saavik is only featured in the first quarter of the movie. The character was "left behind" on Vulcan by the filmmakers, as they did not really know what to do with her in twentieth century San Francisco. In particular, Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett felt her to be too extraneous, and saw the redundancy of having to hide a second Vulcan's identity while on Earth in the past.
  • James Doohan once cited, "Admiral, there be whales here!" as his favorite Scotty line.
  • Though not mentioned on screen, the name of the Federation President was Hiram Roth.
  • SPOILER: Humpback whales, when they sing, move into an upside down vertical position as correctly depicted in the movie. After hearing the humpback response, the alien probe also moves into this same position and replies.
  • When Kirk, McCoy, and Gillian first enter the hospital and are walking around trying to locate Chekov, a voice on a loudspeaker in the background says "Paging Dr. Zober... Dr. Sandy Zober." Sandi Nimoy (nee' Zober) was Leonard Nimoy's wife at the time.
  • Leonard Nimoy said that after the dramatic nature of all previous Star Trek films and the events that occurred in them, he felt the need to lighten things up in the fourth movie.
  • SPOILER: The computer graphic consoles that became standard on the 24th century Star Trek bridges, and also called "Okudagrams" (named for designer Michael Okuda), make their first appearance on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A. This is also the final appearance of the entire original Star Trek movie bridge set, as only small parts were re-used for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
  • SPOILER: Early in the film, the President of the Federation tells the Klingon Ambassador that Kirk is charged with nine violations of Starfleet Regulations. At his court-martial at the end, only six charges are listed: 1. Conspiracy, 2. Assault on Federation Officers, 3. Theft of Federation Property (the Enterprise), 4. Sabotage of the Excelsior, 5. Destruction of Federation Property (the Enterprise again), and 6. Disobeying direct orders of a superior officer. However, assault on Federation officers is actually 3 charges (2 guards outside McCoy's cell, and Uhura's forcing Mr. Adventure crewman at gunpoint into a closet). the theft of the Enterprise is one charge, but it's conceivable that a second theft could be added. Depending on whether sabotage of the Excelsior includes Scotty stealing control chips, Scotty could also be charged with stealing components to make the Enterprise automated. That makes the total of charges as follows: conspiracy (1), assault (3), theft (2), sabotage (1), destruction of Enterprise (1), and disobeying a direct order (1) = 9 charges.
  • The film's success lead to William Shatner guest-hosting Saturday Night Live during its release. This was during that appearance ("Saturday Night Live" (1975) {William Shatner/Lone Justice (#12.8)}) that Shatner performed his "Get a Life" skit.
  • This was the first film in which aliens came to Earth to make contact, hostile or friendly, with a form of life other than humans.
  • The Captain of the U.S.S. Saratoga, seen in the beginning of the film, was the first female captain ever seen in a Star Trek story. The success of this film led to offers by several U.S. television networks to produce a new Star Trek series with the original cast. Instead, Paramount gave the green light to produce the syndicated Star Trek: The Next Generation starring an all new cast. A woman (Kate Mulgrew) was cast as ship's Captain in the spin-off series Star Trek: Voyager.
  • The computer that Scotty uses to show transparent aluminum was originally going to be an Amiga, but Commodore would only provide a computer if they bought it. Apple Computers was willing to loan them the Mac.
  • The film was released as scheduled in 1986 as that year marked the original Star Trek: The Original Series series' 20th Anniversary.
  • SPOILER: The original script called for the whales to be intercepted during aerial transport over the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein objected, saying that the city already had enough trouble with jumpers on the bridge, and that the scene would only encourage more. This led to the scene showing capture of the whales in Alaska.
  • With Leonard Nimoy having directed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, William Shatner was to have directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as a result of Favored Nations Clauses in the two actors' respective contracts for the franchise. Shatner was unable to direct the film as he was busy with the television series T.J. Hooker, and would instead go on to direct Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
  • After V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a humpback whale is the largest lifeform Spock has mind-melded with, if we discount three creatures Spock encountered over the course of "Star Trek: The Animated Series" (1973).
  • Some questions from the test Spock takes on Vulcan at the beginning of the movie: - Q: Who said, "Logic is the cement of our civilization with which we ascend from chaos using reason as our guide."? - A: T'plana Hath, matron of Vulcan philosophy. - Q: What is the molecular formula of sulfite crystals? - Q: What significant contribution to bioengineering was made in Lucarian Outpost on Klendth? - A: The universal atmospheric element compensator. - Q: Adjust the sinewave of this magnetic envelope so that antineutrons can pass through it but antigravitons cannot. - Q: What is the electronic configuration of gadolinium?
  • This is the only Star Trek feature film where no one dies (including all films between Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek Beyond (2016)). Any killing referenced in the movie - such as the whales' extinction, death of Klingons in the prequel, the punk rocker's "I Hate You" song, and Dr. McCoy's "Spanish Inquisition" comment - occur outside the film's time line.
  • The second highest-grossing installment of the series to feature the original cast. (The highest-grossing was Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).)
  • In an uncredited role, the Saratoga Captain is played by Madge Sinclair. Sinclair would later appear in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {Interface (#7.3)} as Captain Silvia La Forge, the mother of Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton). It has been speculated that the Saratoga captain is an unspecified ancestor of LaForge.
  • One early draft script was subtitled "The Trial of James T. Kirk". This script involved Kirk being court-martialed at the request of the Klingons, who were indignant about the events in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. One particularly interesting facet of this script is that it included the Star Trek: The Original Series character Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) as a character witness. But Carmel was in ill health and would die the same year the film was released. When the time-travel script was approved, the trial was included as a minor sequence. The trial-by-Klingons idea, and portions of the dialogue, were reused in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • The name of the whales, George and Gracie, was an homage to the pioneering comedy duo of George Burns and Gracie Allen. This may have been a Star Trek: The Original Series inside joke as well, as Burns' befuddled looks in reaction to Allen's gags were said to inspire the trademark facial expressions Leonard Nimoy used to depict many of Spock's nonverbal reactions.
  • At one hour and one minute into the film, when Dr. McCoy hands Scotty the computer's mouse, this is one of the few times Scotty's war wound of his missing finger is visible in the entire franchise.
  • SPOILER: When Kirk transports Gillian aboard the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, he salutes her with the joke "Hello Alice, welcome to Wonderland." This is a reference for Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel "Alice in Wonderland", about a girl who is introduced in a strange new world. Curiously, in the ending of the movie, Gillian moves with Kirk to the 23rd century, a new world for her.
  • In the bus scene, there is a man in a brown jacket sitting just in front of the "loud punk". He can be seen "reading" the latest issue of Omni magazine, which from 1978 to 1998 published articles on scientific developments as well as short works of science fiction. The specific issue in this scene is from May 1986; the cover celebrates the "25th Anniversary of American Manned Spaceflight".
  • The idea of having Spock give the Vulcan nerve pinch to the punk rocker was inspired by Leonard Nimoy who was walking down the street in New York City, when a punk came out of a store with his boombox blaring, disturbing everyone around him. Annoyed, Nimoy thought "If I was REALLY Spock, I'd pinch his head off!" (According to Nimoy in the DVD audio commentary).
  • This is the first film in "Dolby Stereo Spectral Recording" soundtrack.
  • Gene Roddenberry was initially pleased to hear the movie would be a time travel story, as he had been pushing for such a plotline in one of the movies. Roddenberry had long wanted a story in which the crew traveled back in time in an attempt to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but Harve Bennett felt such a story would be anticlimactic with the audience knowing such a historical event could not be undone.
  • First movie appearance by Spock's mother Amanda, and only Star Trek movie in which she was played by Jane Wyatt, who originated the role in "Star Trek" (1966) {Journey to Babel (#2.10)}. While Spock's father Sarek also appears in the movie, he and Amanda share no scenes together.
  • While the film marks Saavik's final appearance, Robin Curtis would later guest star as Tallera in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {Gambit: Part 1 (#7.4)} and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) {Gambit: Part 2 (#7.5)}.
  • Kirk and the crew name the Klingon Bird-of-Prey "Bounty", suggested by Dr. McCoy. That was written as a tribute to the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty, which took place on April 28, 1789.
  • Scenes filmed on location in San Francisco marked the first time any Star Trek installment had been filmed outside the Los Angeles region.
  • The white, back-lit table that is used at Starfleet Headquarters becomes the center table in Engineering of the Enterprise-D on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Scotty helps Dr. Nichols "invent" transparent aluminium, which in real-life, became possible 23 years later, in 2009. It was developed in part by Professor Justin Wark of Oxford University's Department of Physics.
  • In order to find the best actress to play Dr. Gillian Taylor, two prospective actresses were brought out to William Shatner's ranch by Leonard Nimoy to meet with the man himself. It was Shatner who personally chose Catherine Hicks saying that she was "spunky" (According to Shatner and Nimoy in the DVD audio commentary).
  • In the Spanish dubbed voices there is a mismatch with the original English. At the end of the movie, when Kirk and his crew presents in front of Starfleet for their trial by the acts happened in the previous film (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock), they declare themselves "guilty" of all violations of the regulations they are accused, but in Spanish dubbing Kirk says "inocentes" (not-guilty). There is no explanation about this change.
  • This was the last appearance of the Tellarites in the "Star Trek" franchise until "Enterprise" (2001) {Bounty (#2.25)} 17 years later.
  • During the proposed involvement of Eddie Murphy, the actor was said to be disappointed to be offered the scientist's role. Murphy has said his preferred Star Trek role would be that of a Starfleet Officer/Enterprise Crew Member or an Alien.
  • CAMEO(Jane Wiedlin): 'The Go-Gos rhythm guitarist appears as a communications officer on a starship rendered powerless by the Probe. She is seen on the right of three huge video screens amid a chaotic control room on Earth. Her line: "The condition remains the same. The Probe has neutralized all power supplies. We are functioning on reserves only."
  • This was the last "Star Trek" production to feature scenes set in the twentieth century until "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993) {Past Tense: Part 2 (#3.12)} nine years later.
  • Leonard Nimoy came up with the idea of using humpback whales after reading a book about extinct animals. Nimoy realized that their song added mystery and their size added a challenge for the crew to overcome. Nimoy previously considered a story about a disease that could only be cured by the rain forests but decided that he wanted to keep the film's tone light-hearted.
  • The Cetacean Institute is actually the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. The Institute's logo also belongs to the Aquarium.
  • After "Star Trek" (1966) {Tomorrow Is Yesterday (#1.19)}, "Star Trek" (1966) {The City on the Edge of Forever (#1.28)} and "Star Trek" (1966) {Assignment: Earth (#2.26)}, this is the fourth and final time that Kirk and Spock visit the United States in the twentieth century.
  • The miniature of the Spacedock interior (some fifteen feet across) had been destroyed at the end of production on the previous film and had to be rebuilt from scratch.
  • When the alien probe is approaching Earth at the beginning to look for the humpback whales, there were originally subtitles saying things like "Where are you? Can you hear us?" The studio wanted to keep them despite Leonard Nimoy's objections. However, in the first test screening, test audiences indicated the subtitles were unnecessary, so they were cut.
  • It had been rumored that the character of Gillian was created due to demands from William Shatner to give Kirk a love interest. Shatner was said to be disappointed that the film series largely ignored the original Star Trek: The Original Series series' depictions of Kirk romancing female guest characters. Nicholas Meyer has said this was not the case, and that Gillian was actually inspired by a female biologist he saw profiled in a National Geographic documentary about whales.
  • The restaurant scene was filmed in an actual restaurant. This did not have a pizza oven but, because the characters order pizza, Paramount bought and installed a pizza oven to make the kitchen more believable. The oven was given to the restaurant after filming was completed. But after all that effort, the oven is only visible for five seconds in the film.
  • SPOILER: Uhura is the only crew member in standard duty uniform, although Scotty is also wearing a Captain's casual jacket as is his right following his promotion in the previous feature film. Everyone else (except Spock) is dressed in 23rd century casual wear. Saavik is also in uniform, but stays behind on Vulcan. Chekov leaves his civilian clothes in the past.
  • The telephone number for the Cetation Institute is 555-3970.
  • Catherine Hicks, who plays Gillian, was the star on the television series 7th Heaven together with Stephen Collins, who played Captain Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • This is one of only four "Star Trek" films in which someone speaks a swear word. The others are Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: First Contact. In two cases, the cursing was a single use of the "s**t" word. There were several other swear words used in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
  • Even though the whalers in this film are depicted as Finnish, Finland had participated in whaling only in the 1800's. Iceland, Japan, and Norway are pretty much only countries that practice commercial whaling these days.
  • SPOILER: Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer both had disagreements over the fate of Dr. Gillian Taylor, Bennett wanted her to go to the 23rd century, while Meyer wanted her to stay in the twentieth century.
  • This film takes place in 2286 and 1986.
  • When Chekov is running through the Enterprise (the aircraft carrier), trying to get away from the Marines, the words "Escape Route" and an arrow can be seen on the bulkhead walls.
  • The whale hunters speak Finnish. The older hunter says "What the hell was that?" ("Mikä helvetti tuo oli?" in Finnish.)
  • CAMEO(Harve Bennett): The masked surgeon set to operate on Chekov is believed to be the Producer, but this is unconfirmed.
  • John Schuck has appeared in two Star Trek films and three Star Trek spin-off series. He has played the Klingon Ambassador Kamarag in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Doctor Antaak Enterprise "Affliction" and "Divergence", Parn in DS9 "The Maquis Part 2" and Chorus #2 in Voyager "Muse".
  • For the shot of Sulu flying the helicopter over San Francisco bay, the filmmakers tried to get a pilot to fly a Huey, but they were unable to. The long shot was accomplished using a radio controlled model from Japan.
  • When the tour group is looking at George and Gracie's tank, they are actually staring at a brick wall. The shots of Spock in the tank are a special effect shot on a bluescreen.
  • The scene where Chekov and Uhura are asking a woman about "nuclear wessels" was almost completely improvised. Her line about them being in Alameda was ad-libbed by her, and although she was not supposed to say very much, Leonard Nimoy enjoyed the spontaneity of the scene so much, he left it the way it was.
  • This movie is dedicated to the seven astronauts who died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January. 28, 1986. During the 1970s, NASA employed Nichelle Nichols (the actress who played Uhura) to help recruit minority and female candidates into the astronaut training program, which had previously had only white and male recruits. Nichols's recruitment work was partly responsible for NASA Group 8, the 1978 trainee group that included Dr. Sally Ride (the first American woman in space), Col. Guion Bluford (the first African American in space), Dr. Judith A. Resnik (the first Jewish American in space), Lt. Col. Ellison Onizuka (the first Asian American in space) , and Dr. Ronald E. McNair (the second African American in space). Four of the astronauts (Resnik, McNair, Onizuka, and Lt. Col. Francis Richard "Dick" Scobee) recruited with Nichols's assistance for NASA Group 8 died in the Challenger disaster.
  • While it's widely thought that Kirk was the biggest offender in breaking Starfleet's "temporal laws", that honor should go to Chekov. Before escaping the naval officers, he threw his phaser at them, left his communicator and Starfleet ID badge, all of which was never retrieved and could have caused a major temporal paradox.
  • A scene written for but cut from the film explained why Saavik stays on Vulcan: she is pregnant with Spock's child, stemming from an event in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, when she "treated" the young Spock's pon farr. This was the character's final appearance in a Star Trek film.
  • In overseas markets, the title was inverted to The Voyage Home: Star Trek IV, which featured a lesser emphasis on the Star Trek branding. This was due to the poor overseas box office results of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
  • The U.S.S. Enterprise CVN-65 was actually the U.S.S. Ranger CV-61. The real Enterprise was out to sea during filming.
  • The location where Dr. Gillian Taylor picks up Kirk and Spock is not an actual street. It's a parking lot that runs alongside the main road.
  • One of the extras in the Cetacean Institute tour scene (brunette with brown vest) is also visible at the left edge of the frame in the last shot on the Enterprise bridge. She had also appeared as an extra in the previous two Star Trek films.
  • The Plexicorp scenes were filmed at the Reynolds and Taylor Plastics factory in Santa Ana, California. The company's acrylics division makes large custom plastic panels, and one of their clients is actually the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • The computer that Scotty uses in the Plexicorp scene appears to be a Macintosh Plus, but its internals were completely changed for filming. Its screen was replaced with one from an IBM PC to make this easier to synchronize its video refresh rate with the film camera's frame rate, and the "transparent aluminum" animation was created on an IBM PC by computer graphics company Video Image.
  • The sound the alien probe makes is taken from the sound of baby's heartbeat during a sonogram, slowed down and digitalized.
  • The sounds of static from the computers heard in the background when the Bird-of-Prey comes out of time warp are the loading sounds of a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer.
  • The Bounty's landing in Golden Gate Park was actually shot in Will Rogers Park in Los Angeles, as heavy rains had just made the real Golden Gate Park field too muddy.
  • Both bumpers of Dr. Taylor's pickup truck sport custom-made Cetacean Institute bumper stickers, with the actual Monterey Bay Aquarium logo.
  • SPOILER: While attempting to escape from the security agents aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Chekov tosses his phaser to one of the Agents. Although this is representative of 23rd century technology, this is never retrieved, along with his communicator and Starfleet ID badge.
  • DIRCAMEO(Leonard Nimoy): In addition to his role as Spock, Nimoy also played a visitor to Mercy Hospital. This was reportedly an unintentional cameo appearance as he was on the set as the film's director.
  • SPOILER: The last sound made by the alien probe as this turns away contains the English words "I'm sorry" in monotone in the lower frequencies.
  • The alien probe is modeled after the titular abandoned space station from Arthur C. Clarke's 1973 novel "Rendezvous with Rama."
  • Catherine Hicks studied whales to help prepare for her audition and subsequent role. As a result, Hicks became inspired to become actively involved with anti-whaling efforts.
  • William Shatner was originally reluctant to return to the Star Trek franchise. Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett considered making a prequel with the characters at Starfleet Academy. Eventually, Shatner was offered a pay raise in order to convince him to return. As a result of Shatner and Nimoy's raised salaries, Paramount had to lower the budget of its new series, Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • SPOILER: The movie was released shortly after Star Trek: The Next Generation was first officially announced. As a result, the film technically provided the first connection between the Star Trek movies and The Next Generation. The new Enterprise revealed at the end revealed the NCC code with an A suffix, establishing a pattern leading to the D suffix to denote Picard's Enterprise. In addition, the movie would be subsequently used to promote TNG. Star Trek IV was first released on home video at the time of The Next Generation's debut, and featured a promotional trailer for the series.
  • Since the movie was released in 1986, no one could anticipate the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. This is reflected early in the movie when the probe arrives at Earth causing a world-wide power drain and one of the cities mentioned is "Leningrad", which had its name changed to its original name of "St. Petersburg" soon after 1991.
  • The film bore the dedication, "The cast and crew of Star Trek wish to dedicate this film to the men and women of the spaceship Challenger whose courageous spirit shall live to the 23rd century and beyond..." This was a reference to the Space Shuttle which exploded over Florida on January 28, 1986 killing its seven crew members. Their names were: -Francis R. Scobee (born May 19, 1939 - 46 years old), Commander. -Michael J. Smith (born April 30, 1945 - 40 years old), Pilot. -Ronald McNair (born October 21, 1950 - 35 years old), Mission Specialist. -Ellison Onizuka (born June 24, 1946 - 39 years old), Mission Specialist. -Judith Resnik (born April 5, 1949 - 36 years old), Mission Specialist. -Greg Jarvis (born August 24, 1944 - 41 years old), Payload Specialist. -Christa McAuliffe (born September 2, 1948 - 37 years old), Payload Specialist.
  • According to Spock's computer on Vulcan, Kiri-Kin-Tha's First Law of Metaphysics states that "Nothing unreal exists."
  • The scene with the punk music on the bus was written by Nicholas Meyer to revive a scene that was cut from his movie Time After Time, that had H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) encountering a teenager with music blaring from a boom box.
  • Brock Peters would reprise his role as Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and later play Captain Sisko's father Joseph on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Leonard Nimoy found making the movie challenging at times as he had to alternate his energies and enthusiasm in directing the film, with simultaneously stepping into the role of the emotionally reserved Spock.
  • First Star Trek movie to be shown in the Soviet Union, as this was screened by the World Wildlife Federation in 1987 to celebrate the country's ban on whaling. Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett, who attended the screening, were impressed that the reaction of the audience was similar to that of American audiences, demonstrating a universal appeal. In particular, they were struck by positive reactions to McCoy's line "The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe."
  • SPOILER: It is often claimed that this is the only Star Trek film where no weapons are fired. This is incorrect, as Kirk uses his phaser to weld a door shut, and the whaler fires its harpoon. Chekov also tries to use his phaser, though this does not work. This is also one which no cast member from this film is killed, as the only deaths were from the re-used footage from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
  • This was Jane Wyatt's final film before her death on October 20, 2006 at the age of 96.
  • Outside of North America, the film's title was changed to "The Voyage Home: Star Trek IV." This was done because Star Trek III: The Search for Spock had done very poorly outside of North America. A special prologue narrated by William Shatner was created in which Kirk recaps the events of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek III. The film ended up grossing only slightly higher than Star Trek III outside of North America.
  • This was Robert Ellenstein's final film before his death on October 28, 2010 at the age of 87.
  • CAMEO(Vijay Amritraj): Captain of the U.S.S. Yorktown was played by a professional tennis player and television commentator who at the time was attempting to transition into an acting career.
  • Harve Bennett wrote the beginning and the ending of the script while Nicholas Meyer wrote the middle scenes which take place in San Francisco. Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes wrote the original screenplay, and while most of their ideas were deleted, they still receive credit.
  • The woman who answers Uhura and Chekov when they are looking for the nuclear "wessels" was an extra who was not supposed to speak. Layla Sarakalo had never acted before and was told to "act naturally". So when she was asked, she improvised an answer. Much to Sarakalo's surprise, her unscripted line was kept in the film. Sarakalo happened upon the set when her car was towed away to make room for the film's production. Sarakalo offered to be an extra so that she could make money to get her car back.
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