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Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country (1991) - Illustrated Reference

Updated on August 31, 2016

Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country was directed by Nicholas Meyer. It premiered on the 3rd December 1991 Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Christopher Plummer, David Warner, Kim Cattrall and Mark Lenard. Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer, Denny Martin Flinn. Music by Cliff Eidelman. 110mins.

Peace talks with the Klingon Empire are jeopardised after the USS Enterprise seemingly fires at a ship carrying the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. With the ship disabled assassins beam on board and kill the Chancellor. Kirk and McCoy are accused of murder and are sentenced to the remote prison planet of Rura Penthe.

Nicholas Meyer returned to direct the sixth and last Star Trek movie featuring all the original series cast. Leonard Nimoy suggested a story based on a future “Berlin Wall” coming down, substituting the Klingons for the Russians. The poor performance of Star Trek V meant more budget cuts than before and Star Trek VI cost less than the previous film.

Kirk: They're animals.
Spock: Jim, there is an historic opportunity here.
Kirk: Don't believe them. Don't trust them.
Spock: They're dying.
Kirk: Let them die!

William Shatner (1931-) / Captain James T. Kirk

Born in Quebec, Canada, William Shatner has also starred as James Kirk in Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986), Star Trek V The Final Frontier (1989) and Star Trek Generations (1994).

Leonard Nimoy (1931-) / Mr. Spock

Born in Boston, Massachussets, Leonard Nimoy has played Spock in Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek V The Final Frontier (1989).

DeForest Kelley (1920-1999) / Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, DeForest Kelley has appeared as Dr. McCoy in Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek V The Final Frontier (1989).

Kim Cattrall (1956-) / Valeris

Born in Liverpool, England, Kim Catrall's films include - Porky's (1982), Police Academy (1984), Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Mannequin (1987), Return of the Musketeers (1989), Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Unforgettable (1996), 15 Minutes (2001), Sex and the City (2008), The Ghostwriter (2010) and Sex and the City 2 (2010). TV series - Sex and the City (1998-2004 as Samantha Jones).

General Chang: Oh, now be honest, Captain, warrior to warrior. You do prefer it this way, don't you, as it was meant to be? No peace in our time. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends."

Christopher Plummer (1929-) / General Chang

Born in Toronto, Canada, one of the most respected actors working in films today, Christopher Plummer has appeared in films as diverse as The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), Battle of Britain (1969), Dreamscape (1984), Dragnet (1987), Twelve Monkeys (1995), The Insider (1999) Oscar nominated for Best Actor for The Last Station (2009) and winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Beginners (2011).

Chancellor Gorkon: You don't trust me, do you? I don't blame you. If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it.

David Warner (1941-) / Chancellor Gorkon

Born in Manchester, England, David Warner's films include – Tom Jones (1963), Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966), Straw Dogs (1971), Cross of Iron (1977), Time Bandits (1981 as Evil Genius), Tron (1982 as Ed Dillinger / Sark), The Man With Two Brains (1983), Star Trek V The Final Frontier (1989),Titanic (1997) and Planet of the Apes (2001).

Rosanna DeSoto (1950-) / Azetbur

Born in San Jose, California, Rosanna DeSoto's films include - The In-Laws (1979), About Last Night (1986), La Bamba (1987), Family Business (1989) and Once Upon a Wedding (2005).

Iman (1955-) / Martia

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Iman was a supermodel and is married to singer David Bowie. Her films include - Out of Africa (1985), No Way Out (1987), Surrender (1987), LA Story (1991) and Exit to Eden (1994).

Kurtwood Smith (1943-) / Federation President

Born in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, Kurtwood Smith's films include - Robocop (1987 as Clarence Boddicker), Rambi III (1988), Dead Poets Society (1989), Oscar (1991), Fortress (1992), Under Siege 2 (1995), Broken Arrow (1996), Deep Impact (1998) and Girl Interrupted (1999). TV series - That 70's Show (1998-2006).

Spock: Two months ago, a Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon, Praxis. We believe it was the result of overmining and insufficient safety precautions. The moon's decimation means a deadly pollution of their ozone: They will have depleted their supply of oxygen in 50 Earth years. Due to the enormous size of their military budget the Klingons do not have the means to deal with this catastrophe. Last month, at the behest of the Vulcan ambassador, I opened a dialogue with Gorkon, Klingon chancellor of the High Council. He proposes to begin negotiations at once.
Admiral Cartwright: Negotiations for what?
Spock: The dismantling of our starbases and outposts along the Neutral Zone, an end to nearly 70 years of unremitting hostility which the Klingons can no longer afford.

The film is dedicated to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, the “Great Bird of the Galaxy” died of heart failure in October 1991 a few weeks before the film premiered, he was 70.

Rura Penthe was also a penal colony in the classic movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Captain Nemo mentions he was once one of the prisoners there.

The film features a prototype Klingon Bird of Prey commanded by Chang which can fire while cloaked. It was destroyed by the Enterprise and Excelsior.

General Chang’s eye patch is bolted straight into his skull, proving how much of a badass he is. It was Christopher Plummer’s idea to keep Chang bald.

To avoid an R rating the Klingons bled purple blood during the zero gravity assassination on Kronos One. On the various TV series Klingon blood is red.

General Chang: Cry havoc, and let slip the Dogs of War.

Star Trek VI quotes many lines from Shakespeare and the title The Undiscovered Country is taken from Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1, the famous soliloquy.

Christian Slater (1969-) has a cameo in the film as an officer on board the USS Excelsior. His mother Mary Jo Slater was casting director for the film.

Originally it was meant to be Saavik that betrayed Spock and the Federation, but Kim Cattrall didn’t want to be the third actress to play that role and the character of Valeris was introduced.

Kim Cattrall posed nude on the Enterprise bridge for a magazine shoot. Leonard Nimoy found out and destroyed all the photos and negatives. Damn it Spock!

Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country opened with another record breaking weekend for the series, $18m in 3days, grossing $75m in the US and a total of $97m worldwide.

Much better received by fans and critics than its predecessor, with a stronger story and less humour than the previous two entries in the series.

A Cold War allegory set in the 23rd Century, Trek VI was the last movie starring the popular cast of the original Star Trek series and an excellent send off.

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

The space adventures continue in Star Trek: Generations (1994)

The Critics Wrote -

"Star Trek VI directed by Nicholas Meyer, is as lively a tale as any Trekkie might want, even if it's not free-standing enough to bring in new recruits. There are no signs of waning energy here, not even in an Enterprise crew that looks ever more ready for intergalactic rocking chairs. The principals' enthusiasm for their material has never seemed to fade. If anything, that enthusiasm grows more appealingly nutty with time." (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

"Director/coscripter Nicholas Meyer, who helmed the popular second "Star Trek" movie, moves this vehicle efficiently. He employs some tremendous visuals. At one point, the gravity stabilizer goes off in the Klingon spaceship. Invaders come aboard and start firing laser-type weaponry. The Klingons' spilled blood floats in the air in eerily beautiful purplish globules; it's space-age Sam Peckinpah." (Washington Post)

"This sixth "Star Trek" film has so much more life and interest than the dreary "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" that perhaps it will tempt Paramount into still another story for Captain Kirk and his crew." (Roger Ebert)

“Hiro Narita's photography is breathtaking, and the script by the director and Denny Martin Flinn is filled with wit and polish.” (Scheuer)

“Delivers enough of what Trek audiences hunger for to justify the trek to the local multiplex. Sappy ending provides a fitting send-off to the ground-breaking series and its rabid fans, reinforcing its humanistic messages.” (Variety)

"Best of all the Star Trek movies, and a fitting finale to the series. Even if you’re not normally a Star Trek fan, you’ll enjoy this one." (Chris Tookey)


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    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks for the detailed comment Rob, always appreciated.

      I've nearly finished Generations, it looks like most of the hub will be taken up with bits of actor and character info, 13 people on this one.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      This was a nice ending to the classic crew franchise. While much of it was done for the continuity with ST:TNG (The Federation/Klingon alliance, Col. Worf) it was still a good way to go out. Having great supporting actors like Christopher Plummer and David Warner helped a lot to make the film memorable.

      Of course, this wasn't the final appearance for many of the crew (Kirk would return in 'Generations'; Spock came back in ST:TNG and the recent reboot movie; Scotty appeared in 'Generations' and on a ST:TNG episode. Chekov appeared in 'Generations'. Sulu appeared on "ST: Voyager". So only McCoy and Uhura really said their goodbyes with this film.)

      McCoy has the best line in the film--and one of the best lines in any of the Trek films--when he says to Kirk, "What is it with you, anyway?" I remember the huge laugh that got in the theater.

      One thing that bugs me about this fim is that the title is a blatant error. In the film, they claim that the 'Undisovered Country' means the future. WRONG! Anyone who knows Shakespeare knows that when Hamlet referred to the Undiscovered Country, he was talking about death. (It was part of his "To be or not to be" speech) I can't imagine how no one caught that obvious mistake!

      Anyway, this was a good Trek film. Another fun hub, Steve, with more memorable Trek stuff.


    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      I suppose those were the two best, but I know people enjoy Star Trek IV The Search for Humpback Whales a lot too. I'll stick with the Motionless Picture, it was trippy. :)

      Thanks for posting Mentalist, appreciate it.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Kim Would Be Worth Waiting The Seven Years To Mate With:-)

      This movie was,to me,just as good as The Wrath Of Khan.;)

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Cogerson, your input is always appreciated. I still say they should have let Kim Catrall play the role nude, the film would have been a lot more popular, only problem is we won't be concentrating on the story. :)

      I liked Cattrall in this, a shame she turned out to be a traitor. Spock practically rapes her mind for information at the end, what about her Vulcan rights?

      Those last words by Kirk are favourites of mine too, somewhat reminds me of Peter Pan... oh wait it is from Peter Pan. :)

      I'm working on the Next Generation movies now, might as well finish the whole lot and First Contact is a big favourite of mine.

    • Cogerson profile image

      UltimateMovieRankings 6 years ago from Virginia

      One of my favorite Star Trek movies....I love the story in this was a great way for most of the original crew to go is sad that Scotty and McCoy are no longer with us. I love the special effects when the traitors go aboard and wipe out the got love purple blood floating in anti-gravity.

      Chekov: Course heading, Captain?

      Kirk: Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.

      I love this part....too bad Kirk came back for another movie....because I like thinking they still going straight till morning.

      I wish they could have brought back Saavik as her betrayal would have been even more shocking.....I guess playing a female Spock is not good enough to play for more than one time.....Awesome hub....are you going to the Next Generation now?

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I was a fan of Boston Legal. Too bad it was cancelled. I liked the ending talks on the balcony.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Hey thanks for the Shatner anecdote Flora, it is appreciated. I like the way Shatner talks in the Trek universe, much parodied but it suits the character.

      He was a lot different in Boston Legal, which had plenty of Star Trek refences btw in one episode his character Denny Crane says "what am I supposed to do beam myself over?" in another he tells reporters clamouring for a quote that he once captained his own spaceship. :)

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I'm glad that Nimoy and Kelley decided to end their roles here rather than be just bit parts in Star Trek: Generations. This is a much better ending for these main characters.

      This was a fabulous movie, even if there was no humour. I had no idea that Kim's role was supposed to be Saavik. I'm glad it wasn't or it would ruin my ability to enjoy The Search for Spock.

      Plumber playing a Klingon in Shatner's world of Star Trek was quite fitting since Shatner began his career understudying Plumber in Toronto's Royal Shakespeare Company and got his chance to play a lead when Plumber got sick. He couldn't remember his lines and would recite them as he remembered them. Some critic in the audience thought it was deliberate and loved it. Praise to Shatner and from then on whenever he played a larger than life character-read Kirk-he spoke haltingly. He still speaks normally when playing other characters (see Alexi in The Brothers Karamozov).


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