DATELINE: The Final Undiscovered Country
Did we miss this gem the first time around in 1991? We are glad to re-discover The Undiscovered Country, the last original cast movie of the Star Trek series. It is elegantly listed as VI.
This film, directed by Nicholas Meyer, is Shakespearean satire. It is delicious to behold. The sixth in the movie franchise of the original series, perhaps we had run out of steam and avoided it, but the characters had not abandoned their mission.
Christopher Plummer as Chang, the Klingon villain, delivers famous lines and taunts that you have to read Shakespeare in the original Klingon.
The movie is loaded with delights. Spock quotes Sherlock Holmes and mentions he is a distant ancestor. Christian Slater, a devotee and fan of the show, has a cameo.
Merrit Butrick, who played Kirk’s son in two movies, but had died of HIV in 1989, appears as his son again in a photo—and in a major plot device. We think Butrick would have been thrilled.
The Undiscovered Country deserves to have an elevated spot in the canon of Star Trek. As the last entry, it is bittersweet and, so many years after its appearance, meets the end exactly as we might wish.
The movie is loaded with one-liners and the usual attack that leaves the Enterprise in shambles.
Leonard Nimoy came up with the idea for the last film, and he knows how to play off the two main characters and his chemistry with William Shatner.
If you have not discovered the last franchise dedicated to Gene Roddenberry, you are remiss.