Since the mid-1960s, Star Trek has become synonymous with not only science fiction television but science fiction feature films. One of the best features comes from the cast of the Original Series and now, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, is now available as a Star Trek free watch on YouTube Movies.
Star Trek: The Original Series only lasted three years (1966-69) of its five-year mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” when NBC decided to pull the plug on the series due to terrible ratings. The series, though popular with science fiction fans and tech students, didn’t draw enough interest from the casual fan to justify a fourth season.
Somehow, the original series began to find its audience during reruns. Its newfound cult following, aka Trekkies, showed enough interest that by the mid-to-late ‘70s, Paramount felt it was time to once again “boldly go where no man has gone before.” Star Trek was back, but this time it was being given the feature film treatment.
It’s widely agreed, even by Trekkie’s standards, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a complete misstep. Though the box office returns didn’t warrant a sequel, Paramount still felt there was enough there to move forward anyway. Along came Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, followed by Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. By the time Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home blasted into theaters, Star Trek was on a roll and once again quite popular.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the Star Trek free movie now on YouTube, concludes the story arc that started in The Wrath of Kahn. After James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and crew defied orders to rescue Spock from the Genesis Planet (The Search for Spock), the fourth movie finds the entire crew returning to Earth to face their court-martial. But as they reach Earth in the Bounty, their newly captured and named Klingon Bird of Prey ship, they learn that the planet is being destroyed by a destructive signal from a giant probe.
The giant probe has been trying to communicate with the now-extinct humpback whale and will continue to wreak its havoc until they get a response. Kirk and crew decide to use the Bounty to travel back in time where they can obtain a pair of humpback whales and bring them to the current Earth to save it.
The next steps in this Star Trek free watch bring the crew to 1986 San Francisco. There, they discover their time travel maneuver has drained the ship of its power. Now, the crew must split up to complete all the tasks necessary to capture the whales, build a tank to hold them, and find a nuclear reactor to generate power to get them home.
Kirk and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) handle the first task. They find two in the care of a Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks) and try their best to convince her of their mission, but she refuses to cooperate. Meanwhile, Scotty (James Doohan), Bones (DeForest Kelly), and Sulu (George Takei) trade the formula for transparent aluminum to obtain materials needed to build the large tank. At the same time, Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and Chekov (Walter Koenig) are tasked with finding nuclear power, which they do on the aircraft carrier Enterprise. The pair are able to collect the needed power but are also discovered on board the ship. As they attempt to flee, Uhura is beamed out but Chekov is badly injured.
Dr. Taylor approaches Kirk and Spock because the whales have been released early and are now being hunted by whalers. The three first rescue the injured Chekov from the hospital, then they save the whales. The Bounty has been recharged and back to their time goes the crew.
As they slingshot back, approaching Earth, they lose power because of the giant probe. The Bounty then crashes into the waters of San Francisco Bay, where the whales are finally able to swim to freedom, thusly being able to communicate with the giant probe.
Of the six Original Series feature films, The Voyage Home is considered one of the best. It’s lucky that one of the best is now a Star Trek free option for streaming. The movie, which was directed by Leonard Nimoy (his second directing duty in the series), injected some well-timed humor while tackling the issue of the near-extinct humpback whale. Nimoy, along with producer/screenwriter Harve Bennett, devised the story.
Although the second and third films of the series were popular, to say the least, William Shatner decided he was going to hold out on doing the fourth film. That is unless Paramount met his demands of a $2 million salary and the promise that he’d be able to direct the fifth film in the series. Paramount acquiesced to those demands.
Also of note is the fact that initially, Eddie Murphy was set to star in the fourth movie. The thought was his mass box office appeal would bring in the non-Trekkie and create a significant bump in ticket sales. Murphy was to be a college professor who believed in aliens and also liked to play whale songs. Well, Murphy didn’t care for the part, so he declined the offer.
Paramount gave Nimoy a $21 million budget which Nimoy worked wonders with. The film was mainly shot on location, using San Francisco as their backdrop while also utilizing locations such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium as the initial home of the humpback whales.
The film was a rousing success for Paramount as it brought in $133 million at the box office. It also enjoyed critical praise for its humor and the tackling of the endangered whale’s issue.
Boldly go on over to YouTube Movies for the change to stream this Star Trek free movie while you can. It’s fun and enjoyable, a worthy addition to the Star Trek collection.