A significant achievement in the Star Trek canon, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country enjoys a special status. However, casual Star Trek fans may not know of a controversial episode involving Kim Cattrall—one potentially scandalizing the franchise. No Trekkie could forget that Cattrall played Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris, but do they know that, during production, the actor took center stage in a unique, albeit unauthorized, photo shoot on the empty Enterprise bridge? What’s more, Catrall was naked except for her Vulcan ears, a risqué move provoking a comparably dramatic reaction from Leonard Nimoy.
Spock, worried how the pictures might sully the franchise upon discovery, personally tore several of them up.
We can understand Nimoy’s concern—if not his deep, personal involvement in the franchise. Long before Star Trek featured the likes of Kim Cattrall, Nimoy shaped both Spock’s character and the broader legacy of the iconic franchise.
Truly, Nimoy and Spock are inseparable from Star Trek’s iconography. It’s probably not unreasonable to venture he viewed Star Trek as a platform upholding specific values and themes. His actions—destroying photographs, ensuring they would neither leak nor tarnish Star Trek’s image—communicate his commitment to preserving the Star Trek’s integrity.
Marking the final appearance of the original series’s celebrated cast, integrating both established household names and new, lesser-known actors, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country represented a significant step forward in the long saga of the franchise. The sixth Star Trek film involved a shift to a darker tone and a dramatic arc involving new degrees of depth and complexity which, in addition to Kim Cattrall’s debut, were much welcomed by fans and critics alike.
The plot centers around a rendezvous between the Enterprise and Chancellor Gorkon’s battlecruiser before progressing to Earth for peace talks. Tensions suddenly flare up when the Enterprise seemingly attacks the Klingon ship, killing Chancellor Gorkon. Captain Kirk and Dr. Leonard MCoy find themselves accused of assassination and relegated to the frozen planetoid Rura Penthe, where they are sentenced to life imprisonment.
It’s probably not unreasonable to venture he [Leonard Nimoy] viewed Star Trek as a platform upholding specific values and themes.
A gripping tale of intrigue and conspiracy—inviting comparisons to the then-ongoing Cold War—follows, as Kirk and McCoy navigate the perils of the prison planet while the crew aboard the Enterprise endeavors to uncover the truth.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country boasts a stupendous cast combining newcomers—like Kim Cattrall—with tried and true favorites (Shatner, Nimoy, etc.). As Captain James T. Kirk, Shatner’s acting earned praise for depicting the nuances of grappling with prejudice; in his case, prejudice toward the Klingons.
With Spock, science fiction fans were relieved to see the logical-yet-compassionate Vulcan working toward peace between the Federation and the Klingons. As expected, DeForest Kelley, playing McCoy, contributed characteristic warmth and humor.
For his part, Christopher Plummer offered an unforgettable performance as the Klingon General Chang, a role the actor sought to humanize and render relatable. Kim Cattrall’s Valeris, a Vulcan protégé of Spock, lended fresh intrigue and depth to Star Trek. While Iman’s portrayal of Martia, a shapeshifter encountered on icy Rura Penthe, remains a fan favorite.