A STAR TREK 4K TRIFECTA: TMP Director's Edition, The Final Frontier & The Undiscovered Country

by John Larkin


STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE 6-MOVIE COLLECTION can be purchased at retailers everywhere, available September 6th.


Paramount has released a new, bigger and bolder box set of STARK TREK 4K's to incorporate new versions and transfers for STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE: THE DIRECTORS EDITION, STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER and STAR TREK IV: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY.


Last year I covered the original 4K box set release of STAR TREK I-IV which can be read HERE. This review will cover the individual releases I received of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE: THE DIRECTORS EDITION, STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER and STAR TREK IV: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY which Paramount is putting out as individual releases in addition to the new box set pictured above.



STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE

THE DIRECTOR’S EDITION 4K ULTRA HD


This newly restored, definitive cut of the first big-screen adventure was first assembled by director Robert Wise back in 2001. While the original 1979 version of the film was a box office and critical success for the franchise, it had been rushed into theaters to make its release date and so suffered from some poorly edited scenes and subpar special effects. And so Wise went back and finally made things right, much to the delight of the fans who first witnessed it on a special DVD release. This new version is the first time we're able to watch it in UHD. The original assets were meticulously assembled and restored by producer David C. Fein along with preservationist Mike Matessino, both of whom originally collaborated with Wise. Fein and Matessino assembled a team of special effects experts, led by vfx supervisor Daren Dochterman, and utilized the extensive resources in the Paramount Archives to upgrade the resolution from standard def to Ultra HD.


This new transfer is beautiful and features rich colors, deep blacks and very little artifacts and noise. I've always thought of this first installment as the least exciting of the bunch but this new version made me reconsider that assessment. The new Dolby Atmos audio track is crisp and bombastic and it's clarity took me by surprise.


This Directors edition is by far the definitive version of the film and one to own if you just have the original theatrical version. The set features a new audio commentary on the 4K Disc and a superb documentary on how the Director's Edition came to life. In addition, the legacy extras are all intact on the blu-ray special features disc.


4K Disc bonus features

Audio Commentary with David C. Fein, Mike Matessino, and Daren R. Dochterman

Audio Commentary by Robert Wise, Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra, Jerry Goldsmith, and Stephen Collins

Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda

Isolated Score


Blu-ray Disc bonus features

The Human Adventure – An all-new 8-part documentary detailing how the Director’s Edition came to life

Preparing the Future – How the remastering began

A Wise Choice – The storied history of Robert Wise

Refitting the Enterprise – How the Enterprise design shaped future federation starships

Sounding Off – Exploring new dimensions of sound in Dolby Atmos

V’ger – The conception and restoration of an iconic alien antagonist

Return to Tomorrow – Reaching an already high bar with new CGI effects

A Grand Theme – Behind the iconic, influential music score that shaped the franchise’s future

The Grand Vision – The legacy and evolving reputation of this classic movie

Deleted Scenes

Effects Tests

Costume Tests

Computer Display Graphics


STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER (4K ULTRA HD)


THE FINAL FRONTIER is widely regarded as the worst of the franchise and despite its issues (mostly a convoluted plot and pacing) I have a slight fondness for it. It was the only film that Shatner directed and his attempt at going for something wildly different in subject matter is commendable. Though It was the only film Industrial Light and Magic did not do the special effects for - they were committed to INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE and GHOSTBUSTERS II - I don't find the effects bad enough to say it's the reason the film doesn't work.


Shatner apparently had another cut of the film early on but Paramount never pursued releasing it as a separate 'Director's Cut'. After this film failed to soar at the box office Paramount briefly considered ending the STAR TREK franchise with the original cast. Some blamed the TV series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION for shifting the fandom's interest to a new cast they could watch in the comfort of their homes.


THE FINAL FRONTIER was shot handsomely by hungarian cinematographer Andrew Laszlo and as good as his work was, the 2009 blu-ray release was plagued with heavy digital noise reduction that took away the textural grain of the film making it look too smooth. Thankfully this new transfer is a vast improvement and makes the film look the best it ever has.


I very much enjoy this opening sequence of Captain Kirk climbing El Capitan (appropriate) and Spock's rocket boots.


STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER (4K DISC)

  • Commentary by William Shatner and Liz Shatner

  • Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman

STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER (BLU-RAY DISC)

  • Commentary by William Shatner and Liz Shatner

  • Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman

  • Library Computer (HD)

  • Production

  • Harve Bennett’s Pitch to Sales Team

  • The Journey: A Behind-The-Scenes Documentary

  • Makeup Tests

  • Pre-Visualization Models

  • Rockman in the Raw

  • Star Trek V Press Conference

  • The Star Trek Universe

  • Herman Zimmerman: A Tribute

  • Original Interview: William Shatner

  • Cosmic Thoughts

  • That Klingon Couple

  • A Green Future?

  • Star Trek Honors NASA (HD)

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame: James Doohan (HD)

  • Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 005: Nimbus III (HD)

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Mount Rushmore

  • Insults

  • Behold Paradise

  • Spock’s Pain

  • Production Gallery

  • Storyboards (HD)

  • Sha ka ree

  • The Face of God

  • Escape

  • Theatrical Trailer 1 (HD)

  • Theatrical Trailer 2 (HD)

  • TV Spots

  • Vacation Is Over

  • Renegade

  • Challenge of Rebellion

  • Brothers

  • Beyond

  • Adventure

  • Warp Speed Now

  • The Gag Reel


STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (THEATRICAL CUT & DIRECTOR’S CUT – 4K ULTRA HD)


Nicholas Meyer who directed STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN returned to direct the sixth film in the series. Meyer is my favorite director in the series and he does a fine job rejuvenating the franchise after the the previous lackluster installment.


Gene Roddenberry was not a fan of this film, specifically he didn't like how the Klingons were portrayed as one dimensional villains with no exploration of their culture and point of view. It's hard not to speculate on just how deeply this hurt him as Roddenberry died within two days after viewing this film for the first time. The film is dedicated to his memory.


One of the big highlights of this film is the Shakespeare spewing Klingon General Chang played wonderfully by Christopher Plumber. Plumber told the makeup artists that he preferred the bald look over the hair they had prepared to don him with and so they went with it.



Like the others this new transfer shines and the Atmos track is exceptional. The only disappointment is the directors cut which only has only a couple brief scene additions that are close to insignificant in comparison to the original cut.


STAR TREK V: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (THEATRICAL CUT & DIRECTOR’S CUT – 4K DISC)

  • Commentary by Director Nicholas Meyer and Screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn*

  • Commentary by Larry Nemecek and Ira Steven Behr*

STAR TREK V: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (THEATRICAL CUT & DIRECTOR’S CUT – BLU-RAY DISC)

  • Commentary by Director Nicholas Meyer and Screenwriter Denny Martin Flinn*

  • Commentary by Larry Nemecek and Ira Steven Behr*

  • Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda (co-authors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia)*

  • Library Computer (HD)

  • The Perils of Peacemaking

  • Stories from Star Trek VI

  • It Started with a Story

  • Prejudice

  • Director Nicholas Meyer

  • Shakespeare & General Chang

  • Bring It to Life

  • Farewell & Goodbye

  • The Star Trek Universe

  • Conversations with Nicholas Meyer

  • Klingons: Conjuring the Legend

  • Federation Operatives

  • Penny’s Toy Box

  • Together Again

  • Tom Morga: Alien Stuntman (HD)

  • To Be or Not to Be: Klingons and Shakespeare (HD)

  • Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 006: Praxis (HD)

  • Farewell

  • DeForest Kelley: A Tribute

  • Original Interviews

  • William Shatner

  • Leonard Nimoy

  • DeForest Kelley

  • James Doohan

  • Nichelle Nichols

  • George Takei

  • Walter Koenig

  • Iman

  • Production Gallery

  • Storyboards

  • Praxis

  • Assassins

  • Rura Penthe

  • Leaving Spacedock (Omitted)

  • Promotional Material

  • Teaser Trailer (HD)

  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)

  • 1991 Convention Presentation by Nicholas Meyer