Star Trek IV The Voyage Home
Stardate(s) 8390
Star Trek Film
Production Info
Director Leonard Nimoy
Story by
Screenplay by
IMDB Ref tt0092007
Previous Star Trek III The Search For Spock
Next Star Trek V The Final Frontier
Release Info
Previous Star Trek III The Search For Spock
Next Star Trek V The Final Frontier
Previous Star Trek III The Search For Spock
Next Star Trek V The Final Frontier

Plot SummaryEdit

A space probe appears over 23rd century Earth, emanating strange sounds towards the planet, and apparently waiting for something. As time goes on, the probe starts to cause major storms on Earth and threaten its destruction. James T. Kirk and crew are called upon once again to save mankind. They discover the strange sound is actually the call of the humpback whale - which has been hunted to extinction. They have only one choice - to attempt to time travel back into the 20th century, locate a whale, and bring it back to 23rd century Earth to reply to the probe. Written by Colin Tinto <>[2]

Errors and Explanations - Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Audio/visual unsynchronisedEdit

  1. Immediately after the whales' transponders are located in the Bering Sea, Gillian can be seen to mouth "How did you do that?" without sound, then she is immediately seen and heard giving the same line from another camera angle. The level of surprise could be affecting her voice.
  2. After Sulu says "9.3" during the first time warp, Kirk says "We need breakaway speed!" However, his lips continue moving afterwards. (IMDB) Presumably he says "We need breakaway speed, Mr. Sulu!"

Character errorEdit

  1. The president tells the Klingon ambassador that "Admiral Kirk has been charged with nine violations of Starfleet regulations." In the courtroom scene, the crew was collectively charged with six violations. The other charges - most likely assault on the guards and 'Mr Adventure' - could have been quietly dropped.
  2. When trying to get in to the treatment room with Chekov, Dr.McCoy says Gillian has "Acute, postprandial upper abdominal distention", which he later says means "cramps". It would actually mean "gas": "acute" = (of disease) brief and severe; "postprandial" = after a meal; "upper abdominal" relating to the area of the stomach; "distension" = the state of being stretched beyond normal dimensions. The gas could be causing cramp like symptoms.
  3. At the end of the movie after Kirk and crew stand trial, Sarek and Spock have a brief conversation. He tells Spock he recalls that he "opposed your enlistment in Starfleet." However, Spock did not enlist in Starfleet. He was an officer and went to Starfleet Academy. This could be considered a form of enlistment.


  1. At the end when the camera pans the crew just before their pardon, Scotty wears the rank pin of a Commander. This is despite his being promoted to Captain in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, being listed in this film's credits as "Captain Montgomery Scott," and wearing Captain's pins in the next film, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. He probably expected to be reduced in rank for his part in the rescue of Spock, and changed the insignia accordingly.
  2. The Klingon ship the crew is on is supposed to be the same ship they acquired at the end of Star Trek III The Search For Spock, yet the bridge looks nothing like the bridge in that movie. They've probably reconfigured the bridge during their three month stay.
  3. After Spock nerve pinches the punk, the punk's head falls on the radio and probably hits the off switch, killing the music. Kirk resumes normal speech, but Spock is still speaking louder than necessary. He may be temporarily harder of hearing - either that or he thinks Kirk may be.
  4. Scotty doesn't have enough power to beam up both Uhura and Chekov together, so Chekov gives Uhurua the device with the stored nuclear energy and tells her to go first. No one says anything to Scotty, so how does he know who to beam up? He is probably locking on to whoever is holding the collector.

Factual errorsEdit

  1. Ships in the opening sequence that are affected by the probe lose power and come to an almost complete stop. In the vacuum of space, air friction does not exist, so they should keep going the same speed they were before. The control system could be programmed to bring ships to a complete stop following total power loss as a safety measure.
  2. During an early scene on the Klingon vessel, Sulu says "Estimating 1.6 hours to planet Earth." The ship does not appear to be traveling at warp speed, so a journey from Vulcan, which is been shown to be 16 light years away, would take far longer than 1.6 hours (at least 16 years). Just because the ship appears to be traveling slower than light speed, it doesn't means it is!

Incorrectly regarded as goofsEdit

  1. When Spock is being tested by the computer, some camera angles are shot through the display screens. The text when viewed from the back is still displayed forward. This can be explained as a feature of a holographic alien device from the future rather than a goof.
  2. Checkov states that the nuclear vessel they find is called the Enterprise. While it is actually the USS Ranger (CV-61), in this film the Ranger "plays" the Enterprise, much like an actor playing a part.
  3. The first time Kirk and the crew boomerang around the Sun to achieve time travel, the ship nearly breaks apart, with things popping and exploding on the bridge. But the second time they do the same, it appears to be a relatively smooth ride. Apparently, the second time Spock managed to calculate the ship's trajectory better than the first time. In a previous scene Kirk teaches Spock to use human intuition in order to solve the return trajectory problem. Perhaps the intuitive approach had paid off.
  4. When Spock nerve pinches the punk on the bus, his music appears to stop even though no one actually turns it off. It can be presumed that the punk's head hits the 'off' switch.

Plot holesEdit

  1. The crew at Starfleet HQ in San Francisco shout and point, "There, There!" as to indicate the descent of the commandeered Klingon Ship as Kirk and crew return through the clouds, yet the cloud cover is so thick that nothing past the bridge can be seen, so how could the Admiral see the ship, let alone know that it was coming? He probably spotted it through one of the gaps in the cloud.
  2. Kirk, Gillian, and McCoy are able to rescue Chekov from the hospital. However, Chekov's phaser is still in the possession of the military agents that had originally arrested him. While McCoy earlier in the film airs his concern to Scotty about leaving advanced technology (Plexiglas scene) or information of same in the past, no concern is given to Chekov's phaser, which is left behind.The Phaser is probably dismissed as a fake.

Nitpickers Guide for Classic TrekkersEdit

Plot OversightsEdit

  1. Whales having the ability to transmit over interstellar distances without humanity realising. Perhaps the frequencies used are equivalent to those of a dog whistle.
  2. The probe tearing everything up after not initially making contact with the whales. The intelligence controlling the probe probably regards humanity as not worthy of living.
  3. Saavik claiming that this is the first chance she has had to explain David's bravery to Kirk. They were probably too busy with other business.
  4. Spock claiming that the message from the President stated the Probe's transmission is being directed at the oceans. The President's warning stated that the transmission from the probe were vaporising the oceans, making them the only part of Earth's ecosystem being directly connected to the transmission.
  5. Spock persuading the whales, via a mind meld, to allow themselves to be transported through time by humans, despite knowing their species will be driven to near extinction by humanity in the near future. It is more likely that Spock informed the whales that taking them to the future is the best way to prevent the extinction.
  6. The direction of time travel being determined by which way you travel round the sun. This is connected to whether or not you are traveling against the Sun's rotation

Changed PremesisEdit

  1. Kirk stating that it's a forgone conclusion the natives have never seen an extra-terrestrial. Kirk is referring to confirmed face to face contact, which in his reality isn't due to take place for over three quarters of a century.

Equipment ChangesEdit

  1. The Universal translator not working on whale song The capability may have lapsed following the encounters with the Xindi.


  1. Technovelgy
  2. IMDB entry tt0092007

Star Trek Films
Star Trek The Motion Picture I Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan I Star Trek III The Search For Spock I Star Trek IV The Voyage Home I Star Trek V The Final Frontier I Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country I Star Trek Generations I Star Trek First Contact I Star Trek Insurrection I Star Trek Nemesis I Star Trek I Star Trek Into Darkness I Star Trek Beyond
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