Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Corrected entry: Nothing in space could communicate with whales in the ocean without radios. It wouldn't matter if it was generating the loudest sound in the universe, or had the most sensitive mike and most powerful amplifier - sound can't travel through a vacuum. The probe couldn't "hear" the whales, and the whales couldn't hear the probe.


Correction: This assumes that the probe, which does not appear to be a 'mechanical' device, uses a communications technology that we are familiar with, and there's no reason to assume that it does. It's a fictional, alien probe, which is likely using a fictional, alien technology to communicate with the whales.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

You're describing fantasy fiction and not science fiction. The whales are not equipped with alien technology to send and receive, so it doesn't matter what technology the probe contains The movie makes a point of "playing" the sounds of whales and the sounds of the probe. Sounds, by definition, are vibrations of a medium - there is no medium here to carry the vibrations, and even if there were, they would have to be so powerful as to cause worldwide, catastrophic shock waves in order to reach.


Star Trek does often dabble in fantasy under the guise of "too advanced for our puny minds." The probe's signal is not itself a sound but some kind of energy (or something) that can inexplicably drain power from starships, cause giant hurricanes, and produce a sound when it hits a medium. The probe presumably has sensors that can detect the effects of a whale call and extrapolate/ "hear" it much the way the Enterprise bridge screen can "see" across vast distances using sensor data.


Corrected entry: When the Marines are chasing Chekov aboard the aircraft carrier, the sign "Escape Route" and an arrow can be seen stenciled in paint on the wall.


Correction: This is just a marking so sailors have visual clues on the best evacuation route in an emergency.


Corrected entry: When Spock analyzes the call of the probe and compares it in a phylum search, he's presumably interfacing with the Federation memory bank as mentioned in Sulu's pre-launch status. However, the alien probe was disrupting all power and communications in the vicinity of Earth. It's extremely unlikely the ship could've interfaced with the Federation memory bank at the time of that search. (00:24:55)

Correction: There's no reason to assume the Federation memory bank is centralized on Earth, or not networked throughout several member worlds. The original series episode "The Lights of Zetar," for example, showed a Federation central library facility on a planet called Memory Alpha (which is where the Star Trek wiki gets its name).


Corrected entry: In the second last scene when the bird of prey crash lands under the Golden Gate bridge, Kirk orders Spock to blow the hatch so the crew can escape. The camera is pointing up inside the ship to the outside of the ship and you can see the top of an industrial shed (01:40:10)

Correction: Watching this scene carefully, there is no evidence of an industrial shed, or anything else. You see the top of the ship, and the hatch closely behind Spock. When he blows the hatch, you just see white, but no significant details to make out what could be outside.

Corrected entry: When the 'Bounty' materializes above the whaling ship, the close-up of the captain and navigator frantically turning the ship around reveal that only the captain has his hands on the wheel; the navigator is flapping his hands in the air rather than helping turn the wheel of the whaling ship.

Correction: The navigator is freaking out, seeing a giant space ship materialize in front of him. He's obviously not thinking straight, thinking he's turning the wheel. If something like that happened to an ordinary person, they probably wouldn't know what they were doing either.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Scotty beams up the whales and water to the ship, you can see the water completely fills the compartment from top to bottom so the whales would have had no air layer to breathe.


Correction: We don't actually know the internal structure of the tank, nor can we see it in the movie. The top of the glass is not automatically the top of the tank/water surface; in other words, the height of the tank may be higher than what we can see from the outside. The water surface may go higher than the glass we are able to see, and therefore, have air up there.

Corrected entry: In the scenes where Kirk's communicator goes off (like during dinner with the scientist lady) to simply inform him that Chekhov is about to beam to the ship, this completely goes against his first orders given before they landed that communicators should only be used in case of emergencies.


Correction: Uhura and Chekov were about to infiltrate a United States vessel in order to steal nuclear particles. Sounds like an emergency to me.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: Dr. McCoy advises Scotty about giving the manufacturer the formula for the transparent aluminum for fear that it would alter history. Yet he himself gives the elderly woman in the hospital the pill that grows her a new kidney, hence future medical technology in the hands of 20th century physicians, something doctors and others would definitely be studying after the woman's miraculous recovery.


Correction: Why would it alter history? Unexplained 'miracles' happen in medicine often enough. And its not out of character for Bones to put his Hippocratic Oath above the Prime Directive.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: At the Start of the Final scene of the film, when the crew are approaching the new Enterprise-A in the inspection pod, Kirk is correctly wearing a Captain's Rank Pin on his tunic, however, his tunic still has the gold braiding of an Admiral. (01:52:50)

Correction: Kirk probabaly hasn't had enough time to fully update his uniform.

Corrected entry: Reactor rooms are sealed spaces. No marine with a dog would be able to patrol it, especially without a radiation suit.

Correction: The room is a *restricted* space, if it were sealed how would they use anything inside of it? And you would not need a radiation suit to enter a reactor room, the reactor itself is radiation shielded so that it doesn't leak.

Corrected entry: Why bother traveling back to 1986 to get a whale? Why not travel back to the year 500, with no hostile people around. After all; they claim that the whales have been around for 10000 years or so... It can't be the need for nuclear fuel, because Scotty discovers the problem with the Klingon dilithium crystals AFTER the crew has travelled back in time. Only after discovering the problem does the crew decide to collect high-energy photons from a nuclear reactor. At the time they were deciding to go back in time, they had no idea there was going to be a problem with the crystals. Hence, the logical decision at the time would have been to go back to the distant past where the risk to the time continuum would have been minimal.

Correction: Time travel is imprecise, especially the "sling-shot" technique they used (compared to other methods in other films). They could not aim for a specific year, and Kirk does ask what year it is. Probably they were just trying to get to a time when Hump-Back whales were still around and weren't thinking about what time period they were going to end up in. From the filmmakers' standpoint, it would have been easier to have them go to "present" time, rather than farther back. Plus the crew needs not only a whale, but also the technology and materials to build the 'fishtank' inside the Bounty. Hence they would travel to a time where such materials had already been invented.

Corrected entry: In every movie Klingon cloaking shields show a visible distortion in the background, like heat waves coming off a pavement. When the whale specialist comes looking for Kirk in the park, she bumps into a perfectly invisible (as in no distortion) Klingon bird-of-prey.

Correction: They're only distorted when moving.

Corrected entry: When Kirk and his crew stand before the Federation President, they are there to answer for the charges against them in the previous film. Other than trying to get a ship to Genesis, McCoy should not be included in the hearing since he had no way of knowing that Kirk would break him out of jail, steal the Enterprise, then escape to Genesis.


Correction: Just like you said, they broke him out of jail. At that point he was a fugitive. And he went along with the plan, making him an accomplice.


Corrected entry: Given the distance the probe must have traveled before it reached the Neutral Zone it would had to have encountered starships long before encountering Saratoga, so why didn't Starfleet know about the probe before Saratoga was neutralized?

Correction: Several reasons. The Klingons are enemies with Starfleet. About ready to go to war thanks to Kirk, so they're not likely to report anything to Starfleet about a dangerous probe coming their way. Also, you never know the path it traveled & what/if any federation ships came into contact with it. And, the ones that did would have lost power & not been able to communicate to Starfleet. Starfleet only regained power after the probe was satisfied that they were able to communicate with the whales.


Corrected entry: The computer screens that Spock is testing himself on are already responding with "correct" before he answers the questions.

Correction: There is no part during the questioning in which the computer answers correct before he answers the question. They do a segue where they show the computer asking questions & saying correct quickly. This is to show that Spock is being asked a lot of questions & getting them all correct, until they get to the final question "how do you feel?" It's shot that way intentionally to fast forward through all the questions he's asked & show how much he knows.


Corrected entry: Kirk conveniently has the broken pair of reading glasses with him that he sells to the antiques dealer in 1986. The glasses were damaged at the end of "Wrath of Khan" which means he would have no further use for them, but for some reason he would have had to have them on him during the events of "Search For Spock" for them to be stranded with him on Vulcan, just as he and the crew were at the beginning of the movie.

Correction: In The Wrath of Khan, it was established that Kirk carried the glasses with him, only putting them on when needed. Even though he never used them in Search for Spock doesn't mean he didn't have them with him.

Corrected entry: When the Bounty takes off from Vulcan and flies away, no shadow is visible despite the fact that it is a very sunny day. (00:16:20)

Correction: This is incorrect. Vulcan has multiple suns, so there would be minimal shadows cast.

Corrected entry: When Spock and Kirk theories over who the probes signal might be meant for, Spock say "The President did say it was directed at earths oceans", the president never said that, he only said it was vaporizing the oceans, he never mention it being directed anywhere.

Correction: If it's vaporising the oceans, it's hardly an unreasonable assumption that it's aimed at them. If it was having negative effects across the world, affecting everywhere, the President would hardly have singled out the oceans to comment on.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene where the commander of the navy ship is on the phone, first he is told that nobody knows why they are having a power drain. Then suddenly he makes a call and says that there is an intruder. There is no way he or anyone else could have suddenly known there was an intruder, because nobody had physically seen or detected Chekov and Uhura yet. And there is no "modern" technology that could drain power from the reactor so there was no reason to equate the power drain to an intruder alert.


Correction: When he is informed about the power drain the phone rings. He speaks with someone that calls him Chief, apparently one with higher rank, and tells him that they are tracking the drain too and asks about an opinion of what it is. Then the scene cuts to Uhura and Chekov who try to communicate with Scotty, and after the scene goes back to the Navy and Commander Rogerson who says "Confirmed, roger that" and he makes the phone call about the intruders. Apparently on the phone they pick the transmission of Uhura and Chekov or identify exactly where the power drain was and informed the commander on duty.

Anastasios Anastasatos

Corrected entry: In the scene where they spray paint the ship, you can see the ship is suspended on landing gear. then later when it lands in the park cloaked, the special effect shows the garbage can being compressed under the ship, and the outline of the entire ship indenting into the ground, as if the entire ship is making contact with the ground,but really only the small area of the landing gear should be compressing the ground and only at certain points.


Correction: At no time do they ever show an entire indentation of the ship in the ground. Even when Scotty is looking down through the invisible ship while loading the plexiglass the only indentations in the ground are from the landing gear.

BocaDavie Premium member

And it's also plausible they hovered the ship during certain times in 'cloaked' mode so people did not collide with it. Would take a minimal amount of energy just to hover surely.

Other mistake: After they take off from California, Kirk gives a heading to Alaska. He then tells Sulu "full impulse power", and Sulu says "aye, ETA 12 minutes." Full impulse is 1/4 the speed of light. No way they would use speeds like that to go a few thousand miles.


More mistakes in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Spock: Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It is currently laced with, shall we say, more colorful metaphors, "double dumb-ass on you" and so forth.
Kirk: Oh, you mean the profanity?
Spock: Yes.
Kirk: Well that's simply the way they talk here. Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word.

More quotes from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Trivia: When Spock is taking the tests at the beginning, watch the questions he is given, in slow motion. Some are trivia questions about the original series. (00:08:45)

Mark Bernhard

More trivia for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Question: Kirk and crew deliberately disclose crucial technological secrets, extend the life of a random stranger, deliver future technology to a primitive military power, abduct a cetacean biologist, and actually contribute to the extinction of a species during their brief stay in 20th Century San Francisco. Specifically: Scotty reveals the secret of Transparent Aluminum 150 years too early; McCoy arbitrarily uses 23rd Century medicine to cure a seriously ill 20th Century woman; and Kirk chooses to remove Gillian from the 20th Century. Perhaps most importantly, Chekov leaves behind a Starfleet Communicator and a Type 2 Phaser in the hands of the U.S. Navy (who would undoubtedly dissect the devices and try to exploit the technology a couple of centuries too soon). Beyond all that, Kirk and crew abduct two breeding humpback whales, one of which is pregnant, and that certainly contributes to humpback extinction in the 21st Century. Given what we think we know about disrupting linear time continuity (many instances are cited in Star Trek canon), how did Kirk and crew return to anything even resembling their own timeline after such blatant and deliberate interference in Earth history?

Charles Austin Miller

Chosen answer: This question has been answered a number of times by various individuals, all saying pretty much the same thing. The answers have been most satisfactory given the question revolves around a fictitious situation and the answer (s) need to be accepted as complete for this purpose. Any dispute or non-acceptance should be addressed in a Star Trek forum. Any ignoring of the Prime Directive was done to save the future of Earth, as the probe would have wiped out all life on Earth. Essentially, nothing that was done in the past resulted in major changes that would make Earth 300 years later appear any different, and no major futuristic technologies were revealed. The major one, Chekov's communicator and phaser being left behind did not result in anybody learning secrets. In the film, the phaser didn't function because of the radiation. It's presumed then the radiation permanently damaged the equipment so it appeared to be nothing but a toy or prop. However, in the novel "The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh", Roberta Lincoln was sent by Gary Seven to recover the items from Area 51 before any secrets were learned (and as stated before, additional corrections to Earth's timeline could have been done that aren't addressed in the film.) The subsequent loss of a suspicious "ruskie" would have hardly affected the era that was already in the midst of the Cold War. McCoy even questions that giving Dr. Nichols the formula for transparent aluminum could alter history to which Scotty replies what if Dr. Nichols is the one who invents it, to which McCoy agrees (in a later novel it is reveled that Scotty already knew Dr. Nichols invented transparent aluminum, so history was not changed.) The miraculous recovery of the old lady (growing a new kidney) was done by a pill so that any examination of her would not reveal the futuristic method involved. She would be a bewilderment to the medical community at best, and most likely misdiagnosis would be to blame. And just because she got a new kidney does not mean her life would have been extended, she could have died some other way in both timelines. And as stated before, Gillian simply wasn't vital to Earth's history. She could have contributed nothing of importance to society and died alone and childless. And a missing pair of breeding Humpbacks would hardly affect the extinction of their species, however in the future, they are already extinct, so little changes would occur. As for any questions about people seeing the Klingon ship in the past, who would believe them? People have long been claiming to see spaceships and aliens to little or no avail, so why would anyone believe a handful of people who said they saw aliens in a spaceship steal 2 whales? However, as with many time travel situations in films and novels, it's possible the events of the 23rd century as they appear in the beginning of the film are a result of Kirk and company's actions in the 20th century since the events already occurred even though Kirk and company had not yet done it themselves (this is where a discussion forum on the film would be advised, or a discussion forum on the theories of time travel).

Possibly the most convoluted and poorly-reasoned series of answers I've seen on this site. So far.

Charles Austin Miller

I think they're pretty logical actually.

I think your opinion would be in the minority. There is nothing exceptionally convoluted, nor poorly reasoned in the response.

Answer: They were extraordinarily lucky. The crew quite often defies all odds and encounters literal miracles. For a period of time this even happened on a roughly weekly basis.


More questions & answers from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

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