Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: Special Edition (1989)

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Released 13-Jan-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Star Trek Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Wiiliam Shatner (Director) And Liz Shatner
Informational Subtitles-Text Commentary By Michael Okuda And Denise Okuda
Featurette-Herman Zimmerman: A Tribute
Interviews-Crew-William Shatner (Director)
Featurette-Cosmic Thoughts, A Green Future?
Interviews-Cast-That Klingon Couple
Featurette-Harve Bennett's Pitch, The Journey,
Gallery-Make-Up Tests, Pre-Visualization Models, Rockman In The Raw
Featurette-Star Trek V Press Conference
Gallery-Production Gallery
Deleted Scenes-4
Theatrical Trailer-2
TV Spots-7
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 102
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By William Shatner

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley
James Doohan
Walter Koenig
Nichelle Nichols
George Takei
David Warner
Laurence Luckinbill
Charles Cooper
Cynthia Gouw
Todd Bryant
Spice Williams
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Jerry Goldsmith
Dan Kuramoto

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Greek
English Titling
Spanish Titling
French Titling
Italian Titling
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
Italian Audio Commentary
English Text Commentary
Spanish Text Commentary
French Text Commentary
Italian Text Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is the almost universally deplored Star Trek movie. Personally, I think it really does get a bit of a bum rap. Sure, it is not like the first four movies and sits kind of awkwardly alongside them. It lacks the stunning cinematic scope of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the melodramatic, almost operatic style of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. Indeed, it doesn’t feel all that much like a big screen movie at all. And maybe that is why so many people hated it and why I tend to really enjoy it.

    For those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the plot of this instalment, basically it goes something like this: on Nimbus III, a planet touted as the last chance for galactic peace, a Vulcan with emotions named Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) sets out to capture a starship to find the ultimate answers. On Earth, the Enterprise crew – Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy (DeForrest Kelley), and Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy) – are vacationing. When news reaches them that Sybok has captured the Federation, Klingon and Romulan Ambassadors on Nimbus III, they are despatched at once to rescue them on a broken Enterprise with a less-than-skeleton crew. However, at the same time, a Klingon warrior, bored with destroying space junk, sees this as a chance at glorious battle and sets out to intercept the Enterprise at Nimbus III.

    Okay, to start off with, yes, this one is uncategorically one for the fans. If you’re not a Star Trek fan, indeed if you are not an Original Trek fan, leave the cinema quietly. However, what I think threw most fans about The Final Frontier is that they did not quite get that this one, more than any of the others, was meant to be a comedy about theology. If you go to it with that in mind, you are in for some fun, because this movie is hilarious if you are a fan.

    Sure, it has its low points. The bar fight sequence with the cat-woman is just sad. But it becomes funny the more you watch it. So stick you tongue in your cheek, ladies and gentlemen, and laugh. It’s corny, it’s silly, it’s throwaway – it’s fun! Plus, the budgetary constraints really limited the ending of the film, and the final sequence should have been an impressive chase by a cluster of ‘rock-men’ (is anybody else thinking Galaxy Quest?).

    I am probably a few years too late to start making converts, and if you hate this movie, well fine. But it has its moments, and I for one was very impressed with a few sequences, most notably the observation deck sequence between Kirk, McCoy, Spock and Sybok. This moment of the film has definite passion and some impressive acting, and whatever you say about the rest, you have to watch this part as it gives you a very interesting insight into the characters.

    Of course, if you do like this film, I guess you will just have to keep reading to see if this new Special Edition is really as ‘special’ as the title suggests...

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the image is indeed 16x9 enhanced, thereby making this Special Edition already one better than the original R4 (and R1) release.

    Overall, the picture is quite impressive, although showing its age a little. It has a definite transitional feel, predating the digital mastery that makes its successors in the series such visually impressive feats. That said, the image is still nicely rendered, if a touch too grainy at times, and shadow detail is very good.

    Colours are well saturated and generally nicely balanced, although lacking the real glow of the later films. I also felt that, in this respect, the transfer of the special edition release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was done better.

    There are no apparent MPEG artefacts, and film-to-video transfer artefacts were limited to some minor aliasing and moire effect on closely grouped lines in the background. You can see this in the rock texture where Kirk is climbing El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.

    Dirt is a bit of a problem with a big splotch in the middle of the screen at 23:31. This is a fault with the source, though, and not the transfer. One interesting thing I did notice, though, was that the irritating white dot at the top of the screen during Kirk’s plummet from El Capitan, that so obviously gave the sequence away as an fx shot in previous releases of the film, has been digitally altered out.

    Subtitles are available in English, Greek, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Croatian, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Serbian. They are white with a grey border, clear and easy to read, and pretty-much follow the dialogue.

    The dual-layer pause is at 58:20. It occurs during a pause in dialogue and is evident by a noticeable drop in ambient noise. Otherwise it is not distracting.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Audio is available in English, German and French 5.1 Dolby Digital. Although encoded at the same bitrate as the previous release (448Kb/s), having listened to both R4 releases back-to-back, I cannot help but feel that this new release has a more balanced mix.

    As before, dialogue is no problem, and neither is audio sync.

    However, I felt there was more use of the surrounds in this edition, not merely in a directional cue manner (although that too), but also in terms of the breadth of the immaculate musical score done by one of the best composers to score the Star Trek franchise, Jerry Goldsmith.

    The subwoofer was used to aggressively score certain sequences, such as the riding figure of Death in the desert at the beginning, and the scene in the ‘rock arena’ towards the end.

    The foreign language tracks were fine, but as always the overdubbing of the dialogue takes with it some of the ambience and as a result the tracks often feel thinner than the original English.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     Here is where the real ‘special’ in the Special Edition comes in as there are more extras here than you can comfortably compress onto 1 disc:


    All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menus have a 2.0 Dolby Surround audio track, with the track on Disc 1 containing ambient ship noise and the track on Disc 2 containing part of the theme. The other menus are silent.

Disc 1

Audio Commentary – William Shatner (director/actor) and Liz Shatner

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this audio track is by director/actor/co-writer William Shatner and daughter Liz Shatner who worked on the production of the movie and wrote a book about it afterwards. These two play fairly well together and although there are a few too many long pauses where they apparently let the film ‘speak for itself’, what they have to say is generally on point and interesting. Comes with a choice of subtitles in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Text Commentary – Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda

    As always, Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda’s text commentaries are bursting with insightful anecdotes and amusing side tales. This one is especially interesting and well worth sitting through. The text is available in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Disc 2

    All special features on Disc 2 are presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Surround unless otherwise noted.

The Star Trek Universe

    There are five featurettes here:


    There are six featurettes here:


    This is divided into two categories:

Deleted Scenes

    Presented in 2.35:1 letterbox, there are five deleted scenes:


R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Obviously, this new release is far superior to any previous release, given that the previous R1 and R4 releases were not 16x9 enhanced and the German anamorphic transfer was in the wrong aspect ratio. The R1 release would appear to be identical in terms of special features and movie content, making the differences only the NTSC/PAL format and the language options. Choose with your wallet.


    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is the underrated comedic movie of the Star Trek series. If you go to it with a smile, you will actually enjoy it.

    The video is much better than the original release, and I am so glad they finally did this film a service by releasing it in its proper aspect ratio with a 16x9 enhanced image.

    The sound is also a nicely rendered 5.1 Dolby Digital mix.

    The extras are excellent and well worth going through, which is (I am beginning to find) a rarity.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, January 30, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews
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Comments (Add)
not that bad? -
Not a classic but ... -
Resolution so good... -
Amateurish film -
they were not hundreds of feet in the air. -
'So bad they're good' special features! -
Streaming or burned in? - Christopher
OMG this movie was terrible - J Sebastian
love this film -
16x9 enhancement not always better -
Not great - but fun -
Easter egg discovered on Special Edition -