Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Star Trek Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Disc Rating
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 108:35
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (65:21) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding Directed By Meyer, Nicholas

Starring Shatner, William
Nimoy, Leonard
Kelley, DeForest
Doohan, James
Koenig, Walter
Nichols, Nichelle
Takei, George
Cattrall, Kim
Warner, David
Plummer, Christopher
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Eidelman, Cliff

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) 
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.00:1
16x9 Enhancement
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Subtitles Greek
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Working my way steadily backwards through the Star Trek movies feels odd, almost as if I am going back in time. I guess to a certain extent this is true, as the actors all get younger and we go backwards in time through the Star Trek universe. Anyhow, today we concern ourselves with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the last of the movies involving the original Star Trek crew, but the first of the original crew movies to be released on DVD. Star Trek VI is interesting in many ways, not the least of which is the revelation of what the "T" stands for in James T. Kirk. It is clearly spelt out as the final mission for the old Star Trek crew, and attempts to bridge the gap between the old and the new Star Trek universes. It also has a terrific story that never descends into the cringe-inducing areas that we know and have come to love about Star Trek.

    Star Trek VI sees the Klingon moon Praxis explode, causing depletion of the ozone layer on the Klingon's home planet - certain death for the Klingon race in 50 years unless they are evacuated from their planet. They sue for peace, and a meeting is arranged for their ambassador. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew are assigned as escorts for the Klingon ambassador.

    Unfortunately, plans go awry when the ambassador's ship is attacked, seemingly by the Enterprise, and the ambassador is killed, an act for which Kirk is held accountable. It remains for our intrepid crew to unravel exactly what happened, find out who was behind it and to put matters right in the Star Trek universe one last time.

Transfer Quality


    Let's get the nastiness out of the way first; this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced. Having said that, it is actually quite a reasonable transfer, all things taken into account.

    The transfer is presented in a (measured) aspect ratio of 1.95:1. This differs from the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and appears to have been achieved by side-cropping, making some of the scene compositions a little tight. As mentioned previously, the transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The overall sharpness of this transfer is good, with plenty of reasonably fine definition in the foregrounds of the image. Backgrounds and long shots do not fare as well, and the lack of 16x9 enhancement shows up in the lack of fine detail in many backgrounds and long shots, particularly on the Enterprise with its finely-detailed sets. Shadow detail is merely average. Many shots show little definition in their background shadows, such as at the first Federation conference discussing the explosion of Praxis - here the darker uniforms worn by some of the attendees tended to blur into the background of the image. This pattern is repeated throughout the movie, sometimes deliberately (the judge at Kirk's trial), sometimes not-so-deliberately (any dark shot on the Enterprise). Low level noise is thankfully absent from the darker portions of the image.

    Colours are nicely rendered in this transfer. In common with previously-reviewed Star Trek DVDs, the colours of the Enterprise and its crew are vibrantly portrayed on this DVD. Striking use of colour is made on the surface of the prison planet, and it was pleasing to note the lack of chroma noise in the near-full-field purples and blues of these scenes, colours notorious for causing problems with chroma noise.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was, however, a minor but significant problem for this transfer. Previous Star Trek DVDs have all been 16x9 enhanced, which helps enormously where this artefact is concerned, but here the sharp lines of the Enterprise shimmered away often, with no enhancement to minimize it. Don't get me wrong - the aliasing wasn't bad, but it was considerably more noticeable than on previous Trek DVDs. On a more positive note, the element that this transfer was taken from was in very good shape, with minimal film artefacts marring the image.

    This DVD is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring at 65:21. It was minimally jarring.

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


    There are four audio tracks on this DVD; English, Spanish, French and Italian in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the higher bitrate of 448Kb/s. I listened only to the English soundtrack.

    Dialogue is reasonably clear and easy to understand, although it often takes on a somewhat muffled and dated sound about it. It has been aggressively isolated to the center channel which aids dialogue intelligibility considerably. Occasionally, shouted lines are slightly distorted. I noted no audio sync problems.

    The music by Cliff Eidelman left little impression on me, seeming like fairly standard Trek fare. Suitably action-oriented and strident when necessary and soft and emotional when necessary, it did an adequate job of accompanying the on-screen action without being overly memorable.

    The surround channels saw moderate use, although this varied from scene-to-scene. Occasionally, the soundfield would collapse into the center speaker, but this did not occur often. More usually, a wide front soundfield was created, with music utilizing the rear channels for added ambience. Some scenes saw a more immersive soundfield created, such as Kirk's trial and the prison planet, and action scenes utilized the entire soundfield, but I don't recall hearing any split surround effects as such.

    The subwoofer was nicely integrated into this soundtrack. Never calling attention to itself, it just added that needed "oomph" when necessary.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are minimal extras on this DVD.


Teaser Trailer

    Unlike most teaser trailers, this really IS a true teaser trailer - no footage from the movie is shown at all. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound.

Theatrical Trailer

    Presented in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this trailer is in excellent shape. It has Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound.


    As far as we are aware, there are no censorship issues with this DVD.

R4 vs R1

    Both the R4 and R1 versions of this DVD are identically specified, down to the incorrect aspect ratio.


    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a fitting final mission for the original Star Trek crew. An excellent story is augmented by tight direction and good acting all around. The DVD is good, but would have been great if it were 16x9 enhanced.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Demtschyna, Michael (read my bio)
Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Review Equipment
DVD Denon DVD-3300, using RGB output
Display Loewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder and Denon AVD-1000 dts decoder. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer