Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1992) – J.M. Dillard

This week’s Trek novel is the film adaptation of the last big screen voyage of the crew of The Original Series, J.M. Dillard adapts the screenplay and fills it out with some additional character building scenes which add some nice depth to the events that unfold.

Captain James T. Kirk and the majority of his command staff are drawing near retirement, the U.S.S. Enterprise is on her final journeys before being decommissioned, and the crew are all trying to deal with their imminent separation. Kirk has plans for what is to come afterwards, he’s reconnected with Carol Marcus, the mother of his late son, David, and they plan to pursue a life together when he has ended his time with Starfleet.

But rising tensions between the Federation and the Klingon Empire are causing hatred, prejudice, and the threat of war to be greater then ever before. With the potential for conflict heightened by the disappearance of the Organians who had originally enforced a shaky peace between the two.

A series of attacks on Federation worlds, supposedly by a Klingon attack force escalates thing, and brings Kirk’s own anger to the fore when Carol is injured. As the galaxy teeters, Kirk and the crew are assigned one last mission. It seems the Klingon Empire has suffered a devastating loss of resources, one of their moons, Praxis, exploded, and they are now with the help of their chancellor, Gorkon, and the Federation envoy, Spock, moving towards peace.

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Kirk and company, who are less than thrilled with their assignment, are ordered to escort Gorkon and his party to the peace summit, but when Gorkon’s ship is attacked and the chancellor assassinated, Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy are arrested and put on trial.

Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise must find the truth, uncovering a conspiracy that breaches borders and species, and save Kirk and McCoy, and possibly galactic peace.

As a film, Trek VI was a perfect way to send off the crew, readers know, however, that the adventures, of some sort will continue, so some of the book’s final moments could have been tailored to recognise that, though I’m not quite sure how.

I did like that the book filled out scenes, and added some subplots, including one with Gorkon’s daughter, Azetbur, who assumes his position, following his death, as well as the Kirk/Carol story. And with the look inside the character’s minds as opposed to just having actor’s performances, we get to learn a little bit more about character history, intentions and real feelings, something which makes the Spock/Valeris mind meld a little better, as opposed to the way it seemed onscreen.

The only real issue I had with the Carol Marcus story is that because it didn’t make it into the film, the next film, Generations, can disregard it and give Kirk a whole new girlfriend, sure it’s in the Nexus, but whatever.

I quite enjoyed this read, and though the live action adventures came to a conclusion here, the Human Adventure continues with the theatre of the mind as I delve deeper into the PocketBook Star Trek series.

Boldly go…

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