STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK [1984 / 2016] [Limited Edition 50th Anniversary SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] A Dying Planet. A Fight For Life. The Search For Spock! Admiral James T. Kirk’s Finest Moment! Be Careful What You Wish For!
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first broadcast of a STAR TREK episode in 1966, this SteelBook features art based on the original theatrical poster, plus commemorative 50th Anniversary logo. In the wake of Spock’s ultimate act of sacrifice, the crew of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise returns to Earth from the newly formed Genesis planet. Upon arrival, the crew learns that life back home will not be easier: Scotty gets reassigned, Dr. “Bones” McCoy appears to be going insane, and the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise is to be decommissioned. It is only when Admiral James T. Kirk is confronted by Spock’s father that he learns his old friend may have another chance at life if the crew can survive the Klingon interference and return to the Genesis planet.
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Robin Curtis, Merritt Butrick, Phil Morris, Scott McGinnis, Robert Hooks, Carl Steven (Spock age 9), Vadia Potenza (Spock age 13), Stephen Manley (Spock age 17), Joe W. Davis (Spock age 25), Paul Sorensen, Cathie Shirriff, Christopher Lloyd, Stephen Liska, John Larroquette, David Cadiente, Bob K. Cummings, Branscombe Richmond, Phillip R. Allen, Jeanne Mori, Mario Marcelino, Allan Miller, Sharon Thomas Cain, Conroy Gedeon, James Sikking, Miguel Ferrer, Mark Lenard, Katherine Blum, Dame Judith Anderson, Gary Faga, Douglas Alan Shanklin, Grace Lee Whitney, Frank Welker (Spock screams voice), Teresa E. Victor (Enterprise Computer voice), Harve Bennett (Flight Recorder voice), Judi M. Durand (Space Dock Controller voice), Jessica Biscardi (uncredited), Steve Blalock (uncredited), Charles Correll (uncredited), Al Jones (uncredited), Claudia Lowndes (uncredited), Eric Mansker (uncredited), Danny Nero (uncredited), Dennis Ott (uncredited), Nanci Rogers (uncredited), Kimberly L. Ryusaki (uncredited), Rebecca Soladay (uncredited) and Philip Weyland (uncredited)
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Producers: Gary Nardino, Harve Bennett and Ralph Winter
Screenplay: Gene Roddenberry (television series STAR TREK) and Harve Bennett
Composer: James Horner
Cinematography: Charles Correll
Video Resolution: 1080p [Colour by Movielab]
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 [Panavision]
Audio: English: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, German: 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, Spanish: 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, French: 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround and Italian: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Arabic, Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Croatian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguêse, Finish, Swedish and English SDH
Running Time: 115 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Paramount Pictures UK
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: The Third Sci-Fi franchise feature film ‘STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK’  is on another mission for the intergalactic pioneers of the Starship USS Enterprise and sees them all unite as one to free the trapped soul of their fallen comrade Spock [Leonard Nimoy]. On returning to Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk [William Shatner] is mortified to hear that the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise is not available. So Admiral James T. Kirk is determined to find his lost Vulcan friend Spock, Admiral James T. Kirk and his loyal crew have no choice but to steal their beloved ship and bring him home. Having less time in front of the cameras than usual, Leonard Nimoy makes the most of his opportunity to direct this film.
Directly after the demise of Spock at the hands of the Klingon, Khan, the crew of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise return to Earth only to discover their beloved ship is out of action. As if Admiral James T. Kirk wasn't heartbroken enough at the loss of his friend, not to mention Dr. “Bones” McCoy's increasing hysteria, Admiral James T. Kirk has to come to terms with the end of an era and that is, until Spock's father turns up and explains the mind of his son, or his Katra, has been transferred into Dr. “Bones” McCoy's head, and the only way to solve the situation is to reunite Spock's body with Dr. “Bones” McCoy's mind.
But Admiral James T. Kirk is not the only one with an interest in the planet, scientists Dr. David Marcus [Merritt Butrick] and Lt. Saavik [Robin Curtis] are already in the area having conducted a test on the “Genesis Device,” a tool that allows “life to be created from 'lifelessness” which is an effect that may well have reanimated both the desolate planet and the body of Spock, although Spock, like the planet, is aging rapidly with both facing destruction in just a matter of hours.
To complicate matters further still, a Klingon “Bird of Prey” warship lays cloaked in the planet's orbit, while its owners led by Klingon Commander Kruge [Christopher Lloyd] who is normally so gentle and eccentric on screen, is wonderfully despicable as Commander Kruge, yet also very funny, where the Commander Klingon takes the “Genesis Device” scientists and a now-teenaged Spock prisoner in an effort to get their hands on the “Genesis Device” to use as a weapon. When alerted Admiral James T. Kirk wants to discuss a cease fire, a lot of actors would just let the Klingon make-up do the acting and read Commander Kruge’s retort as you might expect. Instead, Commander Kruge tells his underling to “Put him on screen,” his voice dripping with sarcasm and surprise. It’s a genuinely laugh-out-loud moment. Eschewing the rule that only the even-numbered STAR TREK Sci-Fi franchise films are any good, ‘STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK’ works largely because it's the middle chapter in a three-story arc, which sees Admiral James T. Kirk reunited with his old friend Spock, as well as the added presence of Admiral James T. Kirk's son David [Merritt Butrick].
But like most good STAR TREK Sci-Fi Trek pictures, even the burgeoning special effects are outgunned by the performances of the original crew, due in part to the direction of Leonard Nimoy, whose STAR TREK candle had been relit after the success and subsequent burn out caused by ‘STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN’ . It doesn't quite get wrapped up until the ‘STAR TREK IV: VOYAGE HOME’  but ‘STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK’ always has been, and always will be, one of the best STAR TREK Sci-Fi film franchise sequels. ‘STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK’ was a big box office success, critically and financially, proving that ‘STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN’ was no fluke or one off wonder Sci-Fi film. After a failed cinematic launch, it became obvious that the STAR TREK Sci-Fi film franchise was in good hands. Now all that was left to do was make a really good ‘STAR TREK IV: VOYAGE HOME.’ The Adventure Continues. . .
Blu-ray Video Quality – Paramount Pictures UK has once again done a superb excellent job in giving us a wonderful 1080p encoded image, with an equally impressive 2.35:1 Panavision aspect ratio. But when you the film starts it has for a short while a window-boxed aspect ratio presentation and I got worried this is what the film would look like and look very grainy, but I think this was deliberate, as it was near the end of STAR TREK II just to set the story up. Then when the film actually starts, you get a wonderful sharp transfer, and I would say a vast improvement over the inferior DVD release. The model effects shots in the Spacedock interior resolve all the little windows and lights in much greater clarity than ever before. Colours are quite strong and you have got to love those burgundy uniforms. The contrast range is excellant, with rich blacks during the space scenes. Paramount Pictures UK has also put in a tremendous amount of work cleaning up or digitally painting out the dirt and debris commonly associated with optically-composited special effects of the era. Overall the transfer in some respects is very impressive. It's absolutely the best-looking edition so far of the Sci-Fi film to appear on this particular Blu-ray disc, and of course indisputably superior to the inferior DVD release.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Paramount Pictures UK has once again done a superb excellent job with the audio experience, in giving us a brilliant awesome 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround track. The audio experience is nicely loud and clear, and gives all your speakers a good workout. Many of the sound effects, especially the transporter beam and phasors, are well delivered. As a Sci-Fi film from 1984, surround usage was slightly moderate at best. Nonetheless, there are a few good ship fly-bys, and wind on the Genesis planet blows through all the rear channels. James Horner's luscious film music score has solid stereo separation. Still, all in all, this is the best audio sound presentation you will get to hear with this remastered Blu-ray disc with this Limited Edition SteelBook presentation.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
No.1 Audio Commentary by Director Leonard Nimoy, Writer/Producer Harve Bennett, Director of Photography Charles Correll and Robin Curtis: First up is Leonard Nimoy and talks in-depth about STAR TREK III and informs us that this was his first feature film he has directed, and does slight go over the top and especially about the end of STAR TREK III, which I just cannot understand why he has to go to great length to describe what you are seeing what you are viewing also and is a complete mystery, because fans of STAR TREK will know every detail of the storyline and will of course seen all of the STAR TREK films many times and probably knows more about the film than Leonard Nimoy, despite him directing it, so unfortunately Leonard Nimoy is just sadly stating the obvious and someone should of stepped in and stopped him droning on and repeating all of the details about the ending of STAR TREK III. Leonard gives great praise about Christopher Lloyd and especially the way he could be a chameleon with his character, especially when Leonard saw him read the part of the Klingon leader, and on top of all that Leonard really liked his character in the TV Series ‘Taxi.’ With Robin Curtis [Savaak] talks a great deal about her performance in the film and also talks about the first time she met Leonard Nimoy and after her test shoot of course got the job. Harve Bennett felt Spock had set the scene, especially on the Vulcan planet and showing us the character of the makeup of the Vulcan people. Leonard tells us he had great praise in Gene Roddenberry especially have forethought with introducing us the character of Spock and especially introducing us to the “Vulcan Mind Meld” which of course now everyone excepts this whenever we see Spock uses this method on people. One thing Leonard felt about directing this film, that he was on trial and directing this film would hopefully leave a lasting legacy on especially making sure a good job has been done and the Trekkie fans would give him the thumbs up. Another aspect of the film for Leonard that he was very pleased with, is when everyone arrives back on the Vulcan planet and there has to be the “Vulcan Mind Meld” from Dr. “Bones” McCoy to Spock via the Vulcan High Priestess, who was the famous Dame Judith Anderson, well Leonard had admired this wonderful British actress for a very long time and when he contacted Dame Judith Anderson and asked her if she would like to be part of the film, well Dame Judith Anderson said it would be a great honour. Harve Bennett felt STAR TREK III was a lot of fun and talks about his favourite line in the picture, because with his long experience in American Television you was censored a lot, especially with certain words, especially fending off the censors and talks about the engineer Scotty when he gets in the lift to go up to the rebel Starship U.S.S. Enterprise, and when you hear the lift voice say, “level please” and Scotty replies, “transporter room” and then says, “up your shaft,” Harve Bennett always laughs whenever he sees this scene, because working in film he is allowed to let the actors say what they want without the censors breathing down on Harve, which would not be able to have an actor say those words on American Television. Leonard informs us that the Paramount film set for the scenes on Planet Genesis, was the actual film set used by Cecil B. DeMille [Filmmaker] used in the film ‘The Ten Commandments’  All in all, everyone’s contribution in the audio commentary was a really enjoyable experience. Anyway despite this, I really enjoyed this very interesting audio commentary.
No.2 Audio Commentary by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor: Neither Ronald D. Moore is an American screenwriter and television producer. Ronald Dowl Moore is best known for his work on Star Trek; on the re-imagined ‘Battlestar Galactica’ television series and Michael Taylor is best known for his work as a writer for both ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ and both of them have no direct connection to this STAR TREK III Sci-Fi film, but both are big massive geeky STAR TREK fans. They also talk endless vacuous nonsense about the STAR TREK Sci-Fi film franchise's continuity and this STAR TREK III Sci-Fi film. Also something that got on my nerves is that Ronald D. Moore tells us when he was very young and went to see this film when it was released in the cinema, he illegally took in a tape cassette recorder and recorded the whole film on cassette tapes. Also these two nerds are totally obsessed about William Shatner’s hair piece, again how pathetic can you be, and boy if ever I bumped into these two at a party and again they started droning on about STAR TREK like they do in this audio commentary, they would bore the pants off me and as far as I am concerned these two nerds were the worst audio commentary I have ever heard and it was an insult to my hearing experience.
Special Feature: Library Computer: This is an interactive graphic trivia interface, which is loaded with screen-specific information with just about every aspect of the STAR TREK universe. The Library Computer is overflowing with data that pours out at steady amounts of clips. The Library Computer is an interactive experience that allows you to access information about People, Technology, Locations and more, at the moment each item appears in the film. Switch to Index Mode to scan the entire database and jumps directly to the items of interest. All content is divided into the following categories: Culture; Science & Medicine; Starfleet Ops; Miscellaneous; Life Forms; Planets & Location; People; Technology and Ships.
Special Feature: Production: Here you get a selection of four different features and they are as follows:
01. Captain’s Log  [1080p] [1.78:1] [26:12] When ‘STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN’ had been release in the cinema and was a massive box office hit, Paramount Pictures contacted Harve Bennett [Writer/Producer] to immediately do a screenplay for STAR TREK III. William Shatner talks about the graceful way Spock sadly passed away and Leonard Nimoy was asked to be in STAR TREK III, especially giving him great praise for his performance, but after all the back slapping and fawning, Leonard Nimoy tells the Executives that if they wanted him back he would only do it if he directed the film. Eventually Michael Eisner told Leonard that in his contract he said he didn’t want to be in the next STAR TREK film, but Leonard tells him this is not true and told him to look at the contract again and Leonard was proved right and so was given the go ahead to direct STAR TREK III, but there was one slight problem, is that Leonard had never directed any film before and had to ask for William Shatner for help and over short period guided him, until Leonard was confident enough to do direct the film. Ralph Winter [Associated Producer] says that Leonard was marvellous and was also great fun directing the film. Charles Correll [Director of Photography] talks about how he would have liked more location work, but due to logistic problems they finally had to shoot everything on the Paramount film sound stage 15, and especially the scenes on the “Planet Genesis.” Robin Curtis [Savaak] also praises Christopher Lloyd and enjoyed working with him, especially being very visceral and was also very funny. But with an eight week shoot Robin enjoyed it immensely, but the only part of the film that made her feel uncomfortable was when Savaak had to tell Admiral James T. Kirk that his son David was dead. But as we come to this very interesting special, Leonard Nimoy reflects on his Directing of STAR TREK III and also gives great praise to fellow actors and friends, but at the very end William Shatner comes out with a very poignant comment, “that’s the story of STAR TREK.”
02. Terraforming and The Prime Directive  [1080p] [1.78:1] [25:53] Here we start off with David Brin [Author] informing us why he loves Science Fiction, which feels is on several levels and feels STAR TREK covers all aspects, especially with the film’s STAR TREK II and START TREK III on our hopes and dreams it will happen in reality and that hopefully things will get better for all humanity in the near future. We also get some input from Chris McKay [Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center] which is situated at the Moffett Federal Airfield in California's Silicon Valley, where he reflects on STAR TREK II and the creation of new life like with the “Genesis Project,” but of course in reality you can of course destroy a planet, but you cannot at the moment create a new planet and prime example is about trying to turn Mars into a habitual planet and comments on the fact to make it fit to have humans live on it like Earth would take at least a 100 years to change the environment like Earth. Dr. Louis Friedman [Executive Director at The Planetary Society] and also basically agrees with the synopsis about living on Mars. But one thing I found so totally boring was whenever Chris McKay talked about making life on mars, because he was like a technical nerd and also had the most boring voice that could have easily sent me off to sleep and should of been left his video footage on the cutting room floor.
03. Industrial Light & Magic: The Visual Effects of STAR TREK  [1080p] [1.78:1] [13:50] This is an overview of the special effects work done on the STAR TREK Sci-Fi films. From the start we get the statement “Visual Effects has always been a part of making pictures.” We are also told that back in the good old days, before computer graphics, it was really a team effort, and they didn’t have the facility of “Video Anamatics” to be able to show the Director what the effects he wanted, it all had to be first done with a storyboard showing all the different angels that would eventually be able to viewed in the film. But what we hear from all the contributors is all the technical problems they encountered with the three STAR TREK films, but despite this, they a brilliant fun time producing all the special effects, because at the time compared to today’s technology, it was very primitive. But what I liked is hearing all the technical details on how the special effects were produced. But one thing with all the contributors was enjoying destroying the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise in STAR TREK III and you hear in great detail how it was all done, but of course today everything is done with computer graphics, but way back then the first three STAR TREK films, everything was done by models and had a great time in creating some really spectacular special effects for real.
04. Spock: The Early Years  [1080p] [1.78:1] [6:22] Here we get to meet the actor Stephen Manley [Spock Aged 7] who talks about his experience working on STAR TREK III and informs us that he has been a child and teen actor since 1970, but now as an adult he has been involved in film and television for many years, but when he got the call, they informed him that they might have a part for him in STAR TREK III and when he walked into the room for an interview, who should be there was Leonard Nimoy himself, and a week after the interview he got a call to do a line up with the other child actors to see if they all look ideal for a young Spock and of course got the part. When the film had finished shooting Stephen went off to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in October 1984, and studied film and fine art, where he also produced a couple of films, but finally ended up in the production side of the film industry, and in 2005 Stephen started to attend Conventions, which he really enjoyed. But overall Stephen feels he has had a gifted life and enjoyed everything in his career.
Special Feature: The STAR TREK Universe: Here you get to view five separate categories and they are as follows:
01. Space Docks and Birds of Prey  [1080p] [1.78:1] [27:49] Here we get to hear that on STAR TREK II they had a lot more money to spend on the special effects. We also get to hear about how the design for the Starship U.S.S Excelsior (NX-2000, later NCC-2000) which was based on a Japanese Industrial Design and the Klingon ship had to be designed like a Bird of Prey on the instructions of Leonard Nimoy. But Scott Farrar is always being asked, “what is it like between the technology of today, compared to the technology of photo chemical,” well with the old style special effects, everything had to look clean, especially the spaceships, but of course with computer technology you do not have to worry about such technical detail problems, and he says that STAR TREK III really opened up to the technology revolution.
02. Speaking Klingon  [1080p] [1.78:1] [21:04] Here we are introduced to Marc Okrand who is an American Linguist who works on the closed caption system for American Television. But he was also the one who created the Vulcan and Klingon dialogue and was invited to work on STAR TREK III and what would happen the actors would speak in English. This has got to be the worst 21:04 of boring drivel I have ever had to endure!
03. Klingon and Vulcan Costumes  [1080p] [1.78:1] [0:00] Here we are introduced to Mandy Spock and no this is not a joke and Mandy and her partner were the ones that designed all of the Klingon and Vulcan costumes and started her business in 1979 and they also design all the jewellery costumes which Mandy shows off all the actual items that were in three of the STAR TREK films. We also get to meet Robert Fletcher [Costume Designer] who also designs clothes for the STAR TREK films.
Special Feature: Star Trek and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame  [1080p] [1.78:1] [17:00] With this special feature we are in Seattle in Washington at the now famous The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame that was founded by Paul Allen and Jody Patton and opened to the public on the 18th June, 2004. It incorporated the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame which had been established in 1996. The museum was divided into several galleries with common themes such as "Homeworld," "Fantastic Voyages," "Brave New Worlds," and "Them!" Each gallery is displayed with related memorabilia, which include movie props, first editions, costumes, and models in large display cases, posters, and interactive displays to sketch out the different subjects. Here we get to meet Mark Rahner who is a veteran critic, interviewer and pop culture writer at the Seattle Times newspaper and he is here to do a fascinating interview with Harve Bennett [Writer/Producer] as they do a personal guided tour of the museum exhibition, where get to view some very rare items relating to STAR TREK memorabilia. Mark asks Harve about his experience with being involved with Science Fiction films and both of them do the special Vulcan hand gesture that William Shatner was not able to do, they had to fix his fingers so it looked like he could do the Vulacn hand gesture. Harve explains that science fiction has been divided into two sections, pessimistic and optimistic, and of course with Gene Roddenberry concept, this is where all this started. Also Harve says he is not a science fiction person, but has been involved with an enormous amount of science fiction films. Harve talks about personalities of the main characters in the STAR TREK films and especially the vanity issue of William Shatner abour ageing, which Harve cleverly resolved. Others contributors include Jacob McMurray [Senior Curator of EMP|SFM] and John Brooks Peck [Curator of EMP|SFM] and talk about their involvement with the museum, and informs us that there is well over 600 items relating to all aspect of Science Fiction items and three quarters are related to STAR TREK memorabilia. As we slowly come to the end of this very special feature and the tour of the museum, Mark asks Harve “well this about ends our journey, Harve if you was the Captain and able to be sitting in the Captain’s chair and ask to take the Starship out,” and Harve replies, “in the space dock, I would take it very slowly, but with impulse power, I would stick my head outside the hatch and look out that way, as I do not trust the screen.” Harve replies, “It has been a pleasure, and thank you Mark.”
05. Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 003: Mystery Behind the Vulcan Katra Transfer  [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:42] This is the third in a series of plot recaps hosted as though they were Starfleet instructional videos at the Starfleet Academy, Ex Astris, Scientia, San Francisco MMCLXI. In this episode, Starfleet Science Officer [Sarah Backhouse] from the 24th century examines the mysticism around the Vulcan Katra Transfer. The Katra, or living spirit, was the essence of the Vulcan mind and could be transferred to another person moments before death.
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [2.40:1] [1:08] Here you get to view the Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK’ and is a really exciting presentation in giving you a dramatic build up to what you will experience watching this particular STAR TREK film.
Special Feature: BD-LIVE: To view the contents via your Blu-ray player, it has to be connected to the internet; otherwise it is not BD-LIVE capable. For possible solutions to resolve this problem, please consult your Blu-ray player manual.
Finally, ‘STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN’ and ‘STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK’ is about total sacrifice. In ‘STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN,’ Spock gave his life for his shipmates and to save the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise. So, while the sluggish beginning and ending slightly mar this particular STAR TREK Sci-Fi film outing somewhat, there is still enough to please the most adamant Trekkie fan here to please them of this series, and, to a lesser extent, cinema-goers in general. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
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