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Episode ST.4: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, part 2


The novelisation of this film takes a different tack to Scotty's rather blasé waving off of the potential time paradox in giving future knowledge to a 20th century human. In the novel, Scotty points out to McCoy that Dr Marcus Nichols, the guy they're offering the secret of transparent aluminium[1] to, is actually the guy who is recorded in 23rd century history books as inventing the stuff. This establishes that Scotty and McCoy giving Nichols the secret is actually a closed causal loop, thus avoiding the possibility of destroying their own future.

It always bothered me that in the movie they ignore this and Scotty just shrugs it off with, "How do we know he didn't invent the thing?" You'd think after all their previous messes with time travel, they'd know better.

Still, a fairly minor quibble with what is a truly marvellous movie.

[1] I had a big internal debate over whether to write the word as "aluminium" or the American spelling of "aluminum" in the comic. In the end I opted to use the American spelling, because it has a different pronunciation, and that's how Scotty says it. But damned if I'm going to write it that way in this annotation.

Thanks to Jussi Lahtonen for help with the Finnish.


Kirk: So... do you humpback a lot?
Old lady: That man is swimming with the whales!
Gillian: Who the hell are you two?
Kirk: We, uh, like whales. You like whales, right? Dinner?
{Plexicorp manufacturing plant}
Scotty: I'll give you the formula for transparent aluminum if you give us some plexiglass.
McCoy: But... time paradox!
Scotty: Hitler's already dead, what's the worst that could happen?
{an Italian restaurant}
Gillian: You're a crazy stranger, but I'll reveal that tomorrow the whales will be flown to Alaska and released.
Kirk: I'm from the future!
Gillian: Okay, less crazy than I thought.
{the Klingon ship}
Uhura: Chekov got captured while we were stealing nuclear power!
Kirk: Cue slapstick hospital rescue sequence!
{hospital rescue}
SFX: Yakety Sax!
{the Klingon ship}
Kirk: Follow those whales!
Gillian: North, to Alaska!
{the Gulf of Alaska}
Whaler 1: Missä helvetissä me olemme? Tämä ei näytä Itämereltä.
Whaler 2: Sanoinhan, että meidän olisi pitänyt kääntyä Alpukerkin kohdalla vasempaan!
{the Klingon ship}
Scotty: Whales beamed aboard!
McCoy: We don't know how heavy they are. Can we time warp home?
Spock: I'll make a damn guess.
Caption: They return to the 23rd century and dump the whales in the Bay:
Whale: {song} <We're okay!>
Probe: {song} <LOL KTHXBYE>
{Starfleet Headquarters}
Federation President: Given the fact you saved Earth, again, all charges are dropped. Except Kirk, you're demoted from Admiral... to Captain.
Kirk: Yay! Let's go seduce some alien babes!
{Gillian angry}
Sarek: I leave for Vulcan. Do you have a message for your mother?
Spock: Yes. Tell her I feel damn fine.

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