One of the most memorable moments in Star Trek was one of the most shocking and heartbreaking scenes in the entire history of the saga - the destruction "death" of the original USS Enterprise NCC-1701. I grew up in the 70s watching the endless repeats of the tv series, so for me the Enterprise was as much a part of the crew as any of the other characters. The ship however was Kirk's pride and joy; it was his baby. The Enterprise to Kirk was like Excalibur to King Arthur. Like the Endeavour to Captain Cook and the Bounty to Captain Bligh, the Enterprise was an extension of Kirk's indomitable valour and courage. The Search for Spock was the third film 'spin-off' from the original tv series. The Enterprise had thus far undergone several refits to the interior and the old warp engines had been replaced. The ship, generally, had a more slick appearance in contrast to the Enterprise of the original series. For the purposes of story continuity this was the original ship, alas now a weary old battle cruiser sitting in space dock in the process of being decommissioned. Kirk learns that Spock may not be dead after all and he attempts to requisition the Enterprise from Starfleet in order to rescue his old shipmate. Permission is denied. To Kirk, this is not a refusal but a challenge, so he commandeers the ship anyway and is subsequently chased out of space dock... the prospect of his career in tatters for theft and insubordination. And so the Enterprise, with her loyal and gallant crew risking all for their shipmate, sets off on the quest to find Spock. In this scene, the Enterprise is orbiting the Genesis planet: a failed geological experiment to seed life on other worlds with the intention of creating earth-like conditions for future habitat and colonisation. In the wrong hands, the Genesis device is a capable weapon of mass destruction. A band of renegade Klingons, the old adversaries of Starfleet and the Federation, are hell-bent on seizing the Genesis device, potentially shifting the balance of power against the Federation. In a brief debacle with the Klingon Bird of Prey, the now cranky Enterprise is paralysed and Kirk and crew are defenseless hostages aboard their own ship. The Klingon leader is demanding the blueprint for the Genesis device and aims to kill the hostages one by one until Kirk hands it over. Kirk's son David is among a group of hostages already held captive on the planet's surface and is the first to be murdered as he attempts to defend the others. On hearing this news, a usually intractable Kirk recoils in shock. Now pacified and humiliated he capitulates to the Klingon commander's demands. But Kirk is not quite defeated yet, and is about to commit his biggest personal sacrifice....

entdes