In the movie, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the Klingon ambassador shows a video clip of a Klingon boarding party on the Enterprise. This was seconds before the Enterprise self-destructed.

How did the Klingons get that video?

The Enterprise was gone along with its computer banks so the video should not be accessible by anyone. And even if the ship hypothetically survived, the Federation probably would not share that video with anybody because of the sensitivities around the entire Genesis Project.

Does the novelization or any canon sources provide an answer?


Per the film's official novelisation, the Genesis recording was most likely taken from the Enterprise' computer records during its boarding by Klingon forces. We learn that they were able to transmit their own mission logs as well.

When their vision cleared, they saw what Sarek observed: the destruction of the Enterprise. The battered ship struggled against its death, fighting to stay in the sky, but another explosion racked it, and another, and it fell from space into atmosphere. It glowed with the friction of its speed. It burned. It disappeared in ashes and in flames.
Distressed, Chapel turned away.
How very like a human, Sarek thought, to grieve over a starship.
"But one fatal error can destroy the most sinister plan," Kamarag said. "The mission recordings remained in the memory of our fighting ship! Officer Maltz transmitted them to me before he, too, died. Did he die, as the Federation claims, a suicide? Or was it convenient to eliminate the last objective witness?"

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - Novelisation

  • Didn't the Klingons already have a copy of the Genesis recording before they even went to the Genesis planet? The Klingons got a pirate copy of Kirk's introduction to the Genesis Project. So that recording wasn't stolen from the Enterprise's computers before it self-destructed. What I am asking about is the recording taken on the bridge in the last 10 seconds before the Enterprise died. How did the Klingons get that bridge recording? They didn't have even a few seconds to hack into the ship's computers and copy its video of them on the bridge. – RichS Apr 14 '17 at 5:57
  • @RichS - Ah, OK. The conceit is that the recording we're watching is the Klingon mission log. That evidently included tapping a live feed into the Enterprise bridge recorders. – Valorum Apr 14 '17 at 6:34
  • Does the novelization mention exactly how the Klingons tapped into a live feed from the Enterprise bridge recorder? – RichS Apr 14 '17 at 6:59
  • @RichS - It does not. We're just supposed to take it as read that part of their boarding procedure is to compromise the ships computers. – Valorum Apr 14 '17 at 8:44
  • Can't see how they would have compromised the ship's computers in just ten seconds. Looks like another example of bad script writing or plot hole that could have been filled in by the novelization. Maybe it would have been better if the show skipped those few seconds of the Klingons on the Enterprise bridge. – RichS Apr 15 '17 at 2:19

I guess Enterprise bridge cameras would records and transmit events to Starfleet in coded message, for record keeping of events such as this. And in this case, because the ship self-destructed, that would immediately trigger the cameras to record til the last second within the possibilities.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have evidence for this? As posted, this seems to just be speculation on your part; answers are expected to include supporting details. You might want to browse the help center for more information. – DavidW Mar 29 '19 at 19:32

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