Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy et al)


The plot hinges on transporting a pair of humpback whales from the 20th Century to save the Earth in the 23rd century. Much of the film is set in 20th century San Francisco, allowing the Star Trek folk to shoot on real streets instead of futuristic film sets. Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) try to get the bus to the Cetacean Institute when they see an advert on the side. Their first attempt to board this GM Fishbowl bearing advertising for the Institute doesn't work out. Fleet number (seen on the back) is 3513:
Meantime Uhura (Nichelle Nicholls) and Chekov (Walter Koenig) are causing concern for the locals and amusement for the audience standing on a street corner in San Francisco in Starfleet uniform. In his memoir, 'Star Trek Movie Memories', William Shatner sets the scene: "look closely at the scenes in which Chekov grills random passers-by as to how he might find the nearest 'nuclear wessels', and you'll notice that he's most often soliciting that advice from real-live, unrehearsed, slightly shocked pedestrians. Their resultant looks of incredulity are quite genuine, as most of them just assumed that Walter was simply out of his mind" Cable car 23 and an out of focus 5157 pass behind them:
At the second attempt our heroes board and find themselves sitting opposite a punk playing his ghetto blaster and disturbing the whole bus. He doesn't react well to Kirk's request to turn the music down, but Spock applies a Vulcan nerve pinch, which draws applause from the whole bus. I would guess the same bus was used for both scenes! The punk on the bus is Kirk Thatcher, associate producer on the film. Thatcher also wrote the music heard on the ghetto blaster. The scene was written by Nicholas Meyer, who adapted a scene he originally wrote for the 1979 film 'Time After Time', another time travel story filmed on the streets of San Francisco. That scene didn't feature a bus, and it was cut from the film.

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