Dr. Gillian Taylor is the one who explains to Admiral Kirk and Spock the plight that humpback whales face on 1986 Earth. They are being hunted to extinction, and Dr. Taylor is revolted. Spock points out that hunting a species to extinction is not logical. Dr. Taylor wisely points out that humans aren’t a logical species. Later in the film, Dr. Taylor stows away on Kirk’s transporter beam, eager to learn about future technology and to eventually return to the 23rd century, ready to explore the world Kirk described to her.
The interactions between Kirk and Dr. Taylor are casual and modern, lacking any sense of Starfleet propriety. She’s a refreshing addition to the film. Hicks said she really loved shooting “Star Trek IV,” and that everyone treated her with kindness. She only had one complaint, and it was Shatner’s ego. It seems he always wanted to be on camera, demanding more close-ups than his co-stars. He also wanted to be on camera in two-shots, leaving Hicks without any changes to appear on screen by herself.
Hicks took her issue to Nimoy, the film’s director. She said:
“I remember the fun, the kindness, just the kidding around, the joyfulness, and fighting for some close-ups, the tug of war with Bill (Shatner) for close-ups. It taught me to stand up for myself. I’d go to Leonard and say, ‘This is MY shot. I need a single. I’m not going to share the shot with Shatner.’ He wanted to get in every shot, but you couldn’t get mad at him because he was like a devilish brother.”
Stories of Shatner’s ego are legendary, so Hicks seemed to weather the Shatstorm with aplomb.