Let's just push the button/We'd be better off dead
September 8, 2016 10:03 PM   Subscribe

Catching up With Star Trek IV's True Hero: The Unkind Punk on the Bus. “It’s nice to be remembered,” says Thatcher. “I could win the Nobel Peace Prize, and my gravestone would still stay, ‘Star Trek IV: Punk on the Bus.'”
posted by nubs (58 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
And his last name is Thatcher. Eponysterical.
posted by aychedee at 10:22 PM on September 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


And I hope you're blue too...

(Love that sequence, though "A keyboard, how quaint" gets more everyday use.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:28 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I remember that when The Voyage Home came out, I had only been into star trek for about a year (I was 9), and I was of the mistaken impression that Spock's pinch was a fatal attack. I was like "damn, he just killed that punk kid for flipping off the captain," but somehow whales and marine biologists and "too much LDS in the 60s" made me forget all my worries.
posted by klausman at 10:33 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Here's the thing": in a just world, I could file a successful ADA complaint against this site's use of an ad-blocker-blocker. I apologize for the apparent derail but to my mind one core of the punk ideal is taking people as they are, and not as the monetized system expects enough of the public to be ok enough with to give them some profit from. For that matter it's also the Star Trek ideal, that it's illogical to deny part of civilization access to its own culture to serve the assumptions of some other parts. I don't know where else to say this because it's increasingly part of my world where I want it or not, everywhere, everyplace, FPP or obscure comments footnote: I can't read websites that think they have good reasons for blocking people. Someone once promised me WCAG would have legal teeth someday. Oh well. Back to the closest I can come to on-topic for this post, as far as I can tell from the parts I've been allowed to read (make no mistake, no matter who or what algorithm made the decisions, "allowed" is the proper term for the effect) another core of punk is for the people marginalized by the mainstream assumptions of society to refuse to shut up. Consider this the textual equivalent of spiky hair and pins in my jacket: I signal to the whole bus that this site rejected me first.
posted by traveler_ at 10:39 PM on September 8, 2016 [22 favorites]




I hate you, and I berate you!
posted by teponaztli at 10:51 PM on September 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've heard that story about DeForest Kelley before, but I always love being reminded of it because it's so easy to picture him saying that.
posted by teponaztli at 10:52 PM on September 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


The interesting thing about Thatcher's performance is that in order to prepare for the role he this comment about Star Trek suddenly became a comment about time-delayed pop-up-traps hidden on Wired, how annoying is that?
posted by Ashenmote at 11:14 PM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's one of the things I love best about the theater, and it's great to know it's also sometimes the case in the movies. If things are run correctly, some smart guy with a small job can come up with ideas of how to do it, a little bit better. If the people in charge know what they're about, they listen, work with the person, and end up with something better than they would have had if they'd insisted I'm planning and micromanaging every detail. It can be hard letting go as a director, but it can be so rewarding.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:56 PM on September 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Every new fact I learn about The Voyage Home charms me more and more. Definitely the most underrated Trek movie. I tear up a little every time I think about McCoy growling, "dialysis! What is this, the DARK ages?!" It also makes me wonder how doctors in Starfleet square the Prime Directive with the Hippocratic Oath.
posted by MsMolly at 12:00 AM on September 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Can I tell you how much I love The Voyage Home? My wife, the Sci Fi purist, skipped it but one afternoon I came upon it while channel flipping and she got sucked in and now it's both of our favorite Trek movie. Like all Star Trek, it doesn't hold up to much logical scrutiny, but also like the rest of Star Trek, it doesn't matter. The cast is just having so much fun with this one.

"Everyone remember where we parked..."

"I'm looking for the nuclear wessels..."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:02 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I contemplated doing a post on Mark Thatcher. He's spent decades toiling away anonymously in Hollywood and doing all this fun, fascinating stuff. I bet he could write one hell of a memoir. I Hate You kicks all kinds of ass too. It works as a parody of punk rock and it works as legit 1980s West Coast punk.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:06 AM on September 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


The funniest thing in the article is that the punk on the bus was also the director for the Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody. Click for 4:46 worth of Muppet mayhem.
posted by Xoc at 1:08 AM on September 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


“The end of the 20th century wasn’t a Mad Max dystopia, but it was headed in that direction,” he says. “Global war was still hanging over you, and you knew it could all end tomorrow because of some A-hole politician. So that existential angst or nihilism was not forced.”

Ahhh... for the days of unforced nihilism.
posted by fairmettle at 1:16 AM on September 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


That was an interesting couple of paragraphs before it was blocked.
posted by lkc at 2:29 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anti-Adblock Killer is your friend. If you're using uBlock, enable the "Anti-Adblock Killer" set in the 3rd party filters options. I was able to read this article with no ads & no problems.
posted by spinda at 2:49 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Double dumbass on you!" Is still my favorite curse. It expresses my anger, but it's so silly that it instantly makes me smile and feel better, too.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:17 AM on September 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


"I eschew you" is one of the most unlikely punk lyrics, which makes it one of the best.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:40 AM on September 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


He was also one of the judges on Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge. When they stated that he had worked on Star Trek IV, I immediately recognized him as the punk on the bus. Now I'm glad to see I'm not the only person to fondly remember that character (or that song).
posted by dances with hamsters at 4:47 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, yeah, I had no idea that "I Hate You" wasn't a "real" song. How perfect. What a neat story.

And Star Trek IV is one of my favorite movies, period; always has been. And, in a weird stroke of kismet, my wife's great uncle had a small speaking role in it (and I swear that every time I flip past it on the TV it's at or just about at that scene; my mother-in-law says it's her uncle talking to us from the great beyond).
posted by uncleozzy at 5:08 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was a sweet story, and as soon as I saw the clip I remembered that scene.

I am running an adblocker and was able to see the page just fine, so it's not blocked for everyone.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:10 AM on September 9, 2016


It also makes me wonder how doctors in Starfleet square the Prime Directive with the Hippocratic Oath.

"I'm a doctor, not a moon politician!"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:15 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Everyone remember where we parked..."

"I'm looking for the nuclear wessels..."


I got a real kick out of:

Kirk: Oh the collected works of Jacqueline Susann. The novels of Harold Robbins...

Spock: Ah, the "Giants".

posted by TedW at 5:47 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


They are not the hell your whales.

ublock origin on Chrome blocks the blocker blocker
posted by Fleebnork at 5:49 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Here's the thing": in a just world, I could file a successful ADA complaint against this site's use of an ad-blocker-blocker. I apologize for the apparent derail but to my mind one core of the punk ideal is taking people as they are, and not as the monetized system expects enough of the public to be ok enough with to give them some profit from.

The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe.

TVH is not just light and fun and incredibly quotable, but its score (by Leonard Rosenman) may be the best of all the Kirk-era Trek films.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:00 AM on September 9, 2016


Not now, Madeleine!
posted by Melismata at 6:22 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


For those in the DC area, The Voyage Home will be playing at The AFI Silver in Silver Spring, MD tomorrow, Sunday and next Thurdsay. They're also showing the preceding films.
posted by timdiggerm at 6:23 AM on September 9, 2016


Definitely the most underrated Trek movie.
On IMDB, The Voyage Home is higher rated than any other Trek movie except Wrath of Khan (which is fair), First Contact (which is unfair but debatable), and every one of the NuTrek movies (which have ten times as many votes).
posted by roystgnr at 6:40 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Happy 50th Anniversary Trekkies, Trekkers, Humanlings, and Earthoids!

'"The Man Trap", the first episode of Star Trek to be broadcast, aired on September 8, 1966.
posted by Herodios at 6:55 AM on September 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Damn! I should have started with "I've come millions of mi-- thousands of miles to wish you . . . "
posted by Herodios at 6:58 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Whoa, I just saw this movie for the first time the other day.
posted by kmz at 7:32 AM on September 9, 2016


For that matter it's also the Star Trek ideal, that it's illogical to deny part of civilization access to its own culture to serve the assumptions of some other parts.

Jeez- you'll never own your own moon with that attitude.

Can't a fellow just earn a few slips of latinum?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


(Apologies to everyone who ran into ad issues on this page; I run uBlock myself and didn't experience any problems. I don't like to share stuff that has intrusive ads).

"I eschew you" is one of the most unlikely punk lyrics, which makes it one of the best.

About five minutes after I posted, I realized that "I eschew you" was the better title. And for me, the delight in this article was learning that Thatcher not only played the punk but also created and recorded the song "in a hallway that would provide the necessarily shitty sound."

Beyond that, I've said in other discussions that Star Trek: The Motion Picture is perhaps the Trekiest film in the sense that it is truest to the ideals of the show - confronting the unknown, exploration, discovery and solving problems through science. Star Trek IV, however is the best Trekker film - it knows and loves the characters and every character is used and is contributing to the mission; no one is left without anything to do and there are plenty of winks at the audience throughout. Everyone has fun, from the audience to the cast, and I really think that IV should've been the last film made with the original cast; it was the best goodbye we could've asked for.
posted by nubs at 7:47 AM on September 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


"punkers"?
posted by lalochezia at 7:52 AM on September 9, 2016


"punkers"?

Most fans prefer this term over "punkies".
 
posted by Herodios at 7:54 AM on September 9, 2016 [18 favorites]


I'd add in Beyond as by far the Trekkiest NuTrek, both in terms of characters and the concepts of the show.
posted by Artw at 7:57 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen "Beyond" yet; my scars from "Into Darkness" are yet too fresh.
posted by nubs at 8:08 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Absolutely a different beast.
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Absolutely a different beast.

Well, despite assurances about this Beast from a lot of Boys, I'm still worried about

(sunglasses)

sabotage

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
posted by nubs at 8:27 AM on September 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Beyond is great, especially because it actually makes use of the fact that Enterprise is in the AOS/"Kelvin Timeline".
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:31 AM on September 9, 2016


I haven't seen "Beyond" yet; my scars from "Into Darkness" are yet too fresh . . .

(sunglasses) . . . sabotage . . . YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Beyond . . . makes use of the fact that Enterprise is in the AOS/"Kelvin Timeline".







Are we still talking about Star Trek?
 
posted by Herodios at 8:37 AM on September 9, 2016


Somehow, yes.
posted by nubs at 8:55 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I remember that when The Voyage Home came out, I had only been into star trek for about a year (I was 9), and I was of the mistaken impression that Spock's pinch was a fatal attack.

I had a similar experience. Voyage Home was probably my first experience with Star Trek and I assumed that the weirdo, stonery version of Spock was the just the way the character always was.
posted by brundlefly at 9:40 AM on September 9, 2016


I haven't seen "Beyond" yet; my scars from "Into Darkness" are yet too fresh.

As someone who disliked INTO DARKNESS more than even the TNG films, I really, really liked BEYOND. It's a ton of fun and certainly the most TREK-y of the Kelvin movies. You can just pretend that INTO DARKNESS didn't happen. BEYOND certainly does.
posted by brundlefly at 9:42 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Our 'professional punk opinion' on the movie, due to that scene, was... we totally boo'ed Spock during the bus scene and hated Spock forever because Punk Rules Always and Spock and Kirk and Bones should just go find Quincey and sit around and have an old man circle-jerk with each other and only listen to "myoosic that makes you loooove" bullshit yeah fuck
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:51 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Quincey is punk as fuck in his own way, which mainly involves showing interns a little puppet show he's rigged up from internal organs and keeps hidden under a sheet.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's pretty goth, actually. I'm sure Quincey had a secret desire to be Goth. Spock, not so much.. he's the sort that'd pretend to like some gross AOR band, like J. Giles or Air Supply, "just to fit in." Bones likes both kinds of music, country and western, and thinks bluegrass is edgy, and Kirk likes "that guitar stuff" like Van Halen. Fact.
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:14 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I saw "For The Love Of Spock" last week... Adam Nimoy's loving tribute to Spock AND his dad Leonard. The clip with Thatcher is featured... And BTW Leonard Nimoy directed STIV. I had forgotten all about that.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 10:14 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


OBJECTION! That movie should be referred to as "the Spockumentary".
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on September 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


White dopes on punk, eh?

You can just pretend that INTO DARKNESS didn't happen.

I can't pretend that all of this doesn't apparently happen in a universe where the quasi-military arm of a confederation of space-faring planetary civilizations promotes a Dukes of Hazzard-level hillbilly punk to post rank in command of a starship capable of FTL travel and sufficiently be-weaponed to destroy entire planets -- seemingly in a matter of a few weeks.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:24 AM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was of the mistaken impression that Spock's pinch was a fatal attack.

Oh yes, not to be confused with the Vulcan death grip.
posted by Melismata at 10:34 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, but the RomulansPunks don't know that.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:36 AM on September 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


IV is my favorite movie, and in college I tried to explain it to someone—but they were completely, utterly convinced I was pulling their leg.
posted by you're a kitty! at 11:43 AM on September 9, 2016


Herodios: I can't pretend that all of this doesn't apparently happen in a universe where the quasi-military arm of a confederation of space-faring planetary civilizations promotes a Dukes of Hazzard-level hillbilly punk to post rank in command of a starship capable of FTL travel and sufficiently be-weaponed to destroy entire planets -- seemingly in a matter of a few weeks.

Yeah, fair enough. As much as I enjoy it, that's one of my problems with the '09 TREK. It survives based on a great cast and a general sense of fun, but it doesn't make much sense in a variety of ways.

At any rate, I feel like BEYOND works on its own.
posted by brundlefly at 12:08 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Little known Trek IV casting factoid: Jane Wiedlin, rhythm guitarist for the Go-Gos, plays an Alien Communications Officer. Blink and you'll miss her.
posted by Cranialtorque at 1:00 PM on September 9, 2016


THANK you, Melismata - "Not now, Madeline!" is one of those beautiful moments I'd totally forgotten about, and I've been snort-chuckling all day.
posted by Occula at 1:02 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


On IMDB, The Voyage Home is higher rated than any other Trek movie except Wrath of Khan (which is fair), First Contact (which is unfair but debatable), and every one of the NuTrek movies (which have ten times as many votes).

I find it somehow reassuring and entirely appropriate that TVH's rating is the same as that for Galaxy Quest, which might as well be considered an honorary Trek film by now.
posted by hangashore at 3:44 PM on September 9, 2016


Back at the punk end of this thread - a couple of weekends ago, I made a trek (see what I did there?) a little way up the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh to a twee little estuary village - winding streets, seaside cottages, one pub, lots of little boats tied up alongside the quay - and it was picture-postcard coastal. It didn't just exist in the wooded valley of the tributary river, it nestled like a champ. None more nestley.

The weekend after, this happened there.

Punk as.
posted by Devonian at 1:51 PM on September 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


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