Friday, October 30, 2015

Sardine surprise

[“The Cetacean Institute.” In real life, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California. Click for a larger view.]

Elaine’s mom, who just finished reading Moby-Dick, suggested that we watch Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (dir. Leonard Nimoy, 1986), which has whales. But lo: it also has sardines — at least the word, not the fish.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium (the movie’s Cetacean Institute) is housed in a former cannery at 892 Cannery Row. The Portola brand (once canned therein) took its name from Gaspar de Portolá. The website Sardine King (aptly named) has an array of Portola labels spread across two pages. And here’s a New York Times article with background on the Aquarium.

If you’re wondering why the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a role in a Star Trek movie: the answer is time travel .

Related reading
All OCA sardine posts (Pinboard)

comments: 6

Fresca said...


*squeaks like a porpoise spying a sardine*

What did you think of the movie?

It's many fans' favorite, but I've never been as fond of Star Trek when it tries to be funny.
I prefer Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), which was a meditation on the fall of the Soviet Union (overly optimistic to a cringe-making extent, director Nicholas Meyers later said, but still more grown-up and dark).

P.S. I looked it up--porpoises/dolphins do eat sardines.

Michael Leddy said...

I liked it — I thought it was exceedingly entertaining and slightly silly, and the commentary on late-20th-century ways was pointed without being overbearing. What will the future think of us?

I esp. liked seeing Gillian bumping into the cloaked craft. Spock on the bus: hilarious. Jane Wyatt as Spock’s mom: another surprise.

Geo-B said...

Here's a shot of dolphins herding sardines to eat them.

Michael Leddy said...

Crafty creatures.

Slywy said...

But which is worse: I or V?

I've always been torn between !! and IV as favorite. One of the things I like about IV: The slightly greater roles given to Scott, Uhura and Chekhov.

Michael Leddy said...

Here’a debate I have to sit out: Star Trek is almost completely off my radar. But I did like IV.