"Shatner Went Out And Helped": Star Trek 3 Ignored A 90ft Fire Just Yards From Filming


“Shatner Went Out And Helped”: Star Trek 3 Ignored A 90ft Fire Just Yards From Filming

The 1983 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock continued filming despite a large fire nearby.


  • Captain James T. Kirk and his crew faced real danger on the set of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock when a massive fire broke out.
  • William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy felt the pressure to continue filming despite the fire, and Shatner stepped in to help put the fire down.
  • The tight filming schedule and the need to meet deadlines prevented production from being halted, resulting in minor damage to the Star Trek III sets.


star trekCaptain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew faced many fantastic dangers in their explorations aboard the Starship Enterprise, but the actors faced a real-life danger on the 1983 set. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Set just after the events of Star Trek II: The Khan’s Wrath, Spock’s Quest follows Kirk and his team as they search for a way to help their recently fallen friend, Spock (Leonard Nimoy). Leonard Nimoy himself directed the film, which would receive mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences.

On the afternoon of August 25, 1983, on the ninth day of shooting Spock’s Quest, a large fire broke out on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles, California. William Shatner himself stepped in to help contain the fire, as he was on a tight filming schedule. Leonard Nimoy also felt the pressure to meet his deadline. In a 1984 interview with Harold Greene before the film’s release, Nimoy discussed the fire:

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“I had no choice. There was nothing I could do about the fire. I was on a schedule to stick to. We filmed the best we could. The only problem we had to deal with on set where we were shooting was fire department and police department helicopters circling overhead and we were having trouble getting our dialogue going. But the fire was several hundred yards away and Bill Shatner came out and helped the fire department. They put out the fire and that was it.”

Why The Search for Spock Couldn’t Stop Filming Despite the Fire

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock had an extremely tight filming schedule, mainly due to William Shatner’s starring role in the police drama, prostitute. Shatner had to start filming for prostitute almost immediately after the conclusion of Spock’s Quest, so he couldn’t afford any kind of delay. Among the behind-the-scenes features of the DVD release of Spock’s Quest is a Captain’s Log feature film that includes interviews with many members of the film’s cast and crew. In one of these interviews, William Shatner recalls the day he stepped in to help stop the fire, saying:

“My desperation was not to save anything but the one day we would lose on the set.”

In that same feature, cinematographer Charles Correll recalls his desire to shoot scenes for Spock’s Quest on location in Hawai’i. Of the fire, he said:

“If I can be a little cynical about this right now, I was thinking, oh my gosh, I’m going to get my wish, we’re going to end up going to Kauai because this place is going to burn down and we won’t be able to use it.”

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But the trip to Hawai’i was not going to be, like Spock’s Quest he continued filming despite the nearby hell. Fortunately, no lives were lost in the fire, unlike in the film, which saw the death of Kirk’s son, David Marcus (Merritt Butrick). He Star Trek III the sets sustained only minor damage. However, several iconic sets were destroyed, including the “New York Street” set, which had been used in films such as Going My Way and Bells of Santa Maria. while the third star trek The film may not be as praised as its predecessor, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock fought literal fires during its production and saw the legendary Spock make a triumphant return to the franchise.

Sources: Youtube: TV Crew Guy, Youtube: Behind the Movies

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