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"Who in the 23rd century knows anything about Humpback whales?"
"You have a point.
– Gillian Taylor and James T. Kirk, 1986 (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Doctor Gillian Taylor was the assistant director of the Cetacean Institute until 1986. Dr. Taylor was an expert in Cetacean biology and was especially fond of two humpback whales in her care, George and Gracie.

In 1986, Gracie became pregnant, and Taylor was in the process of arranging for the whales to be released back into the wild, due to the Institute's lack of money to care for them.

When the time came for them to be released, Taylor was contacted by Admiral James T. Kirk, who had come back in time to secure humpback whales for transport back to the 23rd century where they would repopulate the species and make contact with the alien probe that was unwittingly causing Earth's destruction. Taylor was understandably disbelieving of Kirk's claims, and infuriated with Spock's rather indiscreet method of communicating with the whales (Spock dove into the whale tank and mind melded with one of them and informed them of the plan to rescue Earth in the future).

Gillian Taylor aboard the HMS Bounty

Dr. Taylor is beamed aboard the Bounty by Kirk

However, after learning that the whales were released prematurely without her knowledge, she desperately sought Kirk out. The truth about his identity was finally revealed to her when he suddenly beamed her up and welcomed her on board his stolen cloaked Klingon Bird-of-Prey. She was shocked at Spock's appearance without his headband, revealing his pointed ears and eyebrows, but he said "Hello, doctor. Welcome aboard."

She then aided the crew in rescuing Pavel Chekov from the hospital by helping them disguise themselves as physicians and quickly pretending to be ill and in need of immediate surgery for what Leonard McCoy described as "immediate postprandial, upper-abdominal distention" (actually "cramps"), fooling the two SFPD officers guarding the operating room.

Afterward, Taylor "forced" Admiral Kirk to let her join them, and after rescuing the whales from a whaling ship, she time-traveled to the 23rd century along with George and Gracie, explaining that she had nothing in the present, and reasoning that the future would need somebody who actually knew something about whales. She was assigned to a science vessel shortly after her arrival to the 23rd century, in order to "catch-up" on the past three hundred years.

Taylor had a photographic memory, claiming she could "see words." She could thus quote spoken passages verbatim from memory. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Gillian Taylor was played by actress Catherine Hicks.

In the first draft script of Star Trek IV, Taylor's birth year was established as 1957.

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