A key setting in this week's Transformers: The Last Knight is on board the HMS Alliance, a World War II-era Britisn submarine that two of the characters discover at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.
We won't go into just how the sub figures into the plot -- that's a bit of a spoiler, and not really pertinent to ths ship's actual history -- but to answer one of the questions some moviegoers have been asking: yes, the Alliance is a real wartime vessel that actually exists in the real world.
As in the movie, the sub is now on dry land and open to tourists, students, and others interested in 20th Century nautical history.
That the Alliance is a real-world craft is arguably not surprising; not only does Michael Bay have a well-documented respect for soldiers and sailors that pervades much of his filmmaking, but Transformers: The Last Knight is filled with historical events and real-world landmarks.
Here's how the HMS Alliance is described by the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, where the Alliance currently resides:
Built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers-Armstrong and launched in 1945, HMS Alliance was one of fourteen ‘A’ class submarines built for service in the Far East during World War 2. Commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1947 Alliance had a long and distinguished career of over 28 years that took her all over the world. Alliance is the centrepiece of the Museum and is the official memorial to the courageous men who fought in similar boats for the freedom we enjoy today. The submarine experience is brought to life by a guided tour enhanced by the first hand experiences of retired submariners, many of whom served in this class of boat.
The forty-minute tour takes the visitor from the forward torpedo compartment, through the accommodation section to the control room, where visitors learn something of navigation, diving and surfacing. The tour then moves to domestic services, including the heads and the galley. Visitors are then led through the heart of the engine room to finish up in the after torpedo compartment where the guide explains how to escape from a submarine. The guided tour helps to recreate the atmosphere, smell, conditions, and sounds on-board a submarine of the Second World War. The Royal Navy entered World War 2 with 100 submarines similar to HMS Alliance, and many campaigns were fought and won thanks to the contribution they made, but at a tremendous cost and sacrifice. The chance of not returning from patrol during the latter part of the War in a boat similar to HMS Alliance was 65%. Nine Victoria Crosses were won by brave submariners.
When HMS Alliance was first commissioned she had a low conning tower, anti-aircraft guns and a 4”gun mounted at the front of the conning tower. All these features were typical for a submarine of this period. However, the role of the submarine changed in the post war period: the main purpose of submarines became hunting other enemy submarines. In order to carry out this role submarines were designed to be faster and quieter when under-water. In 1958 Alliance underwent modernisation work which saw the conning tower and guns replaced by a fin that completely covered her periscopes when dived. Both these alterations made Alliance more streamlined and better equipped for submarine warfare in the Cold War era.
SYNOPSIS: Transformers: The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will
Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci will reprise their roles from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, and John Turturro reprise their roles for the first three Transformers movies. The film also stars Isabela Moner, Laura Haddock, Anthony Hopkins, Santiago Cabrera, Liam Garrigan, Jerrod Carmichael, and Mitch Pileggi.
Transformers: The Last Knight's voice cast includes Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, John Goodman as Hound, and John DiMaggio as Crosshairs. Other transformers appearing the film include Bumblebee, Drift, Hot Rod, Cogman, Canopy, Sqweeks, Grimlock, Megatron, Barricade, Onslaught, Hooligan, and Mohawk.