“Fascinating”: Leonard Nimoy’s Journey with Spock

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, posted by Kipp Teague, taken circa 1968, unaltered, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ | Courtesy of Flickr

When young Leonard Nimoy got off the train to Pasadena, California in September,1949 wearing a wool suit, hand-painted tie, and suede shoes he, “must have looked like somebody that just arrived off the boat from Transylvania.”1 The then eighteen-year-old Nimoy left his family in Boston, Massachusetts’ West End neighborhood to pursue his passion for acting by enrolling in the Pasadena Playhouse. He spent the next seventeen years juggling his responsibilities with his acting career, his young family, and his service in the United States Army.2 Leonard took any acting roles he could get, whether they were in films, television, or in theater. His first notable role came in the minor film, Kid Monk Baroni in 1952 in which he played a young boxer. He also established his presence on stage and on the small screen as he performed in well received plays such as Deathwatch by Jean Genet as well as many different television appearances on series such as The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Dr. Kildare, The Outer Limits, and perhaps most importantly, Gene Roddenberry’s The Lieutenant. By mid-1964, Nimoy had over fifty television episodes and films to his credit. However, he had yet to find that breakthrough role that would catapult him to stardom.3 Fortunately for him, and for the entire world, all that would change after he received a call from his agent informing him that the producer of The Lieutenant, Gene Roddenberry, wanted him to play a character for a pilot of a new science fiction series he was developing. There was no way Leonard could have known it then, but he was about to embark on a voyage to where no man had gone before!4

Leonard Nimoy (right) and Kathleen Freedman in Kid Monk Baroni, taken January 1, 1952 | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After the call with his agent, Leonard met with Roddenberry in order to discuss the pilot and his potential character. He went into the meeting fully prepared to read lines for the producer, to in essence, audition for the part. However, he soon realized that Gene was trying to “sell” him on the idea of the show and the character. Nimoy thought to himself, “Don’t blow it, Leonard. Keep your mouth shut, or you just might talk yourself out of a job.”5 He listened carefully as Gene described his vision for the new series, which he named Star Trek, as well as to his vision for the character he wanted Nimoy to play. While the idea for the character was not yet fully formed, Gene knew that he wanted him to be, “obviously extraterrestrial in order to visually emphasize that this was the twenty-third century and these were interplanetary, not just international, crew members aboard a space ship.”6 Thus, Spock—that was the name Gene had chosen for the character—was going to be physically distinct from his fellow crew members with features such as a different skin tone (perhaps red), a different style haircut, and pointed ears. However, there was more to Spock than just his distinct anatomy and hairstyle. Gene had also envisioned a rich internal life for the character fueled by his competing lineages, as Spock was half-human and half-alien, a situation that created great conflict within him. Leonard was intrigued by Gene’s ideas, especially Spock’s inner turmoil, but he was nevertheless worried about taking the job. If the pilot was successful, and the series went forward, it could be the big break Nimoy had been searching for for over a decade. However, if it was not successful, it could seriously damage his career, as he later said, “And not knowing the caliber the series was going to be or the caliber of the character, I had some reservations, because I had a rather serious acting career in the works and I didn’t want to be playing the fool.”7 Foremost among Nimoy’s concerns was Spock’s psychical features. How could the audience take his character seriously with such an odd appearance? Nevertheless, he gave the role serious consideration, and after further discussions with Gene Roddenberry in which he voiced his fears about the character’s appearance, he agreed to play Spock. Little did he know that he was about to embark on a trek that would change his life forever, and in time, give the world an iconic franchise and a timeless and beloved character.8

The Star Trek logo created by Niusereset, August 2, 2009 | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Before production began on Star Trek’s pilot episode, entitled “The Cage,” the series’ makeup artists had to tackle the problem of Spock’s appearance. Nimoy chose to play the role with only limited makeup, electing not to hide his face from viewers as some of his friends had suggested he do, in case the series failed. While some of Gene’s ideas for Spock’s features, such as him having red skin, never came to fruition, others did, such as his pointed ears. In fact, it was the ears that presented Nimoy and one of Star Trek’s makeup artist, Leo Greenway, with a serious problem. NBC Studios’ executives asked Greenway to design Spock’s ears with no budget and with minimum time before production began, and as a result, the ears he created for Nimoy to wear were ill fitting, uncomfortable, and made Nimoy look like an “overgrown jackrabbit or an elf with a hyperactive thyroid.”9 It only took one humiliating screen test with the ears, which Leonard later compared to the scene in the film Hunch Back of Notre Dame in which the main character, Quasimodo, is forced to face a jeering crowd of spectators awed and disgusted by his ugly appearance, to convince all involved that the pair would not work and that another set of ears had to be crafted. Spock’s first public appearance had not gone well, so studio executives asked another makeup artist, Fred Phillips, to create a set of quality ears. However, he too had trouble creating a suitable pair for the extraterrestrial. Finally, after four unsuccessful attempts and a great deal of rangling with NBC studio heads over budget, Phillips contacted a specialist in appliance work employed at MGM Studios and paid him to make a proper set of ears despite the series’ money constraints. A risky move, but one that paid off because the final product fit well with Leonard’s own features and was more comfortable than the previous pairs. Spock’s iconic ears were finally complete!10

With the help of Fred Phillips, the rest of Spock’s features also began to fall in to place. Even before his ears were finished, Spock’s skin tone had been decided. Instead of the originally proposed red skin tone, Fred Phillips gave Spock’s skin a green-yellowish hew so that the extraterrestrial could appear more clearly on black and white television sets. Phillips also added a set of “yak hair” eyebrows and a distinctive haircut to which Nimoy added his own personal touch: pointed sideburns, a key feature which, he joked, future Star Trek characters would emulate! Spock would truly have a unique, captivating, and distinguished presence on screen that was unlike anything seen before. Leonard Nimoy’s transformation from himself to Spock was quite remarkable, as Fred Phillips was fond of saying, “Leonard Nimoy reported for work at 6:30 a.m. …and Mr. Spock could always be counted on to arrive somewhere around 7:15 a.m.”11

Nimoy as Spock, posted by James Vaughan, December 28, 2015, unaltered,  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ | Courtesy of Flickr

Unfortunately, even if Spock’s appearance eventually gelled, little else about “The Cage” did. Problems plagued production on the episode from the first day of shooting on November 27, 1964. For example, a flock of nesting pigeons had infested the rafters above sound stage sixteen at Desilu-Culver Studios where “The Cage” was set to begin filming on the first day, and the production crew had to chase them from the soundstage rafters and out of the building before filming began! Problems such as these led to multiple delays on the production of the pilot, which took sixteen days to produce instead of the originally planned eleven. In addition to the delays, the episode also exceeded its allocated budget of $ 452,000 by approximately $150,000, costing a total of $616,000. Difficulties with production also led to tension between members of Star Trek’s production crew as well as frustration from NBC Studio’s heads because of the delays and mounting cost.12

Nimoy was grappling with his own trials during production of “The Cage.” Throughout filming he was unsure of how Spock should behave, and he struggled to find a niche for his character opposite his co-stars Jeffery Hunter and Majel Barret. Spock in “The Cage” was prone to emotes such as frowns, smiles, and yells; gestures that would be far less common in future episodes of the series. In one scene in which a landing party is standing on the transporter platform preparing to beam down to the planet Talos IV when two members of the landing party suddenly disappear, Spock shrieks, “The women!”13 Emotional displays were not the only uncharacteristic features of Nimoy’s first portrayal of Spock. The Vulcan also pronounced certain words with a slight British accent. When reflecting on his performance Nimoy wrote, “In ‘The Cage,’ I wasn’t playing a Vulcan; I was playing a first officer; You know, where the captain says, “Full speed ahead” and his second-in-command briskly echoes, FULL SPEED AHEAD!”14 The dynamic between Spock and his senior officer Captain Christopher Pike, played by Jeffery Hunter, also strongly influenced Nimoy’s performance in “The Cage.” Hunter’s Captain Pike was an introverted and brooding man, therefore Nimoy’s Spock was more expressive and demonstrative. As Leonard explained in a conversation with his future co-star William Shatner, “So here’s Jeffery Hunter playing this quiet internalized performance, and I felt the need to help drive something in opposition to it.”15 Majel Barret’s character, simply known as Number One, influenced Nimoy’s performance as well, as Barret’s Number One was quiet, logical, and unemotional. With Barrett and Hunter both playing reserved characters, Nimoy struggled to find how Spock would fit with his two senior officers.16

Despite numerous difficulties, Nimoy’s efforts, and the efforts of the other cast and crew members who worked on the pilot, finally culminated in a finished episode—and what an episode it was! Complete with state-of the-art special effects including an 11 ft. 2 inch wooden model of the starship Enterprise, a score composed by Alexander “Sandy” Courage, and a complex story with powerful themes about human nature, nothing like “The Cage” had ever been seen before in television network history. This would prove to be a blessing and a curse for the pilot, because some crew members worried that the themes explored in the episode would be too deep for executives to understand. As episode director Robert Butler explained, “I thought to myself, Well if they understand it, great, but wow, we should have made it easier for them…I hope they understand it, because it’s a difficult trip to get from A to Z in a straight line on that particular story.”17 The final version of the episode was delivered to NBC Studios executives in February 1965 for its premiere screening. Those who attended were stunned by what they watched, as Herb Solow, the liaison between NBC Studios and Star Trek’s creators, remembered, “They were blown away with the production, the scope of the film, the music, the whole physicality, and feeling of the film.”18 Studio executives loved “The Cage,” but then they rejected it!19

The cast of “The Cage” circa. 1965, posted by James Vaughan, September 25, 2016, unaltered,https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ | Courtesy of Flickr

The official story for decades has been that “The Cage” was rejected on account of it being “too cerebral,” too cool for television, and too deep to understand. However, NBC executive’s reasons for rejecting “The Cage” were numerous, and well founded. They were concerned about the eroticism of certain scenes, which, in the 1960s, was unacceptable on television. In addition, NBC’s advertising department felt that Nimoy’s Mr. Spock, with his pointed ears, looked too demonic, which could discourage advertisers and television stations in the Bible Belt, then a key demographic for NBC, from advertising and showing the series. However, the network had not given up on Star Trek, far from it, in fact, and on March 26, 1965, the studio ordered a second pilot, an unprecedented decision in television history. Star Trek would would get another chance on the small screen! However, NBC Studios had one condition: producer Gene Roddenberry had to fire most of the cast including Majel Barret and Leonard Nimoy, “the Maritain fellow.”20

However, Gene stuck to his guns and fought for Leonard and Spock to be allowed to continue on, arguing that the Vulcan could be essential to the show’s future success. At about the same time Gene was fighting to save Spock, Nimoy was contemplating whether or not to continue portraying him. His old concerns about Spock’s appearance returned, heightened by his experience with Spock’s makeup and ears, and it took yet more reassurance from fellow actors for him to decide to move forward with another pilot. Nevertheless, when the smoke cleared, Leonard Nimoy was the only cast member who carried over from one pilot to the next. The rest of the cast had either departed on their own or had been asked to leave the show. The departure of his fellow officers and crew had a profound impact on Spock’s character development, because he inherited the cool and logical personality of Majel Barret’s former character, Number One. Thus, a critical component of the Vulcan’s true personality came about because of the cast shake up. But who would replace Jeffery Hunter, Majel Barrett, and the rest of “The Cage” cast? With the right ensemble, Star Trek could truly be special and Mr. Spock could finally find his niche next to more complementary crew members. Enter William Shatner, James Doohan, George Takei, De Forest Kelly, and Nichelle Nichols!21

A new cast proved decisive in helping Nimoy develop Spock into the lovable Vulcan that Star Trek fans would come to love. William Shatner brought great energy and “élan” to the captain’s chair as Captain James Tiberius Kirk, as Leonard explained to him in conversation decades later, “And when you came on-board with your energy, and a sense of humor, and a twinkle in the eye, I was able to then become the cooler Spock.”22 Shatner and Nimoy formed quite the duo in the second pilot, which began filming on July 19, 1965, and was entitled “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” The two actors played off each other with humorous banter between their two characters.23 In the opening scene of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” for example, Spock and Kirk indulge in a friendly game of three dimensional chess during which Kirk teases Spock, “You play a very irritating game of chess Mr. Spock,” to which Spock replies, “Irritating? Ah yes, one of your Earth emotions.”24 However, moments of Kirk’s teasing soon gave way to more serious moments between him and Mr. Spock as the drama of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” unfolded. In one scene in which Captain Kirk questions Spock’s suggestions that they either leave Kirk’s friend, Gary Mitchell, who demonstrates dangerous godlike abilities after a collision in space, stranded on an abandoned planet where he cannot harm anyone or kill him while they still can, he asks Spock, “Will you try for one minute to feel? At least act like you have a heart. We’re talking about Gary…Dr. Dehner feels he isn’t that dangerous. What makes you right and a trained psychologist wrong?” Spock replies coolly, “Because she feels. I don’t.”25 The other cast members added to Nimoy and Shatner’s dynamic as well. James Doohan played chief engineer, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott while George Takei joined the crew as astrophysicist turned helmsman Ensign Sulu. Both men joined Nimoy and Shatner as series regulars when NBC Studios ordered Star Trek’s first sixteen episodes in March 1966, and “Where No Man Has Gone Before” aired later that fall on Thursday September 22, 1966. Finally, after a failed pilot and a sweeping cast reshuffle, Star Trek was on the air!26

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner | Courtesy of Snappy Goat

Kirk and Spock’s relationship formed the core of the second pilot, a sign of things to come, but Nimoy was still developing Spock’s character during the episode as well. The Vulcan was not quite in his final form, as Nimoy wrote, “He definitely shows more emotion than is Vulcanly proper, and still possesses a touch of the first officer syndrome, bellowing out commands with a lot more volume than is necessary on such a compact bridge…”27 Furthermore, Nimoy felt that Spock’s suggestion that Kirk kill Mitchell was incompatible with Vulcan philosophy and culture, which advocated for pacifism and nonviolence. However, there were some signs of who Spock would become present in the episode as well, “the calm, even intonation, the hands clasped primly behind the back, the clipped “affirmatives” and “negatives,” the ever-ready dissertations on logic,” certain characteristics of Spock were present in “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” but he had yet to be fully “born.”28 However, it would not be long. Indeed, Kirk’s final words to his companion in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” are telling, “There still may be hope for you Mr. Spock.”29 An accurate statement; a Vulcan was about to be born.

With the series moving forward, Nimoy, and the rest of Star Trek’s cast and crew, continued refining their craft and characters with each new episode they filmed. The second episode of the series, entitled “The Corbomite Maneuver,” which began filming on May 24, 1966, a little less than four months before the debut of the second pilot, was a profoundly important episode in Nimoy’s journey with Spock.30 In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise encounters a strange alien spaceship of superior size and weaponry while trespassing in a different galaxy, which proceeds to threaten the Enterprise and her crew. In one scene on the bridge, Nimoy and his fellow actors reacted to a bluescreen, which would later become the threatening enemy starship in post-production. Nimoy had just one line in the scene: “fascinating.” However, he initially struggled to deliver the line. Nimoy later wrote, “I just didn’t have a handle on how to say it. I was still somewhat in “first officer” mode, but it didn’t seem appropriate to shout such a word out. Everyone was reacting in character—humanly, of course—but I couldn’t figure out how the Vulcan would respond or how the word should come out.”31 Nimoy’s struggle during “The Corbomite Maneuver” was acute, as director Joseph Sargent recalled, “Leonard came up to me and he was ready to quit. He said, ‘Joe, I can’t take this, I’m an actor and I don’t know how to play a character that has no emotion.'”32 Whereas previously Leonard had struggled in his role, portraying Spock too emotionally and energetically in “The Cage,” now he was struggling to discern how an unemotional being should react in an inherently emotional situation such as the scene in “The Corbomite Maneuver.”

Sargent, who had an acting background as well, explained to Leonard that, “him [Spock] having no emotion was just an external part of the character’s element. It didn’t have anything to do with the richness of his intellectuality. He was merely able to conquer the emotional distortions that can interfere with reasoning.”33 Spock was not unemotional, but he could suppress his emotions more successfully than his fellow crew members, which allowed him to delight in intellectual activity, even in a crisis! Sargent recommended to Nimoy, “Look don’t act uptight about what you see on the screen. Instead, when you deliver your line, be cool and curious, a scientist.”34 His advice had a profound impact on Nimoy, as he later wrote, “The moment he said it, something inside me clicked; he had just illuminated what it was that made the character unique and different from all the others on the bridge.”35 Newly illuminated, Leonard prepared to shoot the scene, he composed himself, drew a breath, and calmly said, “Fascinating.” The impact of the line, and of finding yet another piece of Spock’s character, were intense. Leonard later wrote of the scene that, “What came out wasn’t Leonard Nimoy’s voice, but Spock’s. And even though the Vulcan veneer would later slip from time to time,… I began to seriously understand where Spock was coming from. The Vulcan was truly among us. I began to use more restraint in the character’s movements, gestures, facial expressions.”36

“The Corbomite Maneuver” was a pivotal episode for both Leonard and Spock. In fact, thirty years later when Ninoy wrote his autobiography, I Am Spock, he specifically chose “The Corbomite Maneuver” as the “date” of Spock’s birth.37 The episode was also critical in that it introduced two additional characters to the series: Nichelle Nichols’ Lieutenant Uhura and De Forest Kelly’s Dr. McCoy.38 The latter was instrumental in forming what fans would later call the Star Trek “triumvirate” of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy. With Captain Kirk’s swagger, Mr. Spock’s logic, and Dr. McCoy’s emotional “everyman” attitude, the three characters, and the actors who portrayed them, formed the core of the series!39 However, Leonard’s work developing Spock was not quite finished. One critical component of the Vulcan’s character had yet to be adequately explored: his humanity.

Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, and Deforest Kelly in Star Trek The Motion Picture, 1979, posted by Tom Simpson, April 18, 2019, unaltered, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Similar to “The Corbomite Maneuver, Star Trek’s sixth (though Leonard’s seventh) episode entitled “The Naked Time,” was another crucial episode in Nimoy’s journey with Spock. Leonard later wrote of “The Naked Time” that, “…it was a defining episode for the Vulcan, one that cemented in my mind—and the viewers’—exactly who Spock was. In a sense, it completed the transformation that had begun with the phrase, “Fascinating.”40 In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise falls victim to a mysterious illness that causes them to unleash their deepest feelings and emotional fragilities as madness overtakes them. The disease has an overpowering effect on Spock, whose emotions and humanity start to consume him as the disease takes its toll. In one of the most intense scenes in the episode Spock, brought nearly to tears by the illness, retreats to a private room where he desperately tries to fight off the “emotional storm” consuming him. In an attempt to control his emotions, Spock recites multiplication tables and chides himself saying, “I am a Vulcan! I am in control of my emotions! Control of my emotions!41 However, the disease proves too potent, even for the stoic Vulcan, and he begins to weep; his emotions and humanity are laid bare to any who might see him. When Captain Kirk finally finds his companion, Spock confesses, “My mother…I could never tell her I loved her…An Earth woman, living on a planet where love, emotion…[it’s] bad taste.”42 Additionally, he tells Kirk, “When I feel friendship for you. I’m ashamed.”43 The key to Spock’s character was not that he was an unfeeling computer or robot, but rather, that he was a living being who felt emotions keenly and cared for his friends deeply, even though he rarely let those truths be known. Future Star Trek episodes would expand on Spock’s personality, culture, and even family life, but “The Naked Time” was the final piece of the puzzle in Spock’s “birth.” Reflecting later on that spectacular scene in the episode, Nimoy said, “That scene got to a lot of people, and I know what I had to play in the scripts that followed–it solidified everything. I knew we were not playing a man with no emotions, but a man who had great pride, who had learned to control his emotions and who would deny that he knew what emotions were. In a way, he was more human than anyone else on the ship.”44

Finally, nearly two years after first being asked to play the role of Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy figured out just who his character was; a remarkably complex man torn between his human and Vulcan halves. A man that Nimoy, despite his doubts and difficulties, portrayed beautifully throughout Star Trek’s three-season run, and in the movies and spin-off series that followed in the decades after the show’s cancellation at the conclusion of its third season. Nimoy’s embodiment of his Vulcan alter ego earned him and Spock legions of adoring fans and made them both into cultural icons, recognizable the world over by fans and nonfans alike. In fact, Nimoy and Spock became so iconic that upon Leonard’s death in February 2015, generations of people, across space and time, united in grief for the man who brought Spock to life and guarded his legacy for almost fifty years. Leonard Nimoy did indeed, “Live Long and Prosper.”45

Photograph of Leonard Nimoy at Phoenix Comicon, May 28, 2011 taken by Gage Skidmore, unaltered, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ | Courtesy of Flickr
  1. Leonard Nimoy, quoted in, Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock (United States: 455 Films, 2016), Netflix.
  2. Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock (United States: 455 Films, 2016), Netflix.
  3. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 53-55.
  4. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 22.
  5. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 23.
  6. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 23.
  7. Leonard Nimoy, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 55.
  8. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock, (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 24-25.
  9. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 25.
  10. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 25-26.
  11. Fred Phillips, quoted in, Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 28.
  12. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 61-72.
  13. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 30.
  14. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 30.
  15. Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock (United States: 455 Films, 2016), Netflix.
  16. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 30-31.
  17. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 71.
  18. Herb Solow, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 72.
  19. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 71-72.
  20. Gene Roddenberry, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 76.
  21. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 73-76, 85-86.
  22. Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock (United States: 455 Films, 2016), Netflix.
  23. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 96.
  24. “Opening Chess Game,” video file, 0:37, YouTube, posted by iusedtobeawizard, December 21, 2009, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFeMD2MfNDg&ab_channel=iusedtobeawizard
  25. Science Officer Mr. Spock, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 89.
  26. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 95-96, 104.
  27. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 36.
  28. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 36.
  29. James T. Kirk, quoted in, Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 36.
  30. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 140.
  31. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 45.
  32. Joseph Sargent, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 142.
  33. Joseph Sargent, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 142-143.
  34. Joseph Sargent, quoted in, Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock, (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 45.
  35. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 45.
  36. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock, (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 45.
  37. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 38.
  38. Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 115, 120, 136-137.
  39. Adam Nimoy, For the Love of Spock (United States: 455 Films, 2016), Netflix
  40. Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015), 54.
  41. Mr. Spock, quoted in, Leonard Nimoy, I am Spock (New York, NY: Hatchett Books, 2015, 55.
  42. Mr. Spock, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 205.
  43. Mr. Spock, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 205.
  44. Leonard Nimoy, quoted in, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn, These Are the Voyages: TOS: Season One, vol. 1, (San Diego, California: Jacobs/Brown Press, 2013), 215.
  45. Virginia Heffernan, “Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83,” The New York Times, February 27, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/arts/television/leonard-nimoy-spock-of-star-trek-dies-at-83.html

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7 Responses

  1. This article was amazing. I have a large amount of respect for the man who brought Spock to life all those years ago, but this article helped me learn so much more that I had never known before. I did not realize how complicated Nemoy’s rise to fame was, and how his ear design was pretty much integral to the success of the Star Trek TV Series. This whole article was a fun ride, and it was well thought out and sorted. Great job.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this article because you were able to capture how iconic both Nimoy and Spock are. It was interesting to begin the article with a young Nimoy trying to become an actor and leaving his home. It was really great to learn about he got his start in acting and become involved with Star Trek. It was also super interesting seeing the process for Spock’s appearance and character development.

  3. Leonard Nimoy’s role as Mr. Spock was so iconic, as someone who has never watched Star Trek I saw his character all the time ! It was an amazing article to read as I didn’t know the backstory to any of this. It was well written and gave me more insight on not only Leonard Nimoy but also his character Mr. Spock.

  4. Hi Christopher! I really enjoyed your article all throughout and the topic you chose. I personally have never seen Star Trek, but I do know it is a popular show from my little brother. I really liked how you highlighted not only the character Spock, but the actor Leonard Nimoy as well. It is often that actors become the characters they play to the public eye, and we forget that they are people too with lives unrelated to their shows. This was a great tribute and awesome article!

  5. In all honesty, I am not familiar with this show but this article made me feel as though I have watched it and gave me the urge to watch it. It is so interesting that show that reached millions character, Spoke, had such development and was hand picked carefully. Nimoy tried to embody this character and even his looks were changed. Thank you sharing a detailed backstory to this famous show.

  6. I’ve never watched Star Trek before—at best, I’ve only recognized snippets of the show because my dad watches the show on loop from time to time—but Spock is definitely a character I’m familiar with from the original series, while I think I know Captain Kirk from the animated series. Reading this article made me want to watch the show myself just to see this iconic character in action, especially to notice the changes in Nimoy’s acting/Spock’s presentation. It’s hard for me to imagine Spock doing emotes, but the thought is funny to me, and it was cool to learn that second pilots are even possible. A thing this article did well was presenting the duality between Leonard Nimoy and Spock; it was a story about both Nimoy the actor and Spock the Vulcan without one overpowering the other.

  7. It is always nice to read articles like these, learning about the life of an amazing actor, who impacted the lives of many. There are few characters that reach the level of notoriety that Spock reached, and that would not have been possible without Leonard Nimoy. I really enjoyed learning about the journey that Nimoy took to create and embody such a powerful character.

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