Is JVH Prescient? Sadly No – Leonard Nimoy and Spock

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Is JVH Prescient? Sadly No – Leonard Nimoy and Spock

A few days ago I published a blog quoting Star Trek’s Spock and relating it to Anagog’s app enabling drivers to find on street spaces. I’m speaking to the founder of Anagog early next week and will have my comeuppance.

Sadly news broke on Friday of the death of the man who gave life to Spock, Leonard Nimoy. I understand he had been ill for some time. Nevertheless it was a shock to all who grew up on Star Trek and the Enterprise’s enigmatic science officer.

I remember seeing the first couple of episodes when I was in college (We all stopped studying and went to the rec hall for an hour to watch this strange new program.) Nemoy portrayed Spock as a brittle, almost strident persona. However after a few weeks, it began to change.

Spock became more, dare it say it, human, or maybe, Vulcan. Most of the Vulcans we saw on Star Trek through the years were almost gentle. They were quiet, introspective, and perhaps a bit aloof, but certainly not rough and strident. I’m thinking that perhaps the adjustments made by Leonard Nimoy in his approach to his alter ego could have set a tone for an entire race to come.  Or maybe Gene Roddenberry threw a bucket of cold water on him. I prefer to believe the former.

Nimoy said that people throughout the years often treated him as if he were Spock. They would give him the “Live Long and Prosper”  “V” like hand salute and refer to him as Mr. Spock, not Mr. Nimoy.

He tells of a time he went of a tour of Cal Tech and PhD Physics students would ask his opinion of extremely complicated theories.  Wisely, he slowly nodded his head and said “You are on the right track.” He had no clue what they were talking about.

Few actors have so completely embodied a role. Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes) and Boris Karloff (Frankenstein’s Monster) come to mind but in their case, the character was well documented in literature. Spock became a cult figure all on it own.

Even more than his fellow cast members, Nimoy’s Spock embodied a uniqueness. He was very strong, could read minds, sort of, had an extremely fast memory, and that infuriating logic. What made him so unique, I think, was his human side. He fought it, hid it, and resented it. But it was there and pushed out when needed.

Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock held firm through three seasons on TV in the late 1960s, through the movies (odd numbers bad, even numbers good), and on into the new generation of Star Trek, with Zachery Quinto playing his role as a young man.

Quinto and Nimoy became fast friends.  They did an Audi Commercial in which they raced to meet up at a country club to play golf.  Quinto in an Audi, Nimoy in a Mercedes. Of course Quinto won and made some off hand comment about “beat your again, old man.” At which point Nimoy caught Quinto’s shoulder in a Vulcan nerve pinch and the young man fell to the ground.  Spock will out.

We know more about the role he played than we do about the private man who played it. He was a very busy actor on TV, a photographer, a poet, played on the stage, and was a musician. But it was with Spock that the world identified him. His biracial character came through in his two autobiographies the first entitled “I Am Not Spock”  the second, published 20 years later, “I Am Spock.”

The character will live on. Unfortunately the man that played him cannot.

Leonard Nimoy, dead at 83. Rest in Peace

LLAP

JVH

 

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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