Spock is a fictional character in the
Star Trek media franchise. Spock
was first portrayed by
Leonard Nimoy in the original
Star Trek series,
and also appears in the animated
Star Trek series, a two-part episode
of Star Trek: The Next Generation, eight of the
Star Trek feature
films, and numerous
Star Trek novels, comics, and video games.
In addition, numerous actors portrayed the various stages of Spock's
rapid growth, due to the effects of the Genesis Planet, in the 1984
Star Trek film
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. In the 2009 film
Star Trek, Nimoy reprised his role with Zachary Quinto, who depicted a
younger version of the character, existing within an alternate
timeline. Both reprised their roles in the 2013 sequel
Star Trek Into
Darkness and Quinto reprised his role again in 2016's Star Trek
Spock serves aboard the starship Enterprise, as science officer and
first officer, and later as commanding officer of two iterations of
the vessel. Spock's mixed human-Vulcan heritage serves as an important
plot element in many of the character's appearances. Along with
James T. Kirk
James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, he is one of the
three central characters in the original
Star Trek series and its
films. After retiring from Starfleet,
Spock serves as a Federation
ambassador, contributing toward the easing of the strained
relationship between the Federation and the
Klingon Empire. In his
later years, he serves as Federation
Ambassador-at-Large to the
Romulan Star Empire and becomes involved in the ill-fated attempt to
save Romulus from a supernova, leading him to live out the rest of
his life in the parallel timeline introduced in
Star Trek (2009).
1.2 "The Cage" and the first season
1.3 Season two and three
1.4 The Motion Picture and the film series
1.5 Star Trek: The Next Generation
1.6 Reboot films
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
2.1 The Original Series
2.2 Phase II and the film franchise
3.1 Reaction to Spock's death
Star Trek (2009)
4 Cultural impact
4.1 Fan productions
4.2 "Spocking" Canadian $5 notes
5 See also
8 External links
Spock's backstory has been explained during the course of several
episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, the 2009 film Star Trek
and the episode "Yesteryear" of Star Trek: The Animated Series. Born
to the Vulcan
Sarek and the human Amanda Grayson,
Spock has a troubled
childhood due to his mixed heritage. On his homeworld, he was
repeatedly bullied and tormented by full-blooded Vulcan children, who
wished to incite the emotions of his human nature. For a time,
he grew up alongside his older half-brother Sybok, until the older
brother was cast out for rejecting logic. In the episode "Amok
Time", it is revealed that
Spock became betrothed to T'Pring (Arlene
Martel) during his childhood.
Sarek supported Spock's scientific learning and supporting his
application to the Vulcan Science Academy, as mentioned in "Journey to
Babel". In the 2009 film Star Trek,
Spock is seen rejecting his
acceptance into the Vulcan Science Academy on the basis that they
would never fully accept someone who was only half-Vulcan. Although
this film set up the Kelvin timeline seen in this and later films,
Roberto Orci stated that he felt that the actions were
unaffected by the changes in this timeline and so would have occurred
in the same manner prior to The Original Series. Because Spock
did not enter the VSA, and sought to join
Starfleet instead, he did
not speak to his father for the following 18 years.
"The Cage" and the first season
Spock, as played by Leonard Nimoy, as seen in the pilots of Star Trek
Spock appeared as the science officer on the USS Enterprise in the
first pilot for the series, "The Cage". This was not shown on
television at the time, but the events of the episode were shown in
the two-part episode "The Menagerie" of the first season, and Spock's
previous 11 years of service on the Enterprise were described.
Spock was one of the members of the away team who joined Captain
Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) on a mission to Talos IV in order to
investigate a distress call.
Spock did appear in the second pilot,
"Where No Man Has Gone Before", but this was broadcast initially as
the third episode. During the events of that pilot,
concerned at the risk to the ship posed by Lieutenant Commander Gary
Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) and suggested possible solutions to Captain
James T. Kirk
James T. Kirk (William Shatner).
The earliest appearance of
Spock in the series as broadcast was "The
Man Trap", the first such episode. When he needs to knock out an
evil version of Kirk in "The Enemy Within", he uses a Vulcan nerve
pinch. Together with Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James
Doohan) work together to rejoin the good and evil versions of the
Captain, which had been split following a transporter accident.
During "Miri", he finds himself to be the only member of the landing
party to be immune to the physical effects of the disease affecting
human adults on the planet. However, he realises that he is probably a
carrier and could infect the Enterprise if he were to return. Doctor
Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) manages to devise a cure, allowing the
team to return to the ship.
When Simon van Gelder enters the bridge armed with a phaser in "Dagger
of the Mind",
Spock subdues him with a nerve pinch. He later conducts
a mind meld with van Gelder as part of the investigation into the
activities of the nearby colony. After the power to the colony is shut
down, and a protective force field drops,
Spock leads an away team to
Spock is reunited with Christopher Pike (Sean Kenney)
in "The Menagerie". Pike had been promoted to Fleet Captain but
suffered an accident, resulting in severe burns and confining him to a
wheelchair and restricting his communication to yes/no answers via a
device connected to his brainwaves.
Spock commits mutiny and directs
the ship to travel to Talos IV, a banned planet. He recounts the
events of "The Cage" under a tribunal to Kirk, Pike and Commodore Jose
I. Mendez (Malachi Throne). As the Enterprise arrives at the planet,
Mendez is revealed to be a Talosian illusion. At the same time, the
real Mendez communicates from Starfleet, giving permission for Pike to
be transported to the planet, and all charges against
Spock with his parents,
Sarek and Amanda
While the Enterprise is under threat in "Balance of Terror",
accused by Lieutenant Stiles (Paul Comi) of knowing more about the
Romulans than he admits when the alien's similar physical appearance
Spock hypothesises that they are an offshoot of the
Vulcan race. He saves the Enterprise, manning the phaser station and
saves the life of Stiles in the process.
Spock leads a landing
party on the shuttlecraft Galileo in "The Galileo Seven", which is
damaged and pulled off course and lands on the planet Taurus II.
Lieutenant Boma (Don Marshall) criticises Spock's fascination with the
weaponry of the natives after the death of Lieutenant Latimer (Rees
Vaughn) at their hands. After Scotty uses the power packs of the
party's phasers to supply enough energy to get the damaged shuttle
back into orbit,
Spock decides to dump and ignite the remaining fuel
to attract the attention of the Enterprise. The procedure is
successful and the crew on the shuttle are rescued.
Spock is reunited with Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland) in "This Side of
Paradise"; after joining an away team to the planet Omicron Ceti III.
After being affected by planet spores,
Spock begins showing emotion
and re-initiates his romantic liaison with Kalomi. The impact of the
spores on him is cured after Kirk goads him into anger, and once freed
of the effects,
Spock is able to initiate a solution which cures the
rest of the crew.
Spock attempts to mind meld with a non-humanoid
Horta in "The Devil in the Dark", having initially suggested that Kirk
should kill the creature. Following a second mind meld,
the history of the Horta and is able to create peace between the
aliens and a nearby colony. Both
Spock and Kirk undertake
guerrilla warfare against the occupying
Klingon forces on the planet
Organia, prior to the establishment of the Organian Peace Treaty in
"Errand of Mercy". To restore the timeline, he travels with Kirk
back to 1930's New York City in "The City on the Edge of Forever". He
uses technology of that period to interface with his tricorder over
the course of the weeks they spend in the period before witnessing
Edith Keeler's (Joan Collins) death.
Season two and three
In the premiere episode of the second season, "Amok Time", Spock
begins to undergo pon farr, the Vulcan blood fever, and must undergo a
ritual mating in the next eight days or die. Kirk disobeys Starfleet
orders and takes the Enterprise to the planet Vulcan so that
undergo the mating ritual. When they arrive, he is reunited with
T'Pring (Arlene Martel). She rather wishes to be with Stonn (Lawrence
Montaigne), a full-blooded Vulcan. She demands the ritual kal-if-fee
fight instead, and selects Kirk as her champion, who unknowingly
agrees to a fight to the death with Spock. McCoy persuades T'Pau
(Celia Lovsky) to let him inject Kirk with something to alleviate the
issues with Vulcan's thinner atmosphere and make the fight fair. The
fight begins, and
Spock gains the upper hand, garroting Kirk and
killing him. McCoy orders an emergency transport directly to sickbay,
Spock is told by T'Pring that it was all a game of logic which
would let her be with Stonn no matter the outcome. No longer feeling
the effects of the pon farr,
Spock returns to the Enterprise where he
discovers that McCoy had injected Kirk with a paralyzing agent which
merely simulated death and that the Captain was still alive.
During the course of the encounter with the Nomad space probe in "The
Spock undertakes a mind meld with the machine. Kirk stops
the meld when he realises that Spock's personally starts to be changed
by the contact. Following a transporter accident which transports
Uhura and Scotty to a
Mirror Universe and swaps them with
their counterparts in the episode "Mirror, Mirror", they encounter a
different version of Spock. Sporting a beard, he grows suspicious of
the activities of the suddenly changed personnel and under Starfleet
orders, attempts to kill Kirk. Mirror-
Spock is knocked unconscious,
and is treated by McCoy while the others head to the transporter to
attempt to return to their universe.
Spock awakes and mind melds with
McCoy to discover why Kirk did not have him killed. Discovering what
took place, he agrees to help them return and as he mans the
transporter controls, Kirk implores him to take control and save not
only the ship but his Terran Empire from implosion at the hands of
tyrants. The switch is once again successful, and the crew members
return to their relevant universes.
The Motion Picture and the film series
At the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979),
Spock is no
longer in Starfleet, having resigned and returned home to pursue the
Vulcan discipline of Kolinahr.
Spock is unable to complete the
Kolinahr ritual after he senses the coming of V'ger, and rejoins
Starfleet to aid the Enterprise crew in their mission. Spock,
promoted to captain, is commanding officer of the Enterprise at the
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). At the film's
end, he transfers his "katra" – the sum of his memories and
experience – to McCoy, and then sacrifices himself to save the
ship and its crew from
Khan Noonien Singh
Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán). The
Star Trek III: The Search for
Spock (1984), focuses on his
crewmates' quest to recover Spock's body, learning upon arrival that
he has been resurrected by the Genesis matrix after landing on the
planet at the end of the previous film. At the film's conclusion,
Spock's revived body is reunited with his katra.
Spock is next seen
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), which depicts his recovery
from the after-effects of his resurrection. In the film's final scene,
he joins the crew of the newly commissioned USS Enterprise-A under
Kirk's command. In
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Spock
and the Enterprise crew confront the renegade Sybok, Spock's
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
reunites the Enterprise crew on a mission to prevent war from erupting
between the Federation and
Spock serves as a special
envoy to broker peace with the Klingons after a natural disaster
devastates their homeworld.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
After a period in which the production team avoided mentioning some
aspects of The Original Series,
Spock was mentioned by name in
Star Trek: The Next Generation in the episode "Sarek" (1990).
Michael Piller later described this one act as "the
breakthrough which allowed us to open the doors, that allowed us to
begin to embrace our past".
Spock appears in "Unification" (1991), a two-part episode of Star
Trek: The Next Generation. Set 75 years after the events of The
Undiscovered Country, the episode focuses on Federation Ambassador
Spock's attempt to reunite the
Romulans with their Vulcan brethren.
Filming of The Undiscovered Country overlapped with production of this
episode, and the episode references Spock's role in the film.
Star Trek (film)
Zachary Quinto as
Spock in the 2009
Star Trek film
Spock's next appearance in the live action
Star Trek franchise is the
Star Trek film. Nimoy was given approval rights over Spock's
casting and supported Quinto's casting.
In the film's flashback (set 19 years after the events of
"Unification", and as depicted in the comic miniseries Star Trek:
Spock (Nimoy) promises the
Romulans he will
use Vulcan technology to save them from a rogue supernova that
threatens to destroy their Empire. He pilots an advanced starship
equipped with red matter, a powerful substance able to create
artificial black holes. The mission is only partially successful, and
in the aftermath
Spock is pursued into the past by Nero (Eric Bana), a
Romulan driven mad by the loss of his homeworld and family, setting
into motion the events of the film.
In the film's opening act, Nero's ship emerges in the year 2233, and
through its interaction with the inhabitants, inadvertently creates an
"alternate, parallel 'Star Trek' universe". Twenty-five years
later in the new reality, Spock's ship emerges, and Nero captures him
and the red matter. Stranded in the alternate past, the prime version
Spock helps the alternate, younger version of himself and Kirk
Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine, respectively) thwart Nero's attempt to
destroy the Federation.
The film also features
Jacob Kogan in several scenes depicting Spock's
childhood, including his abuse at the hands of other Vulcan children
due to his half-
Human heritage, and his relationship with his parents
Ben Cross and Winona Ryder). The film also depicts Kirk and Spock's
initial clashes at
Starfleet Academy, and the gradual development of
their friendship based on shared mutual respect, what the elder
Spock calls "... a friendship that will define them both in ways they
cannot yet realize." A major change in characterization from the
primary timeline is alternate Spock's involvement with alternate Uhura
(Zoe Saldana), his former student. At the end of the film, the young
Spock opts to remain in
Starfleet while his older self stays in the
altered universe to aid the few surviving Vulcan refugees, as Nero had
destroyed Vulcan, Spock's home planet.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek Into Darkness
Star Trek Into Darkness,
Spock Prime is described as living on 'New
Vulcan' while the younger
Spock remains aboard the Enterprise
struggling with the loss of his homeworld, as well as his
Uhura and James T. Kirk.
Spock nearly dies
protecting a planet from an active volcano, but Kirk breaks the Prime
Directive and saves him.
Spock Prime is contacted by
Spock on the
Enterprise, to find out details on Khan.
Spock Prime initially reminds
his alternate self that he will not interfere with the events in the
alternate timeline. That being said, he then informs
Spock that Khan
was a dangerous man, and the greatest threat that the Enterprise ever
faced in his own timeline, and warns that he is likely as dangerous in
Spock's alternate timeline as well. When asked whether Khan was
Spock Prime answers that he eventually was defeated, but at
great cost (referring to the events of
Star Trek II: The Wrath of
Khan). When Kirk contracts radiation poisoning and dies in front of
Spock (a transposed parallel of events in the prime timeline where
Spock dies in front of Kirk), an enraged
Spock attempts to kill Khan
to avenge Kirk before
Uhura informs him that Khan's regenerative blood
can revive Kirk. Nearly a year later,
Spock remains as Kirk's chief
science officer and executive officer as the Enterprise departs on its
first five-year mission of deep-space exploration.
Into Darkness would be Nimoy's final appearance as
Spock Prime, as
well as the last role of his career. He died in 2015, shortly before
production began on
Star Trek Beyond.
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
Star Trek Beyond
Star Trek Beyond,
Spock receives word that Ambassador
Prime) has died. Impacted by this,
Spock later tells McCoy that he
intends to leave
Starfleet to continue the ambassador's work on New
Vulcan. At the end of the film,
Spock receives a box containing some
of Ambassador Spock's personal effects, and reflecting on a photograph
of the older crew of the Enterprise from the series' original timeline
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) he chooses to
remain in Starfleet.
Main article: Development of Spock
The Original Series
The earliest known mention of
Spock was in a conversation between Star
Gene Roddenberry and actor Gary Lockwood, in which
Leonard Nimoy for the role. The trio had previously
worked together on Roddenberry's
The Lieutenant in the episode "In the
Highest Tradition". Roddenberry agreed to the idea, but was
required to audition other actors for the part. At the time,
DeForest Kelley to play the doctor character in the
pilot, "The Cage", but both NBC executives and director Robert Butler
wanted him to play Spock. Roddenberry offered the part to both Kelley
and Martin Landau, but they both turned him down. When offered,
Nimoy accepted the part but was apprehensive about the make-up which
had not been determined at that point.
Spock in 1967
The character evolved from having a metal plate in his stomach through
which he ingested energy to being a half-
Martian in the original 1964
pitch with a "slightly reddish complexion and semi-pointed
ears". Due to Roddenberry's concern that a
Mars landing might
take place before the end of the series, Spock's home planet was
changed. Lee Greenway conducted the initial makeup tests on Nimoy,
but after four or five days, Fred Phillips was asked to take over.
Phillips in turn asked John Chambers to create Spock's ears, as he was
working on getting an appropriate shade of red for Spock's skin;
this idea was later abandoned in favor of a yellow hue because of the
effects on black and white television. Nimoy hated the ears, and
Roddenberry promised him that if he was still unhappy by the 13th
episode then they'd find a way to write them out. The NBC
executives were also concerned, as they felt it made the character
At Roddenberry's insistence,
Spock was the only character retained for
the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". However, NBC
demanded that he was only a background character, and when it went
to series, the tips of Spock's ears were airbrushed out on promotional
materials. It was during early episodes such as "The Corbomite
Maneuver" and "The Naked Time" that Nimoy came to understand the
nature of the character. After eight episodes, NBC executives
complained to Roddenberry that there was not enough
Spock in the
series – "Spockmania" had begun. In response,
Spock was moved to
a more prominent role within the series, such as taking the lead role
in "This Side of Paradise" over Sulu. The popularity of the
character caused frictions with Shatner, and rumours spread that
he was going to be dropped from the show and replaced as the lead by
Nimoy as Spock. A drawn out contract renegotiation at the start of
season two resulted in Roddenberry considering whether or not to
replace Nimoy and the character. Both
Mark Lenard and Lawrence
Montaigne were seriously considered.
The character continued to develop, with Nimoy creating the Vulcan
salute during the filming of "Amok Time". This was based on a Jewish
Kohen he had seen as a child. During the course of the season, a
rift grew between Nimoy and Roddenberry and by the end of the year,
they only spoke through formal letters. After the departure of
Gene L. Coon and the stepping back of Roddenberry during the
third season, Nimoy found that the writing of
Spock deteriorated. In
particular, he did not like the character being made a fool of during
the episode "Spock's Brain". The interracial kiss between Kirk and
Uhura in "Plato's Stepchildren" had been intended by the writers to be
Spock and Uhura, but Shatner persuaded them to change it.
Phase II and the film franchise
Zachary Quinto was cast as
Spock for the 2009
Star Trek film.
Nimoy agreed to return to
Spock during one of the early 1970s attempts
to create a
Star Trek film, entitled Star Trek: The God Thing, but
dropped out after his likeness as
Spock was used without permission to
Heineken beer. He was persuaded to return when
production turned to the film Star Trek: Planet of the Titans as
directed by Philip Kaufman. However, this was dropped in favor of
a new television series, Star Trek: Phase II. After being offered only
a recurring part by Roddenberry, Nimoy refused to appear at all.
When the work moved on again, to Star Trek: The Motion Picture,
Robert Wise persuaded Nimoy to return as the character.
During the course of the production, Nimoy presented traits of method
acting and would not break character.
Nimoy returned for
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with the promise of
a dramatic death scene. Nimoy enjoyed the production of the film
so much that he asked if the previously irrevocable death could be
reversed. Nimoy did not know how this was going to happen until he
saw the film. To facilitate his return in the following film,
Paramount executives agreed that Nimoy could direct it and following
the success, he was asked to direct once more for
Star Trek IV: The
Voyage Home. The call for
Spock to betray Kirk and side with
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was changed
at Nimoy's insistence, as he felt the character had already come to
terms with his human-side and
Sybok would have no influence on
him. Nimoy organised
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,
appointing the director, writers and producers. To hand over to
Star Trek: The Next Generation at the time of The Undiscovered
Country, Nimoy agreed to appear as
Spock in the episode
"Unification". Nimoy subsequently turned down the directing role
Star Trek Generations as the role for
Spock was limited; the
character's lines were subsequently given to Chekov and Scotty.
When recasting the role for 2009's Star Trek, Nimoy was asked his
opinion. He highlighted the work of Zachary Quinto, as he felt he
looked similar and could sufficiently portray the inner thought
process of the character. Quinto became the first actor to be cast
for the film, and Nimoy agreed to return as the version of the
character from the "Prime" universe. Nimoy said that he returned
because of the enthusiasm from director
J.J. Abrams and the writers,
and because it made him feel appreciated. Nimoy made a final
Star Trek Into Darkness as a favor to Abrams.
At the time, he did not rule out returning again, but he died
prior to the following film. In
Star Trek Beyond, Quinto's Spock
mourns the loss of
Spock Prime, as played by Nimoy.
"Given the choice", Nimoy said years after the show ended, "If I had
to be someone else, I would be Spock." He recalled, more than a
decade after the show's cancellation:
The "Star Trek" phenomenon continues to amaze and confound me. It was
incredible, and it still is, although it is gentler now than it used
to be. For a time, it was hysterical – it was so wild I had to
be very careful where I went. If I went to a restaurant, I had to plan
my entrances and my exits so I wouldn't be mobbed and hurt. Same thing
in hotels and airports – any public place. It isn't that
hysterical any more, but it is still a potent force.
From early on, the public reacted very positively—even
fanatically—to his character, in what
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe in 1967
described as "Spockmania". Headshots of
Spock became popular
souvenirs, with the rare ones of the actor laughing the most
valuable. Nimoy reported that "within two weeks after ["Amok
Time"], my mail jumped from a few hundred letters to 10,000 a
week". When he appeared as
Spock as grand marshal of a Medford,
Oregon parade in April 1967, thousands gathered to receive autographs:
"They surged forward so quickly that I was terrified someone would be
crushed to death; and then they started pressing against the bandstand
so hard it began to sway beneath my feet!" After being rescued by
police "I made sure never to appear publicly again in Vulcan guise",
Fans asked Nimoy questions about current events such as the Vietnam
LSD as if he were the Vulcan scientist; one even asked the
actor to lay his hands on a friend's eyes to heal them. When a
biracial girl wrote asking for advice on how to deal with persecution
as "a half-breed", Nimoy responded that young Vulcans had treated
Spock similarly and that she should, as he did, "realize the
difference between popularity and true greatness". The actor
believed that the character appealed to viewers, especially teenagers,
Spock understands the trauma of human existence, for he is not home
with earthmen or Vulcan; he can function only in the fabricated and
neatly ordered society of the Enterprise. There, he knows who he is;
he relates to his role very specifically, and this gives him a kind of
To Nimoy's surprise,
Spock became a sex symbol; Isaac Asimov
described the character as "a security blanket with sexual overtones",
and Nimoy reported that "I've never had more female attention on a set
before. And get this: they all want to touch the ears!" (When a
young woman asked "Are you aware that you are the source of erotic
dream material for thousands and thousands of ladies around the
world?", he replied "May all your dreams come true".) Nimoy speculated
Spock appealed to women because
Down comes a stranger—tall, dark, thoughtful, alien and exotic.
Somewhat devilish in appearance. He has a brilliant mind, the wisdom
of a patriarch and is oh, so cool.
With one raised eyebrow, he suggests he is above game-playing and
role-playing—which are just hangovers from Earth's Victorian
Age—that he and he alone understand the deepest needs and longings
of the Earth female.
Spock an informal mascot. Nimoy was invited to be guest of
honor at the March 1967
National Space Club dinner and to take an
extensive tour of the
Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.
The actor concluded from the warm and intense reception he received
that astronauts like
John Glenn and aerospace industry engineers,
secretaries, and shareholders alike all regarded Star Trek, and
especially the character of Spock, as a "dramatization of the future
of their space program".
An asteroid in the
Eos family discovered on August 16, 1971 was named
Spock after the discoverer James B. Gibson's cat (which had been
named Mr. Spock, who was likewise "imperturbable, logical,
intelligent, and had pointed ears").
The character proved inspirational to many budding scientists and
engineers. Nimoy has said that many of them, on meeting him, were
eager to show him their work and discuss it with him as if he were a
scientific peer, as opposed to an actor, photographer, and poet. His
stock response in these situations was "it certainly looks like you're
headed in the right direction".
Spock was ranked number 21 in Bravo's list of The 100
Greatest TV Characters. In 2008,
Spock one of the 50
greatest TV characters. According to Shatner, much of Star Trek's
acting praise and media interest went to Nimoy.
In 2016, Adam Nimoy released his documentary film For the Love of
Spock, about his father and his iconic character.
Reaction to Spock's death
The Wrath of Khan had its first public screening at a science-fiction
convention in Overland Park, Kansas on May 8, 1982, almost a month
before general release. Although Paramount executives were concerned
that Spock's death would set fans against the movie, the audience
actually applauded after Spock's death scene. "It was sensational. I
hate to be given to superlatives but it absolutely reached everything
we wanted it to. I couldn't ask for anything better," said co-producer
Robert Sallin of the advance audience's reaction.
Critical reaction to Spock's death was mixed. Film critic Roger Ebert
lauded Spock's death: "He makes a choice in
Star Trek II that would be
made only by a hero, a fool, or a Vulcan. And when he makes his
decision, the movie rises to one of its best scenes, because the Star
Trek stories have always been best when they centered on their
characters." On the other hand, The Washington Post's Gary Arnold
stated Spock's death "feels like an unnecessary twist, and the
filmmakers are obviously well-prepared to fudge in case the public
demands another sequel."
25 years later, Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan ranks number 2 on
Total Film's list of 25 greatest
Star Trek movie moments, and
number 1 on
IGN Movie's top 10
Star Trek movie moments.
Star Trek (2009)
Ty Burr of
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe described Quinto's performance in the 2009
film as "something special", and stated that Nimoy's appearance
"carries much more emotion than you'd expect". Slate said Quinto
Spock "with a few degrees more chill" than Nimoy brought to the
Entertainment Weekly said that Quinto "...
Spock with a new layer of chilly-smoldering sex appeal, [and]
Quinto does a fantastic job of maintaining Spock's calm, no-sweat
surface but getting quietly hot and bothered underneath."
Spock has been parodied by, and has also been the inspiration for, pop
culture works in various media. Composer/keyboardist George Duke's
1976 Solo Keyboard Album features two tracks which pay homage to
Spock Gets Funky" and "Vulcan Mind Probe". Rock guitarist Paul
Gilbert wrote the song "Mr. Spock" on his Space Ship One album.
Swedish synthpop band
S.P.O.C.K makes music heavily influenced by the
Star Trek universe. Even Nimoy got in on the act; assuming the Spock
character, Nimoy recorded a number of novelty songs, the first being
"Highly Illogical", in which
Spock pointed out the foibles of human
thought, such as relationships, automobiles, and greed. The second
song, "A Visit to a Sad Planet", was darker in tone and told the story
Spock visiting Earth in the future and discovering it had been
ruined by war, violence, and environmental irresponsibility. According
to comic book writer and editor Bob Budiansky, The Transformers
character Shockwave was inspired by Spock. Spock's utilitarian
perspective that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the
few" is cited in a legal decision rendered by the Texas Supreme
Court. Leonard Nimoy's second-season
Spock costume shirt was
expected to sell at auction for over $75,000.
Spock's physical appearance in the Original Series episode "Mirror,
Mirror" (1967) has itself spawned a trope of the "evil twin" archetype
found in various fictional genres. In that episode, several members of
the Enterprise travel to a parallel universe inhabited by evil
versions of themselves. The parallel universe version of
distinguished physically by his goatee. Science fiction blog io9
said that Spock's beard in the episode introduced "the best shorthand
ever for evil parallel universe duplicates". Examples of the evil
goatee's appearances in other media include Bender's "evil twin" Flexo
Futurama and a 2009 episode of
The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report featuring Stephen
Dan Maffei wearing fake goatees while pretending to be
evil versions of themselves. The name of progressive rock band
Spock's Beard is a direct reference to Spock's goatee in this
In addition to television, feature films, books, and parodies, Spock
has also been portrayed in fan fiction. Since 2004, the online fan
production Star Trek: Phase II has continued the further voyages of
the cancelled initial series. The fan-series' creators feel "Kirk,
Spock, McCoy, and the rest should be treated as 'classic' characters
Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman,
Gandalf from Lord of the
Rings, or even Hamlet, Othello, or Romeo. Many actors have and can
play the roles, each offering a different interpretation of said
The fan series Star Trek: Phase II has featured three actors in the
role of Spock.
Spock was portrayed by Jeffrey Quinn for the pilot and
first three episodes, by Ben Tolpin in episodes 4 and 5, and by
Brandon Stacy in episodes 6 through 11. Stacy also served as a
Zachary Quinto in the 2009
Star Trek film.
The independent online fan series "
Star Trek Continues" has featured
Todd Haberkorn as
Spock since its inception in 2012 with three
vignettes, seven full episodes and at least two more planned to shoot.
In scientific illustrator Jenny Parks' 2017 book
Star Trek Cats, Spock
is depicted as an Oriental Shorthair.
"Spocking" Canadian $5 notes
There has been a practice of altering the portrait of Canada's seventh
prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier, on Canadian five-dollar notes to look
like Spock. After the death of
Leonard Nimoy in 2015, there was an
increase in that practice.
Star Trek portal
Fictional characters portal
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