For the Love of Spock (2016) Movie Script

"I may not be the fastest.
"I may not be the tallest
or the strongest.
"I may not be the best
or the brightest.
"But one thing I can do
better than anyone else,
that is to be me,"
which is a poem that you wrote.
Well, finally that's all
you can do, isn't it?
You can do a good
job of doing that.
Do a good job of being me,
being yourself.
That's really all
I ask of myself.
Because as I said,
I wasn't the fastest,
and I wasn't the brightest,
and whatever, you know.
[television news chatter]
This morning We are
remembering a beloved actor
who became an enduring fixture
in pop culture, Leonard Nimoy.
- Leonard Nimoy.
- Leonard Nimoy.
- Leonard Nimoy.
-[speaking in foreign language]
- Leonard Nimoy.
- Leonard Nimoy.
Leonard Nimoy has died
at the age of 83.
When word came out today that
actor Leonard Nimoy had died,
the President said,
"I loved Spock."
[struggling] I have been and
always shall be... your friend.
Live long...
and prosper.
Listen to this.
I just received an email
from Wil Wheaton.
Leonard Nimoy's son is
working on a documentary
that he started with his
father before he passed away.
It's about Mr. Spock and
his impact on our culture.
[Man] "For the Love of
Spock," Adam Nimoy. Mark.
We wanted to do
something to celebrate
the 50th anniversary
of "Star Trek"
which was coming up
in 2016.
And a documentary about Spock had
never really been produced before.
[Adam Nimoy] I thought it
was an interesting idea
to create a film just
focused on Spock,
who he is, how he came about,
and why he has continued
to resonate for 5O years,
all as a part
of the celebration
of the anniversary
of "The Original Series."
And the minute I suggested
this to Dad, he was in.
Although my father had a long and
prosperous life and hadn't smoked in years,
he died from chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease
from over 3O years
of cigarette smoking.
[Adam Nimoy] After Dad
died, it became clear
that the film needed
to include his life
as well as the
life of Mr. Spock.
And that in turn led me
on a journey of discovery
about my relationship
with my father.
Well, I'm from
Boston originally.
I've been in Los Angeles working in
films off and on for about 17 years.
I started acting when I was a
little boy, about eight years old
in neighborhood settlement
houses in Boston.
And kind of grew up into it.
I just kept doing it
because I liked it.
And then suddenly just decided
that I liked it enough
to want to make
a career of it.
So I came
to California in 1949
and started acting
in films then.
[Leonard Nimoy] Now my parents were extremely
diligent, responsible, practical people.
I grew up during the Depression.
When I told them at age 17
that I was going to study drama
at the Pasadena Playhouse
and become an actor,
they were grief stricken.
They tried to dissuade me by refusing
to give me the tuition, saying,
"You'll have to do it
without any help from us."
They were totally against it...
because they were certainly--
Hoped he would work into another
profession of some kind.
But he wasn't suited
for all that.
He wanted to do what
he wanted to do.
[Leonard Nimoy]
Being stubborn,
I saved some money
by selling vacuum cleaners.
I bought a train ticket,
and I headed west to California.
So I'm walking down
the streets of Pasadena
on a hot September day,
sweat pouring.
I'm wearing a wool suit, a
hand-painted tie, and suede shoes.
I must have looked like
somebody that just arrived
from off the boat
from Transylvania.
[Adam Nimoy] My mom was
an aspiring actress,
and she met my dad backstage
at a theater in Hollywood.
But she gave all that up
to become a housewife.
My sister was born '55.
My dad was in the service then.
Then my parents came back
to Los Angeles,
and I was born in '56.
My mother told me that when my
sister Julie and I were young,
my father was very involved
in helping her take care of us.
I Now and then
when We fall in place I
I it makes me feel all right I
I Makes me feel all right I
I Back and forth
we will win this race I
I To find out what it's like .P
I In time, I'll be just fine .P
I In time, I'll be all right I
I Now and then
when We fall in place I
I it makes me feel all right I
One of my favorite
memories of my dad was
he hustled his ass
during the early '60s,
doing all kinds of jobs.
He was servicing fish tanks.
He set them up in
doctors' offices.
It was like sort of
a fad in the '60s,
and Dad had a corner
on that market.
We knew that dad sold freezers.
You know, he worked
in a pet store.
He drove a cab.
He took care of aquariums.
He had vending machines
at one point,
so he had all these little
trinkets kept in boxes.
He worked at Wil Wright's
Ice Cream Parlor.
He was managing
an apartment building.
He was not around.
And even when Dad
was at home,
it was all these
home improvement projects.
My father was truly
a renaissance man.
He could do just
about anything.
Like build that massive
brick wall in our backyard.
He was trying so hard
to get this career going,
to make his life,
to do what he wanted to do,
which was be in the
arts, be an actor.
One of my idols was Lon Chaney,
who was called the man of a
thousand faces in movies,
because he'd change
characters so drastically
from one performance
to another.
And I consider myself
that kind of a person.
I go to the makeup department
or the wardrobe department,
and get something together
and find a character.
[bell ringing]
[crowd cheering]
- What you looking at?
- Nothing.
- What's that for?
- For nothing.
Next time you wanna look at me, line
forms to the right. Two bits admission.
If they see water in the desert
where there is no water,
it's their eyes that lie,
not my mouth.
Just having any of those
coins in your possession
is liable to lead you to a lot
more trouble than you bargain for.
Have no fear from me, Marshal.
No man kills the bee.
He only wants to follow
him to the honey.
He was a fine man. Hasn't had
a decent break in 20 years.
Now he's been built
up a little bit.
He's got a little dignity,
a little stature.
You're not going to deny he was a
good Marine and a good officer.
No, no, he was both.
Then Why crucify him?
You don't get it,
do you, Sanders?
-[telephone ringing]
- I don't have any choice.
-[Secretary] Hello?
- I'm not going to let you do it.
It's for you, Lieutenant.
[Leonard Nimoy] I did this job in an
episode of "The Lieutenant" series.
A few weeks after I finished the
job, my agent called me and said,
"Gene Roddenberry
saw the footage,
"was interested in you,
liked what you did,
"and said that he has
in mind for you a role
in a pilot that he's developing
for a science fiction series."
I really didn't give it
a lot of thought.
You hear that kind of thing, and
you're a long way from getting a job.
[Interviewer] What about some
of the characters on the show?
Did you create them with
certain actors in mind?
[Gene Roddenberry] Leonard
Nimoy was the one actor
I definitely had in mind.
And I thought to myself,
"if I ever do this science
fiction that I want to do,
"he'd make a great alien.
And with those cheekbones, some sort
of a pointed ear might go well."
I simply made one
phone call to Leonard,
and he came in,
and that was it.
So I went to this meeting
expecting to be auditioned,
or to read for him,
or... whatever.
He was very congenial
and said, "Let's take a walk."
And he walked me over to
the scenic design department.
He showed me the plans of the
sets that were being built,
introduced me to
the scenic designer.
Walked me over to
the prop department.
Showed me some of the props
that were being made.
Wardrobe department, same thing.
"Here's some sketches
of the clothes."
"This is interesting.
"It's like he's telling me
I'm doing this job.
If I keep my mouth shut, I might
have a job here," you know?
Prior to "Star Trek," I never had a
job that lasted longer than two weeks
in any television show
or movie, never. Two weeks.
Mr. Spock here.
We're intercepting...
I didn't have a cool look
in mind at first.
I had this jagged haircut
and bushy eyebrows,
and We went through
a struggle with the ears.
The studio had contracted
with a company
to do special effects
for the show.
Not film special effects,
but items like
suits for creatures,
creature outfits,
and that kind of thing.
And included in the
contract was the ears.
They were supposed
to do the ears.
Now, they were very good
at creating creatures,
and we used them throughout the
series, this particular company.
But they were not
really specialists
in the very fine, delicate
kind of appliance work
that's necessary to add something
to a person's features
and make it really look like
it's part of that person.
We came right down within about three
or four days of shooting the series,
and I said to Gene Roddenberry,
"This is not going to work, and maybe
we'd just better forget about the ears."
Well, he insisted he wanted the
ears to be part of the character.
And he said, "You try it, and let's
work it out. Let's solve the problem.
"And at the end of 13 shows if
you're not satisfied with the ears,
I'll write a script where Spock
gets an ear job." [chuckles]
So we went ahead
and worked on the problem,
and Fred Phillips, who was
the actual makeup man
who was going to do my makeup
each day on the series,
knew what the problem was.
And a couple of days
before we started shooting,
he called in
an appliance specialist,
and we very quickly went to him.
Got the ears done
in about 24 hours.
And they were ready, and they were
perfect, and that solved the problem.
[Adam Nimoy]
Freddie Phillips always said
that Leonard Nimoy
reported for work at 6:30 a.m.,
and Mr. Spock could always be counted
on to arrive somewhere around 7:15.
Definitely something out there,
Captain, headed this way.
Our tests indicate
the planet's surface
without considerably more
vegetation or some animals,
simply too barren
to support life.
[Gene Roddenberry] The first
time, it did not sell.
But, uh, NBC...
NBC thought it was too "cerebral"
was the term they used.
The network found the first pilot
too "cerebral," they said.
Not a straight
lined story enough.
And unusual in that they
decided to try a second pilot.
[Leonard Nimoy]
NBC told Gene to fire
almost the entire cast,
including me.
Well, Gene felt very strongly that the bulk
of the character that I was to portray,
that every time I was on screen
you'd be reminded
that we have a mixed crew.
So he stuck to his guns
fortunately for me.
The original pilot even
had a different captain,
Jeff Hunter.
The only actor
that stayed over
was Leonard Nimoy.
[Leonard Nimoy]
And then, I had a shock.
I opened up my mail, and here
was a, here was a pamphlet
from the NBC Sales
and Promotion Department.
And it was a pamphlet
about "Star Trek,"
this new series that was
going to be on the air
coming in the fall,
I saw this photograph
of myself as Spock,
and it didn't look right.
Something struck me as strange.
And the closer I looked,
the more I realized that
they had straightened out my
eyebrows, made them look normal,
and they had taken off
the tips off the ears.
The network said,
"We are very dependent on
the numbers in the Bible Belt,
"and they will not accept
in their homes a character
who looks devilish
with these pointed ears."
Are you casting me
in the role of Satan?
Not at all, Captain.
Is there anyone on this ship
who even remotely...
looks like Satan?
I am not aware of anyone who
fits that description, Captain.
No, Mr. Spock,
I didn't think you Were.
Dr. Dehner feels
he isn't that dangerous.
What makes you right, and a
trained psychiatrist wrong?
Because she feels. I don't.
All I know is logic.
In my opinion, we'd be lucky if we can
repair this ship and get away in time.
One of the reasons for the shift
in the Spock character
when you came on-board
was because when I was
working with Jeffrey Hunter-
Jeffrey Hunter was
a very internalized actor.
Very fine actor.
This was his style of work.
There's an old joke about two
actors preparing to play a soene.
And one says to the other, "What are
you going to play in this scene?"
And the one says,
"I'm playing nothing."
The other one says,
"No, no, no,
-you can't play nothing. I'm
playing nothing." -[laughing]
So here's Jeffrey Hunter playing this
quiet, internalized performance,
[William Shatner]
[Leonard Nimoy] And I felt the need to
help drive something in opposition to it.
[William Shatner] Right, right.
-[Leonard Nimoy] Otherwise, we're both
playing nothing. -[Shatner] Right.
[Leonard Nimoy] 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.
Has it occurred to you that
there's a certain... inefficiency
in constantly questioning rne on things
you've already made up your mind about?
It gives me emotional security.
Leonard bouncing off of rne could
now dramatically be internal
allowing me to be external,
and the two forces made
an interesting combination.
I prefer the concrete,
the graspable, the provable.
You'd make a splendid computer,
Mr. Spock.
That is very kind
of you, Captain.
You know, I don't know
if I had played Kirk
that it would have dawned on me to
have a sense of humor with Spock.
I don't know that I would
have thought of that,
but Shatnefls take on it was, "I
can fuck with Spock." flaughs]
I mean, you know...
Without being offensive
to the character.
"I can play with him."
Certain you don't know
what irritation is?
The fact one of my ancestors
married a human female...
Terrible having
bad blood like that.
Those two characters
are the yin and yang.
They are that in front
of the camera,
and it works beautifully,
There must be some intelligent
form of life on Thasus.
He could not possibly
have survived alone.
The ship's food concentrates would
have been exhausted in a year or so.
By which time he would have been
eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Probes of Thasus indicate
very little edible plant life.
And probes have been
known to be wrong.
Doctor, are you speaking
scientifically or emotionally?
I thought the character
McCoy played by D. Kelley
made that, as the fans
call it, the triumvirate,
because he was
the common man.
Certainly a brilliant doctor,
but he had all of the
irritations, frustrations,
the reactions that
most people would have.
I for one could use a good
non-reconstituted meal.
Doctor, you are a sensualist.
You bet your pointed ears I am.
[Simon Pegg] It's actually an
interesting sort of triumvirate
between Spock, Bones, and Kirk.
And for Kirk, Spock is his...
You know, they're like the devil and
the angel on his shoulder, really.
Spock is his intelligence,
and his logic, and his sense,
and you know, McCoy is more his
sort of slightly more emotional,
slightly more, you know,
knee-jerk kind of side.
The banter between McCoy
and Spock was, you know,
often some of the most
fun elements in the show
and indeed in the movies.
What's the matter, Spock?
There's something disquieting
about these creatures.
I don't know too much about
these little Tribbles yet,
but there is one thing
that I have discovered.
What is that, doctor?
I like them
better than I like you.
Doctor, they do indeed have
one redeeming characteristic.
What's that?
They do not talk too much.
When you have the kind of
cynical wit of McCoy,
and you have the swagger
and braggadocio of Kirk,
and then you have the intellect
and cold reason of Spock,
he's like the perfect human
being all Wrapped up in one.
[Announcer] The following program is
brought to you in living oolor on NBC.
[Adam Nimoy] That first
night of the premiere
we had to actually go
to some friends' house,
because they had a color TV,
a big console color TV.
We did not.
We had a big console
black and white.
Why don't you tell me
I'm an attractive young lady
or ask me if I've
ever been in love?
Tell rne how your planet Vulcan looks on
a lazy evening when the moon is full.
Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura.
I'm not surprised, Mr. Spock.
Dad in his costume,
Vulcan costume,
it was like,
"Wow, this is really cool."
I remember it was just such
an exciting night for us.
This is not Nancy.
If she were Nancy,
could she take this?
STOP it! Stop it, Spock!
Stop it!
[Captain Kirk]
Do you read?
Frequency open, Mr. Spock.
Spock here, Captain.
- Hi, Daddy.
[Adam Nimoy] When I
came to visit the set--
They started shooting
that first season
at the end of May
and early June in 1966.
I was nine,
almost 'IO years old,
and I was off
for summer vacation.
And this is why Dad would
take me to work with him.
I would get up early
in the morning,
and we would drive to Desilu
right next to the Paramount lot,
and I'd be there all day.
So I went out to California, and
of course, Leonard took care of-
I stayed at Leonard's home.
And he said, "Guess what.
I've got this new show."
This is 1966.
I said, "What is it?" He said,
"it's called 'Star Trek."'
He said, "You've gotta come on
the set." I said, "Of course."
You know, I'm in the theater,
and this is my first
time in Hollywood.
And I'm out there,
and I walk on the set,
and I see Leonard.
He came out
from the dressing room,
and I see this hair.
I see these eyebrows
up to here.
And I see these ears on him,
and I said,
"Jeez, what is this?"
And he did a scene, and he
was terrific in the scene.
But I said... I got him to the side.
I couldn't believe it.
I said, "Leonard, Leonard, come here.
I've got talk to you."
I said, "No matter what you do, you've got to
get out of this as soon as you possibly oan.
This is a treadmill
to oblivion."
The review that
"Variety" gave us
when we first went on the air
in September of 1966.
[audience laughing]
And I thought you'd enjoy hearing what
our show business Bible said about us
the first Week
We went on the air.
This is dated September--
It appeared on September 14th, 1966,
just a little over 25 years ago.
It said, " 'Star Trek' with
William Shatner, Leonard Nomoid-"
[audience laughing
and applauding]
"'Star Trek' won't work."
[audience laughing]
That's the opening line.
Then it says, "An incredible
and dreary mess of confusion...
"trudged on for a long hour..."
-[audience laughing]
"...with hardly any relief from
violence, killings, hypnotic stuff,
and a distasteful,
ugly monster."
[audience laughing]
-"William Shatner--" Shush!
-[audience laughing]
"William Shatner
appears wooden," it says.
[audience laughing]
I didn't say it.
It says it here, right?
[laughing] I never heard
him accused of being,
accused of being wooden
before, you know.
[audience laughing]
L. ll
[audience laughing]
" "
"I need warp speed in four
minutes, or we're all dead!"
[audience laughing]
Then it says, "The same
goes for Leonard Nimoy."
-[audience laughing]
There are 50C) or 1 ,000 who could
play our characters effectively.
There's only one person
who could play Mr. Spock.
[Leonard Nimoy] Spock called for exactly
the kind of work I was prepared to do.
He was a character with a rich
and dynamic inner life,
half human, half Vulcan.
He was the embodiment
of the outsider,
like the immigrants who surrounded
rne in Boston in my early years.
How do you find your way
as the alien
in a foreign culture?
Keep your Vulcan hands off me.
Just keep away.
Your feelings might be hurt,
you green-blooded half breed.
May I say that I have not thoroughly
enjoyed serving with humans.
I find their illogio and foolish
emotions a oonstant irritant.
Then transfer out, freak.
Most everyone,
and there are exceptions,
but most everyone feels
a little bit like an outsider.
I would argue the most
interesting people seem to.
So, there's something
wonderfully comforting
and relatable to know that
Spock felt that Way himself.
I grew up as a skinny,
nerdy, gay kid in the south,
you know, in the 70's.
Not exactly
a comfortable existence.
There's a lot of
internal conflict.
So the character of Spock
from the very beginning...
And you know, when I was
five, I didn't know why,
or seven, I didn't know why,
but I was captivated
by this character that was
based on internal conflict.
Spock, I think people
recognize themselves in him.
He is, um, an outsider.
He is the alien.
I think everyone feels
like an outsider sometimes.
And since he's
a nonhuman outsider,
it's an otherness that everybody
can relate to in their own way.
People sometimes think
they don't belong in a group.
And really that's what
I've found, you know...
I was very tall from
when I was young,
and I felt apart
from other people.
And I really associated
with that character.
[Leonard Nimoy] I think it
was the very first episode
We were filming after the pilot
when we started into production.
There was a scene in which
the ship was being threatened
by some outside problems,
outside dangerous force,
and there was a lot
of activity on the ship.
The captain was saying,
"Do such and such.
Press this button. Do this. Warp three.
Get us out of here," and so forth.
And Spock had one word to say,
and the word was, "Fascinating."
And we're looking at this thing
on the screen, you know,
and everyone else is reacting,
"Oh, look at it. Blah, blah."
And I got caught up
in that energy,
and I said, "Fascinating."
And the director gave me
a brilliant note, and he said,
"Be different. Be the scientist.
Be detached.
See it as something that's a
curiosity rather than a threat."
Well... a big chunk of the
character was born right there.
If I seem insensitive to what
you're going through, Captain,
understand... it's the way I am.
A lesser actor would say, "Why would I want
to play him? He doesn't have any emotions."
But he has so many emotions.
But he also has
emotional control.
Expresses very little
of what he's feeling,
and I think it's fun
for the audience to watch
to see if there's a glimmer
of something that pops through.
I had a very interesting
with your father about Spock,
because we were talking about
him as a cold, unemotional guy.
And Leonard said, "I never
played him that way.
I always played him as a guy trying
to keep his emotions in check."
And I thought that was a subtle
and ingenious choice,
because it lent a dynamic tension
to what you saw on the screen,
particularly in the closeups,
of a guy trying
to keep a lid on it.
That thing must be destroyed.
You tried to destroy it
once before, Commodore.
The result was a wrecked
ship and a dead crew.
I am officially notifying you
that I am exercising my option
under regulations
as a Star Fleet Commodore,
and that I am assuming
command of the Enterprise.
You can't let him
do this, Spock.
Doctor, you are out of line.
So are you... sir.
Well, Spock?
Unfortunately, Star Fleet Order 104,
Section B leaves me no alternative.
Mr. Spock, I order you
to assume command
on my personal authority
as captain of the Enterprise.
Commodore Decker,
you are relieved of command.
I don't recognize your
authority to relieve me.
Commodore, I do not wish
to place you under arrest.
You're bluffing.
Vulcans never bluff.
I talked about it at the time
being heavily influenced
by what I saw Harry Belafonte
do on stage one night.
He came out on stage,
and a spotlight came up on him,
and he was there. He just
stood there very quietly.
Applause. Next song,
stood there quietly and sang.
Now he must have been
on stage 10 or 15 minutes.
He was just standing there
with his hands on his thighs,
and sang,
and when he made a gesture,
it was like
the whole place shook.
It was like, "Wow!" You know?
It was gigantic.
Wow, what a lesson.
If you are minimal,
then that becomes a big deal.
If you are minimal,
that becomes a big deal.
[dramatic music]
He's gone.
[Leonard Nimoy] You make a
comment with an eyebrow,
that's just as powerful
as throwing punches.
He didn't wield the human side
frivolously for effect.
Most of the time,
it would be contained,
but occasionally,
you know, most notably
at the end of 'Amok Time,'
when he realizes that
he didn't kill Kirk,
there's a sweet moment
of like, "Jim!"
Which is just so...
It's so earned.
There can be no excuse for the
crime of which I'm guilty.
I intend to offer no defense.
I shall order Mr. Scott
to take immediate command
of this vessel.
Don't you think you'd
better check with me first?
I'm... pleased
to see you, Captain.
You seem... uninjured.
[Leonard Nimoy]
What is the purpose of a toy?
To be played with.
[Leonard Nimoy] Therefore, to
not play with it would be...
Damn it, Spock,
you're right.
You can look at a lot of
progenitor characters for Sheldon,
but absolutely, absolutely one
of them is Spock. Absolutely.
And in fact,
in the episode
in which Sheldon is interviewed
for this very documentary
that I am currently
speaking to you in,
one of the things
Sheldon talks about
is his desire to be Spock.
And that's not a new invention.
That's something that has existed for
that character from the very beginning.
When I was eight years old, Billy
sparks cornered me in the playground.
I asked myself,
"What would Spock do?"
Then I grabbed Billy
on his shoulder
and performed my first
Vulcan nerve pinch.
Did it work?
Oh, no, he broke my collarbone.
-[audience laughing]
So the script was written then
that Spock comes up behind,
sneaks up behind the mean Kirk,
and hits him on the head
with the butt of a gun.
That's what was
written in the script.
So I said to the director, "I think we
should do something different than that."
He said, "What do you... What do you mean?
What do you have in mind?"
And I said,
"Well, Spock is a graduate
of the Vulcan Institute
of Technology..."
[audience laughing]
" ...where he took a number
of courses in human anatomy.
And the Vulcans have a kind of energy
that comes off their fingertips,
which if properly applied to the
appropriate pressure points
on the human anatomy, will
render a human unconscious.
- And the guy didn't know what I was
talking about. {audience laughing]
But I told him, and he knew
exactly what I was talking about.
And when I came up behind him, and
I put my hand on his neck, he-
He's the one that sold it.
He went like like that
and dropped like a rock.
[audience laughing]
[phaser firing]
There's a multi-legged creature
crawling on your shoulder.
I'd like you to teach
me that some time.
Our minds are merging, Doctor.
Our minds are one.
I feel what you feel.
I know what you know.
I like the fact that Spock could
communicate with other species
through thoughts rather than
through words. Brilliant.
What in the name of...
The man talked to a rock for
goodness sake in the Horta.
"Oh, she's pregnant."
It's a rock, okay.
That was good, because the rock is
not going to speak English to you.
Think of how many science fiction stories
in that decade and the decades preceding
where you'd meet aliens,
and the aliens spoke English.
We didn't think to think
that that would not happen.
You've got to crawl before you walk.
I get that.
But "Star Trek" not only knew how
to crawl, and knew how to walk.
It was running.
The Vulcan greeting is
a wonderful sentiment,
"Live long and prosper."
And this too is something that was
contributed by your father on the set.
[Leonard Nimoy]
We had a wonderful script
by Theodore Sturgeon
called 'Amok Time.'
We arrive on the planet,
and a procession comes out
from the city to greet us.
I said to the director,
"I think we should have some
kind of a special greeting.
"Asian people bow to each other.
"Military people
salute each other.
I think Vulcans should have
some kind of a greeting."
And he said, "What would
you like to do?"
And I said, "How about this?"
Where it came from was
from my childhood of going
to synagogue on the High
Holidays with my family.
There's a moment where a group of
men get up before the congregation,
cover their heads with their
prayer shawls, chant a prayer.
My father said, "Don't look."
I'm about eight or nine years
old, so I snuck a peek.
And what I saw were these gentleman
out there who were doing the shouting
had their hands out towards the
congregation like that, both hands.
I found out later this is the shape of
a letter shin in the Hebrew alphabet.
The letter shin is the first
letter in the word Shaddai,
the name of God.
Well, I survived.
I peeked, and I survived.
But I was so intrigued
with that gesture,
and I suggested that
we do that as Vulcans.
Within days after that
episode was on the air,
I started getting that gesture
back on the streets.
You know, a lot of times people ask rne
what it was like living with Spock,
and for the most part,
during that period,
Dad was not home much at all.
I didn't see him.
He was really focused on what
he was doing at the studio
and for the show.
His usual routine during the week
was he would get up very early.
He'd come home at 7:00
or 8:00 at night,
eat his dinner,
memorize his lines.
He'd run the lines
with my mother
and then just go to sleep
and start all over again.
So during the week,
he wasn't around hardly at all.
We spent a lot of, you know,
our, quite a few years--
Actually, from "Star Trek"
to "Mission,"
with him not being home
during the Weekdays.
Even when Dad was
around at home,
oftentimes, he was
very quiet and remote.
He was still kind of
in his Spock bag,
because he liked
to stay in character.
You play a character
like that...
What? Eight, 10, 1 2 hours
a day, five days a week,
-most of your waking life then
is in that character. - Mm-hmm.
And I'd find it very difficult
to turn it on and turn it off.
So stepping out of the set and into
a chair waiting for the next setup,
I couldn't shift out of it.
I believed in making that
investment in the character.
Particularly, that kind of
character that was so boxed.
A lot of the time he wasn't
available to hang outwith,
to... do things with.
He was... He was
sort of in his world.
He was occasionally
but mostly, he was Spock.
So I never really got
to know him very well.
I got to know Spock a little bit
better than I got to know your dad.
I mean, he was totally dedicated
to playing that character
and to being that character,
and it showed.
If I stay in character
or kind of don't joke around,
it's more a function of me--
[chuckles] It's slightly closer
to being a panicked grip
than it is being an artist,
I'm afraid.
It's just, I don't
want to lose it.
You kind of have to get
into the character's head.
And if you come out of it,
and then they go, "Roll camera,"
if you're off by that much,
you could either underplay a
moment or overplay a moment.
[Adam Nimoy] Fan mail started
arriving pretty regularly
in late '66,
and there was some issue whether or
not the studio would handle the mail,
the network would
handle the mail.
They didn't want to do it. They wanted,
you know, Leonard to handle the mail,
which he did in his
office for a while.
There was an interview
in "16 Magazine,"
I think it was
the spring of '67,
and somehow, accidentally,
they published our home address
as the mailing address
for the fan mail.
Within days, the mailman
stopped coming.
It was a truck that arrived
with sacks of mail,
and we were answering it.
It came into our dining room.
We had the dining room
table all set up
with the mail that we opened,
and we stuffed envelopes with
this early Spock promo pioture.
It was one of
our "family activities,"
you know, was
answering fan mail.
Personal life was gone.
Yeah, it started
happening very fast.
And to show you how naive I was,
at that time, I still had my
phone listed in the phone book,
and my address,
and it was all...
You know, I'd never dreamed
that there was going to be any,
that kind of impact, because I'd been on
television before and done movies before,
and I was listed in the phone book.
Didn't matter to me.
We started getting a lot of
fan mail, not only fan mail,
but fans coming to our door,
knocking down the door.
We started getting people driving
by the house, and parking,
and ripping at the shrubbery
to have a souvenir, you know,
and taking my grass,
and my leaves, and whatever.
Some of them would
knock on the door
and ask to be
invited in to visit.
It got really crazy. Yeah, yeah.
It got really crazy
for a while.
[Adam Nimoy] What about when
you came back to Boston
during the "Star Trek" years?
[Leonard Nimoy] Yeah,
that was kind of exciting
and a little difficult.
People were following me
in the street,
and I didn't really want people
to know where I was living.
I was staying with my folks,
with your grandparents.
[Adam Nimoy]
And they didn't have any idea
what "Star Trek" was.
They didn't get it.
All they knew was
something had happened.
[Adam Nimoy] How did they react
when they saw your haircut?
[Leonard Nimoy] My dad actually
thought I was wearing a wig.
He had a picture of rne as Spock
up on the wall in the barbershop,
and kids would come in and say,
"I want a Spock haircut."
[Leonard Nimoy] Once word filtered
through to network executives
about Spock's popularity,
they said to Roddenberry,
"Say, why aren't you doing more
with that Martian on the show?"
There's that element
of competition,
particularly the first season,
because, urn... the titular
star was Bill Shatner.
Leonard was
the secondary character.
But when the show
went on the air,
people were absolutely
magnetically attracted to Spock.
So I'm asked to be the captain,
[stammering] and it's the
captain's show, and that's great.
Quite frequently, another character
rises to the top as well.
I go to Roddenberry,
who then says very wisely...
"if Spock is popular,
then Kirk is popular,
and the show is popular,
and that's what We all want."
And I thought,
"You know, he's right."
And from that moment on,
I encompassed
the popularity of Spock,
and, uh, was okay with it,
and, uh, enjoyed it.
Jim, I feel friendship for you.
I'm ashamed.
You've got to hear me!
Kirk is the physical
embodiment of the show,
and Spock is the spiritual
embodiment of the show.
And I think it's how
these two guys carved out
their specific spaces
in this little universe.
Kirk was always doing
wild and crazy things
and sleeping with aliens,
and Spock was always thoughtful,
and moving in
a very deliberate way,
and sort of putting the brakes
on some of the more physical
urges that people had.
[Mr. Mudd]
You can save it, girls.
This type can turn himself
off from any emotion.
I think that his Vulcan
side prevents him
from allowing the testosterone [laughing]
in his human side to get the best of him.
And that is very
appealing for women,
at least for women like me.
I don't... I don't...
Motorcycles, and car oils,
and, "Hey, baby..."
I just... I just...
It's not my thing.
I like more of
an intellectual, humble soul
that kind of blows your mind
in just a conversation,
and I feel like
Spock is that like.
So I wouldn't be surprised why
women found him really appealing.
[intercom sounding]
[Mr. Chekov through intercom]
Bridge to Captain Kirk.
Kirk here.
I had no idea.
He's so much more
handsome in person.
Those eyes.
Kirk had quite the
reputation as a lady's man.
Not him.
There was just something about
him that women found attractive.
He himself was kind of flirty,
and women kind of
flirted with him.
You only take a mate
once every seven years?
The seven-year cycle...
is biologically inherent
in all Vulcans.
At that time,
the mating drive outweighs
all other motivations.
And is there nothing that can
disturb that cycle, Mr. Spock?
[Jon Stewart] When did you get
first interested into fellas?
Spock, yes.
What was it about him?
He was so repressed, and you
just wanted to make him scream.
[audience laughing]
I'm, uh...
I'm rather repressed.
I don't think
this is that different
from the which Beatle
do you love most, you know?
I like the less emotional,
more, you know, kind of
obtuse, bizarre type.
So I think there's always going to be
a Spock female versus a Kirk female.
I was one of the first
to find them, the spores.
Now, you belong to all of us...
and we to you.
There's no need to hide
your inner face any longer.
We understand.
I love you.
I can love you.
[Dorothy Fontana] This is the perfect
opportunity for a love story for Spook,
because the spores release
all of those things
that hold in his
emotions, his logic,
and will allow him to feel
like a real person.
And this is unusual for him.
It's unknown for him.
But we're happy here.
I can't lose you now,
Mr. Spock. I can't.
I have a responsibility...
to the ship...
and that man on the bridge.
I am what I am, Leila.
And if there are
self-made purgatories...
and we all have
to live in them...
mine can be no worse
than someone else's.
["Cotton Candy" playing]
I Cotton candy on a summer day I
I Green grass on a hillside .P
I Could they turn
my love around? I
I Could they bring her
back to my side? .P
Well, he was a better
singer than I was.
I mean, he could, uh...
He could sustain a note.
Uh, off-key, but sustain a note.
["A Trip to Nowhere" playing]
I His love is a merry-go-round .P
I He will drag you down I
I A trip to nowhere .P
I A world without love .P
He was basically
keeping himself busy
by making hay while
the sun was shining.
I mean, that was
his whole philosophy.
He knew he was riding this wave,
and it was very exciting.
But he also knew that it
could be over very quickly,
and we could be back into the
financial struggle that we were in
before "Star Trek" came along.
I always told him, "You can take
the boy out of the West End,
but you can't take the
West End out of the boy."
I live with one.
[Adam Nimoy]
What does that mean?
Well, uh, he developed
a very strong work ethic.
[Leonard Nimoy] I rarely turned
down any paid engagement.
I'd seen many
of my actor friends
go to work on a series
for a few years
and live up to the level
of their income,
and then when
the series was canceled,
they were once again
looking for work
with no steady income
and no money in the bank.
I made a private pact
with myself
that this would never happen
to me and my family.
So every time I was offered
a paid appearance, I took it.
This meant that I left the studio
at 5:00 or 6:00 on Friday night.
I took a red eye flight
to my destination.
I'd arrive on the East Coast
around 6:00 Saturday morning
and catch the last flight
out on Sunday night.
I can remember a time or two
when I got back to Los Angeles at 2:00
or 3:00 in the morning on Monday.
I'd go right to the studio,
stagger into my dressing room,
and catch a few hours
sleep on the couch.
From there, I headed
right into makeup.
[Adam Nimoy] There were a
number of photographers
who showed up to take our
picture in those early days,
'66, '67, and into '68,
and we were happy to do it.
It was fun.
I've got to admit.
It was like a circus.
It was a joyride, and it
was really a good time.
First, it was like novel.
It was great.
It was like, "Oh, wow, we're
getting our picture taken.
We're going to be in a magazine.
It's so cool."
But after a while,
it got tiresome.
It became sort of
an invasion of our life,
and us not really understanding,
you know, "Why do we have to do this?
Why is this so important?"
We were young.
[Adam Nimoy] There was one time...
I believe it was 197C).
There was a photographer there,
and we were supposed
to come in and take pictures,
and Julie and I were like,
We joined together, we
unionized, and we said no.
You can't say no to Leonard.
I've got to tell you.
It's just
I mean, We felt guilty.
We wanted to support him,
but we were really done
with the Whole...
the whole publicity routine.
We took a really good
family portrait
which is emblematic, I think, of where
we were at that time in our lives,
because no one is smiling.
In "Star Trek", in the mid-60s,
creating this character who would
soon become a pop culture icon...
My dad was never
really that in touch
with what was going on
in popular culture.
It's so interesting that when he
was at home during leisure time,
he was listening to records
of guys like Heath Mantan,
and Lou Rawls,
and Charles Aznavour.
Our mom Was...
ahead of her time.
At first, when you look
back at pictures of her,
she was dressed
very, uh, 50's housewife
but still had style.
[rock music playing]
Dad stayed still very, you know,
in his dressing, conservative,
but Mom tried to, you know,
change his style up a bit.
So he started, you know,
wearing a little cooler clothes,
some jeans, the little scarf,
you know, around his neck.
And his hair was done
a little cooler.
Even though he had
the Spock haircut, you know,
somehow he could brush it
off to the side a little bit,
and he looked a little,
a little hipper, yeah.
[psychedelic music playing]
[Leonard Nimoy] NBC failed to renew
"Star Trek" for a fourth season.
A short time after we finished
shooting for "Star Trek,"
I signed on with
"Mission impossible."
["Mission impossible"
theme playing]
[Adam Nimoy]
Before he started on "Mission,"
there was a press
conference in Honolulu
announcing that
he was joining the show.
It was a very exciting
experience for me
to be there spending
time with Dad.
Although, by then, sharing him with the
fans had become a part of my life.
[Leonard Nimoy] My
character, Paris The Great,
was a master of disguise.
Therefore, I got to play
a multitude of characters,
old men, Asians,
South American dictators,
blind men, Europeans.
But then, before I knew it,
I was playing the South
American dictator again,
and the Asian, and the old
man, and the blind guy.
It got boring.
A short while later,
I left the show.
After "Mission impossible",
I played Tevye in
"Fiddler On The Roof."
It was only the first experience
in my extremely enjoyable
theatrical career.
In "Fiddler on the Roof",
he was magnificent.
He was very precise.
He avoided every cliche.
And as he grew into the role,
he was extravagant.
His portrayal of Tevye in "Fiddler
On The Roof" was utterly fantastic.
Probably the best
of any I've seen.
- Because he was an actor.
- Like a real actor.
I think he realized that what would make
that work in a non-Broadway setting
was it was about him,
and his wife, and his kids.
And it was
beautifully sculptured.
[Leonard Nimoy] I went on
to appear as Fagin in "Oliver,"
Arthur in "Camelot,
and a one-man play
about Vincent Van Gogh.
[Adam Nimoy] In the early '70s,
Dad was in a play called
"Man in the Glass Booth,"
and it was a terrific play.
He really owned up to that role.
And as I watched him
night after night,
he was completely unrecognizable
to me as my own father.
He had to play a wealthy...
braggadocio, vain,
egocentric New York Jew.
Not a Jewish man, but a Jew.
And as the play develops,
when the Jew gets arrested
as being a concentration
camp commandant,
he then has to play
the meanest, most committed,
most devoted Nazi officer
you can imagine.
And he stands up in the booth.
Not supposed to do
that in Israeli court.
He stands up,
and he's in his regalia.
He's in his uniform,
but he doesn't have his hat on.
And when he put that
hat on, he changed.
You didn't want to
go anywhere near him.
- Very quietly... And this was him.
-[rapping on desk]
He starts moving like this.
And he marches
to the last bit of dialogue.
And it gets louder,
and louder, and louder.
If a director had come up with
that, he should get an award.
The actor came up with it,
and he should get an award.
It was chilling.
The times when your dad
was performing in New York,
and then we would see
each other very often,
and that's when they
started to go closer.
And then we became his groupies.
When he performed anyplace
east of the Mississippi,
we would fly out to be there.
One summer, he did two plays.
One in Michigan,
and one in Wisconsin.
And at that time, he was flying
his own single engine airplane,
and I flew a lot with him.
I love flying.
So, I plotted
the entire course out.
I took lessons,
and I got my little license.
Not a pilot's license. I got--
They call it a pinch hitter.
So that if anything
happened to him,
I could take over
without a problem.
And that was probably one of the
best times I ever had with him.
The decade of the '70s was kind of
an interesting period for my dad,
because he had done
so much theater work.
He was really kind of
proving himself
as the character actor
that he always wanted to be.
He also hosted multiple
seasons of "In Search Of."
...underwritten in part
by a national...
[Adam Nimoy] And he was in
Philip Kaufman's remake
of "invasion of the
Body Snatchers."
They were shooting
in San Francisco,
and I happened to be
in school at Berkeley,
and it was just a lot of fun
watching them make that film.
But what happens to us?
You'll be born again
into an untroubled world.
He was a multifaceted
individual that is for sure.
I knew that as a kid.
I used to watch "In Search Of,"
and I remember him in
the Kaufman "Body Snatchers"
and "Mission impossible,"
you know.
Uh, he was never just Spock
to me even growing up.
We came here from a dying world.
We drift through the universe
from planet to planet
pushed on by the solar winds.
We adapt, and we survive.
Captain, I found this device
on my console.
It seems to serve
no useful function and--
I'm sorry, Spock, It's your--
When they began casting,
We weren't-- I wasn't called.
It was decided that
George in the show
would not appear
on the series.
And I thought,
"What's happening?"
Uh, then it was announced
that Bill was cast
to do Captain Kirk.
Leonard was cast
to do Mr. Spock.
Jimmy Doohan was cast
to do Scotty
and all the other male voices,
and Majel was cast
to do Nurse Chapel
and all of the female voices.
But when Leonard learned
of that, he said,
"What Star Trek is about
is diversity, coming together,
and working in concert
as a team."
And he said, "The two people that most
personify that diversity in our cast
"are Nichelle Nichols
and George Takei.
"And if they're not going
to be a part of this,
then I'm not interested."
How many times does that happen
in this business, you know?
It says a lot about Leonard.
[Adam Nimoy]
Tuesday, October 22nd, 1973.
"Dear Adam, this may turn
out to be a long letter.
"I'm very glad I could see you
and Julie on Sunday.
"It was good to be with you,
"but I think it might have
been especially useful
"in putting our
relationship, you and me,
"in a new perspective.
"This came out of our argument.
"I discovered you and I were having a
terrible battle on a verbal battleground.
"I felt very sad about it, and all
I could say was, 'I'm sorry.'
"it suddenly occurred to me
that it might be useful
"if I tell you some things about
my relationship with my father.
"I always loved and feared him,
"but we had very little
real personal contact.
"He was not a demonstrative man.
"Most of my day-to-day
interaction was with my mother
"with my father in the
background as a sort of weapon.
Neither of them was ever
very giving of approval."
You guys were at odds a lot
about some of the company
you were keeping
and some of the things
you were doing.
In the early '70s, there was a
slight lull in Dad's work career,
and he was at home for the
first time, hanging out,
and not really quite knowing
what to do with himself.
And it was also during this time
when he was taking a close look
at me and my life.
What he saw was, to him,
not that pretty.
Even though I was doing
very well in school...
I was a senior in high school,
and by this time, I was like
a full fledged Deadhead.
[psychedelic music playing]
I mean... need I say more?
I mean, you know...
It was just
not a good time for us.
I In the middle of the earth
in the land of the shire I
I Lives a brave little hobbit
whom we all admire I
I With his long wooden pipe
Fuzzy, Woolly toes I
I He lives in a hobbit hole
And everybody knows him I
I -Bilbo
- Bilbo I
I Bilbo Baggins .P
I He's only three feet tall I
I -Bilbo
- Bilbo I
I Bilbo Baggins .P
I The bravest little hobbit
of them all .P
I One day,
Bilbo was asked to go... I
What in the name of...
I To the caves below I
I To help some dwarfs
get back their gold I
Am I... seeing things?
Not unless I am too.
I -Bilbo
- Bilbo I
I Bilbo Baggins .P
I He's only three feet tall I
What is it, Mr. Spock?
I Bilbo Baggins .P
I The bravest little hobbit
of them all .P
[Leonard Nimoy] Having had only marginal
success on NBC for three years,
the show took on
new life in syndication.
Gradually, the show and its
audience found each other.
By the mid '70s, it was
becoming a media event.
Thousands and thousands
of new devotees
sat in front of their TV sets
memorizing each episode's
dialogue word for word.
Risk... risk is our business.
[Jason Alexander] "That's what
this starship is all about.
"That's why we're aboard her.
"Dr. McCoy is right to point out
the enormous risk involved
"with interaction between
any two alien species,
but the potential--"
There's something that I became aware
of in doing my research very recently
called The Slash Fantasy,
the Kirk-Spock slash fantasy.
And there's a phenomenal
edited video on YouTube.
And some fan, somebody's
taken a lot of footage
of Kirk and Spock out of context
from "The Original Series"
to show this homo-erotic
relationship between them,
and it's pretty damn compelling.
At conventions,
I saw slash zines
with illustrations done
by very good artists
and they were much, much more
explicit between Kirk and Spock.
It's a matter
of who is looking at it,
from what perspective,
and from the perspective of gay
people seeing that is eye opening.
They see the gay passion,
the gay attraction,
and the gay anguish
depicted in those scenes.
[Leonard Nimoy]
At my first convention in 1972,
I walked into a hall so crowded
the thunderous wall of
noise that greeted me
took me completely by surprise.
For several seconds, I literally could
not speak because of the emotion.
One of the things that I really
respect about your dad was,
I guess, his love
and affection for the fans
and how he always
had time and energy.
You know, going to conventions
and meeting people...
You know, I'm blown away
by how much love
there is for your father.
[Leonard Nimoy]
It was an entirely new concept,
this gathering of fans to
celebrate "Trek" for a weekend.
The organizers crossed
their fingers
and hoped for 500 attendees.
They got 3,000.
We went
to one "Star Trek" convention.
I think it was in LA,
but I'm not sure.
I think you're right.
Yeah, it was a wild place.
I remember them having
to get us out the back door.
[Adam Nimoy] Oh, okay.
What was that like?
[Pegs] I think "Star Trek"
fans have sort of pioneered
the whole cos-play culture
which now exists
where, you know, you go
to any convention,
and people are dressed up
as a multitude of things
from the most obscure
to the most popular.
I've been blown away going to now these
conventions for a number of years,
seeing what people are able,
and willing, and, you know,
what they commit
to dress up as and do,
and it's unbelievable.
We thought they were crazy.
I'm here. I'm really here.
I can't believe it.
My first "Star Trek" convention.
Watch your back. Here we go.
So much stuff.
Really cool.
Spock, status report?
Pollux IV, class M type planet,
oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere.
Sensors indicate no life forms.
In all respects,
quite ordinary, Captain.
Bobak, I want you to tell me a little bit
about your history with "Star Trek",
how it's affected your life.
I would say it's probably one of the
biggest reasons why I work at NASA.
I mean, honestly, like, you
know, seeing this "Star Trek,"
you know, this vision
of the future
is one of the reasons
why I work there today.
Seeing a future where people from all
different cultures and backgrounds
were working together.
You know,
the betterment of humanity.
I think that was a vision of the
future that I wanted to help create.
If "Star Trek" was the vision of the
future that I wanted to create,
Spock was the internalization of the
kind of person that I felt like I was.
You know, as someone
who was from two cultures,
you know, Iranian father,
an American mother,
I saw in Spock, you know,
that same conflict, I guess,
of, "Which one am I?
Am I both?
Is there a happy
medium of the two?"
But also at the same time,
I saw that he was accepted
by his, you know, colleagues.
Spock stood for a lot
of different things.
He stood for
intelligence, integrity.
He stood for the idea of
really searching for truth,
for figuring out
how things really work.
That is the underpinning
of science, really.
So I think for a lot of people, Spock
was representative of soienoe itself,
of using the human mind to overcome
kind of the forces of chaos
and make sense of things.
That really resonates with a lot
of people here, I would say.
It certainly did with me.
And I knew the minute
I read "Star Trek" books,
that was the character I most
wanted to emulate with my career.
[deGrasse Tyson]
Spock was a scientist.
Now, for me, I knew I liked
science before "Star Trek."
So Spock and I resonated,
I think, uh...
in a way that surely helped,
but didn't initiate my interest.
But I Wonder if the slow
but real appreciation
for what science is
and why it matters
that I see manifesting today,
whether it owes its origin
to that series,
to that character.
- Are you a "Star Trek" fan?
- Yes.
- How long have you been a fan?
- A hundred years.
A hundred years
"Star Trek" fan, okay.
[Interviewer] You've had your
own connection to "Star Trek."
You've directed
"Star Trek" episodes.
But before that, you were
an entertainment attorney.
What was that all about? What got
you into that in the first place?
You know, it's very difficult when
you are the son of a celebrity
and somebody who becomes
a pop culture icon,
to try to create
your own identity,
to find out who you
are in essence.
And so, this was my way of
really creating my own path.
He was very proud of the fact
that I went to law school,
and I started practicing law.
But after seven years
of practicing,
it became very clear to me
that this was not something
I wanted to do
for the rest of my life.
I didn't have the passion for it
that I thought was important.
That was really Dad's
whole philosophy was
you have to have a passion
for what you do.
Otherwise, it's just work,
and it's not fulfilling.
My dad was very sympathetic about
my desire to make a career change
and even helped me,
trained me as a director.
He and I actually
made an episode
of "The Outer Limits" together.
We were remaking an episode that he
was originally in in the early '60s
in which he had
a supporting role.
Your design and your construction
are nothing short of genius,
but even you must understand
that you're basically a takeoff
on the thoughts and feelings that Dr.
Link programmed into you.
A man suffers, a man bleeds,
a man has a soul.
I could snap your neck
as if it were a toothpick.
In that sense, you're right.
I'm not like most men.
But like most men,
I choose not to.
Let me go.
[Leonard Nimoy] The story of
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
rightly begins in London where my
wife and I were vacationing in 1975.
We went to see Henry Fonda who was
performing on stage in "Darrow."
After the performance, we joined
him and his wife for dinner.
At some point during
the conversation, Henry said,
"You know, Leonard,
I hope you're being paid
for all those billboards
around town."
-[beer pouring] -[Leonard Nimoy]
"What billboards, Henry?"
"Do you mean to tell rne you don't know
about all those Heineken billboards?"
Now, I'd seen my Spock image
used commercially before,
such as on a box of
Kellogg's Corn Flakes.
I'd been amused by it, finding
it campy and even flattering.
Once "Star Trek" was canceled,
Paramount had no legal right to license
my likeness from that time on.
So not only had Paramount
been marketing me as Spock
for almost 'IO years
without the right to do so,
for the last five of those 1 C), they
hadn't sent rne any of the proceeds.
I wound up having
to file a lawsuit.
They wanted to make this movie.
And Bob Weiss had it
in his contract
that they would make their best
efforts to get me in the movie.
And my agent would
call me and say,
"They wanna talk to you about the 'Star
Trek' movie." And I would say...
"When we settle the lawsuit, I'll
talk about acting in their movie,"
that's my leverage.
So that went on for some time.
And... finally, I got a call
from a guy who introduced
himself to me.
He said, "My name
is Jeff Katzenberg,
and I've just gone to
work for Paramount."
And I was acting in "Equus" on
Broadway at the time in New York.
[Jeffrey Katzenberg] So there goes little
Jeffrey off trotting to New York...
[laughing] say to him, "You've
got to put the ears back on."
So I went, and I saw the show,
and after the show,
We went to Joe Allen's.
I said to him, "We're going
to make the movie.
"Those ears are going on.
"They're either going on you, or they're
actually going to go on somebody else,
"but they are going to go on.
And how badly will you feel
when you didn't put them on?"
The big leverage that he always
had beginning with these movies
was that Paramount Pictures
needed him,
and they couldn't make a "Star
Trek" movie without him.
[Leonard Nimoy]
Finally, my lawyer called.
"Look, Paramount is actually showing
some willingness to reach an agreement.
"Will you read the script
if they settle the lawsuit?"
"Yes. ll
Four days later, on a Friday
evening, the lawsuit settled.
My lawyer came to my
house with a check.
An hour later,
the script arrived.
I sat down and read it
through that night.
[Interviewer] Leonard
Nimoy was the last person
to join the movie cast and was
asked why he was a hold out.
I don't think it was
a question of hold out.
We've had a long and...
complicated relationship,
I mean, Paramount and myself,
for the last couple of years.
And probably the thing
that took the most time
is the fact that
the mail service
between here and Vulcan
is still pretty slow.
Making that first movie was
very, very dis-spiriting,
very depressing.
We had a bad script,
bad script.
It just never worked.
It was always a struggle
to try to figure out how to bring
some life to this... project.
And, um, we did our best,
but I never...
The pendulum swung completely
when that first movie came along
from being an actor and
character-oriented "Star Trek"
to an effects-oriented
"Star Trek."
And the feeling was, "Oh, we
didn't have the money before.
Now we've got the money, we've got
to give them a big effects movie."
So it was all about the ship, the ship,
and this effect, and that effect,
and we're going
through this thing.
Now, we're going
through that thing.
Nothing about the characters.
So it was frustrating, and
depressing, and, uh, very painful.
In "Star Trek ll," the lure that
Harve Bennett gave him was,
"You're going to have the greatest
death scene of all time."
Spock, no!
[Leonard Nimoy] I thought that
was the final "Star Trek" movie,
and when they said to me,
"How about a death scene?"
I thought, "Why not? If this
is the end of 'Star Trek,'
"let's get out in a blaze of
glory saving the Enterprise.
You know, be a hero
and die." [laughing]
Live long...
and prosper.
[Leonard Nimoy] Sooner than
I realized, it was over.
[Leonard Nimoy] I stripped off the
ears, the makeup, the uniform,
and so Spock
gradually disappeared,
leaving behind
only Leonard Nimoy.
Never again the raised eyebrow.
Never again the delicious
teasing of the irascible doctor
or the offering of logic to my
impetuous friend and captain.
Never again the mind meld,
the neck pinch,
or the Vulcan salute
and blessing,
live long and prosper.
I asked myself,
"What have I done?"
Well, of course, they put in a little
footage at the end of the movie
that suggested that this might
not be the end of Spock.
I'm sorry, Doctor. I have no
time to discuss this logically.
And they came to me,
sure enough,
after the picture opened
and did business,
and they called me
in for a meeting.
They said, "We'd like to know if you'd like
to be involved in another 'Star Trek' movie?"
And I said,
"Yes, I'd like to direct it."
I remember distinctly one night
I got a phone call from him.
And he said he'd been on the
phone with Michael Eisner,
and that Michael Eisner was trying
to talk him out of directing,
making his directing debut
directing himself in a
feature film and so forth.
And he was asking me...
He was soliciting my advice.
I said, "Well,
it's really very simple.
Are you prepared to let this
ship sail without you?"
And he said, "Oh, absolutely."
I said, "Then sit tight You're going
to direct the movie." [laughing]
[Klingon] My Lord, the ship
appears to be deserted.
How can that be?
They're hiding.
Yes, sir, but the bridge seems
to be run by a computer.
It is the only thing speaking.
Let me hear.
Nine, eight, seven, six, five--
Get out!
Get out of there!
[Leonard Nimoy] I got a oall before the
movie opened from Jeff Katzenberg,
who was head of production
at Paramount at the time,
and he said, "We want you
to make another one."
And I said, "You know, this one that
I just finished, 'Star Trek lll',"
I said, "They had a pretty
tight choke chain on me,
"controlling what I was doing,
"and making me answer
for everything,
and explain everything that I was
doing, and justify everything."
And he said- I'll never forget.
He was wonderful.
He said,
"The training Wheels are off.
We want you to make
your 'Star Trek' movie."
[Gillian Taylor] Well, if it
isn't Robin Hood and Friar Tuck.
Where are you fellas heading?
Back to San Francisco.
Came all of the way down here just to
jump in and swim with the kiddies, huh?
Very little point
in my trying to explain.
Well, yeah, I'll buy that.
What about him?
Him? He's harmless.
Back in the '60s, he was part of the
free speech movement at Berkeley.
I think he did
a little too much IDS.
- IDS?
- Mm-hmm.
Come on. Why don't you
let me give you a lift?
We had our first read-through
at your house on Kashmir.
And there was- He had the
whales' song playing for us.
And I knew then how much
this project meant to him
on a personal level.
He was trying
to get us to get it,
which to me, transcends doing
another "Star Trek" film.
Although, in fact, it actually is what
"Star Trek" has always been about,
which is meaningful issues
about how to live.
[punk rock music playing]
I Just where is our future?
The things we've done and said I
I Let's just push the button
We'd be better off dead I
I 'Cause I hate you I
Excuse me.
I And I berate you I
Excuse me.
Would you mind
stopping that noise?
[music playing louder]
I The only choice we're given
is how many megatons I
Excuse me.
Would you mind stopping
that damn noise?
I And I say screw you .P
I And I hope you're blue too .P
-[music stops]
"Star Trek lV" was one of the
highlights of Dad's career,
really part of the
pinnacle of his career,
because immediately after that
came "Three Men and a Baby."
[Leonard Nimoy] The making
of "Three Men and a Baby"
was a magical time where everything
came together beautifully.
I felt enormously fortunate
to be involved with the project.
Nice job, Pete.
You know, the "LA Times"
came outwith an article
when that movie came out,
and it was a hit
the winter season,
the holiday season of '87.
"LA Times" talked about the fact that
the hit from the previous holiday season
was a feature film entitled
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,"
and that both of those films happened
to be directed by the same guy.
Then came "The Good Mother",
and my relationship with my
father hit an all-time low.
And you've left her
alone with him?
Well, of course I have. She likes him.
They have fun together, Brian.
Well, ask him about
the fun, Anna.
Well, what are you suggesting, Brian,
that he did something wrong with Molly?
- He did, Anna.
- Well, he didn't.
She told me.
She's told the shrink.
- He did it, Anna!
- No, Brian, he didn't do it!
You ask him!
And you let him!
[Leonard Nimoy] By the time filming
of "The Good Mother" wrapped,
I felt the same way I had at the end
of shooting "Three Men and a Baby."
I thought, "Boy, this could be even more
of a rocket ride than 'Three Men."'
And it was a rocket ride,
all right... straight down.
Box office was disappointing,
and the film soon disappeared
from the theaters.
I started drinking
regularly, ritually,
during probably the second year
or third year of our series.
The ritual became so ingrained
and so important to me,
because I looked forward to that release
at the end of the pressure of the day
with the dialogue, and the pace, and
get 15 pages or 12 pages done today,
and all of that sort of thing.
And the minute we finished the
last shot, I would have a drink.
And then it became
a series of drinks.
And little by little, before I knew
it, I was drinking more and more
because my addictive
personality was taking over.
It was the martinis, you know,
getting a drink when he'd come home,
having a couple drinks.
And, uh... you know, while
it made him more relaxed,
he also shut down.
The habit grew to the power
that it did in my later years
because I didn't have that thought, "I'm
young. I still have a distance to go."
Which is a devilish part
of the disease.
The 1980's were a very
difficult time for my dad.
His parents had recently died,
my grandparents,
within six months of each other.
My dad was going through
a very complicated
and difficult divorce
from my mother.
They had been married
for 32 years.
It was also about this time
that there was a lot of
head-banging between the two of us.
There were a lot of old issues
that were coming up,
and there were a number
of fights between us.
He was also drinking. A lot of
this was fueled by alcohol.
And quite frankly, I was still
getting high at the time,
and that was certainly not
helping matters between us.
[Adam Nimoy] "There's one major
area that I should touch on
"before coming to a conclusion,
"competition with my father.
"This was easy for me
in strangely painful way.
"My father never earned
more than a $150 a week.
"I realize that competition
with me is very tough.
"I am very loud and verbal.
"Also I have been very lucky,
made good money, and I'm famous.
"That's a lot tougher
to deal with
"than me competing against
150-dollar a week barber."
A lot of the problems that I had
with my dad were not that dissimilar
from problems that other
fathers and sons experience.
The difference is that
my dad was adored
by millions of fans
all over the world.
And oftentimes, I felt like I was competing
with them for his love and attention.
And sometimes, I honestly felt
like I was losing the battle.
After we would have one of these
incredible knock-down, drag-out fights,
I would go out into the world and be
confronted by images of Spock everywhere.
["What's On Your Mind" playing]
I I want to know
what you're feeling I
I Tell me what's on your mind .P
Pure energy.
Pure energy.
In 1989, Dad and
Susan got married,
and his domestic life
started to get much better.
She was a real
stabilizing force for him.
And he was very happy with her, and
they were very devoted to each other.
It was at this period of time,
he told me later on,
that he was really
happy with his life,
and yet didn't really understand
why he was still drinking.
And it was at that point that he
started to really, seriously look
at what was happening
with his life.
And he made his decision
to go into his own recovery.
My first images were
photographed with this camera
and enlarged with this camera
and with about 2O cents
worth of Kodak supplies.
And I just became fascinated
with the ability
to create an image,
something that you could hold,
an object you could hold in
your hand, and there it is.
Something I shot this morning,
and tonight, I have
the picture in my hand.
I could hang it on my wall, or
give it to my family, or whatever.
That was the beginning.
[Adam Nimoy] Although Dad started
taking pictures at an early age,
he continued this hobby
throughout his life.
He would often take portraits
of me and Julie,
and some of those ended up in
the poetry books he published.
James T. Kirk.
[Leonard Nimoy]
Along came J.J. Abrams
who found a way
to crack it open
to an entirely new
and different audience.
Who the hell am I to tell Leonard
Nimoy what Spock should do?
But it's my job,
so I'm doing the best I can.
But I was amazed
at how open he was.
Leonard was okay with the idea of
this new incarnation of "Star Trek."
it set a tone on the set even beyond
the days that Leonard was working.
[Leonard Nimoy] You didn't have
to know all about "Star Trek."
You could come
and enjoy this movie
as a person who had never seen
anything of "Star Trek" before.
- Fascinating.
- What?
Okay, I'm sure
you're just doing your job,
but could you not come
a wee bit sooner?
Six months I've been here living
off Star Fleet protein nibs
and the promise of a good meal.
Myself, Leonard, and Chris
shared a trailer
when we were shooting the stuff when
they discover Sootty on the planet.
And it was quite far from the
circus, from the unit base,
so we had a trailer that
we just sat in, and we shared.
And we were shooting
really late at night.
It was, like, you know, 2:00
or 3:00 in the morning.
And Chris, Leonard, and I
were just sat in this--
And Leonard was in his
full Spock regalia, ears.
We had the big sort of like
winter coat on and stuff,
and he sat upright,
and he went to sleep.
And he, uh, was just sat there
just quietly snoring.
And Chris and I were just
looking at each other like,
"That's Spock, and he snores."
We were shooting a scene,
and Leonard was walking,
and he fell... and he landed,
and he cut and broke his nose.
So the feeling that,
you know, you have
when someone that you care about as
much as I did, of course, gets hurt,
it's a horrible feeling.
When you've wounded Spock, uh...
you just wanna...
you know, kill yourself.
It's just... It Was...
It was horrible.
And we're trying to figure out what
we're gonna do for the rest of the day,
and I hear, like, "Oh, no, no, no,
no, we're going to keep going."
And it was Leonard
who was like,
"We're just gonna
keep shooting."
And I'm thinking, "Is he out of his
fucking mind? He just broke his nose."
And Leonard was like,
"Let's keep going."
And we finished, and no one
ever heard this story publicly
until you and I had
this conversation.
Speak your mind, Spock.
That would be unwise.
Mine is a very different
Spock than your dad's.
I was really fortunate to be able
to explore even more than your dad,
because as entertainment
as narration evolved,
as story-telling evolved
over the intervening decades
between when he created the
role and when I assumed it,
I think that it opened up
a little bit more space
for us to get in
and play with that.
Mr. Spock.
Sharing that with him, and
discussing it, and exploring it
through the context
of our personal relationship,
that was probably one of the most
creatively satisfying aspects
of assuming a role that had already
been established so firmly
and created so boldly.
No pun intended.
Should I choose to complete the
Vulcan discipline of Kolinahr
and purge all emotion...
I trust you will not feel
it reflects judgment upon you.
Oh, Spock...
as always, whatever
you choose to be...
you will have a proud mother.
Every time he goes
into a negative place,
he starts being a little
bit of a pessimist,
um, he allows Uhura and Kirk
to snap him out of it.
And I really like that.
He's just... He's a man to me.
Like, Spock is really a man.
he's half alien, it's like...
He could have been...
I don't know, half anything,
but he's still
very much... natural.
What do you need? Tell me.
Tell me.
I thought that was
a perfect example
of the evolution
of the character,
of painting him
in a different light
and seeing that there is
this capacity for feeling,
for emotion, for
intimacy, forconnecfion.
It's still regulated.
It's still within the
boundaries or the parameters
of what it means to be Vulcan.
I am not our father.
There are so few Vulcans left,
we cannot afford
to ignore each other.
Spock, in this case,
do yourself a favor.
Put aside logic.
Do what feels right.
Since my customary farewell
would appear oddly self-serving,
I shall simply say... good luck.
[Adam Nimoy]
Dad was really happy
to be in the new incarnation
of "Star Trek."
It was a high point for him.
But much like Spock's
problems with his father,
my relationship with my father
was still very troubled.
My first officer,
Commander Spock.
Vulcan honors us
with your presence.
We come to serve.
Your service honors us,
Thank you.
Around 2006, we were just about
completely estranged from one another.
Old issues were flaring up.
And, um, I was at a
low point in my life.
I had just ended
an 18-year marriage,
and I had decided to go
into my own 12-step recovery.
And it was a real difficult
time for the two of us.
And basically,
for three or four years,
we had very, very
little communication.
By around 2008, we started to
talk again, and reconnect again,
and really came back together in
our relationship with each other.
I had met Martha in a doctor's
office, and she was...
Uh, she was my age,
and she was very sweet,
fun, attractive woman,
and I started dating
her regularly.
And I mean, I was
so much happier having Martha
that I married her.
Four and a half months
after we were married,
Martha was diagnosed
with terminal cancer.
The weird thing was for me,
and I was really kind of conscious
of it now in retrospect,
was that in 2004,
when I left my 18-year marriage,
and moved out of my house, and
left my kids behind for one.
I mean, it was
a real low point in my life.
I didn't even call my dad. He wasn't even
on the list, because of our period of,
you know, beginning of
the estrangement period.
But when I was able to
pull myself back together,
after I got that phone call
from the doctor,
the first phone call I made...
Was to your dad.
I just... It still.
It just overwhelms me now
that we could get to that point
where he could be my go-to guy.
And in the next 18 months
of my life with Martha,
which were, you know, probably the most
challenging possibly in my entire life,
my dad and Susan were there
every step of the way
to support me
and keep me going.
And after that, my dad and I
never again... looked back
at the wreckage
from our past, ever.
"So here we are.
You're a man, an individual,
"very bright, talented,
goal-oriented, sensitive,
"and a lot of other good things.
"Above all, I want you to know
that you are priceless to me.
I'm proud of you, and I deeply love you.
Your father."
My life has become much,
much more about family.
I used to-- The way
I describe it now was
I used to major in career
and minor in family.
And now, I've turned it around.
I'm much more majoring in
family and minoring in career.
I do an occasional pop-up thing
here and there for friends,
but mostly, I'm dealing
with my family.
[Julie Nimoy] With dad
marrying our step-mom, Susan,
she and Aaron became
a part of our family.
She was great in the fact
that she showed Dad
that being with your children
and your grandchildren,
it's very important.
You need to be a part
of their life.
And let's bring
everybody together.
Let's... Let's have
a big family unit,
and we have a big family.
In the last years of his life
were the times that
the family got together
at the house
for any variety of occasions
from birthdays to holidays.
Leonard was a very
even-keeled guy.
He didn't always show
a lot of emotion
but I'd say those times at which he would
toast the family at those gatherings
were the times I maybe saw
him express the most emotion.
He was so grateful
to have everybody there.
He was grateful to feel the love
from everybody that was there.
And he was grateful to be able to
love the family the way that he did
and provide for the family
the way that he could.
The day Leonard died, I, uh...
He was in a coma,
and I, uh, leaned over
and said to him...
[clearing throat]
"You made the world
stand up and listen."
And I'd swear
he nodded his head.
What I admired about Leonard
was his willingness
to love his family,
and because I was on the periphery
of it, I got that love.
It made him a wonderful actor
in the work We did.
And I think it
made him a mensch,
probably a word you're
going to hear a lot.
A mensoh is someone who's
responsible, and disciplined,
and you can count on.
He was just this
stable force in my life,
and I knew I could
always count on him.
He was the mensch of mensches.
He was loved and adored by,
I think, everybody on the set.
To create a character who
leaves a mark on the society,
that strikes a chord
that resonates,
Leonard Nimoy did that.
If there was a word you would
use to sum up or describe
either my dad as an individual
or as Spock, the character,
what would that be for you?
The first word that springs to
mind for both of them actually
is, I would say, is noble.
There was something about...
There's definitely something
about Spock which is very noble.
He's obviously a man of massive
integrity and conviction.
If I had to pick one word,
it would be dignity.
He was a self-made
renaissance man,
but he had
a ubiquitous curiosity
about everything going on
in the world,
whether it was art,
photography, politics.
Cool. Spock was cool.
I think a little bit of Spock needs
to be behind every important decision
we make in our lives, about
ourselves, or with regard to others.
The first word that does
come to mind is loving.
If it's free association,
then it's definitely just love.
What's yours?
["Star Trek The Original
Series" theme song playing]
["Starman" playing]
All right. I got it.
I Didn't know what time it was
And the lights were low I
I I leaned back on my radio .P
I Some cat was laying down some rock
'n' roll "Lot of soul," he said J
I Then the loud sound
did seem to fade I
I Came back like a slow voice
on a wave of phase I
I That weren't no DJ
That was hazy cosmic jive I
There's a starman
waiting in the sky
I He'd like to come
and meet us I
I But he thinks
he'd blow our minds I
There's a starman
waiting in the sky
I He's told us not to blow it I
I 'Cause he knows
it's all worthwhile I
I He told me,
"Let the children lose it I
I Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie" I
I I had to phone someone
so I picked on you I
I Hey, that's far out
So you heard him too? I
Switch on the TV We may
pick him up on Channel Two J
I Look out your window
I can see his light I
I If we can sparkle
he may land tonight I
J Don't tell your papa or he'll
get us locked up in fright
There's a starman
waiting in the sky
I He'd like to come
and meet us I
I But he thinks
he'd blow our minds I
There's a starman
waiting in the sky
I He's told us not to blow it I
I 'Cause he knows
it's all worthwhile I
I He told me,
"Let the children lose it I
I Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie" I
There's a starman
waiting in the sky
I He'd like to come
and meet us I
I But he thinks
he'd blow our minds I
There's a starman
waiting in the sky
I He's told us not to blow it I
I 'Cause he knows
it's all worthwhile I
I He told me,
"Let the children lose it I
I Let the children use it,
let all the children boogie" I