Greetings, Manic Fans. As you probably know by now, veteran actor/director Leonard Nimoy passed away on Friday. To say he will be mourned is an understatement. However, rather than mope and wail about the passing of one of my heroes, Iâ€™d rather take a page from the way I dealt with the last actor whose passing moved me to tears and do a tribute to what great moments I remembered(The last actor was Leslie Nielsen). And so, Iâ€™m going to list 12 things I loved that Leonard Nimoy made special. These will not be in order.
Warning: Some Spoilers and great moments from Leonard Nimoy ahead…
“In Search Of”
Ok, I know most of you are too young to remember this one, but in the lateÂ 1970â€™s, Leonard Nimoy hosted/narrated an interesting show that investigated mysteries, monsters and myths like UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster. His style was very similar to his delivery as another character of science he made famous, and it was always â€œfascinatingâ€ to watch.
“3 Men and a Baby”
The American Remake of â€œ3 Men and a Cradle,â€ was directed by Leonard Nimoy. Starring Tom Selleck, Ted Dansen and Steve Guttenberg, the comedy about 3 bachelors living in a lush penthouse apartment who find a baby on their doorstep amidst a drug smuggling plot was delightfully funny and touching at the same time.
“I, Robot”(“The Outer Limits”(1995))
In the HBO version of The Outer Limits, Leonard Nimoy starred as Thurman Cutler, an attorney in â€œI, Robot,â€ a great episode where he acted as a defense attorney for a robot attempting to get him the right of a trial by proving heâ€™s more than just a machine. The episode, â€œMeasure of a Manâ€ in Star Trek: The Next Generation,â€ took the same story using Mr. Data as the â€œrobot on trial attempting to prove sentience.â€
Creation Star Trek Convention, Seattle, 1989
I had the good fortune to see Leonard Nimoy in person at this Star Trek Convention and he was amazing to see. He took questions and brought a neat film with him to show behind the scenes of how the production team created the Humpback Whales in â€œStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home.â€ He was funny and very personable. While I also saw William Shatner, Marina Sirtis and Patrick Stewart at the same convention, I considered Leonard to be the star of it.
The last 8 will be Spock Moments….
Mr. Spock violates Starfleet General Order 7 kidnapping Commodore Pike and hijacking the USS Enterprise to take him to Talos 4.
The Episode, â€œThe Menagerie,â€ is the only 2-parter in the Original Series. Why is it great? First of all, Mr. Spock singlehandedly outwits everyone well enough to not only pull off the kidnapping/hijacking, but fooling Captain Kirk into holding a court-martial against him to bide enough time for the Enterprise to reach Talos 4 and save the Commodore from a lifetime imprisoned in his paralyzed body. Why clever? Because Commodore Mendez, the third ranking officer on the board of the court-martial was an illusion created by the Talosians so the whole legal proceedings werenâ€™t enforceable. The episode also really shows just how much Spock cares for his former Captain, while not physically showing the emotion. Leonard was exceptional at this level of subtlety in performing Spock.
Mr. Spock undergoes the Pon Farr in the episode â€œAmok Time.â€
A classic episode where Mr. Spock must return to Planet Vulcan to mate, or die. He also ends up fighting Captain Kirk to the death in the process. Why is it great? Since Mr. Spock is basically losing control of his emotions and sanity it gives Leonard a chance to really showcase acting extremes, first when heâ€™s acting strangely on the Enterprise so frustrated, heâ€™s shouting at everyone, then, when heâ€™s going through the Plak Tow(Blood Fever) after the challenge of Tâ€™Pring during his Kunat Kali fee, and finally, when heâ€™s back on the Enterprise and is surprised, overjoyed and then covering up his emotions after finding out Captain Kirk is still alive. Itâ€™s a wonderful performance.
Mr. Spock battles Commodore Decker through regulations and willpower for control of the USS Enterprise during battle with the planet killer in â€œThe Doomsday Machine.â€
Never try and outwit a Vulcan, and NEVER attempt to use rules and regulations to outwit Mr. Spock. He knows every way to use the rules and regulations to achieve his goals.
SPOCK: â€œYou are relieved, sir.â€
Decker: â€œI donâ€™t recognize your authority here.â€
SPOCK: â€œYou may file a complaint if we survive to reach a Starbase, Sir, but you ARE relieved. Donâ€™t force me to arrest you too.â€
Decker: â€œYou havenâ€™t the nerve.â€
*Spock motions over 2 security guards.
Decker: â€œYouâ€™re bluffing.â€
SPOCK: â€œVulcans NEVER bluff.â€
*Decker relents and Spock has probably saved the ship in the process.
Mr. Spock neck pinches a punk rocker on a San Francisco City Bus in â€œStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home.â€
How often have you wanted to do this? A loud, obnoxious thug is blasting a hate-filled rock song on a boombox on a public bus to the consternation of everyone else riding. Admiral Kirk tries diplomacy first.
Kirk: â€œExcuse me, would you mind turning down that noise?â€
*The punk rocker turns it up louder.
Kirk: â€œExcuse me, would you mind turning down that damned noise?â€
*The puck rocker gives Kirk the â€œbirdâ€ in perfect unison to the singer whoâ€™s just screamed â€œSCREW YOU!â€
*Mr. Spock reaches over and renders the punk unconscious with a nerve pinch and he collapses on top of the boombox shutting it off. All the bus riders give him an applause. So does the viewing audience.
Mr. Spock attempts to use profanity and doesnâ€™t quite have the knack for it in â€œStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home.â€
Noting to Admiral Kirk on how the language is laced with â€œShall I say more colorful metaphors,â€ Kirk tells him thatâ€™s just how people talk in the 1980â€™s. Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word. Spock takes the advice literally, and the results are some of the funniest lines in the film. The fact that itâ€™s Spock and that heâ€™s delivering them as if itâ€™s normal conversation. The ultimate payoff occurs after theyâ€™ve saved Chekov and are preparing to take off to find the whales.
Kirk: â€œSpock, whereâ€™s that power you promised me?â€
Spock: â€œOne damned minute, Admiral.â€
The audience laughed so hard they missed the next line by Mr. Scott over the intercom.
Mr. Spock sacrifices his life to save the USS Enterprise from the Genesis Dentonation in the Mutara Nebula
A truly heroic moment with a Vulcan twist, Mr. Spock enters the irradiated warp control chamber in the engine room to repair the warp drive with only 3 minutes to spare when Khan sets the Genesis Device to detonate in an attempt to kill Kirk at all costs. First, he tricks McCoy, nerve-pinching him to get past him, and then pulls off the repair and the USS Enterprise escapes just in time. What follows is one of the best cinema death scenes, and one of the best moments between Kirk and Spock ever filmed. With the glass between them, they have the following exchange while Spock slowly succumbs to the radiation. SPOCK: â€œThe ship…out of danger?â€
SPOCK: â€œDonâ€™t grieve, Admiral…tâ€™was logical. The needs of the many…outweigh..â€
KIRK: â€œThe needs of the few..â€
SPOCK: â€œOr the one….I never took…the Kobayashi Maru test…until now…what…do you think…of…my…solution?â€
KIRK: â€œOh, Spock…â€
SPOCK: â€œI have been…and always shall be…your friend…..Live long…and prosper…â€
The twist is he downloaded his â€œKatraâ€ into McCoy when he was unconscious to preserve his soul in the Vulcan way. When Kirk sends his body in a Photon Torpedo Tube and it soft-lands on the Genesis Planet, his cells are regenerated and his body is reunited with his Katra in the next film. While not the first(or the last) hero to come back from the dead, this was certainly one of the greatest.
And those are my top 12 favorite Leonard Nimoy moments. Did I miss any of yours? What moments of him touched you, my friends? Peace(and long life).