Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

By Jaime Weinman, Maclean's

Photo: © Paramount Home Entertainment

Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83, and everyone is sad. Not just Trekkies, not just science fiction fans — everyone. Some science fiction characters have specialized appeal, but Mr. Spock was a character for the whole world.

Of the three main actors on Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy was the only one to appear in the original pilot. He also appeared in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movie, so you could say Mr. Spock was the first and last character from the original series. He’s also probably the most influential. Captain Kirk was the hero, but we’d seen heroes like him before. Spock became the No. 1 cult figure on the No. 1 cult TV show of all time. Many characters —humans, robots, humanoid robots — were created as thinly disguised copies of Spock and his primary contradiction: he’s someone who believes he should be a creature of pure logic, but has trouble suppressing his human, emotional side. Really, every time you see a super-intelligent, anti-social character who is more human than he or she lets on — like Brennan on Bones or Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory — you’re seeing the influence of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock.

Read the rest of this column at Maclean's.

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