In the original Star Trek series, Mr. Spock’s contemplative temperament was balanced by Capt. Kirk’s emotive and physical nature. Now it’s the captain’s turn to reflect.
It’s hard to believe that an entertainment franchise consisting of five distinct TV series, 12 feature films, numerous comics and novels, an animated series, fanzines, conventions, and a huge worldwide fan base began with an underfunded TV series that only ran for three seasons (1966-1969) before being cancelled by the network for its unprofitability. This year marks the 50th year since the franchise’s birth, and the crew of the Enterprise continues to go where no man has gone before. Though the fabled starship has had many actors at its helm, the original portrayals of Kirk and Spock remain iconic. Shatner (Shatner Rules, 2011, etc.), who will celebrate his 85th birthday in March, memorializes his esteemed co-star in a memoir that spans the half-century of the two actors’ friendship and, with the input of others who knew Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015) well, beyond. From Nimoy’s early years in Los Angeles scrounging for bit roles in TV to the late actor’s charitable support of Zachary Quinto in his 2009 reprisal of the role of Spock, Shatner describes his friend as a serious artist who constantly honed his craft. Though the actors eventually formed a strong bond, Shatner humbly recalls bags of fan mail arriving in the first weeks of Star Trek’s popularity and the jealousy that he felt that the most beloved character on the show was Spock. Fans will devour anecdotes surrounding the making of the series and its posthumous surge in popularity, but Shatner takes readers behind the nonemotive Vulcan visage to reveal the poet, photographer, devoted stage actor, recovering alcoholic, and formidable listener who was his friend.
A fond remembrance of Leonard Nimoy by one who knew him like no other.