Sunday, September 11, 2016

At Flashbak: The Life and Times of Mr. Spock

This week at Flashbak, I marked the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with a look at the career of the great Mr. Spock.

“…Although we all have our own favorite characters from the franchise, the series may be known best for one personality in particular: Leonard Nimoy’s half-Vulcan/half-human Mr. Spock.

The late Mr. Nimoy brought so much humanity and dignity to the role of Spock, and the writers -- from the original series to the feature films -- also did their best to make the Enterprise science officer an individual of importance, tolerance and dignity, in universe (well, except for  noticeable exceptions such as “Plato’s Stepchildren” or “Spock’s Brain.”)

So, looking back at the fifty year (fictional) career of Mr. Spock, here is a short recap of his greatest accomplishments. 

These accomplishments might be considered, essentially, in a handful of useful categories.

Scientist: In his time aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Mr. Spock used his Vulcan mental abilities to advance the frontier of galactic knowledge, and save imperiled life-forms. He discovered, for example, the location of the mythical planet Eden (with help from Mr. Chekov) in “The Way to Eden.” More significantly, he saved the last survivor of an endangered species, the silicon-based life form called a Horta, on Janus VI (“The Devil in the Dark.”)

Diplomat: Although Spock often disdains diplomacy and diplomats too, he surely must rank as a great one. He is, for example, the individual who opens up negotiations with the Chancellor of the Klingon High Command, Gorkon (David Warner) in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). His efforts secure an alliance with the Klingon Empire that, by the time of the Next Generation (1987-1994) several decades later, permits Klingons like Worf (Michael Dorn) to serve in Starfleet.  Also, in the same span of in-universe history, Spock undertakes a diplomatic mission to unify Vulcan and Romulus, though unsuccessfully.

Friend: Spock’s loyalty is such that he stands on trial with the rest of the Enterprise bridge crew in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), even though he was not a part of the mutiny (being, technically, deceased at the time). Again and again throughout Star Trek, we have seen Spock’s loyalty to Kirk, whether saving him from an intruder in his own body (“Turnabout Intruder,”) rescuing him from dimensional interphase (“The Tholian Web”) or even helping the good captain to forget a hurtful emotional episode (“Requiem for Methuselah)…”

Please continue reading at Flashbak

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