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Why Spock?

As I’m trying to process the news of Leonard Nimoy’s death I found myself reflecting back on original Trek, and what it was about Mr. Spock, our beloved Vulcan science officer, that so touched generation after generation of viewers.  For me Star Trek was the first visual evocation of what I had read and dreamed about almost since I learned to read.  The stars, other worlds, alien civilizations, space ships.  But where Spock was concerned I think it went deeper then that.

It did seem like people fall in love with Trek in adolescence and in many ways Spock was the personification of all those adolescent angsts.  Who am I?  Where do I belong?  Will I ever fit in?  My emotions are out of control and sometimes terrifying to me.  Added to that was and is the fact that a lot of science fiction fans are brainy and probably didn’t spend junior high and high school running with the cool, popular kids, being captain of the football team or a cheerleader.  When the Enterprise first flew across our television screens “geek” and “nerd” were not terms of approbation.

Suddenly there was this fascinating (and for the girls) sexy figure who was super smart and now we all had a role model that said it was okay to be smart and conflicted and occasionally awkward, but the best and most loyal friend you could ever want.  It told us outcasts that we had a place and we had value.

Apart from all the wonderful stories that Original Trek brought to us — City on the Edge of Forever, Charlie X, Space Seed, Journey to Babel, Trouble with Tribbles, Where No Man Has Gone Before — to mention just a few there was this weekly morality play about the interplay of Heart (McCoy) Mind (Spock) with Kirk plotting (ideally) that middle way or the golden mean as the Greeks called it.

4 Responses to Why Spock?

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    To amplify a bit more. I think teenagers feel like aliens. I have to have been adopted. I don’t belong with this family. Maybe I am a foundling they picked up somewhere. 🙂 I know I felt that way from the time I was a little kid. Then I grew up and discovered that the exploration was great and crafting the person I wanted to be was even more fun.

  • Ronald Chavez says:

    With the death of Leonard Nimoy, I feel apart of my Childhood died. I loved and still love Star Trek the Orginal series. I remember walking with friends, to and from Jefferson Middle School, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, each one of us playing a character from the show, reliving the previous Saturday Nights episode and not being able to wait for Saturday to come again. Leonard Nimoy will be missed but Mr Spock still lives on, on my DVDs of all three seasons and of course the movies.

  • Ethan Morley says:

    My memories and life experiences have been coloured by Star Trek and Leonard Nimoy in particular, I am saddened by his passing, I echo your sentiments… I love this ;)Nimoy at his finest!!!

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