A legend passes on following over half a century of making popular culture a richer place.
THE RECENT LOSS OF LEONARD NIMOY CONTINUES TO SEND WAVES AROUND THE WORLD. That may last a while. As a definitive figure of popular culture for 50 years, it’s almost impossible to take in the impact in one go. And it’s not just Trekkies, Trekers, Geeks, Nerds and Fans. Nimoy was an actor, director, poet… And of course, a singer. He gave us Three Men and a Baby; he gave us The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. He also secured Star Trek a long future and an incredible legacy.
Of course sadly he’s not the first major death from the Original Series cast. Sulu, Chekov, Uhura all fortunately stride on as William Shatner reaches new levels of legend every day. But the engine room went with James ‘Scotty’ Doohan in 2005. The passion of the series left with DeForest Kelley in 1999. But it was the third side of the Original Series triangle that has proved the most endearing, and the most important to Star Trek. The legendary Spock. In the rebooted films of 2009 and 2013 they just couldn’t leave him alone. And even though his appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness was largely irrelevant, his presence enhanced the film. The reborn franchise has wiped every Star Trek series from the galactic map bar Enterprise and one other crucial element. Spock, the bridge of the Next Generation universe who gets to rebuild the Vulcan race.
Yes, Leonard Nimoy was even immune to a reboot, a rare privilege well-earned in front and behind the camera. And when it came to pastiching the Original Series’ second film as this new crew went Into Darkness, he couldn’t not be there.
Nicholas Meyer’s two militaristic masterpieces gave him his finest hour of course. The death of Spock at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan set the agenda for the successful run of Original Series films. And it was Nimoy who stepped up to direct the third and fourth parts. In doing so he set the template for actors of the franchise moving behind the scenes. American television is all the richer for the alumni of Trek who have cut their shouting skills on the set of Star Trek. Of particular note is that other legendary first officer of the Enterprise, Jonathan Frakes, who in turn helmed two Star Trek films including the 1996 classic First Contact. Continue reading “Star Trek: “It is a reminder to me that all things end” RIP Spock”