It was 1989 (not just the name of a Taylor Swift album) and my family was on holiday in California. I was watching Star Trek with my cousin Andrei. I cannot remember exactly what happened in the episode and all my searches online have proved useless, but somehow Spock overcomes a computer system using logic. I remember asking Andrei to explain it to me and at the time what he said made sense. I was impressed with the idea of a character using words to beat an enemy and not using brute force.
Photo by movieswithdad.
I grew to admire the character and was intrigued that it was the actor Leonard Nimoy that suggested that hand gesture Vulcans use be shaped as it is — just like the Jewish priests use when conferring blessing onto the Jewish people, as well as resembling the Hebrew letter Shin. Shin, for Shalom — Hello, Goodbye, and Peace — by no coincidence, Vulcans say “Live Long and Prosper” as a form of greeting. The nerve pinch also came from Nimoy, believing that the Vulcan people would be too sophisticated to go around punching people.
I had a Spock doll as a child, and part of me wishes that I still had it — as well as a hardcover Star Trek children’s book I must have read dozens of times, Spock once again being the hero of the day in saving a planet.
Years later I found myself at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater on the Upper West Side. I was there to watch the classic documentary, “The Sorrow and The Pity.” It was a rather grim four and a half hours but I was at one point thinking about what an incredible man Leonard Nimoy was for donating the money to make the theater possible.
In everything I have ever read about him, he seems to be have been one of the most gracious and kind people when it came to fans coming up to him as fans of his tenure on Star Trek. I think he recognized that if it were not for the fans, he would not have ever gotten anywhere as an actor.
I read this morning that Nimoy passed after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The world is a sadder place. We are fortunate to be left with his body of work, which includes being the narrator for the scientific television series In Search Of….