I do not normally stray far from the “things that go bump in the night” theme for this blog but sometimes, something occurs in the world that just has to be noted. Such an occurrence is the death of actor Leonard Nimoy.
As with most people, my first awareness of Leonard Nimoy was as Spock, the Vulcan First Officer of the Enterprise in the TV series Star Trek. I spent many childhood hours watching this series with my father and both he and I agreed that Spock should have staged a mutiny and jettisoned Kirk out the nearest waste tube.
Spock had the coolness and grit needed to run a star ship without letting his emotions run roughshod over his decision making. I find it telling that Patrick Stewart, the New Generation’s Jean-Luc Picard, played his captain with much more emotional control – to my mind a subconscious bow to Spock. I also find it telling that, when JJ Abrams decided to reboot the Star Trek movies, the one person from the original series and movies that he tapped was a very aged Leonard Nimoy.
Despite the logical and self controlled demeanor of the character, Mr. Nimoy always managed to play Spock with just the right touch of humanity. His desert dry humor (although he would never admit that he was trying to be funny), barbed observations about his frequent foil, Bones, and his willingness to occasionally allow his friendship with the other two main characters to color his decisions, all contributed to a delightfully nuanced character that really effected my sensibilities back in those days.
For those of us who are of a Fortean bent, however, Mr. Nimoy will best be remembered for his role as host of the iconic show, In Search Of . . .. As with so many people in the paranormal and Fortean community today, I had my first exposure to some of the mysteries that I still explore today in episodes of that show and Mr. Nimoy’s voice and calm, even-handed delivery, even when faced with most incredible evidence, kept the show from spinning off into the hyperbole that we see in much of today’s TV offerings on the unknown.
There are a lot of tributes going around the internet for Mr. Nimoy. I add my voice to those others who wish him well on his journey into the Otherworld. May he find comfort in whatever form the afterlife takes for him and may he know with certainty the profound effect he had on a whole generation of boys growing up during the 60’s. Some of us needed role models other than Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke) as we came of age.
Wherever you may be, Leonard Nimoy, may you live long and prosper there as well.