I Wanna Be Literated #261

I Wanna Be Literated #261

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Friday, 14 October 2022
BOOKS

I Am Not Spock
by Leonard Nimoy

What a difference there is between new Star Trek and the old school series where it all started. Any true fan of the show will tell you that Spock is the best, and also a groundbreaking character for TV in general. I don’t quite understand why Leonard Nimoy wasn’t more popular or why he was only ever associated with Spock. It turns out, Leonard Nimoy himself is quite aware of that, which is why he wrote I Am Not Spock.

A disclosure on the name. It might sound harsh, but the reality is that the original Star Trek series came out back when people were even dumber than they are today, when people truly expected the actors and the character they played on TV to be the same. Like if people today thought Brian Cranston truly is a drug dealer. Nimoy is nothing if not appreciative of the opportunities Star Trek has brought to his career, but the reality of the matter is that even though he feels the lingering presence of Spock inside of him, and he helped bring him into existence, he is not Spock. And, as Nimoy himself asks, if he is not Spock, then who is?

Although there is an analysis of Spock as a character and what helped bring him to life on TV, I Am Not Spock is more of a brief autobiography of Leonard Nimoy’s acting career up to the mid 70s. What comes through in the pages of this book is that Nimoy is a gifted writer and takes all the roles he’s played very seriously. He is perhaps a bit pretentious at times, but it’s nice to know that there is a lot of thought behind the decisions he’s made as an actor and that at the heart of all these decisions is the desire to get better at this craft and provide for his family. He’s a realist in his assertion that, although playing Spock typecast him in many ways, it also opened up a lot of opportunities and made him wealthy. He truly loves the character and Star Trek and wanted to make the show the best it could be. The same applies to every TV and theatre roll he’s taken on since.

I Am Not Spock is a great look inside the man and seems to only scratch the surface of the onion that is Leonard Nimoy. There are very cool stories on what it was like making Star Trek, the obstacles, the petty bickering, and the daily process, and these help add some depth to a show which fans would appreciate.

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