For the Love of Spock is a biographical documentary directed by Adam Nimoy (son of Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy) and released in September of this year. The run-time is just shy of the two hour mark, coming in at roughly 1 hour and 51 minutes total. It is currently available on Netflix and I am almost positive it is more than available on other streaming services as well for those of you interested in the material.
I recently watched the documentary on a whim and was touched by the equal parts tribute and historical glimpse into both the character of Mr. Spock and the character of Leonard Nimoy respectively. It truly is a marvelous work in its own right but is even more important to myself and the millions of Trek fans out there that have appreciated the series and fandom over the years because it not only gives light to previously unknown or relatively unknown details behind the scenes, but also operates as a fully functional tribute to Spoke/Nimoy himself.
Adam Nimoy cleverly pieces together footage and film from a variety of Trek sources and couples that with appearances on-screen and off by fellow actors and directors and friends and family who have worked with Spock/Nimoy over the years and/or otherwise had an influence upon him or he upon them. I cannot tell you how heartening it was to see the origins of the character as well as Leonard Nimoy’s acting career both explained and revisited by both Nimoy himself and his compatriots. Appearances by William Shatner and George Takei are easily some of the highlights but even they pale in direct comparison with the segments moderated or discussed by Leonard Nimoy himself.
Originally, the work was prescribed to be a documentary project telegraphed by the father/son duo themselves and exploring both the history and impact of Spock through the years. While it is still very much so, it has since taken on another purpose and that is choreographing Nimoy’s own chronicles within and without the character due to his death in early February 2015. I think it is a very well-thought out documentary and also one that should be watched and can be appreciated by fans and non-fans alike. It is just as much a tribute to the character and the series as it is a calling for mankind to work together and seek to embody the very values oftentimes dictated and shown by Spock to viewers. While on one hand he is seen as an emotionless and logical half-breed, on the other he is perhaps the most human of us all.
Whether you have watched the series and the films since their inception, came on board with the new era of films under J.J. Abrams, or have never watched a second in your life and don’t quite know what I’m talking about besides a pointy eared man with strange eyebrows and a horrendous bowl cut, you should still watch and absorb the details of the documentary. I think you will find them insightful and helpful even outside the realm of the fandom and Trek universe, even outside of Nimoy’s career and life. In more ways than one, Star Trek is just as much a contributor to the rise of science fiction in mass media in the latter years of the twentieth century and certainly in the beginning of this twenty-first one. Without the writings of esteemed science fiction authors we may not have seen Trek, but without Trek we may never have seen or heard of the films and stories which have since influenced game developers to ply their craft and trade as they have these last several decades.
Science fiction has rapidly grown from a pulp fiction to a cult following in mass media and has spawned numerous flagship franchises such as Star Wars and Alien, not to mention Star Trek as well. Science fiction has extended from television and film and written works to gaming as well and it’s hard not to see the influence in galaxy spanning quests such as Trek in games seeking to do the same or similar things, even outside of games directly related to the Trek franchise itself. So if you don’t feel any sort of investment in the documentary because you can’t call yourself a fan of the series or its material, or you feel at odds with viewing a biographical and non-fiction films because you feel those are “boring,” think instead about where gaming would be without the man who has been a cultural icon and part of one of the most influential and important projects in history.
Some men and women are born leaders or grow to become some of the most influential politicians, leaders, and philosophers of our time. Others, like Leonard Nimoy, make their own mark upon culture and people and trod their own path towards both greatness and influence.