by Lorie Lewis Ham
On September 8, 1966, the first episode of Star Trek premiered. No one would ever have predicted what a phenomenon that this show would turn out to be, especially since it was canceled after three seasons.
On September 8, 2016, the show celebrated the 50th anniversary of its premiere, and in a very small handful of cities in the US Star Trek fans got to see the documentary For the Love of Spock, made by Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam. I was surprised to find out that this film would be showing in Fresno at the Tower Theatre, and of course I had to be there. I grew up with Star Trek, literally, as I was born 50 years ago. This show probably had a greater impact on my life than any other show in my entire 50 years, and I’m sure many other people could say that as well.
This documentary shares much about the life of Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, and his experiences through the years with this character. It was fun to learn how much of Spock actually came from the creative mind of Nimoy–from the Vulcan greeting Live Long and Prosper to the Vulcan nerve pinch. In this film, you learn a lot not only about Spock, but about Nimoy’s personal life and career. It was interesting to hear more about the behind the scenes politics of the show, and about Nimoy’s family life. Adam shares a great deal about what it was like growing up with “Spock” for a father, and some of the difficult times their relationship as father and son went through. Nimoy’s work ethic shines through as he always gave his best to everything he did, and was smart enough to never assume a good job would last. He was determined to make certain that his family would always be taken care of no matter what happened in his career. Little did he know where the character of Spock would take his life.
For the Love of Spock gives Star Trek fans the chance to get to know more about this amazing man, and the character that the world has come to love–one of the most iconic TV characters in history. Included are never before seen interviews and photos. You also see how Star Trek inspired, encouraged, and changed the lives of many, and even of the world of science itself–inspiring many to follow the path of science and space as careers. Among those interviewed are William Shatner, Walter Koenig, Zachary Quinto, JJ Abrams, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
This was an absolutely perfect way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of one of the most loved shows of all time, and one of the most loved characters and actors. My only disappointment was that they jumped from talking about The Voyage Home, (which was a very significant and important movie for Nimoy), to the new movies, leaving out the last two classic Trek movies, and Nimoy’s appearance on Star Trek the Next Generation. They also left out other TV appearances during those years, such as his role on the show Fringe. It seems that those things at least deserved a mention, but that aside this was a wonderful film and one every Star Trek fan should see. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to see it on the big screen, and in the lovely historic Tower Theatre in Fresno. People came all the way from San Jose and Sacramento to be there!
I think what stands out the most to me in this documentary is that not only was Spock an amazing character, but Nimoy was an amazing man who left behind an incredible legacy. When several of the people who knew and worked with him were asked to provide one word to describe Leonard Nimoy the most used word was love–that says more about the man than anything else could.
The DVD can be purchased on the official For the Love of Spock website. You can also use this link to rent or purchase a digital copy from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link: