“My father was a renaissance man. He could do just about anything.”
— Adam Nimoy
I first heard that Adam Nimoy, the son of the late Leonard Nimoy was making a documentary about his father and the latter’s role as Star Trek’s most popular character, Mr. Spock. It was in the season 9 episode 7, The Spock Resonance. Coming from the show, it was not easy taking the documentary seriously, and Adam Nimoy was relatively unknown to this author apart from the fact that he’s Leonard Nimoy’s son since I never paid much attention to the credits in the shows I watch. Boy, was I wrong.
In a word, alive. That’s a good way to describe the documentary, For the Love of Spock. It was as if Leonard Nimoy was still with us, at least, that was through most of the show. For the Love of Spock was very well-made. Adam Nimoy is a gifted director just like his father. He directed some episodes of very popular shows like The Outer Limits, NYPD Blue, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alley McBeal and Gilmore Girls. Kudos to his production team as well. For the Love of Spock had a good flow from the lead-up of Leonard Nimoy’s career to his iconic role. The documentary fleshed out Spock as a character very well. It also focused on Leonard Nimoy as a great actor, as a hard-working father, as a colleague and as a person.
For the Love of Spock showed Leonard Nimoy as a man with a serious work ethic. He valued his family very much which made him a great, talented actor. It also showed us that Leonard Nimoy wasn’t all Spock. He was very much human like the rest of us. He had his issues, he had his hobbies; he had a great sense of humor and he had his pain. We’re also shown stuff the Nimoy family was privy to including Leonard’s struggles during his youth, his family life, his drinking, his divorce and his parent’s passing.
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We also see Adam’s sometimes shaky relationship with his father as Leonard struggled to balance family and career. It almost mirrored the relationship between Spock and Sarek but unlike them, Adam and Leonard fully reconciled and bonded shortly before the latter’s passing.
Since it’s a documentary, it very informative and surprisingly very entertaining. You could read up on Spock and Leonard Nimoy in Wikipedia, but this documentary trumps that. It’s a rare occasion where the film trumps the book. This documentary brings all that information to life in a series of materials that covered much of the original series cast up to Star Trek Beyond. It was told through amazing old photographs given 3D effects, old home videos and re-mastered film clips. Some remastered episodes of Star Trek TOS can still hold up today. It was also told through interviews with family like Leonard’s brother Mel Nimoy and wife, Adam’s older sister Julie, as well as interviews with friends and colleagues. Everyone was willing to give in homage to the man and the 50 years of Star Trek.
Star Trek cast both old and new in relation to Spock shared their views of Leonard and his iconic role. William Shatner, Walter Keonig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Zaldana and Simon Pegg. If there’s one critique for this film, there’s not enough William Shatner interviews since he was probably the one who worked with Spock the most. It was also fun acknowledging The Big Bang Theory episode where Adam interviewed Sheldon. They also used the set to interview Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik. It was strange though that Wil Wheaton was nowhere to be found in the documentary. Wesley Crusher had little relation to Spock anyway.
As said, For the Love of Spock was very informative. Leonard Nimoy contributed to Star Trek in more ways than acting out his role. This is where we learn the detailed origin of the Vulcan salute. It was basically a salute to God himself since the gesture actually was the shape of the first letter (Sh) of God’s name, Shaddai. It’s ironic since for some, Star Trek is practically a religion. The gesture was Leonard Nimoy’s contribution. We also learn that Leonard also came up the Vulcan nerve pinch. Nimoy also shared Roddenberry’s vision of diversity by insisting that George and Nichelle be included in Star Trek: The Animated Series. What I learned from Spock was how to up my pain tolerance in the 29th episode of Season 1 called Operation Annihilate when Spock described how Vulcans have higher pain tolerances than humans. Took all those injections and blood extractions like a Vulcan.
For the Love of Spock was very fascinating. The documentary was fun to watch. It gave me the urge to watch Star Trek: The Original Series again. Which might as well since the franchise’s 50th anniversary is upon us. It was sometimes a psychedelic experience because of the ‘logically’ chosen music since TOS, and Leonard’s prime was during the 60s and 70s. Never even knew Leonard Nimoy had something to do with The Lord of The Rings. Imagine him singing a jingle about Bilbo Baggins. Totally hilarious. At least Leonard Nimoy’s performance didn’t blow up the Enterprise unlike Miley Cyrus’ twerking did.
For the Love of Spock has a very in-depth view of Spock, Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek. It’s a must watch for all Star Trek fans.
For the Love of Spock opens today in theaters across the US, and is available to stream now with behind-the-scenes extras globally on Colony.
Film Review: ‘For the Love of Spock’
Reviewed in New York, Sept. 9, 2016. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 111 MIN.
PRODUCTION: A 455 Films. Producers: Kevin Layne, Joseph Kornbrodt. Executive producers: David Zappone.
CREW: Director: Adam Nimoy. Screenplay: Adam Nemoy. Camera (color, widescreen): Mauro Fiore. Editor: Janice Hampton, Luke Snailham.
WITH: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Mayim Bialik, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, J.J. Abrams, Jim Parsons, William Shatner, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy.