NPR (& Nimoy) Take A Look At Spock

As part of their ongoing ‘in character’ series, NPR radio took a close look at the character of Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series. The six minute audio report available online includes comments from the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, along with TOS writer DC Fontana and MIT professor Henry Jenkins.

Listen to the entire report at, some excerpts below

Nimoy on the birth of ‘fascinating’
The first time Spock used his trademark line, Nimoy recounts how he shouted the line, but the director made a change that shaped the character thereafter

The director, God bless him, said be different from everyone. So on the next take: "Fascinating," in that cool, collected way. I think in that moment a very important aspect of the character was born.

Nimoy on Spock’s status as an outsider.

When [Gene Roddenberry] hired me to do the role, he gave me a very interesting dynamic to work with, in that Spock’s mother was human, his father was Vulcan. He was sort of a half-breed. I think that’s one of the most interesting things about Spock. It’s not what you’re getting, but what you don’t get — what peeks out occasionally.

MIT Professor on Spock – a multicultural sex symbol
Henry Jenkins, humanities professor at MIT, sees that Spock became an unlikely, sex symbol because of the way he showed the struggle between intellect and emotion:

It’s a struggle we all face. Are we driven by our emotion or by our intellect? And how do we reconcile those two things?…Spock is sexy for a large number of people, male and female. Many of the female fans I studied really are attracted to the emotional depths of this character. Spock represses outward signs of emotion. He’s a character "who tries to hold it all in, but who seems to be sensitive, sensuous at certain times…He seems to have a deep affection and even passionate relationship to Captain Kirk. This character, then, became the embodiment of the mystery of masculinity.

Jenkins also sees how Spock’s bridging of his human and Vulcan sides represents multi-culturalism, something that is still relevant today:

In that sense Star Trek looks ahead to the society we live in today, where so many people are mixed race, mixed cultural background,. And I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, looking at Barack Obama. There’s something in the [Obama] mythology that seems to echo our assumption about Spock — that he’s someone able to bridge worlds. And he’s indebted to Vulcan philosophy of IDIC, the Vulcan philosophy of infinite diversity and infinite combination. Someone who is of mixed race is seen as being capable of understanding both races.

As it happens, Leonard Nimoy is a Obama supporter.

Listen to the entire report at

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Nimoy Rocks, Quinto socks!

Darth “Spock Obama” Ballz



Nimoy ’08! Write in candidate.


Ya know, in almost forty years as a trekkie, I’ve never seen an episode of “Star Trek: The Original Series”. But everyone keeps talking about it. Sounds good, whatever it is.

I’d definitely recommend checking TOS out #10. It’s my favorite series right after DS9. Some of the episodes are cheesy and awful, but when this series was good, damn it was good!

8 Hubertus

How is Blue Ant stock doing these days?

Obama or not, I still like and respect Nimoy.


I ‘m shocked, #9 :) You missed out the good stuff.

I’ve watched all series and really love DS9 too, but TOS is eternally the one and only to me – okay, I started out as an impressed kid in 1976, but still – once you get involved in the characters, they are just eternally interesting!

Y’know, I’ve never seen this “Star Trek: The Original Series” either.

There was this show called “Star Trek” back in the day, though…


It’s been awhile since someone said it: Fascinating.

Spock was always interesting when his human half peeked out. But, I think the other Vulcans let their emotions out from time to time in TOS. Especially their egos. Enterprise capitalized on that by making the Vulcans all basically the a-holes of the 22nd Century. Interesting, too, to note how few actors managed to do the detatched observer thing without coming off as bored.

“That green blooded son of a bitch. It’s his revenge for all those arguments he lost”. Despite Dr. McCoy shots at Spock, I think it was the docs way of palling around with Spock. Everyone loves Spock…..hey, that might make a cool TV series?????

” . . . . I am in control of my emotions!” boohoo! boohoo!



Eminently logical.

#11 (danya)
blue ant is thriving. we’re developing a campaign worth billions based on a product that doesn’t exist. dorotea is managing it. i’m typing this from inside a jet that weighs less than an ipod…


Logical, yet, fascinating.

#9 that has to be a joke post. Good article on NPR, fascinating !!

My favorites….
“Only Nixon could go to China”

“My mind to your mind….”

“Commander, your attire might actualy stimulate the conversation.”

Sparock Obama, anyone? No…

McCoy: “Please don’t say it’s fascinating”

Spock: “No, but it is …interesting”

Dr. Jenkins, I concur on the sexy, sensuous, passionate part. I would like to be able to analyze the data personally someday. Now if I could persuade Mr. Nimoy to supply me with said data…

Denise, are you sure it’s his data that you want?


Did you have to toss the man’s politics into it? Don’t we have enough politics in our lives without having our heroes become real as well? That always gets me …. I am a fan of someone for their acting and the roles they play. When you toss too much real-world crud into it, it detracts from their ability to be heroes.

Pesky real world!

“That green-blooded son of a…”

human!” LOL

As yes, Barack Obama, the only logical candidate.

It seems a lot of the Star Trek actors support Obama over Hilary and McCain. I wonder why that is? Aren’t there are Conservatives in the future?

I do not wish to stir up a hornet’s nest, but I’m tired of being told that any discussion of Star Trek and politics should be off-limits. Star Trek contributed to the forming of my political views when I was a teen, and I still consider it a natural extension of my politics. After all, what are we talking about when we say Star Trek is an optimistic portrayal of a better future humanity? What is that comprised of? Some of that is politics. And if Star Trek helped inform Leonard Nimoy’s thinking the way it has mine, his leanings are quite logical.

guys, lets not get too political and especially too personal

Commodore#31- LOL!

there are in fact conservatives in the future. they are called romulans. and they are WAY conservative. check the way they dress, for example. (not to offend those 21st century conservies, whom i consider the loyal opposition, btw.)

spock is rather like an obama/clinton ticket though, isn’t he? same goals, but highly conflicted. still, lovable.

“I’m a doctor, not an escalator.” Woops that’s before they shared a body.


If you go back and study the Romulan Empire in all of the Star Trek episodes (TOS TNG DS9 ENT) the Chinese government or the deceased Soviet Union resemble the Romulians most. If you watch Enterprise you truly see the Liberal perspective. In season 1 an episode hinges on setting a worm free in its native environment, and not harming even a microbe in testing the new phasers. Fast forward to season 4 of ENT and the genetically enhanced humans embryos are a problem. Ta Pol simply says destroy the embryos. Archer says it was too controversial in the 20th century. So worms and microbes are important to Libs, human embryos, destroy them when its inconvenient.

46. You make joke. You funny.


The Klingons were the Soviets and the Romulans the Chinese.

Vulcans are logical and don’t hold life sacred. Spock was all for killing Gary Mitchell too. His dad was capable if killing to if he found it the logical thing to do. A Vulcan marriage can end in a fight to the death. T’pol was just offering a logical (but not necessarily liberal) solution.

curious. (can’t believe no one thought of that line!)

Interesting. Fascinatingly curious.