Adam Nimoy’s tribute to his father is a tender and loving exercise.
Celebration. That was Adam Nimoy’s original plan with his documentary For the Love of Spock – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek by producing a documentary on his father’s enduring character, Mr. Spock. However, plans change as life sometimes forces it to do. What was released was equal parts celebration of Leonard Nimoy’s iconic portrayal of the ultimate outsider, a look back at his decades-long acting career, and Adam’s own personal journey of reconciliation with his father. All of this makes For the Love of Spock a touching look at an actor, a character, and a father.
Highlights include a fun trip down memory lane through some of Leonard’s acting career prior to being cast in Star Trek, with clips from Gunsmoke, The Lieutenant (the guest role which earned him the character of Spock) and other television and film performances. It might be odd to see him in so many diverse roles and without his defining ears, yet it is a terrific tribute to the actor. Also included is his time on Star Trek in front of and behind the camera as well as his post-Trek work, including plays, directorial assignments and an acting appearance in an The Outer Limits episode directed by Adam.
Thousands of Star Trek conventions later, most of Leonard Nimoy’s anecdotal stories from the set of Gene Roddenberry’s creation have become muscle memory to most fans. While Adam is smart to only touch on the more memorable bits, he does include some rare convention footage in which Leonard reads a 1966 Variety review of the show’s debut to an audience. Listening to Leonard tell the story, guffawing at every criticism, is worth watching the film for alone. There are rarely seen interviews as well, which top off the look at his impressive career.
The heart of For the Love of Spock comes during the more personal moments, as Adam interviews fans, fellow colleagues, and the current torchbearers of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Much like Rod Roddenberry’s confession in his Trek Nation documentary, Adam had a similar experience in regards to growing up under the Star Trek shadow with his father. Taking his own path as many children do from their parents, makes Adam’s relationship with his father no different from the documentary’s audience. Of course, there is one big difference – Adam’s father played Spock, and sometimes he admitted to feeling as if he had to share the affection of his father with fans the world over, and that he was losing that battle.
The fact that he does not shy away from any of those experiences, warts and all, leaves viewers with a better understanding of what it means to be the son or daughter of a famous parent who is recognized and beloved the world over. In the end, these touching moments are what will leave the biggest impact on viewers. The rare moments from Leonard Nimoy’s professional life are a true time capsule and testimonial to his acting career, but the quest to be a better father and the impact all of it had on his children, is what is special about For the Love of Spock. Somewhere, the “mensch” has to be smiling at his ultimate recollection by his son.
For the Love of Spock is available in cinemas in the US and worldwide with behind-the-scenes extras on We Are Colony.