Vaya Con Dios, Mr. Spock
Vaya Con Dios, Mr. Spock
Leonard Nemoy passed on to his eternal reward this Friday, the 27th of February, in the year of our Lord 2015. The newspaper notice listed his many film credits and activities over the 83-year span of his life. He was an actor of great range and credibility who entertained us for many years.
But, to many of us, he was simply Mr. SPOCK, the pointy-eared Vulcan whose calm-voiced and logical approach, as Science Officer on the star ship Enterprise helped his shipmates cope with the mysteries of intergalactic adventure. They collectively entertained us for the seventy nine episodes of the original Star Trek television series that first aired in the mid 1960’s. Spock and Captain Kirk chased villains throughout the cosmos in this series and in several full-length movie versions there after. Their adventures thrilled us with the high-tech gadgets that propelled them through the intergalactic void in their search new life and new civilizations. Inventions like the Teleporter, phasers, warp speed and other exotic special effects lit fire to our imaginations. Indeed, “Beam me up Scottie” is now a part of our language as are other well turned phrases from the series.
Spock was an iconic figure whose empathic presentation helped make these space age morality plays both credible and entertaining. Producer Gene Rodenberry’s gang of galactic boy scouts tackled issues like racism, greed, anger, bullying, poverty and a dozen other societal issues that, like the westerns of another generation, found the good guys besting the bad guys and winning either the horse or the girl.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s dictum of the “willing suspension of disbelief” was always at play with this band of star hopping good guys. We hissed at the evil Klingons, and laughed at the various personality quirks of the whole crew while skipping across the cosmos at warp speed.
The empathic identification was so strong on many viewers that decades later found them gathering at Star Trek conventions, wearing the iconic uniforms, armed with toy phasers and bedecked with star fleet insignia.
I don’t know much about Leonard Newoy, the man. He may have been a giant of compassion and understanding to family and friends. To me however, he will always be Mr. Spock, the half-human, half-Vulcan super man whose struggles with the inherent conflict, of logic displacing the passion of emotion magnified that of the human dilemma and gave voice to the good side of both.
Live long and prosper Mr. Spock., I say with right hand raised and fingers split into a vee-shape. You will forever be remembered by several generations of fans who absolutely loved what magic you brought to the small and silver screens.
Joseph Xavier Martin