Let me start off this blog post with an admission. Although the passing of Leonard Nimoy isn’t exactly adventure game related, it is something I feel some emotion about because his death this morning brought to mind my formative years and the inspirations I have which led me to a career in making adventure games.
I have a vivid memory of Star Trek being rerun on television during my summer school holidays every year, and my father asking me to record them for him. It must have been 1986 or 1987 I suppose. So my first experience with Leonard Nimoy was watching Star Trek while sitting in the Australian summer while my brothers played outside, dutifully recording it without the adverts for my dad, on our VHS with the remote which ran on a 10 meter cable instead of the later infrared versions. I lucked in I suppose in watching Star Trek is that the first episode I watched was the Corbonite Maneuver which remains one of my favorites to this day, and the second episode I watched being City on the Edge of Forever. They didn’t bother playing things in order on our local TV station back then.
I watched as Spock held a distraught Kirk back from saving Edith Keeler and explained that the right thing to do was to let her die. Remarkable television even today but as a young fella it showed me how a good story could effect people. I would say that the realism of Shatner and Nimoy’s performance in that episode is one of the reasons it stands up so well. You can’t single out any single factor that made Star Trek so good, but Nimoy’s performance as Spock is certainly one of the main reasons. As an unfeeling alien he shined a light on humanity and showed us the best and worst we could be. As Kirk said at the end of Star Trek 2, “Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”
One last thought, I still can’t decide whether Star Trek 2 or Star Trek 6 is the best classic Trek movie. But the scene between Kirk and Spock in Kirk’s quarters where they discuss their age is my firm favorite scene. “Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness?” I love that it feels like Shatner and Nimoy talking, knowing the The Next Generation was proving to be popular.
It’s hard to put into words why his passing means something to me, yet it does. Star Trek was a massive part of my early teenage years and Mr Spock is a massive part of Star Trek. I suppose that’s all that matters in the end, that it DOES mean something. LLAP.