As fans celebrate the 55th anniversary of “Star Trek,” much attention has been paid to the new actors who will breathe life into classic roles. The new show “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” promises to deliver new adventures, with names familiar to even the most “classic” Trek fans.
This includes actress Celia Rose Gooding taking on the role of Uhura, first made famous by Nichelle Nichols. Gooding, a veteran of Broadway, will likely get the chance to show off her range as an actor, singer, and dancer.
Ethan Peck is Spock
Ethan Peck, grandson of Hollywood legend Gregory Peck, will pick up the pointed ears from Leonard Nimoy and bring Mr. Spock back. Yesterday, Peck’s appearance on the Star Trek Day live event was full of excitement, as showrunner Akiva Goldsman was on the edge of his seat whenever Peck spoke.
When Peck did manage to speak, he said that “Strange New Worlds” would explore “legacy relationships” from the TOS era. That could mean that something between Spock and Uhura could happen on “Strange New Worlds,” much like what fans saw in the J.J. Abrams’ Trek films.
While much of the focus was on Peck, an exciting video made its way back to the public eye. In honor of Star Trek Day, Portland television station KGW unearthed an interview from 1967 featuring the original Mr. Spock.
Leonard Nimoy: From the Archives
In this video, Nimoy sat at a table, being interviewed by a “clueless, albeit professional anchor,” KGW’s Destiny Johnson writes. This anchorwoman asked Nimoy to explain some of the most fundamental parts of the Spock character as if she had never seen “Star Trek” before.
Nimoy explained that Spock was a half-human, half-Vulcan person who was used to not sharing his emotions.
“It’s a challenge, but of course, that’s my job, showing emotion or not showing emotion, that’s the actor’s craft,” said Nimoy on the video. “I’m often surprised when a man comes into my house and can fix a leaky faucet that I’ve been working on, perhaps, for a couple of hours and only managed to make it worse, you see? That’s his craft. He comes in and does it. My craft is to play interesting and unusual characters.”
One interesting story from Nimoy was how Roddenberry promised to get rid of the pointed ears if “Star Trek” audiences didn’t take to them, as Nimoy didn’t enjoy the 45-minute process he spent before each day of shooting.
“I went to Gene [Roddenberry], and I asked him to give up the idea of the pointed ears, and he said, ‘No, he wouldn’t — we’re going to keep working on this, and we will get it right eventually,’” said Nimoy. “And he said, ‘I promise you, if you do the show with the ears, at the end of 13 episodes if you’re not happy, I’ll write you a script where you get an ear job.”
Nimoy and the Ears
When the show was on its way to a second season, Associate Producer Bob Justman told Nimoy that he figured out a solution for the ear problem. This story was captured in the book “Star Trek Sketchbook,” as relayed by fansite, TrekToday:
“Before we started the second season, I put Leonard on, telling him I could solve the ear problem for the whole second season. I said, ‘Leonard, I think I’ve come up with the answer to the ear problem. You’re going to be able to save all that time in makeup. No more being uncomfortable, no more pain, no more problems. You can just get regular makeup, and everything will be perfect.’”
“And he says, ‘Yeah, what is it, Bob?’ And I said, ‘We’re going to send you to a plastic surgeon, and we’re going to point your ears. When the series is finished, we’ll pay to have them put back to normal!’”
Nimoy also appeared as Mr. Spock in a parade in Medford, Oregon in that same year.
Needless to say, this never happened. But as KGW’s Destiny Johnson wrote, Nimoy’s character “would later become a household name, beloved and cosplayed by millions.”