Star Trek superfans know that there was just as much drama backstage as there was on-screen. The feud between William Shatner and George Takei is as epic as it is ongoing, and Shatner also had a falling out with co-star Leonard Nimoy a few years before the latter passed in 2015.
But before their friendship went south, Shatner and Nimoy appeared to have a convivial relationship, though that doesn’t mean there wasn’t always some level of tension between the two actors. One of the most interesting rumors about the original Star Trek cast involves William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and a bicycle. Fans of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy may have heard an apocryphal story about the time Shatner stole Nimoy’s bike on set. But did it really happen? Read on to get the details.
Shatner Admitted to Stealing Nimoy’s Bike on Camera
In the video above, Nimoy and Shatner regale a crowd of fans with anecdotes from their days on Star Trek.
“He’s mean, he’s really mean,” Nimoy tells the audience of Shatner. “He stole my bicycle!” Nimoy adds.
The bicycle even had his name on it, according to Nimoy, which added insult to injury.
Apparently, Nimoy was doing the “logical thing” by bringing a bike to set. And given his “logical” character of Spock, who could blame him? Having wheels on the backlot enabled him to leave set quickly, cycle over to the commissary for lunch, and get back to makeup quickly in time for touch-ups on his Spock ears before resuming work after the crew lunch break.
For his part, Shatner seems to have been miffed about Nimoy beating getting to eat lunch before his other co-stars, which prompted the bike theft prank.
“His dogs are meaner than he is,” Nimoy jokes in the video above, referring to the Doberman dogs Shatner likes to breed. “That’s not easy.”
The Bike Prank Escalated to Include a Doberman
If you watch the entire video about the bike incident, you quickly realize that Shatner made a habit out of pranking his co-star by taking his bike. This was not a one time prank or theft.
By our count, the video references at least four distinct incidents where Shatner was involved in separating Nimoy from his beloved Flyer bicycle. It is not entirely clear in which order, or on what dates, the following pranks occurred:
1. Shatner steals Nimoy’s bike and hoists the bike up to hang from the ceiling of a soundstage
2. Shatner steals Nimoy’s bike and chains it to a fire hydrant (Nimoy eventually liberates the bike with bolt cutters)
3. Shatner steals Nimoy’s bike, and then hides it in his own dressing room “for safekeeping” (where it is guarded by Shatner’s pet Doberman, of course)
4. Nimoy gives up, and hides his bike inside his own Buick automobile. Shatner then arranges for the Buick to be towed with the bike still inside.
Nimoy revealed the Doberman in Shatner’s trailer went for Nimoy’s throat when he attempted to retrieve his bike during that particular incident. Nimoy jokes in the clip about trying the infamous Vulcan neck pinch on the territorial dog in Shatner’s trailer that day.