• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #200: Spock

Favorite Fictional Characters, #200: Spock



Your illogic fascinates him. And pisses him off.

To celebrate 200 days of my favorite characters, I turn to one of the greatest fictional characters of all time. While James Kirk is without question my Star Trek spirit animal, it's hard to argue that with Spock, Leonard Nimoy and Gene Roddenberry collaborated on an absolute game changer. Here was an alien, sinister and even satanic in appearance, who was utterly a force for good in the sprawling universe he roamed. Not a little green man with a ray gun, or some body snatcher, Spock was a person even though he was different. In the late 1960s, when women and people of color were trying to make a similar argument, his debut and swift acceptance spoke volumes.


Logic was his northern star, his religion, his identity, but that was a choice he made, and not always an easy one. While he bent every effort to perceive and engage with the world in a cold, rational manner, he simply could never fully deny his human half. Try as he might to build an implacable wall around himself of duty and science and reserve, the belonging and friendship and, ultimately, love he found with the crew of the Enterprise (and mot importantly her captain and yes, even her medical officer) brought those walls down. The original series Trek is still the best, and Nimoy's push-pull dynamic with Shatner is one of the reasons why. Spock's quiet affect makes the smallest moments so moving - "He knows, Doctor" at the climax of City on the Edge of Forever and "Captain...Jim!" at the close of Amok Time are wonderful. So when Spock plays his part in the all-time great scene of the all-time great Wrath of Khan, and tells Kirk "I am, and always shall be, your friend," it is farewell and confession and thanks. That a lonely, ostracized soul found a home and a family, he was grateful and at peace.


There's so much more to talk about with Spock, more than I allow myself to indulge in with these brief profiles. His candor, his loyalty, his fierce sense of possibility, all of it so deeply and permanently given song by Nimoy's burgeoning talent and commitment. No matter how many reasonable facsimiles might mimic him, we shall not see his like again, I fear.

6 views0 comments