Mr Spock in words and pictures

Here is a bonus third post of the week, following my recent post on Leonard Nimoy and Mr. Spock.  For those with no interest in Star Trek, normal service will resume on Saturday with a cultural blog on Lisbon!

Rather than write a long post highlighting various aspects of the show or turning points for the character, I thought I’d take this route instead.  I’ve omitted several dozen of my favourite exchanges but these all give an insight into Spock and what he stands for.  Please note my Star Trek guide-book is 60% finished, other projects keep getting in the way but it will be finished before the next movie comes out 🙂

In the Galileo Seven, a scientific party is on a small shuttle-craft which crash lands in the middle of a mysterious zone of space which cannot be scanned from a distance.  With the Enterprise scheduled to leave the area in hours, the situation is made worse my marauding giant cavemen and the requirement to leave some crew behind in order to not overload the shuttle when taking off.

Mister Spock, life and death are seldom logical.
But attaining a desired goal always is, doctor.

– McCoy and Spock, on leaving three people behind on the planet 
Star Trek – The Galileo Seven
Galileo Seven

Marooned on a planet of gigantic stone age cavemen , Spock struggles to cope with the challenges of leading emotional and illogical humans and yet saves the day with a thoroughly emotional act.

In a whimsical tale of a little boy with the powers of a god who takes the Enterprise crew as pets, Mr. Spock is not afraid to nail his colours to the mast even when he could have been killed for doing so.

I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose.

– Spock, to Trelane  – Star Trek – Squire of Gothos

 

In “The City On The Edge Of Forever” an accident sends Kirk, Spock and McCoy accidentally back in time to the 1930’s.  All time is changed as Germany wins WW2 and no-one is quite sure how to remedy it.  A very young Joan Collins plays Edith Keeler, a social worker and peace activist who nurses the sick McCoy back to health.  Spock informs the captain that Edith is likely the source of the time paradox and that she really should die in a car accident… doubly troublesome when the Captain reveals he has fallen in love with her.  This most special of shows has lots of good Spock moments.

We have a flop.
We have a what, captain?
A place to sleep.
One might have said so in the first place.

– Kirk and Spock  Star Trek – The City On The Edge Of Forever 

I am endeavoring, ma’am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.

– Spock, as Keeler sees his work on the tricorder Star Trek – The City On The Edge Of Forever 

(Spock is stoking the boiler when Edith comes in to confront them.)
EDITH: That toolbox was locked with a combination lock and you opened it like a real pro. Why did you do it?
SPOCK: I needed the fine tools for my radio work. They’d have been returned in the morning.
EDITH: I’m sorry, I can’t
KIRK: If Mister Spock says that he needs the tools and that they’ll be returned tomorrow morning, you can bet your reputation on that, Miss Keeler.
EDITH: On one condition. Walk me home? I still have a few questions I’d like to ask about you two. Oh, and don’t give me that questions about little old us? look. You know as well as I do how out of place you two are around here.
SPOCK: Interesting. Where would you estimate we belong, Miss Keeler?
EDITH: You? At his side, as if you’ve always been there and always will. And you? You belong in another place. I don’t know where or how. I’ll figure it out eventually.
SPOCK: I’ll finish with the furnace.
EDITH: Captain. Even when he doesn’t say it, he does.

Star Trek – The City On The Edge Of Forever 

The City On The Edge of Forever

In this most loved of episodes, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are sent back in time, their future erased forever unless Kirk and Spock can stop McCoy saving the life of peace campaigner Edith Keeler. “Captain. Even when he doesn’t say it he does”.

Spock… I believe… I’m in love with Edith Keeler.
Jim, Edith Keeler must die.

– Kirk and Spock  Star Trek – The City On The Edge Of Forever 

Save her – do as your heart tells you to do – and millions will die who did not die before.

– Spock, to Kirk   Star Trek – The City On The Edge Of Forever 

In The Doomsday Machine, a rogue killing machine is on the loose from a distant time and place.  It destroys planets with a giant beam and uses the debris to re-fuel itself.

Random chance seems to have operated in our favour.
In plain, non-Vulcan English, we’ve been lucky.
I believe I said that, doctor.

– Spock and McCoy, after the doomsday machine’s attack on the Enterprise

Star Trek – The Doomsday Machine 

The Immunity Syndrome has a similar story to tell when the Enterprise is absorbed into a giant amoeba that if it multiplies will take over the galaxy.  Both Spock and McCoy think they are the best men for the dangerous mission to stop this.  Kirks problem is that they are both the best men and which friend does he consign to death, in the end it is Spock.  This episode also contains what may be the inspiration for The Force in Star Wars.

Vulcan dignity? How can I grant you what I don’t understand?
Then employ one of your own superstitions. Wish me luck.

– McCoy and Spock, outside the hangar deck door
Star Trek – The Immunity Syndrome

 

Mr Spock was so popular in the first season of Star Trek that the TV audience demanded more and so Amok Time gives us our very first glimpse of the planet Vulcan and the Vulcan culture and civilisation culminating with Kirk and Spock fighting each other to the death!

After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.

– Spock to Stonn, on winning T’Pring 
Star Trek – Amok Time
Fight to the death!

Kirk and Spock fight to the death in Amok Time. This episode introduces the planet Vulcan, Pon Farr and of course the famous Star Trek fighting music.

Live long and prosper, Spock.
I shall do neither. I have killed my captain and my friend.

– T’Pau and Spock, before he returns to the Enterprise
Star Trek – Amok Time

One of the things that make Star Trek stand out is that is is full of humour, some episodes are made to be outright comedies.  Even in other episodes the relationship between the logical Spock and emotional Dr. McCoy is always entertaining whether dramatic or light-hearted like the one below.

SPOCK: I find your argument strewn with gaping defects in logic.
MCCOY: Maybe, but you can’t evaluate a man by logic alone. Besides, he has avoided two appointments that I’ve made for his physical exam without reason.
SPOCK: That’s not at all surprising, Doctor. He’s probably terrified of your beads and rattles.

– Star Trek I Mudd

Journey to Babel is another Vulcan episode where we meet Spocks family whilst the Enterprise hosts an intergalactic peace conference with numerous alien races.  Spock father, Sarek, is seen arguing with a Tellarite ambassador who is later found dead.  Sarek is the chief suspect until he suffers a heart attack and Kirk is stabbed by an Andorian.  With the Enterprise under attack and Spock in command and yet the only person able to give a Vulcan blood transfusion.

KIRK: As you wish, Ambassador. Mister Spock, we’ll leave orbit in two hours. Would you care to beam down and visit your parents?

SPOCK: Captain, Ambassador Sarek and his wife are my parents.

Star Trek – Journey to Babel

(The doorbell rings impatiently.)
SPOCK: Come in.
AMANDA: Spock, you must turn command over to somebody else.
SPOCK: Mother, when I was commissioned, I took an oath to carry out responsibilities which were clearly and exactly specified.
AMANDA: Any competent officer can command this ship. Only you can give your father the blood transfusions that he needs to live.
SPOCK: Any competent officer can command this ship under normal circumstances. The circumstances are not normal. We’re carrying over one hundred valuable Federation passengers. We’re being pursued by an alien ship. We’re subject to possible attack. There has been murder and attempted murder on board. I cannot dismiss my duties.
AMANDA: Duty? Your duty is to your father.
SPOCK: I know, but this must take precedence. If I could give the transfusion without loss of time or efficiency, I would. Sarek understands my reason.
AMANDA: Well, I don’t. It’s not human. That’s not a dirty word. You’re human, too. Let that part of you come through. Your father’s dying.
SPOCK: Mother, how can you have lived on Vulcan so long, married a Vulcan, raised a son on Vulcan, without understanding what it means to be a Vulcan?
AMANDA: If this is what it means, I don’t want to know.
SPOCK: It means to adopt a philosophy, a way of life, which is logical and beneficial. We cannot disregard that philosophy merely for personal gain, no matter how important that gain might be.
AMANDA: Nothing is as important as your father’s life.
SPOCK: Can you imagine what my father would say if I were to agree, if I were to give up command of this vessel, jeopardise hundreds of lives, risk interplanetary war, all for the life of one person?
AMANDA: When you were five years old and came home stiff-lipped, anguished, because the other boys tormented you saying that you weren’t really Vulcan. I watched you, knowing that inside that the human part of you was crying and I cried, too. There must be some part of me in you, some part that I still can reach. If being Vulcan is more important to you, then you’ll stand there speaking rules and regulations from Starfleet and Vulcan philosophy, and let your father die. And I’ll hate you for the rest of my life.
SPOCK: Mother
AMANDA: Oh, go to him. Now. Please.
SPOCK: I cannot.
(She slaps his face and storms out.)

Star Trek – Amok Time

The third season of Star Trek is undeniably less great the first two years due to a lack of budget and many of the writers having left the show and yet in some ways it returns more to the core themes.  In Whom Gods Destroy Kirk and Spock beam down to facility for the criminally insane and are trapped there by a former starship captain who has become insane with shape-shifting abilities.

KIRK: They were humanitarians and statesmen, and they had a dream. A dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars, a dream that made Mister Spock and me brothers.
GARTH: Mister Spock, do you consider Captain Kirk and yourself brothers?
SPOCK: Captain Kirk speaks somewhat figuratively and with undue emotion. However, what he says is logical and I do, in fact, agree with it.

Star Trek – Whom Gods Destroy

Whom Gods Destroy

In Whom Gods Destroy Kirk and Spock are captured by the insane former starship Captain, Lord Garth. Marta is seen begging “Please can’t I blow off just one of his ears”.

 

The Cloudminders is a parable about living in an unequal society which in many ways is more relevant today than ever before.  Similar Star Trek shows tackled themes such as war, racism, equality and disability.

I have never before met a Vulcan, sir.
Nor I a work of art, madam.

– Droxine and Spock, on their first encounter  The Cloud Minders

This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts. Those who receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership.

– Spock, meditating on Stratos    The Cloud Minders

Spock, you haven’t changed a bit. You’re just as warm and sociable as ever.
Nor have you, doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.

 

Star Trek The Motion Picture is the first Star Trek film and sees a particularly frosty Mr. Spock.

– McCoy and Spock  – Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Each of us, at some time in our life, turns to someone – a father, a brother, a god – and asks: Why am I here? What was I meant to be? V’ger hopes to touch its creator to find its answers.
“Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?

– Spock and Kirk   – Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Whereas Star Trek 2 sees Spock at his absolute finest.

“You are my superior officer. You are also my friend. I have been and always shall be yours.” Spock – ST2:TWOK 

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.  Spock – ST2 :TWOK

Star Trek 4 took on the parable theme of the series for an environmental cause, the Humpback Whales and had the premise of the whales being at least as important on earth as humans, when they became extinct an alien probe comes to wipe out all life on the planet and start afresh.  Spock comes up with the idea of going back in time to 1986 and bringing them back without the humans of the time knowing anything about it.

There are other forms of intelligence on Earth, Doctor. Only human arrogance would assume the message must be meant for man. -Spock Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home

Spock, where the hell’s that power you promised?
One damn minute, Admiral!

– Kirk & Spock, (swearing for the first time in his life, trying to fit in to 1980’s LA)
Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home

Do you have a message for your mother?
Yes. Tell her I feel fine.

– Sarek and Spock  Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home
Spock and Sarek

Tell mother that I feel fine.

 

Star Trek 6 is the final film featuring all the original cast together and forces the old foes of the Federation and Klingon Empire to come together in peace and again mirrored the events surrounding the end of the Cold War. However vested interests on both sides don’t necessarily want peace.

You were right. It was arrogant presumption on my part that got us into this… situation. You and the Doctor might have been killed.
The night is young.

– Spock and Kirk    Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country

You’re a great one for logic. I’m a great one for rushing in where angels fear to tread.

– Kirk, to Spock    Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country

Is it possible that we two, you and I, have grown so old and so inflexible that we have outlived our usefulness?

– Spock, to Kirk   Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country
tar-trek-VI-the-undiscovered-Country-19-4-500x319

Star Trek The Undiscovered Country… from whose bourn no traveller returns.

Captain, I have orders from Starfleet Command. We’re to be put back into Spacedock immediately. To be decommissioned.
If I were human, I believe my response would be: Go to hell! If I were human.

– Uhura and Spock   Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country

Though Dr. McCoy and later Sarek had appeared on Star Trek TNG, having Spock appear was the final act that gave the show legitimacy and sense of belonging in the same Star Trek universe.

In your own way, you are as stubborn as another captain of the Enterprise I once knew.
Then I am in good company, sir.

– Spock and Picard   ST:TNG Unification Part II
Spock, Picard and Data

Spock with his long Vulcan life span in later years worked towards the reunification of the Vulcan and Romulan people, something which he continued to work towards in the 2009 Star Trek film.

 

For over 25 years, Spock vanished from new Star Trek as actor Leonard Nimoy took a principled stand over the direction of the TNG movies and his part in them but when at last new creators took over and Spock was given a meaningful part then the stage was set for his return in Star Trek 2009 as Spock(Prime).

 SPOCK
                   Father...?

      Sarek turns -- but IT ISN'T SAREK.   IT'S SPOCK PRIME.     Who says:

                                 SPOCK PRIME
                   I am not... our father.

      An incredible beat, our two Spocks in eye lock... both minds
      processing conversational possibilities at an incredible rate...
      surreal extensions of each other, separate but connected...

                                 SPOCK
                   ... Fascinating.

                                 SPOCK PRIME
                   There are so few Vulcans left.    We cannot
                   afford to ignore each other.

      Young Spock's eyes flicker in puzzlement...

                                 SPOCK
                   Then why did you send Kirk aboard when
                   you alone could've explained the truth?

                                            127
241   CONTINUED:                                                      241

                                 SPOCK PRIME
                           (beat, simply)
                   Because you needed each other. Opposing
                   yet complimentary opposites. It was that
                   balance between us -- I should say
                   you and Kirk -- that often made the
                   impossible, possible.

                                 SPOCK
                   ... it was a test?

                                 SPOCK PRIME
                           (no: his heart heavy)
                   I'm in no position to pass judgment...
                   my actions have robbed you of much. I
                   could not also deprive you the revelation
                   of all you can accomplish together... of
                   a friendship that will define you both in
                   ways you cannot yet realize.

      There is, to young Spock's surprise, vulnerability in that.

                                 SPOCK
                   How did you persuade him to keep your
                   secret?

                                 SPOCK PRIME
                   I inferred universe-ending paradoxes
                   would ensue should he break his promise.

                                  SPOCK
                   You lied.

                                  SPOCK PRIME
                   I implied.

                                  SPOCK
                   A gamble...

                                 SPOCK PRIME
                   An act of faith. One I hope you'll
                   repeat in the future.

      Young Spock considers an enduring friendship between him and
      Kirk... for the first time, understanding it. But --

                                 SPOCK
                   The future's not what it used to be... in
                   the face of extinction, it's only logical
                   I resign my Starfleet commission and help
                   rebuild our race.

                                        127A
241   CONTINUED: (2)                                            241

                               SPOCK PRIME
                 And yet, you are in a unique position...
                 you can be in two places at once.
                               (MORE)

                                              128
241   CONTINUED: (3)                                                    241
                                SPOCK PRIME (CONT'D)
                         (beat)
                 I urge you to remain in Starfleet: I've
                 already located a suitable planet on
                 which to establish a Vulcan colony, and
                 assist in the foundation of a new science
                 academy.

      Young Spock takes that in, resolute...

                               SPOCK
                 My future cannot be determined by your
                 past. We are one, but not the same.

                               SPOCK PRIME
                 Then I ask that you do yourself a favor.
                 Put away logic. Do what feels right.
                 The world you've inherited lives in the
                 shadow of incalculable devastation... but
                 there's no reason you must face it alone.

      Spock Prime moves to the door, stops.    Offers the VULCAN SALUTE:

                               SPOCK PRIME (CONT'D)
                 As my customary farewell would appear
                 oddly self serving, I will simply say...
                 good luck.

Star Trek 2009
As my customary farewell would appear oddly self serving, I will simply say... good luck.

As my customary farewell would appear oddly self serving, I will simply say…
good luck.

Unless Leonard Nimoy cleverly filmed a small scene for the new movie which is about to be filmed (not to be discounted given that his most recent appearance was kept quiet and Majel Barrett also appeared in Star Trek which was released after her death) then Spocks final appearance on-screen as played by Leonard Nimoy took place in 2013, 49 years after he filmed the pilot episode of Star Trek).  Here in Star Trek Into Darkness in this parallel universe, the crew of the Enterprise are confronted by a eugenically engineered superman from a past age.  Bombs go off in London and the Enterprise is set on a secret and unknown to them, suicide mission, when they recover Khan Noonien Singh.  With things looking desperate a young Mr. Spock contacts his older self.

Mr. Spock.
Mr. Spock.

– Spock Prime and Spock greeting each other on the Enterprise‘s view-screen 
Star Trek Into Darkness

I will be brief. In your travels, did you ever encounter a man named Khan?
As you know, I have made a vow never to give you information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk and yours alone. That being said, Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you.
Did you defeat him?
At great cost, yes.
How?

– Spock asks Spock Prime about Khan
Star Trek Into Darkness
Spock Prime

Live Long and Prosper. Peace and Long Life, just two of the timeless greetings immortalised by Spock.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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6 Responses to Mr Spock in words and pictures

  1. I still haven’t seen all the original series episodes, nearly there, but I do love Amok Time. It’s my favourite so far. Purely because of that famous Spock moment right near the end.

    “JIM!”

    Oh, man, I miss him so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MCCOY: There’s just one thing, Mister Spock. You can’t tell me that when you first saw Jim alive that you weren’t on the verge of giving us an emotional scene that would have brought the house down. .
      SPOCK: Merely my quite logical relief that Starfleet had not lost a highly proficient captain.

      Yes I like that too. They were a great team both the actors and the characters. I hope you get to see the rest of the shows soon though there is nothing like seeing them for the first time. That’s why seeing Leonard even just for 2 minutes in the recent film was amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post! “The City On The Edge Of Forever” was an exceptional episode written by Harlan Ellison. The teleplay deviated somewhat from the original story, having a different cause for character Edith Keeler’s death, which irritated Ellison – if I’m not mistaken.

    Like

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