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Spock - First and Chief Science Officer (Serial No. S179-276SP) aboard the 23rd century starship, the USS Enterprise on the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69.

Mr. Spock

Born 2230 on the planet Vulcan in the city of ShiKahr, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) aspired to the stars. After a lengthy training period, he was assigned to the USS Enterprise, part of a fleet of interplanetary starcruisers belonging to the United Federation of Planets.

Spock's first tour of duty lasted thirteen years under the command of Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) who was later replaced by Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner). Despite the fact that Vulcans were trained to express no emotion, Spock became Kirk's close friend, noting concern for his safety on a number of occasions. Despite his friendship with earthling, Spock often observed that the human species was "highly illogical."

DNA speaking, Spock was the product of a human mother, Amanda Grayson (Jane Wyatt), a schoolteacher from earth and a Vulcan father, Sarek (Mark Lenard). This co-mingling of racial bloods often confused Spock in his pursuit of logic, a prize the Vulcans admired above all things in the their search for peace and fulfillment. 

The Vulcans had in ages past been a fierce race of barbarians filled with destructive emotional tendencies. However, through the teachings of Surak and his philosophy of pure logic, they had caste aside all emotion to live in peace with each other. As a mark of self control, the Vulcans ate no meat.

It was believed that the warrior race of Romulans in another galaxy were distant relatives of Vulcan who had abandoned the teachings of logic to pursue the merits of warfare.

Controlling emotions did have its draw backs, however. Once every seven years, during their younger years, Spock  - like all Vulcans - went through the torment ("fever") of a mating ritual which forced him to mate with a pre-chosen female partner.

A practice handed down "since the time of the beginning." This genetic trait could be fought but only for a few cycles. At that point the mating fever was so intense (the blood burned hot and hold on logic diminished) anyone not submitting to it would surely die in the process. It was the earthly equivalent of being a confused, hormone-ridden teenager multiplied a hundred fold.

Once the mating was accomplished, however, logic returned. In Spock's case his mate, T'Pring (Arlene Martel) refused him and forced him to battle with Captain Kirk. According to Vulcan law, T'Pring had the right to choose her own champion. She had planned her refusal to marry Spock quite logically. If Spock had lost, she would have the right to choose a new mate. And if Spock had won, she would have his name, his property and still she would have her chosen lover while Spock was away on the Enterprise.

After the intense battle, in which Spock thought he killed his Captain, the madness that drove him disappeared. Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett) the human nurse on board the Enterprise was relieved to find Spock had not married because she already had the "hots: for that point-eared Vulcan hunk.

Other characteristics that distinguished Spock from his starship crew members included:

  • Green tinted skin-due to his green copper-based blood;

  • A pulse that topped 212 times per minute;

  • A heart positioned where a human would have his liver;

  • His telepathic ability to read the thoughts and emotions of others by using his Vulcan mind-melding touch technique;

  • His habit of sleeping with his eyes open;

  • His pointy Vulcan ears which some thought made him look like a Medieval version of Lucifer.

  • Spock's super-human strength and his Vulcan nerve pinch (applied pressure at base of neck and shoulder) which rendered a person unconscious.

Once Spock was accidentally exposed to an overdose of sunlight which blinded him. However, it was discovered that Vulcans had evolved an inner eyelid because of the brilliant sunlight on their planet.  Recovering from his temporary handicap Spock remarked, "the inner eyelid acts as a shield against high intensity light. We tend to ignore it as you ignore your appendix."

On the parental side, an ongoing disagreement between Spock's father and himself about his career choice with Starfleet kept them from talking to each other for eighteen years. But since the average life span of a Vulcan is 250 years, I guess their silence wasn't that long after all.

As a child on Vulcan, Spock had a large bear-like creature with six-inch fangs called a Sehlat. His earthling mother Amanda called it "Spock's Teddy Bear." Spock's other talents included playing the Vulcan harp.

In November of 1991, the Spock character resurfaced on a two-part episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/FOX/1987-94 where he attempted to unify the Romulans and Vulcan races in 2368.. Soon after, Spock learned of his father's death. Luckily, however, Captain Jean Luc Picard, (Patrick Stewart) had mind-melded with Sarek before his death. Picard then mind-melded with Spock and shared his father's last thoughts which included his love for his son. 

Mr. Spock
Mr. Spock in the STAR TREK spinoff movies

In the motion picture spinoffs of the TV series, Spock's character went through additional changes including:

  • Dying  from radiation poisoning;

  • Resurrecting himself on the planet Genesis;

  • Saving the planet Earth by returning whales from the past to the future;

  • Rediscovering his long-lost brother, Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) who had left Vulcan to pursue a search of emotion verses logic.

TRIVIA NOTE: In 1980, the newly formed British rock 'n roll band called themselves T'Pau after a character featured on the STAR TREK series. T'Pau (Celia Lovsky) was a high ranking Vulcan official who presided at Spock's failed wedding ceremony (episode No. 34 "Amok Time"). She was the only person ever to turn down a seat on the Federation Council.

See also "Sarek"; "Vulcans"; and CATCHPHRASES: "Highly Illogical" 

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