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.
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
of a mating ritual which forced him to mate with a pre-chosen
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
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
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
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 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;
on the planet Genesis;
Saving the planet Earth by returning
whales from the past to the future;
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
See also "Sarek"; "Vulcans";
and CATCHPHRASES: "Highly Illogical"
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