— What was my first memory of Leonard Nimoy?
After having learnt of the passing a true legend, Leonard Nimoy, I reflect back at what I can recall as a child. I was first introduced to the science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek, as a little child. The very first episode that originally aired on Sept. 8, 1966. This was early, 90’s for me. Extremely startled at the sight of a half-human and half-Vulcan creature was the name of Mr. Spock. It was the pointy ears, that had me frighteningly intrigued.Was he human? Or a science experiment, some of my earlier thoughts, and the many more that came after. It was jarring. I hadn’t seen anything like Star Trek, the kind of space science material, I was too young to understand what it was really about. But it had me intrigued. I began watching it only to watch the expansion of Mr. Spock’s character development, the intensity of character projection. One of the iconic characters in television history.
Who could forget the famous ‘Vulcan Salute’, which when I first it performed in the TV show, I actually believed it meant something for real.
“I went through a definite identity crisis. The question was whether to embrace Mr. Spock or to fight the onslaught of public interest. I realize now that I really had no choice in the matter. Spock and Star Trek were very much alive and there wasn’t anything that I could do to change that.” — Autobiography, Volume One, I Am Not Spock (1975)
But at that time, I hadn’t known that Spock was portrayed by Leonard Nimoy, I actually believed, that probably a creature really did exist, or something as similar. I was fascinated. Highly. The second performance I had seen but didn’t that Spock was indeed Leonard Nimoy, Philip Kaufman’s 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Without the Spock make-up and outfit. But even then I hadn’t known Leonard Nimoy, his real appearance. Leonard Nimoy as Dr. David Kibner took you by surprise.
This shocking, unsettling narrative became not just a cult classic film, but one of my instant all-time favorites. The jarring nature of suspenseful terror was potent, with elevated tone and effect.
Of recent times, one of his last major roles, I was excited to learn more about Leonard Nimoy. When he played the brilliant but demented and mysterious scientist William Bell, colleague to John Noble’s Walter Bishop, in the sci-fi TV series Fringe. The series that has been described as a hybrid of The X-Files, Altered States, and The Twilight Zone. He couldn’t resist to returning to Fringe later, as a villain, an evil version of William Bell. He enjoyed the”theatricality” of playing a villain. And like myself, he loved the TV series.
“I think Fringe is a wildly imaginative show. The writers, creators and producers of the show are very bright and very theatrical. All the characters are fleshed out wonderfully and the chemistry between the cast is terrific. I wanted to be a part of this project.” — Leonard Nimoy on Fringe.
I deeply believe this is one of his finest characters in the history of television, with which, for me, will be the most remembered. I’m glad he shone even brightly in his last major roles. I loved Leonard Nimoy as William Bell, what he added to the equation was powerful. This is the perfect tribute of a true legend. Farewell Sir. You were a screen gem.
— M. Aamir