Costumes, Props and Make-Up
Last month I posted two pictures from Wrath of Dhan (http://www.wrathofdhan.com/collection.html), a costume collector's page, who acquired two costumes worn by Mr. Nimoy as Spock. This got me started on the subject and here's some more about how Spock comes about in in the process. (more)
A Fascinating Man
In the interview with the Official Star Trek Magazine (May 2012) Leonard Nimoy talks about not only wanting to entertain people as an actor but "to offer some kind of enlightenment to help people to understand the their lives and the world we live in," and that "being involved with Star Trek has accomplished that with an exchange of ideas and enlightenment" that he's proud of. Later the interview turns to the character of Spock being an inspiration to generations of current research explorers. Mr. Nimoy says about that "A lot of people have been encouraged to go into the sciences because of Mr. Spock. It's terribly important to our country and our culture for young people to go into the sciences. We need that very, very badly, and to hear that impact has me very proud." He also sums up what makes Spock someone you would like to have around. He's reliable and looks "at a situation critically, intelligently, and rationally and not fly off the handle." (more/close)
One of the best analyses of Spock I've ever read (besides the one from Isaac Asimov on the sex appeal of our favorite Vulcan) again comes from Mr. Nimoy himself and was written by him for the magazine The Humanist in 1976. Here he again details not only what makes Spock a good scientist as a scientist, but one we would desperately wish and hope for. A scientist we can trust in his ethics.
We must not overlook the fact that we know that Spock is part human and that we therefore suspect him of being compassionate, even a humanist at heart. Thus we feel safe in placing our fate in his hands. Certainly he would never make a decision that, though logical, would be antihuman. Logic alone might someday dictate the extermination of millions of innocent people in order to relieve overpopulation, food shortages, and ecological problems. In that case we could turn to Spock-the-scientist and know that he would find brilliant solutions to mankind's needs.
So this particular ETI or type of ETI is superior t in his decision making abilities and in his scientific knowledge. But we trust that he will apply these superior assets for our benefit.
In that same piece he also writes about the surreal experiences of having his make-up test filmed on the sound stage of I Love Lucy and how it already helped him form part of Spock's attitudes towards humanity, the interplay between actor and character, being contacted by "metaphysical" organizations telling him he was chosen to prepare humanity in the role of Spock for the future and more.
My Trip to the U.S.
At the end of March/beginning of April this website was on hiatus. This was because I didn't have access to the software it is done in while traveling. I went to Boston, Philadelphia, and to visit with Grace and Bonnie, who both have contributed to this page countless times. It was a joy to meet both of you in person. (more/close)
'Wall of Fame' at the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center in Boston. Because of the timing of my trip, on the day of Mr. Nimoy's birthday, I was already in Philadelphia, where I found a sweet little shop, where I got a cupcake to celebrate the day in Mr. Nimoy's honor.
Two famous names found in Philadelphia. With "Moriarty" being undercover running a pub, I see the need for a U.S. adaption of Sherlock Holmes. And now we also know where "William Bell" went after disintegrating on Fringe ;) The historical mark for a William Bell of Philadelphia is located in front of the Liberty Bell Center. Mr. Nimoy, in a number of tweets, has voiced his concerns for the job market in the U.S. From visiting Boston, one wouldn't guess that the economy is in trouble. The opposite was true for Philadelphia, where a noticeable amount of "For Lease" signs were hanging in shop windows.
On to Washington. Of course I went to see the model of the original Enterprise from Star Trek at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Once being displayed hanging from the ceiling, it is now located in the basement of the gift shop. First, I didn't know whether to take it as an insult as a fan, but the new setup does allow one to have a close up look from all angles. While in the gift shop there was twice as much Star Wars merchandize than Star Trek, at the Newseum TOS has not been forgotten.
While in Washington I met Grace, who was a wealth of information about her hometown and what to do and not do. If they say no food or drink in Washington subways, they mean it! But who, really, would put carpet in their subway cars??? On March 29th after enjoying a very good dinner at a Thai restaurant, we sat down with a bottle of wine and savored The Big Bang episode that guest starred Leonard Nimoy voice acting the Spock action figure that talks to Sheldon in his dreams. That's me and Grace and in the second photo Grace modeling her LN signed Spock shirt. (Sorry for me looking weird in the photos. I always think I look weird in photos and even more weird when smiling. You, Grace, and Bonnie, come out so much better in the pictures.)
After lots of power sightseeing and the blisters to show for it, helping Bonnie sort through mounds of LN pictures was a welcome change. And wow, did I see photos I've never seen before, and I have been around fandom for quite a while. Some of those she has shared with us on Beyond Spock and I can't thank her enough for that. Three more of those I've put above this post.
Dear Bonnie and Grace, many thanks for your hospitality and making this trip memorable. After just writing mails all this time it was such a pleasure meeting you both in person and I wish you well with both your projects.
"Sherlock" and Spock
My apologies for the lack of updates recently, but I had to get the Baker Street boys out of my system first by doing a music video. (more/close)
The actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, who portraits Sherlock Holmes in the hit BBC series was announced to be playing a part in the next Star Trek movie currently filming at Paramount. He is rumored to play the villain and today in the comments at TrekMovie I read that some even conjecture he might play a Vulcan from a remark made by Zachary Quinto. Since J.J. Abrams is coy about even calling the part in the movie a villain, there is much room for speculation. Whatever the case may be, both franchises have already been tied in the past by director and Holmes fan Nicholas Meyer in The Undiscovered Country where he has Spock citing Sherlock Holmes. The favor was returned only recently in a dialog in Sherlock's second season episode, The Hounds of Baskerville. Watson calls Sherlock "Spock" after Sherlock lectures him on the messy effects of emotions and the necessity to divorce himself from them to function adequately. Fans of Mr. Nimoy of course already know there is one more connection left to mention, since he, too, tried his hand at playing Sherlock Holmes in the past on stage.
The text on the picture taken to promote the play in 1976 reads, "Leonard Nimoy and Alan Sues, appearing at the Shubert in 'Sherlock Holmes', temporarily man the State Street Council Information booth at the NE Corner of State and Madison..... a crowed of fans lines up for autographs and fingerprints provided by the stars...."
"Leonard Nimoy as 'Sherlock Holmes' comforts his ally and dear friend Doctor Watson in a dramatic moment in the international hit coming to the stage of the Shubert [Theater] for a limited [engagement] beginning Tuesday, May 11. Doctor Watson is played by Ronald Bishop."
The music video, Color Me In, is here.
Another Sherlock Thought (Contains References to Ep. 2x03, Spoiler Alert if you haven't seen it)
Jackie, you asked me if I saw another connection between Spock and Sherlock in "the similarity between Watson's heart-tearing speech over Sherlock's grave, and Kirk's eulogy over Spock's coffin in STII," and I have to wholeheartedly say YES.
After saying that Sherlock told him once he wasn't a hero and that he didn't think Sherlock was even human at times, came the part where John spoke of Sherlock as the "best man and most human..." and choked and paused on the word human. Was I reminded of ST II? You bet. And of course there is the part before that where John and Sherlock are physically separated, unable to touch during Sherlock's last moments? (more/close)
Well, if you borrow, borrow from the best. (And the BBC, via YouTube, wouldn't even let me upload that clip where Watson calls Sherlock "Spock." Hrmpf.) There is another basic appeal to the character of Sherlock he shares with Spock, as viewers wait for those special moments where his humanity would peak through. And when it does, at the moment you realize that Sherlock is crying, it shatters your heart into a thousand tiny little pieces. But there the similarities end, as Sherlock describes himself as a highly functioning sociopath and elsewhere has been compared to Dr. House. Sherlock definitely has a sadistic streak in him. The way he delivers the deathblow to the convict through a grammar lesson in the opening scene of The Great Game is cruel and he leaves the scene with a satisfied smirk on his lips. There is a promise, though, that Sherlock is redeemable that is offered through the presence of John Watson who becomes his link to humanity and moral compass. Like Kirk and Spock, Sherlock and John only become more than the sum of their parts through the other's friendship. Sherlock, the man who didn't give a shit about what others think of him, has learned to care. It would be easy to say that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one when Sherlock has to face suicide in The Reichenbach Falls, but that's not the case. Of the three targets identified by Moriarty as Sherlock's friends, only John really matters. To ensure his survival, Sherlock has be cruel to him and for probably the first time in Sherlock's life, cruelty does not bring pleasure but pain. It's essential that John believes in Sherlock's death and Sherlock knows exactly what it would do to him.
All comparisons aside, in the cobination of character traits, manerisms, composure and the actor's talents behind it, a truely unique character was created. As someone posted on Tumblr, " Benedict Cumberbatch is our generation's Leonard Nimoy, his Sherlock is our Mr. Spock."
One last bit of trivia before I end, Benedict Cumberbatch has been playing Vincent van Gogh in a British docu-drama Van Gogh - Painted with Words.
The stories of our lives. Who controls them? Who creates them? Is it really only us? Where a celebrity is concerned, there are those who make money off the stories they sell. A juicy headline often helps... (more)
Bonnie Featured in Newspaper Article
As you know, she is a regular contributer to this page. Congratulations, Bonnie! (more/close)
As someone who had to deal with some 'creative' approaches to Star Trek fandom from the press, too, while being an editor at a prominent German fan newsletter, I can completely relate to what Bonnie told me about how the headline came to be. "Both the reporter and myself," she wrote, "HATED the 'Crazy for Nimoy' heading. The reporter e-mailed me to apologize for it, adding that someone else at the paper put it in and he felt LN and I deserved better. That was nice of him."
Me and Beyond Spock
Sometimes I'm asked if Mr. Nimoy knows about this website. About that I can say this - I have it on good authority that he's been sent a link to Beyond Spock by a person whose judgment he would respect, even before I worked up the nerve to twitter him the link to the page congratulating him to his 80th birthday. But, recognition by him is not something I would expect to happen anytime soon. When I started the page I had to decide what direction to take. Would I like to pursue getting in contact with Mr. Nimoy and gain his approval or would I like to focus my efforts on the needs of his fans. I chose the latter. (more/close)
And therein lies the dilemma, even in the case that Mr. Nimoy might have liked some of what he saw if he chose to have a peak. The Internet is murky waters and people on the production side of media content have a different angle on seeing their product uploaded to, say, YouTube or any other outlet, than those of us enjoying to have/gain access to it.
Also, would I have displayed some of the magazine articles that I have? Since some of them give me the urge to apologize to him for digging them out of the gutter again, maybe not. But, they're part of the picture and allow insight into what is involved in getting (suddenly) famous, some of the toll it takes, and how public perception of Mr. Nimoy has changed through the decades.
Last but not least, a very, very big Thank You! to all who have contributed to the success of this page and those of you who have let me know that they've enjoyed what they found here. A little pat on the back now and then always helps one going. To put a face to yours truly, this is me at the convention in London in 2004 (trying very hard not to blink and be caught with eyes half closed), being one of the many people at the photo op. With no idea that I would go online with this page a few years later in 2009.
Spock and the Magic of the Black Swan
Is it true? Is he really the only one that could work the magic of being Vulcan? The interview is from 1982 and since then we've seen a few more pointed eared fellows. My first reaction reading that was to wonder if it still was true. (more)
Beyond Spock on Tumblr
As I've said in an editorial rant in the past, if I would start this fan page today, I'd probably do it as a blog. Now I've taken that step and created an account for Beyond Spock on Tumblr. I see it as a supplement to the website. It's not meant to supplant the existing page, which will remain my main playground. Mainly, I see myself mirroring the "What's New" page, with the added benefit of allowing for comments to the posts on Tumblr. Plus, it gives me a location where I can put scans of interviews and audio & short video samples all in one place. I hope you'll enjoy this new feature.
On a Personal Note
The good news is I'm working more hours for the year to come (And I've been spending some of that extra money this month on Ebay to bring you some more goodies). The bad news is, you might have guessed it since I didn't get to update the page for a few days, I'm going to work more hours for the year to come. My shifts not always become my social life and while doing this website still is a lot of fun, real life might interfere a bit more in the future. Please bear with me while I'm adjusting to my new schedule. But I still strife to bring you something new every few days since I have so much more to share...