What's New December 2011
A Happy New Year to all my readers
As the year winds down, TV floods us with reviews of the year's events and just for the fun of it, here's a look back at Mr. Nimoy's career from 1970 by, presumably, a staff writer from TV Yearbook who totally, completely, absolutely didn't get it...
Trailer for Zambesia
Marco Polo (1982) - Updated
In 1983 almost everybody I knew was watching that years Christmas special on TV. It was a year before private broadcasters were allowed on the air. All we had were three programs and that year the Christmas special in four parts the ARD showed was Marco Polo. (In case anyone wonders about the date, it took time to dub the series into German and that is why we saw it in '83) I don't remember if I watched it because it was that year's special on TV, or because Mr. Nimoy had a part in it, which I find really amazing. Usually that is a reason to remember! Maybe it was because I enjoyed the series on it's own merits back then and it didn't matter that much whether my favorite actor had a small part in it. I got nostalgic this year and started out summarizing only the parts Mr. Nimoy appeared in, since I wasn't planning on rewatching the entire series over Christmas, only to finish it out after all. The summary is here, you can find a choice of screenshots and other pictures here and for those still left wishing for more, all 379 can be downloaded here.
In the extras on the DVD the director of Marco Polo discusses what influenced his choice of actors a bit. The interview was conducted in Italian, there were no English subtitles, so I'm translating this from the German ones.
I set great store by the character of the people who would be with me all the way through our travels. For the smaller parts, I was open to suggestions...and because most of the financial support came from the U.S...from Procter & Gamble, NBC, big business companies. Thus, when one asks, "What do you think of Anne Bancroft?" what should I say? That I can't wait to meet her. And, indeed, it was a lovely meeting, even though it lasted only a few days. "What do you think of Leonard Nimoy?" I knew him from Star Trek and knew he was an excellent actor. Upon his arrival he was glad to loose his Star Trek ears for a while...and do what he's really good at, namely, play his part. So much about Leonard Nimoy.
Happy Holidays from Santa and his elf. (Source)
SIGNED LLAP Cotton Canvas Tote Bag
Still need a Christmas present for a Nimoy fan? Available on Etsy.
An interview from 2007 with Zachary Quinto who talks about Heroes, Star Trek, Spock, Sylar, finding that dark place inside and having a TV Land award presented to the Heroes cast by Leonard Nimoy and Luke Wilson...
EXCL: Sylar Speaks! Zachary Quinto Talks 'Heroes' and Spock
As I was watching "Heroes" and prepping for this interview I thought it was amazing just how much the show is similar to "Star Trek", especially with Masi's character Hiro and his constant references to the show. On top of that you have George Takei on the show and now Nichelle Nichols is joining the cast.
ZQ: Yeah, and I like that, it further strengthens the auspiciousness of all of these experiences and these people coming together. I think the message of "Star Trek" and the message of "Heroes" is the overwhelmingly optimistic message about humanity and its capacity to evolve and survive and to hold itself accountable considering the state of things. We live in a world where that is imminently necessary. It is nice to be a part of those things.
I don't think it is by mistake; you are drawn to the kinds of experiences you are meant to have, and I am really glad I am meant to have these ones. You know?
Yeah, it just seemed totally coincidental, as I am watching I am seeing all these Spock references and comments and I am thinking to myself "I am about to interview the guy that is going to be Spock."
ZQ: Yeah, in my own journeys to the role of Spock there have been my own little idiosyncrasies as well.
"Heroes" was honored at the TV Land Awards as a future TV classic and we went to the awards show last April 14th. I went to the event and we are sitting down and saying hi to everybody and as they were talking about preparation for the show to start they came out and said, "This award will be presented to you guys toward the end of the show by Leonard Nimoy and Luke Wilson." My audition for Spock was the next morning on April 15th.
So we got this award, went up on stage, I walked down the stairs behind Leonard, I said hi to him. Obviously I didn't engage him in a conversation about my audition because I didn't think it was the appropriate setting or time to do that. Little things like that along the way and just the connections between Tim Kring and Damon [Lindelof], and their history of working together there were just a lot of little things along the way that sort of supported the notion of it. It's pretty remarkable to look at it from my perspective.
Source: Rope of Silicon
Star Trek Radio Special From 1982
Trek Movie found a rare radio special produced on the occasion of the premiere of The Wrath of Khan.
Before the Internet and Ipods, radio programs were a popular source of entertainment and a potent promotional strategy. In 1982, for the premiere of Nicholas Meyer’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Source, a then popular radio network for young adults, featured an hour long program called “The Voyage of Star Trek” about both the history of Star Trek and the making of TWOK. New interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Ricardo Montalban, writer/director Meyer, fan Bjo Trimble, and science fiction author Isaac Asimov are featured. Also included are re-recordings of Gene Roddenberry’s lectures to college students during the 1970s (and originally available on the LP Inside Star Trek). The actors and crew discuss their thoughts on every from the popularity of Star Trek to their feelings about their characters. Especially interesting are the trivia included, such as Ricardo Montalban realizing during his interview that he starred in Gene Roddenberry’s first ever science fiction script for a television program back in the 1950s. (...)
VH Casting Director Eric with Leonard Nimoy (Submitteted by Grace.)
The Torah Center and Gesher presents “Lights” a fantastic Hanukkah show to be aired on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 27 on Comcast Cable Channel 96.
Some of television’s biggest stars--Judd Hirsch, Leonard Nimoy, and Paul Michael Glaser -- join in on this festive holiday film for the whole family. For more information call the Torah Center at 908-789-5252 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial: Take it with a grain of salt...
Confessions of a Former Vulcan
The fact that Mr. Spock may have exuded a certain degree of on-screen sex appeal would probably not have come as a surprise to LeonardNimoy, who has played thecharacter off and on for almost three decades. In fact, Nimoy once admitted that after the Star Trek episode Amok Time - in which Spock is possessed by pon far, a Vulcan mating drive — his fan mail jumped from a few hundred letters to 10,000 a week.
Read it all here.
I've been seeing some of those banners/buttons lately on the Internet and it seemed as good a time as any to dig up the interview below dating back to 1968. While the tone is schmaltzy, drippingly so, it offers a peek into the political past when the idea that show business people could aspire to become Presidents was something that society had just begun to mull over. The article also offers a bit of information that I haven't much come across elsewhere. Common lore has it that Mr. Nimoy was hired by Gene Roddenberry to play Spock after appearing in an episode of The Lieutenant that Roddenberry produced at the time. But here it is suggested that he was at least also cast on the strength of his portrayal in Death Watch and, see the article below this one, Dr. Kildare. While the shoe fit, Mr. Nimoy being cast as Spock was no fairy tale. The producers of Star Trek did do their homework.
Leonard Nimoy for President
During that period of intense struggle, Leonard found that few people knew he even existed. Agents paid no heed; acting jobs were few and far between. "But I always had work of some sort," Leonard said. "I worked as a cab driver, dishwasher and at whatever else happened to be available at the time. But for the true artist, this is a kind of slow death. Anything is when he yearns to create and doesn't have the opportunity to do so."
There was an exception -- Death Watch, that controversial Jean Genet film which was directed by Leonard's good friend, Vic Morrow, and in which he starred with Michael Forest Paul and Mazurki [sic.]. Speaking of that film, he exclaimed, "I had seen it with Vic years before as a play in the Los Angeles area. It got under our skin. We couldn't forget it. We knew we would never be satisfied until we did it as a motion picture."
Which involved more sacrifice, more scrimping, more bouts with hunger as he worked feverishly with Vic to raise the cost of the production which has been reported at $125,000, chicken-feed in today's inflated film market, but a fortune when you had as little money as the two of them did at that time. [Earlier in the article his yearly income was given at $2000 to $3000] But made it was, and in the end, Death Watch will earn them a rather healthy profit quite apart from the other very substantial benefits it brought Leonard.
"The producers of Star Trek saw it at a screening one evening," he said, "and a few days later I received a call, from their assistant director, asking that I report for a test at my earliest convenience."
Even back then in 1968 he had an insight that would hold true for the rest of his life because people to this day would assign qualities belonging to the famous character he played to the actor himself.
As evidenced by this inadvertent phrase in an UK Daily Mail article about Patterns of Force being first show on free TV in Germany in 2011.
I've been showcasing quite a few tabloid stories from the late 60's and all concerned emphasized on the Nimoy's being poor as church mice and often close enough to starvation before being saved by Star Trek (see the above one for a particular heart-wrenching rendition) in keeping with the fairy tale trope and it's modern cousin, the rags to riches story. It took an Australian magazine to put it right in 1969.
Mr. Spock's among the stars now - but it was an 18-year trek
"It was terribly sudden," the man with the pointed ears recalls. "First the mail came pouring in, then the phone calls from New York publishing houses, flustered editors of fan magazines saying, "people want us to write about you, but we don't know a thing about you. You aren't even in our files. Who are you?"
And this was a mere 2 1/2 years ago. Until then, Leonard Nimoy was one of the 1,000 or so Hollywood actors who manage to earn up to $15,000 a year and are quite satisfied with their lot.
"It isn't bad this money," he says from the vantage point of one who by now is assured of at least 20 times that much, "Stories had me as a struggling actor when I got the part. This is not true. I've been doing quite comfortably, averaging $15,000 per year since 1960 or so."
True, when he first came over, 18 years ago he did odd jobs, including operating a taxi cab for three months. But that was early in the game.
Still, he admits that were it not for Mr. Spock he might still be in that comfortable income bracket.
When Mr. Spock goes, the Enterprise having berthed for good, one Leonard Nimoy,
actor, will go on to new jobs, and do as well if not a lot better.
"Don't forget," he reminds you, "that mine was not type casting. Quite the opposite was the case. It was my ability to play roles worlds apart that convinced Gene Roddenberry that I was his man."
The producer first saw him in the role of a brash movie prompter in an episode of his own The Lieutenant series, and then compared this portrayal to Nimoy in an episode of Dr. Kildare, playing a shy, introspective character.
Surely the teen magazines felt the pressure most acutely and so his name is among those featured on the front cover of Flip's "Groovy Guide to the Stars" in May 1969. But there it doesn't end. He's not just listed among the "Groovy Guys", but within that list that distinguishes the mere groovy guys from the 50 "Super Stars" that have a place reserved for them at the top of the list. The list is sorted alphabetically and so his name shines up among the likes of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Elvis, Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, to pick only a few. (On a side note, William Shatner is not in it, but Walter Koenig is. The producer's rationale for bringing him in seems to have worked.)
Since we've been speaking of fairy tales, no fairy tale can ever be complete without a happy ending as once more demonstrated in the following soppy story that contrasts the state of Leonard Nimoy's marriage to that of William Shatner's. (Just head over to Interviews if you need any more proof. Don't be fooled - while the headlines are lurid, the stories serve to reaffirm the idyll of matrimonial bliss and family.)
When exactly Leonard Nimoy started to feel different about his first wife and when those feelings became oppressive, only he knows. But since unlike a fairy tale his narrative didn't end after Star Trek in 1969, the press smoothly moved on to another, more modern, script that called for more drama. As Mr. Nimoy said once about the media's continued fascination with the difficulty he and William Shatner experienced while filming the original series: if there is no conflict, there is no drama and if there's no drama, there's no story. And so we've been reading about feuds, dissent, and rejection. I'm Not Spock. A gift handed to the press on a silver platter with shockwaves reverberating right up to Star Trek III, where reportedly the studio had doubts about handing him the director's chair for The Search for Spock. Today he can joke about it at conventions. The interviews from the late 70's on focus more on his career and new projects, Star Trek and Spock, with the occasional home story interspersed. Now he's established himself as, and being taken seriously as, a photographer. He has found his true calling at last, happiness in his second marriage, quite life and retirement. J.J. Abrams, one of the hottest producers in Hollywood at the moment, wanted him for his projects. He has come to terms with the vagaries of life. He is called and revered and put on a pedestal as the elder statesman (of Star Trek), imbibed with the wisdom of age and hard won insight. The hero's journey has been completed with grace and style.
How could we not wish for him all of this and more? However, when we read about it, we should take the narrative with a grain of salt. Just follow his example...
Bruno Mars The Lazy Song .. alternate version... von sourcexx
Catherine Hicks on the 25th Anniversary of 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home'
My dad hated science fiction movies, but not only did he agree to take me to see 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,' I remember him really enjoying it. It's so different than any other 'Star Trek' movie.
It is. I mean, we got mainline great reviews as a legitimate film. And Leonard Nimoy got legitimate directorial complements and he got subsequent mainline feature films. I think because it took place on Earth and it's accessible to people. It was in San Francisco and it was a real cause about the whales. It was less outer space and more down to Earth, literally. And it was emotional and it was human. It just was normal.
Where you familiar with the series at all before you got the role?
No. Not at all. I think it charmed [Nimoy] that I was like the character, utterly naïve of the genre and the history of it.
And you had to meet with Shatner?
Well, I auditioned a couple of times and then Leonard wanted to show me to Shatner. And he had to go to Bill's horse ranch in Burbank. And I grew up in Arizona, but I am not a horse person. And I thought, Oh my gosh, if the horse doesn't like me, Bill will influence Leonard decision. So I was pretty nervous. Then I remember Bill saying to Leonard, "Hell, Leonard, she's worked with Coppola and Sidney Lumet. She's worked with better people than we have. Hire her."
There's a rumor that Shatner demanded a love interest in this film. Have you heard that?
No, I didn't know. I know it was my idea to kiss him at the end. So I played it as a romance. But, again, I didn't know any of the history -- that Shatner was a playboy. I took it all at face value.
How do you do that? Just tell Leonard that this is what you want to do?
It wasn't really ... I just leaned forward and chose to kiss him and whispered, "See you around the galaxy." I wanted a little bit of breathiness there.
Was Shatner the big man on campus?
He's like a mischievous brother. He tried to, maybe, just a little bit, undermine -- but always in a playful way -- Leonard's confidence. Like, "Are you really going to do the shot that way, Leonard? Really?" And Leonard would be, "What do you mean?" And I had to fight for a couple of close-ups. I'd say, "No, no, no. I'm fighting for my whales. It's a single shot. Don't let him be in my shots." Bill wanted it to be a two shot. But then Leonard just said, "Don't worry Cat, I know Bill. We go back a long way." And Leonard was very supportive and very smart about acting. He's so calm; he's such a nice person.
Because of problems with the publisher of his first book of photography, Shekhina, Mr. Nimoy asks for help from his followers. Incidentally, I tried to order a copy at the beginning of November from Amazon. They didn't have it in stock, so I choose to be notified when the book would be available again. About a week later I was notified that they won't be able to deliver and my order was cancelled.