Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime is an unprecedented examination of the impact the Star Trek experience has had on the franchise's most celebrated participants - William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.
These two stars have arguably embodied the brightest icons in the sci-fi universe; Shatner as passionate Captain James T. Kirk, and Nimoy as logical minded, half Vulcan Mr. Spock. Now, in a candid conversation at Nimoy's Beverly Hills home, these two icons of popular culture share with each other, and the viewers, the behind-the-scenes adventures of one of the greatest franchises in entertainment history.
Most of all, these two passionate actors reveal the incredible bond that was the cornerstone of their success; the trust, the friendship and the ability to consistently challenge each other to boldly go where neither man has gone before.
The actors discuss personal issues both on set and off, failed marriages, alcoholism, and other events they were affected by both during Trek and post-Trek. Much of the discussion is about things even the most hard-core fans had never known about until now.
Even the rest of the famous sci-fi cast comes in for scrutiny, as the two Titans of Trek discuss why they aren't close to the supporting cast. Shatner and Nimoy candidly talk about the animosity from the other actors, animosity that Shatner finds himself puzzled by.
But it doesn't stop there. They also talk about their different acting approaches; Nimoy, consumed by character, Shatner, turning character on and off like a switch. I found this a particularly interesting insight into the two men, and the characters they played. Nimoy really does embody some of the Spock intellect, artistry, professionalism, and inner turmoil. Shatner really does embody a Kirk-like energy and zest for life, almost gung ho in his attempt to have it all. Nimoy at peace with himself, Shatner still reaching for the brass ring.
One annoying curiosity is that, although dedicated to him at the end, there is little or no discussion about the late DeForest Kelley. A similar annoyance was pervasive in Shatner's recent Trek book, "Get a Life!", which supposedly covered Trek conventions and the cast's reaction to them. Kelley's views were noticably absent.
It could be that the men wanted to focus on their personal relationship here, or that they weren't all that close to the late actor. What they do say about the third corner of the famous Trek Triad of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is very interesting, but still, I have to wonder why Kelley wasn't just a little bit more prominent in proceedings.
If the film fails, it fails only in that it is all too short. There just seemed to be so much that could still be said, still be revealed about both Trek, the actors, the classic cast, and how Nimoy and Shatner really feel about the New Treks. Perhaps a sequel or limited series of these type of discussions would be a possibility. However, this is a rare glimpse at the two actors and their relationship, a private glimpse into that which we, the audience and fans, are intruders into. As such, we should be grateful for this interesting peek we are allowed at the two stars of "Star Trek".
However, it really is a genuine surprise as you see these Sci Fi legends talk and act like two normal everyday guys. Granted, there are some canned questions and talking points they hit upon which no doubt were pre-determined, but the casualness and what appears to be pure honesty is not only surprisingly refreshing, but soon you get the feeling that Nimoy and Shatner really are best friends and you forget you're actually watching this as a spectator because you really get interested in what they have to say.
The legendary egotism of Shatner does not appear to be warranted here and if this truly is a representation of Shatner as a person, then many claims towards him are easily debunked as jealousy from the media and other cast members. He touches on this briefly and I found myself sympathetic of his feelings as how he feels about the claims of other cast members.
But the whole interview between them does not always revolve around Star Trek. They touch on their personal lives including their children, their marriages, personal problems and triumphs off camera. Also they discuss their battles and interactions with the studio execs, the public, the media, and their own dreams and aspiration both prior to Star Trek, and now after.
Definitely something to learn about both actors are revealed here that one would never read in the pages of Starlog, or seen at a convention.
While most of the interview takes place in Leonard Nimoy's backyard, they do manage to spend about 5 minutes or so in Nimoy's personal study/office in his home. Kinda cool to see what's on his walls, and what he collects.
There isn't much to offer on the DVD itself: There is chapter selection, an annoying commercial to buy other bio-documentaries, and a 'making-of' featurette, and standard actor biographies.
The only thing really missing is the fact that DeForest Kelly passed before this was made, for this DVD would be that much better if he was included. However, both Nimoy and Shatner do touch on Kelly, and pay a really nice homage to Bones.
The reason I gave it three stars is the lack of extra content. There could have easily been a nice photo gallery, an extended interview or a wider range of topics, outtakes from other Nimoy & Shatner projects, maybe even some home movies thrown in for fun.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions