Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!, 12 Nov 2013
This review is from: I am Spock (Hardcover)
This is a review of the original paperback edition, published in 1996. I do not know if there has been a later updated edition. Nimoy takes his story up to the `next Generation' episode `Unification' and his turning down of a cameo role in the movie `Generations.'

Nimoy concedes that his previous autobiographical volume - `I Am Not Spock' (1975) - was a mistake: "My timing and choice of title couldn't have been worse." There are eighteen chapters in this affirmatively-titled sequel. The book is illustrated with some interesting black and white photographs that portray Nimoy's acting and directing career over the years.

Nimoy sees links between Spock's character and his own childhood and formative acting career, but there is little detail. By chapter three we are already into season one of `Star Trek'. Nimoy had problems maintaining the dividing line between the character he was playing and the real life Nimoy was living: "Dwelling inside Spock's head became a pressure cooker." Later Nimoy says Spock's character "probably" took over his own when his father died. Nimoy's close relationship to Spock is made manifest throughout the book by presenting the reader with imaginary conversations between himself and his most famous character.

Nimoy relates how Spock was conceived and developed by him, Roddenberry, and the writers. He relates the disagreements he had with the show's producers, and admits to not having a warm relationship with Roddenberry, as well as the competitive spirit that existed with co-star William Shatner. He says he would have found it hard to return for a fourth season had one been shot.

Nimoy briefly covers his `Mission Impossible' years and his return to the theatre, but Spock remains the main subject of the book, even when he gives much space over to his non-`Star Trek' directing duties in the 1980s. I was surprised by one or two errors, such as his assertion that Spock made his return to the `Enterprise' in `Star Trek: The Motion Picture' by beaming aboard: my memory is that he arrived by separate ship.

The chapter on `The Wrath of Khan' is almost wholly devoted to Spock's death. Nimoy writes, "What did the Vulcan think was going to happen? I'm sure he felt that sacrifice was simply the only logical course open to him - but Leonard Nimoy felt very differently."

Interestingly, Nimoy informs the reader that, "at some point during the making of `The Voyage Home', [producer] Harve Bennett had come up with a concept for another movie ... a prequel ... a story involving Kirk, Spock, and McCoy during their Starfleet Academy days, with all of us being replaced by younger actors." Remember, this was written in 1995, so the idea of a `Star Trek' reboot has been around since at least the mid-1980s.

Nimoy ends his `fascinating' tale, which is spiced with some strong opinions as well as with some amusing anecdotes, by re-affirming how much Spock has become a part of Nimoy: "Not a day passes that I don't hear that cool, rational voice commenting on some irrational aspect of the human condition." But the reader will inevitably conclude that at least Nimoy is one-hundred-percent human.
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Nicholas Casley
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Location: Plymouth, Devon, UK

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