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I am Spock Paperback – 10 Oct 1996
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Its a shame he died but in my heart he never will, all I have to do is put a film or episode of star trek on, that's the great thing about being a film legend, in away they never die, I still watch Bob Hoskins films and Rik mayall in bottom, and its as if they have never gone.
This book is an apology to his previous work "I am not Spock", which was a reaction to the automatic association he had with the Vulcan. Twenty years later, a little wiser and more compassionate to his Star Trek fans, Nimoy has come to embrace his alter-ego as a construction of his own internal landscape and Star Trek's scriptwriters.
His book describes the relationships he had with his co-stars, Gene Roddenberry, the movie directors, the Star Trek community and throws light on the mechanics and negotiations that precede the making of a Star Trek movie. Surprisingly, there's also a lot about his stage appearances and his pre-StarTrek movie career.
More than a book about Spock, his incarnation and personality, it's a book about an actor's craft and dedication and the twists and turns of a successful movie career. Nimoy describes his shift in gear from being in front of the camera to being behind one, as director, with all the difficulties and management it entails.
I Am Spock has given me a new appreciation for an internationally recognised actor, but also a family-man, and a person of depth, wisdom and compassion.
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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