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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Species Half-Human (maternal)
Half-Vulcan (paternal)
Home planet Vulcan
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Posting USS Enterprise science officer/first officer, commanding officer
USS Enterprise-A science officer/first officer/commanding officer
Rank Lieutenant commander
Portrayed by Leonard Nimoy
Zachary Quinto (2009)

Spock is a character in the fictional Star Trek media franchise.[1] First portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek series, Spock also appears in the animated Star Trek series, two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, seven of the Star Trek feature films, and numerous Star Trek books, comics, and video games.[1][2] In the 2009 film Star Trek, Nimoy reprised his role alongside Zachary Quinto, who played a younger alternate-timeline version of the character.[2]



Spock (second name unpronounceable to humans and thus never revealed) is the son of Vulcan ambassador Sarek (originally played by Mark Lenard) and human Amanda Grayson (originally played by Jane Wyatt).[1] The relationship between Spock and Sarek often is turbulent, although rooted in an underlying respect and carefully restrained love for each other.[3][4] Their falling out began when Spock declined an offer to study at the prestigious Vulcan Science Academy and instead joined Starfleet against his father's wishes.[5]

Spock served on the USS Enterprise for eleven years under the command of Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) and continues to serve aboard the ship as science officer and first officer under Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner).[1] Star Trek depicts a "troika" of Spock, Kirk, and McCoy; while McCoy often acts as Kirk's conscience, Spock offers the captain an emotionally detached, logical perspective.[3] The character also offers an "outsider's" perspective on "the human condition."[3]

At the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Spock is no longer in Starfleet, but he rejoins the Enterprise crew to aid them in their mission.[1] Captain Spock commands the Enterprise, re-designated as a training vessel, at the beginning of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982); Kirk assumes command to chase down Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán).[1] At the film's end, Spock transfers his katra -- his memories and experience—to McCoy, and then sacrifices himself to save the ship and its crew.[1] Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) focuses on his crewmates' mission to recover Spock's body, resurrected by the Genesis Device in the previous film. Spock, who rapidly ages from youth to adulthood, is portrayed by Carl Steven, Vadia Potenza, Stephen Manley, Joe W. Davis, and Nimoy.[1] At the film's conclusion, Spock's revived body is recombined with his katra.[1] Spock is next seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), which depicts Spock recovering from the after-effects of his resurrection in the previous film and, in the final scenes, joining the crew of the USS Enterprise-A under Kirk's command.[1] Spock's half-brother, Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill), hijacks the Enterprise in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).[1] Filming of Star Trek VI overlapped with production of "Unification" (1991), a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation featuring Spock's attempts to reunite Vulcans and Romulans.[4]

Years later, when a supernova occurs and threatens to destroy the galaxy, Spock promised to the Romulans that he would save them himself using technologies from Vulcan. However, the mission was partially successful, as the supernova was absorbed by a black hole made by Spock's Red Matter device, but not before its nebula destroyed Romulus. A Romulan captain, Nero (Eric Bana), driven mad by the loss of his homeworld, pursued Spock's ship for revenge but both their crafts were pulled to the black hole.

Alternative timeline

Zachary Quinto as Spock in the 2009 Star Trek film[6]

The 2009 Star Trek film creates an "alternate, parallel timeline."[7][8] In the film, the elderly prime version of Spock (Nimoy) inadvertently travels back in time from the "original" Star Trek timeline and helps an alternate and younger version of himself (Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) thwart the rogue Romulan Nero's (Eric Bana) attempt to destroy the United Federation of Planets. Although Kirk and Spock clash with hostility at Starfleet Academy, they begin developing a friendship.[7] Kirk and Spock also subsequently befriended the elder Spock, as the two young officers see him as a mentor figure. As Spock remains in Starfleet, his elder self resides in the present to aid the surviving Vulcans.


Spock, as originally described in Gene Roddenberry's 1964 pitch for Star Trek, is described as "probably half Martian, he has a slightly reddish complexion and semi-pointed ears".[9] Early versions had the character ingest energy through a plate in his stomach. Writer Samuel A. Peeples told Roddenberry these attributes made Spock too alien, and suggested that "he should at least be half-human and have the problems of both sides",[10] believing the human traits made the character more interesting and able to comment on the human condition more believably. Spock's home planet was changed because Roddenberry thought that if the show was a success, humans might actually walk on Mars during the series' run.[11]

In The Making of Star Trek (1968), Roddenberry noted that he had been looking for an alien-sounding name, and didn't know until later of Dr. Benjamin Spock, the renowned child psychologist.[12] In the initial, rejected pilot, "The Cage" (1964), Spock is greenish yellow and from the planet Vulcan. Roddenberry cast Nimoy because he knew him from his guest appearance in The Lieutenant, which Roddenberry had created and sold as a pilot; after Roddenberry saw Nimoy's thin face and sharp features, no other actors were considered.[13] Had Nimoy turned down the role, Roddenberry would have approached Martin Landau.[14] In a 1980s interview, DeForest Kelley stated Roddenberry offered him the role of Spock before production began on "The Cage".[15]

NBC was concerned about Spock's satanic appearance, and asked for the character to be dropped; according to Oscar Katz, NBC was worried that "the 'guy with the ears' would scare the shit out of every kid in America".[11] Publicity shots of the character were airbrushed so that Spock had normal eyebrows and round ears. With Katz's help, Roddenberry won the battle with NBC.[11]

Spock did not originally have the logical manner that would become associated with the character, this instead being a trait of the character Number One (Majel Barrett). However, Number One was dropped in developing the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966). This episode presents a more fully formed Spock, with his trademark logic.[16] Nimoy liked the character's newly logical nature, observing that the character is "struggling to maintain a Vulcan attitude, a Vulcan philosophical posture and a Vulcan logic, opposing what was fighting him internally, which was human emotion".[17] Spock's behavior has been described as representing, in part, a type of normative judgment.[18] Spock's Vulcan salute references a sacred hand position used by the ancient Jewish priestly class. Desilu vice president Herbert Solow believes Nimoy was the key contributor to the character's depiction.[19]

The "pointy ears" worn by actor Nimoy while portraying Spock are a form of facial prosthesis, mainly composed from molded and painted syntactic foam.[20] The foam was created by filling a ceramic matrix with hollow particles called microballoons, which result in a low density prosthesis with easy wearability. However, the process of ungluing the ears was painful for Nimoy, and meant that he had to stay behind for half an hour each day after filming while the glued pieces were removed.[21] Throughout the character's television and movie appearances, the shape of Spock's ears have varied, due in part to the different makeup artists applying them.[22]

Zachary Quinto was cast in the role of a young Spock for the 2009 Star Trek film, directed by J. J. Abrams. Leonard Nimoy also reprises his role as the older Spock.[23][24]


TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters.[25][26] According to Shatner, much of Star Trek's acting praise and media interest went to Nimoy.[27] The Boston Globe described Quinto's performance as "something special", and that Nimoy's appearance in the 2009 film "carries much more emotion than you'd expect".[28] said Quinto played Spock "with a few degrees more chill" than Nimoy brought to the original character.[29] Entertainment Weekly argued many viewers found Spock sexy in the series and the 2009 film, and that Nimoy's Spock was the beginning of "geek chic".[30]

Cultural impact

Spock has been mentioned or lampooned in pop culture many times, including music, film, television, and politics. Composer/keyboardist George Duke's 1976 Solo Keyboard Album features two tracks that pay homage to Spock: "Spock Gets Funky" and "Vulcan Mind Probe". Rock guitarist Paul Gilbert wrote the song "Mr. Spock" on his Space Ship One album.

Swedish synthpop band S.P.O.C.K (Founded as Mr Spock, but changed to Star Pilot On Channel K due to licencing issues with Paramount Pictures.) makes music heavily influenced by the Star Trek universe.

According to Bob Budiansky, the Transformers character Shockwave was inspired by Spock.[31]

Leonard Nimoy, assuming the Spock character, recorded a number of novelty songs, the first being a song called "Highly Illogical" in which Spock pointed out the foibles of human thought, such as relationships, automobiles, and greed. The second song, "A Visit to a Small Planet," was darker in tone and told the story of Spock visiting Earth in the future and discovering it had been ruined by war, violence, and environmental irresponsibility.

After the release of the 2009 Star Trek film, Spock was compared with U.S. President Barack Obama by several media outlets.[32] Maureen Dowd noted that "Mr. Obama has a bit of Mr. Spock in him (and not just the funny ears). He has a Vulcan-like logic and detachment."[33] Newsweek's Steve Daly said "Spock's cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we've put a sort of Vulcan in the White House," and noted the similarity between Spock and President Obama both being the product of mixed-race marriages.[34]


The Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror" features a parallel universe in which the alternate Spock has a goatee.[35]

The band Spock's Beard took their name from Spock's appearance in "Mirror, Mirror".[36]

The April 7, 2009, airing of the Comedy Central talk-show/comedy The Colbert Report, in its segment "Better Know a District", featured both Stephen Colbert and congressman Dan Maffei, a Star Trek fan, wearing fake goatees and pretending to be evil versions of themselves.[37]

Fan productions

In addition to television, feature films, books, and parodies, Spock has also been portrayed in fan fiction. Since 2004, the online fan production, Star Trek: Phase II (originally called Star Trek: The New Voyages) has continued the further voyages of the cancelled initial series. The fan-series' creators feel that, "Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest should be treated as "classic" characters like Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman, Gandalf from Lord of the Rings or even Hamlet, Othello or Romeo. Many actors have and can play the roles, each offering a different interpretation of said character."[38]

Spock was portrayed by Jeffrey Quinn for the first three episodes of Star Trek: Phase II. Brandon Stacy, who succeeded Jeffrey Quinn and Ben Tolpin in portraying Spock, also served as a stand-in for Zachary Quinto in the 2009 Star Trek film.[39]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Okuda, Mike and Denise Okuda, with Debbie Mirek (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5. 
  2. ^ a b Weeks, Adam (2007-07-25). "Zachary Quinto Is Spock". 
  3. ^ a b c Asherman, Alan (1993-05-01). The Star Trek Compendium. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0671796129. 
  4. ^ a b Nemeck, Larry (2003-01-07). Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0743457989. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (2009-05-05). "Star Trek | Movie Review | Entertainment Weekly".,,20276708,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  7. ^ a b Burr, Ty (2009-05-05). "Star Trek". The Boston Globe. pp. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  8. ^ Jensen, Jeff. "'Star Trek': New Movie, New Vision". Entertainment Weekly. pp. 4.,,20233502_2,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  9. ^ Whitfield, Stephen E.; Gene Roddenberry (09 1968). The Making of Star Trek. Ballantine Books. ISBN 9780345276384. 
  10. ^ (Dillard 1994, p. 6)
  11. ^ a b c (Alexander 1988, pp. 230-231)
  12. ^ Whitfield, Stephen E.; Gene Roddenberry (09 1968). The Making of Star Trek. Ballantine Books. pp. 236. ISBN 9780345276384. 
  13. ^ Alexander, 227–228.
  14. ^ (Dillard 1994, p. 10)
  15. ^ Asherman, Allan (1988). The Star Trek Interview Book. Pocket Books. pp. 43. ISBN 067161794X. 
  16. ^ (Dillard 1994, p. 13)
  17. ^ (Dillard 1994, p. 15)
  18. ^ de Marneffe, Peter (2003). "An Objection to Attitudinal Hedonism". Philosophical Studies (Springer Netherlands) 115 (2): 197–200. doi:10.1023/A:1025030803776. 
  19. ^ "Star Trek's ex-chief movie praise". BBC. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-08-28. "The Mr Spock character was 20% created by Gene Roddenberry, 20% created by me and 60% created by Leonard Nimoy" 
  20. ^ Hickman, Martin (2002-11-18). "It's the final frontier as Mr Spock's ears are put on sale for £2, 000". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  21. ^ "Robert H. Justman - Spock's ears". BBC. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  22. ^ Okuda, text commentary for Star Trek VI.
  23. ^ Owen, Rob (2007-07-24). "Pittsburgh native to play Spock in new "Star Trek"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  24. ^ Pascale, Anthony (2007-07-26). "Abrams Confirms Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy". 
  25. ^ "Leonard Nimoy". Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  26. ^ "Spock". Top 50 TV Characters. UGO. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  27. ^ Shatner, William (2008). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. Macmillan. ISBN 9780312372651. 
  28. ^ Burr, Ty (2009-05-05). "Star Trek". The Boston Globe. pp. 2. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  29. ^ Stevens, Dana (2009-05-06). "Go See Star Trek". Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  30. ^ Owen Gleiberman (2009-05-09). "Why Spock rocks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Obama is Spock: It's quite logical
  33. ^ Spock at the Bridge
  34. ^ We're All Trekkies Now
  35. ^ "Top 40 Reasons Why We Love Star Trek". Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  36. ^ "Where Did the Name "Spock's Beard" Come From, Anyway?". Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  37. ^ "Better Know a District - New York's 25th - Dan Maffei". The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. April 7, 2009.
  38. ^ "Star Trek: Phase II About". 
  39. ^ Pascale, Anthony (2008-11-18). "FanMade: Phase II Announces "Blood and Fire" Release + Casts a New Spock". Retrieved 2009-02-03. 


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

This is a disambiguation page; that is, one that points to other pages that might otherwise have the same name. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix that link to point to the appropriate specific page.

Spock can represent


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also spock


Proper noun




  1. An American surname anglicized from the Dutch Spaak.
  2. Mr. Spock, a main character from the original Star Trek TV series, whose heritage is part alien, that of the logical Vulcan race.


  • Anagrams of ckops
  • pocks

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