On Feb. 27, I entered the ECHO newsroom, sat at my seat and went to Yahoo to check my emails like always, never realizing what the lead story was that day. Leonard Nimoy had died.
Nimoy was a hero to many who watch the television series “Star Trek” and a star in the “Star Trek” movies including the 2009 reboot and “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” He was also a guest in many television shows in the 1950s-1970s, including “Bonanza,” “Columbo” and “Get Smart.”
His greatest role, though, to many (including myself) will always be that of Lt. Spock, the half Vulcan, half-human hybrid, who kept his calm in most situations and was the close friend of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner).
As Spock, he taught the people who watched “Star Trek” that everyone is a little human, no matter how much we avoid it. No episode of Star Trek shows this better than the series’ fourth episode “The Naked Time.”
During the episode, the crew of the Enterprise goes to pick up scientists who were studying a frozen planet. The scientists turn out to have died from a mysterious disease, which carries back aboard the ship and creates havoc among the crew.
Spock, himself, was a part of the landing crew that brought the disease back and we began to see the differences between Vulcans and humans when Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) gives Spock his vitals during a checkup which include a pulse of 242 and nonexistent blood pressure. For Spock, these readings are normal and he is happy for it.
However, later, the crew members’ start to reveal their deepest thoughts after becoming sick with the disease, including Mr. Spock. He begins to cry and show that he not the “logical” being he leads everyone to believe he is.
This has stayed me since the first time I watched the episode. A supposedly calm man breaks away from the control he exercises on a daily basis. It’s something that happens to everyone, and it’s something that we try to ignore.
This is one of those moments that gives me a smile and shows that even when people put up shields eventually they will come down, and it’s one of the things we need to learn to accept and deal with as people, and Nimoy is the person who gave me that realization.
He is the one who gave me that smile, in that moment, because he was the one who showed me that sometimes we just can’t help being human.