10 Best Spock Moments in Star Trek: The Original Series
In honor of the late, great, Leonard Nimoy, here’s a list of Spock’s greatest moments. May he live long and prosper in our memories. Nimoy was a talented actor, photographer, and poet, who relished in playing the outsider, and inspired generations. To learn more about Nimoy, check out his most recent biography, I Am Spock.
10. The Ultimate Computer - Spock outsmarts a supercomputer, and saves the day with his super strength. Star Trek predicted that it wouldn't be until the 24th century that super-smart supercomputers would exist, but just decades after the airing of that episode, we have one just like it. Let's hope our machines don't take over the world.
9. This Side of Paradise - When the crew lands on an idyllic planet they are met by a healthy and amorous population of colonizers who live off the nectar of an alien flower. When they sample this elixir everyone falls in love—we even see the softer side of ultra-logical Spock! Fun Fact: This storyline is based on the ancient myth of the Lotus Eaters. Authors like W. Somerset Maugham, James Joyce, and Edith Wharton have all treated the same myth in their works. Read Bobby J. Ward's A Contemplation of Flowers for more plant references in myth and literature.
8. Journey to Babel - When a meeting of the galaxy’s most prominent diplomats takes place on the Enterprise, we meet Spock’s powerful Vulcan father and kind human mother. Despite his troubled relationship with his father, Spock undergoes a risky medical procedure to save his life when he falls ill. What does experimental medicine look like in today's world? These two books will give you a clue.
7. Dagger of the Mind - Spock shows off his mind-melding powers and helps us to better understand the mentally ill. Trying to learn to read minds like Spock? Let Mystifying Mind Reading Tricks be your guide.
6. The Trouble with Tribbles - Spock works with his frenemy, Dr. McCoy to solve the mystery of the quickly reproducing, and destructively adorable Tribbles. He remains unaffected by their heartwarming fuzziness and purring. Boo the Dog looks an awful lot like a Tribble. Maybe that's why we love him so much!
4. The Devil in the Dark - Spock prevents the crew of The Enterprise from annihilating the last member of an alien species—even though it tried to kill them. Always stick to the Prime Directive! Read The Trek Universal Index to learn more about life forms, planets, and technologies in the Star Trek Universe. Alien Life: In Search of Extra-Terrestrials and Beyond explores the myriad questions surrounding humanity's relationship with alien life forms.
3. The City on the Edge of Forever - Captain Kirk would have been stuck in 1930s New York City and irrevocably altered human history if his thoughtful and prodigious Science Officer weren’t able to save the day with his hand-made time machine. Read all about the physics of time travel, and other futuristic technologies (incuding warp speed!) in Michio Kaku's book The Physics of the Impossible. If you're inspired by this historic episode and thinking of writing your own story about time travel, check out Time Travel: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel.
2. Amok Time - Overcome with the urge to reproduce, the Enterprise must go off course so that Spock can mate with his wife on Vulcan, or else he may just murder everyone on board. Vulcans can be so romantic! You think Vulcans are weird? Human mating rituals can be equally bizarre.
1. Space Seed - Spock, knowing humankind’s history better than all of the humans on board the Enterprise, recalls the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s and correctly identifies Khan Noonien Singh—one of the deadliest villains in the Star Trek canon. Follow Spock's example and brush up on your history with A Brief History of the Human Race.
What's your favorite Spock moment? Check out Star Trek: The Original Series from your local NYPL branch and decide for yourself! Can't get enough Star Trek? Take a peek at Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History for the juicy scoop behind the ever-popular series. And for a glimpse of the stars before they boldly went where no man had gone before, see When They Trod the Boards: Star Trek Edition.