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chator 06-01-2009 10:58 AM

Sex and Violence in a more emotional Spock
 
By now most of us have seen Zachary Quinto's portrayal of the Spock character in the new Star Trek Movie. While I loved Quinto as a Vulcan (come to think of it, he would make a good-lookin Romulan as well), i couldn't help but feel the performance was off, that is, not in line with the portrayal of Spock by Nimoy, which this character is supposed to be, at an earlier stage. Off in terms of how this Vulcan copes with both sex and violence, compared with Nimoy's incarnation of the character. Can we simply ride this off as the result of the intense pubertal urges of a younger Vulcan? Or the uncontrollable breakdown of a character who has just lost both his mother and homeworld? Or even hypothesize that this Spock isn't the same Spock that will develop into the character we know and love from TOS? Yes, i know Nimoy's Spock has demonstrated violence in TOS episodes such as "Amok Time", where he battles and nearly kills Kirk. And Nimoy's Spock has also displayed emotion in episodes like "This side of Paradise," and "The Naked Time," but these were unusual circumstances that provoked the revelation of these "hidden" emotions. Quinto's Spock embraces his emotions, that is the difference. Here's Nimoy's quote about a scene he was asked to perform in "The Enemy Within," where he was asked to knock Kirk unconscious with the butt of a phaser,

"The scene jarred me when i first read it; it seemed to me more appropriate for the Old West than the twenty-third century. I could practically hear the Vulcan whispering in my ear:

SPOCK: Barbaric. A Vulcan would avoid unnecessary violence at all cost. We have, afterall, made a thorough study of the human anatomy, and utilize more scientific methods, which render the use of force obsolete."

And here is another quote from Nimoy's I AM SPOCK, regarding being approached to do a love scene by D.C. Fontana


"Hey, i have an idea for a Spock love story," (she said). I was taken aback. Worse than taken aback-I was frightened.

"Look", i told her, "it makes me nervous to hear you even talk about such a thing. I feel I've finally gotten a good grip on the character and I don't want to lose what we have." The Vulcan was firmly established in my mind-and the audience's-as a cool, distant character, and the very phrase, "Spock love story" seemed oxymoronic."

I realize Nimoy has given his full support to this film, Quinto's Spock included. And some may argue, if it's good enough for Nimoy, it's good enough for me. But i can't help but wonder if we are losing the "real" Spock.

horatio 06-01-2009 11:07 AM

It was all in the movie, young Spock has not mastered his emotions yet, young Spock loses his planet and his mother, old Spock tells young Spock to find the golden middle. Which part did you not understand?

Just guess how you would have imagined a younger Spock a year ago. Why did he break with his father and join Starfleet? Obviously because he wants to explore his human side, something he would never admit to anyone. Sounds familiar?

martok2112 06-01-2009 11:27 AM

Indeed. As I've always said, these people do not start off as the paragons of morality and decorum that we knew in the original series, but you can see them shaping up right into that.

Samuel 06-01-2009 11:35 AM

The complaints I keep reading say Quinto it not enough what they expect as the established Spock character. Do you want him to be a Nimoy clone? Or perhaps the idea is to start differently and evolve? Would you like to see the process or immediately go to the finished product?

martok2112 06-01-2009 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samuel (Post 212139)
The complaints I keep reading say Quinto it not enough what they expect as the established Spock character. Do you want him to be a Nimoy clone? Or perhaps the idea is to start differently and evolve? Would you like to see the process or immediately go to the finished product?

WINNERRRRRRRR!!!!!:thumbup:

priell3 06-01-2009 11:42 AM

"not in line with the portrayal of Spock by Nimoy"

Our half-human "Quinto Spock" has some growing up to do. Go back and watch The Cage, you'll see a quite emotional "Nimoy Spock". Even in "The Galileo Seven", Spock was unravelling.

martok2112 06-01-2009 11:46 AM

As far as Vulcan emotion goes, Vulcans do allow themselves to feel the more positive aspects of emotion.

How many times have we heard Nimoy's Spock mention that he was "delighted", "pleased", and even grin on occasion (Uhura singing to Spock's Vulcan Lyre playing)? They are still rather restrained in it, but they do allow themselves to feel it. I think it is how they keep themselves in balance.

They repress the negative emotions (the Dark Side if you will). Those usually only come out when absolutely provoked.

chator 06-01-2009 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by priell3 (Post 212149)
"not in line with the portrayal of Spock by Nimoy"

Our half-human "Quinto Spock" has some growing up to do. Go back and watch The Cage, you'll see a quite emotional "Nimoy Spock".

That wasn't intentional. It was because Nimoy didn't have a handle on the character yet. Yet, some take this to be canon that Spock was more emotional, not as matured as he'd become during Kirk's command. Well, i suppose you could go with this. Spock tells Kirk in "The Menagerie, Part I" that he served with Pike for 17 years, that's plenty of time to mature.

Zardoz 06-01-2009 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horatio (Post 212119)
It was all in the movie, young Spock has not mastered his emotions yet, young Spock loses his planet and his mother, old Spock tells young Spock to find the golden middle. Which part did you not understand?

Just guess how you would have imagined a younger Spock a year ago. Why did he break with his father and join Starfleet? Obviously because he wants to explore his human side, something he would never admit to anyone. Sounds familiar?

I 100% agre with this and also the fact he just lost his home planet of Vulcan during the course of this film.

DevilEyes 06-01-2009 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chator (Post 212113)

I realize Nimoy has given his full support to this film, Quinto's Spock included. And some may argue, if it's good enough for Nimoy, it's good enough for me. But i can't help but wonder if we are losing the "real" Spock.

May I quote Nimoy as a response?

Q: Do you see some of your performance in Zachary's performance? Or is it a different kind of interpretation of the same character?

Nimoy: Well, you know, it's the same character in name, but you must remember that the Spock that he's playing is a Spock that existed before the Spock that I played. He was younger, not quite so experienced, and therefore somewhat different. He's the Spock that arrives off of his home planet of Vulcan and goes to the Federation for the first time. And that's ... a somewhat different character than what you saw me play in the Star Trek original series. By the time we get into the series, my Spock was a little bit more mature, a little bit different...

Q: One of the things that struck me about Zach's performance was that he is more volatile a character than we were used to seeing.

Nimoy: Well, that's interesting, that's interesting. I think you may be right, and I think that points to what I said before: that it hasn't quite arrived as the Spock that I was playing in the original series. He's younger than that, and not quite as seasoned.



STAR TREK Press Conference: Quinto, Nimoy, Saldana, Urban and Greenwood
Written by Christina Radish
Monday, 27 April 2009

(...)

Q: Leonard, did you give any input on the development of the Spock character?

Leonard: I had no input on the writing of the character or the writing of the script. None. My first meeting with Mr. Abrams, and Orci and Kurtzman, was all about whether I would be interested, based on their feelings about Star Trek and the Spock character, and I was interested enough that I said I would read the script, when it was ready. And, I read the script and I agreed to do the film.

Q: Having played Spock for years, did you give Zach any tips about playing Spock?

Leonard: Zach made some choices that I thought were wonderful surprises to me, in playing the Spock that he played in this film. We did not talk about specifics, like “Do this. Don’t do that.” We had very general conversations about the philosophy and psychology of the character, the philosophy of Star Trek and the fans’ reactions to various aspects of Star Trek, but there was no specific instruction. It didn’t need that, and it didn’t call for that. But, watching him in the film, I’m very proud of what he did. I loved the idea that he is doing the character, and that he did it so well. And, I think we have book-ended the character. He has created a Spock that comes before the Spock that I portrayed in the series, and I’m playing a Spock that comes much, much later and us much more resolved, and is much closer to who I actually am today. So, I think it works extremely well, and I admire his talent.

Q: What was your favorite discovery, in watching young Spock? What did you think about the relationship between Spock and Uhura?

Leonard: Zachary’s choices in his performance often surprised me, in a very positive way. I often thought, “I would never have thought to do that, and I think that’s a wonderful idea!” Frankly, I was extremely jealous of his scenes with Zoe Saldana and I think it’s totally unfair that I never got to do that. I will never forgive the writers and the director, for having put me in this position, to have to be watching that, rather than participating. Let me take the opportunity to say that everybody in this cast are very, very talented and intelligent people. They found their own way to bring that talent and intelligence to this movie, and I think it shows. When Karl Urban introduced himself as Leonard McCoy and shook hands with Chris Pine, I burst into tears. That performance of his, as Doctor McCoy, is so moving, so touching and so powerful that I think DeForest Kelley would be smiling, and maybe in tears as well. And, Zachary and Zoe are wonderful together. It’s such a passionate and compassionate performance by Zoe that I was just so pleased to be a part of this movie, with all of these good people.


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