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.