The big selling point of “For the Love of Spock,” a documentary about the late, great Leonard Nimoy, is the personal connection is that it was directed by his son Adam.
The film is getting a small theatrical release in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek’s” premiere, is absolutely a fine addition to the many celebrations of the series.
No surprise, the younger Nimoy, who was a lawyer before becoming a director, makes part of the narrative about him and his sometime distant relationship with his father.
Frankly, the idea of a child recollecting about a complex history with a famous parent is such a worn-out device it feels like a cliché. While it offers insight into Leonard Nimoy as a person, it sometimes distracts from other material. At times, it’s funny, sometimes it’s enlightening about the franchise and role that certainly came to define him.
Several of the anecdotes will be recognizable to Trekkers, such as how Nimoy was the only actor kept when NBC decided to toss Gene Roddenberry’s original pilot and start over. Or, how his acting changed once he started playing off the highly expressive William Shatner, as opposed to the original captain, Jeffrey Hunter.
In one of the hilarious moments, Nimoy laughs at a convention while reading the 1st Variety review of the show, which called Star Trek a “dreary mess of confusion” and called Shatner’s performance stiff, which might be the only time anyone used that adjective in relation to him.
It’s exciting to hear both Nimoys talk about Leonard’s mindset once the series started. Having never worked on any project for more than a few weeks, he made the most of each paid engagement that he was offered, to the exclusion of being available to his family.
It’s really cliché to say due to Star Trek, Nimoy lived his life like the Vulcan greeting and hand gesture, “Live long and prosper.”