but they soon uncover the truth.
“I hate you,” says one.
Kibner’s reply is chilling: “There is no need for hate now. Or love.”
Dr. Kibner was played, in a rather inspired bit of casting, by the inimitable Nimoy, who had attained a massive cult following as Mr. Spock a decade prior.
As a Vulcan, Spock would be unaffected by love were it not for his half-human side. His romantic inclinations surfaced most notably in the episode “This Side of Paradise,” where he fell under the influence of plant spores that compelled him to express his feelings for a young botanist. These roles, then, represented extraterrestrial extremes: Spock (calm, good, yet struggling and susceptible to emotion) and Dr. Kibner (cold, evil, and utterly emotionless). Nimoy had successfully brought his career full circle.
With Star Trek, rarely has a marriage between a performer and his character been so absolute. To the world, Nimoy was Spock. But he also wasn’t Spock. He was, in fact, the anti-Spock, struggling privately to reconcile the merger of his celebrity with the intricacies of his personal identity. Nevertheless, he was not afraid to subvert his persona as an unemotional intellectual, as in the case of Dr. Kibner. Nor did he shy away from self-parody, as when he voiced a dispassionate Spock action figure in an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
Spock’s influence extended even to the Oval Office: President Obama professes to be a lifelong fan of Star Trek. Upon meeting Nimoy at a luncheon for prospective presidential candidates in 2007, Obama joked that it was “only logical” to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal symbol for “Live Long and Prosper.”
And if Spock, ever observant and cerebral, represents a voice of reason in an age of social turbulence,
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