Leonard Nimoy's work will live forever - where you can see it
Mr. Spock died in 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," but that didn't deter Leonard Nimoy, who, thanks to the powers of Dr. Carol Marcus' Genesis Planet, went on to play the beloved Vulcan science officer in six more "Trek" movies and two episodes of television.
Nimoy himself died Friday at the age of 83. His work as Spock, a director, a photographer, a writer and, yes, even a singer, will live forever. And before beaming off our world, Nimoy transferred Spock's katra to actor Zachary Quinto, who brought new life to the role in J.J. Abrams' reboot of the franchise.
Netflix subscribers can stream almost every moment of Nimoy's 47 years as Spock on their phones, tablets and televisions. All 79 episodes of the original "Star Trek" series are available, as is "Unification," his two-episode appearance on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" from 1991. Seven of the eight "Trek" films in which he appears also stream on Netflix; the only outlier is 2009's "Star Trek."
Those films include two Nimoy directed: "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," in which the character is resurrected, and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," a time-traveling, comedic romp that puts the original crew on the streets of 1986 San Francisco in search of humpback whales. (It's as silly as it sounds, and it's my very favorite of the "Trek" films.)
The best way to watch the Enterprise's big-screen adventures is in the six-movie Blu-ray set, dubbed "Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection." Nimoy appears in the set's exhaustive, myriad documentary features, offering insights into playing the character and sharing stories about working with William Shatner and Co. The set retails at $139.99, but can often be had for about $40. It is worth every penny, even if it includes the 1989 stinker, "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier."
Nimoy's career as a director wasn't limited to phasers and photon torpedoes; he also made domestic dramas and comedies. The most famous is 1987's "Three Men and a Baby," in which Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg play three bachelors who find a surprise on their doorstep. It's available digitally from iTunes, vudu and Google Play, and on DVD via Netflix. (It was also the first movie at which my sisters and I behaved and kept our mouths shut.)
Also of interest is a little-seen 1994 comedy called "Holy Matrimony," in which recent Oscar winner Patricia Arquette cooks up a wedding scheme to get rich quick. Her co-stars include a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt and John Schuck, known to "Trek" fans as the Klingon ambassador in movies IV and VI. You can rent the DVD via Netflix.
Nimoy also appeared on screen without pointy ears. MeTV will air episodes from classic shows featuring him this weekend. You can see Nimoy at 1 p.m. Saturday in "Bonanza," followed by an episode of "Rawhide." Beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday, you can spot him in episodes of "Columbo," "The Twilight Zone," "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," "Mission: Impossible" and "Get Smart." MeTV can be seen on Channel 26.3 over the air, and on all major cable providers.
To find Nimoy's best work, we go back to the beginning of this column - Spock's death scene from "Star Trek II" has always been hard to watch, and now it will be even harder. Spock puts the good of the many ahead of the good of the one, saving the Enterprise from destruction at the hands of Ricardo Montalban's supervillain Khan.
Capt. Kirk (Shatner) gives Spock a eulogy that I suspect holds true for many friends of Nimoy himself: "Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most ... human."
• Sean Stangland is a Daily Herald copy editor and a tireless consumer of pop culture. His column normally appears Fridays in Time out! Follow him on Twitter at @SeanStanglandDH.