Spock was a method actor who, at 36, had never landed a significant role. He had been teaching acting and performing theater roles for about ten years. When he was offered the top Vulcan in charge of the Enterprise, he took it. But the fame of Spock was tough to manage. As a method actor, he stayed in character.
Shatner complained that he spends more time as Spock than he does Nimoy. Nimoy created first officer Spock. He made up the Vulcan salute, which later came out to be derived from a sacred Hebrew sign he learned as a kid in the synagogue.
Scriptwriter Dorothy Fontana Was Disguised
Dorothy Catherine Fontana was an aspiring scriptwriter just trying to make it in Hollywood. She took secretarial work at the Star Trek set in hopes of making it. Her ideas impressed Roddenberry. She masterminded key episodes and was instrumental in developing Spock’s Vulcan identity. Yet, she was only tangentially recognized.
Things were different in the midst of the 1960s feminist movement. She went virtually uncredited. She wrote episodes under pseudonyms like “Michael Richards.” She said she used the gender-free “D.C. Fontana” credit to assuage Roddenberry and the network who, like the mainstream, weren’t gung-ho about women in important positions like television writing.
Who Owned All ‘Star Trek’ Merch Rights
Nimoy was paid two thousand dollars per episode. Truth be told, that was a solid paycheck back in the late 60s. But the show was taking off. Nimoy had created Spock out of his own inventiveness and his likeness was appearing on all kinds of merchandise, all over the world. In London, his mug appeared on Heineken beer ads. The man was resentful.
He tried rewriting his contract, but the network did not want to give him a drop more. It drove him to the therapist’s couch to deal with his frustration. Clearly, he had a lot to vent about.
Spock Is Under Pressure
Meanwhile, Leonard Nimoy could not handle sudden fame and the barrage of fan mail. It would have been better served in Shatner’s mailbox. The anxiety led to a drinking problem. Nimoy started unwinding after the day’s shoot with one drink, but it led to more and soon enough, Nimoy tumbled down the rabbit hole of alcoholism.
Nimoy said, that he eventually realized he became drink dependent. He handled the issue so well by never drinking at work. In fact, no one knew he had a problem until it came out in the memoirs. It just goes to show that actors are much more talented than they might let on.
Who Received the Most Fan Mail?
Spock got most of the show’s fan mail, much to the captain’s chagrin. Especially those by female fans. Shatner was so resentful and envious he not only took Spock’s lines, but he kept track of the lines on the script, making sure his character had the most. Shatner admitted those jealous feelings in his later years, saying he handled things poorly.
Nimoy diligently worked at responding to fan mail. He was shocked when he received a memo from the studio that said he was no longer allowed to use the studio’s pens and pencils for correspondence with newly budding Trekkies. An ominous sign of budget-tightening.