tv Second Look FOX March 8, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
hello everyone i'm frank somerville welcome to a second look. leonard lemoy the actor who's name will always be linked to dr. spock died last month at the age of 83. he went to boston college but dropped off which he said left his parents grief stricken. nemoy moved to california and worked in television in the 50s and 60s and it was in the six -- 60s he caught the eye of the man who created star trek. >> i was worried because if it didn't work this pointy ear thing would be a joke. >> i have no ego to bruce. >> irritation, i'm not capable
of that emotion. >> there she is from the institute. if we play our cards right we will find out how she will leaving. >> how will playing cards help. >> reporter: in 1966 the first year reporter hairy martin talked with leonard nimoy. >> you have to arrive here before the rest of the crew. >> some what. i arrive at 6:30, we start at 8:00. it takes me about an hour and a half to get the rig. people usually start showing up at 7:30. >> let's talk about you. how did leonard nimoy get into the busy. >> i'm from boston originally. i started acting when i was a little boy at 8-year-old in neighborhood settlement houses and grew up into it. i just kept doing it because i liked it and suddenly decided i liked it enough to make a career so i came to california in 1949 and started acting in
films then. >> before this part, didn't you mainly play gangster roles. >> i had done a lot yeah. i pushed a lot of people around and got my comings at the end of the show. but it was good framing. did a wide variety of characters. the last five or six years i've been playing more or less sympathetic interesting people, people that my mother would like to see me play. doctors, lawyers, professional people. i played a film producer a film actor producer on an episode of a lieutenant show which was produced by gene rodenberry who then created star trek and had me in mind for the lieutenant dr. spock. >> how long does it take you to shoot one episode. it's like a very expensive show. >> it is. i understand one of the most expensive on air. it takes 6-1/2 or seven shooting days which means about a week and a half in calendar time to shoot a show. >> and martin caught up with nimoy again and talked to him
about his newfound fame. and he explained how fans saved star trek from cancellation after the second year. >> ideas coming up for next fall, can you give us any hint. >> well we're going to start shooting a show within a couple of days as a matter of fact. we go back to spock's home planet volcan which we have never seen before. and we will see what represents or what is a volcan wedding. >> so you mean spock will be married. >> spock is going back to volcan to be married. but we have good stories, great ideas. i'm very excitedded about this new season. >> do you like this thing? >> well it's very gratifying. >> do you like being shoved around at airports. >> no, no. not particularly. no i must say the fans that i run into places that i've gone through have really been
remarkably nice. they've been very interested but respectful. and i appreciate that. >> how's the album selling. >> the album is doing very, very well. i suddenly find myself in the music business. and they're wanting me to make more records. becomes a question of what to do. >> spock was not only making records but writing and selling poetry and even kept a hit album at his hands. yes the members of the star ship enterprise were really riding high. but then came the disheartening news, right in the middle of the second season, those audience surveys they're called ratings and they weren't sufficient enough to continue airing the program. there would be no third season. now, what do you do when a network says that your favorite show is going off the air? because not enough people watch it each week. well, you raise your voice.
you write letters, you organize that's exactly what happened. a young science fiction fan from oakland california by the name of b. joe tremble changed the network's fans with legions of fans supporting her cause and her dreams. nbc relented. there would be a third season. and gene rodenberry talks about the fan and that fantastic write in campaign that saved the show. >> well i was amazed. i think you can't write a producer without hoping that a lot of people will like it. but when i heard, that they sent something like over a million letters i was stunned and delighted that they kept this on. some of the fans did funny things. m.i.t. had a march against nbc and north and they went into the executive garage and put save
star trek on all executive limousines. the network finally cancelled star trek after three years but for decades the syndicated reruns aired right here on ktvu. as bob shaw reported on the 40th anniversary of ktvu it didn't seem to matter to fans that the shows were constantly repeated. however leonard nimoy had a different take of watching his old shows. >> reporter: during his first year of nbc we agreed to rebroadcast reruns as soon as the show was cancelled. we didn't have to wait long. after weak ratings over three seasons the program landed on our doorstep in 1969. before long the repeats developed a fanatical cult following and the audience built from year to year. amazing, considering that due to its short network run, there were only 79 episodes of the show. >> people don't care how many times you see it. with star trek, you can run it monday through friday. you will not see repeats in
four months. and they don't care. >> this is star fleet command. you can't miss it because there's only one, two. >> reporter: when you're on tv watching tv and you're scanning to the channels and an episode of star trek comes on. are you apt to sit there and watch it. >> a couple of minutes to see how it holds up. to see how it works and to get a little nostalgia and then move on. >> reporter: leonard nimoy wrote about what he called an intense sibling rivalry. in 1989 bob shaw asked leonard nimoy what it was like to be directed by shatner during the latest star trek movie. >> you directed shatner, what
was it like being direct by him? >> i like acting in star trek movies and i like to direct but doing both is hard. >> 32 million on your back is a monkey. >> did you ever get up in the morning and wonder did i make the right decision? >> every day of every minute. >> was the experience everything you would think it would be. >> far more than anything i had hoped. i knew i went in and said i am not going to let anything get me down. i'm going to enjoy this because this might be the only time i get to do this and if it isn't. it's a unique opportunity. if not unique a very rare opportunity given to any individual. everybody wants to direct. i once directed. so i said to myself you're going to enjoy every moment of that and i did. >> the last movie in the series was the most successful. >> so far. >> what did that movie have you think that the others didn't. >> i think it had a story.
and a style of play that could play to a nonstar trek audience. we made some new friends. we invited people in with that movie. i think people got the word that it was okay to go see this movie if you were not a star trek person. that you would not feel left out. >> still to come on a second look, leonard nimoy talks about the allure of star trek. >> when star trek is at its best. the beginning was very current. >> and nimoy's comic books and how filming right here in the bay area led to those comics.
we were really done in 1968 or 1969 when we were all the air we were done. and here we are saying now, now, now we're done. some 20 years later. star trek the series was only in production for three years but it seems like the fans never got tired of star trek. 12 films followed along with six television series. so what is it that is so enduring about star trek? a lot of critics say the show shined a light on the human condition and kept alive a hope that something better is just beyond the horizon or in the next galaxy. in 1996, dennis michael reported on the themes behind
the star trek series. >> space, the final frontier. >> reporter: frontier was a keyword. first a westerner as wagon train to the stars. but over the course of its transportation from failed tv show to cultural phenomenon it became much more. >> boldly go where no one has gone before. >> reporter: star trek yielded a series of films and spin offs deep space nine and voyager. >> the films are durable. very durable. they have been around and will continue to be around. and when star trek is at its best is dealing with very current, always current themes. >> reporter: the impact of star trek can be felt throughout our culture. >> it's hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know what a phaser is or beam me up or what warp speed is or what a clingon
is. these are part of americannoman. according to star trek's newest captain mogrew it's an attitude. >> star trek is about hope. there's a responsibility here. there's a kind of cac che that exists here. >> i think for all it's been very good entertainment and enlightening and illuminating about our lives. given us some insight into the human condition and who we are and who we strive to be and what we are at our best. >> reporter: the late gene roddenberry was honored at the nasa. >> these are gene's own word.
why are we traveling into space. it's the make the unknown known. we're on a journey to keep an appointment with whatever we are. >> and the future of the future. >> for us the job is just keep doing it the best we can. >> let's make sure history never forgets the name, enterprise. >> inconceiving of a future's where people work together and make that view a mainstream vision, rodenberry truly went where no one had gone before. the space museum opened a yearlong exhibit celebrating the 26th anniversary of the star trek series. it was the first time that nasa had honored a fictional rather than a real character. >> we haven't fired. >> according to our data banks we have. >> reporter: for over 25 years,
they've boldly gone where no man had gone before. and they are about to do it again. >> how did you get up here so fast. >> reporter: the celebrated cast found themselves mugging for the national press at washington's aaron space museum. the museum is honoring the show with its own exhibit. the first time that's ever been done for fictional heros. >> it represents a world of ideas that i think are valid and have a place here in the museum and although it is science fiction, which is a kind of a genera that some people take seriously and some discard i understand that. the fact is that i think it does deal with moral and ethical and social questions. >> reporter: if you don't want to think about the bigger moral questions, there's a chance to take a look at the ears of mr. spock and the cruise ship. but if you come here looking to
admire the memorabilia you may be missing the point of all of this. >> yes, it is fiction. but fiction is necessary to move people on to challenge themselves to do what they can. >> reporter: cynics might wonder if the elevation of a tv show no matter how culturally popular to museum status. >> mr. schatner. >> i don't think i'm -- she's asking me not to. >> reporter: and cynics might say the reporters who turned into autograph hounds, would agree that the idea is to bring out more fans. star trek fans actually started a write in campaign urging president ford to name
the spaceship enterprise instead of the constitution. when the spaceship was flown where it's now on display, nimoy was there. >> i say to all of them and to enterprise, live long and prosper. >> sciencetists have returned the gesture, a tribute to leonard nimoy and mr. spock. tweeting after learning that nimoy died. >> and then leonard is honored in music. in a different look in a video. how nimoy got involved in the project.
poet. nimoy also told steve mcfar land that he had launched a comic book series. >> it was discovered while doing research for the voyage home which i filmed in san francisco. the hump back whale story. i developed a program called seti the search for extra terrestial institute. equipment being done and designed by wonderful scientists in our country to be hooked up to radio telescopes to listen for intelligent signals from other planets in our universe. that led to this story which i created with dr. isaac several years ago. the idea being that this planet was visited 65 million years ago by an alien race who discovered that earth was going to be, was going to suffer a
meteorite shower that would destroy all life. they took away with them pairs of dinosaurs which they thought would evolve into a species. kind of a noah's arch. now those creatures are coming back to earth to their the home of their ancestors. >> before you were cast in the role of mr. spock did you have an interest in science fiction? >> oh yeah, my history with science fiction to begin with goes back to my childhood. i used to read science fiction comic books. long before i was cast as mr. spock i was involved in science fiction and film and television. in 1951, 43 years ago when i was 23 years old i acted in a science fiction serial called zombies of the stratosphere, and i don't want you ever to mention that again. >> i am going to run to the video store and rent zombies of
the stratosphere. >> unfortunately you will find it there. >> calling merricks, calling merricks. >> come in merricks. >> someone has just captured them in the outer cape. >> is the robux still there. >> yes. >> then i will take over. >> now to finish him. >> there's an x on the box right behind it. >> yeah, that will do it. in his professional life leonard nimoy was fearless. it seemed like he would try anything. he came across as a man comfortable poking fun at himself as he did in this bruno mars video. >> ♪ ♪ >> that video was released in 2011. his stepson was a record
executive who signed bruno mars. so when nimoy's stepson asked him to take part of the video nimoy said yes. and on the video he later wrote, i think it's very funny. >> his fellow actors reflect on the man who played mr. spock. >> a long and deep friendship. love that i have for leonard. he is in essence the brother i never had. >> and a final thought from leonard nimoy.
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welcome back to a second look. a lot of scientists have credited star trek and leonard nimoy's mr. spock with sparking interest in science. nasa released this video from two astronauts who praised nimoy and the character he played after his death was announced. >> as we at nasa explore the moon, mars and beyond, we'll take the spirit of an energy that leonard brought to his energy mr. spock along with us.
live long and prosper. >> the message is one of cooperation and integration. mr.spock a volcanan was highly integrated in a union of humans and nonhumans. we at the international station believe in that. we will take that message with us as we go beyond to explore space. >> the woman who played lieutenant uhora remembered lenard nimoy as a man who's mission and heart were bigger that the universe. michelle said that nimoy's spirit was that of a champion. and george tachey credited nimoy with making a half alien character one who's humanity filled the screen. >> he created that character.
they had made an earlier episode where no one grasped the edges of the character. >> he made that character, one interestingly humanized and so rivetting intriguing. >> schatney says he will most miss nimoy's capacity to love. >> first and fore most it's a long and deep friendship, love that i have for leonard. he is in essence the brother i never had. >> and you turn around and went -- aah. >> perhaps leonard nimoy summed it up best when he talked about his career. >> i've had tremendous challenges, a tremendous range of possibilities in terms of characters, in terms of media. television, films, stage, writing, i've had a good time. i have no complaints about what spock has meant to me.
>> and that's it for this week's second look. i'm frank somerville, we'll see you again next week. life's morning multitasking. it's multiple ideas for growing families and drawers with many layers to show exactly what you need. life's the food that brings us together. and kitchens where every meal is the most important of the day.
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