The entertainment industry is full of dynamic duos, but arguably few are as iconic as Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock. For 50 years now, the two faces of the Star Trek franchise have been a fixture of pop culture, inspiring and influencing several people with its exploration of the Final Frontier. Though there have been plenty of other Starfleet captains and officers placed in the spotlight in the various iterations of Star Trek, it’s hard to top the original ones that helped make the property what it is today.
While Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have done an admirable job stepping into the roles in the new movies, for many there is no replacing William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, who starred together for the entire run of The Original Series and six films. They became an inseparable pair over their time together, forming a friendship off the screen that rivaled the one their characters had on it. Their bond ran very deep, and it was something Shatner had the opportunity to reflect upon as fans honor the late Nimoy’s legacy.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Shatner was part of the Star Trek 50th Anniversary press conference, where he was asked to describe his relationship with Nimoy. After detailing how their backgrounds were similar, Shatner explained how his dynamic with Nimoy evolved and differentiated from other shows, where the actors rarely see each other after it wraps:
“With Leonard, I was thrown into his company because of appearances like this, and press, and movies. So we had a lot to do with each other. It was the brother I never had as we used to say to each other. He had a brother, I didn’t have one. He was my brother.”
Shatner is right in saying that his relationship with Nimoy was pretty unique to this particular industry. Even when the cast of a feature film or TV program becomes great friends, busy schedules and hopping from project to project can prevent them from socializing with one another. But with Star Trek, the original team did so much, that there were plenty of opportunities for them to spend time with one another. This certainly helped Shatner and Nimoy grow their friendship, as their most iconic work brought them together on numerous occasions. It goes to show that Star Trek left a tremendous impact on just about everyone associated with it, including the actors.
Following Nimoy’s death, it was reported that Shatner and Nimoy weren’t speaking to each other for years, allegedly due to Shatner filming Nimoy for a documentary without permission. It’s an incident that caught Shatner off-guard, but it is nice to hear him speak so fondly of his co-star. There are several instances of actors who cannot stand each other off the set, but Shatner and Nimoy clearly did not fit that bill. The former truly cared about the latter, commemorating their time with one another in a book called Leonard. For fans of Star Trek, listening to Shatner reminisce about the icon is touching and emotional, bringing up countless memories of the two.
Star Trek Beyond is now playing in theaters.