For The Love of Spock is more than a simple documentary about the character but a love letter from a son to his father. The catalyst for this film started simply enough as a documentary about the character as the 50th anniversary of the series approached. Unfortunately, as filming commenced, Leonard Nimoy passed away, leaving director Adam Nimoy alone with footage of his father talking about the character.
After some pondering, Adam decided to finish the movie but not as a documentary of the character but of the man. Of course, the iconic character would play an important role in the film but it would focus on the Renaissance man that Leonard Nimoy was. Using a crowd sourcing campaign to get enough money to complete the project, Adam was soon on his way to completing the project with members of the Star Trek reboot and surviving members of the original Star Trek cast.
The film focuses on the beginning of his acting career and quickly jumps to life after Trek. The film focuses on him trying to become more of a working actor after the series and some of the pivotal roles he took on stage. Nevertheless, the actor’s career would take front seat to his relationship with his family. The tone of the documentary would shift when it reached the point to when Adam himself would become a teenager and could experience the traditional father-son conflict.
The documentary lends itself to telling a personal story while at the same time giving a fan a inside look to the iconic fugure that has been part of the pop culture bedrock for some time. Some of his personal stories were rehashed from previous appearances but there were moments that were overlooked. Most importantly, the first book that Leonard Nimoy released entitled “I Am Not Spock.” In fact they only touched on the sequel to that book, “I Am Spock,” It would have been interesting to see the reluctance to embrace the character when you are known for that role and still can’t get another acting job.
One aspect that was discussed was Nimoy’s holdout from joining the cast of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I, on a personal level, did not know that the holdout was due to money that Paramount Studios owed him for using his likeness for marketing and money that he had a right to since he had never given consent to use of his likeness. The film seemed to steer away from anything that fans could take issue with and stuck to more of the love letter forum.
The documentary as a whole gives us a glimpse into the life and character of both Leonard Nimoy and Spock. The way many fans and non-fans felt on hearing of his passing speaks volumes to the loss of a cultural icon. Needless to say, it became less about us watching a documentary about a man and character, but was more about a son finally seeing the father that he had difficulty in seeing and taking all of us along through the journey.