But even had Nimoy never played the half-Vulcan, half-human Enterprise science officer, he’d still likely be more than familiar to science fiction fans.
Let’s celebrate the birthday of Leonard Nimoy by taking a look at the treks he took—some classic, others less so, but all notable—in other science fiction film and television.
Leonard Nimoy wants to shift the orbit of this planet
One of Leonard Nimoy’s earliest Hollywood roles was Narab, in the gloriously and goofily named 1952 12-part Republic serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.
Narab wasn’t a large part. Nimoy received ninth billing in the credits. And by no stretch of even the most active imagination is this alien henchman one of his great performances.
Narab’s high point seems to be his big death scene in the serial’s last chapter, which you can watch below, starting at 9:44:
Even so, it’s amusing to see Nimoy playing a Martian because Gene Roddenberry originally conceived Spock as “probably half Martian.” And like the Vulcans Roddenberry ultimately created, these Martians claim to be “much further advanced in intelligence and scientific achievements than you Earthmen,” as their leader says.
The zombies’ plan to explode an H-bomb and bring Mars into Earth’s orbit around the Sun also coincidentally anticipates the scientific implausibility on which the plot of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan hangs.
(Stay tuned: This won’t be the last time we see parallels between Nimoy’s Star Trek and non-Star Trek roles!)