Leonard Nimoy exists on the fringe
In the classic Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror,” Leonard Nimoy acted in a story about parallel universes. Decades later, he did so again over several episodes of creator J.J. Abrams’ cult favorite series Fringe (2008-2013).
Nimoy played Dr. William Bell, the megarich founder and CEO of research and tech behemoth Massive Dynamic. In Bell’s alternate universe, Massive Dynamic appears to be headquartered in the World Trade Center, which survived the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
(I remember this reveal causing quite a stir when it first aired in 2009!)
William Bell sacrificed himself to save his former research partner Walter Bishop and Olivia Dunham in Fringe’s second season.
But after returning in an animated episode in the third season, Bell appeared again in the fourth and became the series’ “big bad.” He wanted to to destroy both his own universe and the one in Bishop lived.
It’s not hard to see why this character appealed to Nimoy. The role offered chances to explore morality and philosophy, and an opportunity to play against type as a villain.
What thespian can resist the chance to “play God”?
A final footnote on Fringe: I can’t imagine Fringe fans who also know Star Trek lore have failed to notice the name of William Bell’s cargo freighter, the SS Talos, echoes the name of the very first “strange new world” ever seen in Star Trek, Talos IV.