Gene Roddenberry and Leonard Nimoy didn't have the best relationship

Star Trek icons Leonard Nimoy and Gene Roddenberry butted heads more than you think.
25th Anniversay Star Trek-Induction of the Roddenberry Bldg
25th Anniversay Star Trek-Induction of the Roddenberry Bldg / Albert L. Ortega/GettyImages

Fans may believe that Star Trek casts are always tight. The cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation is known for its comradery among the main cast. The core actors have always been extraordinarily close. They have defined what a Star Trek cast should be like both on and off the screen. They're as close to a family as you can be.

So you'd think that the closeness would extend from cast to cast, but the Next Generation crew didn't learn it from their predecessors.

The Original Series cast, while close, was never so close that fans ever saw them as a "family", the way The Next Generation cast was. That Next Generation cast did cameos together outside of Trek, namely Family Guy, and are always hanging around with one another beyond work. They're not seen as individuals but as a part of a group. The Original Series doesn't have that same aura. It's historically known as a group of talents who didn't get along at various points in time. Famously, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were both long-time friends, and eventually people who didn't talk for years.

Now, for Shatner, his infamous ego has caused him to have issues with all sorts of people, including his former castmates. Yet, when we talk about one of the more interesting and least talked about feuds, it's not Shatner that holds that unique distinction, but Nimoy and series creator Gene Roddenberry.

Of all the names that you'd think were known to have issues with one another, it's not a tandem you often hear about, but it's true. The two men have had a history of issues with one another, stemming from Roddenberry's issues with merchandise the entire show, regardless if anyone else made money off of the items.

Nimoy was one of the names that felt he was being unfairly merchandised, without being fairly compensated. The peak of that issue was with his album Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space, where Nimoy felt he wasn't making as much as he deserved. Negotiation issues also occurred during the taping of the second season of The Original Series, where Nimoy requested a raise and oversight of his character; both things that Roddenberry didn't want to give. It caused there to be significant issues between the two.

The two men worked together for years, but small things eroded their relationship, like when Roddenberry was getting ready to launch the sequel series to the Original Series, and wasn't planning on using Spock for more than a few episodes. That failed concept series turned into Star Trek The Motion Picture and as Nimoy started to gain more influence over the franchise, Roddenberry lost his.

The two worked together, and there may have been respect there, but the two men were far from friend.

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