Mr. Spock Of ‘Star Trek’ A Woman? Nichelle Nichols Says She Was Offered Role
Though the “Star Trek” has been rebooted with a new sheen, make no mistake: Leonard Nimoy is Mr. Spock. But here’s a twist: had things turned out the way series creator Gene Roddenberry intended them, the role would have been perhaps been cast as Ms. Spock.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Nichelle Nichols revealed that she was the original Vulcan of Roddenberry’s eye.
“They gave me a three-page script to read from that had three characters named Bones, Kirk and somebody called Spock, and they asked me if I would read for the role of Spock. When I looked at this great text, I said to myself, ‘I’ll take any one of these roles,’ but I found the Spock character to be very interesting, and I asked them to tell me what she [Spock] was like.”
As io9 points out, there was a female character, much like Spock, named Number One in an early iteration of the script; it was later cut and Spock was added, seemingly in its place.
Eventually, of course, Nichols would end up winning the role of Lieutenant Uhura, leading to what is largely considered the first interracial kiss on television, with William Shatner’s Captain Kirk.
As for Spock, Nimoy said he got a call from his agent saying that Roddenberry, who produced a show he had already been on, wanted him for a role in another show he was working. He sent in an episode of “Dr. Kildare,” in which, as he told Emmytvlegends.org, “he played a very quiet, shy guy who befriended a blind girl and quoted poetry to her, a very sensitive, nice character,” which was the absolute opposite of what he had done on Roddenberry’s show.
Then came a meeting in a studio with Roddenberry, and the rest is history. In the most recent iteration of the franchise, director JJ Abrams’ films, Zachary Quinto plays Spock, to devastating effect, but after three seasons of orignal show, seven film starring roles and various other cameos, Nimoy will forever be the one true Spock.