With the passing of Leonard Nimoy on Friday, I'm sure many writers focused on his role as Mr. Spock of 'Star Trek' fame. But they may have also talked about his TV roles in 'Mission: Impossible', 'Fringe', perhaps even his duties as host of 'In Search Of...' There were also his appearances as a member of the League of Themselves in the Tooniverse on such shows as ''The Simpsons', 'Futurama', and 'Duckman'.
But I'm going to use one of my Super Six lists to showcase half a dozen of my favorite one-shot appearances in Toobworld......
'Columbo' - "A Stitch In Crime"
Topping the list is Nimoy's turn as a deadly doctor at odds with the rumpled detective. As Dr. Mayfield, Nimoy was cold, ruthless, without a single redeeming trait. (Many of the Lieutenant's adversaries were charming and you even felt sympathy for some of them - I'm thinking particularly of those played by Donald Pleasance, Johnny Cash, Janet Leigh, and Ruth Gordon.) But not only was he a right bastard, but Mayfield could be considered the most incompetent of killers Columbo captured. Even though he murdered two people in order to cover up his original plot, he couldn't even make sure that his intended victim died.
I found it on YouTube; I hope you enjoy it....
"The Alpha Caper"
Eventually Nimoy walked back from the perception given by the title of his first autobiography, "I Am Not Spock". But I would not be surprised if during his time of resentment towards the role that made him famous, that he must have felt gratitude for the chances it afforded him (like getting to direct a handful of feature films.) One of those opportunities would have been the chance to co-star with the legendary Henry Fonda in this caper movie about a parole officer planning a heist with three of his parolees. (Along with Nimoy, the parolees were Larry Hagman and James McEachin, with support from character actors Noah Beery Jr., John Marley, and Vic Tayback.)
If you're interested, here's the full movie:
3] Commander Phil Ketterling
"Assault On The Wayne"
When I saw this ABC Movie of the Week when it first aired in 1971, I had not yet seen an episode of 'Star Trek'. Missed the first run, mostly because of Boy Scout duties and the fact that it was on a UHF channel which didn't have good reception where I lived. It would be 1972 before I finally got to see my first episode - "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." So I knew nothing about Leonard Nimoy and I couldn't understand why he got the plum top billing over Lloyd Haines, whom I did know from 'Room 222'. But I think their casting was perfect in keeping audiences off-guard because of audience perceptions. Nimoy cold and rigid, Haines warmer and more at ease with the crew and then this submarine story was turned on its head.
Here's the full movie:
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' - "The Project Strigas Affair"
This early episode of the spy show gains its fame now because it was the first time Nimoy worked with William Shatner. Nothing about it screams "Destiny!" but it is fun to see them outside the so familiar pairing that we know. They would team up again as other characters at least one more time, in an episode of 'T.J. Hooker'. But in that case, they were more or less allies and so it felt natural since we had become so accustomed by that point to their being comrades. In "The Project Strigas Affair", they were at odds....
5] The Chauffeur
The Bangles' "Going Down To Liverpool"
I had forgotten about this music video; I bet many of you never even heard of it. Luckily for me I have a great support team in my Idiot's Delight Digest friends - specifically BruddahBob Cohen - who kicked my memory into gear.
Check it out:
It's no "Walk Like An Egyptian", but it's enjoyable. As for Nimoy's participation, I don't see any crossover possibility with any of his other roles, but links like that aren't always possible.
6] Toy Spock
'The Big Bang Theory' - "The Transporter Malfunction"
'The Big Bang Theory' has had a lot of fun with dream sequences - one with Bob Newhart and another with the Time Machine come to mind - and this might be the best one of all. An action figure of Mr. Spock, with the voice of Leonard Nimoy, advises Sheldon as though he were Jiminy Cricket. Sheldon's guilt over breaking his own mint in the box collectible and and then switching it with Leonard's had that much of an effect on his conscience.
Good night and may God bless, Mr. Nimoy.....