“I Grok Spock.”

Most recognized for his many decades in the Star Trek film and television franchise playing the extraterrestrial character Mr. Spock, the late actor Leonard Simon Nimoy was also known for his work as a film director, photographer, author, poet, and singer/songwriter. Nimoy died of lung disease on February 27th at the age of 83.

On today’s edition of “The Freak Power Ticket” (Monday, March 9), Ted Coe will pay tribute to Nimoy’s cultural impact.

Leonard Nimoy had struggled to forge a career in Hollywood since the early 1950s, playing minor characters in B movies and television series until the mid-1960s. He seized on his part in the cult science-fiction program (which ran for three seasons from 1966-1969). Critic Matt Zoller Seitz recently described Mr. Spock as “one of the great characters in TV history,” and Nimoy himself helped to define (and fully inhabited) the role of the half-human/half-Vulcan “science officer and first officer” of the United Star Ship Enterprise.

"Nimoy as Spock with William Shatner as Kirk, 1968" [Star Trek: The Original Series] - Public Domain photo from Wikipedia.org.

“Nimoy as Spock with William Shatner as Kirk, 1968” [Star Trek: The Original Series] – Public Domain photo from Wikipedia.org.

Leonard Nimoy also revealed his love of music and poetry during that period — the heyday of the countercultural 1960s — releasing five albums of music and spoken-word performance between 1967-1970. His success on Star Trek, however, also meant he had to live down the typecasting that accompanied his iconic part. After Star Trek’s cancellation, Nimoy went on to play a major role for two more seasons on the popular spy series Mission: Impossible, was the host of a fanciful documentary series, In Search of… during the late-1970s, and co-starred in Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake of the science-fiction film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

From there, he embarked upon a noteworthy career in cinema, reprising Mr. Spock in six Star Trek motion pictures, three of which he either wrote and/or directed.

Today’s “The Freak Power Ticket” playlist will sample Nimoy’s own musical output, and will also reflect on his most important parts and lesser-known activities and interests with related music, film trailers, clips, and commentary, plus songs inspired by his work and dedicated to his memory.

Photobucket

“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the winter from 11am-12noon PST.