Spock Vs. Spock Vs. Spock: Is It Even Possible To Pick A Favourite?
There was Star Trek: Discovery’s first season, and then there was Discovery’s first season with Spock. The introduction of such a familiar sci-fi icon made a show we already loved feel brand new again while introducing us to a side of the character we’d never seen in any previous incarnation.
A total of ten actors have played or voiced the Vulcan over the course of Star Trek’s existence, but three stand out: the first Spock (or Spock Prime), Leonard Nimoy, who not only originated the character but who also played him in the largest number of Star Trek iterations; Zachary Quinto, the actor who brought Spock to a new generation of Trekkies in the latest Star Trek films; and now Ethan Peck, who quickly won us over as Michael Burnham’s Vulcan half-brother with a flare for deadpan sarcasm and just the right amount of insecurity.
It’s been fascinating to watch the showrunners and film directors work backwards with the character, taking him from the fully formed Spock we knew in, for example, movies like 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, all the way back in time to Peck’s character’s timeline in Discovery (high-five to the adorable kid-Spock played by Liam Hughes). Moving backwards, we get to witness the events that worked to form a character we know so well.
By the time Quinto donned his first pair of Vulcan ears, Nimoy had been playing Spock for over 40 years. Nimoy’s Spock had mastered the balance between his human and Vulcan halves. With Quinto, and to an even greater degree Peck, we get to see the struggle, the slips, and the stumbles Spock faced on his way to achieving a near-perfect Vulcan chill.
If Quinto’s mix of courage, daring, and gravitas can be credited with bringing Spock to a new, younger audience of Star Trek fans, then Peck gets the shout-out for locking down our love of this young, slightly cocky, but still-figuring-it-out version of the character. Seeing Spock spar with his sister as only siblings can has been the highlight of this already fantastic season of Discovery. We hope he sticks around. The beard, however, can go.
Watch the season finale of Star Trek: Discovery tomorrow (April 18) at 8e 5p.