As I write this, we are rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of the death of Leonard Nimoy. The memories of that day last year are still fresh as I remember learning of his passing and the condolences that were extended to me by many of the students that attend the school in which I teach. It was a hard day.
There were a few days after that that were even harder as I watched the social media pages explode with hate and criticism toward William Shatner because he would not be able to attend the funeral because of a professional obligation that he was fulfilling on the other side of the continent; a professional obligation that could potentially raise a lot of money to help a lot of people. While I remained silent on that subject, I remember being very angry myself at those that would presume to attack a man who was keeping a promise while his heart was most certainly breaking.
When I learned several weeks ago that Leonard was being released, I immediately preordered it for my Kindle.
Leonard reads mostly as a biography by WIlliam Shatner as he gives an account of his relationship with Leonard Nimoy from their humble beginnings in different places up to Nimoy’s death last year. Shatner tells his story, but it is always from a perspective that includes Nimoy in every aspect including how they grew up under similar circumstances, through their struggles to become working actors, followed by their relationship while working on original series Star Trek. After the show was cancelled, Shatner tells the story of how they tried desperately to get away from Trek to secure their own identities as actors and then embracing their relationship with the thing that brought them fame and fortune as well as strengthening their friendship as they attended conventions and other Trek-related functions.
Most of the anecdotes that Shatner relates would be familiar to those of us that have read accounts of the activities that took place during the filming of the television series and subsequent films, but they are fun to read and will make one laugh, but there are also accounts of some very painful times and struggles that the two men went through, lending each other support as true friends should do.
If you open this book expecting to see scandal, I warn you that you will be very disappointed. Leonard is not written as an exposé, rather it is a respectful look at Shatner’s relationship with Nimoy, and Nimoy’s relationship with others. At no time is Shatner disrespectful to other members of the Star Trek cast, and in his own words, he explains that his relationship with Nimoy is not as much about remembering individual incidents as it is about emotional feelings toward a man that he loved, admired, and often tried to emulate, sometimes with disastrous outcomes.
I do indeed recommend reading Leonard. For me, William Shatner touched on the feelings I have for Leonard Nimoy and helped me put those feelings into perspective.
Well, there it is…