Thoughts on Spock:
When facing crisis, Spock is just the kind of right-hand man (or Vulcan) you want. He can approximate in his head your odds of success to within 7,824.7 to 1, is well-versed in literature, and able to build computers using stone knives and bear skins. In a fight his come-from-behind Vulcan nerve pinch is also helpful.
Kirk relied on Spock a great deal. Spock was almost always ready with any needed information, and his ability to remain objective and logical in crisis was often critically important, especially if Kirk himself was compromised. Spock was intensely loyal to Kirk, and seemed to have a sense that Kirk’s human emotions sometimes gave him a perspective that justified a course of action Spock wouldn’t have followed.
For all of his formal education, Spock had one area of ongoing study: human nature. This was complicated by the fact that Spock was himself half human, and his human emotions were constantly flaring up to disrupt his pure Vulcan logic.
Two of my favorite Spock episodes are:
- Operation – Annihilate! In this episode, Spock overcomes wracking pain by regarding it as an emotional response and suppressing it, then uses himself as a test subject to find a cure for an infection.
- The Galileo Seven. In this episode Spock has his first taste of independent command, and sets out to command by pure logic. He learns some hard lessons about leading and dealing with emotional and often irrational beings, but what I really like is that he did learn. Spock was always learning, and if he gained new knowledge or insights, he wasn’t afraid to change his thinking or methods.
- Check out Spock’s page on memory-alpha
- Watch this very interesting video in which Nimoy explains how he invented the Vulcan salute.