Commander Spock - born 2230 on Shi'Kahr, planet Vulcan; full name described as unpronounceable by Humans - is a half-Vulcan, half-Human hybrid; the son of Vulcan diplomat Sarek and Human teacher Amanda Grayson, and the brother of Vulcan outcast Sybok. He is probably most well known for his many years of serving Starfleet as the first officer and primary science officer of the USS-Enterprise under the command of Captains Christopher Pike and later James T. Kirk.
Despite being half-Human, Spock is a dedicated follower of the Surakian philosophy of repressing emotions and valuing objectiveness and logic. His scientific knowledge and high intellect, his mastery of Vulcan telepathic techniques and his level-headed attitude have all helped to establish him as an anchor of reason and a valuable figure serving on Human vessels. At the same time his loyalty to duty have made him an exemplary officer, who acted as Kirk's right hand on numerous missions concerning interstellar exploration and cautious diplomacy.
In his later years he became a full-time ambassador and engaged in a quest for the peaceful reunification of the Vulcan and Romulan societies. While attempting to prevent Romulus' destruction in 2387, Spock was caught in a freak spatial anomaly that brought him to the year 2258 of an alternate universe.
Despite being a hybrid, Spock possesses most of the physiological characteristics of a native Vulcanian; including pointed ears, arched eyebrows, telepathic capabilities, high analytic skills, copper-based green blood and inner eyelids. Nevertheless, because of his Human heritage, Spock often experiences more difficulty than the average Vulcan to repress his emotions. He has a blood type T-negative, which is quite rare among Vulcans.
Besides his scientific inclinations, Spock also has a deep interest in poetry and other forms of art. He plays a Vulcan instrument similar to a harp. He also enjoys playing tridimensional chess. Spock takes great pride in his ability to repress emotions, and often acts puzzled when observing the emotional reactions of his Human colleagues. He has a habit of raising a single eyebrow when surprised and often uses the word "fascinating" to describe phenomena he would consider unexpected, including other species' reactions to a variety of situations.
Spock has also developed a lasting friendship with Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, although the latter often becomes argumentative in his disapproval of Vulcans' cold-blood and apparent lack of compassion. Spock also believes in the Vulcan mantra of "infinite combination, infinite diversity", and is a defender of equality and peaceful coexistence with all forms of life. Like virtually all Vulcans, Spock is a vegetarian.
Spock was born in the year 2230 on the city of Shi'Kahr, Vulcan, to parents Sarek and Amanda Grayson. He studied at Starfleet Academy from 2249 to 2252, and on the same year was assigned as a cadet to the USS-Enterprise, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike. That was allegedly the first instance of a Vulcan serving aboard a Starfleet vessel with a majorly Human crew (presumably, T'Pol's case is not considered because she wasn't a Starfleet officer; alternatively, the contradiction could also lead to the possibility that the Enterprise TV series is set on a different continuity from the original series, but that's unlikely). Spock's father was never fully pleased as his son's career of choice, as he had hoped Spock would join the Vulcan Science Academy instead of Starfleet.
In 2254, Spock was present on an away team on Talos IV, where the Enterprise had come to investigate a distress signal. On that occasion, Captain Pike was abducted by the Talosians, who placed illusory but extremely powerful obstacles to prevent his crew from rescuing him. Many years later, when Pike was irreversibly crippled by a severe engine accident, Spock would disobey Starfleet orders for the first time to bring his former captain back to Talos where he could live in peace in the Talosian's illusory reality instead of confined to a wheelchair. Spock faced trial for these actions, but the charges against him were eventually dropped.
Kirk's five years mission
In 2265, the Enterprise command would be assumed by Captain James T. Kirk, beginning the ship's celebrated five-year mission of exploring poorly known territories in space. In that period, Spock would continue to serve the Enterprise, increasing in rank to lieutenant and later commander, and acting as Kirk's first officer and chief science officer. Spock's career in the Enterprise was marked by numerous historical events of first contacts, encounters with spatial anomalies and even time travel.
On the first year of their journey, the ship entered the Neutral Zone and accidentally established the first direct contact with Romulans since the famous Earth-Romulan war. The re-discovery of the close relation between Vulcans and Romulans came as a surprise for Spock, as at that point the information had been lost to history.
As of 2267, Spock had earned the Vulcanian Scientific Legion of Honor, and been twice decorated by Starfleet Command. On that same year, Spock had an opportunity to experience leadership when a shuttle crash left him and six other crew members stranded on Taurus II and threatened by the native Anthropoids. Despite two losses, they were ultimately able to restore the shuttle and head back to the Enterprise.
Later that same year, Spock would experience time travel for the first time after an encounter with a black star caused the Enterprise to be thrown back in time almost 100 years, to the Earth of 1969, where he interacted with the USA Air Force of the time while attempting to prevent alterations to history. Eventually, Spock managed a slingshot maneuver across the sun which successfully returned the Enterprise to its current time. Chronologically, this incident makes Spock one of the first known Vulcans to make contact with humanity - beaten only by T'Pol's ancestors who accidentally crashed on Earth in 1957.
On the same year while visiting planet Omicron Ceti III, Spock re-encountered Leila Kalomi, a woman who had briefly fell in love with him on Earth in 2261. Under the effects of the Omicron Ceti spores, Spock was led to experience uncontrolled emotions and temporarily expressed the same feelings of love and happiness with her.
Also on that year, Spock experienced a severe case of pon farr, the Vulcan mating ritual, which forced him to return to his homeworld for his arranged marriage with T'Pring. However, since the woman had no interest in marrying Spock, she pretended to choose Captain Kirk as her intended-husband. Vulcan procedures guaranteed that on that situation Kirk and Spock would be forced into a fight to death. T'Pring predicted that Spock would be either killed in the combat, or face court martial for killing his captain, and in either case she would be free to marry her true interest Stonn. However, with the help of Dr. McCoy, Kirk managed to fake his own death, saving Spock from his marriage without requiring him to kill anyone or die.
Other notable incidents of 2267 include: Kirk and Spock freeing the civilization of Beta III from its A.I. ruler; rescuing and battling the Eugenics Wars fugitive Khan Noonien Singh; making first contact with the Gorn Hegemony, the Hortas of Janus VI, and the Organians; participating, and eventually putting an end to, the strange computerized war between Eminiar VII and Vendikar; being infected by the Blastoneurons and helping develop a cure for the deadly parasites and a way to destroy them. And, perhaps most notably, the encounter with the mysterious Guardian of Forever, which resulted in Kirk and Spock traveling back in time, to 20th century Earth once again, in order to prevent a loose Dr. McCoy (accidentally under a neural medication's influence), from interfering with the timeline.
In 2268 en route to the Conference of Babel, Spock re-encountered his parents for the first time in several years. His father, Sarek, was falling ill to a cardiac disease, and Spock struggled to reconcile with him. He later donated blood to allow Dr. McCoy to perform a surgery what would cure his father. After recovering, Sarek made peace with his son.
That year also saw Spock: helping to prevent a Klingon attempt to infect Federation planets with quadrotriticale (and the discovery that even Vulcans are not immune to the tranquilizing effect of tribbles, despite Spock's claim on the contrary); passing as a syndicate mafia boss along with Kirk to help bring peace to the Iotian society; studying and helping destroy the Space Amoeba that threatened the galaxy; meeting with the disembodied survivors of the ancient "Sargon's species", which Spock believed could have been the progenitors of the Vulcan species; making contact with the extra-galactic Kelvans and the strange Melkotians; and having his brain surgically removed by an alien race which used it to power a computer which controlled every aspect of their society. Remaining conscious during the process, Spock himself later helped instruct Dr. McCoy on how to reconnect Spock's brain.
Compared to Kirk, Spock was rather uninterested in the matters of love, but there have been rare occasions of him being romantically attracted: such as to the Romulan commander of a battleship he and Kirk invaded on a secret mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device; and the princess Droxine of planet Ardana. Another instance of Spock falling in love happened in 2269, when he accidentally traveled through a time portal along with Kirk and McCoy to the ancient ice ages of planet Serpeidon, where Spock becomes attracted to a local woman named Zarabeth. In the non-canon novel Yesterday's Son, it is revealed that Zarabeth had Spock's son, Zar, who would later become an important figure in Serpeidonian history.
In 2268 Kirk and Spock were caught in an experiment by the Excalbians to understand the humanoid concepts of "good" and "evil", where they were forced to fight with several illusory representations of historical figures, including Spock's idol Surak. Spock also traveled back in time two more times that year: one to Earth's 1968 again on a mission where he met the mysterious Gary Seven; and one on a second encounter with the Guardian of Forever, in which Spock traveled back to Vulcan of 2237 in order to save his own younger self from dying on the desert during a self-imposed ritual of passage.
When the Enterprise headed to save planet Mantilles from a Cosmic Cloud in 2269, Spock was the one who deduced the cloud's sapience and managed to communicate with it telepathically, convincing it to spare the lives of the planet's inhabitants. Later on he was kidnapped by the clone of a Human Eugenics Wars refugee on the planet Phylos IV. Spock himself was cloned by the Phylosians, generating the augmented entity known as Spock II, who helped save the original Spock and stayed on the planet to help the recovery of the near-extincted Phylosian civilization.
Later that year Spock, along with Lieutenants Sulu and Uhura, discovered an ancient artifact from the mysterious Slaver race that had control over the entire galaxy one billion of years prior; and battled Kzinti soldiers which wished to possess the ancient weapon. He also took part on an expedition arranged by the Vedala, consisting of himself along with Kirk, Tchar, Lara, M3 Green and Sord, to recover the mysterious device known as the Soul of Skorr.
Following the end of the five-year mission, Spock returned to his homeworld of Vulcan where he spent a few years perfecting the art of kolinahr, to better achieve control of his emotional Human side. He returned to the Enterprise in the mid 2270s to help Kirk make contact with the mysterious menace known as V'ger - later discovered to be an old Earth probe which had achieved conscience following an encounter with an artificial alien species. With new first officer William Decker having been willfully absorbed by the entity to stop its threat, Spock returned to being second-in-command on the Enterprise. The encounter with V'ger reportedly caused Spock to rethink his philosophies and better reconcile his Human and Vulcan "sides", believing both could be mutually part of him.
Years later, in 2285, Spock was serving as acting captain of the Enterprise, which had been retired from regular duty and instead was used as part of training of new cadets on Starfleet. When Khan Noonien Singh threatened to steal the Genesis Device and swore revenge on Admiral Kirk, the Enterprise was returned to its former captain to defeat Khan. Claiming that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one, Spock sacrificed his own life to save those of the rest of the crew when he entered a heavily radiation-filled engines room to repair the ship, which had been damaged by Khan. Spock's body was placed in a coffin and launched into space near the Genesis planet, which became his resting place. However, before dying Spock had transferred his katra (or mind essence) to the mind of Dr. McCoy, thus preserving himself. The same device that allowed the spontaneous creation of life on Genesis also caused Spock's body to be reborn. Once recovered, Spock's katra was transferred back to him and he effectively returned from death.
The following year, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew hijacked the ship again in an attempt to save Earth from a deadly alien probe. Spock correctly conjectured that the probe was acting with hostility due to failure to communicate with its intended listeners, the sapient Humpback Whales, which had been extinct during the 21st century. Managing the slingshot maneuver again, Spock brought the ship back in time to save a couple of whales, which were then brought to the 24th century to answer the probe and save Earth from destruction. In 2287, Spock was assigned to a new ship, the USS Enterprise-A, along with the rest of the Enterprise senior officers. He assisted Kirk on a mission to stop Spock's own brother, the outcast Sybok, who rejected Vulcan logic and took several Federation, Klingon and Romulan figures as hostages, brainwashing them and hijacking the Enterprise-A to use it on his quest to find the center of the galaxy and encounter the cosmic creator.
In 2293, Spock was a pivotal figure in diplomatic talks between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. He went to great lengths to save Admiral Kirk and Dr. McCoy, who had been blamed for the assassination of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon; and conducted the investigation to find out the real culprit. He was the main voice behind the Federation's decision to forge an alliance with the Klingons via the Khitomer Accords; a move considered controversial by many, but which helped establish a long-lasting peace between the two interstellar powers.
More than seventy years after helping to create peace between the Federation and Klingons, Ambassador Spock engaged in a long quest for the peaceful reunification of the peoples of Vulcan and Romulus. In 2368 he took a secret mission to infiltrate the Romulan society and assist the resistance movement which wished for unification and peace. The Federation knew nothing of Spock's intentions at the time, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard at first disapproved of what he described as an outdated form of "cowboy diplomacy".
On his encounter with Sarek, Picard mentions having attended his son's wedding, but it's unclear whether he is referring to Spock's, Sybok's or another previously unheard-of son of Sarek. In the expanded universe, it is established that he indeed referred to Spock, who married Saavik in 2329.
In 2387, when a supernova threatened the destruction of the entire Romulan system, Ambassador Spock assumed command of a sophisticated vessel, the Jellyfish and attempted to save Romulus by injecting large enough quantities of red matter into the star to consume it before it went supernova. He failed, however, and when the black hole managed to consume the exploding star, Romulus had already been destroyed. A furious Romulan commander named Nero attacked Spock's ship, blaming the ambassador for his failure, but causing both ships to be dragged into the black hole back in time to an alternative universe in the year 2258, where Nero got vengeance on Spock by using red matter to destroy Vulcan. After meeting with the younger versions of Captain Kirk and himself, Spock decided to help the remaining Vulcans of that timeline to establish a new colony.
The Mirror Universe version of Spock differs from his prime Universe's self for possessing a goatee. He served as the first officer on the Imperial vessel, the ISS Enterprise, and unlike his treacherous Human colleagues, was quite loyal to his Captain Kirk. When the Prime Universe's versions of Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scotty crossed into the Mirror Universe by accident, the mirror Spock agreed to help them get home. A logical man like his counterpart, Mirror Spock concurred to Prime Kirk's claims that the Empire was brutal and doomed to fall like all authoritative regimes of the past. In fact the Mirror Spock had already calculated a statistical probability that stated that the Empire would have less than 240 years before massive revolts resulted in its collapse. However, he also calculated the chance of one man bringing peace to such a chaotic state to be less than minimal. Prime Kirk remains optimistic, however, and tells Mirror Spock about the powerful Tantalus device, claiming that in Spock's possession, the weapon could make a difference for better.
In Deep Space Nine it was revealed that Mirror Spock really did follow Kirk's suggestion and was successful in his quest to make the Empire more peaceful. However, by the 24th century, the former Empire had been conquered by the equally brutal mirror versions of the Klingon and Cardassian states, which enslaved Humans and Vulcans.
J. J. Abram's Universe
In this alternate universe, Spock is depicted as a more unstable figure, struggling to fit in Vulcan society and to repress his emotional side and also disturbed by the loss of his homeworld and his mother. He rejected a position offered in the Vulcan Scientific Academy because of what he considered unequal treatment, since the board claimed Spock's Human heritage to be a "disadvantage". He also increased in ranks faster than his prime counterpart, being already a commander in 2258. The alternate Spock acts inimical to Kirk at first and even goes as far as to exile him on Delta Vega, condemning him for treason after their fight. He was also romantically involved with that universe's version of Nyota Uhura.
- Star Trek (the original series) - pilot "The Cage" plus all aired episodes; 1966 to 1969
- Star Trek: The Animated Series - all aired episodes; 1973 - 1974
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture; 1979
- Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; 1982
- Star Trek: The Search for Spock; 1984
- Star Trek: The Voyage Home; 1986
- Star Trek: The Final Frontier; 1989
- Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country; 1991
- Star Trek: The Next Generation - episodes s5e7 "Unification, part I" and "Unification, part II"; 1991
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - episode s5e6 "Trials and Tribble-ations"; 1996
- Star Trek; 2009
The following list is still heavily incomplete
- Spock's World by Diane Duane (1988)
Behind the scenes
The character of Spock was conceived by series creator Gene Roddenberry, and was played by actor Leonard Nimoy in most of his appearances in the Star Trek universe; both live action and animated. Nimoy also played the goatee-sporting Mirror Universe version of the commander. The J. J. Abrams' universe's Spock, however, was played by Zachary Quinto, although Nimoy appeared in the first installment of the series playing the prime universe Spock who travels to the alternate timeline. The only canonical instances of prime universe Spock not being played by Leonard Nimoy were: in the movie The Search for Spock, in which the character is reborn on planet Genesis and experiences rapid growth from childhood to adulthood, the younger Spock was played by four actors: Carl Steven, Vadia Potenza, Stephen Manley and Joe W. Davis. In the same movie, professional voice actor Frank Welker performed Spock's screams. The animated series also showed a younger Spock in the episode "Yesterday", voiced by Billy Simpson.
Spock once claimed the quote "once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, will be the truth" was spoken by one of his ancestors. The quote is actually one of Sherlock Holmes' most famous, implying that Spock is a descendant of either Holmes himself or of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, depending whether or not the detective was a real person within the Star Trek universe. The Sherlock Holmes holo-novels played by Data on The Next Generation seem to suggest he wasn't, but the matter is open for debate.