Today we mark the passing of Leonard Nimoy, who died this morning at the age of 83. Nimoy was, among other things, a musician, a photographer and a poet. But he will always be known as Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek television series, a role that predates even William Shatner's iconic Captain Kirk.
That seminal program ran for just three seasons, but it casts a long shadow over television history and the science fiction genre in general. Even if you've seen them all dozens of times before, it's hard to recommend a better way to spend your weekend than with Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura and Chekov.
A high-definition boxed set is out now and sure to be selling briskly, but Netflix subscribers can stream every episode right now. Today, in memory of Leonard Nimoy, we recommend three of his best episodes.
May his memory always live long and prosper.
"Amok Time" from season two, episode one: After Spock takes ill, Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise help him return to his home planet of Vulcan. There he meets his wife, whose hand in marriage he was promised in his childhood, for the first time. The episode features a bloody, ritualistic test of arms, and the entire episode is a marvellous example of the classic triad of Kirk, Spock and "Bones" McCoy.
"A Piece of the Action" from season two, episode 17: Spock and Kirk land on a planet whose culture is completely based off a single historical document; a book titled Chicago Mobs of the Twenties. Only by thinking like mobsters can the crew of the Enterprise win the day. Nimoy's portrayal of Spock's dry, calculated wit makes this episode as much of a joy as his glorious pinstriped suit, pictured above.
"The Empath" from season three, episode 12: It's hard to find an episode that so completely crystalizes the classic Star Trek tropes. This one has it all. It starts with a distress beacon from an abandoned research station, quickly introduces a mysterious women, takes a grim turn with a pair of rubber-faced aliens, and finishes with one of Gene Roddenberry's classic moralistic conclusions. This performance stands apart as one of Nimoy's best.
There's many more to choose from. Share your favorites in the comments below.