Julia Houston on Spock

By Amy
October 18, 2000 - 2:52 PM

Julia Houston, About.com's Star Trek Guide, has put up the latest edition of her weekly column. This week's edition, entitled 'Spock, the Perfect First Officer', looks at the legacy of Spock as the perfect right-hand man, someone who is loyal and dedicated, but lacks the ambition to usurp the top dog.

While all the shows have their "legacy," there is something particularly difficult to avoid about the TOS characters because they are able to adhere to the basic stereotypes, classic specifications, and ideal personalities (for the time) of their rank and duties, from the Hard-Livin' Captain to the Old Country Doctor to, of course, the logical, brilliant, loyal and -- best of all -- unambitious First Officer.

Spock is the clear winner of this sort of "perfection," even among just the TOS characters, both for his characterization within the frame of TOS and for the timeless appeal he offers as a "right-hand man." One of The Motion Pictures best features is the recognition it has for Spock's invaluable, irreplaceable role on the Enterprise bridge. Another Vulcan tries to replace him, and is killed horribly for the presumption. Without Spock, Kirk bumbles about, almost destroying the ship, but with Spock, the engines are instantly repaired and all is well.

It is not simply that Spock is loyal and intelligent, it's the flavor of these qualities, the special ways in which this half-human, half-Vulcan character gets to demonstration his loyalty and intelligence that make him so perfect an officer to have at one's side...as long as we remember that he's not so hot as an officer on his own.

Click here for the full article at About.com's Star Trek Fans.

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