He lived long and prospered
released OUT NOW! 275 pages | Hardback/ ebook
Authors William Shatner, David Fisher
Publisher Sidgwick & Jackson
Leonard Nimoy’s passing last February rocked countless thousands who’d never met him. How much more affecting must it have been for someone who knew him for decades? This tribute by his Star Trek co- star ( subtitle: My Fifty- Year Friendship With A Remarkable Man) provides us with a little insight.
That subtitle isn’t entirely accurate, mind. Though the two men worked side by side for three seasons, they didn’t initially become close – partly because the Method- trained Nimoy tended to stay in character rather than fool around between takes; partly because of a couple of incidents where the two locked horns. It wasn’t until 1975, when Shatner started attending conventions, that a meaningful friendship began to grow – one cemented in the ’ 90s when Shatner lost his then wife to alcoholism, and was able to lean on Nimoy ( himself an alcoholic for decades) for emotional support.
It’s difficult to know quite who is the ideal audience for Leonard. The people most likely to be interested – Trekkers – will find many of the anecdotes recounted here familiar from previous books. They may also be frustrated by some sloppy errors – Shatner thinks his Trek pilot was shot in black and white, that Chekov featured in the first season, and that Nimoy only featured in Fringe as a voice – which really should have been caught by his co- writer.
Occasional flashes of Shatner’s lightly sardonic wit keep you reading, though. And the deep respect with which he discusses his former crewmate is touching – as is his bewilderment and sadness that the two fell out before Nimoy’s death. There’s no doubt this is a sincere attempt to honour his memory. For fans, however, one wonders if a more fitting way to do so might be to donate the cover price to a heart disease charity. Ian Berriman
Flashes of Shatner’s wit keep you reading
At conventions, Nimoy had one persistent rider demand: a pint of coffee- flavoured Häagen- Dazs ice cream.