When Star Trek began, NBC decided the second-in-command character, a nameless woman called Number One, couldn't be a woman. They weren't crazy about the replacement, but hey, anything's better than a woman with power, even a satanic-looking alien.

Just The Facts

  1. is the USS Enterprise's half-human, half-Vulcan science officer, no relation to child psychologist Dr Spock.
  2. provides an outsider's perspective on the human condition. Also, constant butt of jokes from racist crewmates.
  3. sings better than Kirk (see Exhibit A below).
  4. died for our sins, then later travelled back in time to replace himself with Sylar.

Vulcan Logic

Vulcans suppress all emotions. Not too appealing, but if you had to spend more than two seasons with Kirk, surely you can see the benefits. Imagine, constantly witnessing Kirk's sexual conquests involving green aliens, Kirk's contraction of matching green space crabs, and let's not forget his rendition of "Mr Tambourine Man." It would take every trick of Vulcan emotional discipline not to throttle the swarthy bastard.

Paradoxically, Vulcans follow pure logic. Even when, you can't help but think, the logical course of action would be to shank the captain, commandeer the ship, and set a course for Risa. Then again, all Spock's logic seems to be good for is stating the obvious.

Bonus points if the Risa you were thinking of was Risa Kasumi.

Bonus points if the Risa you were thinking of was Risa Kasumi.

Half-Human, Half-Vulcan

Spock has a human mother and a Vulcan father. It's never explained what human elements he inherited, as he has his father's ears, green blood, and eyebrows that would make Stephen Colbert swoon with envy. The only thing he didn't inherit from his father is a predilection toward Earth girls--who, I am told, are easy.

What's more, his human crewmates always treat him as an alien, totally ignoring his human half. Then again, how often do you see white power groups celebrating the white half of their president?

Your science-officer-in-chief

Your science-officer-in-chief

Spock was originally intended to be half-Martian, with a reddish complexion, and a plate in his stomach through which he ingested energy. Writer Samuel A Peebles told Roddenberry this was retarded, and that Spock should not be from a planet that mankind would probably walk on before the show reached its finale more than three years later.

Vulcan Salute

Actor Leonard Nimoy invented the characteristic Vulcan salute on set of the episode "Amok Time," based on a hand gesture used by Jewish priests. What, so Hollywood, the Middle East, and the world banks weren't enough, we also had to give them an entire planet? This probably isn't a good time to mention that William Shatner was also raised Jewish.

The salute is typically accompanied by the lively catchphrase "Live long and prosper," but that was changed for the reboot movie which saw all future Star Trek history and ensuing series thrown out the airlock, to the appropriate "Good luck."

The Vulcan salute, or as it is more commonly called today, the "Spocker"

The Vulcan salute, or as it is more commonly called today, the "Spocker"

Neck Pinch

Since it would be undignified for this green-blooded, demonic creature to go around the galaxy serving up knuckle sandwiches or roofie-laden cocktails, Spock was given the ability to instantly knock anyone out just by pinching a part of their neck, even if he's unfamiliar with the anatomy of their species. This ability is apparently found in all Vulcans, who should probably be avoided if encountered at frat parties.

"Dammit Quinto, you're doing it wrong!"

"Dammit Quinto, you're doing it wrong!"

Mind Meld

When the show is running out of time and the plot needs to be resolved fast, Star Trek writers have Spock perform a mind meld, a technique for sharing thoughts, memories, knowledge, and probably PIN numbers. Most of the time, mind melds are portrayed as a consentual act between two beings, but occasionally Spock will go in uninvited--the side-effect of this is rapid growth of facial hair.

"If you didn't want to mind-meld, why'd you have to dress up so sexy?"

"If you didn't want to mind-meld, why'd you have to dress up so sexy?"

Pon Farr

The Vulcan estrous cycle, known in hushed whispers at Vulcan junior high schools as Pon farr, lasts seven years. This means that Vulcans can hypothetically only mate once every seven years, which would mean they have a sex life as active as a typical Cracked reader. However, it should be pointed out that when Spock underwent Pon farr in the original series, he ended up not mating, but instead opting to kill Captain Kirk in battle. So this means at least 14 years without sex, putting his sex life more on the level of a typical Mad Magazine reader.

Vulcan mating ritual

Depicted: actual Vulcan mating ritual


In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spock (spoiler alert) nobly sacrificed himself so that his crew would survive. In Star Trek III: (spoiler alert) The Search for Spock, he miraculously came back to life through a combination of mind transfer and Macguffins, joining the ranks of fictional characters who have come back to life which include Superman, Aslan, and Jesus. From here on in, he's pretty well immortal.

"Remember...I'll be back for the sequel."

"Remember: if there's a sequel to this mess, I want in."