In the original pilot (The Cage), we see that Spock smiles:

enter image description here

As pointed out in the accepted answer to this question, the reason provided was that Spock was 'grinning with relief'.

It got me to thinking though; evidently at that stage of planning Spock wasn't entirely restricting his emotions; he would still have emotional displays at time.

My question then is this: out of universe, when and why did the character of Spock restrict his emotions?

  • 3
    “when and why did the character of Spock become logical” — well, never, right? He was half-human. He got really good at controlling his emotions, but they were still there. Sep 1, 2015 at 9:52
  • 14
    ALL Vulcans have emotions. They just all get good at controlling them.
    – JRE
    Sep 1, 2015 at 10:02
  • 2
    @JRE I appreciate that, but originally it seems he wasn't a logical being; he was still largely governed by his emotions. My question is that when and why was Spock made to be a logical being - i.e. controls his emotions and operates logically Sep 1, 2015 at 10:14
  • 2
    Can't understand why this question is attracting downvotes... Sep 2, 2015 at 8:11
  • 2
    @Wrzlprmft Agreed, but there was a strong difference between Spock's restrained emotions to the original Spock Sep 2, 2015 at 10:13

2 Answers 2


If I remember correctly, it went like this: In "The Cage" there was the figure of "Number One" played by Majel Barrett. She was logical and controlled and was first officer on the Enterprise. The folks who controlled the purse strings didn't like having a female character for that position and got Rodenberry to remove Majel Barrett as Number One. Spock's character was combined with Number One and retained as first officer.

So, Spock became logical between the filming of "The Cage" and the filming of the first episode due to pressure from "the suits."

Here is a summary of an interview with Gene Roddenberry that backs up my memory:

Gene Roddenberry Interview From 1976

(Thanks to @Plutor for finding that.)

  • Actually, it does. The "Number One" character was logical and controlled like the Spock we all know from the series. They wanted to retain the logical "Number One" type character for the first officer, and just combined those characteristics with the existing Spock figure and made him the first officer.
    – JRE
    Sep 1, 2015 at 10:21
  • Cites are a problem. Its tough to cite a TV show/interview I saw years ago when I don't remember the name and probably saw it in German.
    – JRE
    Sep 1, 2015 at 10:34
  • 7
    Here's a description of an interview with Gene Roddenberry that backs up this claim: startrek11.blogspot.com/2008/02/… "- The evolution of Number One (from the Cage) to Spock evolved because easier to simply combine the roles since Number One was Vulcan like in behavior (well what would become Vulcan characteristics)."
    – Plutor
    Sep 1, 2015 at 12:33
  • 1
    As a point of comment, the network did a focus group of sorts on the cage. Male viewers were ok with a female second in command. Female viewers objected to it. (source: Treknation, IIRC)
    – Tritium21
    Sep 4, 2015 at 9:26

Memory Alpha comes to the rescue:

The following character biography appeared in Roddenberry's original, 1964 series pitch Star Trek is... (and was reprinted in The Making of Star Trek):

"The First Lieutenant. The Captain's right-hand man, the working-level commander of all the ship's functions – ranging from manning the bridge to supervising the lowliest scrub detail. His name is Mr. Spock. And the first view of him can be almost frightening – a face so heavy-lidded and satanic you might almost expect him to have a forked tail. Probably half Martian, he has a slightly reddish complexion and semi-pointed ears. But strangely – Mr. Spock's quiet temperament is in dramatic contrast to his satanic look. Of all the crew aboard, he is the nearest to Captain April's equal, physically, emotionally, and as a commander of men. His primary weakness is an almost catlike curiosity over anything the slightest 'alien.'"

Note that there is nothing here mentioned about Spock being logical; here he doesn't restrict his emotions

The second revised final draft script of "The Cage" described Spock by stating, "The only exception to the familiar types represented by the crew, Mister Spock is of partly alien extraction, his heavy-lidded eyes and slightly pointed ears give him an almost satanic look. But in complete contrast is his unusual gentle manner and tone." The script went on to say that he spoke "with the almost British accent of one who has learned the language in textbooks." Later in the script, one of Spock's statements was directed to be delivered in an "excited" manner.

So, Spock was still not logical; he was in fact less emotionally regulated!

The below quote though tells us why Spock became more emotionally regulated:

According to casting director Joseph D'Agosta, it was his recommendation that the role be played unemotionally. "On the Spock character, the only guidelines I had were that he had to be thin, and a good actor with no emotion," D'Agosta stated. "He was a cold, calculating, logical person. Humor was not even considered at that time." (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 213) According to Leonard Nimoy, he felt the need to play the character as more emotional when Jeffrey Hunter was playing the internalized Christopher Pike, as opposed to William Shatner's portrayal of Captain Kirk. (Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime; et al.)

We can gather from this the why, and that the 'when' was when Shatner was cast as the point when Spock actually became more logical.

We know from that same article that by 17 April 1967 Spock was logical.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.