Where did the inspiration for Vulcan personality/character originate? In particular the logic stuff - that really is a unique idea a world where the people have turned to logic as a basis of their society. Was it entirely Gene's idea or was it just the writters coming together particularly Samuel A. Peeples, writer of the second pilot?

I read somewhere that Majel Barrets character 'Number 1' from the original was transfered to Spock for the second pilot.

In the first pilot Spock was a smiling Vulcan by the second pilot his character was very recognisable and pretty developed.

Some ideas I've had off the top of my head were:

1) Gene worked for the Police and I remember watching the '50's Bogart movie 'In a Lonely Place' and the detective uses word logic over and over to solve the crime so I guess this is how Police reasoned back then maybe that was an influence.

2) Hornblower is highly logically minded in the novels so maybe that part of his character comes from there.

Is there any hard evidence as to how the Vulcan thing logic and all came about and was it the work of Gene alone?

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    Re: transferring character aspects of Number One to Spock, Roddenberry is quoted as saying: "The network told me to get rid of Number One....and also to get rid of the Martian [Spock] fellow...I knew I couldn't keep both, so I gave the stoicism of the female office to Spock and married the actress who played Number One. Thank God it wasn't the other way around." - These Are the Voyages, Vol. 1 - Marc Cushman – NKCampbell Jan 17 '18 at 21:14

In the Leonard Nimoy biopic "For the Love of Spock" it is mentioned that Nimoy wanted to play a foil for the show's captain, as they would often be seen together. In the original pilot, as you mentioned, Spock can be seen smiling; this is because Nimoy wanted to play off of the serious, no-nonsense Christopher Pike. However, with the more passionate and emotive Kirk, Nimoy changed Spock to a more sombre, emotionless character. Over time, this characterization formed the basis for Vulcans in general.

Surely, Gene and the show's writers had their input during the process of fleshing out Vulcan culture, but, at least as far as the biopic suggests, it all sprung from Nimoy's portrayal of Spock.

Incidentally, the film also attributes the Vulcan hand "salute" to Nimoy as well.

  • Re the vulcan salute, I recall watching an interview with Nimoy in the late 80s/early 90s where he described how he first encountered the unusual positioning of the fingers as part of a Jewish religious ceremony and that, noting that it was difficult to achieve, practiced it repeatedly. Then when a salute was required, he suggested that one. – Jules Jan 17 '18 at 22:17
  • Yes, that's what he says in the film, as well. It was definitely an interesting watch, as it was not only a bio-piece on Nimoy (made by his son Adam), but also a behind the scenes look at Star Trek. – Vanguard3000 Jan 17 '18 at 22:20
  • I haven't seen that biopic "For the Love of Spock" I'l try to check that out at some point. I didn't think the idea of a world dominated by logic was Nimoy's though I knew some of the custom and even the Vulcan mystisism which came later on came from partly Nimoy and Majel Barrats ancestry influences. – onepound Jan 18 '18 at 19:12

The idea of the 'logical thinking machine' as a mode of possible human existence originates in detective fiction, from which it is imported into science fiction. In Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin stories [according to biographer Joseph Krutch], Dupin is portrayed as a dehumanized thinking machine, a man whose sole interest is in pure logic.

This is picked up as a characteristic of Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and is brought to a maximal in the character of Professor S F X Van Dusen, 'the thinking machine' in the stories by Jacques Futrelle 1871-1912. This strand of fiction is an influence on early science fiction (some of the Van Dusen stories have science fiction elements).

Spock took on the logical aspects assigned in the first pilot to the human Number One (In 'the cage' he is shouty and more emotional). The inspiration to apply the rule of logic to his entire species is Gene's but the idea of logic as a valid (successful approach) to human life already existed in literature that Gene Roddenberry would be aware of. It is improbable that an police officer with writing ambitions would not have read Conan Doyle, and Poe, and - probably Futrelle.

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    "The inspiration to apply the rule of logic to his entire species is Gene's " - do you have evidence for that? – NKCampbell Jan 17 '18 at 22:07
  • that's very interesting, "It is impossible that an police officer with writing ambitions would not have read Conan Doyle, and Poe, and - probably Futrelle." yes I think that's a very valid point. Still it's quite a creative step on Gene's part to apply that to a whole world! – onepound Jan 18 '18 at 19:07

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