In the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Leonard Nimoy's character; Professor David Kibner is generally seen wearing a sort of leather half-glove.

I've seen several articles stating that he wore it to "look distinctive" but is there any sort of deeper meaning to it within the story itself? What is the back-story behind it?

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  • 4
    I suspect it's a restrainer to prevent him from doing the Vulcan Salute. See, just to make absolutely sure, he stuck another finger between the two that are normally together in the salute. ;) Jul 23, 2015 at 3:54
  • 1
    @AndrewThompson - You have my +1 for lateral thinking.
    – Valorum
    Jul 23, 2015 at 5:48
  • Hopefully some folks that are good at literal thinking will happen by soon. I'm only good at the other kind. :P Jul 23, 2015 at 5:54
  • "Oh no, it's just that they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future." Jul 25, 2015 at 23:15
  • I'm glad this question was asked, as I asked it myself during the live-chat viewing of Invasion that we had over at Mos Eisley.
    – Praxis
    Aug 7, 2015 at 14:30

2 Answers 2


As the OP mentions in the question, there are plenty of out-of-universe statements regarding the glove, such as this one from Nimoy himself:

NIMOY: We were looking for something that the character could wear that was distinctive and immediately recognizable. I got the idea from a friend who had a badly burned hand and wore the leather covering.


But as for in-universe reasons for wearing the glove, I cannot find a canon source that explains this.

Given the lack of information, I will offer my own speculation on the "deeper meaning" of the glove.

As Nimoy recounted, the original purpose of the semi-glove was to conceal (namely, his friend's burn) rather than to, say, keep the hand warm.

From this, I suspect that the deeper meaning of the glove — if there is one — is that it points to the fact that Dr. Kibner is concealing something. (And of course, he is.)


Well, given that Leonard Nimoy is a famous Jewish man and it is on the correct hand for a tefillin or phylactery.

It seems more likely than not he was expressing a part of himself that would have been rarely seen in that era of film. That he is a doctor in New York just makes it more likely that him wearing something like that is no big deal except for the time period in which the film was made. The fact is I noticed it instantly for that reason and truthfully want one. It is flat and simple not a big bulky box. While I understand what was said by Nimoy himself that was the feeling and image that stuck in my mind. It was to the point where someone who watched the movie with me knowing my shared religion suggested I craft one out crocheted string where I could easily write said required elements on parchment place it in between webbing and create my own version inspired by said famous man's outspokenness. While it truly may not have been this representation it still fits with how I express myself within that realm of thought and it still inspires me to think that.

  • It looks like you've forgotten to add the answer to your answer.
    – Valorum
    Sep 8, 2020 at 7:24

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