Why Star Trek Nearly Eliminated Spock

Few television and movie characters have endured as long as Leonard Nimoy's Spock from "Star Trek." Countless people have dressed up as the Vulcan, and the Vulcan salute is still as ubiquitous as it was when "The Original Series" first aired in 1966. The show had a three-year run but became really popular when it was in syndication, per Space. While many fans were drawn to William Shatner's Captain James Tiberius Kirk, others adored Nimoy's portrayal of the coolly logical Vulcan. The two played off each other so well. 

The newly revitalized "Star Trek" franchise has spawned a host of movies and spin-off TV shows, via TechRadar. Although the movies initially tried to kill off Spock in the second film, fan outcry helped bring him back in the third. And when the film series was rebooted in 2009, Zachary Quinto stepped into the Spock role. Surely, the Vulcan will always be in our collective consciousness. But if some short-sighted people had gotten their way, we never would have seen Spock on the screen in the first place.

Higher-ups initially thought Spock's appearance would be too off-putting

The things that gave NBC pause were Spock's pointy ears, which they thought made him look satanic, via CBR. Gene Roddenberry, who created the show, was having none of that, though, and he rebuffed NBC's request to remove the Vulcan from the show. It's a good thing that they didn't go with the first vision of Spock — he was supposed to have red skin and absorb energy via a stomach plate in the place of food, per the Chicago Tribune and MeTV. While the show would depict various kinds of aliens, NBC might have balked at having a regular that looked like that. Indeed, Leonard Nimoy's version of Spock looks positively tame compared to the original incarnation.

Sometimes it's the things that you don't do that wind up making something successful. Roddenberry's refusal to accede to the wishes of the television network that was airing the show led to one of pop culture's most iconic characters. The show would have had a decidedly different feel without Spock, and who knows if we would have all the other shows and movies that spawned from that today. In some cases, it pays to follow your feelings.