What Happened to Nimoy's Voice?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Corylea, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry, that sounds like you're accusing professional actors (and directors) of deliberately phoning in their performances. :confused:
     
  2. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nimoy drank heavily throughout TOS. The "deep voice" scenes were probably the ones filmed first thing in the morning.

    Imagine being so talented that you could pull off a performance as good as Nimoy's Spock with a force 10 hangover.

    I have no idea what this "talking around dentures" is all about. Anyone care to elaborate and provide an example in a specific scene?
     
  3. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The whole briefing in TUC.

    I mean, it is either dentures or amazingly sloppy filmmaking to let his diction and delivery go as 'off' as it seems to be for me.
     
  4. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Yep that whole scene and certainly his appearance in ST 2009. He's got a bit of the Sean Connery (my dentures are ill-fitting) thing going on.
     
  5. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, not at all, good sir. In fact ...

    TMP offered everyone in the cast a way out of their failing careers and a path to stardom. Nobody was going to phone in TMP. Bored performances can be found in VOYAGE HOME, FINAL FRONTIER and UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. But, when TMP came around, STAR TREK had found broad acceptance and there was no need - as there was with the series - to convince audiences that this was series science fiction. Nimoy didn't have to push "Spock Mode" anymore, for people to understand that he was meant to be an alien. It was enough to just de-energize and sound calm and rational. Talking so formally was no longer required. What's more, this was a decade after the series ended. He may have not been able to deliver TOS-styled Spock, anymore. TAS certainly would seem to suggest that ...
     
  6. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Its all about mewdinny in the galakshee. :devil:
     
  7. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    "Obsession" was on Me-TV last night...couldn't help but think of this thread, as it sounded like Kirk and Spock both had colds....
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    The first Spock Prime scene in the 2009 movie. A few times it almost looks like Nimoy is in pain trying to keep his teeth in.

    Huh?

    The "broad acceptance" of Trek had absolutely nothing to do with how Nimoy and his directors chose to have him deliver lines.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Huh? I think Nimoy's very cool, deadpan performance in TAS is closer to his third-season interpretation of Spock than his later movie performances are. And the only TOS cast members who gave good performances in TAS were those with prior voice acting experience, like Doohan and Takei (and Nichols through her singing experience). The production and the recording process were so rushed that the actors didn't really get a lot of direction, so those without voice experience didn't have any guidance in how to do it effectively.

    Of course, the whole point of TMP was that Spock underwent a fundamental change in his worldview. He initially tried to be more cold and emotionless than ever, but then realized that emotion had value and should be accepted. And in the final act of the movie and all his subsequent performances as Spock, Nimoy has played the character more expressively, as the more mature and serene version of Spock who manages his emotions but no longer fears or represses them. So it's not that he "forgot" how to play Spock. He evolved the character.

    Although it does seem to me that in his two most recent, post-retirement screen appearances in the Abrams films, he hasn't really been playing Spock at all; he's just come in and been Leonard Nimoy.
     
  10. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting take of his appearances on the last two films, Christopher. There may be some truth to that.
     
  11. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I agree, although I also remember getting that impression when I saw TUC.
     
  12. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know how Nimoy's increasingly worse portrayal of the Spock character qualifies as "evolution." After STAR TREK II, Nimoy stopped putting any real effort into his performances. Although ...

    In UNIFICATION, he seemed more interested, perhaps because he found himself playing Spock in a new situation. Might've even been due to the presence of Patrick Stewart, whose acting is world-reknown for excellent acting. In any event, Nimoy's become increasingly emaciated, over the years ... which would include his vocal chords. People say he used dentures, but I doubt he lost teeth. It seems more likely he got his teeth capped, which did not help his speech, at all. It's sobering seeing our heroes succumb to the ravages of old age.
     
  13. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    The animateds sound very dull, and I assumed it was because said actor was speaking into a mic inches away, rather than to an actor across the set. This could be true of Nimoy looping, yes? But I have always assumed it was a portrayal: he jsut got interrupted from the kolinahr and his awakening and hand-hold scene are integral to the movie. Which has so much character stuff I REALLY wish the stupid pacing wasn't an issue.
    Anyway, regarding his sound NOW?? Come on, the dude's roughly 80 and 83 in those flicks? If I'm walking and breathing then, I'll be happy, much less acting in a big movie in costume and alien makeup. He sounds like an OLD Spock, which he is. No prob here.
     
  14. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Hadn't considered about Nimoy's TAS work, but I just checked a few eps, and he really does sound like 3rd season too-cool-for-school-Spock ... and it works just fine for TAS too.

    I'd agree about Nimoy's choices to play different from TWOK onward, and furthermore I'd say I agree with nearly all of those choices, up till TUC. The part where he slaps the phaser out of Valeris' hand was just a pissed off guy, not a half-Vulcan (and that may have been the point, but in the past he'd've found a way to deliver the one part without obliterating the other part.)

    I think the whole Sybok thing in TFF was something where Nimoy just had to go with along with it without actually believing it, and as a result that doesn't quite always work either (the cut scene where he is talking like a little kid is a pretty strong example of pushing WAY too hard, like Barbra Streissand auditioning for Princess Leia on SNL), but I always give TFF plenty of leeway because I love it so dearly.

    I thought he was godawful in UNIFICATION, but part of that is having two recessive performers on screen, and Stewart/Nimoy makes me think Hunter/Nimoy would never have worked in the dynamic compelling way Shatner/Nimoy does (then again, almost nobody has their chemistry, and I can't think of any TRIO that works as well as those 2 and Heavy D.)
     
  15. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's pretty noticeable if we compare the original TAS version and the french(-canadian) one. For example, the guy who did Kirk's voice is one of the greatest Quebec's actors and he did a lot of dubbing. So, he made a better job than Shatner and the recording is less variable.
     
  16. Corylea

    Corylea Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've been amused to see how many different aspects of Nimoy's voice have been mentioned in this thread. I was originally talking simply about PITCH, but you all have brought up some interesting points.


    Mr. Nimoy has said that he was intentionally relaxed as Spock Prime because he thought that by the time he was 157, Spock would have been relaxed and self-accepting and would have made peace between his human and Vulcan sides. So Nimoy wasn't phoning in his performance; he was intentionally taking the character to a new place.


    You might want to read Mr. Nimoy's second autobiography, which includes the movie years; it is not true that he stopped putting any effort into his performances. Mr. Nimoy has thought deeply about Spock, and he has tried to give us a realistic character in spite of bad scripts, poor direction, and other impediments.
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Agree. :techman: Leonard actually talks about this a bit in Mind Meld. He says because Jeff Hunter gave a much more 'internalized' performance, Leonard was being more extroverted to create a contrast. He thought what Shatner brought to the table, with a more extrovert Captain, allowed him to internalize Spock and add that Vulcan mysticism.

    I also agree that he seems straight-jacketed in his performance in UNIFICATION. He pretty much only agreed to do it as a cross-promotion to STVI, but it's obvious that he can't quite figure out how to find a chemistry between his character and Picard/Data. It kind of works for the story being told, Spock is a little aloof and distant anyway. But I've always thought Nimoy looks pretty uncomfortable at times throughout.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, the cast did the first three episodes together, like a radio play, but separately for the remaining 19.
     
  19. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nimoy's voice is way sexxxxyyy.

    He's great in TAS, TMP, is not phoning it in at any stage, or bored, he's just you know acting and showing Spock at the different stages in his life as an interesting character.

    And no he was not so overawed by the 'great' Patrick Stewart in UNIFICATION that he was not Spock-like. I think any deficiencies you may see in his performance there are due to the TOS-hating producers/writers of TNG. Spock had to admit he was wrong and Picard and Data were great because it was well their show. Yes in UNIFICATION Spock was made out to be a fool, in RELICS so was Scotty, and in the first episode McCoy just admired the pants of Data. What do you expect from Berman?:lol:
     
  20. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Rick Berman got the job on TNG partly because he did not know TOS, and Roddenberry told him not to go researching it, because it gave him a fresh and unique eye, different to his own, Justman's, Gerrold's and Fontana's. I can't see them all sitting back and saying, "Yeah, make McCoy admire Data 'cos we are sniping at TOS", or because Berman told them to.

    "Unification" was by Berman, Taylor and Pillar. I never got the sense that they "hated" TOS.

    Ummm, Rick Berman had little to do with "Encounter at Farpoint". Roddenberry, Justman, Gerrold and Fontana were hardly TOS haters.

    The McCoy scene was written solely by DC Fontana, with great affection for McCoy.