Martin Landau as Spock?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ssosmcin, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Omitted a "tongue in cheek" reply that could have been misinterpreted as flat out sarcasm.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  2. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Harvey: thank you for the memo. Seems pretty clear cut to me.

    Anything is possible, but I don't think so. There's no reason for them to lie about it. It's different for the actors. They need to answer the same interview questions all the time over the years, especially when attached to cult TV shows. So legends can be made by taking an off hand comment and watching it snowball into a larger tale to make the Q&A more interesting. This happens constantly among the Trek cast and also surrounding Roddenberry. But Solow and Justman had no reason to lie or omit Landau from the history. If he was supposed to be the choice before Nimoy, I'm sure one of them would have mentioned it. The information wouldn't have done anyone any harm at this point. Why would Justman, Solow, and Fontana leave him out? I can't buy some kind of Anti-Landau Conspiracy.

    The Solow / Justman book was written specifically to provide "The Real Story" and to deflate many of the myths, half truths and outright lies made in the decades since the series ended. I don't take any book as gospel when the subject is this old because human memory is the least reliable source of information on the planet. I take a lot of their anecdotes containing dialog with a huge grain of salt. However, when memos and missives are produced to back them up, I tend to believe it more than just hearing something from a person off the cuff. Yes, anything can be faked, but I'm not so paranoid that I'll assume reproduced writings from the files are anything but factual.

    As far as I'm concerned, the official documentation shows Landau was not considered for the Spock role (at all or before Nimoy accepted).
     
  3. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    I really enjoyed seeing both photos. Excellent photo shop work. Please, Sir, can I have some more.
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Not "the choice". Perhaps only "a choice". But from Landau's perspective, yes, it would be "the choice" because he would be unaware that GR had other actors on strings.

    They weren't with GR all the time he was crafting his premise, though. Those lists in the memo aren't definitive, anyway; it actually states "Here are some of the names..." It is seemingly the result of a group brainstorm, where they jotted down strong, known actors to help them when asking casting services to send them certain "types" for auditions. They would also be sent actors her were "like" those on the list.

    Both Nimoy and Kelley have told of Roddenberry mentioning, over several years, that he was "writing them a role" in a new series he was developing. He would have been saying this to Majel Barrett as well. I have no problem imagining he was using this line on other actors, too, to gauge their interest, and gather responses to his premise. Roddenberry may well have approached Landau at intervals, just as he approached Nimoy (and others), long before Solow and Justman were helping to compile this particular list.

    Interesting how many of these listed actors actually made it onto the show.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    It's worth pointing out that there are plenty of other casting memos, but that was the only one I completely transcribed. The following, for example, is a similar memo, but I only wrote down the portion relating to Jose Tyler, since I was taking notes for a specific research paper at the time.

    Still, I don't remember seeing Landau's name (until the casting memo that was circulated after season one as a negotiating tactic with Nimoy) in any of these memos, although I last looked at them almost a year ago, so my memory may be totally wrong.

     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    James Dobson? Interesting. He'd have been around 44 when they shot the first pilot. Kind of an old Jose, eh?
     
  7. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wonder how Leonard Nimoy would have done as Commander John Koenig?
     
  8. jimcat

    jimcat Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hello everyone,
    I remember reading about the "Landau as Spock" casting a while ago, too. At the time it made me wonder whether Christine Chapel's part had been developed at least partly to be for Barbara Bain should that particular alternative have happened.

    My own "Star Trek" collection of books isn't massive, but I did manage to find a direct reference to this particular casting rumour in Leonard Nimoy's book "I am Spock". He says (a long time after the fact) that Martin Landau was the second choice to play Spock in "The Cage". How accurate that recollection is I have no way of knowing.

    On a similar theme, it's not long since I read "Destination: Moonbase Alpha". It's a good read and so enthusiastic I ALMOST wanted to give "Space:1999" another go. In particular, the book explains that Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were cast on the strength of a verbal promise by an executive that the show would be picked up by his network if they were the stars. By the time the show was ready to be sold to US television, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were cast and under contract. The executive and his promise were long gone, and the show didn't sell to a network.

    Timon
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    My guess is that someone on Trek flattered Landau by saying they should have cast him for Spock or something like that, and over time the story transmogrified, as many do. I doubt it's intentional dishonesty on the part of anyone.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't his name did show up on the season 2, alternate Vulcan memo, which was sent out as a negotiating tactic with Nimoy? Maybe that's the source of it all?
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    As I suggested earlier, GR could have made the same periodic approaches to Landau in the early 60s as he did to Nimoy and Kelley. Nimoy didn't necessarily know, at the time, that GR was hedging his bets by also considering Landau (or Kelley, who's on that other memo), and Landau didn't necessarily know at the time that GR was also considering Nimoy (or Kelley).

    I'd flipped through "I Am Not Spock" the other day, and Landau gets no mention in there, but didn't think to also check "I Am Spock".