Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Leonard Nimoy Once Described The Immense Competitiveness And Anxiety On Star Trek's Set

Little would TV audiences in 1966 know a little science fiction series called "Star Trek" was soon about to rock the world. And as it turns out, the stars of "Star Trek" were also in for a surprise while working on the series.

"Star Trek," more modernly known as "Star Trek: The Original Series," might have initially started as little more than creator Gene Roddenberry's love letter to the sci-fi genre, but amongst its release in 1966, the series rose to become a television phenomenon. With the show's lovable cast of characters, memorable art direction, and underlying stories that tackled themes and social commentary surrounding humanity and discrimination, "Star Trek" was like nothing television viewers had seen at the time. While the show ended its original run in 1968, its legacy more than exceeded that time frame, as "Star Trek" birthed a booming franchise with several follow-up TV series and films that have continued the thrilling escapades of the Starship Enterprise.

In a world where "Star Trek" has become such a well-known fixture of pop culture, it's easy to forget what it might have been like for its creative team and cast to craft such a landmark show. Well, according to one of its key cast members — Spock himself, in fact — the show's popularity brought with it some mental drawbacks.

Nimoy felt that the cast were different people back then

The original "Star Trek" not only defined a generation of television viewers but also made stars out of its at-the-time mostly unknown cast. From William Shatner to George Takei to the late Nichelle Nichols, the sci-fi stars may not have been the most famous beforehand but have since gone down in history as legends. But the road to gaining such status wasn't without its trials and tribulations.

In a 2005 interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Leonard Nimoy, who portrays the iconic character Spock on the show and several of its successors, was asked what it was like to work on the original series. The actor replied, "That was so long ago. We were different people ... comparatively speaking, we were kids and very competitive ... and tremendous amount of anxiety about our futures and anticipation about what we might be able to accomplish. It was a very intense period of time."

Of course, the futures of the "Star Trek" cast, and the franchise as a whole, went on to be long and prosperous. But still, even the after becoming famous, the cast never lost sight of just how unpredictable the future could be. As Nimoy stated in the interview, "When you're in the middle of that kind of maelstrom that we were in ... you don't know where it's going to go next. You might fall off the cliff a week from now, it might be over, it might be your 15 minutes of fame." The popularity of Nimoy and Spock, however, was not meant to be contained by a mere 15 minutes. Even today, both the actor and character are considered icons in the world of sci-fi.