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Why Star Trek: Discovery's new Spock "erred on the safe side of being more Vulcan"

There's more to taking on the hallowed role of Star Trek's Spock than learning how to do a good Vulcan salute, and Ethan Peck knows it. He's signed up to play Spock in the latest season of Star Trek: Discovery, and he's done his research on the character and the actor who made him famous, Leonard Nimoy.

"I’ve been spending so much time with Nimoy Spock," he told SFX. "I read [1975 autobiography] I Am Not Spock, and I’m reading [1995 autobiography] I Am Spock now. In I Am Not Spock he covers who Spock was to him, and how he’s become a part of him."

When it came to playing the part, Peck found that he "erred on the safe side of being more Vulcan," suppressing his human reactions. "There are times I’ve got direction like, ‘Let’s turn up the human a bit’ – which is why we need an outside perspective," he says. "I have my own interpretation, and what I, as my Spock, might do in a certain situation. He starts in a place where we may not fully recognize him. But everything’s done with all due respect for what Nimoy’s done."

Peck - and if that name sounds familiar yes, he's the grandson of Academy Award-winning actor Gregory Peck - also met with the Nimoy family who told him to watch Star Trek to learn everything he needed to know about Spock."That was the best advice I could have got, because Spock is an observer. He’s constantly taking in information – both intellectual knowledge and emotional information. You see this great space and empathy within him, but he just didn’t interface with it; you see him feel it, but he executes very logically. So I’ve been paying very close attention to what he did. I feel like he’s with me, in some strange and crazy way." 

As for the Vulcan salute? "I used to do it as a kid," says Peck. "And I was a cellist, so I have good dexterity in my fingers!"

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Rachel Weber

Between Official PlayStation Magazine, and Rolling Stone I've picked up a wide range of experience, from how to handle the madness of E3 to making easy conversation with CEOs and executives of game companies over seafood buffets. At GamesRadar+ I'm proud of the impact I've had on the way we write news, and now - as managing editor in the US - the huge traffic successes we're seeing. Most of all I'm proud of my team, who have continued to kick ass through the uncertainty of 2020 and into 2021, and are what makes GamesRadar+ so special.