Friday, September 13, 2013

Dr. Smith Meets Mr. Spock

"Oh, the Pain"

Dr. Smith of Lost in Space meets Mr. Spock of Star Trek
"Oh, the pain, the pain."
I just wanted to share this. My blog, believe it or not, isn't all about me. I just share what I find amusing and interesting, and hope others do, too.

This is part of my "worlds in collision" series. It also features Spock meeting Batman and Batgirl, which you should look at, too, because you'll see there an interesting connection to this shot.

This is just a fairly random snapshot of a couple of guys, Leonard Nimoy meeting Jonathan Harris, and a couple of kids. Nothing special. However, anyone who knows me at all understands that I am one of the world's biggest "Lost in Space" fans. Well, okay, Bill Mumy no doubt knows more about the show than me - but I'm trying.

Strangely enough, this is the only photograph that I can find of Jonathan Harris and Leonard Nimoy together. This despite the fact that they played breakout character parts at the same studio at the same time in the 1960s. They must have run into each other at the Commissary and so forth, but I haven't been able to dig up any other photographs.

Leonard Nimoy
Another picture of Leonard Nimoy from the same event with an unidentified woman.
And I like the original "Star Trek," too. So this picture is like catnip.

Anyway, this is a classic behind-the-scenes photo. Jonathan Harris was famous among his young fans for being generous with his time with them, giving them lollipops and guided tours of the set. It appears they are standing at some kind of tourist entrance. If that isn't cool, then I don't know what cool is.

Jonathan Harris
Jonathan Harris.
The fact that this is the actors on their own time - not in their current roles - is what makes this such a classic shot. It speaks volumes.

Leonard Nimoy
Another picture that was taken at the same meeting, but unfortunately Jonathan has been (mostly) cut out of this one.
I will just point out a few fascinating (to me) aspects about the shot, then I will leave it go:
  • Jonathan Harris has a classic Dr. Smith expression on his face and, ever the major ham is playing to the camera as only he could despite the fact that everyone else has been distracted by something else. That's focus!
  • Leonard Nimoy is gazing off into the distance for some reason, he - and his character - never being known as a ham of any variety.
  • Leonard Nimoy HAS ON HIS SPOCK HAIRDO while on his own time!
  • Leonard Nimoy DOES NOT have his ears on, which is a shame.
  • The little boy is wearing a medallion - can you say "1968"?
  • Leonard Nimoy is too cool for school, with that turtleneck shirt.
  • Jonathan Harris, on the other hand, is dressed impeccably, necktie, cufflinks and all.
  • The one boy has a weird expression on his face as he looks in the same direction as everyone else, perhaps mama is telling him to smile or something.
  • The heavy coats suggest winter, probably winter 1967/68 (Harris has that "final season" look about him.
  • I'm guessing that the button on the boy's lapel indicates he paid for the tour.
  • The front boy's haircut was very "with it" for the time, long was still for hippies.
  • Jonathan Harris is drinking tea, which is totally cool - I'm a major tea drinker.
  • The boys almost certainly are brothers - note the similar coats and shirts.
  • Leonard Nimoy has his wedding ring on - he was at roughly the halfway point in his marriage to Sandi Nimoy.
  • Both Leonard Nimoy and Jonathan Harris were of Russian Jewish descent, and if you look closely, you can kind of see a general resemblance.
  • Leonard Nimoy did have two children at that time, but one was a girl, so these aren't his kids.
  • Leonard Nimoy stated in his autobiography that he was an alcoholic at this point in time.
  • Jonathan Harris also was married, though you can't see his ring. Married for 30 years at this time, in fact. Stayed married for another 35 years, one of the most successful marriages in Hollywood history. That is ironic, considering some of the malicious lies told about him over the years.
  • Jonathan Harris answered every fan letter personally, 500 a month right up until the time of his death, from young fans like this. 500! Personally! Every month! For 35 years! OMG!
  • Jonathan Harris appears to be holding a Burberry raincoat.
Seriously, can you imagine any actor these days dressing up to the nines like Jonathan Harris did on a regular basis? That was still standard for the day among businessmen, it wasn't just some pretentious Hollywood thing. He didn't have to, but men didn't usually think that way in those days. That's just how things were, people didn't start getting sloppy in public until the mid-70s.

Leonard Nimoy Star Trek
This may have been taken at the same event. Note the stamp-pad and stamper, perhaps Leonard was doing some kind of autograph session.
If anything, Leonard Nimoy's outfit is a bit on the wild side by the standards of the day, with the blazer and no necktie.

All right, I'm done. For now. "Spare me the poisonous barbs."

Jonathan Harris
Jonathan Harris as Dr. Smith.

Oh, the pain, the pain.


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