After “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy died on Feb. 27 at age 83, it was only logical that the science-focused CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” would pay tribute to the man who portrayed Sheldon Cooper’s (Jim Parsons) most cherished character, Spock.
When episode 17, “The Colonization Application,” concluded, the critically acclaimed comedy honored the actor's life through a touching vanity card. “The impact you had on our show and our lives is everlasting,” “Big Bang” creator Chuck Lorre wrote of Sheldon’s idol.
Although Nimoy never appeared on the long-running series, his presence was felt as he was often invoked amongst the group of physicists. For example, in Season 2 of “Big Bang,” during the episode “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis,” Kaley Cuoco’s character Penny gave Sheldon a napkin that had been used by Nimoy at the restaurant where she worked. Sheldon’s neighbor then went one step further and had the stained cloth autographed by the “Star Trek” legend.
"I possess the DNA of Leonard Nimoy!" Sheldon exclaimed, hands shaking and lips quivering. "All I need is a healthy ovum and I can grow my own Leonard Nimoy."
In another episode from Season 5, Nimoy voiced a miniature Spock toy that belonged to Sheldon, which acted as the theoretical physicist’s conscience. The "tiny Spock” swayed Sheldon to play with his transporter toy, despite Sheldon wanting to keep it in mint condition.
“Yes, and to open it would be to destroy its value,” the action figure noted. “But remember, like me you also have a human half.”
Spock then gave his No. 1 fan a final piece of advice: “Consider this, what is the purpose of a toy?” To which Sheldon responded that its purpose is to be played with. “Therefore to not play with it would be…?”
“Illogical,” Sheldon answered. “Dammit, Spock! You’re right.”
“The Big Bang Theory” will air Season 8, episode 18, “The Leftover Thermalization,” on Thursday, March 12, on CBS.
Correction: This article previously listed Nemoy as an actor in "Star Wars," not "Star Trek." We apologize for the error.