Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy’s careers were forever intertwined when the former stepped into the latter’s revered Spock role, in J.J. Abram’s 2009’s Star Trek reboot. Now Quinto is moving into another classic Nimoy role — it’s one you probably never expected, and probably never heard of either (unless you’re old, like me).
TV’s In Search Of... was the original, unscripted, quasi-documentary show that introduced viewers to such spooky subjects as: Bigfoot, UFOs, and the Loch Ness Monster. The Twilight Zone‘s Rod Serling was hired to narrate, but he passed away in 1975, opening the door for Nimoy — a couple years before his breakout film roles in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The series debuted in 1977, and ran for six seasons. Nimoy’s calm, steady, cultured voice lent dignity and gravity to the show’s many offbeat subjects like: The Mummy’s Curse, the lost city of Atlantis, and The Bermuda Triangle. The series also explored more serious topics like Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, and D.B. Cooper… but it was far more interested in cultural folklore, unexplained phenomena, and urban legends.
In Search Of was also an incredibly influential show for many Hollywood creators and filmmaker. It was the inspiration for Chris Carter’s X-Files and many other semi-realistic ghost, paranormal, and bigfoot investigative shows. Watch the show’s iconic opening sequence in the YouTube clip above — you can see where Carter got his X-Files opening!
Quinto is excited for the opportunity to boldly go where… uh, sorry about that. He spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the new show:
I am so excited to be reimagining In Search Of and exploring new questions and phenomena with all of the advancements in science and technology from which we have benefitted in the past forty years since the original series first aired. In the spirit of my late dear friend Leonard Nimoy, we intend to honor and perpetuate his endless curiosity about the world — and universe — in which we live.”
The bigger question, which Quinto must address head-on: can a TV show that delves into the myterious, paranormal, and outrageous succeed in the Information Age? In Search Of… debuted more than a decade before the Internet became a household fixture — at a time when there was nothing else like it on TV (and when you could still count all of your TV channels on one hand).
These days, YouTube, Vimeo, and social media are packed with similar content, and they’ve already captured the same core demographic groups Quinto’s reboot will be chasing. Fortunately, In Search Of... will air on the History Channel, where it can more-or-less safely pursue its audience. This is a great, classic show to revisit, and Quinto has already demonstrated his ability to embody his idol and friend, Leonard Nimoy. Now bring on the swamp creatures, ghosts, and conspiracy theories!