In the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, Ethan Peck stepped into the role of Spock, a role made iconic by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek. Peck played Spock several years younger and more emotional than Nimoy did in The Original Series.
Someone wondered what Nimoy himself could have looked like giving Peck’s performance. YouTube channel Deep Homage uses deepfakes tech to create “re-imaginings of classic screen stars.” It face-swapped Nimoy over Peck in the Discovery episode “If Memory Serves.” The swap pushes deepfakes technology to its limits — Spock looks fine in the middle distance, but fuzzy up close, and the video swaps back to Peck for anything that isn’t a direct frontal view — but it’s still an interesting comparison.
In an interview with ComicBook.com ahead of his debut in “If Memory Serves,” Peck discussed how both Nimoy and Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the Kelvin Timeline films, informed his performance in Discovery. “I mean, well the Quinto question's a little different because he's a part of the Kelvin timeline and my Spock becomes Nimoy's Spock, which is the prime timeline,” Peck says. “And yeah, I spent a lot of time in the beginning, I would be studying my lines and have an episode on and literally just felt like I was spending time with him. I felt like he was in my head and I just tried to try to internalize what he did with the character. Also noticed what he did as an actor. I mean, he's inevitable. You can't, I wasn't going to try to mimic him. He's just amazing. So I really just tried to internalize it and regurgitate it my own way and hopefully, it works. I don't know. I haven't seen any of it.”
In a later interview, Peck described being cast as Spock as a high point in his career and his life. “It’s sort of a peak life experience for me,” Peck says. “I’ve never had the much responsibility as an actor, as a human being, with obligations to this entire span of history that is Star Trek that has been around for so long, and especially in this beloved role that was made so wonderfully by Leonard Nimoy and then Zachary Quinto. It was really scary.”
Peck will return as Spock in upcoming episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks. He's joined by Anson Mount as Capt. Christopher Pike and Rebecca Romijn as Number One aboard the USS Enterprise.
What do you think of Nimoy deepfaked into Star Trek: Discovery? Let us know in the comments.