FOR BROADCAST this spring on NBC is a new adaptation of Aldous
Huxley's cautionary novel Brave New World. Set in a future
where social order is preserved with genetic engineering,
promiscuous sex, and the mind-numbing drug soma, only the highest
level of the governing elite are allowed the forbidden arts:
writings, and ideas of the past. Nimoy plays Mustapha Mond, the man
responsible for overseeing a whole continent. Sly and clever, Mond
reminds you of a skilled back-room politician.
"I like to describe him as a politician that when he sees a
parade coming down the street, he knows how to get out in front of
the marchers and become the leader," Nimoy says. "He can
shift gears depending on what the political mode of the moment is.
He's a delicious character with a twinkle in his eye."
Nimoy has pursued a deep interest in the roots of modern Science
Fiction with his Alien Voices recordings [audio adaptations
of classic Sci-Fi novels which Nimoy produces with John de Lancie,
aka Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation], but it wasn't
just Huxley's novel that made him want to be part of the cast. "It's
a good script," he says, "and a good script is a good
script." But did his affection for the classics have any part
of the decision to accept the role? "No," he says, "if
the script with the role in it hadn't been attractive the fact that
I'm doing Alien Voices wouldn't have made it attractive."
One factor that piqued Nimoy's interest was the social comment in
the novel. It's something that makes the story as timeless now as
when it was published over 60 years ago.
"It's a wonderful story. There is the whole issue of
scientific breeding, no parental responsibility. It addresses the
attitude of, 'Don't take responsibility for children; the society
will take care of that, don't worry about it.' We live in a world
where people are after immediate gratification."
Leonard Nimoy talks more about Brave New World and Alien
Voices inTV Zone #102, available now.