Just as Star Trek‘s U.S.S. Enterprise was on a five-year mission to explore strange new worlds and all that, The Big Bang Theory has been on a five-year mission to land Leonard Nimoy as a guest star. And as TVLine first reported earlier this week, the sci-fi icon will be making a trek to the CBS hitcom, to lend his voice to an out-of-this-world moment.
“We’ve been chasing Leonard for years, and he finally gave up. We caught him,” Big Bang cocreator Chuck Lorre told TVLine with a laugh on Thursday night in Beverly Hills, just before he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.
But with Nimoy semi-retired from acting, the Big Bang crew needed to find a novel approach to work him into the show, where it was early and often established that Sheldon (played by Jim Parsons) holds the actor — and specifically his iteration of Mr. Spock — in the highest regard.
“I believe it was [executive producer] Steve Molaro’s beautiful idea about his voice haunting Sheldon through a Spock action [figure],” Lorre shared.
Nonetheless, Lorre and others hold out hope that Nimoy someday will appear on the show in the flesh, given Sheldon’s attachment to the actor and the sitcom’s tendency to guest-cast sci-fi stars as themselves (or as evil-ish facsimiles).
“He’s an icon for the Sheldon character, Spock is, so we’ve always talked about it — and we’re getting closer. We’re going to have his voice on the show!” Lorre effuses. “This is a first for us, and we’re very excited.”