Was Spock the first human/Vulcan hybrid?
First contact between humans and Vulcans occurred in 2063. Spock was born in 2230. If you listen to some Star Trek fans, that means 167 years passed before both our species decided to bear some sex fruit. Let’s be real though, 167 years is a long time for two civilizations to interact with each other without at least someone from one group deciding to bone someone from the other group, particularly when you consider the populations of both civilizations numbers in the billions.
We might say, “Maybe interspecies sex was just too big of a taboo! Maybe it took that long for barriers to finally start coming down.” Yeah, maybe. Or maybe it’s like Hagrid once said of Dobby the house elf: “Yeh get weirdos in every breed.” Even if 9,999,999,999 humans thought the idea of having sex with an alien was weird or unnatural, there would always be at least one exceptionally progressive person who could see beyond everyone else’s prejudices and pre-conceived notions, and I’m certain the same is true for Vulcans. I would almost be willing to bet that at least one of the first Vulcans who rolled off the T’Plana-Hath on that April morning in 2063 in Bozeman, Montana saw one of the locals and thought, “That human is aesthetically pleasing.” And all it takes is a spark, right? Besides, who wouldn’t want to hear a Vulcan pickup line?
And all the panties fell off as if by magic.
Moreover, in 1957, 106 years before official First Contact between humans and Vulcans, a small Vulcan survey ship crash-landed near Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania. There were only three survivors, and of those three, one of them just couldn’t stop himself from falling for the single mom who ran the local bar. Granted, Maggie didn’t know Mestral was Vulcan, but he definitely knew she was human, and a trivial thing like species didn’t seem to matter to him.
But wait, just because a few amorous, adventurous, or convention-hating humans and Vulcans might be willing to stand up and proudly (or maybe more discreetly) proclaim, “Love is love, fuck the haters” and get naked with each other, that doesn’t mean they were making babies because after all, humans and Vulcans are genetically incompatible and it would take a feat of medical engineering to swap gametes, right?
Argue if you want, but human/Vulcan sexy time dates back to at least 2153.
People who believe Spock must have been the first hybrid usually stake this claim on one or more of four arguments:
Humans and Vulcans didn’t shack up
2. The science of making a hybrid baby didn’t exist until Spock came along
3. Gene Roddenberry said so
4. Spock clearly felt isolated as a child, but he wouldn’t have if there were more hybrids like him
I’ve already poked enough holes in the first claim. Maybe there weren’t a ton of interspecies couples, but I feel confident in saying there were at least some and some is all we need. And once people decide they like each other enough to form relationships, it’s usually not long before at least some of them start thinking, “You know what would make this better? A smaller version of us!”
As for the science behind making a hybrid baby, it existed in the mid 22nd century. Spock wasn’t the first. That’s a fact. Elizabeth, the hybrid child of Charles “Trip” Tucker and T’Pol, existed in 2154.
Pointy ears and pinchable cheeks.
Elizabeth sadly died as a result of the improper cloning techniques used to conceive her, so there are many who would take the statement of “Spock was the first human/Vulcan hybrid” and simply add the caveat of “to survive.” Perhaps. But in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Terra Prime,” Trip says:
I spoke with Phlox. It turns out there was a flaw in the technique that Paxton’s doctors used in the cloning process. Human DNA and Vulcan DNA, Phlox says there’s no medical reason why they can’t combine. So if a Vulcan and a human ever decided to have a child, it’s probably be ok. And that’s sort of comforting.
So a Denobulan doctor knew a way to make hybrids a full 75 years before Spock was conceived. Maybe the technology was untested and required some refining, but by even a modern a technological timeline, 75 years is an eternity.
There’s an interview between Gene Roddenberry and Mark Lenard which claims Spock was the first, and so a lot of people might be happy to believe whatever Roddenberry said was the gospel. In the interview, Roddenberry is interviewing Mark Lenard as Ambassador Sarek, asking him questions about humanity and his life when the subject of Spock comes up.
Mark Lenard: Spock’s mother Amanda is an extraordinary woman.
Gene Roddenberry: And Spock was the result? The first human/Vulcan mixture?
Mark Lenard: No, not the first, but the first to survive. As you must know, an Earth/Vulcan conception will abort during the end of the first month; the fetus is unable to continue life once it begins to develop its primary organs. The fetus Spock was removed from Amanda’s body at this time: the first such experiment ever attempted. His tiny form resided in a test tube for the following two Earth months while our physicians performed delicate chemical engineering, introducing over a 100 subtle changes we hoped would sustain life. At the end of this time, the fetus was returned to Amanda’s womb. At the ninth Earth month, the tiny form was again removed from Amanda, prematurely by Vulcan standards, and spent the following four months of Vulcan term pregnancy in a specially designed incubator. The infant Spock proved surprisingly resilient. There seemed to be something about the Earth/Vulcan mixture which created in that tiny body the fierce determination to survive.
So for some fans, maybe that counts as proof. But Gene Roddenberry had a lot of conceptual ideas about his beloved Star Trek that conflict with actual canon and modern science. For a prime example, just look at the treatment of star dates. So maybe it’s me, but I don’t think something is canon just because Roddenberry said it in an interview once. Furthermore, if we take that interview as canon, how do we explain this scene from The Final Frontier where Spock is delivered from Amanda (not a “specially designed incubator”) and presented to Sarek?
Then Sarek went and uttered one of the most dick lines in Trek history.
Lastly, there’s the isolation that Spock feels. How can we explain how lonely he is if it’s not because he’s the only hybrid? Quite easily, actually. Every single person in existence has felt misunderstood and alone at times. As children, our worlds are very small and our social circles consist of our immediate families, school mates, and our parents’ associates. That’s pretty much it. When we aren’t exposed to people like us, it’s very easy to imagine Rocket Raccoon might have been onto something when he said, “Ain’t no thing like me, except me!”
But that’s very rarely literally true, as every kid who’s ever been the only minority at their school or any teen who’s ever been the only gay person in their tiny conservative town will tell you. As we get older and achieve the freedom to strike out and meet people on our own terms, we often learn we weren’t quite as unique as we thought and there are whole groups of people out there who are black or gay or disabled or whatever it was that left us feeling so alone in our formative years. I think that’s why Spock’s character resonated so much with viewers – he was a symbol for all the misfits out there who knew just how much it sucks trying to fit into the fabric of a society that seems so different than they are.
Proof that regardless of species, kids can be fucking awful.
Vulcan was a big planet. By the time Nero destroyed it in Star Trek: 2009, it had more than 6 billion inhabitants. Even if there were only 100 human/Vulcan hybrids by that point in time, the odds of an average Vulcan encountering one would still be incredibly small. It’s entirely possible Spock may have felt like he was the only hybrid because he might have been the only one in his community, but the universe is a big place with plenty of room for other human/Vulcan hybrids he and those vicious bullies never met.
Spock was clearly pretty special. Even people who hate Star Trek and know almost nothing about it know who Spock was and recognize the Vulcan salute Leonard Nimoy made famous in his portrayal of the character. But just because Spock’s human ancestry made him unusual doesn’t necessarily mean his conception was some completely novel, groundbreaking, pioneering leap for interspecies relationships either.
I can’t say I know many Vulcans, but I think I have a pretty firm grasp on humanity. Despite homosexual, interracial, and interfaith relationships being taboo and even illegal in many countries until relatively recently (and sadly still are in some places) there have always been people who decided they didn’t care and took a chance on love. So I don’t buy the idea that humans and Vulcans could live and work together even in a limited capacity for more than a century and a half before making the jump into starting families.