This week, I'm indulging a little more by asking what your favourite part of the site is...
How to sum up what Doohan/Scotty mean to me? He's probably going to be remembered for that single scene where he calls up to Kirk as the Enterprise roars through space at warp factor 10, issuing the plaintive cry "Captain, she'll not take much more o' this!" And to be honest that's the first image that comes to mind when I think of Scotty, the chief engineer who would practically be in tears at the treatment of "me poor bairns!"
But Scotty was so much more than that. Sulu and Chekov were the kids of the Enterprise bridge; they were having the time of their lives and it showed. Spock was the mind, Bones was the heart, Kirk was the hero... but Scotty, Scotty was the old uncle, a voice of reason wise in the ways of the galaxy. He was the one that made sure the shop was minded properly while the others went out and had the fun. Beyond his classic engine worries, the line I always associate with him comes from "Friday's Child". Scotty is in command of the ship, and has spent hours tracking down a false distress signal. When another signal comes in, the junior officers suggest going to check it out, just in case. "Fool me once, shame on you," Scotty retorts. "Fool me twice - Shame on me!"
Or remember "A Taste of Armageddon"? When Ambassador Fox, a civilian, has the gall to order Scotty around on the bridge... and Scotty simply flatly refuses. No histrionics, no arguing the point, just "No sir." That was Scotty in a nutshell.
Little wonder that so many people looked up to the character. When he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Engineering by the Milwaukee School of Engineering, no less than half the students said that watching Scotty had inspired them to take up engineering. There are literally tens of thousands of engineers out there right now, in part because of Scotty and the man who played him.
In real life, Doohan was as much of a hero as his alter-ego. Keep a close eye on Scotty's hands next time you see him - now and again you can see that Doohan was missing a finger. He lost it on the first morning of the D-Day landings, where he was serving as a captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery Regiment. His aerobatic exploits included almost crashing his plane in Holland while "taking a look" at a German U-boat, earning him the title "craziest pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force".
After the war he got into acting; he worked in over 4,000 radio programmes and 400 television shows in his native Canada before moving to Hollywood. His contribution to Star Trek extended far beyond just playing Scotty; something of an expert with voices, he provided the voice for literally dozens of different roles. He invented the Klingon and Vulcan languages used in The Motion Picture; Marc Okrand used the sounds Doohan invented as the basis of his Klingon language.
In all he fathered no less that seven children, the last when he was 80 years old!
Truly he will be missed. Scotty, beam me up...
This week, alien ships. I've had to be even more arbitrary about what to include here - sorry if your favourite is missing.
(And to the people who complain - it's the captions that are meant to be funny folks, not the picture...)
Please note that we have something of a technical SANFU which has unfortunately erased the results of the TOS poll! I have a backup, but I'm looking around for a newer one before resorting to it because it's several days old. Watch this space...
Update... well, I'm sorry but not only are there no newer backups but the one I had turns out to only cover the first couple of hours of the poll. So sorry to all who took the time to vote, but the results are lost to cyberspace forever. We'll re-run the poll in the near future...
|© Graham & Ian Kennedy||Page views : 9,891||Last updated : 31 Jul 2005|