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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #252: Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

One to beam up.

Today I honor the fiftieth anniversary of the debut episode of the original (and still the best) Star Trek with a tip of the cap to the man who kept ol' NCC-1701 running despite the best efforts of her intrepid captain to push her past all limits. A lieutenant commander during the series run, Scotty was second in command of the Enterprise after Commander Spock, but his home wasn't the bridge but engineering, where he plied his routine miracles. "Aye sir," was his resigned response whenever Kirk would demand the impossible, and Scotty would always come through. He was the original under-promise, over-deliver guy, often devising new ways of using equipment that even the inventors hadn't envisioned. He was a master craftsman, devoted to his beloved ship and her finicky warp drive, and he wasn't above enjoying a wee bit of Scotch once in a while.

James Doohan was a real-life war hero, injured during the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II. He was actually missing one index finger, a fact almost entirely hidden throughout his acting career by sly camera angles and his own deft hand placements. When it came time to audition for Star Trek, Doohan had a variety of accents to choose from, but he believed Scotsmen were the best engineers, and so adopted a voice he remembered from his days as an Aberdeen pub crawler. Scotty became an invaluable, indelible member of the crew for three seasons and six-plus movies, shaking his head at the demands of his captain and coaxing new feats from the Enterprise (or the captured Klingon "Bounty") at need. Doohan's at rest now, as the original crew members slip away one by one. But Scotty will always be there, in the Jeffries Tube or at the transporter controls or even in the captain's chair. Here's to you, Mr. Scott.

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