The original Enterprise that we saw in Star Trek: The Original Series was held together with tape and string. Starships were powered by dilithium crystals, which could not be replicated and had a tendency to be temperamental.
A lot of the problems with dilithium were ironed out by the time period of The Next Generation, which meant that the writers needed to come up with different reasons for the ship to break down. In The Original Series, the Enterprise was held together by a single man, whose intimate knowledge of the workings of machinery was all that saved the crew from destruction on many occasions.
His name was Montgomery Scott, and he was one of the greatest engineers in Starfleet history. He was played by James Doohan, who had lived a fascinating life before the idea of Star Trek ever entered Gene Roddenberry’s mind.
We are here today to celebrate the life of one of the greatest Star Trek characters of all time, as well as the incredible man who played him.
From his current status in the canon of the series, to one of the most misquoted lines in television history, here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Scotty from Star Trek.
15. Scotty Is Still Alive In Star Trek Online
The Star Trek reboot movies established the creation of a new timeline, due to a Romulan named Nero, who went back to the past and changed history. Fans wondered if this meant that the TV shows that took place after Enterprise had now been wiped out from continuity. The answer lies in a video game, as the original TV show universe of Star Trek is continued in the world of Star Trek Online.
Scotty froze himself in time in The Next Generation episode called “Relics”, and thus he is still alive in Star Trek Online, where he can be encountered in several different missions. Scotty is voiced by James Doohan’s son, Christopher.
When Leonard Nimoy passed away in real life, his character was also allowed to pass away in the Star Trek reboot universe. Scotty is not the only living member of the original Enterprise crew, however, as Pavel Chekov has become a temporal agent.
14. The Deleted Death Of Scotty’s Nephew
In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, there is a scene where Scotty looks on sadly as a member of the engineering crew of the Enterprise dies from wounds he suffered when the ship was attacked. Khan used the USS Reliant to attack the Enterprise and tried to incapacitate the ship by attacking the engineering section. The young engineer did not abandon his post and thus his actions may have saved the Enterprise and her crew.
The reason Scotty looks so sad (other than the fact that he’s witnessing the death of a young man) is because the crew member was his nephew. The character’s name was Peter Preston, and he was the youngest son of Scotty’s sister.
There were scenes recorded for the movie which explained their familial link, but were later removed for the theatrical release. These scenes were added back in for certain television showings of The Wrath of Khan, though, and can be found in the numerous home releases of the movie.
13. James Doohan Created The Klingon Language
The Klingon language is the most widely spoken fictional language in the world. There were many episodes of Star Trek that featured long sections of the Klingon language being spoken by actors, with handy subtitles added for the audience. Klingon was refined by a man named Mark Okrand, who helped to develop the language for the Star Trek TV shows and movies.
James Doohan is the man credited with creating the Klingon language. He came up with the first few words, which were used in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was these words that formed the basis for the language, which Mark Okrand used to further develop into something that could actually be used in conversation.
This was the foundation that was used to create the Klingon Dictionary, as well as several audiobooks that were created to help teach the language to people. These were mainly narrated by Michael Dorn, who played Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
12. The Son Of Scotty
James Doohan fathered seven children in his lifetime, the youngest of which was born in the year 2000 when he was in his eighties. One of his oldest sons is Christopher Doohan, who has appeared in numerous Star Trek productions.
Christopher Doohan is the guy who voices Scotty in Star Trek Online. He has had guest appearances in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the first two reboot movies. Christopher is friends with Simon Pegg, who toke over the role of Scotty in the reboot films. Pegg personally invited Christopher and his family to the premiere of Star Trek (2009).
There are many Star Trek fan movies and series that have been created over the years. One of the most prominent is Star Trek Continues, which acts as a continuation of The Original Series. Captain Kirk is played by Vic Mignogna, who is best known for his voice-over work in anime and video games. The role of Scotty in Star Trek Continues is played by Christopher Doohan, who may be the best possible man for the role.
11. Craig Ferguson’s Revenge
One of the main goals of Star Trek: The Original Series was to show people of different gender, race, and nationalities working together in harmony. This is something that the show has often been praised for, especially considering the fact that it debuted in the ’60s when civil rights was a huge issue in the United States of America.
There is one problem with the respectful nature of the crew of the original Enterprise, however, and it’s Scotty’s accent. Any Scottish person will tell you that his accent is widely overblown and is essentially a stereotype given form.
This doesn’t mean that Scotty isn’t loved as a character in Scotland, but he did manage to attract a few haters in his native land. The most prominent of these is Craig Ferguson, who is now best known for hosting The Late Late Show.
Craig Ferguson played a character named Mr. Wick in The Drew Carey Show. This character was an over the top stereotype of a stuffy Englishman. Ferguson has openly stated that James Doohan’s horrible Scottish accent in Star Trek was the inspiration for the character and that his portrayal was revenge against Scotty.
10. Gene Roddenberry Wanted To Get Rid Of Scotty
Gene Roddenberry didn’t create the character of Scotty in the same way that he envisioned the other members of the Enterprise crew. He did want a chief engineer, but the character wasn’t intended to have a large role in the story.
James Doohan was asked to audition for a role in Star Trek by James Goldstone, who had worked with him previously and had him in mind for other projects. Doohan auditioned for the role and was asked to try out different accents, with the Scottish one winning out in the end.
It seems that Roddenberry wasn’t too fond of the Scotty character, as he was trying to get rid of him as early as the second pilot for the show. The only reason Scotty stayed on the show was that Doohan’s agent came down to the set personally and talked Roddenberry down. It took time, but Doohan’s performance won Roddenberry over and he was accepted as one of the main characters on the show.
9. Scotty’s Missing Finger
James Doohan was born in Canada, though his parents both emigrated from Ireland. He joined the Royal Canadian Artillery and took part in World War II. He killed two men during the Normandy Landings when his unit assaulted Juno Beach.
Doohan was accidentally shot by one of his own sentries. He was hit by six different bullets, one of which would have killed him if it weren’t for a silver cigarette case within his jacket. One of these bullets went into the middle finger of his right hand, which had to be amputated.
After the war, James Doohan pursued an acting career. He generally hid his missing finger during screen productions. There are only a few scenes in Star Trek: The Original Series where the missing digit can be seen. The most notable is probably during “The Trouble With Tribbles”, in the scene where Scotty is holding an armful of the creatures.
8. The Loaded Weapon Cameo
The actors who were cast in Star Trek: The Original Series had no idea of how the roles were going to totally change their lives. They have made no secret about how they’ve all become best known for their Star Trek roles, and how this familiarity has prevented them from getting other work. William Shatner and George Takei had to become shrieking parodies of themselves in order to be better known than Kirk and Sulu.
James Doohan had trouble finding work outside of Star Trek for a long time, as he had become strongly associated with the character of Scotty. This wasn’t helped by the large gap of time between the end of The Original Series and The Motion Picture.
It seems that James Doohan just gave up and started playing parodies of Scotty in other productions. He played Scotty in the parody film Loaded Weapon, where he was a police officer who needed to fix a coffee machine. This involved him shouting a lot of the dialogue that he said in Star Trek.
7. Scotty’s Ashes Needed An Engineering Department
James Doohan passed away in 2005 at the age of 85. He suffered many ailments later in life, which were partly a result of the injuries he sustained in World War II. His passing was mourned by Star Trek fans across the world, as well as by the entertainment industry at large.
Before he passed away, James Doohan asked for his ashes to be shot into space. This turned out to be a far bigger request than he may have realized, as it took two years for this wish to be fulfilled. In 2007, a portion of Doohan’s ashes was shot into space in a capsule, which then plummeted into a desert in New Mexico. It took weeks for the capsule and the ashes to be reclaimed.
The next portion of Doohan’s ashes was sent up in a rocket in 2008. This rocket failed after two minutes and his ashes were spread over Washington. The remainder of his ashes were sent up in the Falcon 9 rocket in 2012, which, thankfully, made its way into space.
6. The Relics Retcon
When Gene Roddenberry first started developing Star Trek: The Next Generation, he had originally intended for none of the characters or races from The Original Series to make an appearance. This rule didn’t last long, as a Klingon now served aboard the Enterprise. The first episode also featured a guest spot from a very old Dr. McCoy. Leonard Nimoy would also reprise his role of Spock in the show.
The last member of The Original Series cast to appear in The Next Generation TV show was Scotty. It was revealed that he had kept himself alive within a transport buffer for decades.
However, Scotty quickly manages to cause an inconsistency with his first few lines of dialogue. When he discovers that the Enterprise saved him, he asks if Captain Kirk led the mission. This line doesn’t make sense, as it was later established in Star Trek Generations that Scotty was there when Kirk was believed to have been killed during the maiden voyage of the Enterprise-B.
5. The War For Scotty’s Future Birthplace
It was never clear whereabouts in Scotland that Scotty was actually born. This is due to contradictory information that was given throughout the franchise and wasn’t helped by his ill-defined accent. The matter was never officially resolved within Star Trek canon, though the novels have given several opinions on the subject.
After James Doohan passed away in 2005, there was a bidding war between several different cities in Scotland to become known as the future birthplace of Montgomery Scott. This might seem like a crazy idea, but it is one that has already happened in Iowa. The city of Riverside proclaims itself to be the future birthplace of James T. Kirk.
The town of Linlithgow made a bid to become the future birthplace of Scotty, which included an attempt to hold the world premiere of the 2009 Star Trek there. This ran into a hiccup when it was revealed that Linlithgow didn’t even have a cinema, however.
4. James Doohan Saved A Suicidal Fan
Star Trek is known for inspiring lots of different people in their careers. Whoopi Goldberg has cited Nichelle Nichols’ performance as Uhura for inspiring her to become an actress. There have also been a lot of people who cite Star Trek as inspiring them to enter scientific, engineering, or psychiatry careers.
James Doohan once gave an interview for the movie Trekkies, where he talked about saving a fan’s life. She sent him a letter that he recognized as a suicide note. He called her to invite her to a convention. Doohan kept inviting her to conventions, in order to make sure that she was alright. She came to visit him at different conventions for two years, before cutting off contact with him.
3. Pegg’s Accent
The Star Trek reboot movies have been set in the era of the Enterprise from The Original Series. This means that all of the old familiar characters were recast with new actors. The role of Montgomery Scott went to Simon Pegg, who was a huge Star Trek fan.
Pegg’s casting was ironic, as he had previously written and starred in a show called Spaced, which included a scene where he said something was “... sure as every odd-numbered Star Trek movie is s–t.” He would go on to play Scotty in an odd-numbered Star Trek movie, which turned out to be great.
Simon Pegg took the role of Scotty seriously, to the point where he actually tried to emulate a proper Scottish accent for the performance. Pegg had some help with this from his wife and her family, who are from Scotland– he based his Scottish accent on her’s and used it for his performance of Montgomery Scott.
2. The Many Voices Of The Animated Series
Star Trek: The Original Series was canceled in 1969 after a three-season run. The show quickly found a huge audience in syndication, which began the many attempts to revive the show. Star Trek finally returned in 1973 as a cartoon show called Star Trek: The Animated Series. This show brought back the original cast, who all reprised their roles and continued the five-year mission of the Enterprise.
The show had a limited budget. It is for this reason that James Doohan was called on to voice numerous different characters on the show. Along with Scotty, he also voiced Kyle, an Ancient Insectoid, a Magnetic Organism, a science officer, the Guardian of Forever, Ari bn Bem, Dramian Supreme Prefect, Kol-Tai, Dawson Walking Bear, Kukulkan, and Karl Four, among many others.
1. No One Ever Said “Beam Me Up, Scotty”
One of the most recognizable phrases in all of Star Trek is “beam me up, Scotty.” This phrase has entered the consciousness of society in such a way that even people who have never seen Star Trek can pinpoint its origin. It was the phrase used by Kirk or Spock whenever they needed to be quickly beamed up off the surface of a planet, which means that it was spoken in hundreds of episodes…
Actually, it wasn’t. The phrase “beam me up, Scotty” was never spoken on any Star Trek TV show or movie. This is an example of a popular phrase coming from nothing, such as “elementary, dear Watson” or “play it again, Sam.” There were a few instances where a character spoke a similar line, such as “beam us up Mr. Scott” or “Scotty, beam us up,” but the actual full line was never spoken.
James Doohan actually named his autobiography Beam Me Up, Scotty. This is proof of how ingrained this phrase became in our minds. The actual story of James Doohan’s life was given a title from a phrase that people only thought he said. It represents the part of our brain that is forever dedicated to his memorable performance as Montgomery Scott.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Star Trek‘s Scotty? Let us know in the comments!
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