Thursday, July 21, 2005

I know there are tons of more important things going on in the world but I find myself unmoved to blog about them at the moment because James Doohan has died.

That would be Mr Scott (Scotty) of Star Trek.

Scotty is one of my favorite characters in the whole of fictionland. He was the ultimate working-class hero (even in a classless society). He came across as a regular fellow who, due to pluck, grit, and mad skillz, managed to become the best of the best. Kirk was a boy genius, Spock was genetically superior, and Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov never got as much fleshing out (so to speak). Scotty was vivid, and Doohan played him well.

One of my favorite (and your favorite) Scotty moments came in the fourth Star Trek film ("the Voyage Home") when he learned to love an Apple IIe (or whatever it was). Funny.

But as much as I like the original series, I find myself drawn, now, to the Next Generation episode "Relics". In it, Scotty reappears after decades of "death". He survived due to his skill as an engineer but had problems with being superfluous (and he was, largely due to advances in technology). This episode gave him a chance to mourn his youth.

He wasn't the world's greatest actor but he played that role well. If you have ever known a person who has found themselves to be past their prime and are struggling to deal with it, or have known or loved an old soldier or sailor, or have even listened closely to the lyrics to Springsteen's "Glory Days", you will find it hard to watch "Relics" without feeling a little bit of sadness. Well done.

As John Lennon once wrote, a working class hero is something to be. Scotty was that. James Doohan was that.

I just hope he remembered to put the pattern buffers into a diagnostic loop so that some future generation can give him some love.


At 5:00 AM, Blogger shelley said...

Thanks Greg. That was a brilliant tribute.


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