I just heard the news that James Doohan has passed away yesterday at the age of 85. Doohan became famous for acting the role of “Mr. Scott”, the engineer of the USS Enterprise starship in the TV series “Star Trek”. Doohan – or better – Scotty – was one of the heroes of my childhood. He gave me many hours of fascination, suspense and joy. The remains of his body will be burnt, the ashes will be sent into space – in death he can finally go where he – for all of us – always was.
My most favorite scene with Scotty did not take place in the original Star Trek series, but in the sequel Relics in Star Trek, the Next Generation (ST-TNG). Scotty was saved – well beyond his natural lifespan – from “temporary storage” in a transporter buffer. He had difficulties to adjust to the new surroundings and tried to make himself useful. Captain Picard issued an order to Mr. Data, asking how long it would take. Data answered a time span exactly up to a split second. Once Picard went offline, Scotty asked Data “And how long does it really take?”. Data – surprised – gave the exact same answer he just gave to Picard. Scotty – even more surprised – couldn’t believe Data had not given an actually longer time span to the Captain than what he would actually need. The scene closed with Scotties remark “You have a lot to learn to become a wiz-kid”.
Farewell, Scotty, and thanks for everything.