A brilliant engineer in the tradition of Scottish engineers, Scotty knew the Enterprise better than anyone, and was proud of and even affectionate toward the ship. His ability to coax extra performance from this and other ships earned him the nickname “The Miracle Worker.” He read technical journals for relaxation. As third-in-command of the Enterprise, he displayed his capability to command when Kirk and Spock were both absent from the ship.
Scotty was portrayed by James Doohan, a Canadian actor born of Irish immigrant parents. He served Canada during World War II, participating in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He was wounded by accidental friendly fire, and lost the middle finger of his right hand, which he purposely concealed quite well in his acting.
Doohan studied science and engineering to educate himself for his role. He auditioned several different accents, and a Scottish accent was chosen. It was Doohan’s idea that Scotty should wear a kilt as part of his dress uniform, and a Scott Clan tartan was obtained from Scotland for it.
There aren’t many episodes that really revolve around Scotty, but there are dozens of classic Scotty moments. I think it’s a testament to Doohan’s acting that it feels like nearly every Scotty scene is a classic. He played the character perfectly, and consistently.
A couple of my favorite Scotty moments are:
- A Taste of Armageddon. While in command of the Enterprise, Scotty risks his career by refusing a diplomat’s orders to lower the ship’s defenses. In addition to being a display of Scott’s integrity, it leads to the classic exchange:
McCoy: “Well, Scotty, now you’ve done it!”
Scotty: “Aye, the haggis is in the fire for sure…”
- Wolf In the Fold. This is one of my favorite episodes in general, and since it starts with Scotty being framed for murder and his subsequent trial, I always think of Scotty when I think of it.
- Check out the Montgomery Scott page on memory-alpha
- Also worth a look is memory-alpha’s James Doohan page, which, in addition to biographical information, details Doohan’s many Star Trek voiceover roles
- Learn about Scotty’s (somewhat debated) future birthplace, Linlithgow, Scotland