Thursday, July 21, 2005

The "Miracle Worker" is gone

James Doohan has died.

James "Scotty" Doohan has died

Now a lot of you might be saying to yourselves "Who cares?"
Screw you.
"Star Trek" - the original series - reveled in the qualities that make human beings "human". There was compassion, love, hate, fear, desire, lust, heroism, sacrifice, fun, etc.
Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott of the U.S.S. Enterprise embodied all of these attributes.
Apparently, so did James Doohan. Obviously I didn't know the man. From all accounts he was as stubborn, courageous, warm, funny and genuine as his alter-ego. I always liked the fact that while all of the other supporting characters hated William Shatner in silence it was Jimmy Doohan with the stones to actually say it in print for all to see. I admired that. He also fathered a child when he was 80. I admire that, too but for entirely different reasons.
As a kid, the characters of "Star Trek" were every bit as real, and as vibrant, to me as the legends of the Round Table, Robin Hood or The Iliad. Larger than life men boldy going forth to explore the unknown, to extend the hand of friendship to new civilizations and to defend themselves or their beliefs when necessary. As I got older, I realized that their stories are "just" stories but they are tales that need to be told. Every civilization needs their myths. We may not have Jason & the Argonauts, Hercules, Arthur & Merlin or the Merry Men of Nottingham. What we do have is Captain James T. Kirk, Commander Spock, Dr. leonard H. "Bones" McCoy, Lt Cmdr Montgomery Scott and crew boarding the Starship Enterprise "To boldly go where no man has gone before".
James Doohan may be gone but the character he so artfully brought to life will live on forever.
For myself, I hate acknowledging that another "Star Trek" legend has gone to the Final Frontier. It has the damnedest effect of reminding me that my TV heroes are getting older...and so am I.


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