Scotty didn't die; James Doohan did

In at least half of the recent posts about the recent death of James Doohan, people are saying things like “Scotty died” and “the Enterprise losts its engineer” and “he’s hanging out with McCoy”.

Now I know, nobody really thinks Scotty was a real person. But James Doohan was a real person. He had a wife and seven children. And I think it trivializes the death of this real person to pretend he was interchangeable with a fictional character he once played.

I met him once.

Well, I didn’t meet him. He yelled at me for parking in a handicapped spot.

I was young.

I watched The Grudge last weekend. As eerie as the cinematography was, I couldn’t really believe the horror of the story they were trying to tell. Because Sarah Michelle Gellar is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to me. There’s no way I could believe Buffy couldn’t beat some Asian ghosts.

It should (IMO) be an honor to be remembered for the thing you were most reknowned for. I always thought that was rather the point of fame, as it were.

I’d almost bet, if Doohan was looking down on this and other boards and places who took a a pause in rememberance of his death, would be happy to see he was so beloved in the acting role he took on.

Loving him for who he played on TV doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, diminish in any way the crucially important role he played as part of his family.

His family will always love him for who he was as a person, because he was family to them.

To us, he was Scotty. And we loved him too. Obviously not in the same way, nor worth near the import…but we loved him too.

Why should we be deprived of the right to mourn him in the way we choose, choosing to honor him by seeing him still in the role that is most familiar to us?

If he was fine with it in life, I think he’d be pleased with it as a send-off in death.

I think you make a fine point.

Scotty won’t be born until the year 2222, so he can’t have died.

Apparently by the 23rd century the Scottish accent will have change beyond recognision. We loved James Doohan because the accent was just so bad it was good. He claimed he could do regional Scottish accents too, and they were every bit as bad. Or maybe he was pulling our leg.

so the concept of honouring a person for their achievements is lost on you then? :rolleyes:

Rant Score: A solid 8 for general feebleness, but a healthy 9 for the sheer lack of class in telling other people how to express their sadness.

Obviously, you’ve never met a Star Trek fan. The characters are very real to them.

I think it’s silly, but it doesn’t affect me at all to let fans grieve any way they like.

I think that it’s insane to think that a discussion on a message board could possibly trivialize someone’s death.

Or honor it.

Or have any more effect than a fly landing on his nose as his damn funeral.

Beam me up some perspective, Scotty!

Many of us would probably never have heard of James Doohan if not for his wonderful portrayal of the character Scotty. While few of us ever even met the man, much less actually knew him, we all know Scotty. It honors the creator of the character to mention one as the other. Goodness, he played Scotty for some FORTY YEARS!

So yeah, while we all acknowledge that a real person died, and his real life family and friends are mourning him because they actually knew him, a very large group of people are giving the man honor for the beautiful character that WE knew.

Your complaint seems kind of silly, in my opinion.

Real life dialog…

Me: “Hey, James Doohan just died.”
Cow-orker: [blank stare]
Me: “You know, the actor who played Scotty on Star Trek”
Cow-orker: [eyes light up in recognition]

Can you guess what came next…
a) “Oh yeah, he had seven kids, was a veteran, and was wounded on D-Day”
b) “Oh yeah, that fine Canadian actor, now what other roles did he play?”
c) “Oh yeah, beam me up Scotty. What a shame. I guess he couldna changed the laws of physics, eh?”

I wish I’d known James, he sounds like he was one helluva guy. But to me it’s Scotty who died.

Goodbye Scotty… your reputation as a miracle worker is secure.

I suppose when the OP dies we’ll just stand around reminiscing about cartoon fish.

“So colourful, he was…”

When John Lennon and George Harrison died, it was “Beatle.” When Reagen died, it was “President.”

So it goes.

We’ll stand around reminiscing about a little boy who had vivid dreams. “Time to get Nemo! Wake up, boy! What ails that youngster, eh? Nemo! Nemo!”

I don’t know, I see your point, but still . . . unless they knew him personally, no one here is upset that James Doohan, husband and father of seven died. They’re upset because the guy who played Scotty died. And how could it be any different? I mean, it’s sad when anyone dies, but I have no more reason to be personally saddened by the death of James Doohan than by any of the many other people who’ve died this week, none of whom I knew personally. If someone is sad because it feels like a beloved TV character has died, isn’t it more honest to say that than to pretend they actually had personal feelings for James Doohan, an actor they may never have met?

Anyway, I doubt Mr. Doohan would have minded . . . most actors would probably be thrilled to know they created a character that people felt a strong personal attachment to, and for whom they’ll be remembered with fondness even after they’re gone.

What’s so trivial about expressing respect for somebody in the context of the only way you’ve ever known them?

Doohan’s family will remember him as a real person. The rest of us can remember him as a realistic character. I don’t see that trivializing his death at all.

Maybe this isn’t the most pathetic rant of all but it sure fits in the drawer with the others.

No shit.

You want something to pit, go find threads from when Brando died.

You couldn’t get a fat joke in edgewise.

The guy was a D-day veteran who survived being shot 5 times. I wish people would remember that as much as they’d remember his time on the USS Enterprise.

But i can understand why they don’t.


There were a lot of D-Day veterans. There was only one Scotty.


Without his time on the USS Enterprise his death would not have even been reported, save for an obituary in a local newspaper.