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Old 08-30-2004, 11:29 AM
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Tribute to Star Trek's Scotty.....

Aye, Scotty! Trekkies and stars salute Doohan

By Gary Dretzka
Special To The Seattle Times

HOLLYWOOD — "Star Trek" events have become so commonplace that hardly anyone stares at those diehard fans who insist on arriving at conventions, book signings and ribbon cuttings sporting prosthetic foreheads, pointy ears and uniforms.
This weekend's salute to original cast member James Doohan — aka Montgomery Scott, "Scotty," chief engineer of the USS Enterprise — was a decidedly different sort of affair, however.

"This convention is more austere and somber ... not as geek-related," observed Andrew Ten, a handsome and well-groomed Los Angeles banker, who wore a formal jacket from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to Saturday night's banquet and roast. "I was in the minority tonight."

The five-day tribute, "Beam Me Up Scotty ... One Last Time," had been in the planning stages for more than a year before it was revealed, earlier this summer, that the 84-year-old Doohan, who lives in Redmond, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Coming so soon after the death of the similarly afflicted former president, Ronald Reagan, the family's announcement added greater urgency — and no small degree of poignancy — to preparations.

Instead of going ahead with a purely festive "retirement party" for the beloved actor, Planet XPO elected to join forces with the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation to raise awareness of the disease. With the cooperation of Doohan's family, representatives of both groups quickly were able to refocus the event's theme, turning Saturday night's banquet into a benefit.

Doohan's final formal public appearance is expected tomorrow morning, when his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is unveiled, in front of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum.

"This is a sad situation, but we want people to understand that there's real help and hope out there," said Mary Asta, chief operating officer of the Fisher Center. "We have 85 scientists working on a cure and expect to begin clinical trials of new drugs very soon. Everybody loves Jimmy (Doohan), and events like this will build awareness, increase traffic to our Web site and increase donations."

Dr. William Netzer, who conducts research at the Fisher Center at New York's Rockefeller University, echoed Asta's optimism in his remarks to banquet guests. Offstage, Netzer allowed that convention organizers had asked him to de-emphasize the scientific aspects of his remarks, and limit direct mentions of Alzheimer's disease to three. A closet Trekkie, Netzer was able to insert enough "Star Trek" references into his speech to mollify the promoters and keep guests interested in the Fisher Center's goals.

Some had feared Doohan might not have been lucid enough to appreciate the events planned in his honor ("He has good and bad days," cautioned one publicist).

As his wheelchair made its way through the banquet hall — escorted by his family, a single bagpiper and a phalanx of Klingon guards — Doohan smiled broadly and waved to the wildly cheering crowd.

The tribute part of the evening began with Brenda Shuman-Post performing her "Fantasy on Themes From Star Trek For Solo Oboe" to the rapt attention of the audience. Walter Koenig, who played Ensign Pavel Chekov in the original series, served as unofficial roastmaster, contributing several humorous, and occasionally ribald, anecdotes from his and Doohan's travels.




Chase Masterson, Leeta on several "Deep Space Nine" episodes, serenaded Doohan with a frisky "Latinum Is a Girl's Best Friend," a reference to the liquid Ferengi currency that was missed only by those few who weren't familiar with "Star Trek" iconography. Robert O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler presented their personal tribute in Klingon, a guttural language, which legend has it was invented by Doohan.

Will Wheaton, an engineer on "The Next Generation," was profuse in his praise of Doohan.

"I don't remember much about the first time I met Jimmy," Wheaton said. "I know that he listened patiently to me geek out ... babbling like a fan boy about how cool it was to be an engineer. He smiled, listened and made me feel as if we'd known each other my entire life, and he soon became Jimmy, not Scotty."

The emotional highlight of the evening, though, came with Nichelle Nichols' ("Uhura") introduction of astronaut Neil Armstrong, who said he was proud that both he and Scotty were engineers.

"I've been remarkably fortunate," Armstrong said. "I've ridden on 13 different rocket engines and commanded three different space missions. All were primitive in that they didn't have warp drive, which made the Enterprise travel 100,000 times faster than anything I flew.

"For my next command, I hope to be given a Federation starship, and I'd like to be given a crew like the one James Kirk had."

Including, of course, the indispensable Montgomery Scott.

Gary Dretzka covers television and

other entertainment issues for

The Seattle Times from Los Angeles: gdretzka@aol.com



Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:39 AM
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Sad circumstances -- nice story. One of my all-time favorite TNG episodes was when they found Scotty and he teamed up with LaForge to get the Enterprise out of a huge sphere.
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:41 AM
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Thank you for posting that.

-closet Trekkie who's favorite character has always been Scotty
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
Sad circumstances -- nice story. One of my all-time favorite TNG episodes was when they found Scotty and he teamed up with LaForge to get the Enterprise out of a huge sphere.
That was the episode called “Relics.” The Sphere was called a "Dyson's Sphere" named after a physicist named Freeman Dyson. The episode was touching and very bright on a number of levels, not the least of which was that the sphere, originally intended to be an ultra efficient container for a civilization, became a death trap. Not unlike an old body is to a person.....

Many folks interest in computers started with Star Trek, and everyone who knows the series knows that Scotty almost always saved the ship and crew. Ironically he was only seldom given credit for it. Such is the life of a miracle worker.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:56 PM
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Such a sad, horrible thing is alsheimers. Mr. Doohan was definitely a superb actor. It's sad to see yet another great man, and source of many happy childhood hours glued to the TV to watch was was simply the best show on air at the time. While I wouldn't say that I'm a total trekkie, I've loved the series in all of its forms. There's a part of me that wishes that space exploration in the manner that Star Trek presented it, was a reality. I'd be up there in a second, needing to know what was out there, ready to be discovered, at that distant star.
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Old 08-30-2004, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Power
Such a sad, horrible thing is alsheimers. Mr. Doohan was definitely a superb actor. It's sad to see yet another great man, and source of many happy childhood hours glued to the TV to watch was was simply the best show on air at the time. While I wouldn't say that I'm a total trekkie, I've loved the series in all of its forms. There's a part of me that wishes that space exploration in the manner that Star Trek presented it, was a reality. I'd be up there in a second, needing to know what was out there, ready to be discovered, at that distant star.
With twin diesel warp engines, of course!
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:30 PM
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Scotty was the person that made me initially chose engineering as a profession. Alzhimers and Parkinson's. Damn.
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebenz
That was the episode called “Relics.” The Sphere was called a "Dyson's Sphere" named after a physicist named Freeman Dyson. The episode was touching and very bright on a number of levels, not the least of which was that the sphere, originally intended to be an ultra efficient container for a civilization, became a death trap. Not unlike an old body is to a person.....

Many folks interest in computers started with Star Trek, and everyone who knows the series knows that Scotty almost always saved the ship and crew. Ironically he was only seldom given credit for it. Such is the life of a miracle worker.
Yes, and I recall the episode had a general theme, as most episodes of Trek did. In this case, that there is no substitute for experience. Scotty, dated and out of his element, saved the day with experience and intuition when the more current and educated LaForge couldn't get it done.
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:56 PM
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Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott . . . great comic relief in the TV series and movies. Drinking an alien under the table . . . talking to the warp engines as if it were a woman . . . working those last second miracles in the Jefferies tubes . . . picking up a 20th century computer mouse and talking into it . .
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Old 08-30-2004, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott . . . great comic relief in the TV series and movies. Drinking an alien under the table . . . talking to the warp engines as if it were a woman . . . working those last second miracles in the Jefferies tubes . . . picking up a 20th century computer mouse and talking into it . .
Aaaaayyyyyeeee -- that's the ticket laddie! Transparent aluminum!
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott . . . great comic relief in the TV series and movies. Drinking an alien under the table . . . talking to the warp engines as if it were a woman . . . working those last second miracles in the Jefferies tubes . . . picking up a 20th century computer mouse and talking into it . .

Scotty, picks up mouse from an Apple and says “Computerrrrrrr? Helooooooooooo computer.”

“Just use the keyboard”

“Keyboard? How quaint...”
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:12 PM
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"Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon."
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by G-Benz
With twin diesel warp engines, of course!
I'd like to see Scotty convert diesel injectors to plasma injectors .
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Old 09-01-2004, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
Yes, and I recall the episode had a general theme, as most episodes of Trek did. In this case, that there is no substitute for experience. Scotty, dated and out of his element, saved the day with experience and intuition when the more current and educated LaForge couldn't get it done.
The rules were unique. One of the elements, and I don’ remember the specific name of it, but there was a bit of hardware that they used to get the downed shuttle moving again. Jordy said to do what they wanted they’d have to greatly exceed the design spec of the hardware. Scotty said that they could as he wrote the spec and left it (the spec) under rated.

But definitely experience pays dividends that education and mastery of current technology alone can’t. Without experience you can’t change the rules enough to solve more vexing problems. Thanks for pointing that out!
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Old 09-01-2004, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott . . . great comic relief in the TV series and movies. Drinking an alien under the table . . . talking to the warp engines as if it were a woman . . . working those last second miracles in the Jefferies tubes . . . picking up a 20th century computer mouse and talking into it . .
Don't forget running head long into a bulk head and knocking himself unconcious after saving Kirk once again

I stopped at the Star Trek exhibit in Las Vegas at the Hilton when I was there last week. They had a Reenactment of a Borg attack in which you and your fellow visitors get thrown around an Imax like theater and then get lead through realistic looking Starship corridors, then Janeway comes and saves us. It was actually kind of fun. They have a time line exhibit which details every achievement of Star Trek including memorable episodes from the Space Shuttle of today through to the loss of Data movie. It had pictures and details that tied all the Star Trek episodes together very nicely. It took me nearly an hour to walk and read it all

Scotty will always be my favorite! You knew while everybody was pushing buttons he knew the inner workings of what those buttons did. Opened up and destroyed a lot of my toys thinking I could fix them because of him
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