James Doohan died yesterday at age 84. He was most well known for playing Scotty in Star Trek. He led a long and eventful life and his work on Star Trek has overshadowed most of his other accomplishments and he was typecast. Though Scotty was a great drunken engineer Doohan did some other excellent things with his life that I'd like to share right now.
Doohan was from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As a child he was bullied in school for having a Scottish accent, the origin of which remains a mystery to this day. At age 10 he couldn't take it anymore so he brought a big wrench to school and beat the ever-loving shit out of four 14 year old bullies. From that day forth he was hailed as a hero by his classmates and was careful never to get drunk with power, lest his head be wrenched.
Later in life he joined the Canadian military and stormed Juno beach on D-Day. As he stormed the beach he dived out of the way of a grenade and got his right middle finger stuck in razor wire. He couldn't get it out and saw an enemy solider moving towards him. He whipped out a knife and slicked his finger off, stood up and stabbed the Nazi bastard right in the eye! That was hardcore stuff!
As he kept storming up the beach he was shot six times – yes, six times – by machine gun fire and he kept going. He managed to take out a German bunker and used its weapons to attack the other bunkers. He was the unsung hero of D-Day, not given full credit because he was Canadian. In fact, he was pretty much the only Canadian that survived the battle. The others got confused by the local French resistance and thought they were back in Quebec.
After 3 years on Star Trek Doohan produced and starred in his own Broadway show about a homeless man who was given the gift of singing by God. His breathtaking performance wasn't given the attention it deserved, mainly because for the two weeks the show was on all the tickets were bought by Star Trek fans and critics were unable to attend. Doohan gave up the singing once he found out Shatner was releasing an album.
Doohan decided to go on a strict diet and workout regiment as he had been gaining weight since he started on Star Trek. After months of exercise he was one of America's fittest men and even made the cover of Male Fitness magazine. He climbed K2 and Mount Everest in the same day and was the first Canadian to see the Great Wall of China from the top of Mount Everest.
After years of exercise Doohan had to let himself go when he finally decided to return to the role of Scotty in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Doohan spent most of the eighties making further Star Trek movies and did a guest spot in MacGyver where Richard Dean Anderson gave him a lock of his hair. He even auditioned for the role of Phil Mitchell in Eastenders, given that he already played the character in the 1953 TV series "Space Command".
In 1993 Doohan did what his character never could: he actually changed the laws of physics. At a Star Trek convention in MIT Doohan was given a tour of the facility and accidentally walked into a particle accelerator, nudging it slightly out of phase. The next time it was run, 10 minutes later as a demonstration for Doohan – who pushed the button to activate it – it created a shockwave that spread throughout the universe at the speed of light, which had just increased by 3.2 metres per second thanks to Mr Doohan.
Tonight's drinks will be in the honour of James Doohan, whose body will be laid to rest in a torpedo casing and blasted out the bowls of the ship while Leonard Nimoy plays the bagpipes. Godspeed Mr Scott!