Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cartoon #198: “James Doohan”

Title: James Doohan; Text: One to beam up. Aye aye, Scotty.

Actor James Doohan died of pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 — the 36th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon. He played Montgomery (Scotty) Scott, Chief Engineer of the USS Enterpirse in the original “Star Trek” TV series, and when the show was resurrected as a movie series. It is his character that was immortalized in the household phrase, “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Doohan, 85, was preceded in death by the show’s creator, Texan Gene Roddenberry in 1998, and actor DeForest Kelly in 2000. Kelly played Dr. Leonard (Bones) McCoy, Chief Medical Officer.

If you have ever been a “Trecker,” you have some inkling, at least, of the enormous cultural, literary, economic, and philosophical impact of Gene Roddenberry’s space adventure stories. For as long as we place relevance in Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Buck Rogers, and Flash Gordon, there will be a place of literary honor for Gene Roddenberry, “Star Trek,” its characters, and the many theatrical professionals, like Doohan, who gave it a long and prosperous life. If any of this strikes you as trivial, perhaps it is time you got up to warp speed.

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