We here at Gabbing Geek are well aware that a long running series like Star Trek the Next Generation would do the occasional bit of fan service, giving fans something they would want. But, quite frankly, we also don’t mind so much when the episode in question resurrects a fun character like Scotty.
Jimmy and Tom discuss the episode below.
The Enterprise crew discovers a long lost Starfleet officer in an abandoned ship.
jimmy: I’ve made no secret of my dislike of the original series, but I like some of the movies and do have a soft spot for the cast, so it was great to see Scotty again.
tomk: If only Geordi felt the same way for most of the episode.
jimmy: He tries. But he’s got a lot of work to do.
tomk: That’s why Geordi will never be known as a miracle worker.
jimmy: That was an interesting, almost meta conversation with Scotty admitting he’d say things would take longer than they should so he’d look good when he pulled it off in a shorter amount of time. Also applies to writing equipment manuals.
tomk: And he does pull out some miracles in the end.
jimmy: He’s Scotty.
tomk: And he had barely any scenes with Worf. Feels like a waste given the whole “He’s a Klingon” thing.
jimmy: True. He had a shocked look when first introduced, but never really said much about it.
tomk: And Worf alone said nothing in the final scene. Even Troi got one line after sitting the rest of the episode out.
jimmy: I did find it a little odd that Worf said nothing as the scene seemed to be more about the actors honoring Doohan more than anything.
As for Troi, there is an extended deleted scene on the Blu-ray between her and Scotty. It’s described something like “Troi tries to help but only makes things worse”. So, exactly what you expect.
tomk: Ah. I figured she was still shook up from the previous episode.
jimmy: They usually recover from that stuff in about 6 days.
tomk: Well, sometimes you gotta go home and let your brother slap you around and knock you into a pile of mud like Picard did.
jimmy: Sometimes. Not often.
tomk: Well, Scotty has more issues to work through.
jimmy: Haha, well, he wasn’t specific about when to show the bridge from.
tomk: I know parts of that bridge he visited was just greenscreened in, but it was still a nice moment for Scotty.
jimmy: I thought the whole thing was green screen until he actually interacted with some of it.
tomk: Same. But then Picard showed up, and Picard of all people appreciates old things. He’s all “I do archaeology on the side!” Also, he can hold his liquor.
jimmy: No doubt. And looking at how much was left in the bottle when Scotty went to the holodeck, Scotty cannot.
tomk: Scotty had multiple episodes of the original series when he had to drink a bad guy under the table.
jimmy: Maybe that wasn’t the first bottle of green stuff.
tomk: It looked like the only bottle of green stuff.
jimmy: We don’t know what else Data pulled out of Guinan’s secret stash.
tomk: He seemed to think it was the only one.
Unless he’s been using other stuff in other places. Though alcohol that doesn’t get you at least buzzed seems like kind of a waste.
And I don’t personally drink.
jimmy: I don’t drink much, but I agree.
tomk: But man, poor Scotty. Everyone he knows he dead and gone.
Except for McCoy, Spock, and…well, he doesn’t really know about Kirk.
jimmy: I thought about Kirk still being “alive” while watching this one too. Though I think Bones was dead by this point.
tomk: Well, he did appear in the pilot. Who can say?
Scotty did expect Kirk came to his rescue despite the fact as far as he knew Kirk had died.
jimmy: Ah, good continuity catch.
And DeForest Kelley died in 1999, so I guess he was still “around”.
tomk: That didn’t exactly stop Kelley from “appearing” on Futurama!
jimmy: Was he just a head?
tomk: You never saw the Star Trek tribute episode of Futurama?
jimmy: Saw? Probably. I think I’ve seen them all. Remember? Obviously not.
jimmy: Awesome. (Though Kelley is the only one that doesn’t speak.)
tomk: He was, when that came out, deceased. Doohan was not but apparently wasn’t doing very well.
jimmy: He died in 2005. That episode came out in 2002, but the voice work was probably done in 2001.
tomk: He was apparently pretty sick for a while and had trouble talking.
jimmy: That’s unfortunate. At least Kelley didn’t get recast.
jimmy: Do you ever feel in this one that Doohan was reading off cue cards at times?
tomk: Not really, but I wouldn’t be that surprised. I like Doohan, but I couldn’t name a single thing he’s done other than Scotty.
jimmy: All those Trek guys didn’t do much after outside of Shatner.
tomk: Someone has never seen Night of the Lepus.
jimmy: No. But I did see Kelley in an episode of The Littlest Hobo.
tomk: And you probably would have seen more of Walter Koenig if you ever got around to Babylon 5.
jimmy: One day…
tomk: But Doohan? No respect for a man who lost a finger or two fighting for the Canadian Army in World War II.
jimmy: He did? The fingers I mean, I knew he fought in the war.
tomk: Well, just one.
jimmy: WTF? How have I never noticed or not known this before?
How did Scotty lose his finger? James Doohan was a Lieutenant in the 3rd Canadian Division that landed on Juno Beach on D-day, June 6,1944. He was shot six times, possibly by friendly fire from a Canadian sentry, with one of the bullets taking off a finger.
tomk: Because Doohan kept that fact hidden on Star Trek.
tomk: As far as I know, there is no story about Scotty losing a finger in-canon.
jimmy: Sure, but you’d think you’d notice after watching all these years.
tomk: Doohan was apparently very good at hiding it. That may even include stunt hands for close-ups when you can’t see his face.
tomk: I think the first time his hand was actually visible was Star Trek IV.
jimmy: There’s a few images from TOS where it is noticeable if you are looking specifically for it. Probably many others.
tomk: Ok, smart guy. You get a cupcake. Tribbles probably ate it.
jimmy: They are trouble.
tomk: Not as much trouble as a Dyson Sphere.
jimmy: I was watching the episode commentary for this one and they spoke about being disappointed with the Dyson Sphere. They felt they were never really able to give a good indication of how big the sphere actually was. Like, any shot of the Enterprise next to it would just look like it was sitting next to a wall. But also that it was essentially used as a McGuffin in this episode, and they wanted to reuse it later to give it justice, but felt like it had already been used and they didn’t want to use it again.
tomk: That’s good. They blew up the ship they needed to prop the door open.
jimmy: That ship was ready to be scrapped anyway.
tomk: Oh, scrapping old things seems to be the theme of the episode.
jimmy: Unless they decide not to retire.
tomk: No one asked that ship what she wanted.
jimmy: Ships don’t have feelings, Tom.
tomk: Sure they don’t.
jimmy: Does your ship have feelings, Tom?
tomk: It sailed away crying after you insulted it.
jimmy: I’m sorry, Tomboat! Please come back!
tomk: Well, too late now. But did Scotty get the respect he deserved in later appearances?
jimmy: Later…you mean after this one?
tomk: Well, sort of.
jimmy: Generations was technically before this.
tomk: Well, yes, but there are some sort of appearances. William Shatner wasn’t happy with Kirk’s death and wrote some continuing adventures where Kirk, Spock, and McCoy take on the Borg. A friend told me they considered asking Scotty to join them but decided to let him stay retired.
jimmy: I’ve read some of those Shatner books. They’re not bad.
tomk: And then there’s a current Star Trek comic series.
jimmy: That, I have not read.
tomk: Me neither, but I heard about it on a YouTube video that said Worf also joined the crew alongside Sisko, Scotty, Beverly, Data, Tom Paris, and two others.
jimmy: Worf has to be there. He’s the MVP.
tomk: He’s also someone Sisko actually knows.
jimmy: If you want to get all technical.
tomk: Well, if you want to get all technical, I have a manual here written by Scotty.
jimmy: With room left for improvisation.
tomk: Were you a little concerned when Geordi’s crazy story involved Dr Brahms?
jimmy: I definitely felt like one of these was warranted…
tomk: Maybe it’s a good thing Scotty got out of there.
jimmy: Him and Barclay probably have a regular dinner reservation with Scotty and Brahms.
tomk: Well, this has turned scary when it wasn’t supposed to. Maybe we should worry about what happens when the story is maybe supposed to be scary.
jimmy: Those blue gill guys are coming back are they?
tomk: Nah. Nothing like that. Something…very different. You too may fear your next haircut.
jimmy: Very ominous and specific.
tomk: Ready to go on…or are you chicken?
jimmy: Nobody calls me chicken!
tomk: Watson does. You wanna prove him wrong?
tomk: Then you’ll sure show him!
Weekend Trek “Chain Of Command Part Two”
Vikings: Valhalla “Towers Of Faith”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #51 (August, 1967)