A to Z Challenge: More Fictional Favorites! Day 19: Spock from Star Trek

S is for — Spock from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0

Live long and prosper.

Words made famous by Mr. Spock, First Officer and Science Officer aboard the Starship Enterprise. Chief Engineer Scott may have been my favorite character in the Star Trek series, but Spock, played by the inimitable Leonard Nimoy, was the most interesting. Half Human, half Vulcan, Spock fought a continuous internal battle against his emotions, always trying to suppress his Human half and be the quintessential Vulcan — coldly logical and detached. Most of the time, he succeeded. On rare occasions, though, his impassive exterior cracked with powerful results.

What Trek fan can watch with dry eye Spock’s farewell to Captain Kirk as he gives his life to save the Enterprise at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn? I know I can’t.

My favorite emotional moment of Spock’s is at the end of Amok Time, an episode from the original series in which Spock is pitted against Kirk in a battle to the death. While not in his right mind, Spock kills Kirk. Once the battle is over and Spock is thinking clearly again, he realizes he’s just killed his captain and his best friend, and he prepares to turn himself in for court-martial. The moment he discovers Captain Kirk is alive, Spock’s emotional reaction is priceless.

Leonard Nimoy played the character of Spock for almost fifty years. His final performance as the Vulcan came in the 2013 movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. He transformed Spock into an unforgettable character, a cultural icon whose words, Live long and prosper, and whose hand raised with his fingers split in a V are instantly recognizable. No one else could ever be Mr. Spock.

RIP Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015








© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

A to Z Challenge: Fictional Favorites, Day 13

M is for — Montgomery Scott, Lieutenant Commander and Chief Engineer on the Starship Enterprise

I’ve always been a fan of the original Star Trek series that ran from 1966 to 1969. Captain James. T. Kirk and his intrepid crew aboard the USS Enterprise boldly went “where no man had gone before.” Even though the “big three” of Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy were the major players on the show, my favorite character was Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, played by James Doohan. I loved his Scottish brogue and his wry sense of humor. His technical wizardry kept the starship together and pulled the captain and crew’s bacon out of the fire many times. The dramatic exchanges between Kirk and Scotty over engine and transporter troubles were every bit as suspenseful as what was going on outside the ship.

In my favorite episode, The Doomsday Machine, Captain Kirk plans to use a crippled starship, the USS Constellation, as a bomb to destroy a cone-shaped machine that has been roaming through the galaxy, obliterating entire planets. Kirk pilots the Constellation toward the open maw of the machine and triggers the detonator, giving his crew aboard the Enterprise thirty seconds to beam him off the Constellation, back to his own ship. But an earlier attack by the machine damaged the Enterprise’s transporter, and it malfunctions. Scotty races the clock to fix the transporter to save Kirk before the Constellation explodes. No matter how many times I watch the episode, I’m still on the edge of my seat at the end.

Never seeking higher rank, Scotty is happy just being an engineer and taking care of the Enterprise. Two of his funniest moments come in my second-favorite episode, The Trouble with Tribbles. Some of the Enterprise crew, with Scotty in charge, and some crew members from an enemy Klingon ship are taking shore leave on the same space station, under an uneasy truce. Lieutenant Commander Scott has been given strict instructions to keep order and not let anyone in his charge pick a fight with the Klingons. In the hilarious scene that follows, Scotty, himself, starts a brawl, not when the Klingons insult his captain, but when they insult his beloved ship. The end of the episode is equally funny when Scotty finds the perfect solution to getting rid of the rapidly proliferating Tribbles — living, purring furballs that love humans but hate Klingons as much as the Klingons hate them. I can’t watch the show without smiling.

An interesting note about James Doohan — he lost a finger when he was seriously wounded in battle on D-Day, 1944. As a result, he hid his hand during the filming of the show and only on rare occasions was the maimed hand visible. One of those occasions was in the Tribbles episode.

James Doohan as Lt. Commander and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott from Star Trek Photo Credit: en.memory-alpha.org/wiki

James Doohan as Lt. Commander and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott from Star Trek
Photo Credit: en.memory-alpha.org/wiki

The USS Constellation about to enter the Doomsday Machine

The USS Constellation about to enter
the Doomsday Machine

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Scotty with an armload of tribbles Photo Credit: Startrek.com

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Scotty
with an armload of tribbles
Photo Credit: Startrek.com