Thursday, July 21, 2005

In Memoriam: Beam Me Up, Scotty

James Doohan, who played Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott on the original Star Trek series, passed away yesterday due to complications in pneumonia. He was 85.

Star Trek has been a big part of my life, and more than any other character in Star Trek, Scotty was my inspiration for my career. Though I originally set out to become a writer, I got pushed into engineering. And when it seemed that I was going to be stuck there, well, I naturally started looking up to the only full-fledged engineer in science fiction that I knew off: Scotty.

And the engineering advice he gave was solid. What was it he said to Geordi LaForge in "Relics"?

"Starship captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. The secret is to give them what they need, not what they want."

That advice served me in good stead with my customers and my managers.

So long, old friend.