Why Fans Actually Loved Scotty’s Terrible Accent In Star Trek: The Original Series

Scotty was a capable and respected character, which is one thing that Scots liked about him. Doohan initially came up with his Scottish accent by imitating a fellow soldier, a man from Aberdeen, when he was serving in the Canadian army in World War II. Indeed, it was Doohan’s idea, not Gene Roddenberry’s, to make the Enterprise’s Engineer Scottish, and to name him Montgomery Scott. By that estimation, Scotty, the character, was born in Aberdeen — a fact born out by a line of dialogue in “Wolf in the Fold” (December 22, 1967) when he describes himself as “an old Aberdeen pub-crawler.” In “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” Scotty is said to be from Edinburgh, although that was part of a made-up cover story. 

There are no actual canonical documents declaring what city Montgomery Scott was born in, leaving real towns in Scotland open to make the claim. According to a 2005 report in the Guardian, four cities have made claim to Scotty: Aberdeen, Linlithgow, Elgin, and Edinburgh. Linlithgow was the first to make the claim, on the basis that “Star Trek” writer D.C. Fontana said that Scotty was from Linlithgow. The town has gone so far as to put a plaque up in honor of its future heritage, along with a countdown clock on the museum website, waiting for the time when Scotty will be born. At last count, we’re 198 years away. 

Citing the canonical dialogue, Aberdeen made the claim next, and a local minister has suggested the city put up its own plaque in Scotty’s honor. Elgin, meanwhile, claims to have heard an interview with Doohan where the actor said Scott was from “Elgin, near Aberdeen.” The two towns are about 66 miles apart. Edinburgh only made a claim because of a claim on a now-defunct, unauthorized sci-fi website. 

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