Book Review: Beam Me Up Scotty by James Doohan
If you don’t recognize the name James Doohan, or the catch phrase “Beam me up Scotty,” you are definitely not a fan of Star Trek. Which would then raise the question, why are you visiting the official web site of the Wicked Scholar Society? Shut it down and don’t look at it, it's not for you.
I recently had the pleasure of reading the autobiography of this cast member from the original series. James Doohan is a Canadian chap who served in the Canadian Army and Air Force through all six years of the Second World War. Had he been American, he probably would only have served for about 3 years because they waited until we had the krauts on the run before they stepped in to clean up a little. Doohan’s book begins with an account of his youth in Ontario. The telling of the tale of his first sexual experience is perhaps best left untold and certainly is not the sort of thing I would brag about.
A good portion of the book deals with Doohan’s wartime experiences. This is of interest primarily to students of military history. Others may be upset by the graphic tales of the horrors of war. I quite enjoyed the stories about mangled flesh and dead bodies hanging from trees. It reminded me of the 1989 “Lets Abuse the Wogs” expedition. Doohan was wounded several times during the war and to this day has several bullets in his buttocks. We pick up the story in his own words. . . “I was shagging this French girl in the tall grass and got shot in the bum.”
After the war, Doohan became a thespian and was recognized as the hardest working actor in Canada, appearing almost constantly on radio, stage, and eventually, television. He moved to California and one fateful day, his agent called to tell him that he had an audition for the pilot for a new science fiction series called, you guessed it, “Star Trek.”
The book offers some fascinating insights into the inner workings of the show. It also adds another voice to the legion who all say that William Shatner is a bit of a dickhead. I’m sure if Shatner reads this book, he’ll be thinking that a more appropriate title might be “Beat Me Up Scotty”.
The more I read these books, the more I find the mystique of the series being eroded. You realize that these people are, of course, just actors and to them the series was just a job. Nonetheless, it's an interesting read that goes well with a good Cuban and a fine port