Interview: Chris Doohan On Returning To Transporter Room For Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness will be the ninth film in the franchise with a Doohan on board the Enterprise. Once again Chris Doohan (son of James Doohan) has a role, playing a trasnporter officer. In an exclusive interview with TrekMovie.com, Chris talks about returning for Into Darkness and more.     

 

Interview with Chris Doohan on returning to transporter room

One of the nice links to the original Star Trek in JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek  film was having a Doohan on board the USS Enterprise. Chris Doohan, son of the original Scotty James Doohan, was cast in a background role in the transporter room, where he got to act alongside Simon Pegg (the new Scotty). Recently Paramount has been showing off footage from the Star Trek movie to press and industry professionals, and Eagle-eyed Trek fans have spotted that once again Chris is back in the transporter room. So TrekMovie thought it was time to check back in with Mr. Doohan to find out what it was like to return to the USS Enterprise, with a new exclusive interview.

TrekMovie: So how did it work out that you were back for the Star Trek sequel?

Chris Doohan: Late January 2012, Simon Pegg sent me an email asking me if I wanted to come down to Sony studios and spend the day with him. After I told him that I would love that, he emailed me back and said, “Better yet, how would you like another shift in the Transporter room?” As you could expect, I was very excited about the prospect of being back on the Enterprise. I then got a call from Jeffrey Chernov, the Executive Producer (really nice guy). He told me that Simon wrote a note to J.J. asking him if I could be in the movie. Mr. Chernov gave me all the details and told me that I would “get an upgrade”. I wasn’t sure what that meant, and truthfully, it didn’t really matter, as I was just happy to be in the film, even as an extra.

TrekMovie: Can you give a sense of the process. What is it like becoming a crewman n the USS Enterprise?

Chris Doohan: After getting fitted in for my uniform, I got the call from Carla in casting, that they wanted me on the set on Feb. 15th. When I arrived, I assumed I would go to the set and sit around until I was called, but that wasn’t the case. They picked me up in a golf cart and took me to my own trailer…with my name on it! I was shocked! I guessed that was what Mr. Chernov meant by the upgrade. I went to make up, and then a couple hours later they called me to the set. I could see both Zachary and Chris sitting in their chairs, using their cell phones. The nice young lady that brought me to the set pointed out the chair in between them was my chair. This was just getting better! She brought me to the transporter room and told me that I would be sitting in the chair that Simon sat in last time ( I sat to his right in the 2009 movie). We shot a scene or two in many different ways. J.J. is a great director and he wants to get a scene done from many different directions. In
between takes, I had a chance to talk to some of the cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch. He seemed like a very down to earth guy…well, for a villain.


Chris Doohan with Simon Pegg in Star Trek 2009

TrekMovie: Besides Simon, did you have much time interacting with others in the cast? Do they know of your connection to Star Trek?

Chris Doohan: I was introduced to Benedict as James Doohan’s son. We talked for only a few minutes, but I did ask him if he was a fan of Star Trek. He said that he wasn’t a huge fan, but had watched many original series episodes. He was, however, very proud to be a part of this iconic show. I also talked with Zachary a bit, but mostly about his role as a Producer on his film Margin Call. He remembered me from the 2009 Star Trek. I also talked with Zoe briefly about her fashion week trip in New York. She is a sweetheart!

TrekMovie: So does your character get to talk this time?

Chris Doohan: Yes, or at least I hope so in the end. After I thought we were done, J.J. came up to me and said, “So, are you ready?” I said, “Ready for what?” He said, “You want a line don’t you?” I was in shock, as I never expected that (this day was full of surprises). I’m still not sure whether I was going to get a line all along, or if it was a last second decision. Maybe he was waiting until the end so I wouldn’t be nervous. He gave me the line and then I went to get fitted for my microphone. I was in the middle of that when I hear J.J. calling for me. He walked over and said “I’m giving you another line too”. You’re never sure if your lines will actually make it into the movie, but that didn’t matter, it was just so cool of J.J. and Simon to do this for me and I owe them both a big debt of gratitude.

TrekMovie: So for your Memory Alpha entry, does your character have a name or rank or official title?

Chris Doohan: Many people ask if I’m Kyle, but nothing has been said or confirmed at this point. I’m credited as a “Transport Officer,” but I was told that I hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander.


Chris Doohan (R) with his brother Monty and their father James Doohan on the set of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"

TrekMovie: So far from the press and industry previews you have been spotted in one scene. Was that it or are you in any other scenes? And just in the transporter room?

Chris Doohan: I didn’t know that I was in the preview, that’s cool. If all goes well, I should be in a couple transporter room scenes. So far, the transporter room is the only place I work on the ship.

TrekMovie: So did you survive? Do you think you will be back for the next one?

Chris Doohan: Well, I am a red shirt. I guess you’ll have to wait to see the movie for that one. As far as a third tour of duty, I would absolutely love it….if my character survives.

TrekMovie: You are also playing Scotty in the new fan series ‘Star Trek Continues’. You do a pretty decent versinon of your Dad’s Scotty actually. So what has that experience been like?

Chris Doohan: Thanks. It’s actually been great. I was reluctant to do it in the beginning, as those were pretty big shoes to fill, but the fan response has been fantastic. I’m having a lot of fun doing it and the team behind it is so dedicated and talented, they actually make me look like I know what I’m doing.


Chris Doohan as Scotty in "Star Trek Continues" fan series

You can check out Chris on IMDB and follow him at @chrisdoohan on Twitter.

More Into Darkness Interviews coming

This interview is the first in a series for TrekMovie is doing with cast and crew from Star Trek Into Darkness over the next month. So keep coming back for new chats with the peple that made the new movie.

Sort by:   newest | oldest
April 22, 2013 8:15 pm

It wouldn’t be the Enterprise without a Sulu at the helm, and a Doohan wearing red.

lt1701e
April 22, 2013 8:15 pm

Cool, Nice to see you on the set again Chris. Good luck on all of your future endeavors.

Lord Britan
April 22, 2013 8:17 pm

This is pretty cool of them to do. I dig that a bunch:)

DC
April 22, 2013 8:18 pm

Wouldn’t this be the NINTH film with a Doohan on board, since James was in Star Trek I-VI with a cameo in Generations?

Aldo F. Rodriguez
April 22, 2013 8:34 pm

“Welcome aboard, lad. To ya station!”

Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire
April 22, 2013 8:42 pm

Chris. I love what I have seen on Star Trek Continues. Can’t wait to see you once again on the Big Screen.

DJT
April 22, 2013 8:56 pm

Awesome.

JøhnRambø
April 22, 2013 9:22 pm

Good to have him back on the Enterprise:-)

Marja
April 22, 2013 9:38 pm

Haha, when I first saw that shot of Chris D in “ST Continues” here’s what I thought:

“Weren’t James Doohan’s eyes BROWN? WT heck?”

I’m so glad he got some lines in STID. Hope we get to hear them!

Unwanted
April 22, 2013 9:44 pm

Anthony this is actually the ninth film in the franchise with a Doohan in it. James was in 1 thru Generations, 7 films, then Chris in ST09 and STID, for a total of 9, not 8 as the article says.

Dr. Cheis
April 22, 2013 10:01 pm

I think it’s safe to call his rank “canon” since he does have it indicated on his sleeve. I dunno how I feel about him being Kyle, just because he doesn’t look or sound anything like him. He makes a much better Scotty, of course.

Magic_Al
April 22, 2013 10:08 pm

Chris Doohan’s transporter officer is the same rank as Scotty. Nice!

Jim Phelps
April 22, 2013 10:15 pm

I hope he has a speaking role in ‘Into Darkness’.

Stargazer54
April 22, 2013 10:54 pm

Awesome. Glad Pegg got him on the set. Good show Simon!

T2
April 22, 2013 10:58 pm

Very cool! Congrats on your 3rd Trek film, Chris. Looking forward to seeing it…and STC.

jesustrek
April 22, 2013 11:01 pm

GOOD great return to Star Trek Into Darkness Chris ;)

Pensive's Wetness
April 22, 2013 11:02 pm

a very nice write-up. Indeed, it helps he has the last name but he (Chris) has his own merits to go with it.

Viking
April 22, 2013 11:15 pm

Chris, it wouldn’t be the Enterprise without a Doohan on board. Wow. It’s something to think that some of the principals were barely a twinkle in their parents’ eyes when you were on the set with your dad and brother back then. Good to know that J.J. recognizes that movie pedigree stretches all the way back to V’Ger with you. That sounds like some genuine respect for what came before.

Smike
April 22, 2013 11:29 pm

I didn’t know he was in the first one. I only spotted James Cawley on the bridge. Great he is part of the legacy…and in that iconic place in the transporter room…

D.J. Ammons
April 22, 2013 11:34 pm

Very cool. I can live vicariously through Chris Doohan since his experience was every Star Trek fans dream.

cw
April 22, 2013 11:41 pm

I just watched st continues vignettes and Chris Doohan is very good as Scotty. Actually the whole group was well cast.

Caesar
April 22, 2013 11:59 pm

Gotta point out that Simon Pegg is incredibly cool to have thought of this and called him in. Respectful and nerdy. Love it.

Sebastian S.
April 23, 2013 12:04 am

Welcome back Chris Doohan!

It wouldn’t be the transporter room without a Doohan at the controls… ;-)

CmdrR
April 23, 2013 12:23 am

Chris’ arm slinky is as big as Simon’s. Both Lt. Cmdrs.

cap10solo
April 23, 2013 12:27 am

Cool now lets hope the comics name him Scott Montgomery anyone.

April 23, 2013 12:40 am

A great few had faith in this since January 2012.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Enterprise-Needs-a-Doohan/172636049510690?

Buzz Cagney
April 23, 2013 1:14 am

Nice to have this real, tangible link to the real crew.

April 23, 2013 1:19 am

I love Simon Pegg but they should have just cast Chris as Scotty.

Jason S.
April 23, 2013 1:28 am

I think Chris Doohan should have been Scotty. He looks more like him then Pegg and I bet he’d act more like him! Figures in JJ-Trek, the best he can get is a cameo.

Bobby
April 23, 2013 1:42 am

I was lucky enough to be on Hollywood Blvd last year (seriously hot day!) when Walter Koenig received his star. I saw Chris but was too nervous to say hello…

Congrats and looking forward to seeing you once again in Star Trek :)

MJ
April 23, 2013 1:45 am

@30. Sheesh dude, can’t we all just be happy with this the way it is? I mean, this story is just a feel good one for Trek fandom for the ages, and your comment is just plain unnecessary and asinine.

MJ
April 23, 2013 1:48 am

@23 “Gotta point out that Simon Pegg is incredibly cool to have thought of this and called him in. Respectful and nerdy. Love it.”

Exactly !!! This is one of the most positive and awesome stories that Anthony has ever reported on here.

Red Dead Ryan
April 23, 2013 1:57 am

Jason S. is a troll. End of story.

DiscoSpock
April 23, 2013 2:05 am

#30

My God, what a petty and downright mean comment to make, especially considering that Doohan and Pegg both read this website.

Shame on you, Jason S.

April 23, 2013 2:13 am

Posters you had shared is nice..Well the country has had many IMAX and 3D cinemas and massive multiplexes for 15 years in all major cities.

StelArian
April 23, 2013 2:31 am

Very nice!

Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle
April 23, 2013 2:36 am

You know, DiscoSpock, it seems like every time we get a cool, really great and positive story like this, there is always someone like Jason S. who tries to bring everybody down.

People like Jason S. embarrass all Star Trek fans with their negative crap here.

April 23, 2013 3:07 am

Can anyone tell me if they think some of the Harrison pictures look morphed? I am wondering if some of the points we see as Kirk or Spock or Scotty are not who they seem to be. if so would be the best JJ mess around ever.

AJ
April 23, 2013 3:44 am

It’s great to have a Doohan on board the E. Wouldn’t be the same otherwise!

April 23, 2013 4:06 am

I’ll second everyone else…I’m glad that Chris got to work on it again.

“Chris Doohan: After getting fitted in for my uniform, I got the call from Carla in casting, that they wanted me on the set on Feb. 15th.”

*”the person he referred to as “Carla” is the extra’s casting director, Carla Lewis of Headquarter’s Casting. I’ve known her for quite a while – we both worked as extras on and off for many years. She obviously stopped working as an extra… ;)

Mr Lirpa
April 23, 2013 4:20 am

Great story, It’s warming to see how generous the folks working on this movie are to give Chris this chance again and to the lengths they went for him, considering there was no obligation to do so. I hope that his lines make it in to the film and that he becomes the “Wedge Antillies” of this franchise. (and while their at it make hime Kyle too!).

Fingers crossed that you get in to the next Movie Chris as Kyle, Transporter Chief!

crazydaystrom
April 23, 2013 5:16 am

Really great to hear this. Legacy :-)

Corinthian7
April 23, 2013 6:21 am

Well done Chris. I hope your lines make it into the movie but if not they’ll be a great bluray extra.

Spockchick
April 23, 2013 6:46 am

Yay! What a cute story today.

Mad Mann
April 23, 2013 7:23 am

This is so effin cool! I am so happy for Chris, especially since he is a regular Trekmovie talk-backer, I feel like he is “part of the family.”

I know I said this before here, but James Doohan’s Scotty is what inspired me get degrees in physics and work in that field. I am happy that his family is still being honored for all the great work he did. Some actors look at their job as just another gig, but Doohan always knew how important and inspirational Star Trek and Scotty were, he went beyond the call of duty as an actor. He is truly an engineer’s icon.

EM
April 23, 2013 7:29 am

Wodnerful interview! Chris must have had such a great time! And it is very nice of Simon and JJ to include him.
I hope to hear what the Transport Officer has to say!

Underhill
April 23, 2013 8:54 am

Really impressed with Chris’ humble attitude through the whole thing. For that, you have my utmost respect! Way to go Pegg and Abrams for giving Chris such a wonderful experience which he really deserves.

The Sinfonian
April 23, 2013 9:25 am

Chris, glad to hear how thoughtful Simon was to help make this happen. His sensitivity and kindness towards your family and your dad’s memory is a great tribute.

As for who your character is… I’d argue for DeSalle, who was Scotty’s chief assistant in some TOS episodes. And the eye color matches the actor Michael Barrier. I’d go with Scotty’s TAS assistant Gabler, except the skin color is all wrong.

The Professor
April 23, 2013 9:35 am

This is part of what makes the Trek franchise so special.
It is great when individuals from the original series are able to still be involved, even if it is through their offspring.

Z3R0B4NG
April 23, 2013 9:35 am

Wow… wasn’t aware of any of this.

Gives the new Movie just that bit more credibility :)

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