Doohan Family On Simon Pegg As Scotty

There is a bunch of press lately that Simon Pegg (star of Hot Fuzz) was a “bizarre casting choice” for the role of Scotty in the up-coming Star Trek movie. (Simon Pegg quotes below). Although I was publicly backing Paul McGillion because he looked so much like my father, I believe that Simon Pegg is a great choice. He may not look like Scotty, but his Scottish accent is very good, with a slight Glaswegian flare and he’s a great actor.

There are many who think the new Scotty should have a “flawless Scottish accent”, but I disagree. On a recent trip to Scotland, the Provost (Mayor) of the small town of Linlithgow asked me why I didn’t audition for the role of Scotty. I told him that my accent wasn’t very good, which made him laugh hysterically. He replied, “Then you would be perfect for the part” He then told me that my fathers Scottish accent was terrible, but that’s one of the things they loved about him.

I believe that the casting of someone that is known more for comedic roles was a well though out, smart decision. The character of Scotty was always good for a little comic relief (talking into the computer mouse as if it were a microphone saying “computer, computer” just to mention one) on the show, and Simon Pegg is very funny, with impeccable timing. It also tells me that the plot may call for a Scotty with a sense of humor.

Again, although he doesn’t look like Scotty, I think he’ll be great, and believe he was cast for a reason other then his look or accent. I have all the faith in the world that he was the best choice. I recently received an email from Simon in which he said:

I can’t tell you what a thrill it is for me to be cast in this role. Believe me when I say my participation in this film will be a 100% tribute to your Dad and a role that will forever belong to him

Yes, he seems like a nice guy too. Good luck and have fun with the role, Simon.

– Chris Doohan

…and here is a message from my sister Dierdre

Every day since my father’s passing, I am reminded of him through his fans devotion. The thought of a movie honoring this ground-breaking show and the lovable character Scotty, is heart-warming. Simon is a perfect choice and I send him my blessings as he continues the legacy of Scotty for the next generation of trekkers.
– Deirdre Cruz

the choice of Simon Pegg as the new Scotty took some by surprise

In addition to being the son of the son of James Doohan, the original Scotty, Chris Doohan is also the lead singer of the LA based band The Muddflaps. He shares his lead vocal position in the band with Gretchen Bonaduce, the ex-wife of Chris’s long time friend, Danny Bonaduce. The Muddflaps also appeared in both seasons of the hit show Breaking Bonaduce. Links:

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I’m glad Simon Pegg e-mailed you. I think he’ll do a great job.

Great article!

Further reinforces the passion we all feel about ‘trek’ and all the people that made it what it is. Chris, your dads performance in ‘The trouble with Tribbles’ was his characters most defining moment for me. His revered passion for the Enterprise, and the pride he displayed was flawless. I met James Doohan in Manchester, NH, many years ago. I can remember how it floored me to realize that his scottish accent was not real, but it didn’t change for an instant the respect I have for the character. That’s because I believe he respected the character. I soon realized how much I respected the James Doohan I met in person, as well.
I think Simon Pegg looks alot like the young Scotty.
I wonder what HE would think of Simon?

Simon Pegg seemed like a good (non-bizarre) casting choice to me. Good move.

The *Bizarre* casting choice was Karl Urban for McCoy

That e-mail was very classy, particularly given Doohan’s support for a rival for the part. Pegg’s casting came as a surprise to me too, but since I’m choosing to view this entire exercise as a reboot anyhow, I have no problem with it in principle.

Since Shatner, it is a tradition that one of the cast has to wear a toupee, so why not Pegg this time.

He wouldn’t be my choice – not a solid enough actor – but we will see.

I always thought it was funny that so many people were calling for a Scottsman since Jimmy wasn’t a Scott.

I’m amped about Pegg as Scotty and it, after Quinto, is my favourite casting choice. I think that everyone involved is taking this very seriously and honouring the original.Pegg’s e-mail just confirms that. Give a bit darker hair for the role, he’ll blend in perfectly to the part.

Again, amped about the choices made.

Really nice of Chris to write this article supporting Simon, and very classy of Simon to send that e-mail to Chris. I can’t wait to see this movie, including what Simon brings to the part of Scotty – should be fun.


Nice letter. It’s nice to see he (Simon Pegg) is being so honest and honorable to your father.

I’d have to say that, out of all the actors who starred in Star Trek, James Doohan and DeForest Kelley were my favorites. There was just something honest, friendly and “normal” about them. They were just cool guys.

I can see this is not just some other role for Pegg; he does very well in his movies and I’m sure Star Trek is no exception.

I’m sure Pegg, and all the other members of the new cast, are well aware of the love and respect that exists for these characters. I find it impossible that any of them will treat this project frivolously.

Very nice. I met James Doohan twice, once at a convention and the second time at MSOE when he got an honorary degree. He seemed like a neat guy. Back to the topic at hand, I’m definitely not qualified to comment because I haven’t seen any movies that Simon Pegg is in.

I can’t wait for the movie. To see the support for the new cast — very nice indeed. I confess I haven’t seen the Shatner videos since the casting of Chris Pine. I’m a fan of the Shat and the “is he? isn’t he?” thing is taking away any interest I have in his response. Otherwise, its great to see the original actors and their families root for the new actors.

Now if we could only hear from someone related to DeForest Kelly, that would be cool..

I’ve mentioned this before, but some of you may remember when the role of Howard Hughes was cast. Leonardo DeCaprio. Most people’s response was either bafflement or amusement….and then he went and did the role brilliantly…

Give Pegg some hair and an accent and he’ll be fine. Better than fine.

Thanks for the blog. I have to say though that it crossed my mind that YOU Chris should play the younger Scotty. I mean, it’s hardly possible to find someone who looks more like Scotty than you. I don’t know what age Scotty is supposed to be in the film, but I think they could have used your talents at any age. I am not dissing Simon; I guess I’m just one of the sentimental original TREK fans from the original series. Cheers to you Chris and to the fabulous TREK fans the world over.

Another “I met James Doohan” story for Chris, if you’re reading this…it was back in 1986 and right after STIV had come out. I’m from AZ but was in Burbank waiting to get on a plane to come back. My dad was with me, and he was a fan of the original show and got me hooked on it as a kid.

Anyway, near the gate, people from the previous flight were coming out and as they walked by, my dad says, “Uh…isn’t that James Doohan?!” Indeed it was, he was even wearing a promotional STIV jacket and had just flown back from a convention in Phoenix. I chased him down, of course (heck I was 18 and a massive fan already) and out of breath I said something like, “Mr. Doohan! Don’t want to take up your time, just wanted to tell you I how much I’ve enjoyed your work and grew up with it.”

Big smile from him and he stuck out his hand to shake mine and said, “Well thank you, I appreciate it very much, hope you like the new movie! Take care.”

Truly a nice guy, I thought it was cool that he wasn’t using any private jets or anything but flew commercial with everyone else and didn’t mind being greeted by fans.

I’m a big fan of Pegg as well and he seems grateful to get the role, I think he’ll do a great job.

#14 “Leonardo DeCaprio”

Comparing Simon Pegg to Leonardo DeCaprio is like comparing Jessica Simpson to…Meryl friggin’ Streep!! Pegg is a comedian who got lucky…………the role of Scotty is a lot more than just “funny bits”!

God, I hope he doesn’t butcher the role!

that was so cool for Pegg to reach out to the Doohan family

and Hot Fuzz is mandatory viewing! Pegg will be awesome, but I do expect that he may have to carry the comic element of Trek. But hey there was always comedy in Trek…almost every episode of TOS ended with one of those whimsical moments between Kirk Spock and McCoy. I hope that the new movie has some laughs. Let’s not take all this too seriously

Just needs dark longer hair and he’ll be fine as Scotty.

Good. I’m glad that the issue of Simon Pegg as Scotty has been settled once and for all.

However, are there any Scotsmen/women who might shed some light on this:

“He then told me that my fathers Scottish accent was terrible, but that’s one of the things they loved about him.”

Did you love Doohan’s bad accent because it made you laugh, and/or because his failing effort endeared him to you? And, if the former, did this impede your ability to ever take the character of Scotty seriously? (He did have some serious scenes. It wasn’t all drunken ranting at the computer of the Enterprise-D and talking into a mouse, both of which I loved, incidentally.)

I’m trying to think of an American analogue…an actor with a bad American accent…but, the only examples that I can think of are the cast of Monty Python, and their ridiculous American accents worked because they were comedic anyway.

now i really want to see the movie.

I don’t understand why people feel like Pegg can only do “funny.” If you actually watch some of the stuff he’s been in, it’s clear that he has a convincing emotional range.

He needs more hair, not darker and longer!

I was with Chris on the McGillion bandwagon, but if Pegg nailed the audition, then he apparently has some intangible that we’re looking past. The deal is done, so I’ll give Simon the benefit of the doubt – it’s up to him to deliver the goods or shoot an air ball………

I think it’s kind of dumb to worry about if a new cast member looks similar to the original, or to dismiss one actor or another just because they don’t match the original TOS actor in appearance or personality.

Yes I understand they there should be some general consistency with having an actor of similar race, gender and maybe overall physique, but beyond that I don’t think it’s important at all that they look similar or not.

For me what’s most important is that they have competent actors and actresses that are believable in these roles. I for one don’t want to see any of these actors trying to mimic the original TOS actors like they do in the New Voyages series. Of course they should take cues from the original performances, but I hope they come across as new and original too.

Mike :o

It’s funny, I was watching the lastest remastered episode this weekend, and was surprised to see Doohan wasn’t as tall as I thought. I always pictured him as this big, tall guy (and I’m sure I’m not the only one), but standing next to Kelley and the others, he actually looked fairly short!

And of course Doohan was also a lot thinner back then too. So all those things considered, maybe Simon Pegg wasn’t such an outrageous choice after all.

im mates with a guy on facebook who is pretending to be simon pegg!!!!

how cool is that!!!!

nick frost for older scotty!!!!

i hope when i reach my eighties i still have dillituim in my crystals like mr doohan did!!!!

the man is a legend and the story of him saving that girl from suicide makes me cry every time !!!!!

I think Pegg is the best possible choice for Scotty. Go back and watch “Shawn of the Dead”. Remember how great Doohan was at getting all bent out of shape, the pitch of his voice going higher, the screwed up stressed looks on his face? Pegg can totally do that. He’s funny (and Scotty is largely a comedic role) but he’s a great actor as well. The perfect balance of humor and pathos.

Oh yeah, and to the writers: Please no fart jokes in the movie, please no fart jokes in the movie, please no fart jokes in the movie, please no fart jokes in the movie…

ok where’s the mock up of Pegg as Scotty?

#17, Mr. Ballz. I went back and read my post, just to make sure. Nope, I didn’t compare Mr. Pegg to Leonardo Decaprio.

The point I tried to make is that a good actor does not have to look like the character, or in Mr. Pegg’s case, the original actor. I am not in the least worried about him apparently not looking like the orginal actor. Simon Pegg’s ability to act will bring out the character.

My wife and I celebrated our one-year anniversary aboard the Britanis on Seatrek ’93. Your dad was among the guests, and he created some priceless memories for us. EVERYONE loved him. The memories we have of him, even up to the second-last con (I believe) he did in Cleveland were memories of total respect and joy. At that time, the crowd’s outpouring of love created a look of happiness on his face that I’ll never forget. And, it worked both ways- there literally was not a dry eye in the house.
I’d venture to say that I believe your dad and Simon would have gotten along famously.
I think Simon gets it, and I’ll now be looking forward to his tribute.

As far as I’m concerned James Doohan would’ve been great as captain of the Enterprise, he had as much charisma or more than captain Kirk.

Why do you all want Pegg to change his hair-color? I think it’s absurd. Scotty with blond hair can work as well as James Bond with blond hair.

It’s his acting and not his look that is important.

Pegg is such a class act.

#5 Michael Hall

I’m trying to have no problem about Pegg’s casting in principle because it’s now obvious this is INDEED a ‘reboot’…

#7 KennyB

When TOS was originally made, the unknown character of ‘Scotty’ was not yet an iconic, much loved role in the eyes of many Scots fans, and could have been played by a Masai Warrior for all we cared back then, considering the dearth of Scots actors available in U.S.A. at the time…
However, thanks to Canadian James Doohan’s marvellously warm portrayal of ‘Scotty’, the nation took him, and the role to it’s hearts…
My point is, that in this day and age, unlike back in the sixties, a lot of Scots fans, myself included, had hoped for, if not indeed expected a Scottish actor chosen out of the many now available, to add an authenticity to this much-loved role on this latest big screen opus…but did not get that unfortunately in the end…

#34 Jan

I’d still have preferred Daniel Craig’s hair to have been dyed darker for the role of Bond…

Forgot to add that it is hilarious ( not! ) that rather than a Canadian this time, that an English person got this glorious role…I mean, did J.J. never watch ‘Braveheart’?… ;)

And I seem to remember ‘Scotty’ as being a capable, relied-upon engineer, and dependable ‘caretaker’ of the Captain’s chair in many episodes, who had to make very important decisions, rather than JUST being a ‘comic-relief’ character, so I at least hope that this is the side that is focused on most by the writers of this Movie…

‘Willie the gardener’ may yet be salvaged if he’s not just there for laughs…

Final thought…

If a Masai Warrior HAD been cast this time around, perhaps with the ‘NICKNAME’ of ‘Scotty’, I might have been more forgiving…

Here’s a crazy idea: before passing judgement, go watch some of Mr. Pegg’s work. My recommendation…Shaun of the Dead. It may be considered a parody/comedy but it goes well beyond that. (Be prepared for some zombie gore.) After watching this flick, you may agree Pegg is an inspired choice for Scotty. He’s funny, genuine and has a surprisinng emotional range. (Check out the final scenes with his mum.)

Who cares about his hairline or hair color.? He can act! That’s what matters.

Forgot to add:

As I seem to remember it, ‘Scotty’ was a seriously capable and much relied-upon engineer, and was a very respected ‘caretaker’ commander of the ‘E’ when required, and had to make some very important judgements of his own across the TOS episodes.

I hope that this will be reflected in the writing of the character, rather than just having him be the ‘comic-relief’…

‘Willie the gardener’ may just be salvaged yet.

Oh, and if a Masai Warrior had INDEED been cast, and given the ‘NICKNAME’ of ‘Scotty’, then I might have been more forgiving…

I mean…did the ‘casting deciders’ never watch ‘Braveheart’?… ;)

Please excuse post #40, but I thought my posts #37 & #38 had been removed… and I’m glad to see they are not…

I’m impressed by casting top to bottom. I just watched “By Any Other Name” again the other day, and the scene where Scotty drinks the alien tentacled dude (& himself) under the table had me in stitches.

Pegg’s funny, yeah, but he’s not brittle or cold — he’s very sympathetic and recognizably human. Just what Scotty should be. I’m relieved, from his casting choices, to see that Abrams seems to grasp the essential qualities of each character. And WHO CARES what color Pegg’s hair is! Yeesh. . .

Trying to give him dark- and more- hair is going to be a stretch, make-up wise, IF they attempt it. If they don’t, it’s ging to be horribly distracting when you have someone like Quinto around, who WILL look like a very Nimoy-esque Spock.
I suggest some kind of middle ground with the make-up job.
I wonder who they’re enlisting in that department? Westmore- again?

I have no problem with Pegg as an actor and I’ve always heard Simon is a great guy so I’m totally not surprised he sent such a lovely email to Chris Doohan. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ was fun and ‘Hot Fuzz ‘absolutely rocks, but I do not look at him and see ‘Scotty’ period. No amount of acting talent, makeup or hair pieces will make that happen..for me at least (and others it seems, hence all the press talk of ‘bizarre casting’).

Previous posts have more eloquently referenced the character that Doohan brought to life and why Scots love him so and forgive the flaws. ‘Scotty’ has become iconic worldwide, he is the original ‘Scottish Scifi Hero’ so you’d think in a supposedly enlighted Hollywood with a wealth of Scottish talent, they’d cast an actual Scot. Heck I was routing for Paul McGillion because he’s BOTH Scottish and Canadian (nice nod to Jimmy!) They’ve cast every other character as close as possible to the original, even Urban at least reasonably fits Kelly and I’m not thrilled on that casting either, even though again, I like the actor.

But its not about whether I like the actor or not, thats a bonus. Its about whether they ‘fit’ the character and to cast Pegg as Scotty….its bizarre, totally double standards and is one of the key factors that is making this a reboot and that I have a big problem with.

I have every intention of going to see this movie regardless, if no other reason then you cant bitch if you’ve not given it a chance and seen the actual finished result! But only time will tell if it can hold a candle to the original.

I just couldn’t quite believe the casting of Scotty, I like Simon Pegg and I have enjoy most of his work that I have seen but it did and it still does seem like an odd choice to me. I tried to picture it. I know he will probably not look anything like this in the movie but here is my attempt…

In terms of casting, one has to wonder whether the other roles will be so small that they don’t have to be the perfect fit? In addition, this movie has been on a super speed schedule because of the impending writer’s strike. Again, I have to wonder if that will be a detriment after all is said and done?

45 – Not bad. Not bad at all.

#36 and, no doubt, still talking with a Scots accent?! ;)


#42 Trek Nerd
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#39 bdrcarter

I’m enjoying all the comments. Chris

Visit me at

Well, Holo J, that’s the best photoshop effort so far. Like I said before, Pegg will have to show me that he’s the guy. Truthfully, they all will. I will try to be less of a hammer on the new cast members.

Don’t screw up the ship.