Star Trek has seen better days.
Many who had followed Leonard Nimoy’s battle with COPD on Twitter expected the worst when it was announced a few days ago that he’d been hospitalized with chest pains.
On Friday, the world said goodbye to Mr. Spock for good, and from the sheer mountain of tweets, posts, blogs, and news articles, one can tell that this loss stung more than most when a beloved celebrity dies.
Unfortunately, with Nimoy’s passing, I’m reminded of just how much has changed about the show that I and millions of others fell in love with: Star Trek, the original series.
The core seven crewmen were William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig. Of those, only four remain: Nichols, Koenig, Takei, and Shatner.
And since Doohan and Kelley left us before the days of social media, it’s easy to believe that they didn’t get the fitting tributes they deserved for playing Scotty and Dr. McCoy, respectively.
That’s not true. There are some moving tributes out there to these fine actors, and I will now proceed to right any perceived wrong with a couple of my favorites from the web.
First off, I give you the DeForest Kelley tribute, which features appearances from all those who knew the man behind “Bones” McCoy personally, including Leonard Nimoy. Watching this video is a bittersweet reminder of what culture lost when it said goodbye to this man, who was called the “most talented and experienced” among the members of the original crew.
In spite of McCoy’s quick temper, he had a good heart and a folksy, almost grandfatherly quality. Kelley was also described as one of the most kind-hearted of the original crew. Warning: if you didn’t love this man before, be prepared — because you will after the video.
Next up, there is Doohan. Mr. Scott. If ever there was a guy who seemed to appreciate the importance of Star Trek to his life, it was this man. Doohan faithfully served aboard the Enterprise from the very first episode of the original series to the final film, and even made guest appearances on the spinoffs.
Here he shares an amusing tale of how Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry gave him one line in the first episode, not thinking the engineer of a spaceship would be a major character. That changed in a hurry.
While the world is right to mourn the passing of Leonard Nimoy, now is also a good opportunity to give these two wonderful actors their due. Thank you to all three for giving Star Trek the cultural impact and influence they did.