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Leonard H. McCoy
LeonardMcCoy.jpg
DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard H. McCoy in "Shore Leave" (1967)
Species Human
Home planet Earth
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Starfleet
Posting Chief Medical Officer, USS Enterprise and USS Enterprise-A
Rank Lieutenant commander
Commander
Admiral
Portrayed by DeForest Kelley (1966-1991)
Karl Urban (2009)

Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy is a character in the Star Trek media franchise.[1] First portrayed by DeForest Kelley in the original Star Trek series, McCoy also appears in the animated Star Trek series, seven Star Trek movies, the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in numerous books, comics, and video games.[2] Karl Urban assumed the role of the character in the 2009 Star Trek film.[3]

Contents

Depiction

McCoy was born in 2227,[2] attended the University of Mississippi,[2] and is a divorcé.[4] In 2266, McCoy was posted as chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk.[2] McCoy and Kirk are good friends, even "brotherly".[5] The passionate, sometimes cantankerous McCoy frequently argues with Kirk's other confidante, science officer Spock,[1] and occasionally is bigoted toward Spock's Vulcan heritage.[6] McCoy often plays the role of Kirk's conscience, offering a counterpoint to Spock's logic.[1] McCoy is suspicious of technology,[7] especially the transporter;[2] as a physician, he prefers less intrusive treatment and believes in the body's innate recuperative powers.[1] The character's nickname, "Bones", is a play on sawbones, an epithet for physicians.[8]

Kirk orders McCoy's commission reactivated in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979);[2] a resentful McCoy complains of being "drafted".[9] Spock transfers his katra—his knowledge and experience—into McCoy's mind before dying in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).[2] This causes mental anguish for McCoy, who in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) helps restore Spock's katra to his reanimated body.[2] McCoy joins Kirk's crew aboard the USS Enterprise-A at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).[2] In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), McCoy and Kirk escape from a Klingon prison world, and the Enterprise crew stops a plot to prevent peace between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire.[2] Kelley reprised the role for the "Encounter at Farpoint" pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), accepting the minimum Screen Actors Guild payment for his appearance.[10] DeForest Kelley's 1999 death led to a DC Comics story chronicling McCoy's death.[citation needed]

In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Survivor", McCoy mentions he has a daughter. Chekov's friend Irina in the original series episode "The Way to Eden" was originally written as Dr. McCoy's daughter Joanna, but changed before the episode was shot.[11]

Alternative Timeline

In the 2009 Star Trek film, which takes place in an "alternate, parallel" reality,[12] McCoy and Kirk become friends at Starfleet Academy, which McCoy joins after a divorce that he says "left [him] nothing but [his] bones." This was used to explain McCoy's nickname of "Bones," since "sawbones" is no longer current slang for a medical doctor. McCoy later helps get Kirk posted aboard the USS Enterprise.

Development

Karl Urban as McCoy in Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had worked with Kelley on previous television pilots,[13] and Kelley was Roddenberry's first choice to play the doctor aboard the USS Enterprise.[14] However, for the rejected pilot "The Cage" (1964), Roddenberry went with director Robert Butler's choice of John Hoyt to play Dr. Philip Boyce.[15] For the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966), Roddenberry accepted director James Goldstone's decision to have Paul Fix play Dr. Mark Piper.[16] Although Roddenberry wanted Kelley to play the character of ship's doctor, he didn't put Kelley's name forward to NBC; the network never "rejected" the actor as Roddenberry sometimes suggested.[14]

Kelley's first broadcast appearance as Doctor Leonard McCoy was in "The Man Trap" (1966). Despite his character's prominence, Kelley's contract granted him only a "featuring" credit; it was not until the second season that he was given "starring" credit, at the urging of producer Robert Justman.[17] Kelley was apprehensive about Star Trek's future, telling Roddenberry that the show was "going to be the biggest hit or the biggest miss God ever made".[5] Kelley portrayed McCoy throughout the original Star Trek series and voiced the character in the animated Star Trek.[1]

Kelley, who in his youth wanted to become a doctor,[18] in part drew upon his real-life experiences in creating McCoy: a doctor's "matter-of-fact" delivery of news of Kelley's mother's terminal cancer was the "abrasive sand" Kelley used in creating McCoy's demeanor.[19] Star Trek writer D. C. Fontana said that while Roddenberry created the series, Kelley essentially created McCoy; everything done with the character was done with Kelley's input.[5] The work itself was "grueling" for Kelley.[20]

"Exquisite chemistry" among Kelley, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy manifested itself in their performances as McCoy, Captain James T. Kirk and science officer Spock, respectively.[21] Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, referred to Kelley as her "sassy gentleman friend";[21] the friendship between the African-American Nichols and Southern Kelley was a real-life demonstration of the message Roddenberry hoped to convey through Star Trek.[21]

For the 2009 prequel film Star Trek, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman saw McCoy as an "arbiter" in Kirk and Spock's relationship.[22] While Spock represented "extreme logic, extreme science" and Kirk symbolized "extreme emotion and intuition", McCoy's role as "a very colorful doctor, essentially a very humanistic scientist" represented the "two extremes that often served as the glue that held the trio together."[22] They chose to reveal McCoy befriended Kirk first, explaining the "bias" in their friendship and why he would often be a "little dismissive" of Spock.[22] Urban said the script was "very faithful" to the original character, including the "great compassion for humanity and that sense of irascibility" with which Kelley imbued the character.[23] Urban trained with a dialect coach to create McCoy's accent.[23]

Reception and cultural impact

McCoy is someone to whom Kirk unburdens himself and is a foil to Spock.[17] Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Janice Rand, described McCoy as Kirk's "friend, personal bartender, confidante, counselor and priest".[24] Urban said McCoy has a "sense of irascibility with real passion for life and doing the right thing", and that "Spock's logic and McCoy's moral standing gave Kirk the benefit of having three brains instead of just one."[25] Jennifer Porter and Darcee McLaren wrote that McCoy is an "unintentional"[6] example of how "irrational prejudices and fixations, wishful thinking and emotional reasoning, denial and repression, and unresolved neurotic disturbances" compromise "scientific rationality" in Star Trek.[26]

Kelley said that his greatest thrill at Star Trek conventions was the number of people who told him they entered the medical profession because of the McCoy character.[27]

The Guardian called Urban's performance of McCoy an "unqualified success",[28] and The New York Times called the character "wild eyed and funny".[29] Slate.com said Urban came closer than the other actors to impersonating a character's original depiction.[30]

"He's dead, Jim."

McCoy frequently declares someone or something deceased with the line, "He's dead", "He's dead, Jim", or something similar; the phrase is considered a catchphrase of the character.[31][32][33] The line has entered popular culture as a general metaphor, with uses as diverse as descriptions of an unresponsive electronic circuit,[34] an example of how to add an audio file to function as an alert sound in a computer system,[35] and an illustrative quote regarding how to know if one's opponent has been destroyed in an action hero game.[36] MIT Literature Professor Henry Jenkins cited Dr. McCoy's "He's dead, Jim" line as an example of fans actively participating in the creation of an underground culture in which they derive pleasure by repeating memorable lines as part of constructing new mythologies and alternative social communities.[37] Kelley joked that the line would appear on his tombstone.[33]

"I'm a doctor, not a(n)..."

Another of Star Trek's catchphrases is McCoy's recurring "I'm a doctor, not a(n)..." statements.[38] He says this in a number of episodes when he must perform some task beyond his medical skills, such as the "classic moment" when he is confronted with the unusual silicon-based Horta alien in "Devil in the Dark" (1967), saying, "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer."[39] Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager both use variations of the line, which has also made its way into many others shows such as Doctor Who,[40] Stargate Atlantis[41], Robot Chicken [42] and Friends. DeForest Kelley himself parodied the phrase for a Trivial Pursuit commercial ("How should I know? I'm an actor, not a doctor")[citation needed] and on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In ("I'm not a doctor, I'm a convicted murderer").[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Asherman, Alan (1993-05-01). The Star Trek Compendium. ISBN 978-0671796129. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Okuda, Mike and Denise Okuda, with Debbie Mirek (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5. 
  3. ^ "And Karl Urban as McCoy!". Viacom. 2007-10-17. http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/2310434.html. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  4. ^ Okuda, Michael; Denise Okuda (1996). Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53610-9. 
  5. ^ a b c Rioux, Terry Lee. From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy. Simon & Schuster. p. 146. ISBN 9780743457620. 
  6. ^ a b Porter, Jennifer E.; Darcee L. McLaren (1999). Star Trek and Sacred Ground. SUNY Press. p. 58. ISBN 9780791443347. 
  7. ^ Bruno, Mike (2007-10-18). "Abrams' 'Trek' Casts Kirk and Bones". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20152931,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  8. ^ Schnakenberg, Robert (2007). Sci-Fi Baby Names: 500 Out-of-This-World Baby Names from Anakin to Zardoz. Quirk Books. ISBN 9781594741616. 
  9. ^ Screenplay by Harold Livingston, story by Alan Dean Foster, directed by Robert Wise. (1979). Star Trek: The Motion Picture. "Your revered Admiral Nogura invoked a little-known, seldom-used 'reserve activation clause.' In simpler language, Captain, they drafted me." 
  10. ^ Nemeck, Larry (2003-01-07). Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0743457989. 
  11. ^ Joanna precursor to The Way to Eden
  12. ^ Burr, Ty (2009-05-05). "Star Trek". The Boston Globe. p. 1. http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2009/05/05/a_fresh_frontier/. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  13. ^ "DeForest Kelley profile at Startrek.com". http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/cast/bio/69074.html. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  14. ^ a b Solow, Herbert; Robert Justman (06 1997). Inside Star Trek The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. p. 152. ISBN 0-671-00974-5. 
  15. ^ Solow, Herbert; Robert Justman (06 1997). Inside Star Trek The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. p. 37. ISBN 0-671-00974-5. 
  16. ^ Solow, Herbert; Robert Justman (06 1997). Inside Star Trek The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. p. 75. ISBN 0-671-00974-5. 
  17. ^ a b Solow, Herbert; Robert Justman (06 1997). Inside Star Trek The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. p. 240. ISBN 0-671-00974-5. 
  18. ^ "Star Trek's Dr McCoy dies". BBC. 1999-06-11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/367110.stm. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  19. ^ Rioux, Terry Lee. From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy. Simon & Schuster. p. 145. ISBN 9780743457620. 
  20. ^ Rioux, Terry Lee. From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy. Simon & Schuster. p. 156. ISBN 9780743457620. 
  21. ^ a b c Rioux, Terry Lee. From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy. Simon & Schuster. p. 154. ISBN 9780743457620. 
  22. ^ a b c "Orci & Kurtzman: How Star Trek deals with Kirk, Spock and McCoy". Sci Fi Wire. 2009-03-25. http://scifiwire.com/2009/03/orci-kurtzman-how-star-tr.php. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  23. ^ a b "Karl Urban". IESB.net. 2008-01-17. http://www.iesb.net/index.php?option=com_seyret&Itemid=227&task=videodirectlink&id=522. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  24. ^ Whitney, Grace Lee; James D. Denney (1998). The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy. Quill Driver Books. p. 84. ISBN 9781884956034. 
  25. ^ "Urban On Star Trek & McCoy". Sci Fi Pulse. 2008-07-18. http://scifipulse.net/?p=581. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  26. ^ Porter, Jennifer E.; Darcee L. McLaren (1999). Star Trek and Sacred Ground. SUNY Press. p. 51. ISBN 9780791443347. 
  27. ^ Shatner, William (2008). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. Macmillan. p. 149. ISBN 9780312372651. 
  28. ^ Hoad, Phil (2009-04-21). "JJ Abrams's Star Trek: we have liftoff". http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2009/apr/21/star-trek. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  29. ^ Dargis, Manohla (2009-05-08). "A Franchise Goes Boldly Backward". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/movies/08trek.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  30. ^ Stevens, Dana (2009-05-06). "Go See Star Trek". Slate.com. http://www.slate.com/id/2217854/. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  31. ^ Porter, Jennifer E. (1999). Star Trek and Sacred Ground: Explorations of Star Trek, Religion, and American Culture. SUNY Press. p. 127. ISBN 0791443345. 
  32. ^ Amesly, Cassandra (1990). "How to Watch Star Trek". Cultural Studies: Volume 3, Number 3. John Fiske (ed.). Routledge. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0415037433. http://books.google.com/books?id=w528S881e4IC&pg=PA69&dq=%22dr.+mccoy%22+%22doctor+not&lr=&ei=dL3aSY_GCZu8M5noqasP. Retrieved 2009-04-07. "Equally part of typical episodes are a series of lines that fans readily recognize: some that are favorites in particular episodes (such as the 'accoutrements' cited in the beginning commentary) and some which are closely identified with characters: Dr McCoy says, 'He's dead, Jim,' and 'I'm a doctor, not a — '; Spock remarks 'Fascinating' to occurrences which appear likely to kill or maim the crew…'" 
  33. ^ a b Kaplan, Anna L. (October 1999). "Obituary: DeForest Kelley". Cinefantastique 31 (8): 62. http://books.google.com/books?id=CYJZAAAAMAAJ&pgis=1. Retrieved 2009-04-07. "Dr. McCoy's signature lines, "He's dead, Jim", and "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer", will never be forgotten. In fact, Kelley joked that the line, "He's dead, Jim", would be written on his tombstone.". 
  34. ^ Miller, Michael (2000). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Home Theater Systems. Alpha Books. p. 210. ISBN 0028639391. 
  35. ^ Pogue, David (2002). Mac OS X: The Missing Manual. O'Reilly Press. p. 210. ISBN 0596004508. 
  36. ^ Borgenicht, David (2002). The Action Hero's Handbook. Quirk Books. p. 42. ISBN 193168605X. 
  37. ^ Jenkins, Henry (1992). Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture. Routledge. p. 76. ISBN 0415905729. 
  38. ^ Butt, Miriam; Kyle Wohlmut (2006). "The Thousand Faces of Xena: Transculturality Through Multi-Identity". Globalization, Cultural Identities, and Media Representations. Natascha Gentz (ed.), Stefan Kramer (ed.). SUNY Press. p. 83. ISBN 0791466833. http://books.google.com/books?id=GWyF18r-tR4C&pg=PA83. Retrieved 2009-04-07. "each character's role is clearly defined by his or her position on the ship, so much so that one of the show's many catchphrases was Dr. McCoy's recurring line, 'I'm a doctor, not a . . .'" 
  39. ^ Lass, Martin; Rickie Hilder (2002). "The Discovery of Chiron". Musings of a Rogue Comet: Chiron, Planet of Healing (2nd ed.). Galactic Publications. p. 212. ISBN 097159242X. http://books.google.com/books?id=UiYNPFOnLLwC&pg=PA212. Retrieved 2009-04-07. "In a classic moment (episode: 'The Devil in the Dark'), McCoy, challenged with healing a being that was made more of rock than flesh, spouts out, 'I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!'" 
  40. ^ Van Heerden, Bill (July 1998). Film and Television In-Jokes. McFarland. p. 227. ISBN 0786404566. http://books.google.com/books?id=l5RZAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 2009-04-07. "The Doctor has often used the "I'm a doctor, not a..." line popularized in the original Star Trek series by Dr. McCoy." 
  41. ^ "The Brotherhood". Stargate: Atlantis. Sci Fi Channel. 2005-01-03. No. 14, season 1.
  42. ^ "The Munnery". Robot Chicken. Cartoon Network. 2006-09-24. No. 12, season 2.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From Wikiquote

Star Trek collectively refers to an American science-fiction franchise spanning six unique television series (which comprise 726 episodes) and eleven feature films, in addition to hundreds of novels, computer and video games, fan stories, and other works of fiction — all of which are set within the same fictional universe created by Gene Roddenberry during the mid-1960s. Since its debut, Star Trek has become one of the most popular names in the history of science fiction entertainment, and one of the most popular franchises in television history.

Contents

Television series

  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Star Trek: Voyager
  • Star Trek: Enterprise

Feature films

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Star Trek Generations
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Trek: Insurrection
  • Star Trek Nemesis
  • Star Trek

Internet series (Fan films)

  • Star Trek: New Voyages

See also

External links

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