Was Scotty a Black Bitch? Linlithgow Heritage Trust are certainly convinced that he was, or rather will be in about 215 years time.
I would hasten to add that because of the dog on the town’s coat of arms, people of both sexes born in the historic town of Linlithgow, some 20 miles from Edinburgh and the birthplace of Mary Queen Of Scots, are known locally (and proudly) as Black Bitches.
D C Fontana, scriptwriter on the original series of Star Trek, put Scotty’s birthplace into her Star Trek novel Vulcan’s Glory and that was good enough for The Linlithgow Story museum who, with the help of the Doohan family, have opened a special memorial exhibition to Lt Commander Montgomery Scott’s alter-ego, actor James Doohan.
The museum in Annet House on the town’s High Street is a typical small town historical museum, with displays, models and photos of the history of the surrounding area, its people and how they worked and lived. However one room is now given over to their future citizen and the Canadian actor who portrayed him.
With family photographs of the actor, and Star Trek action figures, magazines and books featuring the character, the exhibition tells the story of the Doohan’s life and of the fictional character he portrayed. The well designed display also includes a Tribble, a lovely large illuminated model of the original movie version of the USS Enterprise, and the presentation plaque for James Doohan’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Along with small posters dotted around the town, there are promotional banners in the market square proclaiming the exhibition‘s tag line of “Miracle Workers Are Born In Linlithgow”, and even the local Cancer Research UK shop has even given over one of its windows to a display of Star Trek books and videos.
Now open and due to run to 31 October 2007, when the museum closes for the winter, it will reopen again in April 2008. Doohan’s widow Wende and son Chris are expected to visit in September.
In the meantime please remember that if you wish to visit the museum, according to the exhibition leaflet, “Linlithgow is a ‘Beam-free’ zone” and that “Transporters may not be used”. Buses, trains and private cars are acceptable alternatives.