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Scotty in Enterprise Uniform

Star Trek
by Artemis

Of all the casting choices for the new Star Trek movie, none of them - going off the reactions I've heard, anyway - has met with such a universal "WTF?" as Simon Pegg for Scotty. No-one dislikes Pegg in the least - Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are gospels of the faithful around here - but... Scotty?

Born in Scotland, on Earth, "Scotty" has a deserved reputation as an engineering whiz. He's able to work near miracles with his sharp mind and mechanical acumen. He can't change the laws of physics but he can do just about anything else down in Engineering.

What a lot of people forget, though, is that Scotty (or rather, James Doohan) changed rather dramatically from Original Series to movies. There's the 'stasche, for one thing. And, as The Simpsons memorably (although rather unimaginatively, it must be said) pointed out, from Wrath of Khan onwards - which are the ones people remember (since The Motion Picture tends to cause amnesia in the unwary) - he'd got into the pies something fierce. I don't wish to be unkind to Doohan, who after all played a memorable and much-loved character, but let's face it, when they found him in "Relics" the Enterprise-D would've been dragged to a halt by a massive gravity well whether he'd crashed on a Dyson sphere or just broken down in empty space. It can be a bit of a shock to go back and look at young Scotty.

Which is who Simon Pegg is playing, after all, and if there's still not a great resemblance between the men, it's not so vast a chasm between them that it couldn't work - and in some of the photos I've seen, especially the ones where Pegg's in mid-act rather than posing for a publicity still, there's undeniably something Scottyish about him. How well it'll work overall is yet to be seen (by me, anyway), but at least in action figure form, it's... not that well. Looking at the face I can't see any of that acting-related Scotty there, and while there's some Pegg, it's far from the best likeness I've seen, even in this Warp series alone. The sculpt is sharp and the paintwork doesn't commit any errors of note, but I'm just not seeing it very strongly.

He's got the same body as Kirk (and the other full-uniform figures yet to be reviewed), but uniquely among the first series he's wearing the classic red shirt, since Uhura's still in her cadet togs (as is Chekov, though he wouldn't transfer to security until later on in the movie era, when everyone wore red and it seemed a safer bet). No matter, Scotty's famous for defying the redshirt curse. Aside from the colour, of course, the shirt too is identical to the other uniformed male figures, with its bumpy arrowhead texture faking the movie's reflective mosaic material with mediocre success. The burgundy is darker than the murky gold on the command-division tops, so it doesn't bleach out the black pants so much - it's easier to notice Scotty's hips, which is a shame because they're awkwardly thin thanks to the joint design.

Same body, same articulation: swivel neck (d'oh), swivel/rocker torso (the rocker being very limited), swivel/pin shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists, T-hips, peg knees, swivel boot tops. Although I'm reviewing him early (after Kirk and Uhura), Scotty was one of the last figures I unpacked when I bought the set, and by then you may believe I was running seriously short of ideas on how to give him an interesting pose.

To keep him occupied he's got the usual set of accessories: a silver Starfleet base (one peg, right foot), a communicator, a hand phaser, and a stiff belt to put them in, once you've managed to get it closed around his waist and kept it from popping open again. There's nothing engineering-related, which is a bit of a shame - granted there's no famous Star Trek prop that says "Engineer!" the way, say, a security officer must have a phaser, or Uhura (or Yeoman Rand) needs her clipboard, but it would've been nice to get a tricorder or a proto-PADD or something just as a nod to Scotty's occupation.

This figure's like Kirk, but moreso - decent enough in broad strokes, but still lacking. The expressionless face is the worst of it, rendering the actor likeness vague and the character likeness tenuous at best, and the hips do look quite bad when there isn't a bright shirt to take the eye off them. This is one to get to complete the set only, not for any real merit on its part - it's not awful, but I'm far from impressed.

-- 05/04/09


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