Star Trek: Scotty’s Hidden Marriage Transforms His Enterprise Career

A Star Trek comic revealed Scotty’s secret marriage, which totally redefines his Enterprise career. Montgomery Scott, or “Scotty,” is the Enterprise’s chief engineer, regularly referred to by Captain Kirk as “the Miracle Worker,” for his engineering prowess. Scotty has been depicted fiercely loyal to the Enterprise and her crew, but in 1988’s Star Trek Annual #3, readers learn Scotty had been married for years, a fact he kept hidden from his friends. Scotty’s tragic marriage redefines his character, giving him depth he lacked in the classic Star Trek show.

Portrayed by actor James Doohan (and Simon Pegg in the Kelvin Timeline), Montgomery Scott, as chief engineer, is responsible for keeping the Enterprise running, overseeing the ship’s engines. Regarded as one of the best engineers in Starfleet history, Scotty’s uncanny abilities have saved the Enterprise on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, Scotty’s character did not receive the on-screen development that Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Doctor McCoy received, meaning much of his backstory was a blank slate. In 1988, writer Peter David, still new to DC’s Star Trek comics, took advantage of this, giving Scotty a secret marriage and the character development he so sorely lacked. David was joined for this issue by legendary artist Curt Swan, inker Ricardo Villagran, colorist Michelle Wolfman and letterer Janice Chiang.

The story, titled “Retrospect,” opens with Kirk and McCoy finding Scotty in a drunken stupor in his quarters. Scotty informs them there’s been a “death in the family,” and when pressed by Kirk, Scotty reveals it was his wife. The two take their leave of Scotty, and he begins reminiscing. The story then travels back through Scotty’s life, revealing the ups and downs of his relationship with the woman Glynnis Campbell. The two met in Scotland as small children, when Scotty stood up to another child bullying her; she fell in love with him. The two had an on-again-off-again relationship, one strained when Scotty left for Star Trek’s Starfleet Academy. Scotty and Glynnis reconnect when he returns to Edinburgh while the Enterprise is being refitted (as depicted in Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and the two part ways when Scotty and the crew depart for the Genesis Planet, as seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

As mentioned earlier, Scotty did not receive much character development during Star Trek’s run on television in the 1960s and the subsequent feature films fleshed him out a little further, but much of his life had been unexplored; Peter David, who has written many classic Star Trek novels and comics, fixes this, giving Scotty new layers. The original Star Trek show depicted Scotty as an excellent engineer, who would rather spend his shore leave catching up on technical journals and indeed, Doctor McCoy mentions Scotty rarely goes ashore while on leave. Scotty’s marriage showed his tender, loving side–something fans had not seen before; the marriage ended in tragedy and Scotty was not able to be by her side when she passed, leaving him feeling guilty and ashamed. The fact that Scotty kept the marriage secret from his Enterprise crewmates is even more astounding; readers are left with the impression the guilt over his marriage to Glynnis will consume him for the rest of his days.

The lack of character development Scotty received during Star Trek’s original heyday was largely due to the conventions of television writing at the time, but later generations of writers have fleshed the character out further. One Star Trek comic took this a step further, revealing Scotty’s secret marriage, which redefines his Enterprise career.