Celebrating the past, present and future heritage of Linlithgow!

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Miracle workers are
born in linlithgow

On 28th June 2222 AD, Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott, the man who will become the greatest engineer in the galaxy will be born - in Linlithgow.

Visit our Museum to see the unique blue plaque recording our future heritage for yourself!

 
 
Lieutenant Montgomery Scott had no trouble finding his quarters ... [The Enterprise’s] corridors and decks were already as familiar to him as his mother’s house in Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland.
— Vulcan's Glory, Star Trek novel, D.C. Fontana, 1989
James Doohan & Hollywood Star

James Doohan & Hollywood Star

What’s the Evidence?

Dorothy "D.C." Fontana, a prolific script editor and writer on the original Star Trek series, and author of a series of Star Trek books, told us that:

"When I wrote Vulcan's Glory in 1988/89, I put in the reference to Engineer Scott coming from Linlithgow as a pleasant hello to a wonderful place in Scotland. James Doohan apparently agreed with my reference, as his son says his father acknowledged that was where the character was born and where his mother still lived.

Since I knew Jimmy Doohan from the time he was hired on Star Trek and often spoke with him about aspects of the character when I was both story editor and a writer on the show, I can say with confidence that he knew his character well.

If he said that was where Scotty was born... well I was just reporting the facts!"

Competing Claims

Linlithgow’s claim to Montgomery Scott was not without its controversies - several other locations in Scotland tried to claim the future engineer as their own - including Aberdeen, Elgin and Edinburgh.

But with one of Star Trek’s early key creative personnel calling out Linlithgow specifically, and confirmation from the Doohan family that their father always considered this town his character’s true home, we’re pretty confident that if you want to visit the real future birthplace of Scotty, then come visit us in Linlithgow!

Why does it matter?

It is slightly ironic that Montgomery Scott, one of the most famous Scotsmen, and certainly the most famous engineer in popular entertainment history, has never actually been played by a Scot - Doohan was Canadian, and a specialist in different accents. He once recalled auditioning for the part. “I did about eight different accents for him and [Gene Roddenberry] asked me which one I liked the most. I said, well, if you want an engineer, he’d better be a Scotsman because, in my experience, all the world’s best engineers have been Scottish.”

Nonetheless, the impact this single character has had is immense, with Doohan’s portrayal inspiring generations of children to take up science and engineering, and his name and nationality celebrating the rich engineering heritage of Scotland, and indeed Linlithgow itself.

When the actor received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, astronaut Neil Armstrong made a rare public appearance to declare, “from one old engineer to another, thanks, Scotty.” After his death in 2005, his ashes were sent into space on a memorial rocket.

James Doohan Memorial Exhibitions

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In 2007 our former home at Annet House museum was able to host an exhibition celebrating the life of the original Scotty actor, James Doohan. Thanks to support from his family, we were even able to display some of his own photographs and artefacts from a long and varied career, including his own Hollywood Star, a Dilithium Crystal, and a Tribble.

The 2007 exhibition opening and formal Blue Plaque unveiling was performed by his wife, Wende, who was accompanied by six of his children.

One of his children, Chris Doohan, went on to play the iconic role of Scotty himself in a series of fan-produced, not for profit films released online, Star Trek Continues.

A short video produced at the time gives a flavour of the exhibition, which was supported by West Lothian Council and VisitWestLothian:

Film Show AT THE PALACE

In 2016, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the exhibition was re-mounted to tie with a unique event - the historic Linlithgow Palace held the first ever film showing in that location - and the film selected was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which features one of Doohan’s most memorable performances as Scotty. 200 fans attended a sold-out showing - which featured a specially filmed introduction to the film made by Simon Pegg, who now plays Scotty in the ‘alternative timeline’ movies.

A VisitScotland video about the film showing can be seen below:

You can see some of the press coverage from these events below.

A Short Trek to the Burgh Halls

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It’s just a short walk from the museum to Linlithgow Burgh Halls, which also celebrates the town’s connection to the galaxy’s most famous engineer.

Look out for glazed tiles featuring the iconic Starship Enterprise hiding in some of the building’s restored fireplaces!

Note:

The exhibition and plaque were designed by Andy Pepperell.
Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This webpage is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is non-commercial and intended for educational purposes only.