Oh Scotty is loyal to his Captain, but he is big enough to stand by and hear him called a “Tin pot dictator with delusions of Godhood” and a “Denebian slime devil” in good grace. One word against his ship, however, and Scotty will come out swinging to defend his lady’s honor.
So, when we see Scott aboard the Enterprise for the very first time on Strange New Worlds, we are watching the beginning of a story that will continue until the ship plumets, flaming, into the atmosphere of the Genesis Planet. Decades later, when Scotty finds himself in a far-flung future, separated from his friends and loved ones by nearly a century, he is given the ability to summon any place or person he desires on the Holodeck, and he doesn’t hesitate before ordering the Enterprise 1701 — no bloody A, B, C or D.
But let’s rewind to the very beginning of the story. Who is this Scott? And how is he different from the hard-drinking, hard-fighting, hard-working (but not quite as much as he tells you) Chief Engineer we know and love?
This time he’s played by Martin Quinn who, in a huge deviation from canon that will likely outrage fans, is actually Scottish. When we first meet Scott it starts out a lot like our first meeting with Simon Pegg’s Scott in the 2009 Star Trek movie. He’s marooned, having engaged in some highly creative improvisation to survive. However even before we meet him, Strange New Worlds has been cleverly laying out the red carpet for him through current Enterprise engineer, Commander Pelia.
It’s a standard trope in shows like Star Trek when a character is a teacher to have them meet young proteges they taught before and, more often than not, call them “My best student.” Pelia subverts this. When talking to Uhura about her deceased predecessor (before Scott, the Enterprise really burned through chief engineers), she says of Hemmer, “He was my best student,” before apologizing and saying he was actually average, she just lied because was dead.
Later, we learn that Una, the Enterprise’s first officer, was also a terrible student.