My Name Is Legion wrote:
On the original series McCoy was the chief doctor on the Enterprise. This business of overanalyzing and assigning the characters symbolic roles is something that fans came up with, possibly in fanzines during the original NBC run but more likely during the 1970s and that Roddenberry repeated back retrospectively. You don't find much of that stuff in things like, oh, the writers guidelines for the series.
QFT. Thank you. Thank you. Furthermore, as the movies went on and Kelley got older, Bones became less important in the so-called "triad" and the movies became the "Kirk and Spock Show".
I don't know, Kirk and McCoy had some good moments together in TUC.
The only part of the Kirk, Spock, McCoy thing that ever made sense to me (because it was the least analytical and the most obvious, even if it was not deliberate) was Kirk as the pragmatist, Spock as reason and logic, and McCoy as emotion and feeling.
Roddenberry did say these characters allowed points to be discussed that would otherwise be an internal monolog in one person. I think you can see that kind of thing going on in certain episodes, but it's still a post hoc explanation for it.
I think lot of shows have tended to have three characters who play off on each other. For example, I've always thought the Matt Dillon, Festus, Doc relationship in "Gunsmoke" was very close to that of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, especially the way Doc and Festus were more or less forced-friends through Dillon, and were drawn together by shared concerns for their friend's well-being.