How realistic was Scotty's accent?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by BoredShipCapt'n, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Commodore Commodore

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    Interestingly, John Mahoney (who played Martin Crane) was born in Manchester but moved to America as a young man and completely lost his Mancunian accent.

    Thanks, everyone. :cool:
     
  2. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was less concerned with the realism of Scotty's accent, than I was with the realism of Scotty, the character. Whenever he got command of the ship, for example, and especially when faced with an enemy of some sort, he always got so cartoonishly scrappy! I couldn't stand it, really. It just made everything about him, including his accent, come off as extremely fake and lept me out my Suspension of Disbelief, every time. Even in TUC, when he starts freaking out at Valeris for suggesting "they" go to STARFLEET with their theory on what happened there, it just seemed so forced. Doohan wasn't a very good actor ... as evidenced by his thin résumé.
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I liked Scotty and his character overall, but as things progressed, particularly in the films he became more caricature. After TWOK it's pretty much a downward slide, but it could be spotty after TOS' Season 1.

    Chekov's accent was terrible from the get-go. It was simply too much, too forced. I think we've all heard English spoken by actual Russians and they don't sound anything like that.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Probably most viewers have no idea what an authentic Welsh accent is supposed to sound like. I know I don't...
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    There was a Wild Wild West ep I saw a while ago. An evil henchman was supposed to be a cockney sailor. It was clearly an American guy. He had NO accent whatsoever, but he kept saying "Gov-NAH" and "OY!" a lot, so we'd know hoe was English. Oy. :lol:

    I've been watching a lot of 60s TV the last few years - Mission Impossible, WWW, It Takes a Thief, Five-O, Man and Girl from UNCLE. Anybody playing a foreign agent, whether he's supposed to be from eastern Europe or Latin America, used the same generic faux foreign accent.
     
  6. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Do Lithuanians turn their V's into W's when they speak English? "Keptin, the alien wessel just wanished!"

    Perhaps Walter Koenig had seen bottles of Polish vodka labeled "wódka". But that's Polish.

    That's long been an accepted convention of the cinema, like 28-year-old actors playing teenagers. And it's not just old movies. Last night I was watching Hostile Waters, a made-for-cable movie from 1997, in which much of the action takes place aboard a Russian submarine. All the Russian characters speak English with varying degrees of an accent. The actor playing the Russian sub captain spoke American English with no accent at all.

    Apparently many producers still feel the viewing audience doesn't want to have to read subtitles.

    He was a Jewish Cockney? :p
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Speaking of movies with Russian sub commanders, how about that one in 1990 in which the commander had a Scottish accent...?
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I believe it sounds a bit like gargling. ;)

    The Wiki says his parents were Russian Jews who lived in Lithuania before coming to the USA.
     
  9. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Check out Torchwood - three of the main cast (Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, and Kai Owen) are all Welsh.

    Though I've met all three of them, and I can't say that I really noticed anything particularly distinctive about any of their accents. (And I say that as someone who used to do a fair bit of theatre, so I've always been interested in accents.) They're definitely noticeable - particularly Eve's - but I didn't find them difficult to understand at all.

    Interestingly, last year when I met another one of Torchwood's cast members, Burn Gorman, all I said was "Pleased to meet you," and his immediate response was, "Where's your accent from?" It turned out he'd just returned from a month-long camping trip three hours' drive north of where I live, so I figure he didn't expect to hear a Canadian accent in Atlanta. :) (I was surprised, when checking IMDb to see which cast members were Welsh, to learn that he was actually born in Hollywood. He probably has the thickest accent of any of them.)

    As far as James Doohan's Scottish accent is concerned, several years ago I worked for several months with someone who had grown up in Scotland, and his accent wasn't that dissimilar to the one Doohan used. I think my co-worker was from Edinburgh. So I would chalk it up more to a) the accent being very different from what they have in Aberdeen, and b) Doohan being occasionally inconsistent (though I can't say as how I noticed his accent being inconsistent).
     
  10. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    The new Doctor Who, being made in Wales, is of course a great ambassador for the Welsh accent. Starting with "The Unquiet Dead" in series 1, a Welsh accent or two has never been far away. Particularly on the 'making of' documentaries.

    (Mind you, the current show-runner is a Scot.)
     
  11. Triskelion

    Triskelion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't speak for the other series, but IIRC, Mission Impossible at the time was deliberately focusing on the Russian threat without actually naming it. Its producers wanted to tell stories about a parade of Russian baddies, but the studio was aiming for a broader, more politically-correct audience (before PC had become the label). The producers opted never to actually name the villains as Russians but to allow the accents to make the implication.

    Given the similar time period, the same factors may have been at play in the production of these other series.


    I love watching old British TV shows try to pull off an American accent. The performances are usually so ham-handed. Which I'm sure goes both ways! The simple fact is, it's just so much fun trying on a new accent for size.
     
  12. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am Scottish, from Edinburgh. It's not the best tv Scots accent I have heard but it's not the worst. It was much worse in the films.

    I prefer Doohans accent to Simon Peggs.
     
  13. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mission: Impossible also had all those signs and labels written in a faux language that looked vaguely like Czech or Polish or Serbian or Hungarian, but could be read just like English. The production people called it "Gellerese" after the show's creator Bruce Geller.
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    "POLITZ STAZION"
    "TELEFON"

    :lol:
     
  15. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Or, as spoofed in Airplane! (1980):

    [​IMG]
     
  16. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    You mean Touwch-ood?
     
  17. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    It's a taste thing and I think you're very much in the minority amongst Scots. I mean Scotty was an institution but a 5 year-old Scot can work out he's not talking with any kind of recognisable accent. When I was a child I always assumed it was a joke. Simon Pegg's married to a Weegie so he has first hand coaching material, which is why he makes a pretty good fist of it.

    He drifts sometimes, which is understandable but he's slightly more consistent than Emma Thompson in Tutti Frutti and I thought she did a fine job.

    Did you see Alex Norton's Dream me up Scotty on 23 Dec? It's really excellent. One interesting thing is they're very kind about Mel Gibson's accent in Braveheart. I couldn't get past the first 5 minutes of it so I can't comment on it but I do remember him saying he got the best dialectal coaching from a couple of wee boys from Glasgow who were extras.
     
  18. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    To me, Welsh always sounded like a cross between 'pirate' and Indian.

    You can hear Colm Meaney do one in "The Englishman Who Went up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain".
     
  19. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did see it, it was hillarious.

    I don't think Doohans accent was great, just not the worst.

    Simon Peggs wasn't any better than Gimli's in Lord of the Rings.
     
  20. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    See I didn't realise Gimli was supposed to be Scottish. D'oh!