We were just discussing, in the SF&F chat room here, that James Doohan was missing a finger, but there's no reference to this and I remember watching the series over and over, whenever I had the chance, up through the 90s. I don't remember ever seeing anything to tip me off that he was missing a finger.

Are there any shots in any episodes of the original Star Trek where it is clear he has a missing finger?

  • 1
    Great question! Here's the obvious link. May 8, 2012 at 20:15
  • 4
    While not an episode, you can make out the missing finger in his hand impressions at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Doohan.JPG
    – shufler
    May 8, 2012 at 20:34
  • 1
    You can also see it in one of his early appearances and the television show Hazel Season 2, Episode 18 Hazel's Highland Fling In the scene where he hug his girlfriend
    – user41537
    Feb 6, 2015 at 14:32
  • 1
    I never noticed James Doohan's missing finger till I read about it on Wikipedia. He never mentioned it when he was alive.
    – user43465
    Mar 24, 2015 at 12:34

6 Answers 6


James Doohan lost a finger on D-Day at Juno Beach. It's unclear as to where Montgomery Scott lost his... Here is a still shot of Scotty's right hand from the 1967 TOS "Cats Paw" episode and another from 1967's "The Trouble with Tribbles." You can also see his right hand clearly at 19 mins 10 secs (Star Date 3498.9) in the 1966 "Fridays Child" TOS episode .

Scotty M Scott

  • 3
    I've seen that still before, but I guess it just wasn't clear or obvious enough -- if you look, you can tell he's missing a finger - but if you don't know to look for it, it's hard to find -- thanks!
    – Tango
    May 8, 2012 at 19:01
  • You can also see it in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, when he's speaking into the computer mouse. May 8, 2012 at 23:27
  • 5
    He lost his middle finger after flicking off a Klingon insulting the Enterprise.
    – user16696
    Jul 5, 2014 at 1:45
  • 2
    Doesn't it make it tough to do a vulcan salute?
    – RoboKaren
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:23
  • 2
    @RoboKaren, It turns the Vulcan salute in the Shocker. Diplomatic hilarity ensues. Sep 3, 2015 at 14:13

If you count the movies, you can clearly see the space where the missing finger would have been when Scotty reaches out to shake the plexiglass plant owner's hand in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

scotty missing finger

  • 11
    +1 for the better angle, but I'm not sure I can "see" the missing finger... ;)
    – Izkata
    May 9, 2012 at 2:02
  • 2
    @Izkata :-) OK, I fixed the language.
    – Kyle Jones
    May 13, 2012 at 22:24

The reason you don't remember Scotty missing a finger is that Scotty, the character, is not supposed to be missing a finger. Any scene where you can see the missing finger are filming goofs. Close-ups of his hand were filmed using a hand double.

Eddie Paskey, who played TOS background character Lt. Leslie, stood in for Doohan for some episodes requiring closeups of Scotty's hands.

From Memory Alpha:

He was the hand-double of James Doohan in "Wolf in the Fold" and "That Which Survives". Doohan was self-conscious about the fact that he was missing the middle finger of his right hand (due to a D-Day combat injury while serving with the Royal Canadian Artillery), so Paskey's hands were used in close-ups.

Screenshot of Scotty's Hand Doubled hand from TNG Relics:
enter image description here

A list of filming errors from wiki:

Despite his efforts, the injured hand can be seen in several Star Trek episodes: "The Trouble With Tribbles", "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", "The Enemy Within", "The Ultimate Computer" and "Catspaw", as well as in The Search for Spock when giving parts from the USS Excelsior to Dr. Leonard McCoy, in The Final Frontier when Nyota Uhura brings him dinner on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-A, and in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics", when the missing finger is clearly apparent as Scotty offers Captain Jean-Luc Picard a drink while on a re-creation of the original Enterprise bridge.

  • 3
    Makes one wonder why they didn't just write in a scene in TOS where the character loses the finger so they could finally stop doing this.
    – Philipp
    Mar 24, 2015 at 14:58
  • 9
    Out of respect and professional courtesy, I hope. Same reason they don't go into why Stewart is bald.
    – user16696
    Mar 24, 2015 at 15:01
  • 5
    And as it says Doohan, like many people who have had the misfortune of amputation, was self conscious about it. Forcing the issue in the story wouldn't help. @philipp
    – user16696
    Mar 24, 2015 at 15:06
  • 10
    Simon Pegg will be relieved to hear this. Mar 24, 2015 at 20:24
  • 2
    @user16696 I can't imagine that Jean-Luc Picard would find baldness anything to be embarrased about, or even concerned about. Jul 4, 2016 at 17:09

James Doohan's missing finger is quite visible in this shot from the episode That Which Survives (1969). On the upper hand, note how there are four knuckles but only three fingers. enter image description here

  • 1
    Excellent. I think that's the best shot posted so far.
    – Kyle Jones
    Jan 10, 2021 at 21:16

You can see his missing middle finger of his right hand in the original series episode "The Corbomite Maneuver" as he reached for a beverage pitcher. This can be observed in that episode at 8:28 on disk 4 of the remastered DVD.

Mr Scott Missing Finger


Also in "The Lights of Zetar" from season 3

Lights of Zetar

  • 5
    Where in that episode? Can you provide a screenshot?
    – Valorum
    Jan 6, 2017 at 9:56
  • Watched this for the first time just yesterday, and I didn't notice at all... something something selective attention something something :-P Jul 19, 2020 at 2:13

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