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Leonard McCoy (alternate reality)

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Alternate Reality
(split 2233)
For the prime reality counterpart, please see Leonard McCoy.
For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Leonard McCoy.

"Space is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence!"

Leonard McCoy, 2255

Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy, MD, was a Starfleet medical officer serving in the 23rd century. He became the chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise during the battle of Vulcan, serving under acting captain Spock and then his classmate at Starfleet Academy, Captain James T. Kirk.

Early life

Leonard McCoy was born the son of David McCoy in 2227. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

This event predates the point of divergence to the alternate reality, and so does not differ from the prime universe. According to his dossier on the official site, McCoy still attended Earth's University of Mississippi.

McCoy completed medical school and was a certified doctor sometime prior to 2255. He was married, but he had endured a harsh divorce. So with nowhere else to go, he decided to enlist in Starfleet. McCoy boarded the Starfleet shuttle for new recruits which departed from Riverside Shipyard in 2255. McCoy suffered from aviophobia and attempted to remain in the shuttle's bathroom during the flight, as there were no windows in that section of the craft. However, a flight officer discovered him and forced him to sit with the other passengers and buckle up. He sat next to James T. Kirk, who assured McCoy of the shuttle's safety, to no avail; the nervous doctor kept ranting to Kirk about the health hazards of flying in a shuttle. McCoy confided to Kirk his reasons for joining Starfleet, saying that his wife took "the whole damn planet," and all he had left were his "bones." He and Kirk then introduced each other and shared a flask of alcohol as the shuttle took off for Starfleet Academy.

Starfleet Academy

McCoy spent three years at Starfleet Academy, during which time he and Kirk became closer friends; Kirk was now referring to McCoy as "Bones", based on McCoy's statement three years ago that his bones were his only remaining possession. McCoy thought Kirk was mad for wanting to retake the Kobayashi Maru test, and knew Kirk well enough not to believe him when he claimed he was going to "study." Indeed, Kirk had gone off to engage in sexual foreplay with fellow cadet, Gaila.

At Kirk's request, McCoy participated in Kirk's third attempt to beat the Kobayashi Maru simulation, serving at the helm station. McCoy believed Kirk would fail miserably as he had done the first two times, but he was surprised when his friend somehow defeated the simulation. Shortly thereafter, however, McCoy was among the cadets in attendance in the Academy assembly hall when the ruling council accused Kirk of cheating. As it turned out, Kirk reprogrammed the simulation to make it possible to win. McCoy watched as Kirk faced off against his accuser, Commander Spock, the programmer of the Kobayashi Maru test.

Kirk's hearing was interrupted when the ruling council received word of a distress call from Vulcan. All cadets, including McCoy, were ordered to report to Hangar 1 for assignment. McCoy was assigned to the newly-commissioned USS Enterprise, which had yet to have its maiden voyage. Kirk, however, was on academic suspension, which prohibited him from being assigned to a starship. McCoy decided to smuggle his friend aboard the Enterprise; to do so, he injected Kirk with a vaccine to protect against a viral infection from Melvaran mud fleas. The injection caused Kirk to experience the symptoms of the infection, allowing McCoy to bring Kirk aboard the Enterprise as a patient.

Aboard the USS Enterprise

McCoy becomes CMO

McCoy becomes CMO of the Enterprise

After successfully sneaking Kirk aboard the Enterprise, McCoy brought him to the ship's medical bay, sedated him, and prepared for duty. Kirk awoke as the Enterprise neared Vulcan, and McCoy was horrified to find that Kirk's hands had swollen, an allergic reaction to the Melvaran mud flea vaccine. Kirk, however, was preoccupied with the notion that the Enterprise was heading into a trap, a deduction he reached after hearing Ensign Pavel Chekov's announcement over the intercom.

McCoy chased Kirk through the ship, injecting him with various medications while Kirk searched for Nyota Uhura to confirm his theory. Afterward, McCoy and Uhura chased after Kirk as the seemingly delusional officer ran onto the ship's bridge to warn Captain Christopher Pike that they were heading into a Romulan trap. McCoy attempted to explain Kirk's presence to Pike, accepting full responsibility for his actions, but Kirk was ultimately able to convince the crew that there were indeed Romulans waiting for them at Vulcan.

Doctor Puri, the Enterprise's chief medical officer, was on deck six when he was killed by missiles fired by the Romulan ship, Narada. McCoy took over his role and later received acknowledgment from Spock over the comm as being Puri's replacement. He later treated the injuries Kirk sustained while attempting to deactivate the Narada's drilling platform, and also saw to the survivors of the Narada's destruction of Vulcan. With Captain Pike captured by the Romulans, McCoy joined Kirk, Acting Captain Spock, and the rest of the bridge crew in discussing the continuing threat of Nero, the captain of the Narada. Kirk argued with Spock over their next course of action, with McCoy siding with Spock's decision to rendezvous with the rest of the Federation fleet in the Laurentian system. McCoy then laid witness to Kirk's attempt – and failed – mutiny.

McCoy and Spock's first argument

"Are you outta your Vulcan mind?"

Later, in a private discussion with Spock, McCoy voiced his extreme displeasure with the acting captain's decision to maroon Kirk on Delta Vega. Spock disagreed with McCoy's assertions, and when Spock left, an infuriated McCoy referred to the acting captain as a "green-blooded hobgoblin." Shortly thereafter, McCoy was on the bridge when Kirk – who had returned to the Enterprise via transwarp beaming – instigated a brawl between himself and Spock, proving that Spock was emotionally compromised by the mission at hand, having lost his planet and his mother, and could not continue commanding the Enterprise. After coming to his senses, Spock reported to McCoy that he was emotionally compromised and that he was resigning his command as a result.

In spite of his obvious support of Kirk, McCoy was still vocally incredulous when Kirk became acting captain of the Enterprise following Spock's resignation, crying out, "You've gotta be kidding me!" when his friend sat in the command chair. He reacted much the same way towards Ensign Chekov and his idea for beaming onto the Narada without being noticed after learning that Chekov was only 17 years old. Chekov's calculations proved to be correct, however, and Kirk and Spock were able to rescue Captain Pike and stop Nero before he destroyed Earth.

McCoy continued serving aboard the Enterprise after Kirk received full command of the ship. McCoy was on the bridge when Kirk assumed command for the first time. With a slap on the shoulder, Kirk informed McCoy to "buckle up," referring back to the first time they met aboard the recruitment shuttle. (Star Trek)



James T. Kirk

McCoy and Kirk met on a transport shuttle to Starfleet Academy, when the pair found themselves in adjacent seats where a slightly neurotic McCoy instantly opened up to the rebellious and somewhat incredulous Kirk. The two remained good friends throughout their time together at the Academy. When the time came, McCoy always had Kirk's back, such as helping to get him aboard the Enterprise after his suspension and berating Spock for throwing Kirk off the ship and marooning him on Delta Vega. Despite this, he did not support Kirk's mutiny and was annoyed when he later forced Spock to resign command. Despite his friendship with Kirk, McCoy expressed shock at the idea that he was now acting captain, but supported him.

Key dates

Memorable quotes

"I don't need a doctor, damn it! I am a doctor!"

- Leonard McCoy, being forced to his seat from the bathroom of the cadet shuttle at Riverside Shipyard

"I suffer from aviophobia. It means fear of dying in something that flies!"

- Leonard McCoy

"I might throw up on you."

-Leonard McCoy to James T. Kirk, in the shuttle just before liftoff.

"Don't pander to me, kid. One tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. A solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait 'til you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles. See if you're still so relaxed when your eyeballs bleed! Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence."
"Well, I hate to break this to you, but Starfleet operates in space."
"Yeah. Well, I got nowhere else to go, the ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I got left is my bones."

- Leonard McCoy and James T. Kirk, about the safety of their shuttlecraft and why McCoy enlisted in Starfleet. (Star Trek)

"Who was that pointy-eared bastard?"
"I don't know. But I like him."

- Kirk and McCoy, after meeting Spock for the first time (Star Trek)

"Damn it, man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!"

- Leonard McCoy, in response to Spock's explanation of Nero's origins

"Are you out of your Vulcan mind?"

- Leonard McCoy to Spock, discussing Spock's marooning of Kirk on Delta Vega

"Green-blooded hobgoblin."

- Leonard McCoy, about Spock

"Well congratulations Jim. Now we've got no captain and no goddam first officer to replace him!"
"Yeah we do."
"Pike made him first officer."
"You've got be kidding me!"
"Thanks for the support."

- Leonard McCoy, Jim Kirk and Hikaru Sulu after Kirk forces Spock to resign.

"Same ship, different day."

- Leonard McCoy after Kirk backslaps him (deleted scene, Casting DVD featurette)


Background information

Leonard McCoy was played by Karl Urban. In the audio commentary for the film, J.J. Abrams stated that the "Bones" line was not actually in the script, but an on-set improvisation by Urban, a Trek fan long before being cast in the film.

According to his dossier at the official Star Trek movie website, McCoy was top of his class in anatomical and forensic pathology and organized the Academy's first astrophobia seminar.


In the novelization of Star Trek, as McCoy nervously watches Kirk, Spock and Pike beaming back from the Narada, a throwaway line states that he is never confident about transporter use, establishing that he hates the device just like his counterpart does.

The opening issue of IDW's Star Trek comic series - the first half of an alternate reality re-imagining of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" - reveals that McCoy had a prior relationship with Dr. Elizabeth Dehner; it ended badly, and relations still so strained that she withdraws a transfer to the Enterprise after discoving McCoy is aboard. This turn of events is fortuitous for Dehner, as therefore, unlike Gary Mitchell, her fatal encounter with the galactic barrier never takes place.

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