([identity profile] wrote in [community profile] ship_manifesto2011-06-29 03:29 pm

Red Shirt Love: A Manifesto for Scotty/Uhura as a parallel to Kirk/Spock

Kirk/Spock and Scotty/Uhura were the first two pairings that stuck with me the first time I watched Star Trek, and they remain my two favourite pairings after being with the fandom for the last year and a half. (Please don’t tell people at the conventions that I’m still a newbie, it’ll ruin my street cred.) Now the former is quite easy to see. Kirk and Spock are the grandfathers of slash, they have subtext, tons of fic, art, and Roddenberry gave these two a special word to describe themselves in his novelization of the first movie. On the other hand Scotty and Uhura have…a couple of scenes from The Final Frontier that most people think is the worst film with the original crew. That’s all?

No, no a thousand times no! I am here today to let everyone know that while the Captain and the First Officer were busy making googly eyes at each other, the Chief Engineer and the Communications Officer were falling in love too, by some of the standards set by the grandfathers of slash: no concept of personal space and eye contact.

So who are these two anyway?

This is Montgomery Scott AKA the miracle worker. The Chief Engineer on the Enterprise and when Kirk and Spock go down to a planet to save the day:

Break the Prime directive into a million pieces

And flirt shamelessly with each other

Scotty is the man in charge.

This is Nyota Uhura AKA the kicker of butts of sexual harassing co-workers in the mirror universe. She’s the Communications Officer aboard the Enterprise and Scotty’s right hand man when he’s the acting captain.

Them as a Couple

Now why do I think these two work well together? Well first off it’s because in the original series they work well together. Uhura for one thing appears more comfortable around Scotty than any other commanding officer. When either Spock or Kirk is in command Uhura most often gives her reports from her chair. Even when she is jumping in on discussion on firearms in A Private Little War all she does is stand up near her chair. However, whenever Scotty is in charge Uhura is suddenly out of her chair at every opportunity and getting in Scotty’s personal space.

I’m not totally checking out Scotty and how good he looks when he’s in command. Everyone go about your business nothing to see here.

Not that Scotty appears to mind all this as he returns the gesture.

Yes let’s have this important discussion by the communication station and I’ll keep my hands on the back of the lassie’s chair, this of course doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to another command team.


They are both hard-working individuals, but also know how to have fun. Scotty goes out drinking with the guys and Uhura hangs out in the rec room; they are highly social people. Scotty also dies for Uhura in The Changeling, but we don’t know if Uhura ever learned what he did for her. And the only time one of them gets a love interest said lady of the week is basically gone by the time the episode’s end credits roll. See these two are just like Kirk and Spock.

Moving on to the movies Kirk and Spock’s relationship is basically there and no longer questioned. Is Scotty and Uhura’s relationship like that too? I’d argue that yes it is. Although it’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment, at the end of The Voyage Home Uhura puts her arms around Scotty in what I consider an intimate position.

Now we get to The Final Frontier and the relationship is out in the open for the audience to see. Now many people including Memory Alpha describe this as Uhura being interested in Scotty and that’s it, but frankly I don’t see it. Even if we put aside all the things I mentioned above about the series their interaction here is not a one sided event. First off Uhura said they were taking shore leave together. If this relationship were new or a Uhura trying to determine if Scotty was interested in her you think she would say something along the lines of “but I thought you were taking shore leave with me?”. Plus she brings dinner for ‘us’ rather than simply bringing dinner for him. She also runs her hand along his face in a loving gesture, and Scotty clearly doesn’t object to it, or that all of this is taking place in public.

Their relationship is obviously established and clearly working well. Also Scotty will once again mirror her actions later in the sickbay.

Of course this doesn’t in any way resemble another couple’s moment in an earlier film *shrugs* it must not be important then.

Oh wait…

Now in the sixth film the open relationship angle is dropped, but the subtle hints from the series are still there. For example Scotty is helping Uhura with the Klingon translation and they stand next to each other in the final scene.

So, what I believe we have are two poeple who are have things in common with each other, who care about each other, and who in their later years have a loving and stable relationship.

Now I think a couple that survived for 45 years deserves to be celebrated so go to it! Spread the news about this awesome couple and here are some links for inspiration: for fanfic, video, and art of this wonderful couple. Also check out this link for an essay that brings up Scotty and Uhura in the reboot universe too.

[identity profile] 2011-06-30 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
there is more, when Scotty is liking the blonde girl in who mourns for addonay? Uhura is totes confidences around the girl, knowing she is not a threat
everything goes to hell
and in the city in the age of forever both of them seems ready to jump in somewhere in time together if

[identity profile] 2011-09-18 07:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so glad I stumbled on this! I've said the same thing, but you've pointed a hell of a lot of new things out, like all the K/S mirroring and especially how they gravitate toward each other on the bridge.

[identity profile] 2011-10-05 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
You know, I never thought of this, but now that you've mentioned it I'm definitely going back and looking more carefully!