News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The first time Bones said "This man's dead, Captain."

When did Deforest Kelley first say "This man's dead, Captain" onscreen? The answer may surprise you. 
Because it was not on Star Trek at all.

"This man's dead, Captain."

Whenever fans of the original Star Trek hear that line, they will forever remember Deforest Kelley who played Dr. Leonard McCoy on the show.

The line was used so often on Star Trek, it became part of a college drinking game back in the day. The rules were simple: While watching the show, every time a character said "Captain" or "Jim,"  each contestant would down a swallow of beer. Whenever McCoy said "This man's dead, Captain" or Spock said "Fascinating," contestants had to drain their glasses. There were no winners, really. The goal was to finish the show while still conscious.

When did Kelley first say "This man's dead, Captain" onscreen? The answer may surprise you. Because it was not on Star Trek at all.

I discovered the answer for myself while watching The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, a few days ago. In a scene from a WWII Pacific battle, hero Gregory Peck brings a wounded buddy to a first aid station. After examining Peck's comrade, the medic says, "This man's dead, Captain." That medic was none other than Deforest Kelley. The film was made in 1956, ten years before the first Star Trek episode aired. 

After searching YouTube, I found MrKelley68's channel had captured this incredible cinematic coincidence in the clip below. Hope you enjoy this special bit of entertainment trivia. It might even win you a beer in a bar bet. 

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

1 comment:

LP said...

unksoThis is great! I did not know that.