|Commander Leonard H. McCoy (2293)|
|Children:||One daughter, Joanna McCoy|
|Lieutenant Commander Leonard H. McCoy (2268)|
Doctor Leonard H. McCoy was one of the most noted physicians in 23rd Century Starfleet history, having served as ship's surgeon and chief medical officer of both the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-A for 27 years. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
During the mid-2240s, McCoy attended the University of Mississippi. While there he met a Trill, named Emony Dax, who was on Earth judging a gymnastics competition at the university. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
- The Star Trek Encyclopedia speculates that Emony and McCoy met around 2245, this based on the fact that McCoy appears to have not yet entered (or at least not yet completed) medical school when they knew each other.
In 2251, McCoy was the head of a massive inoculation program on Dramia II. While on Dramia II, McCoy saved a Dramian colonist, named Kol-tai, from a strain of the Saurian virus. Shortly after McCoy departed, the colonists fell subject to a massive plague, which killed nearly all of the planet's colonists (TAS: "Albatross").
McCoy would later be stationed on Capella IV for a few months. His visit was brief due to the Capellans lack of interest in medical aid or hospitals; however, the knowledge he gained on Capellan customs would later prove invaluable. (TOS: "Friday's Child")
By 2253, McCoy had developed a medical procedure that involved grafting neural tissue to the cerebral cortex, followed by the creation of an axonal pathway between the tissue graft and the basal ganglia of a humanoid brain. This procedure would be incorporated into the programming of future Starfleet EMH's, of which McCoy would become one of the distinguished doctors to be used as a template. (VOY: "Lifesigns") McCoy would later author the classic medical text Leonard McCoy's Comparative Alien Physiology. (VOY: "Message in a Bottle")
During his service, McCoy was awarded the Starfleet Legion of Honor and also received awards for valor from Starfleet Surgeons in 2267. An accomplished surgeon, exobiologist, and xenophysician, McCoy was also an expert in psychology, notably space psychology. (TOS: "Court Martial")
The five-year mission
Beginning in 2266, Dr. McCoy would replace Dr. Mark Piper as chief medical officer of the starship Enterprise, while serving under his friend Captain James T. Kirk during Kirk's first five-year mission. It is this five-year mission that is the most distinguished period of McCoy's career, in which he made significant professional scientific advances, discoveries and achievements for Starfleet and the Federation.
On stardate 1513.1, while conducting a routine medical examination of outpost personnel on an archeological dig on planet M-113, McCoy became reacquainted with an old flame, Nancy Crater. Unbeknownst to the doctor, Nancy had already been murdered and replaced by what became known as the "M-113 creature", the last survivor of the planet's long-dead civilization. The creature, also known as the "salt vampire", could take the physical appearance of anyone else, including past or present appearances; hence McCoy saw Nancy exactly as he had known her years earlier. When the creature began taking the lives of Enterprise crew members on the surface and aboard the ship itself, sucking out their body salt for sustenance, McCoy's judgement was tainted by his past feelings for Nancy. It was only when Spock was assaulted and Captain Kirk's life was in jeopardy that Dr. McCoy was able to fire a phaser on Nancy and end the salt vampire's reign of terror. (TOS: "The Man Trap")
In early-2267 the Enterprise visited the Amusement Park planet located in the Omicron Delta region. During the initial survey, McCoy reported seeing a giant white rabbit following by a little girl. Further investigation revealed that the thoughts in their minds were being recorded and brought to life by a vast underground factory. While walking through the glade with Yeoman Tonia Barrows, they discovered the dress of a princess, conceived from the thoughts of Barrows. McCoy encouraged Barrows to try on the dress, and afterwards begin to romance the yeoman, later stating that she should not be afraid "with a brave knight to protect her". Moments later a Black Knight would appear before the two. Convinced that it was not real and therefore could not harm him, McCoy stood his ground -- and took a lance through the chest, dying instantly. McCoy was brought underground and healed, and would later return to the surface with two cabaret chorus girls he once met on Rigel II. This did not bode well with Barrows; however, the two would quickly make amends. (TOS: "Shore Leave")
On stardate 3417, McCoy's tonsils, which had been removed some years earlier, re-grew when he was briefly under the influence of the Omicron spores. Although taking part in the subsequent mutiny, he was acquitted with the rest of the crew after the spore's influence was eradicated. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")
During an investigation in time disturbances over an ancient planet, McCoy accidentally injected himself with an overdose of cordrazine. Experiencing severe delusions and paranoia, he beamed himself down to the planet's surface. When Kirk, Spock, and a landing party followed him into the ruins of an ancient civilization, they discovered the Guardian of Forever, an ancient time portal device. Still delusional, McCoy entered the device, transporting himself into Earth's past where he somehow altered history and erased the Enterprise and the Federation from existence. Kirk and Spock followed him back to rescue him and restore history to normal, a mission that became personally very traumatic for Kirk. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")
McCoy was not only one of the first to discover a silicon-based lifeform on Janus VI, but was also the first xenophysician to actually treat one of the creatures, and did so brilliantly. (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")
He was also the first to describe the deadly habits and help find the cure for the flying neural parasites, a plague of one-celled flying creatures linked in a collective mind that had been sweeping across whole solar systems and destroying all humanoid life within. (TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!")
On a return to Capella IV, McCoy helped lead a landing party in tentative negotiations over dilithium mining rights with the Capellans, negotiations which fell into disarray with the arrival of Klingons. Although he and the surviving landing party were on the run from the Klingons and Capellans, he later was responsible for delivering the newborn High Teer, the rightful leader of the Capellan tribes. Although displaying somewhat less ethical standards in assisting his patients (i.e. "a right cross"), following the conflict he earned himself a personal place of honor when the baby Teer was named "Leonard James Akaar" (much to Spock's annoyance). (TOS: "Friday's Child")
Although possessing limited medical experience in Vulcan anatomy and physiology, McCoy was forced to attempt to treat the eminent Sarek, Ambassador of Vulcan and Spock's father, when Sarek suffered from a faulty heart valve and subsequently near-fatal heart attacks. With blood donations from Spock, McCoy began open heart surgery on Sarek, complicated by the fact that the USS Enterprise was under attack by hostile Orions. Despite the distractions of his captain being knifed in the back, phaser attacks on the ship, and his blood donor attempting to get up and report to duty during the procedure, McCoy successfully completed the operation and Sarek fully recovered to "live long and prosper" for another century. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")
While mapping near the Sigma Draconis star system, the USS Enterprise encountered a strange spacecraft, who's occupant rendered the crew unconscious. On waking, they discovered that Spock's brain had been stolen! It fell on McCoy to find a way to keep Spock's body alive; McCoy not only managed this, but also fitted him with a control system to move Spock's body remotely. When Spock's brain was located on Sigma Draconis VI, wired to the planet's environmental control system to care for its inhabitants, it fell on McCoy to use an advanced Great Teacher machine to learn how to replace the brain back within his body. The effects of the teaching machine quickly wore off, but not before McCoy had reconnected Spock's autonomic and speech centers, enough for the Vulcan to verbally assist the doctor with the rest of the procedure and reconnect the rest of his voluntary functions. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")
In 2267 the USS Enterprise found the USS Defiant NCC-1764 floating in and out of interphase space, its crew having apparently killed each other from space madness. When the Enterprise crew soon exhibited the same symptoms, McCoy discovered that prolonged exposure to the effects of interphase were causing the episodes. The symptoms were allieviated after McCoy created and administered a radical derivitive of theragen (a Klingon nerve gas) mixed with drinking alcohol. (TOS: "The Tholian Web") .
In 2268, McCoy was diagnosed with a terminal disease known as xenopolycythemia; he was given one year to live. Shortly thereafter, the Enterprise encountered the Fabrini asteroid-ship Yonada where he met their high priestess, Natira. During his stay on the Yonada, the two grew close to each other. Having lived a lonely life, and fearing death alone, he decided to stay with Natira against Captain Kirk's order. McCoy joins Natira and the Fabrini by having an instrument of obedience subdermally implanted into his body. He would later renege on his decision to stay with the Fabrini, choosing rather to search the galaxy to discover a cure for his disease. It was later discovered that the Fabrini, in fact, had the cure for xenopolycythemia in their databanks, curing McCoy and allowing him to continue his life aboard the Enterprise. (TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky")
In 2269, McCoy was among the landing party that beamed down to inspect the planet Taurus II. He would be affected by the glandular secretion of the Taurean females, known for controlling the male mind. This caused McCoy to be drained of his "life force", making him age at a rate of ten years per day. Unable to counteract the effects of rapid aging, McCoy employed a hypospray of cortropine on himself and the landing party to help allieve their conditions. He and the landing party would eventually be recovered by an all female Enterprise security detachment lead by Uhura, and be returned to their previous ages by use of their molecular pattern stored in the transporter system. (TAS: "The Lorelei Signal")
In 2270, following a delivery of medical supplies to Dramia, McCoy was arrested for the wanton mass murder of the colonists of Dramia II, from some nineteen years earlier. McCoy feared that he might have accidentally been responsible for the plague that killed the Dramians and that he might be found guilty. Meanwhile, the Enterprise visits Dramia II and discovers a survivor, named Kol-tai, who wished to help acquit McCoy of the charges. On the journey back to Dramia they passed through an aurora, which was later discovered to be the source of the plague. Spock would break McCoy out of the Dramian prison in order for the doctor to help find the cure for the plague that was now unleashed aboard the Enterprise. McCoy discovers the cure in Saurian virus antibodies and is able to save the crew. McCoy is later honored by the Dramians in a series of ceremonies, for his significant achievements in the field of interstellar medicine. (TAS: "Albatross")
On stardate 5499.9, while exploring the ocean planet Argo to study the regular seismic disturbances there, Kirk and Spock were separated from the rest of the landing party during an attack from an aquatic predator. They were found later, but adapted for water-breathing, even possessing gills and webbed hands. Dr. McCoy was able to stabilize their condition aboard the ‘’Enterprise’’, but could not find a reversal for their condition. He endorsed their going back to Argo to investigate the mystery. Kirk and Spock were able to locate the underwater city of the Aquans, and discovered a medical treatment within the city’s records which could reverse their condition (utilizing the venom of another dangerous predator, the sur-snake). After obtaining a sample of venom, McCoy was able to synthesize a vaccine. The vaccine was nearly fatal for Kirk, but the treatment was successful, and Kirk and Spock were fully cured of their condition. (TAS: The Ambergris Element)
On stardate 5591.2 McCoy returned with the others to the Amusement Park planet for shore leave once again. They soon discovered, however, that the Caretaker had died and the planet’s central computer was rebelling against its programming, assaulting the landing party with dangerous manifestations and kidnapping Uhura beneath the planet’s surface. McCoy was able to trick the planet into taking Spock beneath the surface by injecting him with melanex, an anesthetic which induced unconsciousness and odd skin discoloration in the Vulcan. McCoy and Sulu were later in danger of being incinerated by another of the planet’s manifestations, a fire-breathing dragon, but were rescued when Uhura and the others were able to “talk down” the planet’s computer. (TAS: Once Upon a Planet)
McCoy was not above kicking back with a good drink with the Captain now and again, regularly keeping stashes of vintage saurian brandy and other libations with the controlled substances in sickbay (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver"), (TOS: "The Enemy Within"). Displaying a fondness for Kentucky bourbon, his favorite drink is believed to be the mint julep. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise"). He also makes an excellent Finagle's Folly. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")
His closest friends aboard the Enterprise included Captain James T. Kirk and, begrudgingly, Spock. McCoy's friendship with Kirk dated back well before Kirk took command of the Enterprise, and he often served as a sounding board and voice of conscience for the young captain. His legendary feuds with the half-Vulcan science officer (borne more from dispute over the benefits of emotion rather than true prejudice) are merely show over the genuine respect and friendship the two have for each other. Over time, the three appeared to form nearly a single personality, with McCoy ever emotional and passionate, Spock ever objective and logical, and Kirk the focus, direction and driving force combining the best of the other two.
McCoy displayed a very bipolar attitude towards technology. Although he was a great believer in the body's own natural ability to heal, and felt that a little suffering was good for the soul, he also held 23rd century medicine in high esteem, and frequently lamented how barbarous medicine used to be in the past ("The Corbomite Maneuver", "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home").
Although technically only Lieutenant Commander in rank, McCoy was still the only person on the Enterprise who could talk back to the Captain and get away with it. Although not without apology when wrong, he displayed a unique individuality and plainspoken character which certainly clashed with the service, considering himself a doctor first and a soldier second. This tenacious attitude surfaced on a number of missions:
While on Miri's planet, McCoy discovered a vaccine for the deadly life prolongation complex virus which had killed all the adults on the planet and left the children with impossibly long life spans. Although completely unsure of the dose, McCoy "shot from the hip" as it were, injecting himself with the vaccine and successfully providing the landing party with a cure.(TOS: "Miri")
While he and Kirk were observing Spock's marriage rites on Vulcan, McCoy suddenly found himself watching his two best friends in a fight to the death over the entranced Spock's betrothed. In a covert, underhandedly sneaky human move, he tipped the scales of the fight and saved Kirk's life by ostensibly injecting him with a tri-ox compound respiratory aid, which was actually a neural paralyzer. When Kirk appeared dead, Spock snapped out of his trance and ended the marriage, only to gleefully find Kirk alive back on the Enterprise a short time later.(TOS: "Amok Time")
On Minara II, Kirk, Spock and McCoy were kidnapped by the Vians, and forced to choose between themselves which one would die in their experiments. Sacrificing himself for the others against their will, McCoy submitted to a level of torture which nearly killed him, only to be healed by the empathic Gem, another of the Vian's prisoners. It was all a test, to see if Gem's people were worthy of salvation by the Vians from Minara's own supernova.(TOS: "The Empath")
Upon the conclusion of the historic five-year mission in 2270, McCoy, always modestly proclaiming himself to be "just a good ol' country doctor", retired his commission to enter private medical practice. During this time, he continued to be Kirk's physician. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
On stardate 7210, two and a half years later, McCoy's commission was reactivated by a "little-known, seldom-used reserve activation clause" at the request of now Admiral James T. Kirk. He served as chief medical officer during the V'Ger encounter, and afterwards continued to serve with his shipmates in this capacity on a new five-year mission aboard the newly refitted Enterprise. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Years later, on stardate 8130.3, Dr. McCoy served as a Starfleet Academy instructor aboard the Enterprise under Captain Spock, helping to acclimate new Starfleet doctors and nurses to shipboard medicine, and evaluating cadets during intense psychological tests such as the Kobayashi Maru scenario. However, during what was supposed to be a three-week training cruise, the Enterprise was attacked by Khan Noonien Singh, who sought revenge for his imposed exile by Kirk and the subsequent death of his wife. McCoy accompanied Kirk in the landing party to rescue the surviving scientists of Project Genesis, and was able to witness the results of Carol Marcus' work on the project beneath the Regula planetoid. Back aboard Enterprise, he continued to treat casualties during the Battle of the Mutara Nebula. He was present in main engineering when Captain Spock arrived with the intention of entering the highly radioactive dilithium chamber to reactivate the ship's warp drive, so that Enterprise could escape Khan's suicidal ploy to kill them all with the Genesis Device. McCoy objected, but Spock felled him with a Vulcan nerve pinch and (almost as an afterthought) deposited his katra within McCoy's mind. Following their escape and Spock's death, McCoy grieved with Kirk and the rest of the crew as Spock was laid to rest on the newly formed Genesis Planet. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
On their return to Earth, as the rest of the crew found that Enterprise was to be decommissioned, McCoy began to suffer increasingly erratic behavior, making odd requests of Kirk to return to Vulcan, and even sounding like Spock at times. Although at first it was thought he was only under too much stress, McCoy soon found himself placed under protective custody after making several inquiries into securing transportation to the newly restricted Genesis Planet. The significance of the Vulcan katra was explained to Kirk by Spock's father Sarek, and with their careers at stake, Kirk and his crew took it upon themselves to rescue McCoy, steal the Enterprise and take both to Genesis to recover Spock's body for return to Vulcan. Although Enterprise was disabled and Kirk's son killed by rogue Klingons, the crew managed to commandeer the attacking Klingon vessel and take McCoy and the rejuvinated Spock on to Vulcan. Spock's katra was restored via the fal-tor-pan, an ancient, legendary Vulcan technique (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock). Although it was not generally known whether another species could serve as a "keeper of the Vulcan katra", McCoy appeared to suffer no lasting ill effects from the incident.
While returning to Earth with his shipmates to stand trial for the many violations in Starfleet regulations committed in saving Spock, McCoy discovered with the others that an unknown probe was intent on sterilizing the planet after replies to its broadcasts went unanswered. Spock deduced that the intended recipients of the probe's transmissions were extinct Humpback whales, and McCoy soon found himself a somewhat reluctant participant in Kirk's plan to time travel back to 20th century San Francisco to recover a pair of whales and save their future. McCoy was included in Sulu's and Captain Scott's team to recover supplies for the construction of a whale tank aboard their ship. He later led a rescue team into a San Francisco hospital to save the critically injured Chekov, pausing just enough to also provide an elderly lady with a new kidney and berate several 20th century physicians on their methods of practice. Accompanying his shipmates and the whales back through time to successfully save Earth from the Whale Probe, McCoy was acquitted with the rest of the crew for their offenses, and returned to duty aboard the newly commissioned Enterprise-A (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home).
Afterwards, while enjoying a well-deserved leave with his close friends Kirk and Spock, McCoy also berated both the others (Kirk for taking unnecessary risks, Spock for apparently not completely becoming his old self after the refusion with his katra). Underneath, McCoy's real lament was for lacking a true family, and always being "stuck", as it were, with the crew of the Enterprise. During the rescue mission that immediately followed to save the ambassadors of Nimbus III, the Enterprise was hijacked by the renegade Vulcan Sybok, who forced McCoy to reveal his secret pain, the loss of his father, to Kirk and Spock (see "Family and Relationships" below). In the events that followed and their return to Earth, McCoy finally came to terms with his loss and accepted the love and camaraderie of his two friends, who remain his enduring family, as they began singing songs around a campfire. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier).
Shortly after stardate 9522, the Enterprise was sent on a diplomatic mission to escort a Klingon envoy to Federation space for peace talks. When the Enterprise mysteriously appeared to fire on the ship of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, Dr. McCoy beamed aboard with Captain Kirk to assist with casualties. McCoy attempted to save the life of Gorkon, who was critically wounded by an assasin's phaser, but he was limited in his knowledge of Klingon anatomy and physiology. The chancellor died, and McCoy was arrested with Kirk and charged with his assassination. Following a show trial where neither had much of a chance of defending their case, they were taken to the penal asteroid Rura Penthe to live out a life sentence of hard labor. However, with Spock's help both later escaped, managed to discover the roots of the Khitomer conspiracy, and headed for the peace talks at Khitomer.
It was McCoy who assisted Spock in modifying a photon torpedo with a plasma sensor, so that it would home in on Klingon General Chang's attacking ship. After the ship's destruction, McCoy helped prevent the assasination of the Federation president, allowing peace talks to continue between the Federation and the Klingon Empire that would last nearly a century. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
On stardate 41153.7, the 137 year old Admiral Leonard McCoy inspected the USS Enterprise-D during it's first mission, where he commented on the great significance of the ship's name to Lieutenant Commander Data. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")
Family & Relationships
An early ancestor of McCoy's, his great-great-grandfather, was a noted gardener, having had one of the finest gardens in the South. He also was noted for his own excellent weedkiller. (TAS: "The Infinite Vulcan")
McCoy would suffer many family hardships early on in life, which would eventually help mold him into the prominent individual he would become. It would begin when McCoy was forced to face the harsh reality of his father's bout with a painfully incurable disease. His father pleaded with McCoy to release him from the pain, but McCoy could not, as he was adamant in attempting to find a cure. Seeing his father suffer so painfully, however, moved McCoy to soon acquiesce and take his father off life support. Soon after a cure was discovered, and McCoy subsequently lived many years in regret for causing his father's apparently needless death. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
McCoy would eventually become married, and have a daughter, named Joanna. Sadly, McCoy's marriage ends in a bitter divorce, and was separated from his daughter, deepening his hardships. His daughter would eventually move to the planet Cerberus to attend school, where she would nearly die, in 2260, when the planet experienced a crop failure. Fortunately Cerberus was saved by kind actions of Carter Winston. McCoy would be quite grateful of this deed and expresses the most sincere thanks to Winston, ten years later, when he is rescued by the Enterprise. (TAS: "The Survivor")
- The Star Trek Concordance establishes that Joanna was born around 2249, and was in training to become a nurse. It also establishes that although they write each other often, Dr. McCoy's duties aboard the USS Enterprise keep the two apart. The Star Trek Chronology provides additional background information on his divorce and his daughter. This scenario establishes that as a result of the divorce McCoy leaves the private practice (which he apparently rejoins in 2270) to join Starfleet. "The Way to Eden" was originally written for and titled "Joanna", but was however rewritten and Joanna became Irina Galliulin.
In 2254, McCoy would become romantically involved with the future Nancy Crater. Nancy would nickname her beloved boyfriend "Plum". They would walk out of each other's lives in 2256, and would not see each other again until 2266. (TOS: "The Man Trap")
- "He's dead, Jim." (various)
- "By golly, Jim - I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")
- "...and they probably redesigned the whole sickbay, too. I know engineers, they love to change things!" (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
"I'm a Doctor, not a..."
- "I'm a doctor, not a psychiatrist." ("The City on the Edge of Forever")
- "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")
- "I'm a doctor, not an escalator!" ("Friday's Child")
- "I'm a doctor, not a magician!" ("Friday's Child")
- "I'm a doctor, not a mechanic." ("The Doomsday Machine")
- "I'm a doctor, not a coal-miner!" ("The Empath")
- "What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?" ("The Corbomite Maneuver")
McCoy's "I'm a doctor, not a..."-pattern for quotes was reimplemented with The Doctor of Star Trek: Voyager. The quote was also used by Dr. Julian Bashir when preparing for his mission to the Enterprise during the Tribble incident (DS9:Trials and Tribble-ations), when he was heard to say "I'm a doctor, not an historian".
- 2227: Born on Earth.
- 2240s: Attends the University of Mississippi; meets Emony Dax.
- 2250s-60s: Briefly stationed on Capella IV.
- 2265-2270: Serves as chief medical officer aboard the USS Enterprise.
- 2270: Retires from Starfleet at conclusion of Kirk's five year mission.
- 2272: Re-drafted back into Starfleet during V'Ger incursion.
- 2285: Instructor aboard USS Enterprise.
- 2286: Reassigned as chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise-A.
- 2293: After imprisioned on Rura Penthe and subsequent escape helps to uncover the Khitomer conspiracy.
- 2364: Tours newly commissioned USS Enterprise-D.