It’s Saint Andrew’s Day, and as someone who is of Scottish descent (through my father’s great-grandmother, apparently), I present a tribute to my favourite fictitious Scotsmen:
So impressed by Sean Connery’s portrayal, James Bond creator Ian Fleming decided to reveal in You Only Live Twice that the character’s father, Andrew Bond, was Scottish, and that 007 was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh after being expelled from Eton.
Steven Spielberg’s desire to make a James Bond movie was why George Lucas gave him the opportunity to direct Raiders of the Lost Ark, and why the director cast Sean Connery as the character’s father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, thereby making Indiana a reluctant Scottish-American. Fun fact: the film was originally intended to be about the Monkey King, with Lucas proposing that the opening have Indy fight a ghost for the Holy Grail in a Scottish castle. Things changed for the better, though Indy would sadly be unable to visit his ancestral homeland.
Batman’s secret identity Bruce Wayne is named for Scottish king Robert the Bruce, and American general “Mad” Anthony Wayne. In 1998’s graphic novel Batman: Scottish Connection, drawn by Scottish artist Frank Quitely, the connection was made canon, with Bruce mentioning his great-grandmother was part of the fictitious Clan MacDubh.
If you want a Scottish DC character instead of one of Scottish descent, there’s the Flash villain Mirror Master, or at least the second incarnation, Evan McCulloch. Created by legendary Scottish writer Grant Morrison with Chaz Truog for Animal Man (1988) #8, McCulloch is an assassin with a tragic past who gained the ability to travel through any reflective surface. He tried going straight at first, but alas, it didn’t work out.
From one supervillain to another, we have Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV, better known as Destro, the iron masked arms supplier to Cobra from G.I. Joe. There’s a few things you should know about Destro: 1) he’s smarter than Cobra Commander, 2) he has a thing going on with Baroness, and 3) he looks absolutely amazing. Look at that bare chest and chain combo, now look at your man, now back to Destro, now look again. Oddly, Arthur Burghardt didn’t use a Scottish accent in the original cartoon, but given how astonishingly he dresses, we’ll let it slide.
When asked what accent the engineer of the USS Enterprise should have, the newly cast James Doohan felt that he naturally had to be Scottish, and so Montgomery Scott(y) was born. Perhaps the most beloved original Star Trek character after Mr. Spock, Scotty brought a sense of humour and playfulness to Captain Kirk’s ship, and a proud sense of honour. Small wonder then he was brought back for The Next Generation episode “Relics”: in the words of writer Ronald D. Moore, “Nothing against the other characters, but Scotty seemed like the one with the most fun quotient.”
The Doctor in Doctor Who has twice assumed a Scottish persona, first with the seventh incarnation (played by Sylvester McCoy), and then the twelfth (Peter Capaldi). They apparently enjoyed the accent so much that their tenth form (played by actual Scot David Tennant) also put it on when posing as Dr. James McCrimmon to gain access to Queen Victoria. Really Doctor, it’s an honour that you’re so fond of Scotland, and thank you for uncovering that Nessie was actually a Skarasen.
Davy Jones, the captain of the Flying Dutchman from the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films, is a marvel of character design and performance capture, imbued with a gleefully quirky performance from Bill Nighy. Jones is a simultaneously a tragic figure, and a heartless wretch who absolutely revels in being one, all while being one mean organ player to boot.
Scrooge McDuck? Merida? My favourite Scottish Disney characters are the title characters of the exquisite 90s animated series Gargoyles, though they’re not even human. Originally the protectors of the medieval Castle Wyvern, the Gargoyles led by Goliath (voiced by Keith David) slumbered until they were reawoken in New York City, where they battle the machiavellian billionaire David Xanatos, their former teammate Demona, and other foes, including MacBeth — yes, MacBeth — himself. None of the Gargoyle clan possess Scottish accents, thankfully, as it’s easily the most dated aspects of the show.