"I'm trying to thank you, you pointed-eared hobgoblin!" – Dr. Leonard McCoy

Dr. Leonard H. McCoy was a Starfleet Medical Doctor known for his cantankerous manner and wit as much as his expertise as a xenobiologist, physician, and surgeon.

Early Life

Born in 2227 on Earth in the State of Georgia in the United States to David McCoy and his wife. He attended the University of Mississippi in the 2240s. Afterward, he attended Medical School and then joined Starfleet.


In 2251 Dr. McCoy led an inoculation program on the planet Dramia II to battle the Saurian virus. After he left though, a plague wiped out most of the colonists.

Dr. McCoy, in 2253 created a surgical procedure for grafting neural tissue to the cerebral cortex of humanoid brains.

Before joining the USS Enterprise in 2266, Dr. McCoy was a lieutenant commander as a science division officer stationed on Capella IV. After being less than impressed with the local’s lack of hospitals or need for aid, McCoy became the head of the science division there.


McCoy treated the mental condition of Captain Kirk after the transporter split him into two people; one good and one evil. McCoy counseled his Captain, showing off his psychiatric skills, and explained why having two sides made him human and balanced. Kirk chose to reintegrate.

The Enterprise conducted a routine medical examination of archaeologists of an extinct civilization at the outpost on planet M-113 where McCoy encountered a former beau of his by the name Nancy Crater. Unfortunately, Nancy was just a doppelganger, a shapeshifter and the last of its kind that had murdered and taken over her attractive appearance to stay alive. The creature subsided on the salt of living creatures by using an attractive appearance to lure their prey and then hypnosis to control them. Eventually using McCoy, the creature boarded the Enterprise and continued killing. Only when Spock was attacked and Kirk’s life in jeopardy was McCoy able to break through the illusion. With the knowledge of it being the last of its kind, McCoy asked for forgiveness before killing it with a phaser.

In 2267 the Enterprise encountered the SS Botany Bay after the ship was detected by its morse code signal. A landing party that included Dr. McCoy went aboard. The ship was over 200 years old, which led to the shocking discovery when the away party found 84 humans in stasis chambers. 12 died after their pods failed. McCoy found the survivors to be in remarkable shape, with strong lung efficiency and their muscular strength exemplary. As they inspected the pods, one began to fail, and the ship’s historian, McGivers begged Kirk to save the dying person inside, which he does. 

Spock reviewing Earth’s records found no trace of the ship. Kirk believed based on the name that it may have been a criminal transport. Spock disagreed since the Botany Bay was a very advanced ship and it wouldn't be logical to waste it on criminals. How the ship survived 200 years troubled Spock though. The rescued man awakens in sickbay and saw a scalpel among the collection of antique medical gear used for decoration above his bed. Taking it, and feigning sleep while McCoy was doing his rounds to check on his patients, he catches McCoy unprepared as the man grabs him by the neck and points the scalpel at his throat. McCoy, keeping calm answers this threat with sarcasm telling the man to make up his mind on whether he will choke him or cut his throat. He even suggested where to put the scalpel to cut the carotid artery. The man approves of this bravery and gives McCoy the instrument. McCoy replied that he was trying to avoid an argument. The man then quickly demanded to speak with the person in charge of the vessel.

Kirk arrived and requested his name. He was ignored by the man who deflected with a question of his own about where the Enterprise is headed. Kirk responded with Starbase 12. The man then replied with his name, only giving one word, “Khan”. Kirk attempted to get more information from Khan, but was rebuffed by claims of fatigue. He said he was an engineer once and would love to study the ship via manuals. Kirk and McCoy assisted him in learning how to use the ships computers.

Kirk, McCoy, Scott, and Spock check the historical records and determine that the person who identified himself as Khan was the notorious Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered Augment, war criminal, and tyrant of the Eugenics Wars that devastated Earth. Kirk ordered Khan confined to quarters, however, Khan quickly overtook his guards after a visit from the Captain and commandeered the Enterprise by turning off the life support controls until the crew became unconscious. The crew awakened to find themselves being held at phaser point and their Captain in a decompression chamber. Khan threatened to kill Kirk if the crew didn’t help his Augment Soldiers that had now been awoken from their cryotubes on the Botany Bay. The Historian McGivers, who had become romantic with Khan but not at the expense of hurting her crew, freed Kirk. Kirk battled Khan and eventually beat him. Khan accepted to be left on an uninhabited planet rather than go to a penal colony, telling Kirk, "It is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven."

Later that year, Dr. McCoy’s tonsils (taken out when he was a youth) regrew due to the presence of Omicron Spores when on an away mission on the planet Omicron Ceti III. The whole crew of the Enterprise, except for Kirk, were overtaken by the spores’ influence and mutinied, leaving Kirk alone on the Enterprise with communications jammed. The spores finally started to affect him too, but his love for the Enterprise caused such a passionate aggressive response that it broke him free of their influence and left him with the answer on how to retake his crew.

In what would be one of the biggest events in McCoy’s life, he accidentally injected himself with an overdose of cordrazine. The Enterprise had been investigating temporal disturbances near an unnamed planet. Kirk and Spock along with their landing party had discovered an ancient civilization’s ruins and an archway portal. McCoy’s injection resulted in a temporary loss of sanity with paranoid delusions. Overpowering anyone in his way, he escaped to the surface and stumbled into the portal which transported him to the past on Earth. Kirk and Spock were shocked to find that they now lived in a time with no Enterprise and no Starfleet. They entered the portal to find their friend and fix the damage that he had done to the timeline. They arrived early and befriended a woman named Edith Keeler in 1930s New York. Spock pinpointed the change in the timeline to when McCoy had prevented Edith's death which prevented the pacification of the US to not enter WW2 and allowed the Nazis to win the race to the Atomic Bomb. McCoy saved her life instead of letting her die as she was meant to. Kirk put duty before love and kept McCoy from saving Edith from being hit by a car. The landing party then returned to their now restored future with McCoy.

McCoy’s talents as a xenobiologist assisted the silicone lifeforms of Janus VI when the Horta matriarch had been injured, with a bandage of thermal concrete.

It was McCoy who found the cure for a flying one-celled parasite that had been destroying life across whole star systems.

McCoy saved Spock’s father, Sarek, when he suffered multiple heart attacks due to a faulty heart valve. Vulcan biology was greatly unknown by humans, but he was able to successfully repair Sarek’s heart, operating with the ship shuddering from an attack by the Orions.

McCoy saved Spock’s life by keeping him alive when his brain was stolen by the Eymorgs, an underground civilization on Sigma Draconis VI. His brain was given to the Eymorg Controller machine. McCoy restored Spock’s brain after its rescue from the machine with a little help from Spock, upon which McCoy retorts, "I'll never live this down, this Vulcan is telling me how to operate."

In 2268, McCoy was diagnosed with a terminal disease known as xenopolycythemia and given one year or less to live. Afterward, the Enterprise encountered the Fabrini and their ship the Yonada, where a cure was discovered in their database.

In 2269, McCoy was promoted to commander, a rank he would hold for another 25 years.

Kirk ordered McCoy to study the psychological impact of warning the Mantilles of the impending danger of an unidentified cosmic cloud approaching. The planet only had a little over 4 hours until impact, and warning them would result in planet-wide panic.

In 2270, McCoy was arrested when he visited Dramia again for the mass murder of the Dramia II colonists. When he was there, it was discovered that he might have accidentally started a plague. While investigating McCoy's crime, it was discovered that the source of the plague was traveling through the auroras that the planet had. The cure that McCoy discovered was in the Saurian virus antibodies...the very virus McCoy had first been sent to combat on Dramia.

Nearing the end of their 5-year mission, McCoy discovered a vaccine for the deadly life prolongation project virus that had killed all of the adults on a planet, leaving the youth with impossibly long lifespans. He was unable to narrow down the correct amount in the dosage, so he decided, as he was just an old country doc in space, to just “shoot from the hip.” He was correct and the vaccine was a success.

With his career winding down, McCoy retired from Starfleet, grew a beard, and proclaimed he would never return to Starfleet.

Return to Starfleet

Starfleet was not done with him however, when, in the mid-2270s, Fleet Admiral Nogura,using a "reserve activation clause" at the request of now Admiral James T. Kirk, reactivated McCoy's commission. Angry and belligerent, he refused to use the transporter until the other five crewmembers were safely transported. Upset at Kirk for ending his retirement, McCoy did calm down and served as the Enterprise's chief medical officer during the V'ger incident. He treated Spock after his attempt at mind-melding with Lt. Ilia (who had become part of V’ger) had overwhelmed him. The scans McCoy performed showed that Spock endured massive neurological trauma from the mind-meld. Suddenly, McCoy was interrupted by laughing... soft laughter coming from Spock, who had regained consciousness, saying he should have known what it was that V'ger was searching for.

After the V'ger encounter, McCoy continued to serve with his shipmates aboard the newly refitted Enterprise.

Khan’s return and Project Genesis

McCoy was aboard the Enterprise during the training exercise that was diverted to Regula I after Starfleet received a call for help. Khan was back, intent on stealing the Genesis Device that Carol Marcus had created. He assisted in the rescue of the surviving scientists of Project Genesis and witnessed the results of her work. McCoy was in Engineering when Spock went to reactivate the ship’s warp drive. He objected because the room had been flooded with radiation that would kill anyone in there quickly. Spock used the Vulcan nerve pinch to incapacitate the Doctor but did something unexpected in this, he deposited his Vulcan katra, his soul, into McCoy. Spock saved everyone, and passed, leaving McCoy grieving along with his crewmates.

Returning to Earth, McCoy’s behavior became irregular and unlike him. He seemed to exhibit Spock like behaviors and a desire to travel to Vulcan. Then he was placed in protective custody as he had been attempting to find a way to travel back to the new Genesis planet. Sarek told Kirk about the Vulcan katra and they deduced that McCoy had part of Spock’s soul within him. The crew of the Enterprise, despite losing the ship thanks to rogue Klingons, managed to take a Klingon ship and rescue a revived Spock on the surface of the Genesis planet. The pair underwent the fal-tor-pan, an ancient, legendary Vulcan technique, which reunited the katra with Spock on Vulcan. En route, McCoy admitted to Spock that he had greatly missed his rival, and was afraid of possibly losing him once again.

Save the Whales, Save the Earth

Afterward, the crew faced a mountain of charges for saving Spock and was returning to Earth to face them. Before their return to Earth though, a probe that had not received an answer to its signals, was intending to sterilize the planet. Spock discovered that the answer it sought was from an extinct species, the Humpback whale. Kirk planned to travel back in time to the 20th century, a plan which did not thrill McCoy, and take 2 whales into custody. During this mission, McCoy had to use a 20th-century hospital to save his crewmate Chekov’s life. He paused his efforts and saved an elderly woman suffering from kidney failure with 23rd-century means, and gave no mercy on his thoughts of 20th-century medical practices.

The tank that he helped design worked and the mission to save the planet with 2 whales also worked.

In 2293, the Enterprise was sent on a diplomatic mission to escort a Klingon envoy to Federation space for peace talks. During this escort, the Enterprise fired on the ship and an assassin killed the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. Captain Kirk was blamed, with his son’s death at the hands of Klingons being the motive. McCoy’s lack of experience with Klingon physiology left him unable to save Gorkon after they boarded the Chancellor's Flagship. Both Kirk and McCoy were found guilty and sentenced to a life sentence of hard labor on the penal asteroid Rura Penthe. Spock saved them and together they found who was actually behind the Khitomer conspiracy and in doing so prevented a second assassination. Their efforts safeguarded a conference that began the eighty-year era of peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Seventy-one years after the Enterprise-A was decommissioned, the 137-year old Admiral Leonard McCoy inspected the medical layout of the USS Enterprise-D during its first mission. Assisted in his tour of the ship, he remarked to Lieutenant Commander Data, "You treat her like a lady... and she'll always bring you home."

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published