The Real McCoy?

Damn it, Jim! The classic Trek troika may just be complete. With Chris Pine a cert for Kirk and Zachary Quinto already onboard as Spock, Karl Urban is poised to fill DeForest Kelley's boots as crusty stellar surgeon Dr Leonard 'Bones' McCoy.

The 35 year old New Zealander has been seen in Lord of the Rings, Doom and The Chronicles of Riddick, and worked with prequel screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci on Xena and Hercules - The Legendary Journeys. He even played opposite original Chekov Walter Koenig in an SF pilot called The Privateers.

It's believed that Urban hasn't splashed ink on the contract yet, but it's said to be "almost a done deal".

At first glance he may seem a surprisingly buff and burly fit for the classic image of McCoy as a wiry mutterer - "I'm a doctor, not a pumped-up action star!" - but there's a definite resemblance in the features, and if an added dose of hunksomeness extends the Trek fanbase come Christmas 2008 then everyone's happy.

SFX's own Jayne Nelson assures us that she's delirious at this news. Nurse Chapel! The tranquilisers!