Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Questionable Trek vol. 14

Some people believe in reincarnation. Television actors are particularly prone to this because it keep happening to them, like how they are one character one week and then someone else another. And sometimes, if they are lucky, they reincarnate into a recurring character. . . like Bill Clinton.

"Who is your favorite recurring Star Trek guest star?"

Andrew's Answer: My first instinct is to name John Colicos, the original Count Baltar from Battlestar Galactica. He's been all over the Klingon empire as Kor. In fact, he was the first Klingon ever introduced in the series in the episode "Errand of Mercy" and he kept right on being Kor up through the later series and the spinoffs. But there is an actor I like better: Marc Alaimo. You know Alaimo mainly as Gul Dukat, which I think makes him Turkish. As Gul Dukat he had the interesting job of walking a tightrope between doing his job right and knowing it probably wasn't the right thing to do, and then going fricken nuts with power. Well done, sir.

Scott's Answer: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine arguably had the best stock company of recurring actors. Of those, I would have to say Jeffrey Combs wins by a hair. He actually played several roles over the course of the series, including multiple clones of Weyoun; an alien named Tiron in the otherwise forgettable episode "Meridian;" and Brunt, liquidator for the Ferengi Commerce Authority and a constant thorn in Quark's side. He also appeared in an episode of Voyager as an alien named Penk, and multiple episodes of Enterprise as Shran, Captain Archer's Andorian adversary turned ally. He also appeared as a Ferengi in another Enterprise episode. Honorable mention goes to Andrew Robinson, who was pitch-perfect as "plain, simple Garak."

54 comments:

Mike K said...

I was shocked to find that the same actor played both Weyoun and Brunt.

ScottDS said...

Mike -

Both characters even appear in the same episode but they don't share a scene. Had the show continued, I'd like to think the creators would've found a way to justify Combs interacting with himself. :-)

DUQ said...

I don't know the name of the actor, but I liked the guy who played the Kardassian who tortured Picard.

DUQ said...

Also, when I was young, I never realized that they brought back actors to play different roles. There was one guy who was a security officer one week and then captain of another starship the next. Now I recognize them, but back then I didn't.

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, It's funny what a little makeup can do isn't it?

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, In this day and age, they could pull it off. In the past when they tried to put he same person on screen twice, it always looks strange -- like they somehow weren't on the same plane of existence. But these days, they've gotten really good at it.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I was the same way. As a kid I never realized that they reused actor and so it never bothered me in the least. But these days its fairly obvious to me how often they reuse actors, though they tend to go to much greater lengths to hide them, and I wonder if 1960s audiences didn't care or weren't as sophisticated?

Mountain Man said...

As far as a recurring character, I gotta vote for John De Lancie, who played Q. He had a real knack for insulting Picard, plus there was some great insights into the human condition that came out of those storylines.

AndrewPrice said...

Good call Mountain Man! I hadn't thought about De Lancie, but he was great. He brought much needed humor to the whole series.

tryanmax said...

I have to second Mountain Man on De Lancie. I remember as a kid getting super excited when I found out TNG was a "Q" episode. Few recurring players "own" the role the way De Lancie did with Q.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, What I liked about him was the humor. Everything else in their future is so lifeless, but he brought a real sense of humor and fun to the show.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Ricardo Montalban as Khan of course...
Jennifer Hetrick as Vash in ST:TNG -- Google her -- it explains itself. :-) Unlike Lou Grant -- I like spunk -- and she had plenty of it.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Excellent choices. I liked Vash a lot and thought they should have gone further with her and Picard. And who doesn't like Khaaaaaaaan?!

darski said...

I have so many that I love, starting with Mark Lennard, that it is hard to select just one. Carolyn Seymore did several characters and did them well but I always loved it when James Sloyan (aka The Defector et al) did a part.He became whomever he was playing and sometimes it was just his voice that caught my ear.

I will be back later to agree with every choice that everyone makes... fer shure.

AndrewPrice said...

darski, You'll be back to agree with every choice? LOL!

They definitely did have a solid set of supporting actors. Carolyn Seymore and Mark Lennard both did an excellent job. Speaking of Romulans, I also like Andreas Katsulas. He really seemed to enjoy being the bad guy.

(He was great in Babylon 5 as well.)

Doc Whoa said...

No love for the character actors who populated old Trek?

DUQ said...

Andrew, Katsulas was Ambassador G'Kar right?

Doc Whoa said...

My personal favorite guest from old Trek is Morgan Woodward, who played Exeter Captain Ron Tracey in "The Omega Glory" and Dr. van Gelder in "Dagger of the Mind."

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Of course there's love for those folks too. I just think they're probably less well known because the series was a long time ago. Interestingly, I've been watching a lot of old westerns lately and I'm seeing a lot of them as extras and minor supporting characters in these old westerns.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yes, that's him. He was in The Fugitive too.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, He's a favorite of mine as well. I also like William Marshall as Dr. Richard Daystrom. I love his speech. :)

Jason said...

I'd second Jeffrey Combs, Marc Alamio and Andrew Robinson, but there's one name that should be mentioned: Tony Todd. His range is absolutely incredible. He can play the noblest guy in the world, or the most evil. Probably my favorite role of his was Kurn. In addition to his TOS episodes, he made an appearance on DS9 as Kurn, and I wondered if the show's writers ever thought of bringing him back. Of course, he also played the older Jake Sisko in "The Visitor."

I got to add J.G. Hertzler as Martok (DS9 again!). With Martok, he just seemed like Gowron's lackey the first time we saw him, but the writers really did a good job developing him into a likable, crusty warrior that Worf ended up becoming very close to, and I think Hertzler's performance had a lot to do with it.

Hmmm..if I was to go further down the favorability scale, I'd probably add Brian Thompson. He didn't show up in Trek a lot, but I thought his Klag in "A Matter of Honor" was pretty impressive. That was a very early TNG Klingon episode, before the Worf arc began, and it still holds up well. (Thompson was also the Klingon tactical officer in Generations.)

Doc Whoa said...

Jason, I totally agree. He's got fantastic range!

Tennessee Jed said...

Doc gets it 100% correct with old Morg. Had to love him as Punk Anderson in Dallas. Oh those western bolo tie slides.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I've been getting hooked on the old western on the Western channel lately. I'm particularly enjoying Rawhide, though I'm not a huge fan of Gunsmoke. I've seen Paladin for the first time too. Interesting show.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, Kurn was well done! I like a lot of the Klingons because they tend to have more fun with the roles I think.

Klag, wow, that is early Klingon for TNG series!

ScottDS said...

Jason -

I completely agree with you about Tony Todd. In fact, TV Guide ranked "The Visitor" as the best Star Trek episode ever made and I think it's at least partly due to his performance. (Obviously, everyone's mileage will vary on that one but I think it's easily a Top 5 episode.) :-)

ScottDS said...

DUQ -

The Cardassian who tortured Picard was played by David Warner, who also appeared in Star Trek V and Star Trek VI.

He also played Jack the Ripper in Time After Time where he battled wits with Sherlock Holmes, played by another Trek vet, Malcolm McDowell.

ScottDS said...

Speaking of Marc Alaimo and Andrew Robinson, there's one other actor who never seems to get enough credit: Casey Biggs, who played Damar, Dukat's right-hand man.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It's hard to get credit when you're basically wearing a rubber mask.

NightcrawlerER said...

I liked Whoopie. There, I said it. I liked her on The NExt Gen.

darski said...

@ Scott...
I was going to suggest Biggs as well. He made the transition from behind the scenes lackey to major character element very well. His change of place was well done - it shows, I think, the effect of physical effort to the character.

darski said...

ok... just one more - no really last one fer shure most likely- Nurse Ratchet. Louise Fletcher was so good at being bad.

She made you want to take a shower after she said, "My child..."

AndrewPrice said...

Nighcrawler, I like Whoopie here as well. Not anywhere else, but she did a good job here.

AndrewPrice said...

darski, Louise Fletcher? I had completely forgotten she was DS-9! Good call!

TJ said...

I really like Andrew Robinson as Garak. I was surprised to discover that he was the Scorpio Killer in Dirty Harry. Wow, he can play creepy really well and I always have that in the back of my mind when I watch him on DS9.

John De Lancie as Q is also a favorite.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, Wow, I had no idea. It's fascinating how some actors get around and you never put their careers together until someone mentions them.

Doc Whoa said...

I agree with all the names above. I also liked Ashley Judd, who I think showed up twice.

Jason said...

It was quite a surprise to see David Warner in that TNG two-parter. I never figured him for doing television.

Andrew, the funny thing in that early TNG episode, Klag said that a Klingon was his work, not his family. That absolutely has not been the case in subsequent episodes! (Also, Klag has shown up again in recent TNG novels)

Keeping on TNG, I'd spotlight Dwight Schultz's Barclay as a favorite for that series.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I liked her too. She did indeed show up in two episodes. One of them was with aliens trying to take over the Enterprise using that game.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, I didn't think Warner did television either. That was an excellent role though.

Barclay grew on me. I didn't like him at all at first, but once they got over him being a total screw up, then I think he became a much more interesting character.

PikeBishop said...

Actor? How about William Campbell who played the "Man-child alien" Treylane in "The Squire of Gothos" and then the smarmy Klingon Captain Koloth in "The Trouble with Tribbles." (Ah my dear Captain Kirk")

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I thought about choosing him as well. I thought Treylane was fantastic. In fact, I see him as the inspiration for Q because they are so similar.

Anonymous said...

I like the one who played Whorf's first love. Then she played Q in Voyager.

Joel

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I had forgotten that she played Q.

tryanmax said...

It may be a stretch, but I like Stanly Adams who reprised his role of Cyrano Jones for The Animated Series--with mega-tribbles no less!

Also, something needs to be said for Majel Barrett-Roddenberry who appeared in every iteration of Star Trek clear through the J.J. Abrams movie (and her voice-over work will likely find continued use).

I also have to say I'm rather glad that Ensign Ro hasn't been mentioned. I never quite understood her "fan favorite" status.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Excellent (corrected) comment. LOL!

I have nothing against Maj-B-Rod in her early roles, but I can't stand Troi's mother. Those episodes generally rant at the bottom to me.

I was indifferent about Ro. She was ok at times and annoying at others.

Cyrano Jones? I had no idea he made it to the animated series! :)

tryanmax said...

Well, since I'm outed, I will admit to having dogged on Barclay along with Ro. I just never accepted that a guy with so many neuroses ever got into Star Fleet.

Since nobody asked, I'll tell you: if I had access to a time machine, I would go back to the 60s and convince Don Knotts to do a guest spot on Star Trek as Lt. Barclay's grandfather.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, There is no way that Barclay could make it through Star Fleet. He couldn't meet any of the requirements. Not to mention, I thought humans were supposed to be perfect at that point?

Don Knotts as his father! LOL! Nice.

Jason said...

I think the fact that Ro and Barclay weren't "perfect" characters is probably why they became fan favorites. Admittedly, the first couple of seasons suffered from Gene Roddenberry's refusal to inject conflict among his new Enterprise crew, so fans probably liked it when the writers goosed things up a bit.

As for me, I liked Ro enough in her succeeding episodes after "Ensign Ro." But I'm glad she didn't end up on DS9 as the producers would have liked. Michelle Forbes' refusal to commit was the reason the character of Major Kira was created in the first place.

If you have the Star Trek DVD collection, they included the animated episode on the same DVD as "The Trouble With Tribbles."

Tennessee Jed said...

Glad you are getting a chance to see and dig the old westerns. I mean on many levels, they were still weekly horse operas, but a lot of the writing and plots were quite good. I originally watched them as a young boy, but seeing some of the old "HGWT" and Cheyenne episodes reminded me of the nice textured plotting in those old shows.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, "horse opera" LOL! True. And when you watch enough of them back to back, they all begin to blur together as having the same plot. But I am enjoying them. And yes, they have surprisingly rich plots compared to television today.

AndrewPrice said...

Jason, I think that's probably right. Having flaws made them stand out compared to the others who really didn't have flaws. The episodes involving Ro and Barclay by and large do stand out to me.

Yeah, swapping Kira for Ro was a good thing. I liked Kira a lot.

rlaWTX said...

Q is my fav.
[He did a "My Little Pony" voice! ick!]

But I also liked Whoopie's Guinan.
(I also liked the Sister Acts and Jumpin' Jack Flash.)

I haven't/don't see the show very often, so I don't remember others...

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