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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Ideal Role And The Awesomeness of Star Trek

I make it no secret that I am a huge fan of Sci-Fi.  Have been my whole life. I blame my parents. Mostly my dad and his curiosity about time travel and space. And his numerous conversations about the possibility of life on other planets and the fact that there were 2 DELOREANS IN 1885! (this last just happened btw)

It's no wonder then that when asked the question about my career and where I see it going, what would my ideal role be, etc...I know the answer.  Sci-Fi. I want to be in a film, tv series, play...anything that allows us to so creatively stretch our imaginations. limitless possibilities when it comes to science fiction.  But there are other reasons besides really liking the genre.

I and my fellow fans are loyal. Insanely loyal. To the characters, to the actors. There is a sense of ownership when watching something within this genre. Look at Firefly. The fans took to the streets to get the show back. And it succeeded. They wanted to see these people, these actors playing these huge characters back. They wanted more stories.  And they got it. They went to bat for these people and won. Watch any panel from any con from any show set in this genre and you will see how loyal the fans are to the show and people that create it. I want to be a part of that. Of something that huge but so personal at the same time.

And speaking of loyalty, it's not only the fans that are loyal. It's the people in charge. I'm going to cite Star Trek specifically because it's been going for so long and some people's careers span the entire life of the Trek Universe, not just one show. It's so nice knowing that productions want to work with people multiple times and do their best to bring them in. I'd feel very fortunate to be cast in a show that would allow me to come back and play with the cast and crew again but as a different character.  It's just a good feeling knowing you're wanted. And we see that a lot within the sci-fi genre and Trek Universe.

Examples? Sure! I'm not making this up. Here ya go. First up is Robin Curtis. who you will all remember as Lt. Saavik from Star Trek III and IV.

Robin Curtis:

Robin inherited the role of Saavik from Kirstie Alley who played the role in Star Trek II.  When her reps demanded more money for the sequels Leonard Nimoy recast out of budgetary necessity.  Welcome aboard Robin.  Robin stayed on for the 2 following sequels, The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home.  But her journey through Star Trek didn't end there. She was brought back for The Next Generation playing another Vulcan (albeit disguised as a Romulan), Tallera in the 2 part episode Gambit.

Next we have Merritt Butrick:

Who you may remember from Star Trek III as Kirk's (SPOILERS!!) Son, David. (Just kidding. If you don't know he's Kirk's son then you need to go back and brush up your Trek)  Sadly, Captain, David is dead by the end of this film. But The Next Generation provided yet another actor with the ability to revisit this universe and play with the Roddenberry's and Co.  He appeared in the episode Symbiosis as the crashing-from-a-drug-induced-high T'Jon.  Sadly that would be the last time he would visit the Trek Universe. But it's great to see that people sat down and thought, he needs more time with us. Get him back here.

And here is Mr....
James Cromwell

James Cromwell has made numerous Trek appearances. Probably best known or portraying the father of warp drive, Zefron Cochrane in TNG film First Contact. He also played Prime Minister Nayrok in the episode 'The Hunted,' and Jaglom Shrek in the episode 'Birthright." The character of Jaglom is almost unrecognizable until he speaks and I had that "A-HA" moment of recognition.
He also appeared in an episode of DS9 as Hanock in "Starship Down."  And of course he reprised his role as Cochrane in the pilot episode of Enterprise, "Broken Bow."  He's, over all, had a great career but in Trek he's all over the place. 3 different series and 1 film within the franchise.

Diana Muldaur

Diana started her association with Star Trek on the original series. She's one of the first actors I can find who was brought back multiple times from the beginning.  In fact she was brought back to play 2 different characters on the original series.  She played Dr. Miranda Jones in the episode 'Is there in Truth No Beauty?' and Ann Mulhall in the episode 'Return to Tomorrow.'  She was brought back many years later to portray Dr. Pulaski for 20 episodes on The Next Generation. Both the original and Next Gen! 

Lastly we have the Mother of Star Trek
Majel Barrett

It's hard to write out Majel's involvement in Trek because there has been so much. Perhaps she's an unfair example being that her husband was Gene and all. But still.  Her career in the Trek universe spans from the original series through today. From Nurse Chapel to the voice of the computer. She also lent her voice to the animated series in the 70's. She popped up in the movies, sometimes disapprovingly shaking her head at the damage inflicted upon the Enterprise as well as a promoted Commander. In the Next Generation she played Troi's mother, Lwaxana and voiced the computer. That may be her most enduring and lasting gift to the series, as the voice of the computer. It's allowed her to be in every Trek series so far, except for the newest film reboots.

This post mainly pertains to Trek and how they loyally bring back actors to reprise or create roles. But within the genre of Sci-Fi there are MANY actors who find them selves type-cast for those stories. I could write a lot more about all the actors whose resumes read like the table of contents for an H.G. Wells collected works. Ben Browder is a great example. Take a look at his IMDb page. GO on. From Farscape to Stargate to The Justice League and on to Dr. Who, he's made a career I envy (partly cause of the Who) because he's found a home for himself within the science-fiction realm and is enjoying doing it. 

So what would my dream role be? Or my ideal career? Give me a phaser and a green screen and tell me where to look. I could do that all day, every day and never be bored.

*Anyone reading this with any actual connection to anyone casting anything long these alines, I'll give you anything*