Down the Ballot

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Top 10 Star Trek DS9 Guest Stars

In continuation of celebrating all things Trek, I have put together a list of the Top 10 DS9 Guest Stars. These are actors who had one or two appearances on Star Trek Deep Space Nine during the seven seasons the show was on the air. This list was a little more difficult to make in my opinion because of all the great recurring characters that were utilized week after week during the production of the show. 2013 marked both the 20th Anniversary of Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5. Two shows that fans sometimes let a healthy competition between go a little too far, but all in good fun none the less.  There were just so many great established characters that some weeks there were no big surprise guest stars booked. Still, I was able to get my list of TEN!

10. John de Lancie
Q makes a strong showing early on in the first season of DS9 in Q-Less, a continuation of his storyline with Vash (Jennifer Hetrick). This marks his only appearance on DS9. We don't get to see Q interact with a new crew until later in Star Trek Voyager. There are lots of TNG references throughout the episode. His on screen chemistry with the regulars and Hetrick was great. The idea that everyone outside of the crew of the Enterprise had been forced to attend briefings about him and that his old games wouldn't be tolerated on the station gave him a new dynamic.

9. Frank Langella
Some plot elements used for DS9 were planted in the waning seasons of TNG. The biggest being the Cardassian and Bajorian species. With new worlds to explore, we get to dive into internal politics of a people winning back their home. Langella brought to life the type of politician that sometimes develops in these situations named Jaro Essa. He brought that level of gravitas to such a role that was required for the part. His character is featured in a three episode story arc that has the recently freed Bajorians going to Civil War with each other.

8. Julia Nickson
The name might not sound familiar, but sci-fi fans would recognize her face. When TNG was starting up, she auditioned for the role of Tasha Yar, but lost out to Denise Crosby. She would later appear as an ensign in The Arsael of Freedom. In DS9, she would appear as Cassandra in the second season episode Paradise. She was sent to comfort Commander Sisko to make his stay on the no tech colony bearable. Still, you might better recognize her from the first season of Babylon 5 as another commanders love interest. Yes, she also played Catherine Saki, lover to Commander Jeffery Sinclair, played by the late Michael O'Hare.

7. Jonathan Frakes
TNG regular Frakes makes an appearance on DS9 in Defiant. His other character, Thomas Riker, steals the Defiant for the Maquis. He helps uncover the secret fleet being used by the Tal Shiar and the Obesiden Order. For some reason, the writers were never very interested in bringing Thomas Riker back after this episode. His story arc was left unfinished. Perhaps one day they will finish it?

6. Iggy Pop
Pop is known world wide for his music, but you might just recognize him from season six of DS9. He played Yelgrun in The Magnificent Ferengi. Producer Steven Ira Beher was a big fan of Pop and had tried to get him for an episode in season three, but schedules did not line up.

5.  Tim Russ
Russ has played several characters in Trek and has appeared in all the television series set in the 24th Century (TNG, DS9, and VOY).  He appeared twice on Deep Space Nine. His first appearance was in Invasive Procedures as the klingon T'Kar. He then went on to appear as the mirror universe version of Tuvok in Through the Looking Glass. Russ has done just about everything in the world of Trek. He had a minor role in Generations, lent his voice to video games and written comics for Star Trek. His next project is Star Trek Renegades.

4.Tracy Scoggins
Better known to Babylon 5 fans as Captain Elizabeth Lockley, before joining B5 she made an appearance as a Cardassian scientist in Destiny. According to witnesses, she spent time during the day while in her alien make up scaring tourists and children on the  Paramount lot.

3. Bill Mumy
Better known for his roles in Lost in Space and Babylon 5, Mumy finally guest starred on DS9 as a human in the seventh season episode The Siege of  AR-558. He has also written three TOS era comics. He had been offered an alien role earlier in the series run, but he really wanted a human part

2. Majel Barrett Roddenberry
What a lady. She must have loved Star Trek and her Trek family very much to do so much in the franchise. She appeared three times over the shows run. Her more outgoing character of Lwaxana Troi was a perfect foil for another uptight character in place of Jean-Luc Picard. Odo served as a great Picard replacement for her attention in DS9. I thought the most creative story out of her three episodes was Fascination. The Bajorian Gratitude Festival was gratifying for all of us that year. 

1. Patrick Stewart
It was a tough call on this one, but I felt Picard's one appearance on DS9 in the pilot episode Emissary was worthy of number one. He beat out the 3 old Klingons from TOS that appeared in Blood Oath.  For the first time we are getting a perspective of Picard from someone outside of his inner circle and crew that isn't positive. Even during TNG we didn't get a real sense of fallout from everyday Starfleet officers about Picard's role as Locutus. Sisko, a new character we barely know starts off with great anger and hostility towards Jean-Luc Picard for being responsible for killing his wife at the Battle of Wolf 359. We finally found someone in Starfleet who could care less about Picard and perhaps even wish him harm.

This makes for interesting chemistry. Not only does it further the story of Picard, it sheds light onto the nature of Sisko. I wish towards the end of DS9 there could have been an episode where Picard and Sisko finally come to terms with all the elements of these two characters that we only get to explore from these two scenes. Oh well. Star Trek has been good at sending off new shows with a little part of the old. Picard and the Enterprise starting off wishing DS9 luck was carried over to DS9 helping launch Voyager.

The scene that I appreciated the most was the Picard-O'Brien farewell scene that would often be cut from rebroadcasts of the episode in favor of saving time or making room for more advertising. O'Brien was a character that had grown a lot since Encounter at Farpoint and it was time it expanded even more. Here it is thanks to TrekCore.

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