10 Shows With The Best Cameos From Star Trek Actors
No matter how much Star Trek fans (understandably) hate to admit it, there is life after Star Trek. Particularly for the actors who put their hearts and souls into creating it. Afterwards, many of the best actors can be found in other shows. And, luckily, there are quite a few shows that collect Trekkie cameos like Yugi-Oh cards. Makes them better shows, honestly.
While many favorite Treks are over, until the CBS Trek renaissance gets kicking, fans'll just have to get extra fandom kicks seeing their faves in these other adventures.
Here are 10 Shows With The Best Cameos From Star Trek Actors.
10 Stargate Franchise
When Star Trek fell out of favor, a different galactic franchise took its place: Stargate. However, lucky for Star Trek actors, the franchise seemed happy to have many of its alumni come visit as guest stars or recurring characters.
Quark, Odo, T'Pol, Trip Tucker, Phlox, and Ezri all appeared at one time or another to play one-off characters. Colm Meany, though, who played Cheif O'Brien, played a recurring antagonist named Cowen, the leader of a secretly militaristic species in Stargate: Atlantis.
But the real big name here was Robert Picardo, who played Robert Woolsy, a high-ranking official involved in the Stargate project. He showed up in SG1, then became a recurring character in Atlantis and later a main character. Neat, right?
9 Justice League
Most of fans' favorite Star Trek actors played some serious heroes in the franchise, but not every role they play can be a good guy. Actually, every time a Trek alum showed up on Justice League, they were a villain. Funny coincidence? Probably. That, or the casting crew really disliked Star Trek.
Throughout Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited's run, Robert Picardo showed up as as Amazo, Michael Dorn played the frighteningly strong Kalibak, and Armin voiced the vengeful Dr. Achilles Milo before his untimely end at the hands of Doomsday.
It's gotta be fun playing the bad guy sometimes, right?
A spin-off itself, Frasier is a series that understands the power of crossover events and franchises. Star Trek actors had quite a few opportunities to make fabulous cameos on this funny 90s show.
Patrick Stewart (Picard) graced the screen as Alistair Burke, a well-connected opera director interested in Frasier, but Frasier struggles to turn him down because he enjoys the fame. Brent Spiner (Data) showed up as Albert, a man on a plane who seems to have romantic connections to Frasier's ex, Lilith.
But the best one is Rene Auberjonois (Odo) as Dr. William Tewksbury. When Frasier goes to his old professor for advice, he's very helpful. However, by inviting him into his life again, Tewksbury starts a romantic relationship with Roz that makers Frasier very uncomfortable. Wonderful and horrific all at once.
7 Adventure Time
If there's anything fans might not associate Star Trek with, it's the goofy and often absurd show, Adventure Time. While beloved by many people, it just seems very far away from the Trek-like melodrama.
Well, even if that's true, it didn't stop the casting crew from attracting quite a few Trek alum (especially from TNG). Johnathan Frakes himself played an adult Finn in the episodes "Puhoy" and "Dungeon Train". His fellow TNG cast-members, Levar Burton (Geordi La Forge) and Michael Dorn (Worf) played Bubble and Gork, respectively. George Takei (Sulu) also voiced Ricardio the Heart Guy, a romantic rival for Finn. Yeah, the guy's a talking heart. It's too much to explain today, but know Takei made a fantastic character out of him.
Where so many of these cameo-filled shows are science fiction or fantasy stories, there are a couple outliers to the rule. One is Castle, where so many ex-Star Trek stars showed up as doctors, leaders, and experts. But, considering Nathan Fillion's Firefly and science fiction roots, it's no surprise he'd encourage other sci-fi alums to cameo on his show.
Michael Dorn, Robert Picardo, Nana Vistor, Armin Shimeran, John Billingsley, and Linda Park all showed up at various points in the series' eight season run. However, the best cameo by far was Johnathon Frakes, who played Will Riker. Frakes showed up, dressed as a really hardcore Richard Castle fan, and walked off screen like it never happened. Fans can't be fooled that easily, Riker, they all saw you and it was fabulous.
5 Warehouse 13
Where there isn't Star Trek, other sci-fi shows bloomed to try to take its place. One of those shows was Warehouse 13, about the sci-fi and fantasy objects in the world. And, Warehouse 13 was where the people who protected those objects worked and hid them from the world.
Brent Spiner, Armin Shimeran, and Rene Auberjonois all appeared as important characters. One even changed the course of Warehouse history. But the most important cameo was making a perfect nod to Star Trek relationships: officially making Captain Janeway be Seven of Nine's mom. Okay, well, sort of. Kate Mulgrew played main character Pete's mom, Jane Lattimer, and Jeri Ryan played his ex-wife, Amanda Lattimer. They're sort of related; it's close enough.
4 Ben 10 Franchise
Where there are aliens, fans can often find a Star Trek actor. Of course, that means that the Ben 10 franchise was riddled with cameos. They ranged from the abused, Franken-Cyborg villain Dr. Viktor (Michael Dorn AKA Worf) to the famed (and small) creator of the Omnitrix himself, Azmuth (Rene Auberjonois AKA Odo).
Whether good guys or bad ones, these cameos always made an impact. The self-centered and insufferable Darkstar (voiced by Wil Wheaton) not only caused some unrest in the team, but has become a recurring enemy in the universe.
Other actors that gave their voice to Ben 10 characters include Armin Shimeran (Quark), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun/Shran), and Rosalind Chao (Keiko O'Brien).
3 Captain Planet and the Planeteers
After TNG finished running in the 90s, many of its core cast moved onto other gigs, including voice work. True to TNG's messages of world peace and diplomacy, Levar Burton and Whoopi Goldberg turned their acting towards quite the humanitarian kid's show: Captain Planet and the Planeteers. All about saving the planet, socially, and environmentally, the show was an endlessly hopeful after school PSA.
Burton played Kwame, the wearer of the Earth ring. Kwame was born in Africa but leaves his home to bring the Planeteers together as their unofficial leader. Meanwhile, Goldberg played Gaia, the spirit of Earth itself. She also mentored the Planeteers to help protect the planet.
2 The Twilight Zone
Before there was Star Trek, there was The Twilight Zone. Before many of even the original Star Trek actors ending up leading their respective series, they ended up on this mind-bending sci-fi show filled with supernatural and bizarre events, including: Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Johnathon Frakes (Will Riker), James Doohan (Scotty), George Takei (Sulu), Ethan Phillips (Neelix), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Terry Ferrel (Jadzia), and Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun/Shran).
The best Twilight Zone/Star Trek crossover comes in the form of one of William Shatner's episodes on the show. In it, he plays a man on a plane. And the longer that man is on the plane, the weirder things get. Particularly when it comes to this beast he keeps seeing on the wing of the plane. The episode's called, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and comes highly recommended.
A personal favorite Star Trek cameo-fest (and an amazing show in general) is Gargoyles. This Disney gem was a later entry in the famous Disney Afternoon. While a much darker show than many other Disney entries, Gargoyles has quite the cult following. There are obvious ex-Trekkies, like Johnathan Frakes playing the devious zillionaire, Xanatos and Marina Sirtis playing Goliath's ex-wife, Demona. These two were main cast members for the entire run of the series.
However, many of their old TNG friends and other Star Trek stars also showed up. This includes Spiner (Data) as Puck, Burton (Geordi) as Anansi, Dorn (Worf) as Coldstone and Taurus, Meany (O'Brien) as Dr. Dugan, Nichols (Uhura) as Diane Maza, Mulgrew (Janeway) as Titania, and Brooks (Ben Sisko) as Nokkar.
Quite the starstruck supporting cast, eh?