Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: All 3 Characters Played By David Warner

Who are the three Star Trek characters played by David Warner? The acclaimed British thespian made an indelible impact on Trekkers in the 1980s and 1990s thanks to his appearances in two Star Trek movies and a memorable role as a villain in a classic Star Trek: The Next Generation two-part episode. In fact, Warner's roles make him one of the few actors to share the screen with the two Captains of the U.S.S. Enterprise, James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).

Born in England, David Warner trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and was part of the Royal Shakespeare Company like his colleague, Sir Patrick Stewart, whom he performed Hamlet with. Stewart even stated that Warner was his hero and he enjoyed sharing the stage with him. Warner appeared in Hollywood films like The Omen and he played Jack the Ripper in Time After Time, which was directed by Nicholas Meyer, who went on to direct Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Warner's numerous credits include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and he voiced Ra's al Ghul in Batman: The Animated Series.

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Throughout his distinguished career, David Warner worked with many actors who also had prominent roles in the Star Trek franchise like Rene Auberjonois, Alice Krige, Jeffrey Combs, Malcolm McDowell, and Leonard Nimoy. But Trekkers know David Warner best from the following roles he played in Star Trek.

Ambassador St. John Talbot in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Warner's first Star Trek role was in the William Shatner-directed Star Trek V. As St. John Talbot, the Federation Ambassador to Nimbus III, the so-called "Planet of Galactic Peace," Warner played a disillusioned and drunken man. Talbot was one of three other diplomats, including the Klingon and Romulan ambassadors, who were mired in the failed experiment on the dusty and abandoned planet.

Talbot and his colleagues fell under the sway of Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) and became part of his army of followers on his quest to find God in the mythical world of Sha Ka Ree. Talbot joined Sybok when the renegade Vulcan hijacked Captain Kirk's Starship Enterprise, but he regained his senses after the heroes exposed "God" as an alien imposter and defeated his plans for galactic conquest.

Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

In Star Trek VI, which was helmed by his director from Time After Time, Nicholas Meyer, Warner returned but this time as Gorkon, the Chancellor of the Klingon Empire. When the Klingons suffer an environmental catastrophe, Gorkon leads the initiative for peace with the Federation, which leads to him being assassinated by conspirators from the Klingons, Romulans, and the Federation. Gorkon has a memorable scene in which the Klingons dine with Kirk's crew aboard the Enterprise and trade Shakespearean quotes. It was Gorkon who called the future where humans and Klingons are allies "the undiscovered country", giving Star Trek VI its memorable title.

Gul Madred in Star Trek: The Next Generation

David Warner's full-on villainous turn as the evil Cardassian Gul Madred in the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter "Chain of Command" is perhaps his greatest Star Trek role. When the Cardassians capture Captain Picard while he's on a secret mission, Madred personally conducts the Starfleet hero's torture and nearly succeeds in breaking Picard's will. "Chain of Command" is a master class between the two Shakespearean-trained thespians, and Trekkers will never forget Madred trying to convince Picard that he sees five lights (Madred being the fifth). But when he is rescued, Picard defiantly yells, "There are four lights!" and defeats Gul Madred's sadistic manipulations at the end of the unforgettable Star Trek episode.