Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: All 4 Characters Played By Tuvok Actor Tim Russ

Actor Tim Russ played 4 different characters in the Star Trekfranchise. Russ was a devoted "Trekkie" before landing the life-changing lead role of Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager. Since the series ended, Russ has remained active in the fandom; in addition to writing extended universe content, he also provided voice acting for various games and even directed two fan productions. 

Russ is best known for portraying Tuvok, the mild-mannered and level-headed Vulcan security officer who served as Captain Janeway's third in command, the chief tactical officer on the USS Voyager. Lieutenant commander Tuvok was often the voice of reason onboard Voyager, offering a calming presence that starkly contrasted Worf's role as chief tactical officer on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now

A long-time fan of Star Trek, Russ tried for several years to land a role in the franchise. Tim Russ was considered for Geordi LaForge in TNG, but ultimately lost the part to Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton. Not one to give up on a dream, Russ continued to audition for parts in the franchise and won a few guest roles before being cast for Voyager. Despite only appearing in 4 roles, Russ appeared in three Star Trek TV series as well as one movie; as a result, he holds the distinction of appearing onscreen with four different Star Trek captains — a record he ties with William T. Riker actor Jonathan Frakes (although technically Frakes didn't share any scenes with Captain Kirk in Generations).

Devor, Star Trek TNG

Russ's Star Trek debut was as Devor in the TNG episode "Starship Mine." In the episode, the USS Enterprise docks at the Starfleet Arkaria Base for a baryon sweep. The procedure is necessary every few years to remove the radioactive baryon particles that starships amass from warp travel; however, the sweep itself is deadly, and therefore requires the crew to evacuate the ship (and enjoy some shore leave). Some mercenaries, posing as the station's crew, board the ship to steal trilithium resin from the warp core, which is a highly-volatile substance that can be used by terrorists to manufacture explosives. Picard returns to the Enterprise to grab a saddle and finds himself embroiled in the plot. Devor is the first mercenary that he encounters; after extracting information from him, he leaves Devor unconscious in the sickbay where he is later killed by the baryon sweep.

T'Kar, Star Trek DS9

Russ returned to portray another mercenary in Star Trek, playing the Klingon T'Kar on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nineepisode "Invasive Procedures." In the episode — which has striking parallels to the TNG episode Russ appeared in — the Deep Space Nine station is evacuated due to an impending plasma storm, and is being operated by a skeleton crew. T'Kar leads a team of mercenaries hired by disgruntled Trill Verad to help steal the Dax symbiont.

Enterprise-B lieutenant Star Trek Generations

Russ's only (canon) Star Trek movie appearance so far is in Star Trek: Generations. Released in 1994, Generations bridged the Star Trek: The Original Series movies with TNG by having Kirk and Picard team up to defeat Tolian Soran, the movie's antagonist. Russ played one of the bridge crew on the Enterprise-B.

Tuvok, Star Trek: Voyager

Russ's dedication to Star Trek eventually earned him a lead role in Voyager as Tuvok — a role he played for seven years. Tuvok was the focus of several memorable Voyager episodes, and Russ had the opportunity to fully develop his character. Russ has remained a dedicated Trekker in the 20 years since Voyager ended, even reprising the role for the fan-made production Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. With several TNG and Voyager actors having reprised their roles for the sequel series Star Trek: Picard, perhaps Russ will have a change to play Tuvok once more — or even add a fifth character to his Star Trek resume.

About The Author