Star Trek. Arguably the greatest sci-fi franchise ever to grace the small and big screen. It has been with us for over fifty years (and counting). Overall those various films and series there have been some rather surprising cameo and guest appearances and many actors you didn’t know had been a part of the franchise. Some have been famous actors who have blended into the background, while some have been loudly and proudly obvious to all that are watching. Let’s countdown the ten actors you didn’t realise had been in Star Trek, starting off with a legendary actor.
10. Ron Pearlman
Famous for many roles in iconic sci-fi movies such as; Hellboy and Blade 2, Ron Pearlman has a sparkling filmography under his belt. You may (or may not) have noticed that he was in the final Picard-era Trek movie, 2002’ Star Trek: Nemesis. Although the main antagonist was played by Tom Hardy before he became an A-lister, Ron Pearlman played a Reman guard in the film. He was under a lot of prosthetics, but you can still just about make him out.
9. James Avery
If you’re a child of the 90s then James Avery will be best known to you as the actor who played Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Will Smith. But he also played a Klingon general in the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise. James Avery also tried out for the part of Worf, that eventually went to Michael Dorn.
8. Kelsey Grammar
This one is hard to imagine but yes, Frasier himself is one of those famous actors who had a role on Star Trek. It was a pretty good one too as he played Captain Morgan Bateson of the USS Bozeman. Sporting a rather fine beard, he appeared in just one episode of season five of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Perhaps there is an idea there for a future series with captain ‘Frasier’ Bateson at the helm of a new starship?
7. Tom Morello
Now, this is a cool one. Especially if you’re a rock music fan. If you’re not, then Tom Morello is the guitarist in legendary bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Being a huge Trek fan, he asked to be part of Star Trek: Insurrection, but he was largely unnoticed because of makeup. Because of this, he was offered a part as crewman Mitchell in Voyager to make up for it. He was in a scene with captain Janeway too, so it wasn’t all bad.
6. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
This one is more of the legendary cameos from a now A-list actor. Back in the ’90s when he moved from wrestling to acting, this was Dwayne’s first proper acting role. True to form, he actually played a Pendari who beat Seven of Nine in a fight on Star Trek: Voyager. The Rock’s career has gone from strength to strength since his debut on Voyager, so hopefully, he looks back fondly on his Trek beginnings.
5. Kim Cattrall
Yep, Samantha from Sex in the City was one of the actors on Star Trek. Before she was ‘enjoying’ herself in New York City she had a rather cool role on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. She played a Vulcan helmsman called Valeris in the movie and was part of a tense ‘mind meld’ scene with Leonard Nimoy on the bridge. If you watch the scene back now, it’s clear to see where she got some of the inspiration for her more risqué scenes in the hit show that followed next.
4. Kirstie Alley
Keeping the theme of strong women is our number four offering, Kirstie Alley. Another star of Cheers! like Kelsey Grammar earlier in our list, Kirstie actually appeared in a movie as opposed to Next Generation like Kelsey. She starred as Lt Saavik in Wrath of Khan. One of her highlights was being given the special honour of guiding the Enterprise out of spacedock, much to the dismay of Admiral Kirk at the time. The look on Dr McCoy’s face is worth another watch alone.
3. Seth Macfarlane
This is possibly the ultimate fan-boy casting. It’s no secret that Seth is a huge Trekkie; you only have to look at the Trek references in his shows; not to mention The Orville, which is a huge Star Trek send-up. It’s no surprise then, that he was given a part as a Starfleet engineer in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. It’s odd watching him play a straight role as you expect him to burst out with a Peter Griffin voice at any moment, but to give him credit, he pulls it off very well.
2. Iggy Pop
Yep, the ever-youthful godfather of punk and singer of The Stooges was actually in Star Trek. He played a villainous Vorta called Yelgrun in a Deep Space Nine episode entitled “The Magnificent Ferengi”. Although he was under quite a bit of makeup, you can quite clearly see it’s Iggy; especially when he speaks with that unmistakable drawl. His performance is superb, and he even manages to add some humour to the role. You also feel that at any moment he may remove his shirt and start gyrating around the ship.
1. Christopher Lloyd
Our number one choice for the greatest ever Star Trek ‘cameo’ goes to…Christopher Lloyd. It would be a further three years before he plays the iconic Doc Brown on Back to the Future. Before those dizzy heights he was one of many actors on Star Trek. He played the fantastic rebel Klingon commander Kruge on Star Trek iii: The Search for Spock. Having portrayed largely comedy roles previous to appearing in the movie, Kruge was a departure for him to play. He nailed the role perfectly; displaying the evil and powerful nature of the character, but with an endearing cheekiness to go with it. Christopher Lloyd has mentioned in recent interviews that he had a lot of fun playing such an evil character, and it showed. With plenty of Star Trek shows coming now and in the future, there could be plenty of possibilities for him to return as another character. We live in hope.
That’s our list of ten actors, you didn’t realise had been in Star Trek. Did we miss any? Which was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out more of our Sci-Fi articles HERE.
Read about IMDB information on Star Trek HERE.
No Time To Die – Review
No Time To Die is the 25th instalment in the official James Bond series. It’s the VERY long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Spectre. The 6-year gap between the two films is only matched by the same gap between Timothy Dalton’s last outing in 1989’s Licence To Kill and Pierce Brosnan’s debut in 1995’s Goldeneye. Here’s our review of No Time To Die.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the film, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
Of course, there are mitigating factors in that enormous gap. Namely COVID. Which made No Time To Die the first major film to delay its release due to the pandemic. Although, this film has had a difficult gestation irrespective of the global situation in the last 18 months. As soon as Spectre was released the speculation over Daniel Craig’s future in the role began. With him initially suggesting he would rather slash his own wrists than play the iconic spy again. He did a mea culpa on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show in August 2017, where he confirmed he would appear as Bond for a fifth and final time. The original director and writer, Danny Boyle and John Hodge, left the project a year later over creative differences. Cory Joji Fukunaga took over as director. While Bond script veterans Robert Wade and Neil Purvis took charge of the screenplay – with a sprinkling of magic from Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Originally slated for release in April 2020, at long last, we finally get to see Daniel Craig’s denouement as 007. His portrayal of Bond has been very much in keeping with the character of Ian Fleming’s original novels. His performances have certainly followed the dramatic lineage of Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton. Rather than the lighter portrayals by Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. Yet his Bond has displayed a vulnerability only really demonstrated with any plausibility by George Lazenby in his solitary outing as 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The deference to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is presented in stark relief throughout this 2h43min epic. Making this the longest Bond film in the series. As this was the first film I’ve seen at the cinema since before the pandemic, I was already excited before I even sat down. As a massive James Bond fan as well, I was close to apoplexy! I felt a tangible shiver go down my spine as the iconic gun barrel sequence appeared before we see James cruising around Italy in the classic DB5 with Madeleine Swann at his side. This anticipation was clearly felt by other cinema-goers. They have made No Time To Die break the UK box office record for the biggest opening weekend. It took almost £26m, breaking the record previously held by Skyfall.
I’m not going to spoil the plot for those who’ve not seen it. I had made a conscious decision to avoid spoilers before I went.
A step up?
This film is another shot in the arm for those who see Craig as the definitive Bond. This was aided by a refocusing of the Bond canon after the main tropes of the series were stretched to breaking point by the invisible cars and melting ice palaces of Die Another Day. And then stretched still further by Madonna’s cameo as a fencing instructor. Daniel Craig was given leeway to truly regenerate James Bond for the 21st Century. The stripped-back nature of Casino Royale, without most of the supporting characters that have been a staple of the series like Q and Moneypenny. Gave him licence (pardon the pun) to explore the deepest and darkest recesses of the Bond psyche. Some well-drawn female leads and villains really allowed Craig’s Bond to spar with them with depth and genuine emotion.
That exploration continues and grows in No Time To Die. We get to see an ageing, truly world-weary Bond, whose past he appears unable to escape. This leaves him in a state of almost constant angst. Paradoxically though, we also see him truly relaxed at times. In a way I can’t recall ever seeing James Bond in any of his previous cinematic outings.
The issue with that exploration is that a number of characters then have their screen time cut. Moneypenny is reduced to little more than a cameo. And Remi Malek’s Safin is almost secondary as he features in the opening moments as his story is told, but then disappears for what seemed like an eternity. He of course reappears but he almost seems a mild irritation within the plot and merely a conduit to allow us to see the climax of Daniel Craig’s Bond era. It’s a disappointing underuse of a terrific actor. One with a captivating screen presence, who could have been one of the most menacing Bond villains of all time. That said, the influence of his dastardly but highly sophisticated plan is felt by all of the main protagonists. Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld continues to wreak his havoc with malevolent glee from his cell. He again revels in the chaos of his twisted sibling rivalry with Bond.
Lea Seydoux is wonderful again as Dr Madeleine Swann, picking up where she left off in Spectre and giving Bond as good as he gets in every way imaginable.
There are new characters who definitely cut through. Ana De Armas is utterly charming in her relatively brief time on-screen as Paloma, while Lashana Lynch takes no nonsense from Bond as Nomi. She also gives us a potential indicator as to the future direction of the franchise. Which has been the subject of much discussion in all quarters. That debate has even made its way into the political sphere with even Boris Johnson weighing in on what gender the next actor to play 007 should be.
Hans Zimmer’s score is classic Hans Zimmer, adding power and bombast to the usual mix of stunning scenery and brilliantly choreographed stunts. He brilliantly weaves nods to previous entries in the Bond musical tapestry throughout his score. While his cues are always thunderous, they never overpower the action on screen, but do add a sonic rumble that I don’t think has been heard in a Bond score for quite some time. I found Fukunaga’s direction a bit mixed, with some of the cinematography unnecessarily showy. Some of the tracking shots almost gave me motion sickness while some (admittedly beautifully composed) shots of the scenery seemed to have made the edit purely so as whoever the drone operator was could demonstrate their skills.
The film is much too long, although at no point did I check my watch. It’s not that any of the plot points are superfluous, more that the pacing is a little slow in places. Some of the dialogue feels cliched and clunky, making what is a great story feel a tad generic. Which doesn’t do anyone justice. However, there were some excellent jokes, and I laughed out loud several times. You don’t have to be a 007 super fan to get some of the self-referential humour that they seem to enjoy sprinkling throughout the film.
Billie Eilish’s theme song is a worthy addition to the collection and certainly sits comfortably within the top half of the ‘Bond Theme Chart’. It’s definitely more memorable and evocative than Sam Smith’s ‘Writing On The Wall’ for Spectre. Her voice trembles at times as you can almost feel she recognises the significance of singing the theme for Daniel Craig’s final appearance in the franchise.
It was also very pleasing to see that this film has moved with the times and reflects the world of 2021 with its portrayal of women. Every single female character had a genuine purpose and important role within the plot. While of course, the female actors playing those roles are all irrefutably glamorous and attractive. There was genuine respect and no objectification of women.
I came out of the screening with mixed emotions. Glad to be back in the cinema on one hand, sad that Daniel Craig’s stint ordering Martini’s was over on the other. I was pleased that such a good climax had been created to bring this era of Bond to a close, and all its story arcs had been brought to conclusions. I’m also excited and apprehensive in equal measure for the future of such an iconic film series. But I was disappointed with some of the characters not getting the necessary screen-time to truly develop their characters. Surprisingly, I was almost tearful at the final few moments, especially as the credits rolled.
Overall, this is a loving homage to the James Bond series, past and present. It’s a solid if unspectacular film in its own right, but the performances of Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux, as well as the Bond history it wraps itself in, elevate it beyond that.
It’s not Craig’s best Bond film, as Skyfall is almost untouchable in my opinion, but it does bring closure to his tenure in the tuxedo in a manner that should please Bond fans across the board. It also tantalises us as to what the 6th age of Bond will look like. Let the intense speculation begin!
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 7/10
Thank you for reading our review of James Bond No Time To Die. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out who we think could be the next James Bond and why HERE.
Read IMDB information about No Time To Die HERE.
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