The main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation ensured their places in science fiction history with their appearances in seven intense seasons, plus four movies. But that wasn't enough for these genre stalwarts. Almost every member of the Enterprise-D crew has also appeared in some off-the-wall science fiction or fantasy projects at some point.
Here's our roundup of the oddest places where you can play "spot the TNG actor." Note: We're focusing on the weird and the somewhat unusual here — so we're deliberately skipping over things like Patrick Stewart in X-Men. But we'd love to hear about your favorite Jonathan Frakes cameo or Patrick Stewart appearance in the comments!
Stewart plays Guinevere's father, Leondegrance, and he puts everything he's got into being jolly, as you can see from the clip at left. Everything is splendid and excellent! Super! Take my daughter away, Lancelot!
"Mood's a thing for cattle and love play! The slow blade penetrates the shield, but look down — we'd have joined each other in death!" You can tell Stewart is having fun with this one, zany 1980s "shield practice" effects and all.
Wild Geese II
Not strictly science fiction but including it because the clip is so wonderfully over the top, and Stewart has named it as his most embarrassing role. What is that Russian accent? Seriously. "Willy! You don't drink with us! Ha ha ha. You joke with us!" Rumor has it Stewart is playing a Russian general again in A Good Day to Die Hard, possibly partly in tribute to this iconic role.
Jean-Luc is so upset about being in this movie, he can't stop screaming. Also great: the part where the guy injects Jean-Luc with a weird chemical and then calls him "You bitch." Later, Patrick Stewart's plastic face erupts with red goop flying in a way that defies gravity.
There's a super train and it's out of control, and only a slumming PIerce Brosnan can stop it! Stewart plays Malcolm Philpott, who seems to find the whole thing vaguely amusing, at least judging from this clip at left.
This is that weird kids' movie where Macauley Culkin gets sucked inside a world of books and becomes a cartoon, and meets the avatars of Horror and Fantasy and Adventure. Stewart is the voice of Adventure, a book with a giant mustache and a weird accent and sometimes an eyepatch — and Adventure falls in love with Fantasy and tries to seduce her with a song about wooing, in an accent oddly reminiscent of Wild Geese II.
The Canterville Ghost
Stewart plays a ghost whom only the kids can see, Sir Simon de Canterville, in this British TV movie. Which starts with a completely unctuous voiceover, where he reads schlocky poetry. And later, he confesses that he drove his wife insane until she stabbed herself. Sadly, "Canterville" isn't some kind of My Little Pony thing. Although he does have a luxurious mane.
Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
Stewart voices King Goobot, who tells his assistant Oobla to stop interrogating toast. And then he decides he'd rather eat humans than toast. "They look... DELICIOUS!" Awesome.
In the English version, Stewart is the grandfather who gives the gift of steampunk to his grandson Ray (Anna Paquin!). Sadly, I can't find a clip from this online.
Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real
Stewart narrates this Animal Planet documentary about the wonder and mystique of dragons. I love the way he says "THE DRAGON." What if dragons... were real? And how did they breathe fire? Captain Picard will unravel it for you, with large helpings of brie and camembert along the way.
Stewart plays Captain Nemo, who's developing a weapon that could devastate an entire city, in this Hallmark Channel movie directed by Russell (Highlander) Mulcahy and co-starring Kyle MacLachlan. This trailer gives a glimpse of how much Stewart enjoys playing an evil maniac of mass destruction.
Stewart plays himself, but spends the entire time narrating his movie script — which sounds like the most insane thing of all time, like a remake of Zapped! with a much older protagonist. "By then, I've seen everything" should be Stewart's new catchphrase.
A Christmas Carol
After years of doing the Dickens story as a one-man show, Stewart finally did it as a TV movie. Here's the bit where he gets the Xmas spirit (as opposed to the Xman spirit.)
Stewart voices Winters. Skip to around 4:10 in the video at left to hear him rather jovially saying, "I must have hit my head pretty hard. I'm seeing... giant turtles!"
Stewart has a long-running role as Deputy CIA Director Avery Bullock, with the roller-skating and the text-speaking and the ridiculous taunts. "You're such a pollyanna, I bet you kiss prostitutes."
And we completely forgot to include Stewart's role as the inner voice of Susie Swanson — a baby girl whose interior monologue is Captain Picard is kind of genius. Thanks, Keith!
Gnomeo and Juliet
I kind of love this movie, cheesy jokes and all. Stewart is the statue of William Shakespeare brought to life, and he explains the whole actual plot of Romeo and Juliet in the middle of the Gnome-centric spoof, to which everybody basically says "Screw that." It's kind of a great scene, and I wish I could find it online.
Stewart is the narrator, who does a lot to keep the absurd premise chugging along — plus he gets this wonderful bit where he explains that nothing is more powerful than a child's wish... except an Apache helicopter.
Futurama, "31st Century Fox"
Stewart is the Huntmaster, who sics spring-headed spaniels on the Planet Express crew. See horribly camcordered clip at left.
Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage
Stewart is Old Sinbad, who narrates the movie from, one imagines, an armchair somewhere. I'm not sure how Young Sinbad could possibly live up to the voice of his older counterpart, rolling around the words "seized by the longing to travel and adventure" in his mouth like sherry.
Dorothy of Oz
Quite possibly Stewart's scenery-chewing voiceover of them all — seriously, listen to this teaser trailer. He sounds like he rolled a lot of sherry around in his mouth, and then finally just started chugging from the bottle.
Frakes was in every cheesy TV show of the late 1970s and early 1980s, including a Fantasy Island segment I can't find any clips from online. But then in 1982, he played Charles Lindbergh in an episode of the classic (?!) time travel show about a couple of kids setting history straight with the help of a magic timepiece. He looks exactly like Riker in this clip.
Highway to Heaven, "A Divine Madness"
In this show about an angel who goes around helping people or something, Frakes plays an angry preppie whose father was too busy building an empire to be there for him — and now the dad thinks he's King Arthur. I guess? Clip at left.
The Twilight Zone
When George R.R. Martin (among others) brought back the Twilight Zone in the mid-1980s, Frakes had a guest role, with an early version of his famous Riker beard. And his pickup lines in this are even better than when Riker tries to be flirty — "Hey baby, nice fingers. I bet you give great typing." Whaaa? Just stop, Riker. Just. Stop.
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
What is this? Seriously. What? I haven't seen the whole episode, but this clip just makes it look like Riker's gone berserk, with the Superman costume and the crazy mask and the manical laughter.
Frakes hosted this UPN show about alien abductions, ghostly encounters and other weird shit, and he puts a lot into making all of it sound somewhat kinda sorta plausible.
Almost not worth including, since Frakes' role as Xanatos is nearly as well known as, say, Stewart's role as Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies. (And now I want a Xanatos/Xavier crossover.) But Frakes is so insane and awesome as a supervillain who's always 100 steps ahead, it's worth celebrating anyway. This is his equivalent of Mark Hamill's defining role as the Joker.
Frakes was one of the producers of Roswell, and he was always willing to pitch in any way he could to make this show successful — including one episode where he plays himself, auditioning the alien kids to play aliens on Star Trek. Except that (womp womp) they're not convincingly alien enough. Frakes is a trouper — even after Scott Bakula pulled out of doing the episode, which was supposed to be cross-promotion for Enterprise, Frakes still makes it work somehow.
Superhero Squad Show
Frakes voices the High Evolutionary, who offers to help the wimpy version of Wolverine to get home from the Savage Land or wherever.
The Dain Curse
In this miniseries, based loosely on a Dashiell Hammett story, a family is stricken with an ancient curse that causes all its members to die young. And Spiner plays Joseph, the Bible-thumping youngster who doesn't want to breathe the same air as the unrighteous. Thanks to MadRazzex for clips!
Tales from the Darkside
Here's a young Spiner as a crazy preacher who gets confronted with a weird old plague-zombie named Titus. Gotta love Spiner trying to convince a dead guy that he should lie down and stop asking so many questions, in the name of the Lord and all. For some reason, Spiner often seemed to play earnest characters when he was young.
The Twilight Zone
Spiner, too, appeared in the 1980s revival of the Twilight Zone, as a draft dodger who's trapped on a weird wagon in the middle of nowhere, along with some of society's other outcasts. He's terribly earnest, with the big Lennon sunglasses.
Spiner, too, has a recurring role in this classic 1990s cartoon — as Puck, the mischievous spirit who gets pulled out of a mirror and then flutters around the room cackling and wringing every ounce of camp out of lines about wanting to stroll down Fifth Avenue looking like a fabulous monster.
The Outer Limits, "The Deprogammers"
There's an evil cult that's taken over the Earth, led by a weird alien named (what else?) Cultok. Okay, it's actually spelled Koltok. And Spiner plays Travis, the leader of the resistance movement against Koltok. Skip to around 6:37 in this video for some juicy Spiner moments, including the bit where he explains that it's hard to kill Koltok because he's so paranoid about his rival, Megawan.
Brent Spiner is a brilliant scientist, who's part of a team investigating the strange Brannon Bragian events in this short-lived series. And in the clip at left, he has to listen to Peter Dinklage making fun of Star Trek.
Skip to about one hour, five minutes in to see Spiner as a scientist who wants you to name as many mammals as you can in 60 seconds.
For some reason, Spiner had a stint of playing scientists for a while there — and here, he's chock full of enthusiasm to dissect alien beasties. With the crazy hair and stuff... until he gets turned into an alien's meat puppet.
Dude Where's My Car
In this stoner comedy about aliens and stuff, Spiner plays Pierre, who is an honorable man, in a cameo that has spawned a bunch of fanvids.
Once again, Spiner plays a scientist. And this time around, the only Spiner clip I could find from the entire film is titled "Brent Spiner screams like a girl." Which is basically self-explanatory.
Alphas, "Blind Spot"
And again, Spiner is a mad scientist — but this time he's a doctor who's an alpha, who's also determined to create more alphas. Because he is maaaad.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Spiner voices the Purple Man, who takes over Thor. I love the way Thor is like, "Purple Man? PURPLE MAN!!!" And then Spiner is like, "You're mine, Stark! Forever!" He's really rocking the purple.
Almost left this out because it was so highly featured and recent, but here you go — Spiner plays Brother Adrian, an exceedingly grouchy monk who gets stabbed to death and is kind of annoyed about it. Although he turns out to be mostly a figment, he's a very grouchy figment.
How did we forget Spiner's role as the most urbane Joker of them all? Thanks to everyone who reminded us of this one!
In this Roger Corman film, Sirtis plays "Girl in Porsche" — the whole movie is on Youtube, but I can't find her brief cameo, sadly. Also, she was in line to play Cally on Blake's 7, which might have changed the whole course of genre history.
Heaven Help Us
Sirtis appeared in an episode of this supernatural show about a couple who die and wind up on the mysterious 13th floor of a building. She's a lady in distress, and she cries a whole lot. I think the whole episode is on Youtube.
And Sirtis, too, appeared on Gargoyles, voicing Demona. Apparently she still turns up on QVC selling Gargoyles merch. Here she is, doing the crazy vowel-chewing, with lines, like, "You loooved me once. You truuuusted me once."
Not to be confused with Gatchaman. Sirtis plays a detective who helps track down a missing inventor, and here are all of her scenes. It's weird to hear Sirtis use her real British accent for once.
Duckman, "Where No Duckman Has Gone Before"
In this Trek-themed episode, Sirtis plays Aurora Abromowitz. And you can watch the entire thing at left. Her part is about 5 minutes in, where she's the host of a pleasure planet... except that she turns out to be Khan Chicken in disguise.
The Outer Limits, "The Grell"
Here, Sirtis coaches a child to eat alien saliva, in the service of a metaphor about how racism is bad, mmkay.
Earth: Final Conflict
Sirtis guest starred in the other Roddenberry show. She's an alien lady who gets in trouble with the law because of a secret society, and it looks like she has glowy palms and a kind of spiritual upward-gazing thing going on.
She plays Dr. Markov, who goes through the Gate in the clip at left, where she seems to be trying to imitate Stewart's accent from Wild Geese II.
Another supernatural show, in which ghosts are screwing around with Marina's kitchen and she freaks the hell out. Gotta love the amazing CG as the forks and spoons levitate and come after her. Great mother-daughter conference too: "Those kids are counting on me!" "You don't even know them!" "You don't even know ME!"
Fist of the Warrior
Not strictly science fiction or fantasy, but this martial arts-crime movie does reunite Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn, pleasing the legion (?) of Worf/Troi shippers immensely. And here, at left, is a collection of every Sirtis and Dorn scene from the movie.
Sirtis voices Matriarch Benezia, and you can see a taste of her performance at left.
The Deep Below
Also featuring Michael Dorn! This horror movie involves a ghost city underwater, and Sirtis plays a flirty lady who gets firewood delivered in the middle of July.
Around the time that the mocap Beowulf movie came out, Sirtis appeared in the SciFi Channel's ultra-cheap version, in which she plays a queen who goes insane after Grendel attacks.
Sirtis plays an attorney in this indy science fiction movie directed by Walter Koenig and starring just about everybody from classic science fiction. Check out a clip at left.
The Grudge 3
Sirtis plays Gretchen, and judging from this clip from the special features, she had a blast pretending to be freaked out by a Japanese ghost.
And here's another Syfy movie, where Sirtis is a scientist who has to save the world after terrorists attack a supercollider. Fricken supercolliders! They ruin everything.
In this vampire movie, vampires run the world and search for (yes, really) the Day Walker. Sirtis is the Day Walker's mom who tries to protect her kid from the vampire hordes. To quote Dread Central, "If Counselor Troi were to watch this film, the only emotion she would sense is despair."
Sirtis plays the evil Queen Bee. Gotta love the husky voice when she says she kept her promise. "Now YOU keep YOURS."
Castlevania: Hymn of Blood
Sirtis plays Persena, leader of a group of gypsies, in this fan series based on the popular video games. The whole episode is at left.
And with that, we've reached a length where the post will probably fail to load in most browsers if we add any more. Sorry, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and Levar Burton... we'll have to add you to a follow-up post. Possibly along with Wil Wheaton and Denise Crosby!