If you wondered why Michael Caine couldn’t pick up his Oscar for his Best Supporting Actor win in Hannah And Her Sisters, it’s because he was too busy filming Jaws 4. Actors are artists, but they also have bills to pay. Even the most talented actor has car payments and kids to put through school. As the expression goes, hindsight is 20/20. Still, though the money may have been good, some actors in retrospect may have thought that maybe it was better to have eaten ramen noodles for a few weeks than to star in some of the films that they did.
The Star Trek franchise is one of the most popular and profitable series of all time. Actors in Star Trek could go on to do movies, spinoffs, and enjoy a successful time doing the convention circuit (William Shatner could get as much as $50,000 just to make an appearance). However, everyone needed to start somewhere, and some of these Star Trek actors probably wished they could time travel and stop themselves from starring in some of these film and television shows. Check out these 15 Embarrassing Roles Star Trek Actors Want You To Forget.
15. JASON ISSACS IN ELEKTRA
In the new series Star Trek: Discovery, we are introduced to Captain Gabriel Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs. Lorca is a mysterious character with possible ties to the Federation’s shadow organization known as Section 31. Starfleet is at war, and the ship he commands, the Discovery, has a new engine that allows the vessel to more or less teleport using something called a spore drive.
Although the Captain has survived multiple deaths at the hands of Harry Mudd (it’s a long story) he played one character that didn’t make it past the opening of the movie. Yes, that was Jason Isaacs in the opening of the Daredevil spinoff, Elektra. He is quickly dispatched by the assassin in red unceremoniously. He’s lucky to be killed off so quickly; the rest of the film was considered nothing short of a disaster. No wonder his appearance in the movie is uncredited!
14. PATRICK STEWART IN WILD GEESE 2
Even Gene Roddenberry had doubts about casting British actor Patrick Stewart in the role of Frenchman Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In 2017, the show celebrated its 30th anniversary and fans couldn’t be happier that Sir Pat was a part of the franchise. Stewart was a Shakespearian actor used to sitting on thrones playing kings, so sitting in the Captain’s chair was an easy transition for him.
When asked at a convention if he was embarrassed by any past roles he was in Stewart quickly mentions the 1985 film Wild Geese 2. By his own admission, he needed the money and took the role in the film to fix a window in his home. We appreciate your honesty, Sir Pat, and we like that you stayed bald well into the 24th century.
13. WHOOPI GOLDBERG IN THEODORE REX
A young girl was watching television and saw Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on Star Trek. She saw that the black woman was not playing a maid and was in charge of communications on the ship. That inspired the young girl to go into the entertainment industry. This young lady grew up to be Whoopi Goldberg, one of the few people to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
Whoopi Goldberg played the enigmatic Guinan, who ran the leisure lounge known as Ten Forward on the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D. On the Enterprise, she worked with tons of aliens, but in the 1995 film Theodore Rex, her character lived in an alternate future where people co-exist with dinosaurs. Although at the time it was the most expensive direct-to-video movie ever made, it’s still the only direct to video movie nominated for a Golden Raspberry, and that’s not a good thing.
12. MARINA SIRTIS IN SPACE RIDERS
Although originally cast to play the security officer, Marina Sirtis wound up playing Counselor Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Writers struggled to come up with plots for Deanna, but years later in retrospect people praise Captain Picard having a counselor on the bridge to encourage diplomacy as well as deal with mental wellness on the starship. Now can someone explain why she’s the only Betazoid with an accent like that?
Marina Sirtis was credited as The Girl In the Porsche in the 1984 film Space Riders. Before you get excited about the movie taking place in outer space, it’s actually about motorcyclists. It’s got epic music by Queen and Duran Duran but besides that, it’s filled with slow-motion motorcycle shots and very fake bike crashes. You don’t need Betazoid senses to know that this movie should be avoided.
11. DOMINIC KEATING IN ZALMAN KING’S CHROMIUM BLUE
Although the television series Star Trek: Enterprise was short lived, it still was liked by fans many years later. The crew of the NX-01 explored the galaxy years before the United Federation of Planets was formed and the show served as a prequel to the original series featuring Kirk, Spock and McCoy. The ship could only go as fast as Warp 5, there were no tractor beams, and people were scared to death of the transporter.
The security chief was Malcolm Reed, played by Dominic Keating. Before he was on the deck of the Enterprise, he was aboard the Chromium Blue, a boat owned by the billionaire Henry Brooke. The show of the same name was produced by Zalman King, who’s known for making films and tv shows that are shown at Midnight on Cinemax for a reason. Did Keating get naked on the show? Watch it to find out.
10. LEONARD NIMOY IN SATAN’S SATELLITES
Captain Kirk couldn’t have been the brash, headstrong lothario that he was was without Mr. Spock at his side. Spock was the science officer aboard the USS Enterprise and due to his half-Vulcan heritage kept his emotions at bay. Producers feared that audiences would look at his pointed ears and think he was the devil, but instead he was embraced as one of the favorite Trek characters of all time.
Spock was played by Leonard Nimoy, who also went on to have a successful directing career. Before the success would come, he made Zombies of the Stratosphere, a series that was collected and shown as the feature Satan’s Satellites. The martian plan was to use a hydrogen bomb to knock Earth out of its orbit so Mars could take its place. The plot is as ridiculous as Nimoy’s outfit, but then again, Spock’s pointed ears were also kind of silly.
9. JONATHAN FRAKES IN THE COVER GIRL AND THE COP
Commander William Thomas Riker was the First Officer under Jean-Luc Picard on the USS Enterprise NCC 1701-D. Although he was career oriented, it took him almost 15 years to accept a promotion and become Captain of the USS Titan serving with his wife Deanna Troi. Picard wanted Riker to serve as his Number One because while serving on the USS Hood, he refused to let his Captain beam down into hostile territory.
Riker was played by Jonathan Frakes, who, like a number of Star Trek actors, has also had a successful directing career. Before he achieved success on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he starred in the film The Cover Girl and the Cop, which was also known as Beauty and Denise. It’s got a made for tv kind of feel and it’s certainly not Frakes at his best.
8. MICHAEL DORN IN AMANDA AND THE ALIEN
In Star Trek: Discovery, the Federation is at war with the Klingons. The good news is that the war will be resolved by the time Star Trek: The Next Generation airs, with a Klingon serving as the Chief Security Officer aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Worf, son of Mogh, was an honorable warrior, an exemplary officer, and a character that would also serve time on Star Trek: Deep Space 9, making him the longest-running character in the history of Star Trek.
Worf was played by Michael Dorn, who originally was just supposed to be a background actor. Perhaps he wanted to also be in the background and not be one of the stars of the 1995 made for tv movie Amanda and the Alien. The movie is somewhat of a “Skinemax” film and at one point they make a Star Trek joke, where Dorn’s character asks “Star Trek?”
7. ETHAN PHILLIPS IN HOMEBOYS IN OUTER SPACE
Some may call the show racist, others may call it genius deconstructionist cinema, but at one point in time there was a television network called UPN and on that network they had a show called Homeboys in Outer Space. Taking place in the 23rd century, two astronauts named Ty and Morris travel the galaxy in what they called a Space Hoopty, with the ship’s computer named Loquatia. The show ran one season.
Making a brief appearance on the show was Ethan Phillips, who fans of Star Trek: Voyager know as the Neelix, the ship’s morale officer. Phillips played Inspector 17 on one of the episodes, and fortunately the big glasses, wig, and augmented voice makes it hard to tell it’s him. The show received a lot of backlash, however, so don’t expect to hear Ethan talk about it at future conventions.
6. ROBERT DUNCAN MCNEILL IN MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
Robert Duncan McNeill played Cadet Nicholas Locarno on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and played the very similar character of Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager (the character couldn’t be reused to the cost of royalties). Lieutenant Paris had gone against orders and because of that, fellow crewmembers died. He was incarcerated but was recruited by Captain Janeway to help track down a Maquis ship in the Badlands.
McNeill has become a successful director, helming such shows as The Orville, Supernatural and Chuck. But starting out as an actor, he appeared in the Dolph Lundgren flop Masters of The Universe. The film had none of the charm or joy of the animated series. McNeill plays a teen who finds a Cosmic Key, a device that can open portals. Fans were quick to forget the movie and hopefully forget he was in it!
5. TERRY FARRELL IN HELLRAISER III
The Trill race is an interesting one because of its symbiotic relationship with its host; once the host dies the Trill can be transplanted into another being, ensuring the Trill leads a long life. On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Science Officer Jadzia Dax was played by Terry Farrell for six seasons, and left the show after the Jadzia host was killed by Gul Dukat. Season 7 introduced Ezri Dax, played by Nicole de Boer.
Terry Farrell starred in the 1992 film Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth, which was considered one of the least liked of the series. The movie had some of the lamest Cenobites, including Dreamer (who had a cigarette protruding from her neck) and CD, who spat out compact disks. Give us someone that could spit out LaserDiscs, then you’ll hear us scream in terror.
4. AVERY BROOKS IN THE BIG HIT
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018. When it first debuted it was considered the black sheep of the franchise: instead of exploring space, new life and new civilizations would come to the space station from the Gamma Quadrant via a stable wormhole. It also featured lengthy episodic arcs which was unheard of for Star Trek. It broke new ground and still has relevance today.
The Captain of Deep Space Nine was Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, who was a man of action as well as the spiritual leader of a race of people called Bajorans. Sisko was played by Avery Brooks, and Brooks played a mob boss in the 1998 Mark Wahlberg film The Big Hit. Why would Avery Brooks take on such a one-note character? Perhaps what he’s holding in his hand may be a clue.
3. RONNY COX IN COP ROCK
Captain Jean-Luc Picard was Captain of the flagship of the Federation for years, but other people sat in the command chair of the USS Enterprise besides him. Other than William Riker and Data, there was another man by the name of Edward Jellico, who covered for Picard while he went on a secret mission with Worf and Crusher. He angered a lot of people with his command style, but at the end of the day got the job done.
Jellico was played by Ronny Cox, who starred in the 1990 television show Cop Rock. Believe it or not, it was a musical featuring police officers and yes people did burst out into song while getting arrested. The show ran for only 11 episodes and is considered by TV Guide as one of the worst shows of all time. Enterprise, beam us up… there’s nothing good about this show.
2. ANDY DICK IN DOUBLE DRAGON
Star Trek: Voyager was set in the 24th century and the ship’s Doctor was a highly advanced interactive hologram. While Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant, they beamed the Doctor to a ship in the Alpha Quadrant and he met an upgraded form of himself, The Emergency Medical Hologram Mark II. Together, they repelled a Romulan invasion of a Starfleet vessel.
The EMH Mark II was played by Andy Dick. We know what you’re going to say… Andy Dick was in many roles that we want to forget. The one that comes to mind the quickest is the feature film adaptation of the video game Double Dragon. The movie takes place in New Angeles, a city in post-apocalyptic California. Andy Dick played a weatherman advising people to use their smog fans. The movie was a low-budget mess and even Andy Dick should be embarrassed he was in it.
1. WILLIAM SHATNER IN INCUBUS
The original Star Trek featured the iconic Captain James Tiberius Kirk and if the show was a wagon train to the stars then he was the biggest cowboy of them all. Played by William Shatner, he led the crew to places no man had gone before. When he wasn’t romancing women, he was karate chopping giant lizards into submission.
Shatner starred in the film Incubus in 1966 but we bet you didn’t see it. Here’s why: the actors spoke in Esperanto, a language invented by an ophthalmologist hoping it would become a universal language. Esperanto speakers thought the actors butchered the language and a fire destroyed the negative of the film. Leave it to William Shatner to go out of his way to destroy other languages besides English.
Which Star Trek is your favorite version? Post your comments below!
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