Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Avenue 5 Star You Likely Forgot Was A Major Player On Star Trek: Voyager

Set in the future, "Avenue 5" is named after an interplanetary cruise ship which accidentally goes off course in the pilot episode of the HBO series. The vessel is only supposed to be in space for eight weeks, but after the accident, it's now three years away from getting back to Earth. HBO's extremely dark science fiction sitcom then follows the bumbling workers on Avenue 5, including Captain Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) and Customer Relations Head Matt Spencer (Zach Woods), as they deal with angry passengers and work as best they can to get back home, even with little idea what they're doing.

The passengers on the ship include Spike Martin (Ethan Phillips) and many others. A former astronaut and the first Canadian to walk on the moon, Spike is now a jaded, womanizing drinker who is on board Avenue 5 to teach kids about space. Phillips also worked with "Avenue 5" creator Armando Iannucci on his previous HBO series, "Veep," so he's no stranger to the man's crazy one-liners and black humor. But along with that, the actor has also worked in the science fiction TV world before. Here's more about his major role in fellow futuristic series "Star Trek: Voyager."

Ethan Phillips was the alien cook Neelix in Star Trek: Voyager

Ethan Phillips has made dozens of guest appearances in television and been a part of many film productions, but he's still primarily known for playing Pete Downey in the 1980s sitcom "Benson" and starring as alien chef Neelix in the "Star Trek" spinoff "Star Trek: Voyager," which aired from 1995 to 2001.

Phillips already became a part of the "Star Trek" universe when he guested as Dr. Farek in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in 1990. But the mohawked Talaxian cook is a regular character in "Star Trek: Voyager," often offering optimism and advice to the ship's crew along with their meals. Neelix appeares in the show from the pilot episode on until Season 7, Episode 22, "Homestead," in which he chooses to remain with a passing colony of Talaxians, but he does return for the series finale.

The chef doesn't have the same big storylines as other characters, but episodes like "Mortal Coil" and "Fair Trade" are key exceptions. Phillips later commented that he loved the character but wished he'd gotten more room to be weird in the show, noting that "it would have been fun to have seen him ... be a bit different or a little more alien. I'm talking funnier, wackier and slightly stranger." Phillips continued by stating, "I regret not having made more of a mark than I did with Neelix, but having said that, I feel that he's a fine addition to the pantheon of 'Star Trek'" (via Treknews).