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The Surprising Connections Between Star Trek And Doctor Who

In the world of science fiction television, "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" represent the best that the United States and the United Kingdom have to offer, respectively. The long-running, time-traveling English series got a head start, launching in 1963 with William Hartnell as the titular Doctor — a mysterious space-time adventurer. The series' famous "regeneration" trope has allowed new actors to come in and out of the role over the decades, helping the series to last for a whopping 26 consecutive years before leaving the air in 1989. 

In 1966, "Star Trek" similarly dazzled American audiences, though the original series ran for just three seasons. Cancellation couldn't kill it, however, and the franchise was brought back as a series of feature films just as the 1980s were dawning. Then in 1987, the franchise exploded, spawning four new series over a decade and a half: "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine," "Voyager," and "Enterprise." Oddly enough, just as "Enterprise" was ending in 2005, "Doctor Who" returned.

Both franchises have thrived in different eras, and both have experienced modern-day renaissances. Despite being produced on different continents, the two legendary franchises have also shared a number of actors. From small parts to lead roles, here's every performer who's featured in both "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who." 

Guy Siner

You've most likely seen or heard character actor Guy Siner before. He played a harbormaster in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and twice has voiced the supervillain Man-Ray in "Spongebob Squarepants." He's also provided voice work for a number of "Star Wars" video games and appeared in guest roles in shows in the U.K. and America, including "Diagnosis Murder" and "'Allo 'Allo!" But before all of that, he appeared as Ravon in two parts of the "Doctor Who" story "Genesis of the Daleks" in 1975. Ravon was a Kaled officer who served during the Thousand Year War and oversaw the construction of the very first Daleks built by the mastermind Davros.

Hop forward nearly 30 years, and Siner would appear in an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise." There he played Stuart, the father of Malcolm Reed, the ship's security officer. In the Season 1 episode "Silent Enemy," Stuart Reed is contacted over subspace by Captain Archer in an attempt to learn more about Malcolm, as the officer's birthday is coming up and they are hoping to throw him a surprise party. Though a small role, it cemented him as one of the few to be part of both sci-fi franchises.

Simon Pegg

Best known for his collaborations with director Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg's roles in "Hot Fuzz," "Shaun of the Dead" and "The World's End" have made him a British comic legend. But it was his co-starring role in "Mission Impossible III" that brought him to the attention of Hollywood, and director J.J. Abrams would bring him back when he was tasked with recasting the roles of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the crew of the starship Enterprise for his 2009 reboot of the "Star Trek" franchise. Pegg would come onboard as Scotty, the overworked, exasperated, and brilliant chief engineer, and he played the role for three films. At a time when Chris Pine's star had yet to fully rise, Pegg's presence brought some name recognition to the project.

But his tenure on the Enterprise wasn't the first time Pegg found himself in a sci-fi relaunch. In 2005, Pegg starred alongside Christopher Eccleston in an episode of the first season of the "Doctor Who" revival series. Brought back after almost two decades, the new series recruited Pegg to play the villain in the seventh episode, "The Long Game." Set in the year 200,000, Pegg played a malevolent media magnate called the Editor who uses his power and influence to manipulate the people of future Earth by controlling the news.

Barrie Ingham

The second season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is generally considered to be pretty rough, but for all its faults, it still includes a number of notable guest stars including Billy Campbell, Mick Fleetwood, and Mitch Ryan. While Barrie Ingham may not have been as big of a name as those others at the time, he's the only one who had previously appeared on "Doctor Who." In the episode "Up The Long Ladder," two separate groups of colonists come aboard the Enterprise looking for relocation: one is a highly advanced people who've embraced cloning as a means of reproduction, while the Bringloidi are Luddites who eschew technology in all forms. Ingham plays the Bringloidi leader Odell, whose daughter he wishes to marry off. The two groups eventually solve their mutual problems by forming a new colony together.

Back in 1965, Ingham appeared twice in the "Doctor Who" franchise. In the series, Ingham played Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy in the adventure serial "The Myth Makers." In the episode, it's Paris who finds the TARDIS and brings it into Troy, and he befriends companion Steven Taylor during the tale. Ingham would get another turn in the non-canonical "Dr. Who and the Daleks" feature film starring Peter Cushing, where he played an alien called Alydon whose people were being hunted by the Doctor's mortal foes. Ironically, Ingham's character discovers the TARDIS and befriends the Doctor's companion again in the movie.

Orla Brady

You may recognize actress Orla Brady from her work outside both "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who." Whether it's from her recurring role as Elizabeth Bishop in "Fringe" or Dr. Karen Hopple in "American Horror Story," Brady has had a variety of major roles in her career. But her most recent is starring opposite Patrick Stewart in dual roles on "Star Trek: Picard." In the first season, she's introduced as Laris, a Romulan refugee and former Tal Shiar agent who comes to live on Picard's vineyard after the destruction of her homeworld. In Season 2, she returns as Laris, but she also plays the role of Tallin, an enigmatic "Watcher" tasked with monitoring events on Earth in the 21st century. 

Prior to her appearance in "Star Trek," Brady made a single but important appearance in "Doctor Who." Right around the franchise's 50th anniversary, Brady showed up in the episode "The Time of the Doctor," one of the show's many Christmas specials. There she played the villain Tasha Lem, an old friend of the Doctor's who calls him to the planet Trenzalore after a mysterious signal from the lost Time Lords begins emanating from the planet. Lem is ultimately revealed to be an agent of the villainous Daleks, having been converted by the robot race.

Deep Roy

With a long career in science fiction and fantasy films, Deep Roy has done and seen it all. He's played the Oompa Loompas in Tim Burton's "Willy Wonka" remake, performed as Droopy McCool and Yoda in the "Star Wars" franchise, and appeared in such classics as "Return To Oz," "The Neverending Story," "Planet of the Apes," and "The X-Files." But after featuring in so many major franchises, Roy still hadn't appeared in "Star Trek." That is, not until the 2009 reboot from J.J. Abrams. There he played Keenser, the small alien friend to engineer Scotty (Simon Pegg) when he was stationed at a remote outpost. Keenser would later accompany Scotty to the Enterprise after his recruitment by Kirk, appearing in all three films in the series.

Deep Roy often played fantasy creatures and outer space aliens. That would again be the case in "Doctor Who," where he made appeared in the classic 1977 serial "The Talons of Wein Chiang." In the story, Roy plays Mr. Sin, a robotic servant to magician Li H'sen Chang, who turns out to be much more than he appears.

Mark Sheppard

One of the few actors on this list to appear first as a part of the "Star Trek" franchise before taking a role in "Doctor Who," Mark Sheppard's connection to the British series is closely connected to that of his actor father, W. Morgan Sheppard. In the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Child's Play," the younger Sheppard played Leucon, the father of former Borg drone Icheb. Captain Janeway and the crew meet Leucon when they attempt to send Icheb home to his parents, but they soon discover that he and his wife have bio-engineered their son to be a living weapon against the Borg. When they send Icheb to die against the cybernetic invaders, it's up to the Voyager crew to save him.

More than a decade after appearing in "Voyager," Sheppard would play FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware III in the "Doctor Who" episode "Day of the Moon." Delaware helps investigate a series of mysterious phone calls made to U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1969, not long before the first moon landing. The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and River Song arrive at the White House to investigate themselves, believing they could be tied to a possible alien incursion. Together, they uncover a plot by a sinister race of aliens called the Silence, who nobody can remember unless they're looking at them.

William Morgan Sheppard

William Morgan Sheppard has made multiple major guest appearances in the "Star Trek" franchise. He was first featured in the "Next Generation" episode "The Schizoid Man" as a reclusive scientist named Ira Graves. Graves meets Commander Data on his deathbed and is able to transfer his consciousness to the android's body before his passing. In the 1991 feature film "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country," Sheppard played a Klingon overlord on the penal colony Rura Penthe who tormented Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. Later, in "Star Trek: Voyager," Sheppard guest-starred as alien monster hunter Qatai in "Bliss," who's engaged in a hunt for a massive space-borne life form that's feeding off of Voyager. A decade after that appearance, Sheppard would play a Vulcan official overseeing Spock's application to the Science Academy in the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot.

Sheppard's one appearance on "Doctor Who" is closely tied to his son, Mark Sheppard. In "Day of the Moon," the action of the episode takes place in 1969, where the younger Sheppard plays FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware III. In a bookend to that story, we meet a much older Canton in 2011 played by William Morgan Sheppard. At the conclusion of their adventure together in 1969, the Doctor gives him instructions to meet him, River, Amy, and Rory at Lake Silencio in Utah, where they'll burn the remnants of his body after his death at the hands of a mysterious astronaut.

John Franklyn-Robbins

Appearing in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Season 7 episode "Pre-Emptive Strike," John Franklyn-Robbins plays Macias, a sagely old man and member of the group of renegade freedom fighters known as the Maquis. Macias is the person in charge of the resistance on the colony of Juhraya, which was abandoned after the Federation signed a treaty with the Cardassians. Ro Laren, assigned to go undercover and gather intelligence on the Maquis, grows close to Macias, eventually seeing him as a father figure. Macias is killed during a raid by Cardassians, however, spurring Ro to defect from Starfleet and join the rogue faction of anti-Cardassian militants.

In "Doctor Who," Franklyn-Robbins appears in the classic serial "Genesis of the Daleks" as an unnamed Time Lord messenger with an important role to play. In the story, it's Franklyn-Robbins' character who kicks off the action by informing the Doctor of the danger the Daleks pose. Learning that the race of robots is going to one day wipe out all life in the universe, the messenger instructs the Doctor to travel back and stop their creation from ever occurring.

Daphne Ashbrook

The only American actor on this list, Daphne Ashbrook had serious potential to become a major player in the "Doctor Who" franchise. She appeared in the 1996 "Doctor Who" TV movie co-produced by the BBC and Fox. The film was intended to spark a whole new series that would have brought the British icon to American shores. As such, the cast was a mix of British and American talent, with Ashbrook starring as the Eighth Doctor's companion, an actual doctor named Grace Holloway who attempts to save the life of the Time Lord after he's attacked by a street gang in 20th-century San Francisco. The movie wasn't a success in the ratings, but it has its bright spots, and Ashbrook is definitely one of them.

Three years before her role as Holloway, Ashbrook appeared in an episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" Season 2. In the episode "Melora," she plays the title character, an alien scientist and Starfleet officer who visits the Deep Space Nine station. Ashbrook's character falls in love with the station's resident physician Julian Bashir. Melora is wheelchair-bound thanks to the unusual properties of her homeworld, but Bashir comes up with a new treatment that could allow her to walk at the expense of never being able to return home.

David Ajala

Prior to his stint on "Star Trek: Discovery," English actor David Ajala may have been best known to American audiences for his role as Manchester Black on the CW superhero drama "Supergirl." Before that, though, he was a mainstay on British TV, with roles in "Law & Order: UK," "The Bill," and "Black Mirror." It was in 2010 that Ajala would appear in "Doctor Who" in just the second episode of the Tenth Doctor's tenure, "The Beast Below." There he played a sinister enforcer named Peter aboard Starship U.K. in the 33rd century. Part automaton, Peter was the leader of the Winders, mechanical men who punished rule-breakers aboard the ship and were duty-bound to protect the secrets of their home.

A decade after his role in "Doctor Who," Ajala would join the "Star Trek" franchise as a mysterious renegade named Cleveland "Book" Booker. With the U.S.S. Discovery catapulted into the 32nd century, Michael Burnham is lost and crash-lands on the planet Hima, where she encounters Book. Over the course of the season, Book and Burnham become romantically involved, and when Burnham takes command of Discovery, Book joins her aboard the ship for good. 

Christopher Neame

In 1995, British actor Christopher Neame appeared in the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Heroes And Demons." In the story, he played a warrior named Unferth in a holodeck simulation of "Beowulf" run by Harry Kim. Oddly enough, Unferth is encountered by the ship's doctor when Kim goes missing within the virtual world. Later, in "Star Trek: Enterprise," Neame pops up again as a German general during World War II. But this is no holodeck recreation, as the NX-01 Enterprise had found itself transported back in time. An alien race had altered Earth's history to assist the Third Reich in its plans for global domination

Neame's role in "Doctor Who" is a bit less straightforward, and certainly one of the most unique appearances featured on this list. He played the role of Skagra, an alien engineer in the infamous serial "Shada," written by Douglas Adams. The story became infamous because, due to a number of reasons, production was halted halfway through and wouldn't be completed for decades. A combination of animation and newly filmed sequences were eventually used to finish things up. Neame himself would take part in the completion of the story, including providing commentary on the 2013 home video release.

Steven Berkoff

Excellent at playing sly villains, character actor Steven Berkoff appeared in the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Business As Usual." One of the show's many Ferengi-centric episodes and centered on the unscrupulous bartender Quark, the story features Berkoff as Hagath, a ruthless arms dealer who hires Quark to wine and dine his high-class clients. When Quark realizes that his work, though lucrative, might be aiding in the deaths of millions in a galactic war, he has a change of heart and must go against the vicious Hagath, as well as his own cousin Gaila. 

Fifteen years after appearing in "Star Trek," Berkoff would show up on "Doctor Who." In the 2012 Series 7 episode "The Power of Three" — which also featured an appearance by Mark Williams, of "Harry Potter" fame — Berkoff would play Shakri, the holographic image interface of an alien vessel. Shakri is encountered by Matt Smith's Doctor — along with Amy, Rory, and Rory's father Brian — when Earth is invaded by mysterious alien cubes.  

David Warner

Actor David Warner has appeared three times in the "Star Trek" franchise, beginning with his role as St. John Talbot in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier." Talbot was a human representative for the Federation stationed on Nimbus III, a planet in the Neutral Zone. Just one film later, Warner would return, this time playing the key role of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, whose assassination in the first act of "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" is what drives the main adventure. Two years after that, Warner would join "Trek" on the small screen when he boarded both parts of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Chain of Command." There he'd play a cruel Cardassian interrogator who tortures Captain Picard.

For "Doctor Who," Warner played roles in several audio dramas before joining the franchise on screen. In the Season 7 episode "Cold War," he plays Professor Grisenko, a Soviet-era scientist aboard the submarine Жар-птица (Firebird). While aboard the sub, Grisenko and his crew inadvertently awaken a Martian Ice Warrior who attempts to take over the vessel. 

Noel Clarke

Actor Noel Clarke is the first "Star Trek" actor to have joined the sci-fi franchise after playing one of the Doctor's companions on "Doctor Who." Debuting in the first episode of the "Doctor Who" revival series in 2005, Clarke played Mickey, who at first is portrayed simply as Rose Tyler's boyfriend, and who stays behind on Earth when Rose joins the Doctor to travel space and time. But eventually, Mickey would join Rose as a full-time companion and travel across the universe with her and the Doctor. All told, Clarke would appear in 15 episodes of the show, returning to say goodbye to David Tennant's Doctor in his final episode, "The End of Time."

A few years after his final appearance on "Doctor Who," Clarke would show up in the 2014 film "Star Trek Into Darkness." There he played a man named Thomas Harewood, whose daughter is dying of an incurable disease. Harewood is approached by a mysterious man calling himself John Harrison, who offers him a cure that will save his daughter's life. In exchange, Harrison asks him to destroy a secret Starfleet facility. Harrison of course turns out to be the notorious "Star Trek" villain Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), and it's Harewood's act of terrorism that jumpstarts the action of the film.

Maurice Roëves

The "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Season 7 episode "The Chase" is a divisive one among Trekkies, with a story that rewrites universal history and the "Star Trek" canon (per Den of Geek). In the episode, it's revealed that a race of ancient aliens is responsible for species throughout the franchise all being bipedal humanoids. Throughout the story, the Enterprise, a Klingon captain, and a Cardassian scientist compete to uncover the secrets of an ancient computer program. At the episode's climax, actor Maurice Roëves plays a Romulan commander who's been shadowing them all, hoping to steal the secrets for himself.

In the 1984 "Doctor Who" story "The Caves Of Androzani," Roëves appeared as Stotz, an illegal arms dealer hired by the villain Morgus to get weapons into the hands of renegade Sharaz Jek. The ensuing war on Androzani Minor draws in the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison), who, along with his companion Peri, becomes poisoned by a dangerous substance called Spectrox, which is at the heart of the conflict. 

Chris Obi

Chris Obi plays a small but important role in the "Doctor Who" episode "Closing Time." In the story, the Doctor is drawn back to Earth and zeroes in on a department store called Sanderson And Grainger, where something fishy is going on. He takes a job in the store, where Obi plays George, a security guard who becomes friendly with him. In the end, the Doctor's investigation leads him to uncover yet another Cyberman plot to invade Earth. 

In 2017, Obi would snag the coveted role of the lead villain on the first new "Star Trek" series in more than a decade. In "Star Trek: Discovery," Obi plays the Klingon leader T'Kuvma, who succeeds in uniting the many warring Klingon houses in a fight with the Federation. Unlike most actors who've crossed between the two sci-fi franchises, Obi actually became a main cast member in one franchise after appearing in the other.

Christina Chong

The Paramount+ series "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" features an ensemble cast that includes Christina Chong, who also appeared in a small but memorable role on "Doctor Who" in 2011. Set aboard the original U.S.S. Enterprise, "Strange New Worlds" puts Chong into the role of security officer La'An Noonien Singh. The character's name connects her to the classic "Star Trek" villain Khan Noonien Singh, played by Ricardo Montalban in the "Original Series" episode "Space Seed" and later in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

Chong appears in the sixth series of the "Doctor Who" revival in the episode "A Good Man Goes To War." She plays a young soldier named Lorna Bucket, a member of the Church of the Papal Mainframe, which is dedicated to the Doctor's destruction. Bucket herself only joined so she might one day meet the Doctor again, however, after encountering him as a young girl growing up in the Gamma Forests. Sadly, Bucket would meet her end in the Battle of Demon's Run, and viewers never learned much else about her.