Star Trek has a long history of cameos.
For the most part, the people who crop up on the show are big fans – a mix of astronauts, actors, scientists and, in one case, royalty (no, not Prince Charles).
The new film is keeping with this tradition, shoving in the likes of Tyler Perry, Winona Ryder (above) and even Montgomery Doohan, AKA the son of the late James “Scotty” Doohan, who gets a blink-and-you’ll miss him moment in the transporter room with Simon Pegg.
Only fair, then, to take a peek back at some of the famous faces that have strolled the decks of the various Trek ships through the years…[page-break]
1. Christian Slater
In real life: The star of Pump Up The Volume, Heathers and True Romance, Slater hasn’t exactly been enjoying a career high for the last few years.
His movie work has been patchy and the recent TV show he hoped would give him a boost (My Own Worst Enemy) spluttered to a halt with only nine episodes aired.
In Star Trek: Slater crops up in Star Trek VI as an unnamed Communications Officer aboard the Excelsior who is charged with the massively important task of, er, waking up Captain Sulu.
What, Sulu doesn’t have an alarm clock or a communications unit in his quarters?
Did you know? Slater is a massive Trek fan that, as a child, once shaved his eyebrows so he could look like Spock. They never grew back properly.
And who did he turn to for his quick moment in the film? His Mum. No, really: Mary Jo Slater was the casting director on The Undiscovered Country. Nepo-tastic![page-break]
2. Mick Fleetwood
In real life: Fleetwood Mac’s drummer and one of its major driving forces, having been behind various incarnations of the band through the years.
His passion for the group has helped its longevity, and he's also enjoyed a successful solo career.
In Star Trek: He’s an Antedean dignitary in the episode ‘Manhunt’ from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Season Two.
This piscine alien arrives aboard the ship apparently on a mission of peace, but is secretly plotting to blow everyone to smithereens. Fortunately, he’s discovered and arrested before he can carry out his plot.
Did you know? Fleetwood was so dedicated to the role that he even shaved off his trademark beard in order for the makeup team to cover his face with the fishy mask.[page-break]
3. Dr. Stephen Hawking
In real life: Dr Hawking is the world’s most famous physicist. He’s probably best known for his medical condition - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – and his book, A Brief History Of Time.
But he’s also a massive Trek fan who seems only too happy to poke fun at his image on the likes of The Simpsons.
In Star Trek: Hawking crops up as himself, or at least a holographic version of himself, and is seen in the first scene of the sixth season Next Generation episode ‘Descent’, playing poker with Data (Brent Spiner), Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.
He even gets to crack wise (electronically, of course), mocking Newton for telling “the apple story again”.
Did you know? Hawking is the only person (to date, at least) to have played himself on an episode of Trek.
On a tour of the engineering set, he apparently pointed to the ship’s powerful warp core and said, “I’m working on that."
What. A. Geek.Though he probably could do it, you know.[page-break]
4. Kelsey Grammer
In real life: Comics – and Trek – fan Grammer is still best known for playing Dr Frasier Crane, one of the longest-running TV characters, on Cheers and Frasier.
He’s also been in several movies, including X-Men: The Last Stand, where he appeared as Hank McCoy, AKA Beast, under a furry blue costume.
In Star Trek: Grammer turns up as Captain Morgan Bateson, the man in charge of the USS Bozeman, which gets trapped in a temporal anomaly in 2278 (clumsy!)
It eventually reappears in 2368, colliding with the Enterprise-D over and over again, killing everyone until the crew figures out what’s up with the space weirdness in the Next Generation episode ‘Cause And Effect’ from Season Five.
Did you know? The Bozeman (named after the town in Montana where episode writer Brannon “I never met a technobabble cliché I couldn’t write” Braga was born) has the registry number NCC-1941.
It’s a nod to designer Greg Jein who also worked on miniatures for the Spielberg pic. How’s that for nerdy?[page-break]
5. King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein
In real life: He’s the current ruler of the Hashermite Kingdom of Jordan. He ascended to the throne in 1999 after his father, King Hussein, died.
As seems common for Middle Eastern royalty, he was schooled in the UK (he went to college at Oxford) and also attended Deerfield Academy across the pond.
Which might be where he picked up an abiding love of Trek…
In Star Trek: Who can say no to royalty? Especially as he can probably have you offed in secret.
He swung a role on Star Trek: Voyager, back in 1995 – when he was still a prince and not too busy ruling his country - as a science officer in the episode ‘Investigations’.
Did you know? Since he’s not a member of the Screen Actors Guild, he wasn’t allowed any speaking lines in his brief cameo.
There are some things even royal power can’t make happen, apparently. [page-break]
6. Jason Alexander
In real life: Alexander is mostly recognised for his long-running turn as George Costanza on Seinfeld.
In addition to his acting work, he’s a committed poker player and often hits the tables at celebrity tournaments.
In Star Trek: Slathered in latex that disturbingly makes it look like he has ladyparts for a forehead, Alexander plays Kurros on the Voyager episode ‘Think Tank’.
It sees a group of aliens offer the crew help with a nasty bounty hunters if they will leave sexy – and brainy - Borg lady Seven Of Nine (Jeri Ryan) behind to help with their work.
It doesn’t go well for the brainiacs.
Did you know? Alexander loves being a viewer, but never wanted a regular gig on the show: ''They work long, brutal days, the material is filled with lots of technobabble that's not easy to learn, there's lots of special effects work and smoke sets,'' he says. ''The fantasy of watching is great, but reality is it's a very hard job.”[page-break]
7. Bryan Singer
In real life: The director of The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil and the first two X-Men movies, among others.
He’s also a bit of a Trek nut, as it happens. “I love Star Trek, especially The Original Series because of the stories, the writing and the acting, believe it or not!” Wow, backhanded compliment there, Bryan.
In Star Trek: He has a tiny cameo moment in Star Trek: Nemesis as a tactical officer who takes Worf’s place on the bridge when the Klingon goes off on a mission.
He got the part mostly thanks to his friendship with X-Men star Patrick Stewart, and because the producers figured it would be extra free publicity for a movie that needed all it could get.
Did you know? Singer flirted briefly with the idea of directing a Trek film. “We're huge Trekkies,” he told Ain’t It Cool about his Superman Returns team. “And we've always talked about what we would do, and what would I do, if I were to make a film in that universe. It would be big. It would be very big."
Looks like JJ Abrams beat you to it, Bryan. Maybe he’ll give you a cameo in the next one?
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