Awhile ago, I casted for a remake of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and despite the fact that I know a lot of passionate, diehard Trekkies, I received mostly positive responses. Emboldened by this praise, I toyed with the idea of casting for Deep Space Nine as well, even though I’m far less familiar with the series.
Ultimately, I decided it probably wasn’t a very good idea, especially since I’m going to be meeting a lot of these Trekkies face to face for the first time in, oh, 24 hours, and I didn’t want my Dragon Con experience to be marred with my untimely and gruesome demise. But then my sister came home from work one day with an idea for who could play Garak, and I was like . . . huh.
So . . . here we go.
(If I never post anything again, that’s probably because I was found convicted of heresy in Atlanta and was promptly eaten alive by my friends. Weep for me.)
There are some spoilers here for the fates of certain major characters. I have a hard time believing anyone who would care about these spoilers doesn’t already know them, but there you go.
Captain Benjamin Sisko
“So . . . I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all . . . I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would.”
I haven’t seen Blair Underwood in a lot, but he completely blew me away in In Treatment. The energy he can bring to a character, the intensity . . . it’s pretty awesome stuff. I’m not saying Avery Brooks is bad, necessarily, but when I think about Blair Underwood delivering this scene . . . hot damn, I want this to dream cast to be a real thing. DS9 is a darker series than all the other Treks combined, and I think Blair Underwood could really be the linchpin that makes it come together.
“There’s a war going on, and I’m . . . a reporter. This is where I belong.”
Okay, I’m aging up Jake a bit . . . I don’t know any actors offhand who can pass for fourteen. But mid-twenties actors play high schoolers all the time, right? Maybe 17?
Anyway, while Jake was obviously an improvement on Wesley Crusher, he never did seem to have much in the way of a personality. Luckily, Michael B. Jordan (who I very much like in Chronicle) can do a lot with a little, and I think he could infuse enough personality and charm into Jake even if the writers didn’t give him much character to work with. (Of course, hopefully, they would give him something.)
Major Kira Nerys
“You’re right. Who needs dinner?”
So, I apologize to any big Nana Visitor fans out there, but I had forgotten just how damn annoying Kira could be until I watched a bunch of clips with her over the past few weeks. Kira should be awesome — she’s tough; she’s a fighter — but I don’t find Visitor believable at all. She whines way more than a Bajoran resistance fighter should. (It’s that thing I’m always complaining about — bitchy is not the same thing as strong.)
So, I cast Paget Brewster in the part, as she can be such a badass on Criminal Minds. (I particularly love this clip, where she gets all breathy violent and looks like she’s about to eat this guy alive.) As a bonus, she can also do the emotional stuff too, so Kira can be a well-rounded character and not just the token Tough Chick.
I’ll admit, we struggled a lot with Odo. Part of the problem is that Rene Auberjonois has such a distinctive voice — it kept getting in the way while trying to hear someone else in the part. But I like the hell out of William Fichtner who is, quite often, the best thing about whatever crappy movie or television show he’s currently in. The guy’s got a lot of talent, and while my preferred look on him is smirky sorta-evil (for instance, as the Accountant in Drive Angry), I know in my little geek heart that he could easily do a grumpy Lawful Good character like Odo. And him and Paget Brewster together? Magic.
“I’m not exploiting and cheating people at random. I’m doing it according to a specific set of rules — the Rules of Acquisition. And I won’t disregard them when I find them inconvenient.”
Quark was also a bitch to cast . . . Armin Shimerman is just so freaking perfect . . . but Brad Dourif is such an awesome character actor that I broke my own casting rule to make him everyone’s favorite Ferengi. (I try not to cast people who had reoccurring roles on previous Trek shows, and he was in three episodes of Voyager as a psychotic Betazoid. Still. It’s only three episodes.)
As the foil to Odo and also the comic relief, Quark can be a bit on the shrieky side . . . but I also wanted to make sure he wasn’t just the comic relief. He needs to be funny, but he also needs to be sharp, almost . . . oh, malevolent isn’t quite the right word, but I don’t know, something. I want him to have the capacity to capture the darker moments as well, and I figured the guy who voiced Chucky (and who played Wormtongue, for that matter) might just be the man for the job.
Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax
“Worf, my love, let me make this very clear: I do not want to spend my honeymoon climbing, hiking, sweating, bleeding, or suffering in any way.”
We thought of Katee Sackhoff early on while looking for people to play Kira but quickly decided against it, lest we simply have Starbuck 2.0. Jadzia, however, is a much different type of strong female character. Like the Bajoran officer, Jadzia’s a fighter — she holds her own with Klingons — but she’s also considerably more playful and less righteous than Kira is. I think it would be a lot of fun to watch Katee Sackhoff playing a different type of badass and watching her be all flirty and sexy with Worf? Awesome.
Lt. Commander Worf
“At the first sign of betrayal, I will kill him. But I promise to return the body intact.”
The very best thing about casting Worf? I’d already cast him for TNG. But seriously, the scenes between Idris Elba and Katee Sackhoff? I want to see them now, please.
Dr. Julian Bashir
“If I’m a Vulcan, then how do you explain my boyish smile?”
From what I remember, Bashir’s kind of a problematic character, but he does have some fun moments and good quotes, especially in later seasons when he becomes less of an idiot. I like the friendship he strikes with Garak (although that’s probably because Garak is my favorite DS9 character). And, admittedly, this is quite a step away from Loki, but there’s something about Tom Hiddleston that really seems right to me for Bashir. I mean, he’s English, so I expect he’ll have the dry wit down pat. Also, he’s supremely talented. I’d like to see what he would do with the whole genetic enhancement angle — assuming that got played up throughout the series instead of coming out of nowhere in fifth season.
Chief Miles O’Brien
“Sweetheart . . . I’m not a fish.”
Now, I saw exactly one episode of Terra Nova, and it wasn’t pretty. But everything else I’ve seen Jason O’Mara in — mostly guest starring roles on various different shows — has shown a decent amount of range that makes me believe the actor is capable of good things if he could land a starring role on a program that didn’t get cancelled in one season. (Or wasn’t a boring show about dinosaurs — how do you have a boring show about dinosaurs, anyway? Honestly.)
He also has the added bonus of actually being Irish, so the accent would be real and lovely to listen to.
“Well, it’s just that . . . lately, I’ve noticed that everyone seems to trust me. It’s quite unnerving. I’m still trying to get used to it.”
If you don’t recognize Wayne Pygram in that picture, you might recognize him here:
. . . or not. Farscape does NOT get the recognition it deserves, godammit. Anyway, Scorpius is one of my favorite villains of all time and not just of the small screen. And as Harvey (the neural clone of Scorpius) . . . he’s just . . . he’s awesome. Garak is a trickster, a spy, manipulative and dangerous and funny, and in later seasons, particularly when things go all to hell for him, he has some wonderful moments of bitterness and rage (like here). Andrew Robinson does a great job as Garak, but I think that Wayne Pygram would be a wonderful successor.
“I’m not just ANY Cardassian. I’m Gul Dukat, Commander of the Second Order.”
I was ready to give up True Blood last season, but my sister made me watch it this summer as well, and . . . well, it was uneven and ridiculous as hell. However, one of the definite upsides of watching True Blood was seeing Christopher Meloni as Roman, the leader of the vampire Authority. (I mean, I know he’s been in other, more critically acclaimed shows, but I didn’t watch those shows.) And while watching clips of Gul Dukat on youtube to familiarize myself with the character again, my brain immediately went to Meloni. He’s actually a pretty good body type for the Cardassian. He can also be quite the badass and/or flip the hell out, which seems sort of essential, considering.
“Gods don’t make mistakes.”
I almost didn’t cast for Weyoun, but at the last minute I came up with the idea of Jimmi Simpson. Simpson has a tendency to play goofy or oddball characters — on Psych, Breakout Kings, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — but he also has a surprisingly nice dramatic range, and Weyoun certainly has a sense of superiority and almost smarminess that I think Jimmi Simpson could easily portray. Jeffrey Combs is not an easy man to replace, but I think Jimmi Simpson is the kind of character actor who could do it. When I watched Combs first pop up on DS9, I could quickly see Simpson in the role.
“The course the Prophets choose for us may not always be comfortable. But we must follow it.”
Of all the characters on DS9, I probably remember Kai Winn the least, but from what I understand, you need a woman who is intelligent, ambitious, manipulative — and I know that Dianne Wiest can portray all these things with a sweet little smile on her face that will go flat the second no other characters are watching. So, the idea of Wiest here just makes me very happy. She would be an excellent antagonist.
“It’s a strange sensation, dying. No matter how many times it happens to you, you never get used to it.”
Now, a good part of me just wanted to ignore Ezri Dax and pretended that Jadzia lived all seven seasons. However, the idea of Ezri is actually really interesting . . . it’s just the execution of Ezri is more problematic. I mean, the potential of this character is just staggering . . . if she’s not whiny and useless, as I think Ezri often seems to be.
I adore Kristen Bell, and I think she could really do justice to the character and make people sympathize with her — a good trick since Jadzia’s kind of a fan favorite, and killing off a fan favorite and quickly replacing them is always a hard sell. I love the idea of seeing Kristen Bell channeling Katee Sackhoff. (And yes, for those of you freaking out about the hair color — I’m sure that these two could both dye their hair dark for the show.)
And . . . well, that’s about it. I refuse to cast for Rom and Nog. If it were up to me, they wouldn’t exist at all. Also, if you’re wondering, I will eventually be casting for Voyager as well. Not Enterprise, though. I’ve seen maybe six whole episodes of that, and I’m not entirely sure I can just fake that one.
6 thoughts on “That Not-Quite-So-Cheery Trek . . .”
I don’t know who most of these people are, so I can’t really be furious with you or anything, haha. For all I know they’d be improvements! (Though in Kira’s case I think the character is the problem, not the actor, so no one is going to make her un-annoying.) I do have a question though: Dr. Bashir is Indian. If you chose an Indian actor with an English accent, who would it be?
…I think we should just have George do it and make Bashir a woman.
George is way too fierce and awesome to be Bashir.
If I chose an Indian actor with an English accent . . . probably either Naveen Andrews or Aasif Mandvi (who can do an English accent, as evidenced in Jericho where he, coincidentally, played a doctor). I suppose I like Mandvi a little better, but I don’t like either of them as much as I like Hiddleston. (They’re also both a bit older than I’d like Bashir to be.) It’s tricky because I know it’s not like we need MORE white actors on TV, but I couldn’t remember Bashir’s ethnicity while trying to cast him — Alexander Siddig was born in the Sudan, raised English, and I’m honestly not sure where his family’s from –and when I tried to research Bashir, I didn’t find anything specifically stating where his character was from other than, you know, Earth. Which is all very Trek. So I’m sticking with Hiddleston, but Mandvi would be my alternative.
Now I’m not sure either. I thought so because in the episode where his parents show up, their clothes looked like Star Trek’s idea of what Indian fashion will turn into in a couple hundred years. (http://images.wikia.com/memoryalpha/en/images/4/4b/Bashir_and_parents.jpg) CLOTHES ARE HOW I KNOW STUFF LOL. Anyway, it looks like “Bashir” is an Arabic surname, according to the English-speaking Internet, and since I don’t trust that Internet very much, I figure it’s about as accurate as saying “from half of Earth.” I guess we’ll never know!
Either way I mostly just wanted to pitch you a curveball and see if you could catch it. I like watching you be impressive with your vast knowledge of Hollywood stuff. 😀
Oh, the clothes in all of the Treks are so HIDEOUS. I mean, I agree with you about what Bashir’s parents are wearing. I’m just saying that according to these people, everyone in the future has lost their godamned minds. For instance, I will never exercise in this: http://www.treknobabble.net/2011/04/next-generation-season-3-price.html. Because NO ONE would exercise in this. This is terrible.
Someday, I’d like my vast knowledge of Hollywood stuff to make me money. As is, it’s mostly just an indicator that I watch too much TV. I do try to be semi realistic about my casting choices, though. Dream cast or not, Angelina Jolie is never going to be on a Trek TV show, and it drives me crazy when I see other people make dream casts full of only A-listers, especially when they’re in parts that are completely not suited to them. Like, I know this is all fun and games, kids, but come on. Put some effort into it 🙂
I LOVE MELONI AS DUKAT. That’s awesome. Also agree re.: Kira and Paget.
I always thought that the actor impersonating gul dukat looked a lot like Christopher meloni, I’m glad that im not the only one who made a reference to that.