Over the past few months, my husband and I have been watching Stargate SG-1 (thanks, Hulu!). And, being big Trek fans, we couldn’t help but notice the many ways the show borrows from and plays off of (and, in a couple of cases, outright plagiarizes from) Star Trek. Stargate acknowledges its debt with in-show nods to Trek, like having a character mention that he “might as well be wearing a red shirt” when he’s under fire, or working Trek parodies into some of its more lighthearted episodes.
And, once Stargate really took off, Trek actors jumped on the bandwagon, gladdening the hearts of sci-fi geeks everywhere. Even when they weren’t well-suited to their roles, it was still fun to see those familiar faces once again.
Shimerman was the first Trek alum to crossover, appearing as a member of a quirky, tree-dwelling alien society known as the Nox. No Ferengi, these cuddly, be-fro’ed pacifists were one of the most appealing alien races to feature on Stargate: They seemed like simple villagers at first glance, only to turn out to be so evolved they no longer needed technology or weaponry to thrive. Shimerman brought charm to his role as Nox dad Anteaus.
I have a hard time differentiating Sirtis from ditzy Troi, so it was pretty amusing to see her featured as a “brilliant Russian scientist.” Her Russian accent was . . . interesting, and at times indistinguishable from her Troi accent. Sirtis wasn’t the only “crossover” here: the plot of “Watergate,” the episode in which she appeared, is a blatant ripoff of “Home Soil” from Season 1 of TNG. I half expected the Enkarans to refer to SG-1 as “ugly bags of mostly water” . . . and then for Sirtis to use her telepathy on them.
I didn’t even realize Schultz was in this episode at first — it was not until later I discovered that the guy who played Reg appeared in it. It’s not that Schultz looks very different from his TNG days; it’s that Reg’s nervous mannerisms were so much a part of his character that it was hard to recognize him without them. That’s a credit to Schultz’s acting abilities: the character he plays in Stargate, the Gamekeeper, is also a quirky, jittery fellow, but somehow Schultz makes him utterly distinct from Reg.
Auberjonois is excellent as Alar, the leader of a corrupt and genocidal society in “The Other Side.” The crisp diffidence he brings to the character appropriately recalls the Nazis or General Dyer: it’s evil cloaked by bureaucratic pleasantries, undercut by barely detectable anxiety.
DeLancie played one of the suits over various sorts who threatened to shut down the Stargate program (not without reason). But the role never seemed to fit him all that well: It forced him to be a boring bureaucrat, with none of the puckish humor Q was known for. Though it was fun to see an ex-Trek star again, his role could have been filled just as well by a lesser-known actor.
Blalock wasn’t really well-suited for her role as Ishta, leader of a renegade group of female Jaffa: She just doesn’t have the physical prowess and imposing manner the role requires. Her big fight scene with Teal’c, with its numerous distracting cross-cuts and gymnastic gyrations done by a stunt double, was the most ludicrous display of fisticuffs to appear on Stargate. On the bright side, though, it was nice to see Teal’c get a girlfriend, and to finally find out what happened to all the female Jaffa. And Blalock looked amazing. I never realized how unflattering the T’Pol makeup was until I saw her as Ishta. She is stunning (which, doubtless, is why Christopher Judge wrote this episode with her in mind).
Billingsley plays Simon Coombs, an SGC scientist and SG-1 fanboy, in “The Other Guys,” one of the most Trek-centric episodes of Stargate. (He’s the one who dropped the line about feeling like a redshirt.) Alongside fellow nerd Fetzer, he goes on an ill-fated mission to “rescue” SG-1, getting to don Jaffa armor and fire a zat along the way. Billingsley hams it up and sometimes overacts, but overall is very funny as the bumbling Coombs.
Cox, who appeared in two episodes of TNG (“Chain of Command,” a two-parter) is great as the corrupt Senator Kinsey, one of the SGC’s biggest foes back on Earth. He’s perfectly believable as a politician who talks about God and country with a smug sincerity, then turns his hand to backroom dealings with clandestine organizations once the cameras are off.
Another great villainous bureaucrat is Picardo’s Richard Woolsey. Woolsey’s character arc is similar to the EMH’s, actually: He starts out crusty, huffy, and petty, and little by little shows his warmer side, until eventually he’s accepted by the people he once antagonized. Sure enough, Picardo’s now found a regular role for himself as Woolsey on Stargate Atlantis. I haven’t watched Atlantis yet, so I can’t tell you about Connor Trinneer’s performances either, but I look forward to seeing the charmingly uptight Woolsey on it when I do.
And, finally, Amendola doesn’t really count, as he only had a bit part on one forgettable VOY episode, but I had to include him because, well, he plays Master Bra’tac, and Bra’tac rocks.