In its 60 year history, Star Trek has seen actors come and go for various reasons. Some arrived, had a look around, said no thank and left. It happens, even on Star Trek! Other actors for various reasons decided that the pressures of filming in a form fitting spacesuit for 18 hours a day just wasn’t for them.
In this list, different interpretations of characters are put side by side. Many of them would either define the role to the point where the replacement actor couldn’t live up to the original or in some cases, it is very much the opposite. Several characters run through more than two versions – when there is 60 years of history to work through, there is every chance that your actors won’t stick with you for the duration.
Below are just some examples of the characters who have undergone transformations along the way, some surprising changes and some that were more noticeable than others.
Commander Bruce Maddox is connected to the most important parts of Data’s life. Brian Brophy, the original actor pictured above, was the man who stood against Data’s rights as an individual in The Measure of a Man. More than 30 years later, the role moves to John Ayles.
As Maddox had so little screen time in Star Trek The Next Generation, this seems like less of a shock to the system. It certainly would have been nice for continuity had Brophy returned to the role but Ayles conveys in his short scenes a depth that Brophy was never offered the chance to display. In The Next Generation the character is a comfortable, if frustrated, man working on new aspects of his career.
In Star Trek Picard, he is a broken individual on the run from the Tal Shiar, kidnapped by thugs looking to sell him to the highest bidder. He is shown to have a relationship with Jurati, to be kind and caring and full of remorse. The character has evolved a lot in the years that have passed.
While fans may have been hoping for a bit more time with the character, they now have exactly even number of portrayals to judge their opinions on and both men brought their own spin on the one man.
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