Fandoms are powerful things. Built upon the shoulders of TV and movie franchises, they can sink a company or turn one into a Hollywood-powerhouse. Based upon the quality and longevity of the product, fandoms can survive for years – even long after the demise of a franchise. This can be said about Disney’s Gargoyles.
The passion for the fantasy, sci-fi adventure still runs strong more than twenty-years following its cancellation. That’s a rare feat for an animated series. What’s even rarer than that is seeing two fandoms cross-pollinate as we witnessed with this series and oddly enough – Star Trek.
Over the series’ three-season run – mostly in seasons 1 and 2 – we saw many Star Trek actors lend their talented voices to the show. Some were guest stars only used once in small roles, while others showed up several times to play larger parts as series’ regulars. Here are 10 Star Trek actors that were featured in Gargoyles!
10. James Avery
The first two on this list have only played small parts within Star Trek, unlike the rest that would leave huge impacts on the franchise. The late James Avery, best known for his role as Uncle Phillip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sitcom, portrayed the part of K’Vagh, a Klingon General in Star Trek: Enterprise.
K’Vagh appeared in two episodes of the show’s fourth season entitled Affliction and Divergence, respectively. Avery’s voice made a single appearance in Gargoyles as the character “Shaman” in the episode Walkabout during the show’s famed second season. Gargoyles wasn’t his first or only try at animation. He famously voiced the villainous “Shredder” in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
9. Salli Richardson
Similar to James Avery, the beautiful Salli Richardson played a passing role in Star Trek. She made a single appearance in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode called Second Sight. Richardson portrayed the enigmatic love interest of Commander Sisko, Fenna.
Unlike Avery, her role in Gargoyles wasn’t nearly as fleeting. Richardson played the uber-important role of Detective Elisa Maza. Detective Maza appeared in just about every episode of the Gargoyles series, often as an episode’s main and only human protagonist. She’d later also play a similarly large role in the series Eureka.
8. Mr. Dugan – Colm Meaney
Being the avid watcher of Trek that I am, it’s not hard for me to recognize voices, even when they are disembodied. Colm Meaney, better known as Chief Miles Edward O’Brien, was featured in the episode The Hound of Ulster. He voiced the character of Mr. Dugan, the father of Rory Dugan.
In the show’s second season Goliath, Elisa, Bronx, and Angela found themselves in Ireland. Mr. Dugan’s son, Rory, discovered that he was the reincarnation of a mystical warrior meant to do battle against the fabled Banshee – who also masqueraded as the boy’s young lover.
7. Nokkar – Avery Brooks
My personal favorite Trek-actor, Avery Brooks is best known for his role as Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In Gargoyles, he appeared as the alien Nokkar in the episode Future Tense. Though the character only appeared once, it’s obvious that he’s another attempt from the series writer/creator Greg Wiseman to further flesh-out the Gargoyle franchise.
Nokkar was placed on Earth by his people to protect it from another race of hostile beings. His appearance is also the inspiration for the statues on Easter Island. Nokkar is/was supposed to be further utilized in a pitched spin-off series entitled Gargoyles 2198, but is never seen again in the animation.
6. Anansi – LeVar Burton
The last of the single-appearance characters on this list is the African trickster-god, Anansi, played by Mr. Reading Rainbow himself, LaVar Burton. We all knew him best as Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge, Chief Engineer of just about every Starfleet vessel named Enterprise starting with “D.”
Anansi was a giant magical spider-god that weaved wishes in return for being fed, as we saw in the episode Mark of the Panther. However, his wishes always came with a hitch. Being a trickster, he’d often bend the rules and twist words to snare mortals into servitude.
5. Lady Titania – Kate Mulgrew
Kate Mulgrew was not just the first female captain of a Star Trek series in Voyager, but also played Lady Titania, the Queen of Avalon and the estranged wife of the isle’s master, Lord Oberon. If all magical beings are considered the children of Oberon – then Titania is their mother.
Titania would go on to play parts in several episodes, but not always as herself. She also disguised herself as a mortal for decades, married a man and bore a child that grew up to become a woman named Fox – another series regular, anti-hero, and wife of David Xanatos.
4. Coldstone & Taurus – Michael Dorn
There are few characters in Trek that have made as big of an impact as Warf has. Though he debuted in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he went on to also star in Deep Space Nine and several feature films alongside his TNG castmates.
In Gargoyles, Warf’s portrayer, Michael Dorn, voiced the role of not one, but two characters. And for a fan, it was hard not to notice his booming baritone voice. Dorn has graced the cybernetic-gargoyle Coldstone, and the New Olympian, minotaur, lawman – Taurus.
3. Puck – Brent Spiner
Who doesn’t love Data? There are certain characters that just wouldn’t have worked had they not been portrayed by the actors that landed the roles. Brent Spiner’s take on Data is up there with the likes of Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine).
Spiner’s ability to transform himself into any character he’s been given was further demonstrated when he took on the fae-trickster, Puck. Much like Anansi, when he debuted in the episode Mirror he twisted Demona’s requests, just for fun. Puck became a recurring character, but it was revealed that he was also David Xanatos’ human assistant, Owen Burnett, though he was voiced by Jeff Bennett.
2. Demona – Marina Sirtis
Years ago, show-runner, Greg Wiseman, while answering questions on the fan website Animesuperhero.com revealed just why we were able to get so many Star Trek alum in an animated series. It was due to the inclusion of just two actors:
“With Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis as members of the cast, Star Trek actors were foremost on the production crew’s minds when they needed a voice actor for a new character. Thus, it felt natural to seek them out.”
Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi, TNG) voiced Demona, the series’ most prolific antagonist. Marina’s passionate portrayals of Demona gave the character a presence and gravitas that was only matched by Keith David’s Goliath. She appeared more times in the show than just about any other villain, except for our top choice…
1. David Xanatos – Jonathan Frakes
David Xanatos may actually be the inspiration for what Tony Stark came to be in the MCU. He’s intelligent, cunning, witty, well-spoken, and charming. Aspects that are also held by the man that voiced him – Jonathan Frakes, best known as the XO of the Starship Enterprise of TNG, Commander Will Riker.
Outside of Goliath and perhaps a couple of supporting characters from ancient Scotland – Xanatos was probably the first character named on-screen. The uber-rich playboy dressed as an ally to the Gargoyles but soon showed his true colors. Though he was a villain for most of the first season, he truly became a friend of the clan in the latter half of the second.
That’s our list. What did you think about the Trek connections to Gargoyles? There are a few more out there such as Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Commander Nyota Uhura) portrayal of Elisa’s mother, but these are the ones of note. Tell us what you think below, and don’t forget to watch Gargoyles on Disney+.