Doctor Who. Star Trek. Two of our favourite things at Lovarzi. And with both universes coming up on their 60th anniversaries over the next few years, they’ve each played host to thousands of actors over the decades. So it’s no surprise that despite being largely filmed thousands of miles apart, there’s been the occasional actor who’s made the journey from one world to the other.
Come join us for a countdown of the most significant Doctor Who actors to go wibbly wobbly where no one has gone before…
As with our list of Doctor Who actors who’ve appeared in the MCU, we’ll be ranking our list based on how significant a role each person had in both Doctor Who and Star Trek. And once again, there are some who’ve had just very brief appearances or walk on roles in both, therefore miss out on our Top 20.
These include Doctor Who actors like Sonita Henry, who was a colonel aboard the Papal Mainframe in ‘The Time of the Doctor,’ and a member of the medical team aboard the doomed USS Kelvin at the start of the 2009 Star Trek movie.
And the genuinely brilliant Irish actor Jim Norton, who made a couple of cameos as a holodeck recreation of Albert Einstein in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and voiced Major Kennet in the out-of-continuity Doctor Who cartoon ‘Scream of the Shalka,’ featuring Richard E Grant’s alternate Ninth Doctor.
Understandably, many of these smaller crossovers of Doctor Who actors come thanks to Torchwood’s fourth season – dubbed Miracle Day – where much of the action was set and filmed in America. There are no fewer than nine actors who popped up in Miracle Day as various doctors, federal agents or White House press secretaries who had earlier been Romulan helmsmen, Bajoran villagers or Starfleet medical staff in different iterations of Star Trek.
Some of our Doctor Who actors land just outside our Top 20 despite being well known faces
A few other Doctor Who actors barely miss out on our Top 20 but deserve mentioning, like George Murdock, who played both God in Star Trek V and a Starfleet Admiral in ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ before having a cameo as a preacher in Torchwood’s ‘Dead of Night.’ Or genre regular Alan Dale, who was in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis as the Romulan leader who gets assassinated along with the rest of the Senate when Tom Hardy’s Shinzon stages his coup, and also an unethical head of a bio-research company who kidnaps Martha Jones in the Torchwood episode ‘Reset.’
Doctor Who actors in Star Trek 20-16 – from Androzani Minor to the USS Lexington!
20. Maurice Roëves
Doctor Who actor Maurice Roëves was one of the principle guest stars in ‘The Caves of Androzani,’ often hailed as one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time. Roëves played the vicious mercenary Stotz, double dealing as he sold weapons to the psychotic android maker Sharek Jez while also acting as a spy for Jek’s mortal enemy, the fantastically slimy oligarch Morgus. He later showed up as a Romulan captain at odds with Captain Picard in The Next Generation’s ‘The Chase,’ as all the galaxy’s great powers raced to uncover the secret origins of humanoid life in the universe.
19. Olaf Pooley
Olaf Pooley is one of most memorable Doctor Who actors on our list as the obsessed and dangerous Professor Stahlman in the fan favourite serial ‘Inferno.’ Across the seven episodes, he’s the Third Doctor’s main antagonist as his determination to prove his theories right with an experimental drill to the very centre of the Earth threatens the planet’s survival. 20 years later he appeared in the Star Trek: Voyager episode ‘Blink of an Eye’ as a cleric on an alien planet where time is sped up, and who mistakes the USS Voyager for a god in the sky.
18. John Franklyn-Robbins
John Franklyn-Robbins’ Doctor Who appearance consists of a single scene. But it’s one of the most iconic, meaning he’s well remembered among Doctor Who actors. At the very start of ‘Genesis of the Daleks,’ the Doctor is diverted against his will to the planet Skaro, where Franklyn-Robbins’ black clad Time Lord explains that Gallifrey have predicted the Daleks will one day threaten even them, unless the Doctor can avert their creation or alter their nature.
20 years later, he was Macias in the Next Generation episode ‘Preemptive Strike’ as a leader of the Maquis resistance, whose group the Enterprise’s Lt. Ro is reluctantly assigned to infiltrate.
17. Steven Berkoff
Actor Steven Berkoff – equally famous for his talent and being difficult to work with – guest starred on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the menacing arms dealer Hagarth, who teams up with Quark for a weapons sale in ‘Business as Usual,’ only for the Ferengi to get cold feet when he realises it will kill millions of innocent civilians. Berkoff went to join the ranks of Doctor Who actors too in the episode ‘The Power of Three‘ as the AI interface left behind by the Shakri to implement their plan to exterminate the human race with an invasion of very small cubes.
16. Bari Hochwald
Bari Hochwald’s place on this list is earned by having not just one, but three different guest roles in the Star Trek universe. On Deep Space Nine, she was Dr. Elizabeth Lense – Dr. Bashir’s old rival from his academy days – in ‘Explorers.’ On Voyager she played Brin, a pregnant woman dealing with the radioactive legacy of an ancient Earth probe in ‘Friendship One.’ And on Star Trek: Enterprise she was E’Lis, a doctor on a mining planet besieged by hostile Klingons in ‘Marauders.’ Appropriately, in the Whoniverse she was once again a medic – an ER nurse in the Torchwood: Miracle Day episode ‘Rendition.’
Doctor Who actors in Star Trek 15-10: From Skaro to Nazi Occupied New York!
15. Guy Siner
Most famous as the German tank commander Oberleutnant Gruber in long running WWII sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo, Guy Siner has also played military men in both Doctor Who and Star Trek. In ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ he was Ravon, the sadistic Kaled officer who tortures the Fourth Doctor and his companion Harry for information, believing them to be Thal spies. Meanwhile in the Enterprise episode ‘Silent Enemy,’ he was Stuart Reed – father of the Enterprise’s weapons officer Malcolm Reed, who was eternally disappointed that his son had chosen Starfleet over the Royal Navy.
14. Mark Sheppard
Mark Sheppard is a genuine genre legend, so it’s no surprise he’s been in lists of both Doctor Who and Star Trek actors. In one of his earlier roles, long before Battlestar Galactica or Supernatural, he was Leucon in Voyager – a scientist who turns his own son into a genetically engineered weapon against the Borg before deliberately sending him to be assimilated. And on Doctor Who, his FBI agent Canton Delaware III joined the Doctor’s inner circle of trusted friends in the two part story ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ / ‘Day of the Moon’ as he helped the Doctor, Amy and Rory uncover the Silence conspiracy at the heart of America.
13. William Morgan Sheppard
In a unique bit of casting among Doctor Who actors, Mark Sheppard shared the role of Canton with his own father William Morgan Sheppard, playing Canton as an old man in the present day. He’d previously been a recurring presence in the Star Trek universe, playing several different roles. He was Ira Graves, the dying genius who tries to steal Data’s body in the Next Generation episode ‘The Schizoid Man;’ the commandant of the Klingon penal colony that Kirk and McCoy are sent to in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; the Ahab like Qatai, obsessively hunting a gargantuan, starship-eating space monster in Voyager’s ‘Bliss;’ and the head of the Vulcan Science Academy in the 2009 Star Trek film.
12. Barrie Ingham
Barrie Ingham is one of the few Doctor Who actors to have appeared in Doctor Who on both the small and big screens. In the lost William Hartnell classic ‘The Myth Makers’ he played the cowardly Trojan prince Paris, doing everything he could to avoid actually fighting anyone. But in cinemas he was the complete opposite in Dr. Who and the Daleks as the courageous Thal Alydon, leading the assault on the Dalek city with the assistance of Peter Cushing’s Dr. Who. Two decades later, he guest starred in one of The Next Generation’s less well-received early episodes as the outrageous Irish stereotype Danilo Odell in ‘Up the Long Ladder,’ bringing hay and pigs aboard the Enterprise.
11. Christopher Neame
The Doctor Who story ‘Shada‘ is famous for many things, not least because it took 28 years to be completed. Written by Douglas Adams, Neame guest starred as the smug and villainous Skagra, who schemed to overwrite every mind in the universe with a copy of his own. (He also wore probably the most magnificent hat any in the history of Doctor Who.) Neame went on to have two Star Trek roles – Unferth in a holodeck recreation of Beowulf that’s invaded by an alien force in Voyager’s ‘Heroes and Demons,’ and a German generalmajor in an alternate timeline where the Nazis won WWII in Enterprise’s two parter ‘Storm Front.’
Doctor Who actors in Star Trek 10-6: From San Francisco 1999 to the Klingon High Council!
10. Daphne Ashbrook
The next of our Doctor Who actors is Daphne Ashbrook, who guest starred in the Deep Space Nine episode ‘Melora’ as Ensign Melora – a Starfleet officer from a low gravity planet who tackled the obstacles of a workspace designed for those from Earth-type planets. But to Doctor Who fans she’s famous as Dr. Grace Holloway, who effectively acted as the Eighth Doctor’s companion in the 1996 TV movie. Although she decided to stay behind at the film’s end, Grace is generally counted among those Doctor Who actors privileged to call themselves companions. Plus, she’ll go down in the show’s history as the other half of the Doctor’s first onscreen kiss!
9. Deep Roy
An early role for Deep Roy was in classic Doctor Who serial ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang,’ where he played the murderous ventriloquist’s dummy Mr. Sin. Sin was revealed to actually be the Peking Homunculus, a cyborg pig from the 51st century who’d travelled back to the 1800s with a genocidal war criminal called Magnus Greel. But Roy is also a member of the Star Trek family, appearing in JJ Abrams three Star Trek films as Ensign Keenser – an alien engineer never far from Scotty’s side, even if they did seem to be constantly bickering.
8. Christina Chong
The next of our Doctor Who actors is Christina Chong’s was Lorna Bucket in ‘A Good Man Goes to War.’ A low-ranking Silence soldier who’d had an encounter with the Doctor as a child, she sided with him during the Battle of Demons Run. She dies, but not before inspiring the name of Amy and Rory’s new daughter.
And whilst Chong may be a one-off guest star among Doctor Who actors, she’s also the first Star Trek main cast member on our list. Next month she’ll arrive on our screens in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as Lt. La’an Noonian-Singh, chief of security for the USS Enterprise. She’s sure to become yet another iconic Star Trek star, with a second season of Strange New Worlds already confirmed.
7. Noel Clarke
Few Doctor Who characters have undergone as much growth as Mickey Smith. Across the four series that he was a recurring character, he want from being Rose Tyler’s cowardly and needy boyfriend to being a hero in his own right, saving an alternate universe from an army of Cybermen before returning to ours to defeat the Daleks. The same actor would go on to play a small but significant role in the film Star Trek Into Darkness as Lt. Harewood, a Starfleet officer who’s assigned to the covert intelligence agency Section 31 and who’s coerced by Khan Noonian-Singh into becoming a suicide bomber to save his daughter’s life.
6. David Warner
David Warner has appeared in Star Trek three times in various guises. First, he was a Federation ambassador St John Talbot in the movie Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – one of the peace envoys who fell under the spell of Spock’s half brother Sybok in his quest to find God.
Next, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, he played the Klingon chancellor Gorkon, a character who was assassinated while trying to negotiate peace with Federation. On TV, he swapped species again to be the Cardassian Gul Madred, torturing the captive Captain Picard in two part The Next Generation story ‘Chain of Command.’ Warner’s ability to project both dignified gravitas and menace led to some of Star Trek’s most compelling scenes ever (“There are! Four! Lights!”)
Surprisingly, it’s only relatively recently that Warner joined the family of Doctor Who actors on television, playing the Ultravox-loving Soviet scientist Grisenko in ‘Cold War.’ But Warner has also been a regular contributor of voice work for Doctor Who; he played the humanoid locust General Azlok opposite David Tennant in CG animation ‘Dreamland,’ and he’s appeared in countless roles for Big Finish too. One notable example includes the unscrupulous galactic oligarch Cuthbert, who became a recurring nemesis for Tom Baker’s Doctor.
And Warner has even played the Doctor himself in several audios. His ‘Unbound Doctor‘ is alternate version of the Third Doctor from another universe, who eventually arrives in ‘our universe’ for many adventures with our Doctor’s former companion Benny (who just so happens to be played by Warner’s partner Lisa Bowerman.)
Doctor Who actors in Star Trek: The Top Five! From the Papal Mainframe to Deep Space Nine!
5. Orla Brady
Doctor Who episode ‘The Time of the Doctor’ presented a significant challenge for whomever took on the role of Tasha Lem, one of the Doctor’s oldest and most loyal friends. But Irish actor Orla Brady succeeded in convincing audiences of a long and deep connection between her religious leader and the Time Lord. She also shone in presenting Tasha Lem’s strength of will as she even overcomes her own death and Dalek conditioning to continue to stand with the Doctor at Trenzalore against the massed hordes of all his worst enemies.
Brady is one of our Doctor Who actors appearing in Star Trek this week thanks to Star Trek: Picard. In both seasons she has played Laris, former Romulan secret agent and current housekeeper at Château Picard, who’s able to kick ass and whip up a mean souffle. She’s attracted to Jean Luc, though his fear of intimacy gets in the way.
Currently, Laris’ entire timeline has been erased by Q and Picard’s crew have travelled back to 2022 to fix things. They’re helped by Laris’ ancestor Tallinn, also played by Brady – a ‘supervisor’ assigned by unseen galactic powers to watch over humanity’s first steps among the stars. How they succeed is still unrevealed, but with the finale coming up next week, we’ll soon find out…
4. David Ajala
In Matt Smith’s second Doctor Who episode ‘The Beast Below,’ the shadowy secret police of Starship UK is split into two factions. There are sinister robot Smilers, who wordlessly intimidate the citizenry and sentence the disobedient to be consumed by something hungry in the lower levels of the giant ship. And there are the Winders, who maintain the Smilers and represent a more mobile body of enforcers for the regime. David Ajala is one of the Doctor Who actors on our list with a smaller role; he guest starred as Peter, a Winder who is ultimately revealed to be a terrifying cyborg.
A decade later, Ajala came aboard Star Trek: Discovery’s third season as new series regular Cleveland Booker. When the USS Discovery is shot through time from the 22nd century to the 32nd, Booker joins them as their guide to this greatly-changed galaxy in which they find themselves. He’s a Han Solo-type character whose initial reluctance to get involved gradually erodes to reveal a heroic character, although his loner streak regularly causes conflict with his Starfleet friends.
Having starred in two seasons of Discovery so far, it’s believed that Ajala will be back as Cleveland Booker for Season 5, which was greenlit earlier this year.
3. Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg rose to prominence in the early 2000s – a time when former underdogs conquered the world and genre fans grew up to tell their own stories with films and series like Spaced and Shaun of the Dead. So super-fan Pegg was always going to find his way into the ranks of Doctor Who actors when the show returned in 2005. As the Editor in Series One’s ‘The Long Game,’ he reintroduced an old-school strand of self-satisfied, cackling Who villains into the show, and clearly had a fantastic time as a man who manipulates the news in order to keep the human race of the year 200,000 subjugated for his masters.
For Pegg (who was also a massive fan of Star Trek) this paid off in 2009 when he was cast as the new Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott (chief engineer of the USS Enterprise) in JJ Abram’s big screen reboot of the original series. In contrast to James Doohan’s unflappable original Scotty, Pegg’s incarnation danced on a knife edge of anxiety in that film and its two sequels as he dealt with the often life-and-death struggles to keep the Enterprise in one piece. And with a fourth film in the series announced earlier this year, it seems we haven’t quite seen the end of Pegg’s Scotty…
2. John de Lancie
John de Lancie’s mischief-making, godlike alien Q was introduced in the very first episode of The Next Generation. Sent by the Q Continuum to test humankind’s worthiness to be allowed among the stars, his actual motives often seemed opaque as he returned time and time again to plunge the crew of the Enterprise into often bewildering tests of aptitude and character. He appeared eight more times in The Next Generation (as well as popping up once on Deep Space Nine) and three times in Voyager. He even appeared aboard the USS Cerritos of animated comedy Lower Decks, baiting Ensign Mariner into playing his games because “Picard’s no fun.”
Most recently he’s appeared throughout the second season of Star Trek: Picard, unspooling four centuries of human history to create a nightmarish dystopia as his latest attempt to teach Admiral Picard some sort of moral lesson. And with only one episode left to go, we may be close to discovering why this time it’s so very personal for Picard’s tormentor…
Less famously, de Lancie has also been a recurring character in the Doctor Who universe earning his place in lists of both Star Trek and Doctor Who actors. He appeared in three episodes of Who spin-off Torchwood as high ranking CIA official Allen Shapiro. When an event known as The Miracle renders everyone on Earth immortal, Shapiro is instrumental in uncovering the role of the sinister Three Families in the conspiracy, authorising the mission that ultimately saves the human race from a living hell. He butts heads with Torchwood’s Captain Jack Harkness, however, with neither entirely trusting the other.
1. Nana Visitor
The number one position on our list goes to an actor who’s been both a series regular in Star Trek and a recurring character among Doctor Who actors. For seven seasons, Nana Visitor was the second lead of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Sisko’s Bajoran second-in-command Kira Nerys. As a major (and later a colonel) her perspective as a former resistance fighter (and her personal grudge against Gul Ducat, who had led the occupying Cardassian forces) helped make the show the favourite of many fans.
Like John de Lancie, her crossover into the world of Doctor Who came thanks to the American filming of Torchwood: Miracle Day. The two even shared scenes together for the first time since the Deep Space Nine episode ‘Q-Less,’ as de Lancie’s CIA boss stormed the mansion of Visitor’s Olivia Colasanto to uncover what she knew about the Three Families conspiracy, and how her grandfather had succeeded in dying despite The Miracle.
Which Doctor Who actors would you like to beam into the USS Enterprise?
Both Star Trek and Doctor Who show little sign of slowing down as they head towards a seventh decade on our television screens. Indeed, with five different Star Trek series and a feature film currently in production (plus the return of showrunner Russell T Davies for Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary and subsequent series) the chances are that there will be many more names to add to this list of Doctor Who actors in the years to come.
Which is your favourite Star Trek / Doctor Who actor crossover? Are there any Doctor Who actors that you’d like to see in Discovery or Strange New Worlds? Or vice versa? Let me know in the comments.
Star Trek Ships of Line scarf – order now from the Lovarzi shop!