June 03, 2008

Guest Star Trek

I'm about to reveal how deeply geeky I am.

Last night I saw the movie version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest for the first time (I'd already read the book, several years ago). I will say from the start that it is a damn good film and the fact that it swept the Oscars that year is no big surprise.

But something that did throw me when it started was that Nurse Ratched (one of the finest characters ever written into a novel, and one of whom I had a pretty strong mental image) was played by none other than recurring guest character Kai Winn from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (better known to her friends as Academy Award–winner Louise Fletcher). It was striking, partly because she doesn't look all that different now than she did thirty years ago, and partly because the two characters had so many similarities (widely feared, unsympathetic, authoritarian, etc.).

So there I was, appreciating this fine piece of American cinema on an extra, nerdy level, and suddenly I'm thinking to myself, "You know, wait a minute, didn't that kid have a recurring guest spot on Star Trek: Voyager. too?" And, indeed, the actor playing Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif) played the victim of a mind meld gone horribly wrong in a few episodes of Voyager's first season.

This is about where I should probably stop talking.

Then I'm taking a closer look at Vincent Schiavelli, who played Fredrickson, and it dawns on me that he was in an episode of The Next Generation way back when that show started.

"And for that matter," I think (because I'm on a roll, now), "Didn't Christopher Lloyd play a klingon in one of the Star Trek movies?" (Yes, yes he did… In Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.)

This is about where my girlfriend leaves me.

So now I'm thinking, this is kind of weird, so I go to IMDB (I swear, I had to go to IMDB for the rest of these) and discover that there was a second TNG guest in the cast (Michael Berryman), and even a veteran of the original series (Peter Brocco)! Which means that, going by the thirty credited cast members, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is twenty percent Trek! Doesn't that seem high? Can anyone think of another Best Picture winner that has even close to that percentage Trek in it? I submit that it is impossible.

On a related topic, several of those who were not in Star Trek at any point in their careers were either in The Incredible Hulk or The Twilight Zone, so they can't exactly take the moral high ground. Also, one of the men was in an adult comedy called Sinderella and the Golden Bra, and one of the women in a film called The Man From O.R.G.Y. (synopsis: "Steve Victor (Robert Walker Jr.) is the head of a sexual research organization. When a wealthy madame dies, he must locate the three heirs, all prostitutes who have identical tattoos on their posteriors").

For the record, I no longer watch Star Trek. Though I'm kind of curious about The Man From O.R.G.Y..


Anonymous said...

I always wished Nurse Ratched would've been killed, and I was glad when Kai Winn got her ass handed to her in the fire caves. One point for the Pah Wraiths, none for the psychos. -kp

Claire said...

Gul Dukat was on an episode of Quantum Leap. (And the A-Team, but I haven't seen that one)

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