Some Thoughts on Star Trek TNG

It’s a bit different watching it now, after many years. Of course, it’s no longer groundbreaking, because so many sci-fi series have followed, but the big change is not in the series, it’s in the way we watch things now. I’m not just talking about binge-watching, although that, too.
It’s the internet. I was watching one of my favorite episodes today, the one where Riker was in a Tilonian mental hospital, and there was a Tilonian guard named Mavek and I looked at him and said “Well, danged if that ain’t Jeff Daniels of Dumb and Dumber fame” which I thought was cool because I always like spotting an actor in a minor role before they became famous.
So, I googled Mavek. Now, here’s the fun part. While Mavek the Tilonian was not, in fact, played by Jeff Daniels, just some other actor I’d never heard of who looks a bit like Jeff Daniels, there was also a listing for a Cardassian named Mavek, who had a small, but recurring, role on Deep Space 9. Apparently, through the many iterations of Star Trek over the years, they’ve had so many aliens that they had a hard time coming up with new names. Sort of like stars.
Anyway, he was significant enough that when I saw him, I recognized the character. But, the actor’s name was listed as ‘unknown.’
I can understand that happening with extras, in a crowd scene, but not somebody who actually had lines. There had to be paperwork, I’m sure he was paid.
So, my next thought is that he actually was an alien, some species that looks a lot like Cardassians, and he decided (as part of his fact-finding mission on 20th Century Earth) to infiltrate the set of Star Trek TNG and play a small role. Probably even got a chance to chat with Patrick Stewart, and other influential earthlings, without blowing his cover.
It would have been perfect.

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