Top SciFi Guest Roles
I’ve talked about how much I hate stunt casting before, now I want to discuss something else. Sort of, the opposite of stunt casting. It’s a character that only appears in a few episodes, but is so interesting, you keep hoping that character will become a series regular.
We first met her in Our Mrs Reynolds, when her name was Saffron. She pretended to be a young girl forced to marry Mal, when actually she has had companion training and is trying to help pirates capture Serenity. She then showed up in Trash, first with the name Bridget, and then later, Yolanda, perhaps her real name? We’ll never know for sure, because Fox cancelled Firefly. All I do know is that as much as I want to find out what happened to the crew of Serenity, I really want to learn more about Saffron.
Kendra (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
So Buffy died, for, like a minute, and Kendra was called, and boy is she the opposite of Buffy. Raised by her watcher since she was a child in Jamaica, Kendra has been waiting all her life to be called. She’s the perfect slayer, respectful to her watcher and highly knowledgeable about weapons and tactics. Still, it didn’t stop her getting killed, which, yes, brought Faith into the mix, but also meant we didn’t get to see a slayer spin-off in which Kendra fights vamps in, say, London. That would’ve been cool!
Catherine Sakai (Babylon 5)
Catherine Sakai was a recurring character during the first season of Babylon 5. She became Commander Sinclair’s girlfriend, but she was also an independent planet surveyor. It seems the original plan was most likely that she would go to Zahadum and awaken the Shadows. Sadly, when Michael O’Hare left the series, Sakai’s character was written out of the series, and thus what would have been a much more emotional storyline had to be rewritten for Sheriden, in which his own wife, also a planetary surveyor, finds the Shadows.
Lt. Commander Shelby (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Best of Both Worlds is arguably the best TNG episode. It had the Borg and it had Picard/Locutus. But what’s more, it had a budding Lt. Commander vying for Wil Riker’s position. And no wonder. Just how many times can you turn down a command of your own before you are relegated to some deep space outpost? Shelby proves herself a badass, not so by-the-book as Riker, and more than willing to take a risk. Personally, as much as I love Jonathan Frakes, I think Shelby would’ve been a fantastic first officer on the Enterprise. But sadly, it was not to be, as her expertise on the Borg was apparently needed elsehwhere.
Sally Sparrow (Doctor Who)
When Sally Sparrow, a budding photographer explores an uninhabited house in London, she finds the strangest thing: messages directed at her from the Doctor. Blink was one of the few episodes in which you hardly see the Doctor at all in the episode. Yet, at the same time, it brings forth one of New Who’s greatest villains: the weeping angels. With only messages from the past to go on, Sally finds herself helping the Doctor and Martha by returning the TARDIS to them. Not bad considering it’s only at the end of the episode, one year later for Sally, that she finds herself actually meeting the Timelord in person. Not only is Blink one of the best New Who episodes, but Sally Sparrow could easily have become a top notch companion.