This week’s Friday Five is dedicated to five Stargate actors who have portrayed multiple characters across the various Stargate series.
Perhaps the most prolific multi-role actor in Stargate, Dion has portrayed no less than 8 different characters!
Dion is probably best known to Stargate fans as Chaka, the Unas who captured Daniel Jackson and was later befriended by him over a protein bar and a charred Goa’uld symbiote head (Stargate SG-1‘s Season Four episode “The First Ones“). However, his first role on Stargate was as Captain Nelson, a Jaffa recruited by Apophis to train for a covert invasion of Earth (Season Three’s “Rules of Engagement“).
Dion went on to play Na’onak, the alter ego of Apophis and First Prime to Bynarr on Natu. Na’onak assassinates Bynarr in an attempt to become ruler of Sokar’s moon (in the Season Three two-parter “The Devil You Know” / “Jolinar’s Memories“). His next appearance was as the imaginatively named “Alien #2”, one of the Mimetic Aliens called the Stragoth who take over Stargate Command by mimicking the appearance of key SGC personnel (“Foothold“).
Dion’s fourth appearance was as Lieutenant Tyler, an artificial identity that was implanted in the minds of SG-1 by a Reole that was attempting to avoid capture by Jaffa forces (Season Five’s “The Fifth Man“).
Dion reprised the role of Chaka in “Beast of Burden“, in which Chaka – with help from SG-1 – frees a number of his fellow Unas from slavery under a Human trader named Burrock.
In his sixth role in Stargate, Dion portrayed Wodan, brother of Alebran and one of Nirrti’s many test subjects. Wodan was capable of telekinesis and was eventually responsible for the death of Nirrti (Season Six’s “Metamorphosis“).
In Chaka’s third appearance (and Dion’s seventh!), he and Daniel Jackson negotiate a treaty between the Unas and the SGC in order to help the humans obtain the mineral Naquadah from a mine held sacred by the Unas (Season Seven’s “Enemy Mine“).
Alex Zahara is a close contender for the title of Stargate’s most prolific multi-role actor, having played 7 different roles. He first appeared as Xe’ls, the chief guardian spirit of the Salish who was injured when he infiltrated the SGC in the form of Dr. Warner (in the Season Two episode “Spirits“).
Alex’s second appearance was as Michael, the hippy van driver who gives SG-1 a lift to New York City and unsuccessfully attempts to talk to Teal’c about his Jaffa symbol (Season Two’s “1969“). His next role in Stargate saw him act alongside Dion Johnstone for the first time, as the Leader of the Mimetic aliens who take over the SGC (“Foothold“, from SG-1‘s Third Season).
Alex made his second appearance alongside Dion when he took the role of Shy One, a young Unas imprisoned by a Human named Burrock, who kept and traded Unas as slaves. After being freed by Chaka, Shy One attacks Burrock to stop him from killing another Unas (“Beast of Burden“).
Alex made his fifth appearance on Stargate with his third collaboration with Dion, when he played Eggar. Another of Alebran’s people, he had the power of telepathy. O’Neill persuaded him to read Nirrti’s mind to prove he was telling the truth about the experiments the System Lord performed on Wodan, Eggar and the rest of Alebran’s people (“Metamorphosis“).
Alex’s sixth appearance marked the second time he played an Unas, again accompanying Dion’s Chaka. He portrayed Iron Shirt, an Unas leader who negotiated a Naquadah mining agreement with Chaka and Daniel Jackson (“Enemy Mine“).
In Warrick Trevor’s second appearance, the Serrakin was played by Alex Zahara. Warrick visits the SGC to request Carter’s help with installing a naquadah generator on his ship in order for him to try to win a race, the prize for which was a Deep Space Exploration contract (Season Seven’s “Space Race“).
Another well-known multi-role actor in Stargate, Mike has the unique distinction of being the only actor to have played different roles in all three Stargate series.
His first appearance in Stargate was as in SG-1‘s first season, as an (uncredited) Jaffa Warrior (“In The Serpent’s Grasp“). His second appearance was as a Eurondan soldier who points a weapon at Carter when Jackson refuses to hand over deuterium to the Kindred (Season Four’s “The Other Side“).
His next appearance is as Ruslan Chernovshev, a Russian Colonel involved in selling a captured Goa’uld symbiote to members of The Trust (Season Eight’s “Full Alert“), and he turns up again as Odai Ventrell, an interstellar bounty hunter working for the Lucian Alliance. He is sent to Earth with orders to capture members of SG-1 (“Bounty“, from Season Ten).
Fans of Stargate Atlantis will most likely recognise Mike as Kiryk, the Runner who captures Keller in order to get her to help a sick young girl (in the Season Five episode “Tracker“), but he also played one of the soldiers who guard the Genii facility in which Sheppard’s team are imprisoned, following the ‘faked’ attempt to overthrow Cowen (Season Two’s “Coup d’Etat“).
Mike’s sixth appearance is in Stargate Universe, this time portraying Varro, a member of the Lucian Alliance who initially boards the Destiny as part of an attempt to wrest it from the control of Colonel Young and his crew. In later episodes, he becomes TJ’s medical assistant and proves to be a useful member of the Destiny crew. Mike played the role of Varro in 15 episodes (“Subversion“, “Incursion: Part 1“, and “Incursion: Part 2” from Season One, and the Season Two episodes “Intervention“, “Aftermath“, “Awakening“, “Pathogen“, “Malice“, “Resurgence“, “Twin Destinies“, “Alliances“, “The Hunt“, “Epilogue“, “Blockade“, and “Gauntlet“).
Another recognisable face from Stargate, Glynis Davies has played three different roles in two series.
Glynis’ first appearance in Stargate was as a young Catherine Langford. She is questioned by a disguised Sam Carter and Daniel Jackson about the whereabouts of the Stargate after the project was shelved in the 1940s. She informs them it is in storage in a New York warehouse (Season Two’s “1969“).
Glynis’ best-known role in Stargate is probably as Maryann Wallace – Eli’s mother. As the series progresses, we learn she is seriously ill with HIV, after contracting the virus from a junkie she was trying to restrain as part of her job as a nurse. Glynis portrayed Maryann in 6 episodes (“Air, Part 1“, “Light“, “Earth“, “Awakening“, “Pathogen“, and “Gauntlet“).
Christopher Heyerdahl is a well-known multi-role actor from the Stargate series, playing three characters in two series.
Christopher’s first appearance on Stargate was as Pallan, who lived in a domed force field which protected its inhabitants from the toxic atmosphere outside. He maintained the underground systems used by the Link, a computer system which changed the memories of all those who were connected to it. The Link caused Pallan to forget his wife, who was ordered out of the dome by the computer as a population control measure (SG-1’s Season Seven episode, “Revisions“).
Christopher’s second role was as Halling, a member of the Athosian community led by Teyla Emmagan. He was the first Athosian to encounter Sheppard and his offworld team. Halling appears in seven episodes of Stargate Atlantis (“Rising, Part One“, “Rising, Part Two“, “Hide and Seek“, “Thirty-Eight Minutes“, “Suspicion“, “The Siege, Part 1” & “The Kindred, Part 2“).
Christopher’s third and final role in Stargate was probably his most well known: he played the Wraith that Sheppard and his team refer to as “Todd”. We first encounter Todd as the prisoner of the Genii commander Acastus Kolya. He is forced to feed on a captive Sheppard before both prisoners team up and manage to escape the compound. An uneasy alliance between Todd and the Atlantis team ensues, which sees Todd and McKay work together to alter the Replicators’ base code to prevent them from following their primary command: to attack the Wraith. When McKay finds a way to finally defeat the Replicators, Todd brings a number of ships to aid in the battle. After secretly stealing intelligence data from the Atlantis computer, Todd uses a ZPM stolen from the Replicators to power a secret Wraith cloning facility, which was subsequently taken over by a Wraith Queen. Todd and the Atlantis team work together to destroy the facility. Todd later contacts Atlantis for help with the effects of the modified Hoffan virus spread by the hybrid, Michael, and receives a small part of the drug research Beckett has performed from the team. Todd informs Atlantis of an imminent attack on Earth by the Wraith, and he is last seen in custody in Atlantis as it floats in San Francisco Bay (“Common Ground“, “The Seer“, “Miller’s Crossing“, “Be All My Sins Remember’d“, “Spoils Of War“, “The Kindred, Part 1“, “The Kindred Part 2“, “The Last Man“, “The Queen“, “First Contact“, “The Lost Tribe“, “Infection“, “Vegas“, and “Enemy At The Gate“).
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