Seinfeld’s George Was On Star Trek, See Who He Played

Seinfeld's Jason Alexander played the villain genius Kurros in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Think Thank."

By Michileen Martin | Published

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Jason Alexander in Star Trek: Voyager

If someone asked you to cast an actor to play an evil mastermind, the guy who played the loud and melodramatic George Costanza might not be the first thespian to spring to mind, but when it was time for Star Trek: Voyager to find the face of an influential group of super-genius aliens, that’s exactly who they called. Star Trek tapped Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame to play Kurros, an uncharacteristically soft spoken but cunning bad guy in the Season 5 Voyager episode “Think Tank”.

Jason Alexander In “Think Tank”

When the fiercely determined Hazari get a bounty, they don’t tend to quit, and they feel no differently when they’re hired to hunt the wayward ship Voyager. It’s during one of the clashes between the dedicated Hazari and the eponymous crew of Star Trek: Voyager that Jason Alexander makes his presence known to Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). Bypassing all of the ship’s defenses and security, Alexander’s character Kurros gets an audience with Janeway, promising he and his Think Tank can help her escape the Hazari for good. Janeway is genuinely impressed by her unexpected guest, until she learns the price of his Think Tank’s help. After reviewing an exhaustive list of Voyager’s inventory, Kurros asks for a number of unique items–including one of Neelix’s (Ethan Phillips) recipes–and among them is the dealbreaker. Just as Kurros was handed over to the Think Tank from a young age in exchange for the group’s services, Kurros and his colleagues want Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) to become the newest member of their group.

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Jason Alexander, Jeri Ryan, and Kate Mulgrew on Star Trek: Voyager — “Think Tank”

We eventually learn that–kind of like James Kirk did years earlier with the infamous kobayashi maru–Kurros and his buddies are stacking the deck. They know how to keep the Hazari off Voyager’s back because they were the ones who hired the bounty hunters in the first place. Star Trek delivers us a Jason Alexander villain who–in spite of proving himself to be utterly ruthless–is outwardly quiet and absolutely nothing like Alexander’s Seinfeld character. In fact, it turns out that’s a big reason why Alexander signed on to the role.

Why Did Jason Alexander Take The Star Trek Job?

Back in 2011, talked to Jason Alexander about his brief but memorable turn as a villain in “Think Tank.” The Seinfeld star said that he let it be known that he wanted a role in one of the Trek series. Apparently, Voyager‘s Kurros wasn’t the first of the roles he was offered. Alexander doesn’t exactly say which of the shows offered him parts, but he does say “each of the series” approached him, suggesting he may have been given the chance to appear on both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

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Jason Alexander as George Costanza on Seinfeld

But before Kurros, the Star Trek roles Jason Alexander was offered didn’t work for one of two reasons; either it came down to a scheduling conflict, or it was exactly the wrong kind of role. He told, “more often than not, they wanted me to play a human — and kind of a ‘George’-like human. I told them the big departure for me would be to play an alien.” It makes sense. After all, why would Alexander want to show up on Trek just to play an echo of the guy he played on Seinfeld? “I did so much histrionics as George, I was kind of hoping I’d wind up as a Vulcan so that I’d get to play some great intellect,” Alexander recalled. “It was finally Voyager that understood that and called with the perfect part.”

Jason Alexander Is An Unapologetic Trekkie

Star Trek and Jason Alexander have a long relationship. The actor told he had been a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series since he was 10 years old. Ironically, while it was Voyager where he made his first Trek appearance, Alexander said he wasn’t as much of a fan of the later series. Though he did say he “fell in love with Janeway” and he enjoyed the first of the Kelvin Timeline films.

As for his favorite Star Trek character, Jason Alexander didn’t leave room for ambiguity. “Kirk. Kirk. Kirk,” Alexander responded when asked which Trek character he most related to. He also heaped praise upon William Shatner, telling the site, “I can tell you as a staunch heterosexual, Shatner rang my bell. I wanted to be him. And I literally impressed his essence into my cells… Bill takes a lot of hits about his larger-than-life performing style, but I tell you, he is one of the most inventive, original and courageous actors I have ever seen.”

Jason Alexander Isn’t Done With Star Trek

While we don’t know much about his new character yet, Star Trek has once again recruited Jason Alexander, this time in a recurring role. Decider and others announced in October that Alexander, Robert Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), and Jameela Jamil (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law) had all been tapped to voice characters on the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy. Though the characters voiced by Beltran (Chakotay) and Jamil have both made appearances on the series, we have yet to hear from either Diggs’s character or Alexander’s. We do know the name of the Seinfeld star’s Prodigy character: Dr. Noum. Prodigy‘s Season 1 has taken a break, and the last we saw of the series, the real Admiral Janeway (voiced by Kate Mulgrew) was on the Prodigy crew’s trail while commanding the USS Dauntless. One possibility is that Alexander will play that ship’s doctor. Season 1 is set to continue on Paramount+ on October 27.