The Star Trek Guest Too Good At Being Bad

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Part of what makes Star Trek such a fun franchise is that on top of the main cast, each series has amazing guest actors to help bring these stories to life. Some of these actors (such as John de Lancie) become recurring characters, while others appear in only one or two episodes. One Trek guest who only appeared on Deep Space Nine once was Caitlin Brown, and she worried that she was so good at being an offensive character that it might have freaked out the show’s main cast.

The Overzealous Guard From The Passenger

For Caitlin Brown’s story to make much sense, you need to know a bit more about her DS9 episode and the character that she played. She appeared in the episode “The Passenger,” which featured a villain named Vantika with the handy ability to shift its consciousness into the bodies of other people. This allows the bad guy to escape seemingly certain death and, even worse, take control of anyone’s body in the course of committing one awful crime after another.

Extremely Harsh To The Crew Of DS9

In this episode, Caitlin Brown doesn’t play the body-hopping villain…instead, she plays Ty Kajada, a security guard obsessed with bringing Vantika to justice. Despite not playing the villain, though, Brown’s character is extremely harsh to the main characters. In the script, this is a deliberate red herring: she is so aggressive in discussions with characters like Bashir and Sisko that it makes both the audience and the crew wonder if Vantika had secretly hopped into Kajada’s body.

Apologzied To Her Co-Stars For Her Character

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The big twist of this episode is that it was Dr. Bashir who got possessed instead of Kajada. Nonetheless, Caitlin Brown worried that her intense performance as an obsessive security guard might have given the show’s cast a bad impression of her. The cast members she most worried about hating her were Avery Brooks and Alexander Siddig: as she later put it, “I had to be SUCH a you-know-what in my character, I am sure they thought I was that way in real life, too.

Bonded Years Later At Events

Fortunately, Caitlin Brown eventually realized that she hadn’t left an awful impression on any of the cast members she worked with. She didn’t appear on DS9 again, but the magic of science fiction conventions eventually provided a few reunions with the same DS9 costars she worried about offending. “Thankfully we have all spent time together at events and have had a chance to get to know one another,” she said.

Asked By The Studio To Return On The Next Generation

At any rate, Caitlin Brown shouldn’t have worried about being too good at being bad. For one thing, Deep Space Nine is known for its colorful characters like Gul Dukat, so giving a searing performance as an over-the-top and unlikeable character meant that she understood the assignment.

For another thing, Paramount agreed that she gave a great performance: based on how well she performed in “The Passenger,” Brown was later cast as Vekor in the memorable TNG two-part episode “Gambit.”

A Sign Of Good Things To Come For The Series

Knowing how much she worried about offending the cast makes us love Caitlin Brown’s performance even more. Instead of dialing back so she didn’t step on anyone’s toes, she instead turned the dial to 11 and was willing to burn some bridges with the cast if it meant making the episode that much stronger.

In retrospect, this strong performance was a positive omen for the show’s future: with even guests like Caitlin Brown giving it their all in a one-time minor role, Deep Space Nine was always destined for television greatness.