There are certain actors who just can’t seem to stop popping up in the kinds of “nerdy” shows that were once on the fringe and are now the mainstream. For fans of those series, Mark Sheppard is thankfully one of those actors. He’s known best as the demon Crowley on Supernatural, but he’s made his mark on a lot of other fantasy and science fiction franchises. He played a pyrokinetic killer in the inaugural season of The X-Files, a backstabbing crime boss on Firefly, and a Constantine-esque magic user on Doom Patrol. He’s likewise enjoyed memorable roles in Warehouse 13, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Sliders, Charmed, and more. But long before most of those roles — close to a decade before his first appearance on Supernatural — Sheppard made his mark on Star Trek. He appeared in “Child’s Play,” a sixth season episode of Star Trek: Voyager. And, as it turns out, it’s part of the family business.
Mark Sheppard plays Leucon, father to the recurring Icheb (Manu Intiraymi), in “Child’s Play,” though he doesn’t turn out to be a really great dad. Icheb is a Brunali teen introduced a few episodes earlier in “Collective” as a young Borg drone who Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) takes under her wing after the crew of Voyager rescues him and other Borg children. In “Child’s Play,” Voyager finds Icheb’s home planet and returns him to his family, though we eventually learn that isn’t the best thing for him.
It turns out while the character Mark Sheppard plays in “Child’s Play” is nowhere near as cruel as Crowley or some of Sheppard’s other villains, he won’t be winning any Dad of the Year awards either. The Brunali have long been victims of the Borg. Absent any high tech weaponry, the Brunali instead use their genetic know-how against the Borg. Before Icheb was even born, Leucon agreed to have an anti-Borg pathogen implanted in Icheb, with the child eventually sent in the Borg’s direction in the specific hopes he would be assimilated and spread the pathogen through the Collective. You can see the scene in which Leucon and his wife Yifay (Tracey Ellis) confess what they did below.
While “Child’s Play” is so far Mark Sheppard’s only Star Trek appearance, his late father William Morgan Sheppard made a total of four appearances in the franchise before passing away in 2019. In fact, one of those appearances came the year before his son’s on the season 5 Voyager episode “Bliss” when he played the obsessed hunter Qatai. The senior Sheppard made his first Trek appearance in “The Schizoid Man” in season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation — he played Dr. Ira Graves who temporarily takes over Data’s body. In 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, he played the one-eyed Klingon commander of the Rura Penthe penal colony who kept Kirk and McCoy prisoner, and he played a Vulcan science minister in 2009’s Star Trek.
As for where you can Mark Sheppard next, it looks like he’s having a reunion with some other Supernatural alum. While the nature of his character has yet to be revealed, he appears in the first trailer that dropped for the CW’s upcoming prequel series Walker: Independence.