Gary Graham Had More Star Trek Roles Than Enterprise’s Vulcan – News Today

Gary Graham Had More Star Trek Roles Than Enterprise’s Vulcan

The late Gary Graham is best known for his role as Enterprise’s obstructive Vulcan ambassador, but Graham’s links to Star Trek go much further.

Archer, Soval and Janeway

Summary

  • Gary Graham had a prominent role as Detective Matthew Sikes in the sci-fi crime series Alien Nation, which also addressed social issues in a science fiction setting.
  • Although Gary Graham was considered for the roles of Janeway and Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, he ultimately played the Vulcan Ambassador Soval in Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • Graham’s involvement in Star Trek extended to fan films, where he portrayed his characters such as Soval and Ragnar, receiving positive feedback from fans.

The late Gary Graham is best known for his role as Ambassador Soval in Star Trek: Enterprise, but the actor’s franchise connections go much further than the stoic Vulcan. Gary Graham’s breakthrough role was Detective Matthew Sikes in the sci-fi crime series Alien Nation, and its subsequent TV movies. Like Star TrekAlien Nation viewed contemporary issues like social injustice and racism through a science fiction lens. Years after Alien Nation came to an end, Gary Graham joined the cast of Star Trek: Enterprise in the recurring role of Soval, who appeared across all four seasons of the prequel show.

Enterprise wasn’t Gary Graham’s first flirtation with Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, however. During the early development stages of both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, Gary Graham was considered for both Janeway and Sisko. When it was decided that DS9 should have an African-American lead and Voyager should have a female captain, Graham was no longer under consideration. Despite this disappointment, Gary Graham went on to star in several official Star Trek TV shows and unofficial fan films, and even formed a band, The Sons of Kirk, who performed the theme tune for the Shuttlepod Show podcast, hosted by his former Enterprise co-stars Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer.

star-trek-enterprise-best-episodes-ranked

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Gary Graham Played An Ocampa On Star Trek: Voyager

Star Trek: Voyager, Season 2, Episode 10, “Cold Fire”

voyager-kes-cold-fire-tanis-ocampa

After missing out on the role of Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager, Gary Graham was cast as Tanis in the season 2 episode “Cold Fire”. Tanis was an Ocampa like Voyager‘s Kes (Jennifer Lien), but he had been raised not by the Caretaker (Basil Langton) but by their mate, Suspiria (Lindsay Ridgeway). Tanis was therefore colder than the Ocampans that the USS Voyager crew first encountered in “Caretaker.” Tanis was described as “dark, intense, attractive – but with a dangerous edge”, which Gary Graham played brilliantly, charming Kes while simultaneously selling out the crew of the Voyager to Suspiria.

Tanis was the oldest Ocampa that had been encountered by the USS Voyager, living to the age of 14. This was five years longer than Kes and her fellow Ocampans, and it was said that Tanis’ father had lived to the ripe old age of 20. This was due to the influence of Suspiria, who sent Tanis to ensnare the USS Voyager as revenge for the death of her partner in Star Trek: Voyager‘s pilot episode. When Kes defeated Tanis and Suspiria’s revenge plot, they returned to the planet Exosia and were never seen again.

Gary Graham Played Vulcan Soval On Star Trek: Enterprise

Soval appeared in 11 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise

Gary Graham’s best known Star Trek role was Soval in Enterprise, a Vulcan ambassador whose personality clashed with that of Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). Soval believed that Archer was impulsive, while the captain of the Enterprise NX-01 blamed the Vulcan ambassador for holding back the warp five program. Soval would later soften toward the Enterprise NX-01’s captain, once noting that Archer’s presence at diplomatic talks had “not been overly meddlesome” which is high praise from a Vulcan. Soval even shook Archer’s hand after he had prevented the Sphere Builders from invading the Milky Way galaxy.

Soval’s attitude toward humans softened even further when his life was saved by Admiral Maxwell Forrest (one of 12 Star Trek characters played by Vaughn Armstrong). Soval was part of the Vulcan delegation at the formation of the pre-Federation Coalition of Planets, reflecting his changed attitudes toward humanity. When creating Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Vulcan ambassador for the pilot episode, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga never intended Soval to be a recurring character. It’s a testament to Gary Graham’s skills as an actor that the character went on to have a life beyond Enterprise‘s pilot episode.

Gary Graham’s Star Trek Fan Film Roles

Soval returned for a Star Trek fan film in 2014

Soval and another Vulcan look concerned

Gary Graham played Ragnar in the 2008 fan film, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, which was directed by Tuvok actor Tim Russ. The film reunited Walter Koenig and Nichele Nichols as Captains Chekov and Uhura in a story set twelve years after Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) was swept into Star Trek‘s Nexus. Graham played the mercenary Ragnar in Of Gods and Men, and resurrected the character for 2015’s Star Trek: Renegades, which was effectively Star Trek‘s Suicide Squad, with Gary Graham’s roguish character being hired by Tuvok to team up with other misfits and criminals to stop the destruction of life in the galaxy.

Gary Graham also resurrected the character of Soval in Prelude to Axanar, a mockumentary about the Federation-Klingon War.

The 21-minute fan film also starred Tony Todd, who had previously played Kurn in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and J.G. Hertzler, who played General Martok in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Interestingly, neither actor played a Klingon in the Star Trek fan film. Set decades after Star Trek: Enterprise, Soval is overseeing negotiations with the Klingon Empire on Arcanis IV, but the Vulcan finds himself with little diplomatic wiggle room. Gary Graham’s performance in the short film was warmly received by fans, a fitting tribute to both the actor and his beloved Star Trek: Enterprise character.

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