The Star Trek Family Guy

28-Mar-09 9:09 AM by
Filed under Star Trek, Television; 1 comment.

With the new Star Trek movie due in just six weeks, there is hope that JJ Abrams' take on Gene Roddenberry's vision for the future will revitalize the entire franchise. The last time Star Trek needed a rebirth, it received it courtesy The Next Generation — and that show's cast is eager for a swan song and the chance to reprise their roles in another TNG film.

That day may never come, as that show's actors have mostly aged and moved on, the set dismantled, the public ready for something new. But diehard fans can be very un-Vulcan-like in their passion for these memorable characters. For them, the animated series Family Guy offers a special reunion in this Sunday's episode that reunites the bridge crew of the Enterprise-D:

Trek lore is rife with tales of on-screen characters played by actors who loathed each other, and it's refreshing to know the cast of TNG is not immunue to such petty rivalries, even twenty years after the show's debut. Their seven-year mission must've been laced with false politeness that just barely masked their contempt for each other:

(Hat tip to Levar Burton)

The Voice of God

10-Sep-08 2:59 PM by
Filed under Fade to Black; 1 comment.

Screen actors often lend their voices to various productions, from Morgan Freeman's narration of March of the Penguins to Orson Welles and Leonard Nimoy playing shapeshifting robots in Transformers: The Movie. Famed for their on-screen appearances, these actors often lend a voice that is difficult, if not impossible, to separate from their role; the audience hears not the animated character, but a well-known actor's voice.

More ubiquitous yet less recognized are actors who specialize in vocal media, whose tone, resonance, delivery, and diversity earn them a variety of roles. The late Richard Kiley, famous for his work with National Geographic, was written into the novel of Jurassic Park long before he took the actual role in the film adaptation. Frank Welker, though his work tends to lighter fare, has been more versatile by mimicking every sort of person, animal, and robot imaginable, often playing multiple roles in shows such as Animaniacs.

Don LaFontaine, on the other hand, almost always plays himself — and yet, after recording nearly 350,000 commercials and 5,000 film trailers, his name and face have remained generally unknown. For over four decades we have recognized and appreciated his work, including in satires such as the recent trailer for The Love Guru or this Geico commercial. Sadly, it is only post-humously that his name is now gaining widespread recognition, as Mr. LaFontaine passed away on September 1st from complications from a collapsed lung. The following video offers a glimpse into the life and times of the man behind the screen.