Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Warp Speed Wednesday: The Childish Edition.

Let's consider this a follow-up to a post I wrote last week  in which I said uncharitable things about child actors. The comments got me thinking about the fate of child actors who appeared in Star Trek. I also took the time to judge them, and place them in various categories based upon my assessment of their merit, conduct and talent.

First up there's the first child actor to be a regular cast member on a Star Trek series: Wil Wheaton. He portrayed Wesley Crusher on The Next Generation. I'm going to place Wheaton at the head of a category called Child Actors From Star Trek Who Did Not Crash and Burn. Wheaton is in this category based upon his successful personal life (happily married with children), his social activism (including supporting his local SPCA), and carving out a career as a working actor, blogger, author and presenter on his own terms. Wheaton is one of those rare celebrities who can maintain his dignity, while being self-effacing. Furthermore he is not an asshole on Twitter which is a rare and beautiful thing for a celebrity (*cough**Nathan Fillion sucks at twitter **cough*). I loved Wesley Crusher as a teenager, but as an adult I respect Wil Wheaton whilst adoring the Sparks McGee meme that he inspired and endorses.

On the other end of the scale we have Child Actors From Star Trek Who Have Neck Tattoos:

This is Brian Bonsall who portrayed Alexander Rozhenko on the Next Generation. It's always a good rule to not make fun of people with neck tattoos -- even if they are of butterflies -- and criminal records for violent offences, so I'm going to move on to showcase some of the child actors who have fared better...

Clint Howard appeared in the original series as Balok. He continues to work today as a character actor and his wikipedia page is free of scandal. I'll put him in the same category as Wheaton.

Kirsten Dunst was in one episode of the Next Generation.  I'm putting Dunst in the category of  I Know Your Name and Your Face, But Can Only Think of One Movie Two Movies You've Made.

(The movies are Spider Man and the Virgin Suicides.)

My sons love watching any episode that features child actors. But some of the kids are...well, if not exactly awful, than at least...well -- let's just say that often their performances are not indicative of a strong future career. Yes, young Borg girl from Voyager, I am referring to you.  Most of the children who appeared on various episodes of Star Trek series have not pursued acting as a profession. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they lead happy and functional lives. I'll just lump them all into the  Did Not Crash and Burn category with Wheaton. 

From the ages fourteen to twenty Cirroc Lofton portrayed Jake Sisko on Deep Space 9. He was a natural on-screen and very talented. I wish he'd done more acting. He now operates a successful cafe in California. I'm putting him into the same category as Wheaton.

Where is Scarlett Pomers? She was so cute as Naomi Wildman on Voyager. She did more acting afterward, had a high profile battle with bulimia and then tried to launch a music career. Sadly her web presence plummets after 2010. I want to categorize her with Lofton and Wheaton, or alternately create a category called Not Just Anyone Can Rock the Forehead Horn Look, Bitch.

The boys share my love of Q episodes. They especially like the Voyager episode when Q shows up with is his son, Q. The latter is portrayed by Keegan de Lancie, the real life son of Q's actor John De Lancie. Keegan gets his own category called And Now I Work For the United Nations Helping Solve All the Problems in the Middle East.


And here I was feeling all proud for blogging two days in a row, AND making the kids eat vegetables. Damn. I suck.

But at least I don't have neck tattoo.


  1. Brian Bonsall was also on Family Ties. It's sad to see what happened to him.

    Kirsten Dunst was in Interview With The Vampire! I have no recollection AT ALL of her appearance in TNG.

    Keegan deLancie, YES PLEASE.

    I had a massive crush on Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher. Many were the arguments I had with my parents, who detested that character. I'm pleased that he has justified my faith in him. Honestly, he's one of the people I follow on Twitter - famous or not - that I most enjoy.

  2. I always thought, as I child, that I had missed my true calling of being on a TV show (does every kids feel this way? My Bee wishes the same thing) but when you see how a lot of kids end up as grown ups, it's really not all it's cracked up to be! I am strangely saddened (more than a person should be) by Amanda Bynes' situation. If only all child actors could follow the Wil Wheaton model for Child Actor Maturation.

  3. That neck tattoo is horrifying.

    I like Wil Wheaton too, because I appreciate it when famous people don't take themselves too seriously. *nathan fillion*

  4. Watching Kirsten Dunst's entire filmography would be a good way to introduce you to some good films - and some bad ones, but more good ones. I was surprised myself how many of my favourites she has appeared in minor roles.

  5. Do watch Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On. A fine guilty pleasure...