"Maiden Reborn"
Guest Starring
Daniel Benzali as Admiral Theodore Pryce Admiral Pryce is the Diplomat equivalent of Admiral Nechayev from The Next Generation. He's the Admiral in charge of the U.S.S. Diplomat's area of operation, and is therefore a semi-regular, often popping up to give the crew their mission. Daniel Benzali is the only choice for this role - I'm a huge fan of his work on Murder One and desperately wanted to include him somehow. It's in authority roles like this that he absolutely shines.

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Tia Carrere as Commander Victoria Trafford
(Picure Unfinished)
Commander Trafford is a semi-regular supporting cast member (like Lwaxana Troi), and a Betazoid. She's based on an old friend, and I really wanted someone who has that wonderful warm and exotic look that most Betazoids have. Tia Carrere fits that wonderfully, and she has a wonderful range - Wayne's World to True Lies to Murder One - which not only makes her perfect for the role, but also a lot of fun to have hang around all the other characters.

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Cameron Diaz as Ensign Aleisha Ward Ensign Ward was originally planned to be an ongoing supporting cast member, but as the story developed, that fate turned out not to be. Her physical description is based on a girl I once knew, and Cameron Diaz, star of The Mask and A Life Less Ordinary, not only has the right look, but she also has that wonderful youthful enthusiasm that Ensign Ward needed to have.

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Anthony Edwards as Dr. Malcolm Stone Alright, so it may be typecasting having Anthony Edwards play a doctor, I'll concede that much. But he really has an incredible grasp of the whole doctor 'presence', and presents the consummate medical professional, which is just what I wanted for the Deputy Head of Medical aboard the U.S.S. Diplomat.

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John Lithgow as Dr. John Cara John Lithgow is, without doubt, one of the most gifted actors of our time. Look at the work he's done - 2010, Raising Cain, Cliffhanger, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Santa Claus The Movie... his range is incredible. But I've always adored his villains - Raising Cain just can't be beat in that department - and so I wanted him for the role of Dr. Cara. Cara himself is an odd blend of humor and villainy, and there are few people who could adequately pull that off - John is right at the top of that list.

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Julianna Margulies as Margarette 'Shotgun' Guanalia Casting 'Shotgun' had to be the hardest of all the characters. I really had no idea who should play her. Eventually, I chose Julianna Margulies of ER - she's got that same spunk that Shotgun has. Plus it helps that she's on one of my favorite TV shows... Shotgun was originally intended to be a permanent cast member, fulfilling the 'outsider' role like Wesley on TNG, Quark on DS9 and Neelix on Voyager, but instead I decided that such a position wasn't necessary - they didn't have one on classic Trek, so I haven't here.

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Sidney Poitier as Admiral Jeffery Lago The role of Admiral Lago was originally envisioned to be the recurring Admiral that Admiral Pryce now fills. It was also written originally with James Earl Jones in mind, but I decided that Sidney Poitier would be a much better choice for the role. Sidney has an incredible list of career achievements, and still works wonderfully on screen - I came across him in the movie Sneakers and adored him in it. He has just the qualities I wanted for Captain Archer's former mentor - he can inspire confidence and has all the presence that someone in command should have.

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Denzel Washington as M'rell
(Picure Unfinished)
Though M'rell only has a small part in "Maiden Reborn", I really needed to cast someone who could stamp the character with the qualities that I want him to have - intelligence and nobleness - and Denzel Washington was the first to spring to mind. Denzel has not only distinguished himself as an incredible actor in the likes of Philadelphia and Crimson Tide, but he's also shown he can handle special effects and action in his stride, as in Virtuosity. He's also been described as the thinking woman's sex symbol - a little sex appeal for the female reader can't hurt, I suppose... : )

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Noah Wyle as Ensign Samuel Fox It really looks like I'm stealing the whole cast of both Murder One and ER, doesn't it? Well, in Ensign Fox's case, there's good reason. Noah Wyle has a wonderful sense of humor and also a great youthful enthusiasm that really translates well over to the role, and I thought it would be interesting to see him play someone not quite as confident as John Carter (his character on ER), but so very much more positive. Ensign Fox is a regular supporting character.

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Samantha Bond as Gul Cassari Talek
(Picure Unfinished)
I'll admit it - of all the Bond girls, it's the latest Miss Moneypenny that has me smitten. Samantha Bond is not only incredibly beautiful (even buried under Cardassian makeup), but she has an incredible grasp of character, and it's that sort of person I wanted for Gul Talek - a person who can be explaining the fine technical points one second, and making cutting remarks the next. And Samantha has that ability in spades. Gul Talek is on ongoing supporting character, who'll have more importance than you might think...

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Special Guest Star
Robert Picardo as the Emergency Holographic Doctor Robert Picardo is, without doubt, the best thing to come out of Voyager. His charming portrayal of the Holographic Doctor has endeared him to millions of fans, and he's been well made use of in Star Trek First Contact and a guest role on DS9. If there was one actor from another Trek series that I desperately wanted to have in the Diplomat pilot, it was Robert.

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Patrick Stewart as Locutus of Borg I could not have Locutus without Patrick Stewart, pure and simple. He's distinguished himself over the seven years of TNG on television and the two feature films that have followed playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and he's also done some great work outside Trek - a wonderful villain in Conspiracy Theory, and a hilarious guest voice on The Simpsons for starters. Patrick is a great actor and it's an honor to have him help ring in the new 'series'.

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