Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Star Trek and Babylon 5 Cross Over in HEROES

Heroes is well-known (or perhaps infamous) for stunt-casting large numbers of science fiction veterans (not to mention sticking Stan Lee in as a bus driver). For three seasons, George Takei has played Hiro Nakamura's father. In this past Monday's episode, Hiro's mother was shown for the first time -- and she was played by Tamlyn Tomita.

I'm familiar with Tomita's work because she attended UCLA at the same time as I did (we never met, to my knowledge -- it's a big campus), and because her movie debut was in KARATE KID II, which I watched in Walla Walla with my family (we took my grandfather and grandmother, who had lived in Okinawa, because the movie was set in Okinawa. "That sure wasn't Okinawa," Grandfather commented after the movie.

But most pertinently here, Tomita played the second-in-command in the pilot movie for the series BABYLON 5. (Her character was swapped out for the TV series, to be replaced by Claudia Christian.) So her playing the wife of STAR TREK's Mr. Sulu was like a marriage of state between two occasionally feuding powers. (Of course, for interseries cameos it did not match the episode of BABYLON 5 in which Gene Roddenberry's widow, Majel Barret, played "the emperor's wife.")

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