Vaughn Armstrong has the distinction of being the actor who played the most roles in the Star Trek franchise. He appeared in 27 Star Trek episodes in 12 different roles.
He’s one of just a few actors who appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. Vaughn and veteran Star Trek actor Jeffrey Combs are the only actors who played multiple characters in the same season of a single Star Trek show.
Though Vaughn is Star Trek’s most prolific guest star, he’s only truly recognizable for three of his roles. For all the rest, his face was buried under layers of prosthetics and makeup.
Here are all the different characters Vaughn brought to life.
Vaughn’s first appearance in the Star Trek universe was in the TNG episode “Heart of Glory.” The first season episode focused on a group of Klingons who had fled the Klingon homeworld to find a new home. This rogue group of Klingons believed that the Klingon Empire had gone soft after they pursued peace with the Federation.
Vaughn played Commander Korris, the leader of the rogue Klingon group. He was taken aboard the Enterprise when he and his crewmates were injured. Korris tried to get Worf to join them by appealing to his Klingon nature. However, when he attempted to destroy the Enterprise, Worf killed him.
Vaughn returned to the Star Trek universe in the first season of DS9. In the second episode, “Past Prologue,” Vaughn played Gul Dunar. In that episode, a Bajoran resistance fighter came to Deep Space Nine seeking asylum.
Gul Danar, a Cardassian official, told Captain Benjamin Sisko that the resistance fighter was a terrorist and demanded that he be handed over to the Cardassian government. After hearing both sides of the story, Sisko decided to grant the Bajoran asylum and Gul Danar left.
Vaughn returned to DS9 as a different Cardassian in the last season of the series. In the episodes “When it Rains…” and “The Dogs of War” he played Seskal, a former member of the Cardassian military who defected to join the Cardassian rebellion.
Seskal was a crucial part of the offensive on Cardassia Prime. He transported Garak, Damar, and Kira Nerys to Cardassia Prime on a stolen Jem’Hadar shuttle so they could meet with members of the Cardassian military who seemed sympathetic to the rebel cause. However, it was a trap and Seskal was killed in the battle that ensued.
Vaughn appeared in several episodes of Voyager, playing a different character each time. His first appearance was in the first season episode “Eye of the Needle.” He played the Romulan scientist Telek R’Mor.
During a scientific mission, he discovered a probe sent by Voyager near the mouth of a wormhole in the Alpha Quadrant. After listening to the message, he was unconvinced that Voyager was actually trapped in the Delta Quadrant. He assumed that they were a Starfleet spy ship. However, after establishing communications with Voyager’s crew, he decided to help them.
Unfortunately, the crew of Voyager soon discovered that R’Mor had been impacted by temporal displacement when he encountered the wormhole. His efforts to help Voyager were in vain because in his timeline they hadn’t even gone missing yet.
Lansor / Two of Nine
Vaughn didn’t return to Voyager until the sixth season. In the episode “Survival Instinct,” he played the ex-Borg Lansor, formerly known as Two of Nine. While Voyager was docked at a popular Delta Quadrant outpost, three ex-Borgs boarded the ship to demand help from Seven of Nine. Lansor was among them.
Flashbacks revealed that the three ex-Borgs had been stranded on a planet with Seven of Nine while they were still drones. While they were briefly separated from the Collective, they began to regain their memories and decided that they didn’t want to return to the Collective. However, Seven was a loyal drone and she reassimilated them.
Later, when they did escape the Borg, they found that they were psychically linked because of Seven’s reassimilation. So, they sought her help to break the link.
Later that same season, Vaughn appeared in the episode “Fury.” In the episode, which saw the return of Jennifer Lien’s Kes, Voyager was transported back through time to a time before Kes left the ship. In that part of the timeline, Voyager had just encountered the Vidiians, a non-human species known for harvesting organs to help their population recover from a plague.
As revenge for the fact that she couldn’t return to her homeworld after her time on Voyager, Kes collaborated with the Vidiians. She gave them all the information they needed to raid the ship. Vaughn played the Vidiian captain to whom Kes passed her information.
In the last season of Voyager, Vaughn returned for two separate roles. The first was an Alpha-Hirogen in the episode “Flesh and Blood.” In the special, hour-and-a-half-long episode, the crew of Voyager discovered that the holographic technology they’d given the Hirogens, including mobile emitters like the one used by the Doctor, was used to make holographic humanoids for the Hirogen to hunt.
Some of the holograms rebelled against the Hirogens, stole a ship, and led a resistance movement. The Doctor got involved in the movement, putting Voyager in the middle of a dangerous conflict.
Vaughn played one of the Alpha-Hirogen hunters who tried to quell the holograms’ resistance movement.
Vaughn’s final appearance in Voyager was in the series finale, “Endgame.” In that episode, Admiral Kathryn Janeway planned to travel back in time to convince the crew of Voyager to destroy a Borg stronghold and take a risky path back to the Alpha Quadrant.
Her plan hinged on obtaining a chrono deflector from a Klingon scientist named Korath, who was played by Vaughn. Janeway promised to get Korath a seat on the Klingon High Council in exchange for the device. When she went retrieve the promised chrono deflector, Korath changed the terms of the deal, asking for Starfleet technology as well. Janeway stole the chrono deflector from Korath instead and successfully traveled back in time.
Admiral Maxwell Forrest
Vaughn was given the opportunity to truly shine in Star Trek: Enterprise. After establishing himself as a Trek veteran, he was offered the major, recurring role of Admiral Maxwell Forrest.
Forrest was the Starfleet officer in charge of the project that sent the Enterprise into deep space. He coordinated with the Vulcans and he was Captain Jonathan Archer’s senior officer. Forrest handpicked Archer to lead the Enterprise mission. He and Archer were in close communication, and he often assigned new missions and passed on relevant communications from the Vulcans.
Forrest had the unenviable job of pushing for Human independence in space exploration while respecting the diplomatic relationship with the Vulcans. He was often at odds with Vulcan Ambassador Soval and the Vulcan High Command. However, Forrest had a talent for smoothing things over with the Vulcans while remaining loyal to Human interests.
Vaughn played Forrest in 14 episodes of the show.
In addition to his major role, Vaughn also played a couple of minor roles in Enterprise. In the episode “Sleeping Dogs,” the crew of the Enterprise discovered a Klingon ship trapped in the gravity of a gas giant. The crew was all unconscious except for one Klingon female. Thinking that the Enterprise had attacked the ship, she sent a distress signal to any other Klingon ships in the sector. The Enterprise crew still tried to help the Klingons, eventually reviving them.
The captain of the ship, played by Vaughn, demanded that the Enterprise surrender or be destroyed. Archer gave him the same ultimatum. Archer managed to get the Enterprise out of range before the reinforcements arrived, leaving the ship to be retrieved by its fleet.
In two episodes, “Vox Sola” and “A Night in Sickbay,” Vaughn played the captain of Kreetassan vessel that made first contact with the Enterprise. Unbeknownst to the crew of the Enterprise, the Kreestassan had incredibly strict rules of etiquette. In their first meeting, the crew of the Enterprise gravely offended the Kreetassans by eating in front of them. Vaughn’s character later communicated this to the crew and gave them the opportunity to apologize.
Unfortunately, the second meeting with the Kreetassans didn’t go too well either. After Archer returned to the Enterprise, while in the decon chamber with Porthos and the away team, Phlox informed him that Porthos had a disease native to the Kreetassan homeworld.
After much back and forth with the Kreetassans over the proper apologies, Archer finally decided to go through with the complicated and involved apology ritual. The Kreetassan captain was impressed with his willingness to follow through and it seemed like amicable relations between the Humans and Kreetassans were on the horizon.
Captain Maximilian Forrest
When Enterprise ventured into the mirror universe, fans got to see Admiral Maxwell Forrest’s counterpart, Captain Maximilian Forrest. In the alternate universe, Forrest was captain of the Enterprise and Commander Archer was his first officer. Though they appeared close like their counterparts in the prime universe, it was all a facade, at least on Archer’s part.
Archer led a mutiny against Forrest, saying that he didn’t have what it took to be a successful captain in a cutthroat environment like the Terran Empire. He threw Forrest in the brig, though he eventually escaped and retook the ship. Soon after, he died when the Tholians invaded the ship.
Vaughn is one of the most versatile actors in the Star Trek universe and his contributions to the franchise are immense.