Captain Kathryn Janeway of the starship Voyager commanded her crew through many difficult situations. Lost in the Delta Quadrant, the crew encountered scenarios that no other Starfleet crew ever had to face. Janeway’s leadership carried her crew through every circumstance, though her job was made easier by the fact that her loyal crew was always willing to be courageous and put in the work.
However, none of the challenges Janeway faced in the Delta Quadrant prepared her to command the unruly crew played by the cast of the 90s NBC sitcom, “Frasier.” During a television special that aired in 1996, the comedy of “Frasier” combined with the drama and sci-fi of “Star Trek” to create a truly entertaining sketch.
The Lost ‘Voyager’ Audition
The sketch was a part of the “Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond” television special that aired in October of 1996. The special celebrated the franchise’s 30-year anniversary and included appearances and special performances by several “Star Trek” cast members.
The sketch that featured Captain Janeway and her “Frasier” crew was presented as a lost, botched audition for the show “Star Trek: Voyager,” which had premiered almost two years before the special. Ted Danson, who introduced the sketch, joked that only one of the actors from this botched audition made it onto “Voyager.”
The sketch started with a fairly typical Captain’s Log by Janeway, which was unceremoniously interrupted by Martin Crane, the patriarch of the Frasier family. The stage then illuminated, revealing a simple bridge set with Captain Janeway in the captain’s chair, Martin Crane in his iconic recliner, Niles Crane in the first officer’s chair, and Roz and Daphne at the helm.
The sketch hilariously combined the technobabble and alien encounters of an episode of “Voyager” with the clever quips and laughs of an episode of “Frasier.” Martin, apparently the security officer, rambled on about “back in his day” and second-guessed Janeway’s every decision. Niles the first officer was more concerned with elitism than first contact. Roz the communications officer was preoccupied with gossip instead of subspace transmissions. And Daphne the pilot was convinced that she had telepathic abilities, though she was clearly a human from England.
But Where’s Frasier?
One member of the Frasier cast was notably absent from the bridge crew. Frasier Crane was not among the Starfleet officers under Janeway’s command. He did show up eventually, but even the most diehard “Frasier” fans might not have noticed.
About three-quarters of the way through the sketch, the Voyager crew encountered a Klingon ship. The commander of the Klingon vessel beamed aboard and revealed that he’d found Martin’s beloved dog, Eddie. That Klingon was Frasier Crane.
Though he was the star of his own show, he was far from the star of the sketch. Klingon Frasier appeared for less than a minute.
Kelsey Grammer Was Not A Trek Newbie
Kelsey Grammer, the actor who brought Frasier Crane to life, was no stranger to the “Star Trek” universe when he appeared in the 30th-anniversary sketch. He’d made his Trek debut nearly four years earlier.
In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Cause and Effect,” Grammer played Captain Morgan Bateson. He was in command of the U.S.S. Bozeman, which collided with the Enterprise, destroying it. However, the ships were caught in a temporal causality loop. So, they kept repeating the same events until the crew of the Enterprise figured out how to change the outcome and survive.
Though Grammer’s character was central to the plot, he didn’t have much screen time, much like his Klingon in the “Voyager”/”Frasier” crossover.
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