Malcolm MacDowell may be a screen icon with over 100 credits, but he had no idea that playing Dr. Tolian Soran, the villain of the first TNG film and the murderer of James T. Kirk, would make him as infamous as any of his odd screen characters—from the iconic Alex of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange onward.
Born in Leeds, England in 1943, McDowell is no stranger to films of any size and budget, with characters rangin from the quirky to the cruel and dangerous characters—but even then played a time-traveling H.G. Wells in 1979’s Time After Time, directed by Star Trek film writer-director Nicholas Meyer. More recently he has voiced numerous animated roles, including Geoffrey Tolwyn in several Wing Commander games, and appeared on YV as Stanton Infeld on the TNT legal comedy series Franklin & Bash, the healer Mr. Lindeman on Heroes, and recurred as Terence in HBO’s Entourage.
A maternal uncle to Alexander “Dr. Bashir” Siddig of DS9, McDowell wanted to appear in an episode in which his nephew directed. After his turn on Generations, though, producers would have held to the custom that actors be allowed only one human role and don alien makeup for others—which McDowell was unwilling to do, and thus never appeared on Siddig’s series.