Published Jun 7, 2021
10 Surprising Connections Between Star Trek: The Original Series and Batman (1966)
Which Star Trek actors also visited Gotham City?
By Terry Parrett
For anyone who grew up with 50 to 500 channels of cable TV — let alone an almost infinite variety of streaming platforms, apps, and assorted niche media — it’s hard to imagine what a limited world television was in the 1960s. With only three major networks offering scripted programming, actors had to grab whatever roles they could to keep working. As a result, eagle-eyed viewers may notice the same faces popping up again and again on different shows from the time period. Two of the most popular shows of the decade, Star Trek and Batman, are noticeable for the number of actors who “crossover,” appearing on both series. Rather than look at the most famous examples of this phenomenon — Frank Gorshin, Yvonne Craig, Roger C. Carmel, and Julie Newmar — we are going to focus on some of the lesser-known names who managed to snag compelling minor roles on both shows.
Charles Dierkop - Morla; “Wolf in the Fold”
With a screen career spanning almost 60 years, including a four year, 90 episode stint on the TV series Police Woman, Charles Dierkop is one of the most well-known, yet “unknown” actors in the business. Dierkop’s most noticeable feature is his unusually flattened nose, making him instantly recognizable no matter what role he plays. TOS fans will remember him as Morla, the jealous fiancé of Kara, the dancer whose murder sets the episode into action. Dierkop appeared in Batman in the S3 episode “Penguin’s Clean Sweep” as Dustbag, one of Penguin’s henchmen.
Stanley Adams - Cyrano Jones; “The Trouble with Tribbles”
Following the dark themes of “Wolf in the Fold,” TOS viewers were treated to a considerably lighter episode in the much-loved “Trouble With Tribbles.” Apart from the return of actor William Campbell, albeit in a different role, “Tribbles” also introduced the Harry Mudd-esque character Cyrano Jones, portrayed by Stanley Adams. Adams had a prominent role on Batman episodes “Catwoman Goes to College” and “Batman Displays His Knowledge” as the newly-arrived-from-California police office, Captain Courageous, whose ignorance of Batman’s activity in the Gotham City crime fighting scene leads to Batman being arrested.
Ted Cassidy - Ruk; “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
Ted Cassidy will forever be defined by the role of Lurch in the original “Addams Family” series from the 60s, but a quick look at his IMDB page will show that he showed up in some unlikely places; just like fellow Trek/Batman alumnus Charles Dierkop, he made a brief appearance in the smash hit Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He later turned up as Bigfoot in several episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, replacing the previous Bigfoot, Andre the Giant. His unusual physical appearance made him unforgettable in his role as Ruk, although he also provided the voices of the Gorn in “Arena” and Balok’s Puppet in “The Corbomite Maneuver.'' His Batman appearance was brief but memorable, as he reprised his Lurch character for the campy window cameo in the second season episode “The Penguin’s Nest”.
Lawrence Montaigne - Stonn; “Amok Time”
“Amok Time” was the first time TOS viewers got a glimpse of life on Vulcan, and it gave fans a chance to compare Spock to others of his kind. While most may have been surprised that T’Pring preferred Stonn to Spock, her logic in selecting Kirk as her champion was impeccably Vulcan. TOS fans may be aware that this episode was not actor Lawrence Montaigne’s first appearance on the show; he also portrayed Decius, one of the first Romulans ever to appear on the series, in “Balance of Terror”. Montaigne’s Batman appearance also took advantage of his somewhat emotionless visage, as he was cast as Mr. Glee, Joker’s robotic bank-teller in “The Joker’s Last Laugh” and “The Joker’s Epitaph”.
Sherry Jackson - Andrea; “What Are Little Girls Made Of”
Like many character actors and actresses, Sherry Jackson made guest appearances on some of the biggest hits of the 1960s, including Lost in Space, My Three Sons, The Wild Wild West, and Perry Mason. Her role in TOS was that of Andrea, the tragic female lead in “What Are Little Girls Made Of”, whose inability to reconcile her true nature as an android leads to her eventual demise. Jackson played a more upbeat role on Batman, as the Riddler’s moll Pauline, on the silent movie-themed episodes “Death in Slow Motion” and “The Riddler’s False Notion”.
Malachi Throne - Commodore Mendez; “The Menagerie”
While the subject of this article is TOS and Batman (1966) crossovers, Malachi Throne has appeared in numerous iterations of both Star Trek and Batman media. Throne portrayed the backstabbing Romulan Senator Pardek in both “Unification” episodes of ST: TNG, and also appeared on the web series Star Trek: New Voyages. His later Batman credits include voice work on The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond. Of course, TOS fans will best remember Throne as Commodore Mendez on “The Menagerie”, and Batman viewers will know him as the villainous False Face in the episodes “Holy Rat Race” and “True or False Face”. One interesting note — although Throne was the lead villain in both Batman episodes, he didn’t receive billing in the credits of the show, due to the producers’ desire to keep False Face’s true identity a mystery from TV viewers.
Leslie Parrish - Lt. Carolyn Palamas; “Who Mourns for Adonais”
In “Who Mourns for Adonais” Lt. Palamas, similar to Yeoman Ross on “Squire of Gothos” and Marla McGivers in “Space Seed”, is written as a means to an end to defeating the antagonist rather than as a productive member of the crew. Nonetheless, Parrish leaves a lasting impression as the mortal who wins the heart of a god; on Batman, Parrish portrayed two different characters. She appeared as Dawn Robbins, the target of Penguin’s kidnapping plot in “The Penguin’s a Jinx”, and as Glacia Glaze, the ice skating queen who turns out to be the secret accomplice of Mr. Freeze in “Ice Spy” and “The Duo Defy.”
Gene Dynarski - Krodak; “The Mark of Gideon”
Gene Dynarski may be best remembered by most TV viewers as Izzy Mandelbaum, Jr., one of three generations of competitive but inept bodybuilders who share the same name in Seinfeld. Dynarski appeared on TOS in two roles; most notably as Krodak, the Gideon representative who is sent to the Enterprise in a stall tactic to prevent Spock from searching for Kirk on Gideon. Dynarski also shows up on TOS as Ben Childress, one the miners on Rigel XII on “Mudd’s Women.” In perhaps a bit of typecasting, Dynarski appears (alongside a bald Vincent Price) as one of Egghead’s equally bald henchmen, Benedict, in the Batman episodes “An Egg Grows in Gotham” and “The Yegg Foes in Gotham”.
John Crawford - Commissioner Ferris; “The Galileo Seven”
In much of the Trek universe, there’s a recurring theme where inflexible bureaucracy adds to a challenge being faced by the crew. Whether it’s Ambassador Fox, Captain Jellico, or Admiral Nechayev, whenever upper brass gets involved, life gets more complicated. In “The Galileo Seven,” Commissioner Ferris becomes the thorn in Kirk’s side, complicating efforts to rescue the stranded crew of the shuttlecraft. John Crawford, who played the role of Ferris, had the honor of playing Printer’s Devil, a henchman to one of the more obscure Batman villains, Bookworm. He appeared as Printer’s Devil in the episodes “The Bookworm Turns” and “While Gotham City Burns.”
Jon Lormer- Tamar; “The Return of the Archons”
Jon Lormer is one of a handful of actors who played several different roles in TOS; probably best known as Tamar, an elderly Betan who meets an unhappy end at the hands of the Lawgivers in “Return of the Archons”, he also showed up in “The Cage” in an uncredited role as Dr. Theodore Haskins, as well as the doomed old man who speaks the title words in the episode “For The World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky." Lormer showed up in the final season of Batman as Professor Dactyl, a paleontologist at the Gotham Museum who helps thwart Egghead’s plan to steal a Neosaurus egg in the episode “How To Hatch A Dinosaur.”
Terry Parrett (he/him) is a stage hypnotist and writer from Long Island, NY. His earliest Trek memory is watching “The Savage Curtain” when it originally aired. Follow Terry on Twitter @terryparrett