Impersonation, simulation, alternate universes and general xeno- and techno-shenanigans are a mainstay of the Star Trek franchises.

It occurred to me that I can't really think of a main character who was not subject to:

  • recreation on a holodeck
  • impersonation by aliens
  • depiction in the Mirror Universe or another parallel universe

For example,

TNG has most characters excluded in "Parallels". DS9 has most characters excluded by its five Mirror Universe episodes, not to mention the Changelings. Voyager had an entire ship and crew impersonated in "Course: Oblivion". Most of Enterprise is covered by "These Are The Voyages". And many characters in Discovery have been depicted in their Mirror Universe forms.

Who is the most recurring character who has always been themselves?

In order to disambiguate, I'm going to consider "not being oneself" to mean we never saw cases where:

  1. It looked like character X, but wasn't actually "the real" character X, or
  2. It looked like character X and was the body of character X, but X wasn't in control, or
  3. Character X assumed the role of character Y, or,
  4. The usual appearance of X is not the true appearance of X to begin with.
  5. X was sufficiently disembodied or re-embodied. (Turning into a lizard or an energy field or de-aging by 30 years)

Just in case it's not clear, in-universe pictures, viewscreen depictions, holographic communication technology, etc do not count as not being oneself.

In case of ambiguity about whether a particular situation counts or not, please ask for clarification in the comments or chat, and I'll try to hone the question.

  • 2
    The entire crew of the TOS Enterprise was evil for an episode. The entire crew of the NX-01 Enterprise were evil for an episode. The entire crew of the Voyager were evil for an episode as were the entire DS9 crew
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:11
  • 1
    It's going to need to be someone who is quite recurring, but luckily avoided each instance of shenanigans? Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:14
  • 1
    What constitutes a different self? Lwaxana appears as a younger version of herself in her mind in Dark Page, Keiko gets age regressed in a TNG episode, many of the crew become protohumanoids in Genesis, etc. They are still themselves, yet not the actual character.
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:39
  • 7
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Seriously, guys? 40 comments in <45 minutes?)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:46
  • 3
    <20 more comments deleted> Take the discussion to chat.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 22:09

6 Answers 6


Jake Sisko

Ben and Jennifer Sisko have a different marriage / separation timeline in the Mirror universe, and Jake does not have a Mirror counterpart.

Appearances list: (listed as 71 appearances)

Reference: "Jake Sisko", Memory Alpha

(note: Jake was not 'impersonated' by an alien, but was possessed by a wormhole alien, but all the characters knew it was happening, so there was no deception occurring)

  • 3
    Are we also not counting the times when Benjamin Sisko was communing with the Prophets and one of them appeared as Jake Sisko? It wasn't deliberate deception, but it took Benjamin a little while to figure out what was going on. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 19:48
  • 1
    @Shufflepants - I mentioned it in the (apparenlty moved comments), and a few others did as well. Additionally, at the time I answered, that wasn't one of the exclusions. Not sure who moved the comments, but given the debatable nature of the question and this answer, it was probably more helpful to have them available rather than move them
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 19:52
  • Here's some footage of Jake being portrayed by a wormhole alien in a prophet vision; youtu.be/aYnSIjuJtKU?t=2m21s
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 20:10
  • Disqualified by criteria 1, as part of the simulation to deceive the landing party.
    – Izkata
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 5:06

Jokingly - The ship computer

Star Treks' original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager all have one actor in common: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry)

Always the voice of the ship, even when the ship wasn't a ship (hologram, mind game, recreation, etc).

Slightly more serious would be Lwaxana Troi. Appeared in 9 different episodes across two different series and I believe was always herself.

  • 5
    if there was a mirror enterprise, there was a mirror computer...I'm not going to downvote this but...
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:56
  • 4
    Which is also interesting, since Lwaxana Troi and the Ship Computer are both Majel Barrett.
    – Mwr247
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 19:59
  • 14
    The Corbin Bernsen Q is a separate entity to the John de Lancie Q. He's not the same Q, he's a different member of that species. If you recall the episode, it was the rest of the Q who stripped JdL Q of his powers and exiled him from the continuum.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:24
  • 2
    @Mwr247 Indeed - she even talks to herself a couple of times!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 21:00
  • 2
    @NKCampbell: but the mirror universe computer used a male voice, so does that still count as the same character? Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 9:39


Not only has Guinan never (afaik) appeared on a holodeck as a hologram, when we see parallel universes (like in Yesterday's Enterprise), she is the only one aware that the universe has changed, and retains the memory of those events as well.

  • "I can't leave. I'm there already, Remember?"
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:11
  • 5
    Picard talked to an echo of Guinan in the Nexus (Star Trek Generations), also waiting on clarification of the age regression.
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:11
  • 6
    Also - In Hollow Pursuits, there is a holodeck recreation of Guinan @Valorum
    – JohnP
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:12


Gowron was a recurring character in TNG and DS9, appearing in 12 episodes. I cannot find a single instance where the character Gowron appeared as anyone but himself. Robert O'Reilly did appear in several Star Trek episodes as another character entirely and not as Gowron or in costume as Gowron.

Robert O'Reilly on Memory Alpha

Gowron on Memory Alpha

  • per OP comments on my answer, the actor appearing as another character should disqualify him. -- "I think it is correct that "Far Beyond the Stars" eliminates Jake Sisko"
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:03
  • @NKCampbell: Well, I'm not so sure about that. I was thinking that the existence of someone in "Far Beyond the Stars" on whom Jake Sisko may be based is the thing that eliminates him. I.e. there's a different version of Jake Sisko and we don't really know which is "real". But Gowron didn't appear in that episode, did he? Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:14
  • 1
    @ThePopMachine: The character Gowron was in 11 episodes, 4 on TNG/7 on DS9. Never as a hologram, changeling (though suspected for an episode or two) or a prophet talking to Sisko. The ACTOR played multiple roles but never an alternate version of Gowron (no mirror universe counterpart, Far Beyond the Stars "adaptation" etc.
    – geewhiz
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:27
  • 2
    Yes, the issue is not the actor playing multiple roles. That is fair game. The issue we're struggling with is only what exactly FBtS means. But that episode was intentionally ambiguous. The episode "makes you think". It is hard to make a ruling. But @NKCampbell, can we just put that one to bed because Jake is out due to Prophet Possession anyhow. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:32
  • 1
    I thought for sure Gowron was once in a prophet vision but I can't find one. Martok is in a couple
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:45


They have been in 12 episodes or movies.

And they are always tribbles.

As a tribble reproduces through parthenogenesis (dividing itself), every tribble is a branch of the ur-tribble.

Hear us coo, and despair.

  • The tribble is...er, trouble is, they aren't characters. They are props.
    – user91895
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 14:53
  • not canon, but it is funny: qmxonline.com/products/star-trek-mirror-universe-tribble
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 15:00
  • @EricDraven Well now you have to decide what defines a character. Was Spot a character or a prop?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 15:41
  • @corsiKa According to Brent Spiner the worst actor he ever worked with, so maybe a character :P
    – BMWurm
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:23
  • @BMWurm Spot has been in 10 episodes. So fewer than Tribbles.
    – Yakk
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 19:04

Assuming it really was Q in Tapestry and not God posing as Q, then Q, played by John Delancie appeared in 8 episodes of TNG, 1 episode of DS9 and 3 episodes of Voyager.

There has never been a hologram or other representation of Q. The only potential hiccup is in in the Voyager episode Q2 in which Q takes the form of a Chokuzan commander and is played by a different actor. That said, it is still Q trying to teach his son a lesson.

  • Being played by a different actor is not material. The fact is that Q took on a different appearance. Someone who you one could think wasn't Q turned out to be Q. That is impersonation plain and simple. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:47
  • Then I stand by my answer
    – geewhiz
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:48

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