Exclusive: ‘Gremlins’ Star Zach Galligan On Being In ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ And In The Running For Trip On ‘Enterprise’


In 1998 actor Zach Galligan—best known as lead character Billy Peltzer in the Gremlins movies—appeared in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. At the Saturn Awards, TrekMovie had a chance to talk to the actor about it and how he almost returned in a bigger role in Star Trek: Enterprise.

Zach Galligan on landing Voyager and missing out on Enterprise

Zach Galligan knew right away what TrekMovie was interested in when we flagged him down on the red carpet at the Saturn Awards, saying “You want to talk about Star Trek: Voyager!” The actor revealed that his appearance in the season 5 episode “In the Flesh” was actually not his first try to get a Star Trek part:

“I had tried out for a couple of other Star Trek series. And they were like, ‘Do you want to come in for Voyager?’ And back in the day, I had worked with Kate Mulgrew. She had played my mom in a civil war movie [1993’s For Love and Glory], which is strange, because she’s only about five years older than me. And so I went in and I tried out for it and I guess they just thought it was a good fit. And I did a shoot with Bob Picardo [The Doctor] who was from Gremlins 2 and Kate and it was like being with old friends.”

Zach Galligan in Voyager‘s “In the Flesh” with Robert Picardo and Kate Mulgrew

It turns out that Galligan is a fan. He told TrekMovie he went to his first Star Trek convention in 1974: “I was 10 years old and I bought a couple of comics and tribbles and I’ve been a Trekkie ever since I was yay high.”

For the Voyager episode “In the Flesh,” Galligan played Ensign David Gentry, a Starfleet officer who was actually a member of Species 8472 participating in a simulation of Starfleet Headquarters. Galligan says he didn’t need any explanation when he got the role, even understanding he was playing a Starfleet officer who was actually from fluidic space. He talked about the joy he had:

“It was a lot of fun and I got to do all the things that I wanted to do. I had a phaser, and a tricorder, and beam up to the to the Voyager. It was great.”

Galligan also pointed out one of the other benefits he was attracted to:

“Also, I knew that once you do an episode of Star Trek, all the Trekkies, they’ve got to get your autograph. They’re completionists. They got to get everything. And so that’s great, too… I am a collectible card, which is always fun to do.”

Zach Galligan’s Star Trek collectible card

When pressed on what other Trek roles he’d tried out for, Galligan mentioned one part that came after he was on Voyager, revealing he was in the running “for the Connor Trinneer role [Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker] on Enterprise.”  It’s unclear how close he got to landing the part, but he said, “I think it went a couple [of rounds] and then you get weeded out, stuff like that.”

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Still more from the Saturns

Believe it or not, there is still more to come from the Saturn Awards red carpet. Check out our earlier interviews:

You can hear audio from these interviews and more in the latest All Access Star Trek podcast.

Find more news on all the upcoming Trek movies at TrekMovie.com.

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Had he gotten the part of an engineer, there would have been a joke about gremlins in the warp reactor at some point…

It is truly amazing how many actors are bonifide Star Trek fans out there. Sounds like he got to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Q- why did they not give 8472 an actual name?

probably a Borg thing. also I think they were really difficult to talk to

He was heavily in the running to play Paul in Lynch’s DUNE as well, along with Fletcher Fletcher, Val Kilmer and others.

Dexter Fletcher, sorry.