You may remember me from such shows as
You know his face. You know his charm. If you watch US genre television then you'll have encountered the mercurial presence that is Mark Sheppard. He's been in everything, from big hitters like Star Trek and The X-Files, to lesser known shows like Warehouse 13. So we decided to celebrate one of the most prolific character actors currently on our screens...
Perhaps his highest profile role in terms of sci-fi fandom, anyway was as Romo Lampkin on the rebooted and highly praised Battlestar Galactica. A defense attorney, he plays fast and loose with the law (he's also something of a kleptomaniac), but there's no doubting his brilliance or his effectiveness.
Mark appeared twice in the short-running, but beloved Firefly. A fan favourite character, Badger was a bowler hat-wearing crook, based in the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone. He was an intriguing mix of uneasy ally and enemy for the crew of the Serenity and would surely have returned if the show had continued.
24's fifth season is up there with the best of that show. Sheppard appears as Ivan Erwich a terrorist (natch) plotting to unleash some nerve gas. He doesn't get the chance to go mano e mano with Jack Bauer, alas poor Ivan is stabbed by his superior, Vladimir Bierko. Then again, it saved him from Jack's dodgy taste for brutal interrogation.
Mark appeared in the season one episode Fire, as an Irish pyromaniac. How Irish, you ask? Well, he's called Cecil L'Ively and actually says top of the morning to ya at one point. Truth be told, it's not the show's finest hour, but Sheppard is good and creepy as the unashamedly evil Cecil. Flame on.
Another role that won Sheppard a legion of fans was as the demonic Crowley on Supernatural. Initially appearing in the fifth season, he proved so popular that he was later promoted to a series regular, developing a human blood addiction in season nine.
Sheppard played Arnon one of the many demons that the witches faced off against. While he himself did not possess great power, he had the ability to sense powers in others and attempted to manipulate the situation to his advantage. Naturally, he failed.
He doesn't just play rotters. Sheppard excelled as the young Canton Everett Delaware III in Doctor Who's The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon two-parter. A tough FBI agent, he helps the Doctor, Amy and Rory out when they come up against the Silence in '60s America. Canton was an instant winner with the fans, and it's slightly bizarre that we haven't seen him since.
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek's least loved spin-off brought the ever popular Borg back many times. Mark played Leucon a humanoid alien in the usual Trek mould (ie he had a latex ridge on his nose) who had genetically engineered his son Icheb with pathogens designed to kill the Borg.
Joss Whedon's other cancelled-too-soon sci-fi saga also made use of Mark's talents. Graham Tanaka was an FBI agent who didn't believe in the existence of the Dollhouse that Tahmoh Penikett's Paul Ballard was trying to uncover. We wonder if Tanaka survived Topher's apocalypse?
Benedict Valda was one of the Regents of the Warehouse in this cult oddity about agents protecting a warehouse full of supernatural artefacts. A recurrent presence for four of the show's five seasons, he was killed off in the episode Buried, but an alternate universe version later appeared.
And that's not to mention...
He played Jack in the Sliders episode Net Worth; the Director in Chuck; Anthony Anthros in The Bionic Woman; Mr Pain in the NCIS episode Broken Bird; Tom Prescott in Burn Notice's Bad Breaks, had a long-running role in Leverage as Jim Sterling and many, many more things beside. Mr Sheppard, we salute you and your quite remarkable prolificacy!