His name may not seem familiar; he did voice work in Challenge of the Gobots and had a recurring role on Benson. He was a cast member of the original 1970s movie M.A.S.H. But he was mostly known for a part on a science fiction television show:
He was Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Honestly, I wasn’t introduced to Odo until many years after the show had ended; my mother was a TOS purist and refused to watch the later incarnations of Trek. However, a few years ago, Prime insisted that we should watch the entirety of the Trek universe, starting with TOS. I had never seen one episode of DS9, let alone the whole show!
Within the first few episodes, I had fallen in love with Odo. He was cynical, curmudgeonly, had a dim view of romance, and was constantly ruining Quark’s plans. Yet he also carried a torch for one of his fellow crew-mates, and bluntly stated that he wouldn’t destroy an alien lifeform, as he didn’t “step on ants” because he respected life. He wanted to be accepted, even though he was different, even though his very race just so happened to be the Dominion.
I’ll never forget my reaction to that revelation: I broke down crying. All I could think about was Odo and what it meant for him, how so many would simply stop trusting him, thinking he was a part of them.
To be honest, I’m trying not to cry now. Even though I only recently discovered his character, I adored him fiercely. If I’d had the chance to visit Terok Nor, I’d want a moment or two with Odo, simply because we’d probably get along. Sadly, that won’t happen.
Not in this universe, it seems. Which breaks my heart.
Tonight, the stars seem a little less bright, their shine has dulled. Or maybe it’s just a few clouds in my eyes.