Section 31’s Luther Sloan, played by William Sadler, who appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is remembered by Star Trek fans as the man who would do whatever it took to keep the Federation safe.
Eventually appearing in three episodes, Sadler leapt at the chance to take on the role, partly because he was a fan of the original series. “I was offered the role and I remember thinking, ‘How cool is this? They’re offering me something in the Star Trek franchise.’ I grew up on the original show and I’ve always thought Star Trek was such a great part of the American tapestry. And to be a thread in that tapestry, I just said, ‘I’ll do it!’ I said I’d do it before I even knew what the job was.”
Sadler explained who Sloan was and how he operated in the world of Star Trek. “I thought of him as an Ollie North character,” said Sadler. “He does what needs to be done, what he feels needs to be done. He breaks all the rules, all the rules of the Federation, in order to keep the Federation safe, or so he thinks and deeply believes. It’s that same argument that went down with the Iran-Contra affair and Ollie North. You do what needs to be done and somebody’s got to do it. I remember thinking, ‘How freaking cool is it that the Federation, this honorable group, these honorable people for all these years, had this little worm in there who’s been changing history for decades.'”
Like other actors in Star Trek, Sadler sometimes appears at conventions and autograph shows and is grateful for the fan support. “I am amazed by the passion of Star Trek fans,” he said. “They love this franchise and anyone who’s been a part of it. I’m actually amazed by the passion of genre fans in general. People talk to me about The Shawshank Redemption like it was a life-changing experience for them. It’s the same with Roswell. It’s like, for a lot of people, the sun and moon rose on that cast. People need and love what we do, apparently. We spin these dreams and these stories, and people connect with them in some important way. And I feel very grateful for, and humbled by, the opportunity to have helped people make that kind of connection. It’s a wonderful payback for an actor.”
Sadler is currently involved in the Hawaii Five-O reboot, doing voice-overs of his now deceased character (Steve McGarrett’s father).