Eighteen years ago, Star Trek: Voyager’s The Disease aired, in which Musetta Vander had a guest role as Derran Tal.
The actress shared her memories of working on that episode.
A fan of Star Trek before being tapped for a guest role, Vander was “very aware of Star Trek. I loved the show,” she said, “and all the characters. They were always so interesting, and boldly went where no man has gone before. I got to work with George Takei early in my career in Oblivion and Backlash. There was a midnight opening screening of Oblivion opening night and I remember wondering who would show up at that time? To my surprise, the theater was packed. Fans drove for miles to come see George.”
Vander originally was supposed to be in a different Voyager episode, but “due to a scheduling conflict I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I think I was going to be Tuvok’s love interest in an episode. But I was very fortunate, as they offered me The Disease instead.”
The actress felt “very connected” to the role of Tal. “I love to explore and travel myself, especially to visit unfamiliar places,” she said. “Like Tal, I would’ve hated to be prevented from pursuing my passion or dreams. I loved her adventurous and rebellious spirit and her fearlessness.”
And Vander especially “loved the scene where Tal confronts Janeway and Jippeq and refuses to go along with the majority. She fought for her freedom regardless of the consequences,” she said.
Working with the regular cast of Voyager was a good experience for Vander. “They were very welcoming and gracious,” she said. “Stepping in as a guest star on a well-oiled hit show can be a little intimidating at times, but they made me feel at home right away. The first scene I filmed was where I beamed onto the shuttlecraft with Garrett. I think my natural excitement seeped into the performance, as I couldn’t believe I was actually working on an episode of Voyager.”
Still acting, Vander recently appeared in an episode of Hawaii Five-0. “I loved it,” she said. “How could anyone not love working in Hawaii? It was a dream come true. The cast was lovely and I got to play an interesting role while working on the North Shore.”