Entertainment

This Leave It to Beaver star put his stamp on Star Trek

Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers

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Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers at an awards ceremony.

The greatest common denominator of two TV classics celebrates its birthday on April 13, 2022. He is the link between Star Trek and Leave It to Beaver. And it’s none other than Leave It to Beaver star and Deep Space Nine director Tony Dow who’s turning 77.

Dow played Wally Cleaver, eldest child of June (Barbara Billingsley) and Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont), and younger brother of Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) from 1957 to 1963. Decades later, from 1983 to 1989, he starred alongside Billingsley and Mathers in a popular reboot, Still the Beaver, also known as The New Leave It to Beaver. According to the Internet Movie DatabaseDow made his directorial debut in 1988 with one episode of The New Leave It to Beaver and has directed four other episodes of that series, as well as episodes of The New Lassie, Get a Life, Harry and the Hendersons, “Coach”, “Babylon 5”, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show”, “Crusade”, “Cover Me: Based on the Real Life of an FBI Family” and “Manhattan, AZ.” Also he served as visual effects supervisor or visual effects producer on The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, Doctor Who: The Movie, and Babylon 5.

Leave it to beavers

GettyTony Dow and Jerry Mathers in a promotional photo from Leave It to Beaver.

Directing “Deep Space Nine”

His only visit to the Star Trek universe was in 1999 when he arrived at Paramount to direct the Deep Space Nine episode.field of fire‘ which aired during the seventh and final season of the series. “Field of Fire” revolves around Ezri Dax (Nicole de Bur), who has teamed up with a previous host, Joran (Leigh J. McCloskey), to bring a murderer to justice. According to the official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, Dow got the directing gig thanks to Lost in Space actor Bill Mumy, who was a mutual friend of Dow and Deep Space Nine writer-producer Ira Steven Behr previously made a cameo appearance in Deep Space Nine.

“Ira showed me ‘The Darkness and the Light’ as an example of what they were trying to accomplish in this episode,” Dow told Deep Space Nine Companion writers Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block. “It had that same mysterious feel with a renegade kidnapping Kira (Nana Visitor). Ira told me that it was really the only other show of its kind that they had done. There isn’t a lot of violence in this series so be prepared for it when it does occur. My aim was to create an atmosphere of concern and a bit of panic about what is going on.”


VideoVideo related to the “Leave it to beaver” star shaped “Trek”.2022-04-12T16:30:04-04:00

Not surprisingly, Dow’s career as an actor, visual effects supervisor/producer, and director overlapped with numerous Star Trek characters before and after Deep Space Nine. Keith Taylor appeared in eight episodes of Leave It to Beaver between 1960 and 1961 and later played one of the children in the episode Star Trek: The Original Series, Miri. Also in 1960, Dow shared scenes with Majel Barrett in the episode “Beaver and Violet.” Barrett would soon meet Gene Roddenberry, who created Star Trek. In 1971, Dow starred in the TV movie A Great American Tragedy, which also starred William Windom and William Sargent. Windom famously played Commodore Decker in the Original Series episode “The Doomsday Machine,” while Sargent played Dr. Thomas Leighton portrayed in The Conscience of the King. Dow and Windom also had guest starring roles in a 1987 episode of Murder, She Wrote.

Tony Dow and Majel Barrett

ABCTony Dow (top right) and Majel Barrett (bottom left) in a scene from Leave It to Beaver.

More ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and ‘Star Trek’ connections

According to IMDB, several “Star Trek” actors appeared on the show during the run of “The New Leave It to Beaver,” including William Schallert, Liz Vassey, Ray Walston, Ed Begley Jr., and Ian Abercrombie. Later, in 1990, Dow appeared in Dust to Dust, an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares. The episode featured a frequent Star Trek guest actor and eventually a Voyager regular Tim Russ in the role of Dr. Picard and cast Dow as a character who is killed by a space virus. When the character dies, he utters the iconic – though never actually spoken – “Star Trek” line: “Beam me up, Scotty.”

The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, a 1995 sci-fi comedy, challenged Dow’s talents as an actor and visual effects producer. It starred such well-known “Trek” names as Nichelle Nichols, Ron Perlman, Liz Vassey and Daniel Riordan. Dow directed five episodes of Babylon 5 between 1997 and 1998, and among the Trek actors he put through their paces were Tracy Scoggins, Bill Mumy, Patricia Tallman, Andreas Katsulas, Leigh McCloskey and Walter King.


VideoVideo related to the “Leave it to beaver” star shaped “Trek”.2022-04-12T16:30:04-04:00

dow made the message in the summer of 2021 when he was hospitalized with pneumonia amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most recently, in January 2022, he was the subject of an eight-minute “CBS Sunday Morning” segment. Speaking to interviewer Jim Axelrod, Dow opened up about his career, life as a former child star, dealing with depression and his joy in sculpting. Dow appears to have quit performing and directing to focus on sculpture, and according to his Facebook page his pieces are on display and available through the Bilotta Gallery in Florida.

https://heavy.com/entertainment/star-trek/leave-it-beaver-made-trek-mark/ This Leave It to Beaver star put his stamp on Star Trek

Brian Ashcraft

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