Ranking the 10 Best Meta Castings in TV Shows. - scenesing - TV - GAMING - MOVIES
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Ranking the 10 Best Meta Castings in TV Shows.

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While casting choices are crucial for TV shows, some meta decisions can elevate a character beyond just the actor’s talent.

Meta castings can elevate the viewer’s enjoyment by introducing an additional layer of meaning and real-world connections.

However, the success of such castings largely depends on the context in which they are presented, as the reputation and past performances of the actors can influence the audience’s expectations.

Skillful castings, such as reuniting former co-stars or featuring actors from previous iterations of a franchise, can offer subtle nods and references that fans will undoubtedly appreciate.

Ultimately, a meta casting can bring a unique perspective to a character and add depth to the story. It can also create a sense of nostalgia or excitement for fans of the actor or franchise. However, it’s important for the casting to serve the story and not just be a gimmick. When done well, a meta casting can elevate a TV show and make it even more memorable for viewers.

Andy Serkis As Kino Loy In Andor

Andy Serkis has already portrayed a character in the Star Wars franchise.

Serkis is renowned for his motion capture expertise, having lent his talents as a template and voice artist for numerous CGI characters. While his face may not be as recognizable as his body of work, he made his Star Wars debut in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, bringing the villainous Supreme Leader Snoke to life.

Fans familiar with Serkis’ previous work may have been aware of his role in The Force Awakens, but seeing him in his true form in another Star Wars installment could have been a surprise. In Andor, Kino Loy initially appears to be a villain, but Serkis’ character ultimately plays a crucial role in helping the protagonist escape from Imperial prison. Serkis’ established association with the Disney franchise made his reveal all the more impactful, as it would have been less significant if another actor had taken on the role.

Dean Stockwell As Colonel Grat In Star Trek: Enterprise

The casting of Stockwell in the film also meant a reunion with his former Quantum Leap castmate, Scott Bakula. The two actors had previously worked together on the popular sci-fi series, which aired from 1989 to 1993. Their on-screen chemistry was well-received by audiences, and their reunion in The Informant! was a welcome surprise for fans. Stockwell’s role in the film was a small but memorable one, and his scenes with Bakula were a highlight of the movie.

The reunion between Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell on the set of Star Trek: Enterprise was a special moment for fans of both shows. Bakula, who played Captain Jonathon Archer on Enterprise, was already well-known for his role as Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap. Meanwhile, Stockwell had played the character of Al Calavicci alongside Bakula for the show’s entire run from 1989 to 1993. Although the cast of Quantum Leap changed frequently, Bakula and Stockwell remained constant, making their reunion on the set of Enterprise all the more meaningful.

In season 1, episode 21 of Star Trek: Enterprise, titled “Detained,” Bakula and Stockwell reunite on screen once again. Although their characters in Enterprise are different from their roles in Quantum Leap, the show includes several visual references to their previous collaboration, making it clear to the audience that the casting choice was intentional. While Stockwell’s appearance in the episode doesn’t have a significant impact on the plot, it’s a nice nod to the history of both actors and their previous work together.

Ricky Gervais As David Brent In (The US Version Of) The Office

In The Office’s seventh season, episode 14, “The Seminar,” the show takes meta to a whole new level as the remake collides with the original. The creator of The Office, Ricky Gervais, makes a cameo appearance as David Brent, Michael Scott’s U.K. counterpart. The two characters have a witty exchange near an elevator, highlighting the similarities between the two versions of the same character. While Gervais was involved in the U.S. adaptation of his work, this was the only time he appeared on screen, creating a bizarre link between the two worlds.

Patrick Troughton As The Second Doctor In Doctor Who

Doctor Who’s tradition of changing actors in its lead role may seem commonplace now, but the concept of regeneration was never part of the show’s original plan. William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor, had to leave the show due to health reasons. The BBC, determined to keep the show going, cleverly incorporated the change in the Doctor’s physical appearance into the show’s lore with an in-universe explanation. While subsequent recastings of the Doctor aren’t as meta, they continue to use the regeneration plot device to keep the show fresh and exciting.

Lani Tupu As The Voice Of Moya’s Pilot In Farscape

Farscape enthusiasts will undoubtedly recognize Lani Tupu as Captain Bialar Crais, the disgraced Peacekeeper officer. However, what some may not know is that Tupu brought to life not one, but two characters in the Farscape universe. In addition to his portrayal of Crais, Tupu also lent his voice to Moya’s alien Pilot. In Farscape, certain ships are sentient beings, and Moya is one of these living ships, known as Leviathans, who gives birth to a son. When it’s considered that Crais becomes the captain and pilot of Talyn, Moya’s offspring, an artistic parallel starts to emerge. As a result of Tupu’s dual roles, he goes on to play the pilots of both mother and son.

The Jim Henson Company created Moya’s Pilot as a puppet, which was shown on-screen.

John Wesley Shipp As Henry Allen In The Flash

John Wesley Shipp’s presence in the Arrowverse is undeniable, and his casting as Henry Allen, father of Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen, is a prime example of his meta role. Shipp previously played The Flash in the ’90s, making his portrayal of Barry’s father a clever nod to his past involvement in popularizing the character. It’s a fitting tribute to Shipp’s contribution to the franchise, and a great way to connect the old and new versions of The Flash.

The casting of John Wesley Shipp has had a significant impact on the Arrowverse, particularly in his role as Henry Allen, father of Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen. Shipp’s portrayal of The Flash in the ’90s helped popularize the character, making his inclusion as Barry’s father a fitting tribute. Additionally, due to the multiversal nature of The Flash, Shipp was able to reprise his role as a version of Barry in later seasons, albeit under the name Jay Garrick. This intricate piece of fan service was well-received and added to the overall enjoyment of the show.

Christina Ricci As Marilyn Thornhill In Wednesday

However, Ricci’s involvement in Wednesday was much more substantial, with her character playing a pivotal role in the plot. This decision not only added an extra layer of intrigue to the show but also gave fans of the original franchise a satisfying nod to the past. It’s clear that the creators of Wednesday were aware of the importance of Ricci’s contribution to the Addams Family legacy and made a smart move by incorporating her into the new series in a fresh and unexpected way.

Burton’s choice to give Ricci a more prominent role as Marilyn Thornhill was a wise decision, as it added depth to the show. Ricci’s involvement with Wednesday gave the interactions between Marilyn and Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday Addams a new level of intrigue. The show benefited greatly from this creative decision.

Mark Hamill As The Trickster In The Flash

However, while Mark Hamill may be best known for his iconic portrayal of Luke Skywalker, he has also made a name for himself in the DC universe. In the 1990s, he took on the role of the villainous Trickster, which he later reprised in the CW’s reboot of The Flash. Interestingly, the voice he uses for both characters is very similar to his work as the Joker, Batman’s infamous arch-nemesis, in the animated Batman movies.

The connection between Hamill’s portrayal of the Joker and the Trickster is already quite meta, but his casting goes even deeper. In season 1, episode 17 of The Flash, “Tricksters,” Hamill delivers the iconic line from the franchise that made him famous: “I am your father.” This not only ties together his DC roles, but also his time as Luke Skywalker.

In addition to his roles as the Joker and the Trickster, Mark Hamill had a notable cameo in Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the voice of the Sith Lord, Darth Bane. This further highlights Hamill’s versatility as a voice actor and his connection to the Star Wars franchise.

Ashley Johnson As Ellie’s Mother In The Last Of Us

Although The Last of Us TV show may have been the first introduction to the story for some viewers, Bella Ramsey wasn’t the first actor to portray Ellie. In the video game series, the original actors brought the characters of The Last of Us to life through motion capture and voice acting. Ashley Johnson was part of this initial group and played the original Ellie. Even though she wasn’t cast again as her game character, the show found a creative way to include her.

In Season 1, episode 9 of The Last of Us, titled “Look For the Light,” we see Johnson’s character, Anna, who is pregnant and trying to hide from the Infected. While fans of the franchise may have recognized Johnson, the reveal that she is playing Ellie’s mother is a clever casting decision that symbolizes the actor’s contribution to creating the character. This scene not only serves as fan service but also adds to the show’s canon by explaining why Ellie is immune to the infection that transforms others into monsters.

In addition to Johnson’s appearance, Troy Baker, who played Joel in the video game, also appeared in the TV show. However, his casting was unrelated to his original character.

Evan Peters As Fake Pietro In WandaVision

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) wasn’t always a multiversal story, but WandaVision was one of the first entries to suggest the existence of alternate dimensions. This was due to the reality that Wanda had created for herself within the show, which made it possible for her to bridge the gap between universes. This theory gained more traction during the final moments of season 1, episode 5 of WandaVision, titled “On a Very Special Episode…,” when Evan Peters made an appearance as Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff.

The MCU has not always explored the concept of alternate dimensions, but WandaVision was one of the first entries to hint at the possibility. Wanda’s reality-warping abilities made it seem plausible that she could bridge the gap between universes. This theory gained traction during the final moments of “On a Very Special Episode…” when Evan Peters appeared as Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff, seemingly merging the X-Men and MCU universes. However, Peters’ Quicksilver turned out to be a red herring, as his character was revealed to be a fake named Ralph Bohner, placed under a spell. While clever, the casting was as misleading as it was meta.

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