“Sub Rosa” was a very strange episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an old-school gothic adventure featuring a haunted candle, a ghastly Casanova, and just enough scifi nonsense to keep the whole thing from being magic.
That Casanova, who used the power of being a sexy alien ghost to seduce Dr. Beverly Crusher and her grandmother, was named Ronin, and was played by Canadian actor Duncan Regehr, who also played Shakaar on Deep Space Nine. Recently, Trek Movie sat down with the actor to get his take on Ronin and his seductive powers, all these years later. All in all, he was a good sport about it.
“Ronin was the quintessential romantic figure,” Regehr said. “Byronesque and a bit like Dracula, in a parasitical way. I really enjoyed the role and the idea of two lovers enjoined as one being… also working with Jonathan Frakes. We were neighbours at the time. He has a wonderful sense of humour and a highly optimistic approach. As a director he’s an actor’s dream.”
The whole cast, Regehr said, was a delight to work with, and even though the episode was a whole mess, he seemed to find a lot of joy working on it.
“And beautiful Gates [McFadden, who played Dr. Crusher],” Regehr said, “what a pleasure! Full of ideas, she is one intelligent thespian, as is Patrick [Stewart]. I recall our first meeting: He stood in front of me and looked straight into my eyes, challenging me in a friendly way to hold his gaze, which I did. I said, ‘Give us a kiss then!’ and he replied, ‘Oh you’ll do!’”
Now I’m imagining a wonderful fanfic world where Ronin seduces Picard instead of Crusher. And as for the colloquial name of “sex candle ghost”? He’d never heard of it, but Regehr seems like a fan.
“‘Sex candle ghost’? I didn’t know it was called that, but I like the title, and love the notion that the episode is both affectionately lauded and critically derided… gives it an air of notoriety, very Hollywood headline-sounding. Sex Scandal Ghost… haunts bedrooms, ignites darkest passions!”
At least, until he gets outed as an alien energy being and his candle gets blown to hell.