I first saw Mark Sheppard in Firefly as the petty criminal Badger, who was originally going to be played by Joss Whedon himself. Since then, I have both sought out more of his roles–which often led to fast-forwarding through nearly unwatchable SyFy Channel Original Movies like Deep Shock–and discovered that he just turns up in all the programs that I watch anyway, and always steals the show. Let’s look at my top 3 favorite roles.
Firefly (2002): Badger is a petty thief (in a very fine hat) on the planet Persephone who gets some work for the crew of Serenity, but he is careful to protect his investments, even at the cost of the lives of the very crew he’s hired. River, mirroring his accent, calls him “a sad little king of a sad little hill.” We can only assume that when all of Serenity’s previous partners were killed during the feature film, Badger was probably among the dead.
Supernatural (2009-2013): Although Crowley climbs the ranks from cross-road demon to King of Hell, he’s still enough of a minor threat that he’s never #1 on the Winchester’s hit list, allowing him to survive another day. But eventually starts killing everyone they ever saved. This leads the boys to experimenting on him to see if they can turn a demon back into a human at the end of season 8. The writers have admitted he is mostly based on the Crowley from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Doctor Who (2011): Canton Delaware is an American ex-FBI agent who was kicked out for being gay. He now finds himself wrapped up in the world of the Doctor, taking a trip in the TARDIS and outsmarting the military to keep the Doctor safe, eventually winning back the favor of the US government by stopping one of the scariest Doctor Who monsters, The Silence.