Tron and Babylon 5 veteran Bruce Boxleitner has become the second sci-fi icon in a month to be cast in the role of Vice President Baker on Supergirl.
Star Trek: The Next Generation's Brent Spiner, who had been cast in the role, had a family emergency and had to pull out, which cleared the path for Boxleitner.
Boxleitner will play Vice President Baker (no first name given) on the series, which is in production now, and will return to The CW with new episodes in October, serving as the network's first Sunday night original scripted program.
According to the official bio, Vice President Baker is "adept and politically minded," and "makes for an unlikely leader, but steps up in a big way when his country needs him most."
That sounds like it could be bad news for President Olivia Marsdin (Lynda Carter), since the time when Vice Presidents are typically asked to "step up" is when the President is dead or incapacitated.
Carter, best known as TV's Wonder Woman, first appeared on Supergirl in season two. By the end of that season, she was revealed to be a Durlan —part of a race of shape-shifting aliens best known in the DC Universe by Chameleon Boy, a Legion of Super-Heroes member.
Given Supergirl's propensity for mirroring real-world events in its stories, it may be more likely that President Marsdin faces a debilitating investigation and is forced to step down or take a leave of absence from her office than actually being killed. Such an investigation would allow the Supergirl writers to draw parallels between what's going on in-universe and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, which rumbles on in the real world despite President Trump's protestations.
On the other hand, the Sons of Liberty — an anti-alien hate group led by Benjamin Lockwood, a "ruthless and terrifying" militant who is a riff on the DC Comics superhero Agent Liberty.
Given that anti-alien sentiment was a plot thread mentioned in season three, and an anti-alien group is stepping forward to take a bigger role in season four, it would not be entirely impossible to imagine President Marsdin — who has argued for alien amnesty and is herself secretly a Durlan shapeshifter — being targeted by such groups for assassination.
Besides the Tron franchise, which includes two feature films and an animated series, Boxleitner has appeared in decades' worth of movies and TV shows, including Scarecrow and Mrs. King, How the West Was Won, and the NBC series Heroes and Chuck.
The fourth season of Supergirl will debut on Sunday, Oct. 14th, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.