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Doppelgänger Crossover

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"So," Chekov clapped his hands in eagerness, "who's the problem?" When Riker pointed down at the deck, he blinked and said, "Oh, there he is." He knelt down and rolled the still-senseless Bester over, checking him for weapons. "Rather a handsome devil, isn't he?"
"We hadn't noticed," Worf growled.
Pavel Chekov taking Alfred Bester into custody, during the Undocumented Features story "A Day of Infamy."

Let's say you're a fanfic writer. Let's make another assumption and say that you like a particular actor and everything they've ever been in, because they were in it.

It's entirely possible that you may write a Doppelgänger Crossover, a story in which two characters played/voiced by the same actor meet each other. Or that they are each other. In other words, a crossover which is only happening because the two sources share an actor.

You may desperately want Riker to meet Xanatos, or Ranma Saotome to be a reincarnation of InuYasha, or you might just want to see what happens when John Crichton takes the place of Cameron Mitchell, and don't even start on what would happen if Han Solo bumped into Henry Jones Jr.. The end result, however is the same. A Doppelganger Crossover.

On occasion, this can be one part of a Massive Multiplayer Crossover. Compare I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine.



  • Rare canon example. In Diagnosis: Murder, Dr. Bentley has a Contest Winner Cameo on Young and the Restless, and there are frequent references to Bentley's resemblance to Victoria Rowell (who was on both shows).
  • Played straight in iFight Crime With Victorious when two of Miranda Cosgrove's characters, Carly Shay and Megan Parker, meet thanks to Megan's precognitive power. This serves as a plot point since Megan thinks that she is seeing herself in her visions of the future, but the person in them is actually Carly. When they meet, Megan comments on how much their personalities contrast despite their similar appearance.
  • Actually inverted in the Hogan's Heroes story Return of the Informer: the author takes one recurring actor playing seven different characters, and has these characters being one and only hapless guy (the aforementioned informer, now defected to the Allies and turned spy against his will). It's frequently hilarious (especially the "Oh no - him again!?" reactions of the main cast) and often quite touching.
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  • Let's just say that the relationships between Spike and Captain John Hart really run the gamut from being the same person to being enemies, friends, lovers or basically anything else you can imagine.
  • When Ranma ½ crosses over with Ah! My Goddess, it is inevitable that Belldandy and Kasumi (both sweet, innocent, domestic characters voiced by Kikuko Inoue) sit down to trade recipes, or better yet, collaborate on a meal.
    • Subverted in Chris Davies' Mega Crossover Together Again 1996 Chapter, where it's revealed that Kasumi is a reincarnated inhabitant of the Silver Millennium with some very strong, very negative opinions about "the monsters who call themselves gods" (to use her words from the story), and who is outright hostile to Belldandy. However, they seem to get along much better in another story in that series, Together Again 2937 Chapter.
    • There was also at least one Ranma fanfic crossing over with Magic Knight Rayearth, on the basis that Hikaru Shidou looks like Girl-type Ranma.
    • Plenty of fanfic also involves Lina Inverse meeting up with female Ranma. Or the latter and Rei Ayanami. There was even one with Ai Amano. Blame Megumi Hayashibara and her amazingly prolific career.
    • The some-odd Ranma/InuYasha crossovers where Ranma invariably turns out to be Inuyasha's reincarnation. They're up in the article itself for a reason. In addition, the two actually encountered each other semi-officially in an animated promotion for It's A Rumic World,note  which once provided the page illustration. Inuyasha even lampshades this trope by demanding to know why Ranma has his voice.
  • Harrison Ford has such a career with fingers in the pies of so many fandoms that he is almost a too-obvious go-to person for this fanfic trope. What happens when Jack Ryan tries to rescue the president aboard Air Force One? What if Lieutenant Deckard is chasing The Fugitive? What if Indiana Jones found the wreckage of the Millennium Falcon in the Northwest United States while looking for Bigfoot? (That one is an official, non-canon comic story, mind you.) And most importantly, who would win in a fight?
  • There are umptynine Life On Mars fics that reveal that Sam Tyler is in fact... the Master.
  • In Lost Ones, a Ben 10: Ultimate Alien crossover with the DC Universe, Gwen fights Slade, who remarks that "You remind me of someone I knew a long time ago, she was a lot like you. You even sound like her too...let's just say that someone with the power of Geokinesis used to work for me." Considering the fact that Ashley Johnson plays both Gwen and Terra, it's pretty fun, though they haven't met each other yet.
  • A target of frequent fic speculation is voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi, whose incredibly broad portfolio of roles offers a vast range of possibilities: imagine, if you will, an intersection of any two or more of Misato Katsuragi, Mink, Usagi Tsukino, Excel Excel, Christie, Murrue Ramius, Cathy Taymor, Gracia Hughes, Kagura Soma, Boa Hancock, Mireille Bouquet, Juri Arisugawa, Ebichu and Birdy Cephon Altirra — just to name a few.
  • Super Robot Wars parodies this anytime Misato Katsuragi and Amuro Ray show up in the same game. Why? Because they're Franchise/Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen!
  • The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth contains a chapter where the "teachers" (read: cast of The Lord of the Rings) were all replaced by other characters played by the same actors. Wasn't that the fault of the original two Protectors of the Plot Continuum, who were visiting? Or was that a different event?
  • Stargate SG-1 and MacGyver. There are too many of these fics, far too many JackGuyvers.
  • Also, "What if Crichton met Mitchell" has been done many times. There are way too many Starscape fics. Also (but not so often) called Fargate. Even the SG-1 series itself did a Farscape parody (interestingly, Mitchell and Vala do not take the roles their actors did in the actual "Farscape.")
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Firefly crossovers have at least three special variations unique to them, one where Xander initially panics upon meeting Mal Reynolds because of the latter's resemblance to Caleb, and two where cast members from Angel mistake Zoe for Jasmine or Jayne for Hamilton.
  • There are a number of Firefly/Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles crossovers that usually feature Cameron being mistaken for River, often with Alliance soldiers getting curb stomped.
  • Philip Akin appeared as a regular in the first season of War of the Worlds, Adrian Paul in the second. Since both actors also appeared in Highlander: The Series, crossovers make up a sizable proportion of War of the Worlds fanfic, either with Kincaid as a cover identity for Macleod or one being mistaken for the other.
  • Captain Simon Banks has been mistaken for the Immortal Carl Robinson. Similarly, a certain Really Old Guy either gets mistaken for or actually is a certain serial killer. Methos gets around a lot in general.
  • Andromeda all but canonized the notion that Dylan Hunt is the reincarnation of Hercules.
  • Masi Oka portrayed lab-guy Franklin on Scrubs and now portrays Hiro Nakamura on Heroes, a fact picked up on in one or two fanworks.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars share enough actors to make an arsenal of this, albeit most of them in minor roles in the latter. And that's without getting to the fact that Veronica dated Iceman's identical twin and Mac dated The Flash. It's superhero central, guys.
  • Done in reverse, with the official X-Men/Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover which featured Captain Picard meeting Professor Xavier, but came out before the first X-Men movie. Made even funnier by a character remarking that both share a likeness.
  • One can only speculate at just what the hell happened to Badger once the crew left him to make him straighten up, learn the law and start ste— no, wait, that one's already covered. Still, going from kinda-Cockney crime boss to President of the Colonies, pretty impressive feat.
  • The Harry Potter and Twilight series both feature actor Robert Pattinson in their respective film adaptations, although it would take some rather violent Hand Waving to make Cedric Diggory and Edward Cullen the same person. This has mostly been fodder for the MuggleNet Caption Contest. Cedric seems to have become a much more popular character in Harry Potter fanfiction since the first Twilight movie.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter, meet Mrs. Lovett of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • The first "Echo is Faith" fics started showing up less than 24 hours after Dollhouse was announced — i.e., more than a year before the first episode aired. Amy Acker getting cast didn't help.
  • Aside from Xanatos and Riker, Gargoyles and Star Trek: The Next Generation shared Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Le Var Burton, and Colm Meaney. Cameos from other Star Trek series included Kate Mulgrew as fairy queen Titania (often disguised as a human scientist) and Nichelle Nichols as the female lead's mother. Crossovers milked this for all it was worth.
  • There are a few Supernatural and Dark Angel crossover fics. Their ubiquity isn't surprising, as Jensen's characters in Dark Angel, the twins Ben and Alec, were genetically engineered, and thus could conceivably be clones of Dean. In light of that, and the Twin Threesome Fantasy trope, it was probably inevitable. However, Dark Angel is set 20 Minutes into the Future. So, if Dean isn't going to be in his forties, time travel or alteration to canon is necessary. Or heck, they could be parallel universes. One form of fic which is surprisingly common despite messing heavily with the timeline is the story in which Alec left Seattle after "Freak Nation" and became Dean.
    • There is a small niche of fan fics devoted to crossovers between Supernatural and Gilmore Girls which writers find doubly fun to play with because Gilmore Girls character Dean Forester is also played by Supernatural's Jared Padalecki and happens to share a name with Padalecki's current character's brother, Dean Winchester. Dean Forester lives the "apple pie" life Sam Winchester always wanted so theories abound that during the period of pre-series where Sam ran away from home, he actually went to Stars Hollow and lived with a family while using his brother's name as an alias.
    • There are Smallville / Supernatural crossovers in which the focus is on Jason Teague / Dean Winchester interactions, as the characters share a single actor. It also makes sense as the Winchester brothers are from Kansas and might be drawn to a town in their home state that is rumored to be filled with super powered beings and strange occurrences.
    • There is also a not insignificant number of crossovers between Dark Angel and NCIS (because of shared actor Michael Weatherly) where Tony DiNozzo becomes Logan Cale or vice versa. Science magic is usually invoked to explain the timeline and/or the character aging in reverse.
  • Interestingly subverted in a few House fanfics that somehow add Jeeves to the mix instead of Bertie.
  • Played amazingly straight in Jeeves and the Evil Twin, a Jeeves and Wooster fanfic in which Jeeves comes home from vacation to find that Jack Dalliard (one of Stephen Fry's recurring characters in A Bit of Fry and Laurie) has been not only impersonating him but abusing and raping Bertie.
  • Bringing this trope to new extremes, there's Shatnerquake, where every single character that William Shatner has ever played comes along to whale on the man himself.
  • Busou Renkin fanfic writers like to crossover with Rurouni Kenshin, usually making Kazuki into Kenshin's (great-great-grand)son.
  • Ryan Reynolds and Ben Affleck played characters in both the Marvel and DC universes. Reynolds plays Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in the DC universe with Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman. In Marvel, Reynolds plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool with Ben Affleck's Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Many Marvel/DC crossovers play off this.
  • A fanfic that crossed over JAG with The Pretender had Lt. Cmdr. Rabb mistake Miss Parker for his former partner Lt. Caitlin Pike. Both Miss Parker and Lt. Pike were played by Andrea Parker.
  • There are fics out there about Legolas meeting Will Turner and/or Balian and/or Orlando Bloom himself.
  • Carly / Megan. A few people go so far as to add Summer Hathaway, from School of Rock, into a Miranda Cosgrove Doppelganger OT3.
  • There is a Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog/How I Met Your Mother crossfic where Barney Stinson seduces Dr. Horrible. There are also countless Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog/How I Met Your Mother crossovers where Barney secretly is Dr Horrible... The fact the gang were looking for Doppelgängers was a subplot for a season or so helps.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry and Lyrical Nanoha? Since Rika and Nanoha share a voice actress, there have been fan videos that involve the two.
  • One short fanfic had NCIS's medical examiner Dr. Donald Mallard, better known as Ducky, mistake Rizzoli & Isles' medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles for his friend Kate (he was involved in a small accident). It can be assumed to be Kate Todd from the first two seasons because Kate just happens to be played by the same actress who plays one of the title characters from Rizzoli & Isles. Any guesses? Not the only thing involving Ducky Mallard, played by David McCallum; there are fics out there of him either being related to or being Illya Kuryakin from The Man From Uncle, McCallum's breakout role. Which is kinda weird since an Actor Allusion line early in the seris made reference to Ducky's resemblance to Illya.
  • This fic, From Prometheus to 12 plays with the concept that Felix Gaeta and L are the same person.
  • Claude from Heroes being secretly the Ninth Doctor was a very popular idea for a time.
  • Ever wonder why there's a Criminal Minds/Dharma & Greg crossover section over at Because Thomas Gibson was in both shows, inspiring fics where Agent Hotchner (a.k.a. "Hotch") is actually Greg in disguise and vice versa.
  • This has also happened with Sue Sylvester (Glee), Sam's mother (iCarly ), and Reid's mother (Criminal Minds) due to Jane Lynch playing all three characters.
  • There is a fanfic on Sarmy, a Sylar and Zachary Quinto fansite, which crosses almost every role Zachary Quinto has ever played. Sylar, Spock, Sasan, Adam Kaufner, and tons of guest appearances feature in the fic.
  • While TEEN FORTRESS 2 isn't explicitly a Doppelganger Crossover, it does substitute Principal GLaDOS for the Announcer. In said fic, Principal GLaDOS is actually Caroline's mother, and not the woman herself.
  • Speaking of Valve, they also played it straight in the canon works: they originally had an idea for a scientist called Greg to be playing off Cave Johnson in Portal 2, but decided it was idiotic to hire a voice actor for just a few lines. Instead, they decided to use GLaDOS's voice actor for what we now know as Caroline, and the fact that Caroline was eventually made into GLaDOS is history.
  • Popular in Doctor Who fandom, especially This Time Round.
  • It's popular in fan-works to suggest that Richard Castle from Castle is either a distant ancestor of or is in some Timey-Wimey Ball-way connected to Firefly's Malcolm Reynolds.
    • Similarly to the Buffy / Firefly example above, fics where the characters from Buffy mistake the friendly and decent Castle for the psychotic Caleb and Hilarity Ensues are pretty common.
  • Apart from the natural "Booth is a shanshued Angel" fics, there have been a couple of Bones/Angel fics where Angel somehow meets Booth.
  • At least one Anthony Head doppelgänger Merlin/Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic exists with Uther and Giles meeting.
  • There now exists an entire genre of Star Trek (2009) fiction where Bones is actually John "Reaper" Grimm, or at the very least, his something-great grandson.
  • It can be rather difficult to watch My Life In Film and not see Jones as Sherlock's Jim Moriarty. Especially when he starts talking about burying people in back gardens.
  • The Operations Manual for West End Games' Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game, published in 1986, contains an adventure titled "The Couch Potato," in which (assuming the players are using the characters from the movie) Dr. Peter Venkman meets a character named Dr. Hunter Panama. The manual notes right away that Doctor Panama is based on Dr. Hunter Thompson and suggests watching the movie Where the Buffalo Roam, in which he is played by Bill Murray (who, in case you can't guess, also played Dr. Venkman), to give you ideas on how to play the character. The manual also remarks that two Bill Murray characters playing off each other appeals to their schizophrenia.
  • There is at least one Fullmetal Alchemist/Ouran High School Host Club crossover fan fic which exists purely because the English dubs of both animes have the same voice cast.
  • Super Sentai:
    • In a canon example, Kenji Ohba has played Retsu Ichijoji, the titular Henshin Hero in Space Sheriff Gavan, and two different Sentai heroes - so naturally, when Gavan crossed over with Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Shiro Akebono/Battle Kenya and Daigoro Oume/Denji Blue were along for the ride. Only fanboy Gai can tell them apart (and considers the differences obvious). Funnily, Ohba had performed both his Sentai roles before in Gokaiger: he played Oume in the 199 Heroes movie, and Akebono in the Christmas Episode of the series proper.
    • Sadly, Hiroshi Miyauchi has never gotten to do this in a TV series or movie: on the two occasions that J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai and Himitsu Sentai Goranger have wound up in the same place, Miyauchi only played his JAKQ character, Sokichi Banba/Big One, with Akira Shinmei/Aoranger being just one more suited stuntman doing chop-socky in the background. In the Let's Go Kamen Rider megacrossover, neither Kamen Rider V3 nor Zubat ever appeared out-of-costume, though both were voiced by him. Still, in-universe, Miyauchi's characters have met a few times now, though only one at a time got what most consider a full appearance. The only time Miyauchi did get to meet himself was in an ad for the video game Super Hero Sakusen Daidaru No Yabou, in which V3 and Zubat appeared in their civilian forms of Shiro Kazami and Ken Hayakawa respectively.
  • Norman Reedus' two most famous characters are Murphy MacManus in The Boondock Saints and Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. As of this writing, there are 76 Walking Dead/Boondock Saints crossover fics on Fanfiction Dot Net, making it the most common crossover for the Boondock Saints fandom by far and the third most common for the Walking Dead fandom.note  Coincidence?
  • Has grown incredibly popular recently in the Sherlock fandom, with actors Martin Freeman being in The Hobbit and Benedict Cumberbatch acting in the newest Star Trek film.
    • There are a ton of Sherlock crossovers with Cabin Pressure, also starring Cumberbatch; his character Martin Crieff is often revealed to be a third Holmes brother.
    • And now Cumberbatch has also voiced Smaug in the second Hobbit film. Now there's a proposal for an imagination exercise.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Season 2 villain Discord is inspired by the Reality Warper Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, even being played by the same actor, John de Lancie. There have since been numerous works of fan art and fan fiction that show that Discord is Q, usually by way of the TNG Enterprise crew visiting Equestria.
    • This is even played with in the official IDW comic. Specifically, in the second issue of the Friends Forever series, Discord creates a series of artificial reality scenarios to help the CMC get their cutie marks. One such scenario involves all of them as the command crew on the bridge of a starship greatly resembling the Enterprise, their costumes lifted directly from the cast of TNG. Discord (wearing the outfit Q wore in his debut) even comments that "this one seems familiar."
  • "Astra Major" is a short story written by FlirtyFroggy, an avid Bamber Bunnny. The fic features Archie Kennedy from Hornblower and "Apollo" Lee Adama from Battlestar Galactica (2003), both played by Jamie Bamber. His fans told him at one convention that they liked to live in a world where Archie didn't die and asked him about his theory on how Archie had survived. Mr Bamber replied: "When they carried his corpse away, aliens came down and resuscitated him, and now he's living on Astra Major in some other galaxy. And maybe Lee Adama will come across him, and asks: 'What the hell is going on with you, Arch?'" This answer inspired the author to write her story.
  • There are quite a few fan fics featuring Midshipman (Lieutenant) Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower and Lord Tony Dewhurst from The Scarlet Pimpernel, both portrayed by then-25-year-old Jamie Bamber. It seems to be a particularly good fit because both series (first episodes) are set in 1793. Several stories make those two Cuties cousins and their identical looks are explained as uncanny family resemblance. Word of God has it that Archie is the third son of a Scottish Lord, so it all fits together. The stories tend to be Fix Fic because the pattern of Chronically Killed Actor started to appear. Here is a list of cousin stories from Archieology 101. note 
  • Another, similar fic that crosses over with Highlander has Matt Devlin of Law & Order: UK inexplicably recovering from the fatal bullet wounds he received at the end of the episode "Deal" and being forced to admit to best friend/partner Ronnie and crush Alesha Phillips that he's immortal, thus revealing that he IS Archie Kennedy.
  • Super Robot Wars
    • Super Robot Wars Z2: Saisei-Hen has Ribbons Almark (Mobile Suit Gundam 00) and Amuro Ray (Mobile Suit Gundam) interacting and eventually fighting each other.
      Amuro: Ribbons! I am nothing like you!
      Ribbons: This is the difference between my power and yours.
    • Full Frontal and Char Aznable Super Robot Wars Z3: Jigoku-Hen. In fact, Full Frontal even works for Char until the Axis colony drop. Full Frontal is the one who caused it.
  • An ad for Disney Infinity features the game's versions of Jack Sparrow and Tonto meeting each other, the non-computer generated versions of both characters played by Johnny Depp. This also was a subtle Dear Negative Reader addressed to the people complaining that Tonto was just an "Indian Jack Sparrow" by showing them side by side to prove that they are not very alike (Sparrow is a Lovable Rogue and Tonto is Comically Serious). Shortly before its cancellation, it added Depp's Mad Hatter as well.
  • Crossing Bill & Ted with The Matrix due to Keanu Reeves being in both isn't unheard of. In particular is An Alternate Ending to Matrix Revolutions, with a side of Mind Screw.
  • It's not uncommon for fans of EUReKA and Warehouse 13 to say that Carl Carlson and Artie Nielsen are the same person. It helps that both shows are canonically in the same Shared Universe.
  • For Community fics that fancy bringing the angst and Hurt/Comfort on, one option is to imagine that Britta, played by Gillian Jacobs, is the same character that Jacobs plays in the movie Gardens of the Night, a dark drama about a young woman who is kidnapped as a child and forced into prostitution. It helps that Britta is implied at times to have had a rough childhood with possible molestation involved, albeit usually played for Black Comedy instead of drama.
  • In Sean Bean Saves Westeros, "real life" Sean Bean gets transported to Westeros soon after Season 1 of Game of Thrones wraps up filming, and takes the place of Ned Stark.
  • There are a few Kill Bill and Elementary fanworks because Joan and O-Ren share the same actress (Lucy Liu).
  • Prior to Frozen Idina Menzel's most popular role was Elphaba in Wicked. Naturally fans of both have made many crossovers, especially considering how similar Elsa and Elphaba are.
  • In the Adam Adamant Lives! fanfic "A Romantic Or A Rogue?" the villain is a thinly-disguised Nelson Gabriel from The Archers — who, like Adam's valet Simms, was played by Jack May.
  • In "Rebel Quartet," a Blake's 7 story, Orac meddles with the teleport and fetches back not one Blake, but four (all played by Gareth Thomas). There's Blake, the Rev. Griffiths (How Green Was My Valley), resistance leader Owen Edwards (The Knights of God), and magician Blaze (Merlin: the Quest Begins), who promptly sets Orac on fire. All four are rebels against oppression, none of them can agree on anything, and Avon, who hasn't been bothered in weeks, has never been so content in all his life.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Martian have gotten their fair share of crossovers likely partially due to there being multiple actors who appear in both the MCU and The Martian. The means of crossing over has varied, from Steve Rogers waking up a few decades late to Dr. Beck being one of Bucky Barnes's descendants to Dr. Beck being suspected of being the Winter Soldier.
  • Chuck and White Collar are often crossed over. The premise is usually Neal was an alias of Bryce's he started using again after faking his death for the second season. Or they're twins.
  • In a Justice League Action web short called "Missing the Mark," the Joker and the Trickster - both played by Mark Hamill in this (among many other) series - kidnap the actual actor to ransom him to the studios. Yes, Swamp Thing, who appears near the end, is also played by Hamill in this series.
  • Deadpool's schtick is that he knows he's a fictional character. So naturally, Deadpool has him take jabs at the previous mouthless version of Deadpool from the Wolverine movies, at the Green Lantern movie, and claims that Ryan Reynolds certainly doesn't owe his film career to his acting talent.
  • Goes Up to Eleven in Deadpool 2 where Deadpool goes back in time to eliminate, not just the aforementioned no-mouthed version of Deadpool, but even Ryan Reynolds just before he can start filming the lead role in the Green Lantern movie.
  • The animated version of Ace Ventura appeared in two episodes of The Mask. Both cartoons are based on movies where the title character is played by Jim Carrey.
  • A non canon Star Wars Tales comic has the Millennium Falcon crash land on a planet that turns out to be Earth All Along. It ends years later with Indiana Jones finding Han Solo's skeleton.
  • Escape from New York;
  • Buddy Ebsen plays Barnaby Jones in The Beverly Hillbillies movie. Ebsen played Jed Clampett in the original series.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Allan Quatermain meets a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of James Bond. Both characters have been played by Sean Connery.