TORONTO -- George Takei says playing a villain on the new season of Lost Girl offered him the chance to unleash his gleefully theatrical inclinations.
The Star Trek star appears in the Season 4 premiere of the fantasy hit, which returns to Showcase on Sunday.
Takei says his magical character is "thoroughly evil" and that the outrageous personality quirks made "for a juicy character to sink my teeth into."
"I play a very elegant, very debonair and obviously quite foppish gentleman who has enormous powers," Takei said earlier this year from the set, being careful not to reveal too many spoilers.
"And he's also very, very wealthy and so it's a lot of fun playing this over-the-top kind of character."
"I'm a very theatrical person and this character is very theatrical, quite over the top and you'll find a lot of my teeth marks on the scenery here."
The supernatural serial returns for its fourth season after a particularly devastating finale, notes co-star Ksenia Solo, who plays Kenzi, the human sidekick and street-smart confidante to the sexy succubus Bo.
Last we saw Bo, played by Anna Silk, she disappeared in a cloud of black smoke during an encounter with The Wanderer, while Dyson was in a speeding truck, careening off a cliff to an unknown fate.
Everything is topsy-turvy when things resume in the new season, says Solo.
"Season 4 brings a new maturity to Lost Girl. I think that we are exploring things we've never explored, even though we have that in every season, we push the limits, I feel like this one we're kind of doing that double time," says Solo.
"And it starts off with a different dynamic, because again, Bo is missing and we're trying to find the person that we all love and that definitely brings in a different flavour to the show."
Bo's disappearance affects each of the characters in different ways, notes Solo.
"For Kenzi, it's a very tumultuous time. Her other half, her heart, her life, her best friend, her family has gone missing. So she's dealing with that and she's trying to stay out of trouble. But knowing Kenzi, that usually doesn't happen," she says.
Kris Holden-Reid, who plays Dyson, a homicide detective who is also a Light Fae creature, says his shape-shifting character must have survived that drive off a cliff since he was back on set with the rest of the cast.
"Unless I'm just playing a ghost of myself," teased Holden-Reid, noting anything's possible on a supernatural show like Lost Girl.
"You'll have to stay tuned and see."
Executive producer Jay Firestone says it will take some time to resolve the finale's many questions, especially those concerning Bo.
"We're going to play with you a little bit about where she was taken and what happened because even Bo's not going to know," says Firestone.
"We played with taking Bo to the dark side in Season 3. We took her slightly differently to the dark side than I think people expected, but I think in Season 4 you're going to see a darker Bo for a bit."
Also guesting this season is Linda Hamilton of Beauty and the Beast, Ali Liebert from Bomb Girls and Mia Kirshner of The Vampire Diaries and Exotica. Firestone says Kirshner was especially enthusiastic about making her mark.
"She's brought her own take on the character, which really impressed us because she really got into it, really thought about it, and came back with notes right away on what she wanted to do," says Firestone.
"She gave it a personality we didn't expect, which was great."
Just having Takei on set was exciting for the Star Trek fans among the cast and crew, adds Solo, with Holden-Reid admitting to being one of those over-the-moon fanboys.
"I think Star Trek's one of the greatest shows, ever. Honestly, I have a five-year-old kid and I can't wait till he's old enough that I can start showing him it," says Holden-Reid.
"I love the message it conveys, the Prime Directive is pretty damn good living rules, and I think Star Trek put a lot of really cool social ideas into the social consciousness."
Takei says he'd actually never seen Lost Girl before being invited to do the guest spot, so did his best to learn as much as he could about the bizarre world of supernatural Faes, adding that it wasn't too much of a leap from his more sci-fi leaning roots.
"There's a big overlap between sci-fi fans and fantasy fans, so it's a great big happy family," says Takei, who has became better known in recent years as an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.
"There are no barriers for me -- I boldly go where others have not gone."
-- The Canadian Press