Gene Roddenberry always intended to build a complete Star Trek universe. When the network canceled the original series, it seemed his idea may never hit warp one. But, it was the fans who brought it back. They pestered the network until they restored the show. The movies helped keep the brand alive until The Next Generation revived the series for a whole new… well, generation. That then spawned the Deep Space Nine and Voyager series. Respectfully, this gallery won’t come close to chasing down every cast member, but this writer will try to not let my biases as a child of 1980s affect the weight of certain cast members or shows. The slides will go in broadcast order, not Star Trek Universe timeline, from the original series to Enterprise. I’ll stick to the standard abbreviations.
- TOS – The Original Series
- TNG – The Next Generation
- DS9 – Deep Space Nine
- VOY – Voyager
- ENT – Enterprise
Of Interest: The actors tend to fall into one of two categories with few exceptions. Those who came to Star Trek with prior experience and real chops did fine when their respective shows ended. On the other side, many who got their break on Star Trek didn’t fare so well afterward.
25. George Takei; Hikaru Sulu, TOS
When George Takai (pronounced tah-kay) played Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman of the Starship Enterprise, he was an unknown actor. Takei made the most of his role as Sulu, staying on for the run of the original series, and reprising his character in every one of the movies based on that series. After the show ended, Takei stayed busy in series walk-ons as himself or other roles, but he’s never been more popular than he’s been in social media the past decade. As an activist, speaking out for human rights, especially for the gay community, Takei is a snarky and funny online personality. In very recent history someone has accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. Takei has denied the accusation, lobbying his well-trod reputation as a person incapable of such behavior. The matter remains unresolved as of this writing.
24, William Shatner; Captain James T. Kirk, TOS
Some fans would argue Shatner was the cornerstone of the original series, but other Trekkies would spill green blood over that assertion, pointing out that Leonard Nimoy was equally to credit for the success. In truth, it was an ensemble project. Shatner, however, was quite a character no matter how one slices it. He remained that quirky guy, even his career led him to other successful series like Boston Legal, and The Practice. Of the actors who played senior officers on the original series, Shatner remains one of two still alive.