ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

The TV series that changed the face of sci-fi forever was also responsible for convincing me to stitch together my pajamas in a failed attempt to make my very own Trekkie jumpsuit.

I idolized the intrepid Enterprise crew more than any other fictional role-models, and it seems like only yesterday that I avidly tuned in to watch them boldly go where no man has gone before.

But believe it or not, Star Trek: The Next Generation first beamed onto our screens a whopping 27 years ago! 178 episodes and 4 feature films later, the cast have come a long way since 1987.

You'll be amazed to see just how different the starship Enterprise crew look, a whole generation later...

Jean-Luc Picard - Patrick Stewart

The Shakespearian heavyweight, Patrick Stewart, played the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise with aplomb. Perhaps most well known for his role as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, Stewart's career only blossomed after TNG.

William Riker - Jonathan Frakes

Frakes has maintained Riker's trademark beard, though it's looking a little grayer than I remember. Picard's trusty 'Number One' has since turned his hand at directing, working on NCIS and, more recently, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Geordi La Forge - LeVar Burton

The VISOR-wearing chief engineer of the Enterprise rarely appears in front of the camera nowadays, though you may recognize him as the host of the long-running PBS children's series Reading Rainbow.

Worf - Michael Dorn

Klingon fan-favorite Worf has appeared in more Star Trek franchise episodes than any other character. Since TNG, Dorn has had a illustrious voice acting career, starring in Adventure Time, Justice League and the popular video game, Starcraft 2.

Beverly Crusher - Gates McFadden

Beverly Crusher was originally written out of the second series, but returned in the third, partly due to Patrick Stewart pressuring the producers to bring her back. I'm glad he did - she was one of the show's best female characters! More recently she's taught theatre at Harvard and is currently a faculty member at the University of Southern California.

Deanna Troi - Marina Sirtis

After playing the half-human, half-Betazoi Deanna Troi, Sirtis has appeared in several feature films, including Paul Haggis' Academy Award-winning film Crash.

Data - Brent Spiner

The android chief operations officer was one of my favorite characters in TNG! After he hung up his jumpsuit, Spiner gave some rather less robotic performances in Independence Day and The Aviator.

Wesley - Wil Wheaton

Though he was the youngest central character in the show, Wesley often showed the most intelligence, getting the Enterprise out of some rather sticky situations. Wheaton has since had recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on The Big Bang Theory, and also lends his voice to video games, including Rockstar's infamous GTA series.


Who's your favorite TNG character?


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