ByDaniel Pearson, writer at

Quite unbelievably, It's been 48 years since the amazing first ever TV series of Star Trek came to our screens back in 1966.

It's a testament to the franchise's success that it's now impossible to watch these original episodes without thinking about, or contrasting with, all that was yet to come.

And all the success that followed is owed, in no small part, to this game-changing and highly influential Gene Roddenberry creation, that starred William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley.

The hardcore trekkies amongst us may have spotted its stars in subsequent Star Trek outings, but some of them took a slightly different path. Others we haven't seen on screen for years.

Here's what the cast look like now - beam me up, Scotty.

William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk)

What else can I see him in? Loaded Weapon, Dodgeball, Miss Congeniality, T.J. Hooker

Fun fact: Shatner wrote several Star Trek novels, including "The Ashes of Eden," "The Return," and "Avenger."

Leonard Nimoy (Commander Spock)

What else can I see him in? Atlantis: The Lost Empire, In Search Of..., Ancient Mysteries.

Fun fact: Huge chunks of the Spock character were improvised by Leonard Nimoy. The "Vulcan neck pinch" was his suggestion during filming of Star Trek: The Enemy Within (1966) for how Spock could subdue an opponent.

Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Nyota Uhura)

What else can I see her in? Snow Dogs, Heroes, Lady Magdalene's

Fun fact: The character of Uhura was one of the first black regular characters on any series. She was especially significant because her character avoided many of the stereotypes and cliches that were common among depictions of African Americans in TV at the time.

George Takei (Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu)

What else can I see him in? Oblivion, Mulan, Heroes, Kim Possible.

Fun fact: An asteroid between Mars and Jupiter (discovered on April 13, 1994) has been renamed 7307 Takei in his honor.

Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov)

What else can I see him in? Babylon 5, Bone Eater, Mantrap

Fun fact: George Takei missed nine episodes of the second season because he was away filming The Green Berets (1968). The character of Chekov was created in his absence and Takei's lines were given to Walter Koenig.

Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand)

Fun fact: Grace Lee Whitney was supposed to be the lead female character, hence her prominent role as Yeoman Janice Rand in the first season. However, the producers let go of the character after the first of half of the first season, much to the fans' regret.

Honorable Mentions

DeForest Kelley (Lieutenant Commander Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy)

Born: January 20, 1920. Died: June 11, 1999

James Doohan (Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott)

Born: March 3, 1920. Died: July 20, 2005

Majel Barrett (Nurse Christine Chapel)

Born: February 23, 1932. Died: December 18, 2008


Who was your favorite character in Star Trek: The Original Series?


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