It may be difficult to believe, but it has been three decades since Star Trek returned to our screens. The Next Generation debuted 30 years ago today (September 28), introducing Gene Roddenberry’s trailblazing sci-fi franchise to a whole new… well, generation. Let’s get to know where are the Star Trek: TNG cast members now.
Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard)
Patrick Stewart was never going to be out of employment when his Trek days were done, thanks to his expertise in theatre and British TV classics. He also had time to play Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies, opposing bessie mate Ian McKellen, as well as voicing Avery Bullock on American Dad and various parts on Family Guy.
Jonathan Frakes (Commander William Riker)
Jonathan Frakes slid into the director’s chair to create First Contact in 1996 (and the less-than-successful Insurrection a few years later) while continuing to portray Riker, before directing the Thunderbirds big-screen feature in 2004. Frakes has most recently appeared in or directed episodes of Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles, Falling Skies, Agents of SHIELD, and Switched at Birth, among others.
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge)
LeVar Burton voiced Doc Greene in Transformers: Rescue Bots and Paul Haley, a professor of cultural anthropology on Perception, in addition to guest appearances on several TV programmes. Many people remember him as the host of the children’s television show Reading Rainbow, which was relaunched in 2012 as an app.
Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar)
Originally cast as Deanna Troi, she was replaced as Tasha Yar by Marina Sirtis (below). After being killed off after 22 episodes, she reappeared for some timey-wimey fun, and went on to create and narrate the 1997 documentary Trekkies and its 2003 sequel. Crosby is most known for her roles in Showtime’s Ray Donovan and, of course, AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Michael Dorn (Worf)
Dorn is recognised for having a wide vocal range. His thunderous bass tones may also be heard in the Saints Row and World of Warcraft games, in addition to a slew other Trek video games. He recently advocated that Worf return in a new Star Trek miniseries.
Gates McFadden (Doctor Beverly Crusher)
After Trek, McFadden had a smattering of TV, film, and theatre jobs. As an acting teacher at several universities, she has also aided in the recruitment of The Next Generation of acting talent, and she is now the co-artistic director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre of Los Angeles, which aims to foster “the initiation, exercise, and practise of artistic imagination and expression.”
Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi)
Marina Sirtis, who was born in London, was a fan favourite as half-Betazoid Counselor Deanna Troi. She went on to have parts on both sides of the Atlantic after Trek, including a well-known guest appearance on Casualty in 2001 and Holby City seven years later. She has voiced Matriarch Benezia in the Mass Effect video game series and most recently as Director of Mossad Orli Elbaz on CBS’s NCIS.
Brent Spiner (Commander Data)
Since removing his android make-up, Spiner has appeared in a number of films, including a famous performance as Conan O’Brien in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. In Enterprise, he played Dr. Arik Soong, an ancestor of Data’s creator, and in Independence Day: Resurgence, he played Dr. Okun, a high-profile character.
Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher)
Wil Wheaton has 2.71 million Twitter followers and is as widely recognised for his razor-sharp commentary on gaming, politics, the online, blogging, and the media as he is for his role as the endearing/infuriating Wesley Crusher. He continues to perform in films and television, most notably in The Big Bang Theory as a fictionalised version of himself. Wheaton also has his own weekly topical comedy show on SyFy called The Wil Wheaton Project.
Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien)
There’s no need to inquire about Colm Meany’s whereabouts. Meany has been a constant on our cinema screens, in addition to appearing on Deep Space Nine. From Don Revie in The Damned United to Gene in Layer Cake, he’s played a wide range of characters. He most recently featured in Alan Partridge: The Return with Steve Coogan. Alpha Papa.
John de Lancie (Q)
John de Lancie had a similar pattern, appearing on everything from The West Wing to Law & Order: LA to Charmed as a guest star. With roles in Stargate SG-1 and Torchwood: Miracle Day, he maintained his sci-fi hand in the game, but his most memorable performance in recent years was Donald Margolis in Breaking Bad, as the father of Jesse Pinkman’s doomed girlfriend/landlady Jane. He appeared on The Mentalist as a guest star lately.
Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan)
Before Star Trek, Whoopi had already established herself as a movie star, starring in films as characters or just as herself. Many people may recognise her as the host of ABC’s The View, one of America’s most popular daytime talk shows, on which she has moderated the panel for the past eight seasons. She also plays Bernadette Thompson, a female counterpart of April O’Neil’s employer Burne Thompson, in the most recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.