When Star Trek: The Next Generation first went into production the plan was to make sure that it stood apart from the original series. Not only would the characters be different, but the adventures of Kirk and company would barely be mentioned. Despite 76 years passing between the days of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and those of Data, Worf, and Picard, they still played it safe by having an irascible Admiral who resembled a well-known country doctor named McCoy on the pilot episode “Encounter at Farpoint” to show the connection to fans.
Over the years, the other members of the original cast would interact with this new crew. Spock, Scotty, Checkov, and Kirk would all be on some part of the Next Generation adventures on TV and film. Even Sulu would appear on Star Trek: Voyager in a very clever episode that tied into the last film for the original cast. In fact, the only member of the original series main cast that didn’t appear on modern Trek was actress Nichelle Nichols.
But a good number of guest stars from the original series crossed over to be part of the Berman era of Star Trek. Here are the highlights from those that made the jump.
Romulan Commander/Sarek on TOS
Sarek on TNG
While Mark Leonard will always be Sarek, father of Spock (Leonard Nimoy), to fans of Star Trek, he holds a special honor in the franchise.
In the Original Series episode “Balance of Terror,” he played the first Romulan to appear in Trek. That Romulan Commander matched wits with Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the Enterprise in a story reminiscent of the 1957 film The Enemy Below, a film about a submarine combat in World War 2.
He also played Sarek not only in the Original Series episode “Journey to Babel” but reprised the role in the Animated Series episode “Yesteryear,” three of the six films by the original cast, and in two episodes of The Next Generation (“Sarek” and “Unification”).
He, also, played the Klingon captain in the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This makes him the only person to ever play a Romulan, a Vulcan, and a Klingon.
Majel Barrett Roddenberry
Number One and Christine Chapel on TOS
Lwaxana Troi on TNG and DS9
While some consider Majel a part of the regular cast, she only appeared in roughly one third of the Original Series run (twenty five episodes).
Her first appearance was as the prototype for Spock’s cold logic, Number One, in the original pilot “The Cage.” Gene Roddenberry after being asked to axe everyone and make a second pilot fought to keep Leonard Nimoy’s character of Spock. Once her demeanor was added to Spock’s alien countenance, a legend was born.
She was best known to fans for her portrayal of Nurse Christine Chapel, who was lovesick over Spock in several episodes.
An interesting side note, she also voiced the computer on the ship for fifteen episodes, only four of which had her onscreen as Nurse Chapel. She would continue to voice the computer through all iterations of the show up until the 2009 reboot film by J.J. Abrams. She would pass away eight days after recording her part for that film.
In the Animated Series she continued to work as both the voices of Chapel and the computer, but she also voiced over half the female “guest” roles on the short lived series. She also appeared in the first and fourth films based on the Original Series.
For modern fans, it was a great day when she waltzed back onto the screen as Deanna Troi’s mother, Lwaxana on The Next Generation. She would appear six times as Lwaxana on TNG and also joined the cast of Deep Space Nine three times in its first four seasons.
Ann Mullhall and Miranda Jones on TOS
Dr. Katherine Pulaski on TNG
Only one person ever guest starred on the Original Series and went on to be a regular cast member of a later show, Diana Muldaur.
Her first appearance on TOS was in the second season episode “Return to Tomorrow” as Ann Mullhall, an astrobiologist serving on the Enterprise when they encountered energy beings who took over the bodies of Kirk, Spock, and her character.
She would return for the third season episode “Is There in Truth No Beauty” as blind telepath, Miranda Jones, who worked with the Medusan Ambassador to improve navigation of Federation ships.
But for most fans she is remembered as Dr. Katherine Pulaski, who replaced Doctor Crusher (Gates McFadden) for the second season of TNG. She appeared in all but two episodes of that season (“The Outrageous Okana” and “Q Who”). She was dumped from the series when Patrick Stewart and others lobbied for the return of McFadden, but she did leave a lasting impression.
Galt on TOS
Tumek on DS9 and a Vulcan Master on VOY
Joseph Ruskin has the distinction of having appeared in every Trek series except TNG (although he did appear in the film Star Trek: Insurrection as a Son’a officer).
He first appeared in the Original Series second season episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion/” as Galt, the Master Thrall, who was in charge of the gladiators in that planet’s games.
His next appearance was as Tumek (a Klingon) in two episodes of DS9 (“The House of Quark” and “Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places”). He also had a small part on DS9 as a Cardassian informant in the episode “Improbably Cause.”
He would return as a Vulcan Master in the Voyager episode “Gravity.” There he was trying to help a young Tuvok overcome emotions and embrace the logic of his people.
His final Trek appearance was as a Suliban doctor in the premiere episode of Enterprise, “Broken Bow.”
Balok on TOS
Grady on DS9 and Muk on ENT
If you never saw Star Trek in any iteration, there is still a good chance you have seen Clint Howard. Clint is the younger brother of actor/director Ron Howard, who has used him in many of the films he produced and directed. He has appeared in Backdraft, Apollo 13, the Austin Powers series, The Waterboy, and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
For Trek fans, he will always be Balok, the alien that captured the Enterprise crew in the Original Series episode “The Corbomite Maneuver.”
Here he reprised the role in The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner:
He would go on to play Grady, a homeless man on the DS9 third season episode “Past Tense.”
He would also play the Ferengi, Muk, in the Enterprise episode “Acquisition,” which upset a lot of fans by skirting continuity that had established on TNG that the Federation had not meet the Ferengi before Picard’s day.
Clint is also the only person to appear in the original series and the newest series, Star Trek: Discovery. He played a creepy Orion in the first season finale “Will You Take My Hand?”
His first appearance as Balok and his most recent on Discovery were filmed 51 years apart.
Kang on TOS, DS9 and VOY
Jeyal on DS9
Michael Ansara, a Syrian-born actor, is part of a select group that has played the same character in three different Trek series.
He first played Kang in the TOS episode “Day of the Dove,” where a non-corporeal being lived off the conflict between him and the crew of the Enterprise.
He would return to play the role on the DS9 second season episode “Blood Oath” and again in the Voyager episode “Flashback” that featured a concurrent story to the final Original Cast film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
He also appeared as Jeyal in the DS9 fourth season episode “The Muse,” where his character was married to Lwaxana Troi.
Kor on TOS and DS9
Colicos had played Kor, the first Klingon in Trek, in the TOS first season episode, “Errand of Mercy.” He was going to return to the role in both the “Trouble with Tribbles” and “Day of the Dove,” but scheduling conflicts kept that from happening and gave Michael Ansara and William Campbell the chance to play Klingons in the Original series that would result in all three of them coming together on Deep Space Nine.
That team up in the DS9 episode “Blood Oath” brought all three of Kirk’s Klingon foes together.
He would reprise the role two more times on DS9 in the episodes “The Sword of Kahless” and “Once More Into the Breach.”
Trelane and Koloth on TOS
Koloth on DS9
William Campbell appeared in two of the most beloved episodes of the Original Series, “The Squire of Gothos” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.”
In “Squire” he played the childlike God, Trelane. He got to chew up the scenery chasing after Kirk but in the end was sent to his room without supper.
It is his portrayal of Koloth in “Tribbles” that would get him on this list In that episode he was part of the conspiracy to stop the Federation from taking control of Sherman’s Planet. Kirk and company would foil his plans, yet Koloth lived to fight another day.
He would return in the DS9 episode “Blood Oath” along with Kor (Colicos) and Kang (Ansara). They would call due a blood oath made with Curzon Dax and visit the station in preparation for the attempt to complete their task, with the help of Jadzia Dax.
Arne Darvin on TOS and DS9
Koloth had not been alone in his conspiracy to keep Sherman’s Planet from the Federation in “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Brill played Arne Darvin, a Klingon intelligence officer, who was surgically altered and became the assistant to Nilz Baris, the Federation Undersecretary for Agriculture.
It was the cuddly Tribbles who put an end to his masquerade as a human, and so he suffered discommendation (just like Worf).
He assumed the name Barry Waddle and ended up using the Orb of Time to try and get his revenge on Kirk in the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” What he didn’t count on was crew of the Defiant ruining his plans.
Is there someone you thought would be on this list that we overlooked? Let us know in the comments so we can include them in future articles.