Before the conclusion of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, we’ll see characters from Star Trek: Lower Decks cross over into live-action and appear on the show. However, this isn’t the first time that Star Trek characters have appeared in a second series after being introduced in a different show.
For this week’s Trek Tuesday, here are eight instances of Trek characters reappearing on a second (or third) series. Did we include your favorite crossover? Be sure and let us know in the comment section.
Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Almost as soon as possible, the first instance of such a character recurrence happened. In the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Encounter at Farpoint,” Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley) visits the USS Enterprise-D.
Technically, Bones is never referred to by name in this episode. He is called “The Admiral,” and no character name is listed for Kelley’s special guest star credit. However, the character’s advanced age and personality make the continuity plausible, if not obvious.
The reappearance of Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in TNG Season 5 was important enough to warrant a two-part episode. In “Unification,” Spock and his father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), play key roles. This also gave Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) a chance to interact with one of the most beloved characters in Trek canon. According to Nimoy’s memoir, I Am Spock, when the news that Spock would appear on TNG was announced at a Trek convention, it was met with a standing ovation that left the actor “emotionally overwhelmed.”
The return of engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (James Doohan) was the cause for an entire storyline featuring the character. In TNG Season 6’s “Relics,” it’s revealed that Scotty had been trapped in the buffer of a transporter for several decades.
Freed from these circumstances, Scotty offered his singular assistance to the Enterprise-D crew before continuing to have adventures of his own. Will canon ever reveal what happened afterward? Only time will tell.
The TOS Crew
The entire Star Trek: The Original Series crew made a reappearance (sort of) in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 5’s “Trials and Tribble-ations.” However, archive footage was used to recreate the characters during the USS Defiant‘s time-traveling adventure.
Nevertheless, one character did record new footage: the episode’s antagonist, Arne Darvin (Charlie Brill). Swearing revenge for his defeat in “The Trouble with Tribbles,” Darvin serves as the catalyst for the plot of “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
Sulu, Sulu, Sulu
Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) has appeared on several Star Trek shows after regular appearances in TOS and Star Trek: The Animated Series. First, he appeared in the “Trials and Tribble-ations” archive footage mentioned above. However, he also reprised the role of Sulu for Star Trek: Voyager Season 3’s “Flashback.” In this episode, Tuvok (Tim Russ) experiences flashbacks to the time he served aboard the USS Excelsior under Captain Sulu. Also appearing in this episode is another returning TOS character, Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney). Meanwhile, Tuvok would go on to reappear in Picard Season 3 for a crossover all his own.
Sulu appeared again in Lower Decks Season 3’s “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus.” In this episode, he was enjoying life (or perhaps something else) on a Nexus-like farm. He offered fellow sword-guy Ensign Bradward Boimler (Jack Quaid) some integral advice.
William T. Riker and Deanna Troi
Speaking of Lower Decks, William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) made a triumphant return to the small screen in the animated show’s Season 1 finale, “No Small Parts.” In this episode, Riker, Troi and the USS Titan arrive just in the nick of time to rescue the USS Cerritos from a Pakled party.
Riker has gone on to appear in several additional Lower Decks episodes. Furthermore, the role the USS Titan-A plays in Star Trek: Picard Season 3 has only served to make Riker’s Lower Decks appearances more important to canon.
Over the course of Star Trek: Voyager, Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) won over the hearts of audiences everywhere. Just how popular did the Borg-smashing cap become? She even made a cameo appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis, newly promoted and ready to exchange playful jibes with Picard.
However, that was far from the last appearance of Janeway in Trek canon. On Star Trek: Prodigy, a hologram version of Janeway serves as a mentor to the crew of the USS Protostar. But partway through Prodigy Season 1, things got even more Janeway when the original Vice Admiral entered the narrative as well.
The series finale of Picard, “The Last Generation,” opens with a bang. With Starfleet being assimilated by the Borg, it’s an all-hands-on-deck red alert.
To propel the series into its final chapter, the episode opens with a monologue by Anton Chekov (Walter Koenig). Technically, this isn’t Koening reprising the role of Pavel Chekov, but rather, Koening playing a distinct character: Chekov’s son, named for the late Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel in the Kelvin Timline. However, Chekov Senior is specifically mentioned in the monologue. Nevertheless, having Koening appear in Jean-Luc’s final chapter creates a nice bookend for Kelley, having appeared in “Encounter at Farpoint,” don’t you think?
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