Star Trek Original Series Characters vs Star Trek Next Generation Characters

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek TOS

Star Trek the original series was a great television program. Not only was it the pioneer of the star trek franchise, but it also paved the way for the science fiction genre as a whole. TOS provided audiences with new concepts such as space exploration and futuristic technologies. They also gave audiences more entertaining experiences from dazzling special effects (or at least dazzling at the time) such as photon torpedoes and warp drive to tackling controversial issues head on like airing interracial relations on live television (Kirk kissing Uhura or Kirk kissing anybody human or alien for that matter).

Along with the show came the iconic vessel that propelled the tv series forward, the USS Enterprise. For many fans, the enterprise was a symbol of possibilities taking them to places where no man had gone before. For me, every time I hear the term uss enterprise I get goosebumps and a cold chill runs down down my spine.

With weekly new adventures and a great ensemble cast, the original series provided awesome entertainment. It's a classic and nothing can touch a classic, so they say.

Star Trek First Contact Movie

Star Trek TNG

Star Trek the next generation was a beast in its own right. Riding in on the curtails of the original series, TNG took the franchise to a whole new level, introducing more in-depth characters and complex ideas.

Personally, had I been an officer onboard the enterprise, I would've been useless. Why? The Holodeck.

"So you're telling me that I can create a place that seemed totally real, and it can be wherever and whenever I wanted?"

I don't know about anybody else, but I would be instantly addicted.

Holodecks aside, I believe the next generation TV series was a great tv show and it would be hard pressed to convince me that any other science fiction series is better, even the almighty original series. So, let's the games begin!

Star Trek TOS vs Star Trek TNG

Although both series carry the Star Trek name and have similar themes such as space, the uss enterprise, and starfleet; the two television programs were entirely different.

The original series was centered around Kirk and his crew. The next generation was also centered around the Enterprise and her captain, but the theme was geared toward the scientific explanations of the universe making it larger in scope.

Since I am a fan of both series, I'm going to try to compare the two, head-on, and see which show was actually better.

Now, I think it is unfair to compare the two star trek series in terms of picture (aka special effects, imagery, cinematography, etc, etc.) simply because the next generation came out after the original series. Even if I went strictly on the movies alone, TNG came out a decade after the originals (unless of course I take the brand new Star Trek movies into account, but that's an entirely different subject altogether).

So, I am only going to compare characters (much like my star wars vs star trek comparison), position by position, and create my own enterprise dream team crew.

Captain Picard Having His Way With the Borg

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Khan Khaaaaaan!

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Captain Picard vs Captain Kirk

Okay, I think this one comes down to personal favorites. Honestly, both Captain Kirk and Captain Picard were compelling characters. They were great, epic, and represented everything desired in a main protagonist, hero, leader, or what have you.

James T. Kirk was all heart and raw emotion. He made decisions off the cuff, usually against Starfleet command, making Kirk predictably unpredictable.

His conscience and long time friend Spock constantly viewed Kirk's actions as illogical, mainly because Kirk took the heroes route, every single time.

Jean-Luc Picard, on the other hand, was more methodical. Picard represented Starfleet to the fullest, but he also loved his ship, the enterprise.

Picard never once hesitated to go against starfleet regulations if he felt that their orders endangered his ship and his crew.

So, who was better? Tough...The easy answer would be Kirk because he was not only Captain in the original series, but he pretty much represents the Star Trek franchise as a whole.

As for me...I would pick Picard in my enterprise dream team. I think Picard made more sound decisions and, yes, he is a personal favorite.

Spock, of course

Spock vs Riker and Worf

Okay, right off the bat, Spock is more interesting. In fact, there's no dispute, hands down Spock is better than Riker and Worf in every way. However, both Riker and Worf have a lot of heart and would sacrifice their lives for the ship and their captain.

In the end Spock is amazing and I would pick him over the Riker and Worf combination. Many may argue this, but Spock is irreplaceable and he is a must on any dream team enterprise list.

Truthfully, Spock's position in the original series was a little unique. He was not only Kirk's right hand man, but also the ship's security, tactical, and science officer.

Spock took up 3 or 4 positions on the Enterprise, while the next generation crew split the same duties up amongst the crew.

So, technically, Spock could go up against Riker, Data, and Worf. However, because his primary role on the Enterprise was first officer and security officer, he must go up against Riker and Worf.

Data and the Borg

Data vs Chekhov

Like Spock, Data was multifunctional as well. He was the ship's pilot, science officer, and part the away team. Chekhov was the navigational officer and filled in for Spock from time to time.

Although we all love Chekhov and his thick Russian accent, Data is better. There's not much argument there.

On a side note, I know that it is hard pressed not to have Data vs. Spock in a showdown against each other, but I have my reasons:

1.) On my dream team enterprise sheet, I would want both Spock and Data on my crew. So, pinning them up against each other would eliminate one of them on my list.

2.) Although they were similar, Data and Spock didn't hold the same positions. Data was first and foremost a pilot. And Spock was the Kirk's executive officer and the ship's security officer.

Scotty vs Geordi

Ah, the battle between the Enterprise engineers. Both are interesting characters and add a little depth to any scene.

Between Scotty's clever one liners and Geordi's precise calculations, it is certainly an odd character comparison.

In the end, I think Scotty wins, unquestionably. I mean, he did figure out how to beam someone aboard a moving ship at maximum warp.

Scotty ~ "I'm giving her all she's got cap'em!"

Bones vs Crusher

This one is just silly. I think Bones destroys Crusher in any doctor comparison scenario. Bones is funnier, great during crunch time, and he has so many different ways to pronounce a patient's death!

I will make one note here. I'm not taking anything away from Crusher. I think she is an interesting character who is essential to the next generation crew. She's great for figuring out weird uncharted phenomenons and scientific uncertainties. And she's not hard on the eyes either. But my choice is Bones!

Uhara

Uhura vs Counselor Troi

Okay this one is for the Star Trek perverts out there, including myself! I think this particular vote comes down to...which one is hotter!

Of course, I could break down each of their skills such as Uhura is a great communications officer. Counselor Troi is great for solving problems and revealing what the enemy was thinking.

All right, now that I have that out of the way, which one is hotter! Personally, I think Counselor Troi buries Uhura is a second. However, this comes down to personal taste, and Troi did wear some...close fitting outfits. If you're a legs guy, then Uhura is definitely your pick!

I'm going with Counselor Troi!

Star Trek Winner

My dream team uss enterprise Crew:

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Commander Spock

Lt. Commander Data

Lt. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy

Counselor Deanna Troi

This makes TNG and TOS tied 3-3. So, who is better? Well, since the females can go either way depending on your overall taste, I think it must go to Star Trek the original series. This hurts me to say because I am a bigger fan of the next generation, by far, but the evidence is there. TOS has better characters, and I can't wait for J.J. Abrams' next Star Trek installment!

Star Trek TOS vs TNG Poll

Out of the two Star Trek Series, which show has the best characters?

See results without voting

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Comments 16 comments

jats 6 years ago

I have to go with the original here. It was what started it all and put so many things into the zeitgeist ("Beam me up," phasers, trasnporters, etc...)

When I was in college and TNG was on during its first run, the guy who lived behind us would yell at his TV every Saturday afternoon about how "Kirk would never do that!" good times...


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

I can watch repeats of star trek over and over again!


humagaia profile image

humagaia 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Just loved the comparison series!


wvierra profile image

wvierra 6 years ago from Collinsville

As for me I am kinda pulled in both directions. I love both shows and I am (yes) a treky through and through. I give more weight to TOS then TNG because they set the pace for future star trek shows. Even though I really liked picard I give a double score on kirk. In many of his episodes he showed a true human element on emotion that we all can relate to. However this is not to say by the time we hit the years of 2400 that we don't get a better control on our emotions.

I loved your comparison, it is well written and much more in depth then I was expecting. I enjoyed it wholeheartedly.


Boomer60 profile image

Boomer60 6 years ago

Well I loved the original Star Trek. I watched the series as a child and became a fan forever. Other shows tried to mimic it and fell short. In my opinion, all else fails in comparison.


Mr.Spock profile image

Mr.Spock 6 years ago

the original series crew was,is and always shall be the best star trek


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Comparing Data and Checkov is totally unfair. Data is a machine, faster,smarter stronger than any human.

As for captain, Kirk was a cowboy when the federation was younger and less experianced. The starships were more on their own.

Picard was a diplomat when things were more settled and the federation was stronger. The federation got the type of captains they needed for the time.

a good hub.


dom 4 years ago

TNG was just social workers in space led. Ships counsellor? meh!


Dani 4 years ago

Well i watch both. but i prefer The Next Generation. watching kirk just makes me want to punch him okay maybe punch is the wrong word, but i get annoyed with Kirk very quickly so i'd prefer Picard. as for Scotty and Geordi i wouldn't choose between them i love them both. And i would choose crusher over bones any time anywhere. bones annoys me just as much as kirk does. and i would choose, Spock, Riker and WorPr


Ellie 4 years ago

I aggree with you in ever way except from having Jean-luc Picard as Captain. I would have Kirk. He is soo much funnier. Especially in the episode "Charlie X" when he has to explain to Charlie why you can't smack girl's bums. Also I would have Counsillor Troi not because she is hot (cause I'm a girl) but becuse she is just mor usefull then Uhura. And also becuse I don't like Uhura.


BusinessTime profile image

BusinessTime 4 years ago from Twin Cities

Love this hub!! Can't go wrong with the Original Series -- the Kirk/Spock/Bones dynamic is one of the great successes of television writing.

If you have time, I'd love it if you stop by my new hub on business lessons to be learned from Star Trek! The Hubpages Trekkies have to stick together :)


Matt 4 years ago

I like your article and think it was well thought out. I have one issue with it though. In Gordie vs Scotty, you give Scotty the win because he figured out how to beam someone aboard the Enterprise while travelling at max warp, BUT HE DID THIS IN THE NEW MOVIE. You said at the beginning of your article that the new movie did not count, and therefore Gordie vs Scotty needs to be redone. I think Gordie wins this hands down, mainly because I like him more.


Joshua Thomas 3 years ago

Idk about the Uhura comparison. I can't remember which episode it was but she was half naked and she has some tight abs and nice bust.


Agata 2 years ago

Hey, thanks for comparison. But you did one mistake - Spock's "official" task - apart from the fact that he indeed did much more - was not security officer, but science officer! But he still wins.


jponiato profile image

jponiato 2 years ago from Mid-Michigan

Great comparison. I didn't agree with every sentiment (for example I see Picard as more of a diplomat while Kirk was more of a swashbuckler) - but enjoyed this hub immensely.


Cie 14 months ago

What a disservice to both Troi and Uhura to boil it down to a contest of "who's hotter." Troi is, overall, the more powerful character due to her psychic abilities. Uhura is, however, intelligent and resourceful. But with female characters, of course it boils down to "who has the better bod," amirite fellas? (eyeroll)

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