The early possibilities for the TNG cast

SlashFilm psoted a very interested thing for Trekkies: The list of early actors considered for The Next Generation. When I was reading the list and wondering “Who is that guy?” a few names suddenly popped up like “Hey! I know this guy!”, so I decided to check Memory Alpha to see if any others joined any of the series later.

  • Picard
    • Patrick Stewart: Well, he got the job.
    • Mitch Ryan: Played Riker (Jonathan Frakes) father, apparently in 2 episodes.
    • Roy Thinnes: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Yaphet Kotto: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Patrick Bauchau: Didn’t join the cast.
  • Tasha
    • Lianne Langland: Didn’t join the cast
    • Julia Nickson: Did two different, minor, characters, in two different TNG episodes.
    • Rosalind Chao: Really joined the cast, and with a character the got into two series: first, 9 episides in TNG and then 18 in DS9, as Keiko O’Brien. The curious thing about this is that, in my humble opinion, Keiko and Tasha are completely opposites.
    • Leah Ayers: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Bunty Bailey: Didn’t join the cast.

    The actress that got the job was Denise Crosby, which was selected for another role.

  • Data
    • Mark Lindsay Chapman: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Eric Menyuk: Joined in 3 TNG episodes, as a center character for those episodes.
    • Kevin Peter Hall: Only for one TNG episode.
    • Kelvin Han Yee: Didn’t join the cast.

    (Weird fact: Brent Spinner, who got the job and was considered one the best impersonations of an android, is not in the list.)

  • Ryker
    • Michael O’Gorman: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Gregg Marx: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Jonathan Frakes: Got the job and shown the world what a manly beard looks like.
    • Ben Murphy: Didn’t join the cast.
  • Geordi
    • LeVar Burton: Got the job.
    • Reggie Jackson: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Tim Russ: Did a small appearance in TNG as a thief knocked out cold by Picard in the first half of the episode, made a Klingon in a single DS9 episode and joined Voyager in full time to play Tuvok.
    • Wesley Snipes: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Victor Love: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Chip McCallister: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Clarence Gilyard Jr.: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Kevin Peter Hall: Yes, see above.
  • Beverly
    • Anne Twomey: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Jenny Augutter: Didn’t join the cast.
    • Cheryl McFadden: Yes, she joined the cast as Beverly Crusher. Unsuspecting trekkies know her as Gates McFadden, though.
  • Troi
    • Denise Crosby: Joined the cast, but not as Troi. She got the part for Tasha Yar while Troi was played by Marina Sirtis. The history says that, in the episode Tasha dies and they have her funeral, Sirtis was really crying, as both became really good friends.
  • Wesley
    • J.D. Roth: Didn’t join the cast.