No matter how successful the newest iteration of Star Trek is, there will always be a part of me that compares them to the original Trek crew.  Certainly there are talented actors on Abrams’ V.2 Trek project, able to make the characters their own, but there may never be an ensemble that affects me the way the 1966 cast could.  Of course, it should be noted that I am a sucker for a good “team”, whether it be Ted Mosby and his pals or the cruelly and criminally underrated Justice League Detroit squad of my youth, and breaking down the archetypes and roles of those teams is how I fill many an idle hour.  (For the record, for all the static I’ve given Rodrigo during sessions of Critical Hit, the idea of party roles is one that has grown on me, especially when you figure that Torq and Montgomery Scott fill a similar slot in their respective groups.)  This, in turn, begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) admits that Captain Reynolds and his ragtag crew are incredibly compelling as well, asking: What is the most perfectly balanced ensemble cast in all of pop culture?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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13 Comments

  1. randolph defreese
    December 8, 2013 at 11:39 am — Reply

    Hands down the original Star Trek crew.i would go with the Stargate SG-1 cast next.

  2. Oldcomicfan
    December 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    I’d also have to vote for the original cast of Star Trek. Second in my mind would be Jim West and Artimas Ward from the original Wild Wild West (in my reality, that 1999 abortion with Will Smith does not exist). Third in my book were Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper and William Tallman, the cast of the Perry Mason series, which went on for 11 or 12 seasons and remains one of my favorite TV shoes to this day. Fourth place would be the cast of the original Hawaii 5-0.

    You’ll note I include no comic books here because in my experience, which dates back to the early 60s, ensemble or team books rarely work well. Either the stories were fractured among too large a cast of characters, or only a few of the cast were highlighted, giving the rest of the group short shift. Team books were what we bought and read after we’d finished off all the good comic books for any given month, and not something we bought by choice.

    • SmarkingOut Adam
      December 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm — Reply

      In twenty years of reading comics, I don’t think a solo character book has been in my top three at any point. I’ve loved various incarnations of the X-Men, the New Warriors, Excalibur, the Runaways, the Havok led X-Factor, and others over the years. It was only if I had money and time left over that I would pick up Spider-Man, Captain American, Wolverine or whoever. Some people may have ignored the team books until after the solos like you did, but I have always been the opposite on that one. I think there are very valid reasons to like both. For me, I like that the team book could focus on anyone at any time. Bizarrely, Strong Guy could be the focal point for three issues because some bad guy is targeting his specific power, etc. I also liked the interplay between characters that didn’t like each other, characters that really liked each other and characters that were unsure about each other. It’s the same thing I like about TV shows. Give me a good ensemble cast over a strong lead.

    • December 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm — Reply

      Wasn’t it Artemus Gordon?

      • Oldcomicfan
        December 9, 2013 at 8:31 am — Reply

        You’re probably right. I haven’t seen it in thirty some odd years, and when you get to be my age, you can’t remember all the details perfectly. I am happy if I can remember pants in the morning… :P

  3. Aubreii
    December 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm — Reply

    Firefly. Without doubt. Also galaxy quest if it counts.

  4. December 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm — Reply

    I can’t argue with the original Trek crew. After all, look how many series tried to emulate the same formula (with only a few actually being successful).

  5. December 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm — Reply

    How abour the crew of the Axalon from Beast Wars?

  6. Frank
    December 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm — Reply

    I would have to add DS9. They had a great cast of ‘regulars’ and a couple of semi-regulars like Andrew Robinson – “Garak”, Marc Alaimo – “Dukat” and JG Hertzer – “Martok”. This was a great cast that gelled after a few seasons.

    • December 9, 2013 at 10:36 am — Reply

      A lot of my friends absolutely despise DS9 despite it being one of my favorites (although I will admit the first couple seasons are kinda lacking), so whenever anyone asks why I like it, I usually just say Garak as one of my reasons.

  7. December 9, 2013 at 9:31 am — Reply

    I’d have to say the Planetiers. They would have been perfect if Captain Planet hadn’t have gone rogue.

  8. December 9, 2013 at 10:42 am — Reply

    Not to state the obvious (nor sound like a tedious fanboy) but the Torqletones are up there as well! The addition of Trelle rounded out the group and created the sympathetic/non-“just wipe ’em out” flavor the group had been lacking. :)

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