The 10 Best Duos In The Star Trek Universe, Ranked
Each series in the Star Trek universe follows the crew of a Starfleet ship—more often than not the U.S.S. Enterprise, but not exclusively—as they boldly go where no one has gone before. These crews are tightknit and can often start to feel like a family since the only company they have for long stretches of time in the farthest reaches of outer space are each other.
All of the characters have bonded and bounced off of each other at certain points as the writers would pair them up in different episodes, but some formed stronger bonds than others. Here are the top 10 character duos in the Star Trek universe.
10 Picard and Beverly
Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher always had great chemistry across seven seasons of The Next Generation, building on a strong friendship that was clearly already there. They had a lengthy history together, since Picard knew Beverly’s late husband from his Starfleet days and, as Picard’s doctor, Beverly was practically inside his head.
Picard developed strong relationships with everyone on his crew throughout the course of the show because he was a great captain—arguably an even greater captain than Kirk was—but due to his history with Beverly, she’ll always have a special place in his heart, and vice versa.
9 Archer and Shran
The Star Trek franchise has always been focused on taking social issues from our world and transferring it to an intergalactic sci-fi world. The character of Shran in Star Trek: Enterprise is an example of a mildly racist alien, referring to Captain Jonathan Archer and other humans as “pinkskins,” which fans can only infer is an Andorian slur.
Yet, Archer lets him get away with it because they have a Training Day-style mismatched buddy cop dynamic going on. It’s a shame that Enterprise was canned after four seasons, because the writers planned to give Shran a larger role in season 5, bringing him onto the Enterprise crew.
8 Bones and Spock
Over the course of The Original Series and the ensuing film franchise, Bones and Spock bonded over being the only two guys who could ever talk any sense into Kirk. They were both rational men of science, so they had a lot in common. They traded so much banter and bickering throughout the short-lived show’s three seasons—not to mention the ensuing series of movies—that they’ve often been compared to an old married couple by the Star Trek fan base.
When Spock was playing 3D chess against a computer and Bones called him “the most cold-blooded man I’ve ever known,” Spock thanked him like it was a compliment.
7 Data and Geordi La Forge
One of the sweetest friendships in Star Trek: The Next Generation was the one shared by Data and Geordi La Forge. According to LeVar Burton, their relationship was even closer in the original script for the pilot: “There was a scene that Gene Roddenberry wrote between Geordi and Data that established their relationship. And, in that scene, Geordi and Data discussed how Geordi’s eyes and Data’s brain saw the world in a very similar way. They saw the truth of the world around them. And, even though [that] never made it to the pilot episode, the relationship between Geordi and Data certainly did.”
6 Odo and Quark
Star Trek fans have noticed more and more classic Odo/Quark moments as they’ve been rewatching Deep Space Nine in the years since it went off the air. It’s in the little moments, like when Odo leaves in the season 4 episode “Broken Link” and Quark hints that he hopes he’ll return someday without losing any of his signature cynical edge.
The dynamic shared by Odo and Quark, being the only two who really understand each other, was easily one of the most fun elements in Deep Space Nine that helped to make it the underdog of the Star Trek universe. There was even talk of a spin-off at one stage.
5 Picard and Q
Q wasn’t a major character in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but, following his introduction in the pilot episode (“Encounter at Farpoint”), the writers made him a recurring character, because he developed such a strong relationship with Jean-Luc Picard in just one brief appearance.
Q’s role as the cosmic decider over whether or not the human race presents a serious threat to the universe led to plenty of dramatic moments with the iconic starship captain, while his role as a sort of mentor and teacher to Picard led to just as many comedic moments. They were an all-round great duo.
4 Kirk and Bones
James T. Kirk and Leonard “Bones” McCoy didn’t really have a special on-screen relationship until the “Kelvin Timeline” reboot franchise gave them more of a backstory. Chris Pine’s Kirk met Karl Urban’s Bones at Starfleet Academy after being encouraged by Christopher Pike to sign up.
The pair developed such close chemistry in the first movie that J.J. Abrams decided to open the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, by giving them the spotlight. Kirk and Bones are fleeing an alien race through a red-tinged forest on a far-off planet, sort of like an intergalactic spin on the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
3 Bashir and Garak
These two were so close that there have even been rumors that the writers of Deep Space Nine planned to make them a couple at one point. These reports haven’t been confirmed, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that was true because they were basically attached at the hip and got along like the best of friends.
They always had each other’s back and genuinely seemed to enjoy simply being around one another. It was actually quite heartwarming to watch, and one of the many endearing elements that make Deep Space Nine one of the most underrated entries in the Star Trek franchise.
2 Picard and Riker
Fans are excited to see the reunion of Jean-Luc Picard and his old pal William Riker in the former’s upcoming spin-off series for CBS’ streaming service. Jonathan Frakes has also directed a couple of episodes of the new show, and he says he’s “nervous,” but that he's also excited about his return to the universe, especially alongside Patrick Stewart. “I hadn’t done it for...Nemesis was what, 17 years, 18 years [ago]? Luckily, it was with my old pal, and I had just directed two episodes of the show," Frakes stated. "So, I did [it] with Patrick, who is just...he’s crushing it on this series. He’s just on fire.”
1 Kirk and Spock
The original Star Trek duo is still the greatest. At first, when they started working together on the U.S.S. Enterprise (and this is something that J.J. Abrams’ reboot series with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto has nailed about the characters), James T. Kirk’s distracting passion and Spock’s calculated logic clashed until they figured out a way to make them work together.
Kirk appeals to Spock’s emotionally vulnerable human side, but not his cold-blooded Vulcan side. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy played their love/hate relationship, which was a lot more love than hate, perfectly (and so did Pine and Quinto, frankly).