Sci-fi 50: Capt. Jean-Luc Picard

July 31, 2012 | 5:30 p.m.

Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987): You can't "out-Kirk" Kirk. That was the thinking leading up to the launch of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and it was sound. But the notion of an Enterprise captained by a tea-sipping, bald native of France with patrician civility? A bad joke then, it now ranks among TV's most inspired gambles. Patrick Stewart's Picard engaged audiences for seven seasons -- meaning he boldly went to a place that Kirk (with 79 shows) had never been before: triple-digit episodes. (Elliott Marks / Paramount Pictures)

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