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So, I was thinking that most episodes, we see all of the TNG cast every episode, but surely there are some episodes where some characters aren't seen. So, my question is which of the main characters from TNG had the most episodes where they were not seen in the episode?

By main, I'm referring to:

  • Picard
  • Riker
  • LaForge
  • Data
  • Troi
  • Worf
  • Crusher
  • Pulaski

Now, some restrictions:

  • Dr Pulaski only counts in the confines of Season 2 i.e. if she was absent in 12 episodes from season 2 and the next character in this ranking was absent for 11 episodes in the entire series, then she would count. In short, her absence in all seasons but for season 2 doesn't count
  • Similarly, Dr Crusher's absence from Season 2 doesn't count
  • Tasha Yar's absence following her death doesn't count.
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    Howling mad.... I mean Lt Reginald Barclay? – Elliott Frisch Aug 25 '15 at 0:22
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    Nice question, +1. I can already tell that there will be problems, though. You should exclude non-first-billed characters such as O'Brien. Only the main officers should count, and perhaps excluding Pulaski, Crusher, Yar. Otherwise, you will be embroiled in technicalities. – Praxis Aug 25 '15 at 0:23
  • ElliottFrisch's comment proves my point. – Praxis Aug 25 '15 at 0:23
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    You'll want to exclude Wesley, too. – Praxis Aug 25 '15 at 0:25
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    I had thought a while back to ask the opposite of this question (which character features in the most episodes), but never got around to it. Feel free to use it if you wish. – Xantec Aug 25 '15 at 21:06
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It's either Deanna Troi or Geordi La Forge, depending on exactly what you count as an absence.

Counselor Troi

There are ten episodes where Marina Sirtis doesn't appear in any capacity:

  1. "Hide and Q"
  2. "Datalore"
  3. "11001001"
  4. "Heart of Glory"
  5. "A Matter of Honor"
  6. "Identity Crisis"
  7. "The Perfect Mate"
  8. "The Inner Light"
  9. "Birthright, Part 1"
  10. "Rightful Heir"

Geordi La Forge

Geordi's absences range from six to eleven, depending on how you count.

There are six episodes where LeVar Burton doesn't appear in any capacity:

  1. "A Matter of Honor"
  2. "Manhunt"
  3. "Captain's Holiday"
  4. "First Contact"
  5. "Rightful Heir"
  6. "Attached"

There are two additional episodes where Geordi appears only as a hallucination or hologram:

  1. "Frame of Mind"
  2. "Thine Own Self"

There are two more episodes where LeVar Burton doesn't appear on-camera, but his voice is heard:

  1. "The Wounded"
  2. "Tapestry"

And there's one episode where stock footage of Burton is used:

  1. "Suddenly Human"

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