Is Star Trek Worth Watching? Here’s What We Think for Each Show

Is Star trek franchise worth watching

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Star Trek is one of the most important proprieties in the entirety of the science fiction genre. As such, Star Trek managed to shape the idea of the genre throughout its time. The franchise grew immensely from the time it was first released in the sixties due to its popularity. Because of this, Star Trek is on the watch list for every person willing to get into science fiction. With the number of properties the franchise includes today, the only logical question to ask yourself before starting your Star Trek marathon is whether all of them are worth watching.

  • Article Breakdown
  • The Star Trek franchise is definitely worth watching; however, some installments can be skipped because they offer minimal enjoyment or minimally contribute to the overall story.
  • ‘The Original Series,’ ‘The Next Generation,’ ‘Deep Space Nine,’ ‘Short Treks, and ‘Pickard’ are a definitive must-watch if you’re looking for both interesting stories and a Star Trek experience. All movies are also considered a “must-watch,” with few weaker exceptions.
  • ‘The Animated Series,’ ‘Voyager,’ ‘Enterprise,’ ‘Discovery,’ and ‘Lower Decks’ can be skipped since they are either considered by fans the weakest installments in the series or aren’t even considered canon.

Is ‘The Original Series’ worth watching?

Stat trek the original series

‘The Original Series’, released in 1966, follows the Enterprise crew on a five-year mission to explore the Universe. As the franchise’s first series, it focused a lot on science fiction elements, with most plot points resolved within a single episode. Watching it is essential for newcomers to Star Trek, as it introduces key characters and basically prepares you for the overall story. Despite its late 1960s origin, the series, even in its remastered form, may have slightly dated quality, but this is a minor issue that comes with its age.

If you’re looking for a sci-fi show that checks all boxes when it comes to science-fiction media, ‘The Original Series’ is a perfect fit for you. It’s definitely a go for it on our side.

‘Star Trek: The Animated Series’ is generally not considered to be canon

Star trek the animated series

‘The Animated Series’, released in 1973, continues the story of ‘The Original Series’ with most of the original actors voicing their animated counterparts. The use of animation allowed for more detailed landscapes and immersive alien encounters, bringing the level of quality up a notch overall. However, it’s limited by its time, with choppy animation due to minimal frames. While well-written and offers a fun continuation of ‘The Original Series’, it’s not considered canon by many, so skipping it won’t significantly affect your understanding of the franchise.

Overall, if you’re looking for a strictly canon experience ‘The Animated Series’ is not worth watching.

‘The Next Generation’ might be the best Star Trek has to offer

Star trek the next generation

“The Next Generation,” released in 1987, marks the return to live-action storytelling and follows a new crew on the Enterprise-D, including alien members. It expands upon ‘The Original Series’ themes while introducing new elements like the Klingon plot and species like Borg and Cardassians.

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Many fans consider it the best in the franchise due to its well-written stories, talented cast, and exploration of political and moral issues. Despite its production time, the series delivers believable special effects and is highly recommended for viewing, our conclusion is not only is ‘The Next Generation’ worth watching; it’s a definitive must-watch.

Is ‘Deep Space Nine’ worth watching?

deep space nine

‘Deep Space Nine’, released in 1993, is a direct continuation of ‘The Next Generation’, set on a space station near the strategically important Bajor, which is linked to a stable wormhole. Unlike its predecessors, the series focuses on the ongoing conflict related to the planet. It delves deeper into the morally ambiguous nature of its characters, making it more engaging and thought-provoking.

While the initial seasons introduce new characters and may be slower, the later seasons take full advantage of character development. It’s another must-watch in the Star Trek franchise, with episode descriptions often not doing justice to the extremely interesting plots.

‘Voyager’ is often considered the weakest installment in the franchise

Star trek voyager

‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ released in 1995, follows the USS Voyager and its crew in the distant Delta Quadrant, where they face a 75-year journey back to Earth. While the premise focuses on character relationships and problem-solving, it’s considered by many fans to be the weakest series in the franchise.

The show’s quality varies, with some excellent episodes but also underdeveloped characters and bland leads. Despite its flaws, it’s worth watching as it can still engage viewers and advance the storyline, but you can skip some of the less interesting episodes without missing crucial plot points.

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‘Enterprise’ is not an essential viewing for the franchise

Enterprise

‘Star Trek: Enterprise,’ released in 2001, serves as a prequel to ‘The Original Series,’ exploring Earth’s first spaceship capable of warp 5 speed before the Federation’s establishment. Despite high expectations for its exploration of the Federation’s origins, the series is often considered average and lacks standout episodes.

While it offers solid acting and action sequences, its characters are less likable compared to other franchise favorites. Some fans appreciate the focus on Vulcan culture, and the series showed improvement just before its cancellation. Ultimately, it’s not essential viewing for the franchise, but if you’re interested in the theme and can overlook the opening song, it can be watched as a prequel with the understanding that the franchise improves from that point onward.

Is ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ worth watching?

star trek discovery

‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ launched in 2017 with its latest season in October 2020, is a series known for taking risks that don’t always pan out as expected. Set before ‘The Original Series,’ it centers on the crew of the USS Discovery, a unique starship equipped with a spore drive for temporary assignments during the Enterprise’s refit.

The series has garnered mixed opinions, with some appreciating its distinctiveness but others, especially long-time fans, finding it divergent from the traditional Star Trek formula. It’s darker and lacks the franchise’s typical sense of optimism and unity. If you’re open to a different Star Trek experience, especially considering the series’ potential for growth, it’s worth a watch. However, if you’re seeking a nostalgic, traditional Star Trek feel, you might consider skipping it.

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‘Short Treks’ is a must-watch for people with limited time

Short treks

‘Star Trek: Short Treks,’ released in 2018, offers brief, ten-minute episodes that further explore characters from ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and feature popular characters like Spock. While some background knowledge from other series is helpful, these short episodes effectively set the foundation for upcoming plot points. They provide a refreshing break from the longer Star Trek story arcs, offering a change of pace that appeals to fans.

In addition to the plot-heavy episodes, there are lighthearted and entertaining ones. One highly praised episode, ‘Calypso,’ delivers a short romantic story that defies science fiction clichés and embodies the franchise’s core theme of people caring for each other. With a balanced mix of plot-driven and shorter episodes, ‘Short Treks’ makes the Star Trek experience better, and their brevity makes them a convenient choice for viewers with limited time.

Is ‘Star Trek: Picard’ worth watching?

Pickard

‘Star Trek: Picard,’ introduced in 2020, centers around the beloved character Jean-Luc Picard, portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart, returning to the franchise. Stewart’s return alone generated significant excitement among fans. Despite the potential for nostalgia, the series takes a more down-to-earth approach and introduces new storylines while maintaining a focus on beloved characters.

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It has polished action sequences and, though it’s too early to make a final judgment, the series is promising and it’s still ongoing, so it’s definitely a must-watch if you’re looking for something more current!

‘Lower Decks’ is the newest animated addition to the franchise

Star trek lower decks

‘Lower Decks,’ gives you a unique perspective by focusing on lower-ranking officers aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos. It’s interesting to explore this previously uncharted aspect of the Star Trek universe, but if you’re not drawn to this perspective, you can skip it as it doesn’t significantly connect to the broader Star Trek narrative yet. Given its early stage, it’s worth considering for future potential. The series is currently ongoing with weekly released episodes.

Are ‘The Original Series’ movies worth watching?

Star trek origina cast

The original Star Trek movies, released between 1979 and 1991, were created to meet the demand for Star Trek content following the cancellation of ‘The Original Series.’ While ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ laid the foundation, it struggled to establish the franchise’s identity and was criticized for its static visuals. However, ‘The Wrath of Khan’ marked a significant improvement, often considered the best in the franchise, with an amazing plot involving Kirk facing his past mistakes and a memorable villain in Khan.

The rest of the original series movies continued the success of ‘The Wrath of Khan,’ earning high rankings among fans. ‘The Search for Spock’ followed the emotional aftermath of the previous film, portraying the crew as a close-knit family. ‘The Voyage Home,’ with a lighter tone, is memorable for its time-travel premise involving saving whales.

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‘The Final Frontier,’ while attempting humor like ‘The Voyage Home,’ fell short and featured an underwhelming villain, making it less favored by fans. However, the franchise rebounded with ‘The Undiscovered Country,’ which captured the classic Star Trek essence by exploring themes of post-Cold War peace and the challenges of reconciliation.

Overall, the original Star Trek movies offer a worthwhile viewing experience, with ‘The Motion Picture’ and ‘The Final Frontier’ being the weakest entries in an otherwise highly regarded series.

Are ‘The Next Generation’ movies worth watching?

The Next Generation movies

‘The Next Generation’ movies, released between 1994 and 2002, continue the story from ‘The Next Generation’ series. ‘Star Trek Generations’ explores the intriguing theme of sacrifices in Starfleet but falls short as a passing of the torch movie, given the underwhelming presence of the original cast.

‘Star Trek: First Contact’ stands out as arguably the best in the series, with its action-horror setup working exceptionally well. ‘Star Trek: Insurrection,’ despite its setup to explore The Federation’s moral quandaries, falls flat, resulting in a forgettable experience.

‘Nemesis,’ the series’ final movie, grapples with the intriguing question of Picard’s alternate life path but fails to adequately establish the villain, leading to a lack of dramatic tension. Additionally, the emotional impact of Data’s death is diminished when it’s revealed he has a backup.

While these movies have their flaws, they are not terrible and are worth watching, especially for fans of ‘The Next Generation’ series, though they don’t reach the same heights as some of the earlier films in the franchise.

Kelvin timeline movies are a reboot

Kelvin timeline movies

The Kelvin timeline movies, released between 2009 and 2016, were initially conceived as additions to the existing series but evolved into a sort of reboot. The first film, directed by J.J. Abrams, successfully revitalized the franchise by blending iconic elements with a fresh, engaging world. Despite certain plot issues, it was well-received for its lighthearted, action-packed approach.

The second movie, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ though entertaining as a standalone action film, deviated from the franchise’s core science fiction elements. It tried to follow up on ‘The Wrath of Khan’ but leaned more on imitation than innovation, although its stylish visuals and set design were noteworthy.

‘Star Trek Beyond’ stands out as the best in the series, offering a return to the classic Star Trek feel, reminiscent of ‘The Undiscovered Country.’ It balances familiarity with new perspectives by exploring unique character pairings like Spock and Bones, creating engaging dynamics.

In summary, the Kelvin timeline series is not bad, and the movies provide enjoyable viewing, particularly for long-time fans, as long as viewers understand that it offers a departure from the typical Star Trek experience.

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