"Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. It's five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." With Star Trek: Into Darkness being released in a few weeks, it seems like the time to write an overview of the franchise. Despite what I said in my Star Wars Vs Star Trek post, Star Trek is still an fantastic sci-fi franchise. Trek's optimistic outlook of earth's future is refreshing compared to most sci-fi where we end of with a dystopian government, pollution, or a nuclear apocalypse. There is nothing wrong with those types of sci-fi (Terminator is great), but those concepts have been used to death. Since my father was a fan of Star Trek when I was growing up I was very familiar with the series and characters, particularly the newer ones. Also I have to give credit to Gene Roddenberry for being a trailblazer in sci-fi television medium. This multi part overview of Star Trek will take a look at the Trek TV series and films I have seen and serve as a short of beginners guide for were I recommend newcomers should start. While I would not consider myself a "hardcore Trekkie", I am a fan and I have seen a few documentaries on Trek and many episodes of the various series.
The Original Series (1966–1969)
Star Trek, the series that started it all. Normally I love classic sci-fi, but the series does not hold up well today by any means. The series is hit and miss, there are a few good episodes, but not a lot. There are a few good episodes, in general there not much to like for non-hardcore-Trekkies. It is often overrated for simply being one of the first science fiction series, not one of the best, however I completely understand why fans still enjoy it. Spock is a great character though and Vulcans are the best part of the Trek universe. As a whole the original Star Trek is a decent series, just not one I would recommend for most readers, who are not already fans, it may even discourage further viewing of the franchise.
The Animated Series (1973–1974)
I have yet to see an episode of The Animated Series, however there is a mixed opinion of the series from fans. It is not even considered cannon according to Roddenberry.
The Next Generation (1987–1994)
The Next Generation picks up about 75 years after the Original Series and contains only cameos from the original cast. It is easily my favorite Star Trek series and, in general, is the most liked series of franchise. Although the first few seasons could have been better, the later ones are very good. I have not seen all of the episodes in the series (probably around half) and most I watched several years ago, but compared to the other series, Next Generation is the best. Also Data was cool, he is tied with Spock as my favorite character from the franchise. Overall, it is one of the my favorite TV series I have seen.
Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)
Deep Space Nine (DS9) was a spinoff of the Next Generation taking place around the same time and featured a few characters from Next Generation later in the series. DS9 takes place mostly on a space station, opposed to spaceship, which makes it one of the more unique additions to the franchise. Of the Trek series I have seen the least of DS9 but it is a solid sci-fi series for fans of Next Generation from what I have seen.
Voyager was another spinoff of Next Generation and DS9, however it is generally disliked in general. Voyager was the series that I watched the most and made me a Star Trek fan when I was younger since it was aired frequently. It probably does not hold up as well as I remember it, but it could not have been that terrible, the Many dislike Voyager for reasons unknown to me (haven't found anything that said why), although
From what I have read, Enterprise is disliked by most Trek fans, however it was the first Star Trek that I watched on a regular basis. Enterprise is a prequel to the previous Trek series taking place roughly 100 years before the Next Generation series about earth's first warp-five capable starship.
If you enjoy science fiction I would recommend giving Star Trek is shot sometime. Have you seen the series? Are you a fan? Please comment. Next week I will post my review for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Friday will be the review for the Ender's Game trailer. "Live long and prosper."
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