Star Trek started a long time ago in the American media in the 1960s, that it has now become more of a religion than just a superhero franchise. The main genre of these tales is science and fiction, as well as some action because well, there are superheroes. At this point in time, it is safe to say that the whole Star Trek franchise, including its films as well as TV shows, is a multi-billion dollar franchise. The media is owned by Viacom CBS. The starting point where these films were becoming successful among the public was with the opening line, which stated “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” All of the Star Trek spinoffs, as well as media among the franchise, become highly popular among the critics as well as the audience as these films and TV shows introduced a new form of entertainment to us in a unique concept about science and fiction.
The media was so profitable back then and has even impacted the culture of a variety of people living in the United States. There are legit so many awards and nominations earned by Star Trek that it is hard to mention them all down at this moment. Also, TV Guide went on to dub it as the most popular cult show to have ever existed. All in all, we can truly say that these films have become a classic among the media of the United States. Well, if you are someone who considers themselves a Trekker, and would want to enter into the world of Star Wars again, then we have got you covered. Here we have mentioned the order of best Star Trek shows, even though all of them are unique in their own regards, we have tried to point out some of the cult classics and rank them according to what the public mostly liked.
Star Trek: The Original Series – Released in 1966
You all might have already guessed that this Original series has to be the most important one among the franchise. I mean, without having the first Star Trek series, there is just no Star Trek. The show starred actor Gene Roddenberry and created a whole new form of theme which was further picked up by the later shows set in the Star Trek universe to follow. Also, this is not everything that The Original Series is famous for. The trio included Kirk as well as Spock and McCoy, and no one can say that they were not in awe of this whole friendship in general.
The show ran on the American air for NBC for quite some while, and especially the first installment of The Original Series is what took the heart of the audience. The whole show is based on science and fiction, which can even be said, as a matter of fact, has been executed flawlessly. There is no denying the fact that the stories of this Star Trek series started to go down a bit after the second season, but it always wins in the end because, without The Original Series, there would be nothing to follow up after.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Released in 1993
Well, we can all agree that the first two seasons of this series were a bit lost. I mean, it was obviously trying to find the final theme on which the whole show could be developed. But at the moment creators found out the instance where they knew what they had to make, we can not have any series better than this one in the whole Star Trek Universe. The show can even be considered as the most amazing science and fiction series that has ever been made for American Television. There were just so many topics that were dealt with in this series, and we know how well each of them was executed on the screen. It covered issues such as religion as we as war and, even at some durations, politics.
Also, the character development provided by the creators was insane. You can not point out even a single character who was not provided the evolution they deserved. On the other hand, this series also included a lot of plots which depends on the previous Star Trek content as a reference as we can clearly see the series developing its branches through it. Also, not to forget, we got Dominion in this series, which is to date, is marked as the best villain in the entire Star Trek franchise.
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Released in 1987
Just like we have talked about the previous Deep Space Nine show of Star Trek, this series too had some trouble while finding its footing in the entertainment industry for two seasons. It came out back in 1987 and was not critically appreciated by the audience so much. Mainly because of how it was oscillating between different themes and was trying to compete for its structure with The Original Series, which is legit, just impossible. But then, when this show finally understood what they want to show to the fans, believe me, it really did gave us some of the most classic episodes that we could ever have in the history of Star Trek. The science and fiction genre employed with this series obviously blew the minds of every fan around, and we can not stress enough the fact that the third season of The Next Generation has to be one of the best stories in the entire Star Trek.
Also, this show starred actor Patrick Stewart, and no one can deny that this talented guy has to be the best actor who has ever held the chair of Captain. On the other hand, along with an amazing plotline, we were also provided with some outstanding characters such as Picard as well as Data, and Worf who have all become sort of icons for the Star Trek fans out there. Well, you will really have to play the press button on this show of the franchise if you have been delaying it till this point in time because this is an official sign from the universe. Also, your mind will literally be blown away when you witness the finale of the show because it is truly extraordinary.
Star Trek: Voyager – Released in 1995
The first thing that caught the eye of the audience with this new Star Trek series at that point was actress Kate Mulgrew in the form of a Captain. Well, you are wrong if you think she was not as good as the captains that came before her because she was excellent. Also, the cast along with whom she was employed, did a great job in bringing all the characters to life. I would not deny, but there surely were some problematic aspects to this show which fans did not approve of, but nevertheless, this Star Trek show is a great watch. It is said that Voyager never lived up to the premise which was intended for it. As the plot goes by, we understand that the series is all about a Federation Starship which has been lost in space for a while now. They are many light years away from their home. Also, they have a crew on their ship, which mainly consists of the former enemies who had to join their forces with the protagonists to work together because there simply is no other option.
But the whole thing is not executed as it is put easily into words. While you are watching Star Trek: Voyager, you will feel the desperate need of the creators trying to prove to you that they have descended from the glory years of The Next Generation as well as The Original Series but failing at it. There are a lot of concepts explored in the Voyager, which I must say, was repeated and resembled the series which has aired before it. This clearly does not mean that there were not enough episodes in the series which stood out among the rest of the Star Trek shows because there were, and they all happened to be terrific. But the thing is, there should be more unique concepts explored for a series that has a plan to run for almost seven seasons.
Star Trek: Discovery – Released in 2017
This series is still running in the Star Trek media and has all the modern concepts which you all can possibly think of. It is the flagship show that the franchise has put up on air and has provided us with three excellent seasons. But well, we can not say much about the reviews because it has been a mixed feeling on this latest series. If we go on to discuss the positive aspects of Discovery, then hands down, the fact that the whole cast is headed by Sonequa Martin-Green is the best thing to ever happen in the entire franchise. The production value of this series is also great among any other show in the franchise till this point in time. Now, you must be wondering about what the negative aspects of this show actually are? Well, then just like any modern franchise, this show does not feel very original to the Star Trek concept. What I mean to say is, that there are just too many similarities between this Star Trek series and other popular superhero franchises we have dominant in the world right now. Another fact that fans did not adore was when the whole prequel scenario meant for this series was not handled in a correct manner and was messed up in various instances. This is what makes the show a tad bit not as great as the shows that have been released before it and come higher on this list. The first two installments of the series are set almost 10 years before the events of The Original Series took place.
This is the point where all the fans were okay with the whole events of the show taking place in the correct order, but things started going south in the third season when the creators decided they want to explore something which they have never done before. The timeline was altered to 1000 years in the future and showed us the events happening at that point in time. There was a mixed feeling about this time jump, with some people loving it while the other Star Trek fans thinking that there is something odd about such a time gap. Nevertheless, this was surely a good thing as the story about a prequel timeline was about to end, and the series, of course, needed some new content to explore. On the other hand, this show also gave a complete journey to Michael Burnham in the process of achieving the chair of Captain. Just because the fact that it has some demerits with the prequel scenario, we have placed Discovery down here. But as we see it progressing among the audiences and doing extremely well, it can be expected that this show might move much higher on this list.
Star Trek: Picard – Released in 2020
This is the latest Star Trek series that the fans have received and surely did explore a lot of unique concepts which we never even thought about before. In this show, we have seen the return of Sir Patrick Stewart who does the part of Jean Luc Picard. The initial story, from the point where Picard started happening, truly amazed the fans with its new concepts and plot. Everyone got highly anticipated for this show, but soon enough, we found out that things are not as promising as they seemed to us in the earlier stages. The plot developed throughout the installments and ultimately landed on the concept of the artificial lifeforms that exist in the universe. Well, we can not help but point out that this is something way more similar to what we have seen in Battlestar Galactica as well as Blade Runner.
Also, not to mention the fact that these latter series have covered this concept in a way much, much better than what Picard is trying to do. The good point about this 2020 series is the fact that we have Stewart as one of the lead roles, and he has been absolutely amazing throughout all the episodes. The entire character arc of Stewart is what kept us going throughout the series and be keen about. I say this because Star Trek: Picard really needs to find its own footing before it decides to run for long seasons. Given the fact that the previous Star Trek shows have a history of finding their own unique concept after two seasons generally, we can expect this one to find its own line too. There are too many fan theories that the audience wants that might help Picard to climb up the rank ladder among all the other Star Trek TV series.
Star Trek: Enterprise – Released in 2001
Rick Berman has been such an amazing actor in the Star Trek shows, and we can not agree more that his tenure in the franchise can be dubbed as a golden era. This show marks itself as the fourth content, which was created in the time of Rick Berman and served us with a different level of science and fiction which we never knew we needed but desperately do. We have only received four installments of Enterprise, which makes it the shortest Star Trek TV show. Now, you all must be wondering why we have put this title beneath the shows mentioned above on this list? Well, there is a solid reason for that. First of all, this new Star Trek show felt kind of repeated when we start to compare it with the previous shows which have been released in the decade prior to it.
All this while, there are zero complaints with the cast lead by Scott Bakula, who went on to enact the character of Jonathan Archer. Well, all the negative factors of this show do not mean that we never got some good content from it. I mean, the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise has to be the most wonderful one in this franchise and felt like an amazing prequel installment but sadly, the show ended shortly after it. Given the fact that the series had four seasons, out of which only the fourth one was much appreciated by the fans, we can not put it above the aforementioned series in this list. On the other hand, you just can not have any positive words for the theme song of this series which was just straight-up nauseous.
Star Trek: The Animated Series – Released in 1973
We can not say that this animated series set in the universe of Star Trek is a bad one, but we also can not compare it with the ones put above it. Surely there were loads of positive facts that were employed in this animated series. First of all, we know how animation can reach a higher level of fantasy than living and action could ever touch. This was something that the creators knew pretty well and took advantage of, and we can not be happier about it. Also, the entire Star Trek world is based on science as well as fiction, and what is better than an animated series to explore it in a more effective way, right? Now, we saw the episode called Yesteryear in which the characters traveled through time. It also gave us a powerful insight into the childhood of Spock.
Now, what is negative about this show? First of all, there was a big-budget constraint in this animated series because of which the creators could not utilize the entire pros of having an animated science and fiction series. Also, the voice actors employed in the show did not record their parts together, and when you watch this series, you will get the exact idea of what I am talking about. There are some good bits about this series too, like the fact that it followed the direct footsteps forged by The Original Series and kept reminding the fans what the true origin of this franchise is. Also, some fans even think that if we were provided with some more content from this show, it might have ranked much higher in the eyes of fellow Trekkers.