Every Show from the Star Trek Franchise

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Image Credit: benttibisson on Deviant Art.

When Gene Roddenberry created the original Star Trek series, it’s hard to believe that he could foresee just how enduring the franchise would become.

Roddenberry made bold choices in his cast’s diversity, his predictions about future technologies, and his take on the Space Western genre.

Star Trek quickly became a cult classic, and many shows based on it took the franchise to new heights, boldly going where no one has gone before.

Star Trek: The Original Series (1966 – 1969)


Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Where To Watch: Netflix, CBS, Hulu, Amazon Prime

Considering that this show was made in the 1960s, the special effects are nothing to sneeze at. They may seem outdated by today’s comparisons, but they might be one of the only aspects of the Original Series that don’t still hold up.

The episodes are self-contained and often campy, but the humor is fun and engaging, with Captain Kirk and Spock trading witty teasing at every opportunity.

 

Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973 – 1974)


Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Where To Watch: Amazon Prime, CBS

Although the producers managed to get most of the original cast to voice their characters, the Animated Series never really took off.

The animation was less than stellar, and the show simply didn’t have the budget for many assets, so fans of the Original Series were disappointed with the Animated Series at the time.

However, nowadays people have come full-circle, and enjoy the Animated Series even with modern sensibilities.

 

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 – 1994)


Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Where To Watch: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, fuboTV, Amazon Prime, Philo

The Next Generation is one of the best entries into the Star Trek franchise.

It gave Roddenberry the opportunity to expand on his world-building, and add more futuristic elements, since it’s set 100 years after the first series.

Captain Picard and Commander Riker lead the way into an empathetic and generous future that humans of any era can admire.

 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999)


Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Where To Watch: Netflix, CBS, Hulu, YouTube TV, fuboTV, Amazon Prime
Starring: Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor

Deep Space Nine picks up during the end of Next Generation, so there aren’t any major technological leaps.

This was the first Star Trek show to take place on a starbase, instead of a ship traversing the known (and unknown) universe.

Commander Sisko and Major Nerys take charge, when a nearby wormhole makes theirs the most strategic starbase in the galaxy.

 

Star Trek: Voyager (1995 – 2001)


Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Where To Watch: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS

Voyager gave Star Trek fans the first female captain in the franchise.

Janeway has her work cut out for her when the USS Voyager and a rebel ship are trapped, many lightyears away, from their home quadrant.

Despite their differences, the Starfleet and Maquis ships must work together, if they have any hope of returning home during their lifetimes.

 

Star Trek: Enterprise (2001 – 2005)


Starring: Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock
IMDB: 7.5/10
Where To Watch: CBS, Amazon Prime, Netflix

Intended as a prequel to the Original Series, Enterprise takes place about a century beforehand.

In a return to the first few series’ formats, Enterprise has self-contained episodes, thus focusing on different challenges each time. Captain Archer works with his sub-commander T’Pol, a Vulcan like Spock, to overcome these challenges and keep the Enterprise on track.

Though it ran for four seasons, Enterprise was eventually canceled due to poor audience ratings and lack of viewership.

When it stopped, it was the first time since 1987 that no Star Trek show was currently on air.

 

Star Trek: Discovery (2017 – Present)


Starring: Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Where To Watch: Hulu, YouTube TV, CBS, fuboTV, Amazon Prime

Twelve years after Enterprise was canceled, the franchise made a comeback with Discovery.

Set a decade before the Original Series events, audiences see Spock as a young man while he and his foster sister, Michael Burnham, fight back against a time-traveling artificial intelligence that seems hell-bent on destroying all sentient life.

A wide variety of alien races, human cyborgs, and entertaining characters comprise Discovery’s ensemble cast.

Unlike other series in this franchise, Discovery is not episodic, and instead tells an overarching narrative from episode to episode.

Though the subject matter is quite dark, there is always a glimmer of hope to hold onto.

 

Star Trek: Lower Decks (2020 – Present)


Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Where To Watch: CBS, Amazon Prime
Starring: Jack Quaid, Jerry O’Connell

In a deviation from the more serious tone of Discovery, Lower Decks was created by Mike McMahan, the writer for the popular series Rick and Morty.

This animated series follows the staff and crew on Starfleet’s least important ship. It focuses on the bizarre and funny issues that the staff must resolve before the officers notice there’s a problem.

Titmouse, the famous animation studio, is currently working on the second season of this show.

 

Star Trek: Picard (2020 – Present)


Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Where To Watch: CBS, Amazon Prime
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Michelle Hurd

As the titular character, Captain Jean-Luc Picard returns for his own series, many years after the Next Generation’s conclusion.

Commander Data, Picard’s dear android friend, gave his life for Picard’s. Haunted by survivor’s guilt, Picard then retires from Starfleet.

However, his retirement ends when an android girl—bearing a strange resemblance to Data—shows up in need of Picard’s help.

He recruits some old friends along his journey to find out what has happened to the androids of their galaxy, and to figure out who or what was responsible for the tragedy that Data gave his life to stop.

After a successful first season, Picard’s second season was commissioned, although the producers have not yet revealed when that season will air.

 

via GIPHY

The Star Trek franchise bears a legacy few sci-fi shows can meet, but that all nonetheless strive to do.

With new spin-offs and expansions of canon storylines or characters always in the works, it appears fans will never have to go without their beloved series.

For more television or sci-fi recommendations, check out the best Simon Pegg movies, the top aliens in all sci-fi media, or the best TV show theme songs.