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Louis January 8 2008 05:54 PM

New to Star Trek
I don't know if this is the right place to post, and I apologize in advance if you hear this topic all the time. But I would like to hear your recommendations.

I've always wanted to check the Star Trek series out, but never actually took action. For the past few weeks I've been scanning websites, looking for the 'right' series for me. Could you guys/girls help me out here, and perhaps state the best series I should start off with.

Many thanks!

OmahaStar January 8 2008 06:08 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
Well that very much depends on you, as each series is different.

The original - Classic stories, holds up quite well. It's action on the edge of the frontier, with one man in charge, leading the way.

The Next Generation - Follows up the original some 80 years into the future. Technology can do anything now, including create people (holodecks). They are explorers, still, but it's more of a committee, though the Captain is still in charge, they have board meetings in nearly every episode, to discuss things and think them through.

Deep Space 9 - Another series set on the edge of the frontier, but they don't really go anywhere, as it's on a space station. There is a wide variety among the cast, as it's the largest cast of the series. There is more or less an overall arc to this series, and it's best to watch from beginning to end. It's not necessary to see the other series to enjoy this.

Voyager - Two ships get flung to the other side of the galaxy, one gets destroyed, so the two crews must work together to get home. They are under the command of a female captain (the only female lead in any of the series). This captain's morals are ambiguous at best, and change more frequently than her hairstyles.

Enterprise - This is the most recent series, and takes place 100 years before the original series. The idea is that there was an Enterprise before Kirk's Enterprise, and things are more primitive. Taken on its own, without the Trek connection, it's an ok series. When viewed as part of the Trek series, continuity with the other series is nearly non-existent.

My suggestion to you is to go to Netflix and rent the first dvd from each of the series. Watch the pilots for each (with the exception of the original series, each pilot is two hours long, the original was one hour). See which you like best, and continue from there.

Navaros January 8 2008 06:28 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
I recommend to watch TOS first. Followed by DS9. In my view they are by far the best Trek series - both masterpieces. The other 3 series range from medicore to very bad. TOS and DS9 are the only ones with strong characters, strong stories, internal conflict, and amazing acting. Things which the "official descriptions" don't make clear are lacking from the other 3.

Mr. Laser Beam January 8 2008 06:28 PM

Re: New to Star Trek

OmahaStar said:When viewed as part of the Trek series, continuity with the other series is nearly non-existent.

:guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw:

Oh, one other thing: :rolleyes:

misskim86 January 8 2008 06:30 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
Ok this is what made me a trekkie.

Watch The Next Generation from start to finish.

Then watch Deep space nine start to finish.

These two shows shares a lot of cast, and their stories are shared some. Also they are the absolutely best shows. Voyager never lived up to its name and Enterprise never really went anywhere. TOS (the 60s show) is fine and all but I'm sorry it didn't age well. You shoudl absolutely watch movie 1-6 though as they are like a small series in themselves

Anyway if you follow these instructions you are a trekkie for life.

I went from totally non caring about Trek to a very big fan

22 Stars January 8 2008 07:00 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
It depends how old you are, and if you want to put the shows in the proper context, not just in the Trek timeline, but in actual history. I urge you to watch TOS, but maybe watch the top 10 episodes, that are generally considered the best. City on the Edge, Space Seed (ties right into Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Doomsday Machine, Trouble with Tribbles and maybe a good 'Federation episode' like Errand of Mercy or The Enterprise Incident. Don't try to sit and watch all 79 right away as you will quickly realize any series can be hit or miss and might take you out of a greater undersanding of what Trek was.

If you like these few old episodes, then by all means, watch them all, they all have something that we die-hard fans love, or love to hate.

Then move on to TNG, I don't think you should skip a whole series just because some love others more. Sample TNG, the pilot Encounter at Farpoint, then skip to some of the better shows. Big Goodby, The Neutral Zone (for continuity's sake), Best of Both Worlds, Family, Inner Light etc. etc.

Do the same for the others, remembering that DS9 started towards the end of TNG run, so there is some great cross-over and tie ins that enrich the trek universe and enjoy it, for your own personal reasons.

Tralis January 8 2008 08:04 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
The Original - Some stories hold up much better than others. The good episodes watch like a classic film where the stories are good enough to ignore differences in style and production value. Most episodes show their seams a bit more but are still entertaining. Some are either horribly dated or just plain campy. The Original is probably the least consistent of all the series, both in terms of continuity and quality.

The Next Generation - 100 years after the Original Series with fancier tech but same idea of exploration. Seasons One and Two feel like the Original but with worse characters and better production values. Season Three the show starts to find its voice. TNG is consistently watchable and entertaining if not excelent starting Season Three with characters who developed just deep enough to make interesting stories, although they can sometimes feel a bit two-dimensional. Many of the staff writers are very good and craft great stories within the confines of the setting.

Deep Space 9 - Set on a strategic outpost in the star system of an important species that wants to join the Federation, near a major enemy to the Fed, and also near a fast passage to a location halfway across the galaxy with a new enemy for the Federation. Deep Space Nine builds on the universe The Next Generation laid down and adds characters that are deeper and come with more inherent conflict. The show also has a very large cast of recurring characters that may play a very large role in a few episodes, but are not part of the main cast. Seemingly one-time guest characters often come back. It also has a story that builds from beggining to end, making the series feel tighter than others. The First Season has a few great episodes but most of the First Season is much weaker than the rest. Don't listen to the critisms that the show is bottled on the station and doesn't go anywhere; three large warp-capable shuttles and later a warship permantly assigned to DS9 allow the show to go to many, many other locations.

Voyager - Set on a ship that got sent to the other edge of the galaxy, kind of a Lost in Space but Trek. The pilot sets the show up for inherent conflict and interesting dilemas such as worrying about supllies like nuBSG. Instead, starting in the second episode, you can see the show slowly zip down its fly and piss on all this. The show has very good production values in terms of sets and special effects. The characters change personalities like hairstyles and the writers could not even remember basic facts about the characters like their age (Tuvok's age is given three times, each time different, and not to account for aging). The show is consitently slickly produced and postively vapid with a few good episodes that are the exception.

Enterprise - Set 100 years before the Original Series on the first Earth starship fast enough to go exploring. Season One and Two feel like Voyager on a new ship with characters that are even flatter, if such a thing were possible (Though to be fair most of VOY's characters weren't as flat as their personality was completely malleable to suit the writer's whim of the week.) During these two Seasons thw whole prequel thing is totally wasted. Season Three experiments with DS9-style continuing plot arc and a little more militarism, which has mixed sucess but does a lot to improve the show. Season Four actually does its work as a prequel and has interesting stories by virtue of great guest characters.

Lindley January 8 2008 08:22 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
What sort of things interest you in TV shows you watch?

Louis January 8 2008 08:27 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
Thanks so much for the replies, much appreciated!

Lindley - I like to watch a series with an interesting cast of characters, along with an engaging storyline.

Lindley January 8 2008 09:14 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
If you're looking for an ongoing storyline, give DS9 a try. The arc doesn't start to become apparent until season 2, though.

With the exception of seasons 3+4 of Enterprise, the other Trek series consist primarily of standalone stories. There are a few recurring bad guys and the like, but little in the way of an actual story arc.

If you're adventurous a bit, you may want to give some of the fan-created Trek shows a try:
Of those, Hidden Frontier has by far the most episodes produced. Their quality was a bit dodgy at first, but they've improved massively since then. The 23rd-century (TOS-style) shows tend to use physical sets, while the 24-century shows tend to use green screened virtual sets. What's particularly fun, at least to me, is that we're now seeing a tendency for various fan-series to do crossovers with each other.

captcalhoun January 8 2008 09:54 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
this is entirely the wrong place to ask, because fandom is so fractured for every reply, you'll get a different answer, each claiming one show is the best over the others.

Personally, I like DS9 the most, followed by TOS, ENT, TNG and VGR.

Louis January 8 2008 10:23 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
Thanks for the advice, Lindley.

Captcalhoun - This topic helped me quite a lot, actually. Each reply gave me a definition of each series, which was helpful.

But I know where you're coming from - Each person has his/her own opinion, but I just wanted to hear a few suggestions, that's all.

misskim86 January 8 2008 10:39 PM

Re: New to Star Trek
Bear in mind you get a LOT more out of DS9 if you've watched all of TNG first.

TNG is really the default show people should watch first.

Malcom January 8 2008 10:44 PM

Re: New to Star Trek

OmahaStar said:
Voyager They are under the command of a female captain (the only female lead in any of the series). This captain's morals are ambiguous at best, and change more frequently than her hairstyles.

None of the other captains took moral shortcuts. Ever.

Let's all say this together. "None of the other captains took moral shortcuts." There, feel better? Still doesn't make it true.

Malcom January 8 2008 10:45 PM

Re: New to Star Trek

Louis said:
Thanks so much for the replies, much appreciated!

Lindley - I like to watch a series with an interesting cast of characters, along with an engaging storyline.

You'll enjoy something about all the Treks then.

My advice is to start with the Original Series, then pick whichever series is on Spike.

Oh, and stay away from this board for about two years.

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