I was wondering ... what do you think are the unique strengths and contributions of each series to the total trek
saga? As for me, I will list them in order of my having seen them so this is most probably a biased view from someone growing up in the 80's (perhaps i will attribute stuff to , say , TNG while TOS has done it before (but I have seen TOS as last series).
-- TNG: moral dilemmas, intriguing sci-fi plots with original concepts (a lot of the good stuff has later been done to death, of course, but that is a different matter. For example, take the holodeck. It can be used as an excuse for lazy writing, still there have been excellent stories revolving around the holodeck, such as message in a bottle. Same for the Borg, I think their original depiction was brilliant).
-- DS9: the moral 'grey zone', the idea that the galaxy has a lot more room than for only starfleet ideals, sweeping grand arc stories, involving politics, strategies and religion .
-- VOY. This one is a bit hard for me. That's not to say that I think it was a bad series, I've just not seen that many concepts I thought to be really interesting that I haven't seen in some form in one of the other series. Perhaps the feeling of being in a truly alien part of the galaxy with no 'home' to fall back upon.
-- ENT. The idea of starfleet actually being the underdog
with almost all other species having superior technology an a quadrant that you know
will be the home of starfleet but in this century still feels quite alien and unsafe. And even your 'friends' the vulcans are assholes you'd rather not ask for help if not absolutely necessary.
-- TOS. Depiction of relations among the big three. Somehow, this seems to be done better and more subtly than in later series. I.e. when watching this series, I really get the feeling McCoy, Spock and Kirk are friends, despite all the bickering (and also despite all the obligatory 'I'm glad I'm not an irrational human' puns). In comparison, a lot of the characters in later series seem much more stereotyped to me, even though a lot of charactes were
interesting. Also the feeling of not being ashamed to impose an ideal on other civilizations, or to fight for it (I don't mean that the first one is necessarily a good thing in real life, but still, after seeing some TNG 'prime directive' eps, i find it very
refreshing to watch a 'What ? In this alien culture, the master computer enslaves the human population? WE HAVE TO DESTROY THAT COMPUTER AND TEACH THEM THE TRUE MEANING OF FREEDOM!' - Kirk episode).
So... what do you think ?