Hey folkses. Mango overlord Julien here.
So CBS has released the latest image and teaser for the Star Trek TV series for its streaming service (see the video at the end of this post). Now this is a real tease of a teaser because all you get are some generic space images, a sweeping Star Trek score and the text “new worlds, new characters, new planets” blah blah blah. So everything is new. We get it. Tell us something we want to know.
So it got me thinking about the best Star Trek series so far and I decided to rank them in descending order. I’ve left out The Animated Series because I have only seen a couple of episodes and I was not fond of the animation. So on to the completely unscientific, highly subjective and biased list:
#5 – Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005)
We start with the last Trek series on television screens. Now as a longtime Trekkie I REALLY wanted to like Enterprise. Really, really wanted to. But I couldn’t.
I loved the spunky Trip, the quirky Phlox and to look at T’Pol though her character arc was a bit uneven. I enjoyed the final season when they dipped into Original Series lore. There were some good episodes but most were dull and paint by numbers.
Scott Bakula, who I enjoyed in Quantum Leap, was unimpressive and inconsistent as Captain Jonathan Archer. WORST CAPTAIN EVER! The trio of Reed, Sato and Mayweather were unremarkable and I had no interest in them whatsoever. They should have all been given red shirts and offed. And don’t get me started and that ridiculous theme song. Bleech!
When Enterprise was cancelled – ending 18 consecutive years of Trek on TV – it was just starting to get interesting but after mostly squandering three seasons who can blame the powers that be. And don’t get me started on that dreadful scenario and what they did to Trip. #triplives
#4 – Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001)
I had a lot of fun with the fourth Trek series. We traveled to the Delta quadrant and encountered all sorts of strange and interesting aliens; the hunter Hirogen are a personal favorite.
Kate Mulgrew, the first female captain to lead a series, showed great strength and wisdom. Robert Picardo was hilarious as the holographic Doctor and Jeri Ryan was a sexy bad mama jamma as Seven of Nine. The other characters also had some cool moments and none were dull a la Enterprise.
The stories were hit or miss but there was always something there to enjoy. A good time.
#3 – Star Trek The Original Series (1966-1969)
The great granddaddy of them all. There was nothing before and has been nothing since The Original Series.
We first meet the wonderful trinity of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. We have our first introduction to logical Vulcans, war-like Klingons and scheming Romulans. There are brilliant episodes like Amok Time, The Doomsday Machine and Balance of Terror that still hold up well today.
The Original Series does not rank higher on my list because when it is bad it is terribly bad (see Turnabout Intruder, Spock’s Brain and The Way to Eden) but it deserves all the love and iconic status.
#2 – Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
Jean-Luc Picard. BEST CAPTAIN EVER. Seriously, no one can top Patrick Stewart’s performance. He brings so much dimension and heart to the character you fully believe his crew will follow him to the ends of the galaxy and back.
We delve deep into Klingon society via Worf, who is iconic in his own right. Data brings wit and humanity, Riker is a superb leader and Geordi is fun. Wesley Crusher is, well, Wesley. The less said about him the better.
From Q to the Cardassians to the Ferengi we get to meet so many aliens and, unlike The Original Series, really feel like we are in an expansive, populated galaxy. And the Borg, no one beats the Borg. They are the best.
When TNG was on top of its game no sci-fi show could touch it and even when it was not so good it was still enjoyable.
#1 – Star Trek Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)
Please lower your phasers. Yes, I put DS9 after TNG on my list. Let me explain.
Now I adore TNG. It’s pretty dang good. But DS9 was just something else. Avery Brooks as Captain (originally Cmdr.) Benjamin Sisko is mesmerising to watch. Armin Shimerman as Quark was a riot. The main cast and secondary characters, like the mysterious Elim Garak, all had their moments to shine.
Now the early seasons started off a bit derivative but when the show became serialised it took off and never stopped. The saga of the Dominion War and interlocked story lines had me hooked from week to week. Federation, Klingon and Romulan ships together battling against the Dominion and Cardassian fleets in all out wow. This is next level Trek boys and girls.
Instead of a perfect Federation and crew as we got in TNG here we had flawed characters who made mistakes and paid prices. There were stakes and you felt them. And we delved even further into the alien cultures of the Klingons, Cardassians, Bajorans, Ferengi et cetera. Sure we had some duds of episodes here and there and some people were not too happy that they removed the exploration aspect. But we got to explore characters and plots in a grittier and more realistic galaxy. And that is why DS9 is my favourite Trek series of all time.
So what do you think of my list? Does the list of the Julien outweigh the lists of the few, or the one? How would you rank them? Do comment below and as always feel free to like and subscribe.