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#1 Edited by gaminghooligan (1447 posts) -

but I want to remedy that. After listening to last weeks bombcast and hearing Brad talk about the show with the Tested guys, I want to get into the show. I'm a huge sci-fi geek, love Phillip K Dick and Asimov. My question is where do I start? Should I go back to the Shatner stuff or skip to Next Gen? I have seen the Abrams movie, and I liked it a lot, but my friend who is a huge Trekkie said that I may not feel the same way about the show. So I reach out to any fans of the show for advice on where to begin.

UPDATE: So I started with TNG since it was the most recommended, 1st episode was really really cool and I can say for sure that as someone who replaced his cable with Netflix/Hulu these will all get watched. Also I wanted to thank everyone who replied for the advice, read everything, so after I finish TNG I think I'm heading to the original and the movies. As I have the next episode on as I type it is really making me want to play the mmo lol. Once again, thank you guys for all the replies, this is the reason I stick with GB as my forum community of choice these days.

#2 Posted by Hunkulese (2724 posts) -

Watch TNG from start to finish but commit to it because the first few seasons aren't always great.

#3 Posted by CaptainTightPants (2834 posts) -

@gaminghooligan: Why don't you just watch the Pilot episodes of a few and see if you enjoy them? I jumped into the original series without any real knowledge of the universe and I found it to be enjoyable.

#4 Posted by pyromagnestir (4324 posts) -

Deep Space Nine is the only Star Trek worth watching.

OK maybe not only... but it's certainly the Star Trek most worth watching.

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#5 Posted by ShaggE (6456 posts) -

I'd start with TNG. Also, you don't necessarily have to watch the majority of episodes in order, so find a well-received standalone episode or story arc and have at it.

#6 Posted by Tally_Pants (591 posts) -

The Next Generation... it just can't be stressed enough. I also really enjoyed Deep Space 9. But definitely start with TNG.

#7 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

Next Generation or DS9 are both solid choices. I'm a bigger fan of DS9 myself, but I think you might get more out of it if you have a better understanding of how the 'world' of Star Trek works. I love the original series too, but it's not for everybody. Basically, avoid Voyager and Enterprise and you'll be ok!

#8 Edited by Jay_Ray (1101 posts) -

TNG and DS9 are the best. In both cases they only get really good in the third/fourth season. Still start them on season 1, while they can be kind of cheesy there are key episodes that have major impacts in the later season.

Edit: If you are curious about TOS crew I would recommend just watching the first 6 Star Trek movies.

#9 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4605 posts) -

Any Next Generation episodes after the first two seasons are probably going to be the easiest entry point; where you start doesn't particularly matter, they're mostly all standalone 'adventure of the week' stuff. Look into the original series if you're still curious, some of it still holds up. I never bothered with the later series (Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise) because they all looked terrible, but some people seem to like them. But like everyone's said, definitely start with TNG.

#10 Posted by falserelic (5437 posts) -

I never really watched star trek. I only seen a few episodes and movies with my dad.

#11 Posted by Milkman (16800 posts) -

TNG is the essentials. Maybe skip the first season but if you really want to get into it, you should probably suffer through it. As for the original series, the show can be real tough to go back to but the movies are great. If you still want more, get into DS9.

#12 Posted by Aas (603 posts) -

Start with TNG. Not sure what season you should start on though, the prevailing opinion is that the first few seasons are a bit weak. Rule of thumb: if Riker has a beard: watch it.

#13 Posted by Skytylz (4033 posts) -

@Milkman said:

TNG is the essentials. Maybe skip the first season but if you really want to get into it, you should probably suffer through it. As for the original series, the show can be real tough to go back to but the movies are great. If you still want more, get into DS9.

I started TNG About a year ago for the first time and not knowing what it turns into makes the first season or two bearable. I started to get into and was making my way through it fine, Best of Both Worlds was definitely when I got hooked and I watched the rest really quickly?

#14 Posted by triviaman09 (802 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

Deep Space Nine is the only Star Trek worth watching.

OK maybe not only... but it's certainly the Star Trek most worth watching.

This is the most true statement.

#15 Edited by Falx (347 posts) -

TNG is my favourite, but it might be better to start with DS9 imo. (edit: damnit why did i put voyager?)

#16 Edited by bucifer (88 posts) -

You've NEVER seen any of Star Trek series? How is that even possible? I don't think you can even call yourself a sci-fi fan if you've never seen Star Trek, Star Wars and The Twilight Zone. Get on it right now, watch TNG and maek sure to start with the first season because the series frequently makes reference to previous episodes.

#17 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

TNG and DS9 are by far the best but TOS definitely still has value as well.

#19 Posted by Hunkulese (2724 posts) -
@Skytylz

@Milkman said:

TNG is the essentials. Maybe skip the first season but if you really want to get into it, you should probably suffer through it. As for the original series, the show can be real tough to go back to but the movies are great. If you still want more, get into DS9.

I started TNG About a year ago for the first time and not knowing what it turns into makes the first season or two bearable. I started to get into and was making my way through it fine, Best of Both Worlds was definitely when I got hooked and I watched the rest really quickly?

Accidental question marks make every post more interesting.
#20 Posted by bucifer (88 posts) -

@Hunkulese: Offtopic ?@Hunkulese said:

@Skytylz

@Milkman said:

TNG is the essentials. Maybe skip the first season but if you really want to get into it, you should probably suffer through it. As for the original series, the show can be real tough to go back to but the movies are great. If you still want more, get into DS9.

I started TNG About a year ago for the first time and not knowing what it turns into makes the first season or two bearable. I started to get into and was making my way through it fine, Best of Both Worlds was definitely when I got hooked and I watched the rest really quickly?

Accidental question marks make every post more interesting.

Off topic?

#21 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@Aas said:

Start with TNG. Not sure what season you should start on though, the prevailing opinion is that the first few seasons are a bit weak. Rule of thumb: if Riker has a beard: watch it.

I've just started watching through TNG again, and yeah, I just can't get over beardless Riker. But I figure if I can deal with Wesley Crusher, I can deal with beardless Riker.

That's one thing that I think makes DS9 better, Jake and Nog were actually pretty decent characters that didn't make me wince every time they came on screen, and they way they were each other's foil actually worked out really well.

#22 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3327 posts) -

You don't need to go back to Shatner but the original series is pretty damn amazing (and it's not very long). You have really nothing to lose watching them both.

#23 Edited by NTM (7381 posts) -

@gaminghooligan said:

but I want to remedy that. After listening to last weeks bombcast and hearing Brad talk about the show with the Tested guys, I want to get into the show. I'm a huge sci-fi geek, love Phillip K Dick and Asimov. My question is where do I start? Should I go back to the Shatner stuff or skip to Next Gen? I have seen the Abrams movie, and I liked it a lot, but my friend who is a huge Trekkie said that I may not feel the same way about the show. So I reach out to any fans of the show for advice on where to begin.

You could watch the Original Series, but the one main thing to take away from that is that it has great characters, but one that has great characters and more meaning than the OS as far as I know, is The Next Generation. I'd say start with The Next Generation and then see bursts of the original when you can. Star Trek is fantastic, I've always been aware of it because my parents watched it all when I was younger, and I think I may have as well, but it wasn't until early 2010 that I really got into Star Trek, and now I always try to catch the re-runs to TNG, so while it's not necessarily in order all the time, I've seen many of the episodes already and have read a lot about Star Trek, so I know a lot more than your average viewer, but most likely less than a die-hard fan because I haven't seen them all.

I wasn't into the 2009 film when I saw it in theaters, but by now, I do like it a lot. It's different of course, but it's also very interesting. I love how it's actually not entirely a new thing; it actually takes place right after (or before, whichever way you see it) TNG, and has a lot of references to the Star Trek shows like TNG and Enterprise, like the captain and dog from Enterprise Scotty will mention. I'd say TNG is better to start with, but when you can, you should try to watch The Original Series, and also, watch all the films in order. The majority of the films are great, but better if you're a fan of Star Trek and know the characters already. I’d say First Contact is the best.

This is the way I'd recommend you see them; The Next Generation (with a mix of The Original Series as you do that) with the films, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and then Enterprise. You don't have to see the animated series because it's non-canonical, but you can if you're that interested. I really wish they made every single season of every Star Trek known to date, and did what they're doing with the limited amount of episodes of TNG on Blu-ray. It takes a lot of time I'm sure, but to me at least, it'd be worth it. I would so buy those. Anyways, the best bet if any is TNG.

Personally, I don't recall ever watching Deep Space Nine, but I have seen some YouTube videos of it, and read a bit about it. I wish I could say more about that particular series, but I can't, and I've seen some episodes of Voyager, which just a few months back I didn't know came after Deep Space Nine. I like Voyager, it also features one of my favorite TV show themes. Waking up to the theme song to a sunny day was always nice. I think something that Deep Space Nine has that would make it worth it for me is that Worf returns, although, it's Star Trek, so if I could ever catch an episode of that, I would. So, I've already mentioned how I haven't seen everything Star Trek, but I do know a lot about it, and if you have any further questions, you can ask me about it if you'd like. Anyways, nice thread, now go watch The Next Generation. :D

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#24 Posted by chrissedoff (2108 posts) -

Start with the original series. Unlike The Next Generation, the original series doesn't have 2 seasons of just-OK episodes to slog through before it gets really good. The first season of the original series is excellent, probably the best season of any Star Trek series ever produced.

#25 Posted by wewantsthering (1567 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

Watch TNG from start to finish but commit to it because the first few seasons aren't always great.
#26 Posted by sixpin (1292 posts) -

Watch the original series, then watch The Next Generation, and finish it off with Deep Space 9. The rest don't exist.

#27 Posted by Rohok (554 posts) -

Deep Space 9 is the best. Voyager is awesome too. TNG is grat. The original Trek was alright. I've watched every episode of every series and seen every movie. I'd just start from the beginning and end with the last Star Trek movie, Nemesis. They're all good. Don't listen to hardcore fans and don't listen to naysayers. I tend to enjoy a lot of things people seem to dislike for stupid reason, so I can tell you each series has its flaws but they're all entertaining. I'm also a big fan of old movies- Like the 50s/60s Italian sword and sandal flicks, so that might be why I was able to watch the old Trek.

#28 Posted by NTM (7381 posts) -

@gaminghooligan: Oh, and the Abrams film is different than the shows. The only thing that's the same is that they feature the same characters, and everything else that goes with the Star Trek story, but something the film emphasis more on is the special effects, while the shows are a lot more about the characters and themes. They're both good, but do things differently. The shows aren't really about action, and when we're (certainly) talking about TNG, it's more about morals and real life problems, like racism, and what have you, but instead of using a type of person (Caucasian, African American, Asian, etc.) they use an alien race to reflect it. Now if that sounds like it's a turn off, don't let it, it's really great, and there are a lot of episodes that have a lot of strong emotional moments; not so much "Oh God! I'M GOING TO CRYYYY!", but strong nonetheless. It's all very interesting, and you don't even have to view it as I just mentioned.

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#29 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Start with TNG like other duders have said! The first season can be rough. Hell I deem it unwatchable due to Riker not having a beard!

#30 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

I'll parrot back what seems to be a common sentiment in this thread: Start with TNG and try to stomach through the first few seasons (or just skip them if you really can't stand them, although the series finale has a cool callback to the first episode of season 1). After that, you should probably watch DS9, which is very much a show that you have to watch in order.

#31 Posted by Brenderous (1101 posts) -

Over the past two years I've watched almost everything. I've almost seen it all. TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and I'm halfway through Enterprise right now.

It really has been a long road.

#32 Edited by oraknabo (1465 posts) -

TOS will always be the best. Yes, it's often corny and seems dated now, but I even got my 12-year-old nephew into it. At first he said it was dumb and boring, but by 3 or 4 episodes in he had fallen in love with the main characters and the dynamic between them and was asking to watch it every night. He stuck through to the last episode.

Now we're on TNG and he's getting to like Picard & Riker (and Data), but it hasn't grabbed him as quickly as the originals.

#33 Posted by spiceninja (3062 posts) -

I was in the same boat about a year ago but I found an amazing episode guide that picked out the best episodes to watch from the first two seasons since most of those episodes are pretty bad. If you watch every episode then you're going to have a really hard time getting through season 1. I'd give you the episode guide but I've been searching all over Google for it the last half hour and can't find it anywhere.

#34 Posted by BonOrbitz (2193 posts) -

Start with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Hang in there through the first season (though it is worth it on Blu-Ray). It gets much better in season two and hits it's stride of excellence with season 3.

#35 Posted by GS_Dan (1403 posts) -

I've been doing the same thing. Suffered through the first season of TNG (truly terrible, even plain racist in parts) and have now nearly finished the second (markedly better in terms of storyline and production values. Also, beard).

#36 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

TNG and DS9 are definitely worth watching. DS9 is by far the best series, in my opinion, but it makes the most sense after already watching TNG, so put up with the preachyness and general awfulness of the first few seasons of that first.

TOS has its good points, but is dated in a lot of ways (besides just the special effects). The movies: 2,3,4 and 6 are very good though.

Avoid Enterprise and Voyager like the plague. The 2009 movie is probably worth watching, but is very different from everything else.

#37 Posted by PokeIkzai (385 posts) -

TNG gets great like 3 seasons in. The first season is almost all around terrible and a lot of the second season is bad. But just trudge through that and you'll find yourself in TV Nirvana.

#38 Posted by Veektarius (4837 posts) -

TOS is the only Star Trek I like. The others are just full of guidance counselors for all of the main characters. They're all so supportive and nice. Blech. The only people with any personality are the aliens. The only thing I'd say is a problem in TOS is their portrayal of women. It is waaaay sexist, as in, every time a woman is forced to choose between a pretty man and her duty, she will fall in love with the pretty man and forsake her duty, at least temporarily.

#39 Posted by medacris (660 posts) -

If you're gonna start with TOS, watch the most famous episodes ("Mirror, Mirror", "The Trouble With Tribbles," etc.) to get a feel for it first. I only just started TNG, but I honestly didn't think the first season was as bad as some people are saying.

I think you can be a sci-fi fan and not have seen (or like) Star Trek, though. There's many more shows, movies, video games, etc. beyond this one franchise, all with their own feel.

#40 Edited by NTM (7381 posts) -

Oh, and a little trivia here. Not so much as a timeline, but I wanted to mention how far apart the shows take place and how far it is from our real time, because that type of thing interests me. I'll go in order from the earliest time of the series to the latest instead of first series to last.

Enterprise: 2151 - 2155

139 years from now Enterprise's events will begin.

Original Series: 2265 - 2269

110 years have past since the end of Enterprise, and it takes place 253 years into the future from now.

The Next Generation: 2364 - 2370

209 years have past since the end of Enterprise, and 95 years have past since The Original Series. It takes place 352 years from now.

Deep Space Nine & Voyager: 2369 - (in 2375 Deep Space 9 ends, Voyager begins in 2371) - 2378 (Voyager ends)

213 years have past since the end of Enterprise, 103 years have past since The Original Series, and it all takes place during the time The Next Generation is going, but Voyager ends nine years after the end of The Next Generation. From all of the series, since Voyager is the last of the shows in a Star Trek timeline, it'll be 365 years from now.

The known timeline of Star Trek goes far beyond what the shows or films depict, but as far as the topic goes, that's unnecessary. If you are at all interested though, here's this. This isn't to be confused with the alternate timeline that is where the 2009 film takes place, which is still part of it though and shouldn't necessarily be seen as a "reboot" as some may think, even though it technically can be considered one.

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#41 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@Veektarius said:

TOS is the only Star Trek I like. The others are just full of guidance counselors for all of the main characters. They're all so supportive and nice. Blech. The only people with any personality are the aliens. The only thing I'd say is a problem in TOS is their portrayal of women. It is waaaay sexist, as in, every time a woman is forced to choose between a pretty man and her duty, she will fall in love with the pretty man and forsake her duty, at least temporarily.

Apparently you never watched Deep Space Nine.

#42 Posted by GnomeonFire (745 posts) -

I've only seen one episode: Trouble with Tribbles.

#43 Edited by BaconGames (3423 posts) -

As someone who a few years ago was in this same place, start with the last few episodes of TNG Season 1, then just continue on from there. When Riker gets a beard, the show is good.

#44 Posted by bibamatt (1088 posts) -

I was in the same boat recently (I'd watched some DS9 years ago, but that was it). I followed the Tested episode guide to The Next Generation and LOVED IT. For those wondering (I think it might've been posted already, here's the recommended episodes. They're all on Netflix...

A Matter of Honor

The Measure of a Man

Yesterday's Enterprise

The Best of Both Worlds

Remember Me

The Nth Degree

Darmok

Cause and Effect

The Inner Light

Relics

Starship Mine

Parallels

The Pegasus

Lower Decks

All Good Things

#45 Edited by boj4ngles (287 posts) -

I'd recommend skipping Star Trek the original series because it looks dated as hell and is frankly hard to watch unless you enjoyed it back in the day. Instead watch the movies featuring Shatner, Nemoy and the rest. Those films are good and will fill you in on pre TNG history.

Then go with TNG, but don't watch it all, especially the first season which you may find is just too corny.

Here are some episodes that will give you good intros to the major alien species of the universe:

  • "Chain of Command pts. 1 & 2"
  • "Unification pts. 1 & 2"
  • "Redemption pts. 1 & 2"
  • "Best of Both Worlds pts. 1 & 2"

And here are a few of the best episodes ever:

  • "The Inner Light"
  • "Yesterday's Enterprise"
  • "Encounter at Far Point 1 & 2" - (fair warning, this one is from first season so sets and costumes are even cornier than usual)
  • "All Good Things" - (the series' finale, watch this last)
  • "Time's Arrow pts. 1 & 2"

When you've had enough TNG, move on to DS9. Now there is a load of debate over which series is the best and in the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, it should be noted that unlike the other series, DS9 follows an epic, main story arc that goes on for 7 seasons in addition to having many "adventure of the week" episodes. In my opinion, this is the best series of all, and I'd recommend just starting at the beginning and going for it in chronological order. If you feel like skipping around so you can just experience the main story arc then I'm sure you can find lists of those episodes on google. That being said, there are a few episodes you absolutely cannot miss.

  • "The Visistor"
  • "Duet"
  • "Far Beyond the Stars" - (along with Duet, this is sometimes called the best episode of star trek in any series)

So after DS9 you have Voyager. In my opinion, Voyager is hit or miss. On the one hand, the set designs were pretty awesome (USS Voyager looks sweet) and even the special effects still look ok. On the other hand, the writing was just not as good as either TNG or DS9. Watch the first Voyager episode after you finish season 2 of DS9, because that is where it starts in the universe timeline. After the first episode, hold off until you finish DS9, then jump back in if you're still interested. (By now you are a trekie) Be warned, the series is kind of meandering and the quality of writing is very inconsistent. I don't really have any list of "must see episodes", but I will say that Kate Mulgrew had a lot of pressure on her shoulders being the first female captain and she passed with flying colors in spite of a sub par writing team.

Then there is Enterprise. I really like Star Trek but this series is just, well, bad. Many of the characters are winy, over emotional and obnoxiously self-conscious. Capt. Archer has an air of fatalism and resignation about him when his predecessors exuded optimism and a sense of adventure. It's like he's trying to fake being excited about exploring the galaxy. The series opens with an interesting story arc of a Temporal Cold War, but never really goes anywhere with it. Season 3 has it's own over-arching story arc but after that they knew they were getting cancelled so the tried wrap up everything in season 4 and it just didn't work out. The special effects are nice, but otherwise this series is one big disappointment.

Damn that took a long time to write.

#46 Edited by NTM (7381 posts) -

Maybe Voyager and Deep Space Nine at the same time since they take place around the same time. I didn't really think about that. I totally forgot to mention Enterprise, but even as important to the series as it may be, I'd skip it. The final episode was interesting to say the least. It had the most views of all, but the worst reception I believe. I know I certainly watched most of the episode, certainly the very final part.

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#47 Edited by Marokai (2977 posts) -

TNG is very lightweight Trek, so for a first-timer, it's probably the only time I'd heartily recommend it. If you get a taste for it, you can get into the deeper and more serialized stuff with Deep Space 9, which is Trek storytelling at it's finest, but you sort of have to define what type of Star Trek you're really into after you dip your feet into the water. If you want very lightly or not-at-all serialized Star Trek with nothing too deep or demanding, TNG and to a lesser extent, Voyager, fill that need. If you find yourself wanting a bit more meat to the stories and more complicated/darker themes, get into Deep Space 9, and if you start to get attached to the Star Trek canon, Enterprise (which is criminally underrated).  
 
TOS is basically a novelty piece at this point IMO. Don't be fooled into thinking TNG is "Star Trek at it's best" or anything based purely off of number of recommendations or how often the GB crew talk about it, though. It's ease-of-access Star Trek, which is why it's more recognizable and known, and subsequently recommended. It's a perfectly respectable series, though, and if you're into it, The Next Generation will at least give you background about the universe that would be useful for when/if you decide to begin the wild and wonderful ride that is Deep Space 9. 
 
The AV Club is also in the process of cataloging Deep Space 9 episodes (the review series is on hiatus for a few more weeks before Fall) and already has a long database of TNG reviews for every episode already completed. It's added fun and incentive to get into those reviews and reading the comments sections as you make your way through each series. It'll give you a deeper perspective on the individual episodes, if that's your thing.

#48 Posted by Veektarius (4837 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Veektarius said:

TOS is the only Star Trek I like. The others are just full of guidance counselors for all of the main characters. They're all so supportive and nice. Blech. The only people with any personality are the aliens. The only thing I'd say is a problem in TOS is their portrayal of women. It is waaaay sexist, as in, every time a woman is forced to choose between a pretty man and her duty, she will fall in love with the pretty man and forsake her duty, at least temporarily.

Apparently you never watched Deep Space Nine.

I watched Deep Space 9, and I didn't like it.

#49 Edited by oraknabo (1465 posts) -

I can't believe the general attitude here about TOS. I would have expected a lot more from a community that still has respect for NES games and doesn't usually default to "it sucks 'cause it's old!"

#50 Posted by Marokai (2977 posts) -
@Veektarius said:

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Veektarius said:

TOS is the only Star Trek I like. The others are just full of guidance counselors for all of the main characters. They're all so supportive and nice. Blech. The only people with any personality are the aliens. The only thing I'd say is a problem in TOS is their portrayal of women. It is waaaay sexist, as in, every time a woman is forced to choose between a pretty man and her duty, she will fall in love with the pretty man and forsake her duty, at least temporarily.

Apparently you never watched Deep Space Nine.

I watched Deep Space 9, and I didn't like it.

I'm curious; how come?