Since joining Tumblr, I’ve found a whole throng of people who are in some stage of becoming a Trekkie. Some have only just seen the new (2009) film and want to get into the real ‘meat and potatoes’ of it, while others have seen a handful of this or that and want to get the whole picture. With a franchise as large as this one though, that’s an intimidating prospect for many.
Also, a lot of people want to see things “in order” as you might say. The way the stuff came out, and the way the fans back then saw it. Which for the most part is easy. Until it’s not. And that time is basically a 6-year span from 1993 to 1999 when there where 2 series on at the same time. And though they did not interact really, you can get confused on occasion.
First up is a list of short-hand terms for the series and movies.
- ENT = Enterprise
- TOS = The Original Series
- TAS = The Animated Series (Skip This; It’s a Novelty Only)
- TNG = The Next Generation
- DS9 = Deep Space Nine
- VGR/VOY = Voyager
- TMP = The Motion Picture
- TWOK = The Wrath of Khan
- TSFS = The Search for Spock
- TVH = The Voyage Home
- TFF = The Final Frontier
- TUC = The Undiscovered Country
- GEN = Generations
- FC = First Contact
- INS = Insurrection
- NEM = Nemesis
- 09/nuTrek = Modern Stuff
So there are three ways to watch, IMHO…
OPTION 1: Chronologically.
I do not advise this, because it puts the last series to air (“Enterprise”) which is a prequel, in front of the “Original Series" and honestly, "Enterprise" is the weakest of them all. Also as a prequel, you lose something in the translation. So we won’t go much further with that option.
OPTION 2: Series Order.
This is the easiest, this is the simple way. You watch all of one series, finish it, and then move on to the next. The movies can jumble this a little bit, though so I’ve broken them up. The order is as follows…
- TMP through TUC (TOS Movies)
- GEN through INS (TNG Movies)
- NEM (TNG Movie)
Why do I put the TNG films broken up like that? Well, the first three of them where done while DS9 was on the air. While “Nemesis" has a rather big spoiler for the end of "Voyager" in it. So that’s just the safest way to do it. "Enterprise" comes last because even though it was set 100 years before TOS, it’s done last.
OPTION 3: As We Got It (Altered Chronological)
The last option is a little complicated, but it’s the best way in my opinion. This is how the fans got it. How it was released. It will mean a lot of alternating during the 1990s series and films, but it’s how it was meant to be seen.
- TNG Seasons 1 & 2
- TNG Seasons 3 & 4
- TNG Season 5
At TNG Season 6 is when it gets complicated as between episodes 11 and 12 is when DS9 premiered. It stays pretty complicate throughout. So, this is where the alternating starts (and will not stop for a long time!)
- TNG Season 6 (to Episode 11)
- DS9 Season 1 / TNG Season 6 (from Episode 12)
- DS9 Season 2 / TNG Season 7
- DS9 Season 3 / Insert GEN between DS9 Episodes 8 and 9 / Start VGR Season 1 after DS9 Episode 12
- DS9 Season 4 / VGR Season 2
- DS9 Season 5 / VGR Season 3 / Insert FC after DS9 Episode 9 & VGR Episode 10
- DS9 Season 6 / VGR Season 4
- DS9 Season 7 / VGR Season 5 / Insert INS after DS9 Episode 9 and VGR Episode 10
- VGR Season 6 & 7
- ENT Seasons 1-4
Now you might look at that last one and say, “Woah, that’s… complicated!”
It is. And it isn’t. It’s a guide; it’s not something that if you follow and get mixed up on, the world will end. It’s just how we got the material in the first place. If you are good at following directions? No problemo. If not? Go with Option 2, lol. Either one will get you there. ;) Option 3 is the sort of “advanced studies” class, while Option 2 is your easiest and most relaxed route. Again, Option 1 is a bad idea. Truly bad.
If anyone has any questions, at any time on your trek (pun intended!) I’m always here.
Addendum: Top 10 Worst Episodes of Original Series to Skip