What order to watch Star Trek?
January 14, 2013 12:38 PM   Subscribe

We've decided it's time to watch Star Trek... all of it. In what order should we watch it?

Having exhausted some of our other favorite TV shows, we figure that watching Star Trek should last us quite a while. We've both seen DS9, and Mrs. unix has seen a bit of TNG a bit of VOY, and a few of the movies.

It seems like there are a couple options.

1) Chronological in the fictional universe
2) Order-aired, by series (TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT)
3) Order-aired, by episode - like above, but interleaving TNG and DS9, and DS9 and VOY when appropriate.

Is there anything we should skip, like TAS, or any of the movies? I figure if we're going to watch all of it, well, we should watch *all* of it.
posted by unix to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I won't speak to skipping anything, but I'd definitely suggest watching it in order-aired, by series (option 2). ENT has a bunch of great little tidbits that are better if you've seen the whole canon by that point.
posted by SNWidget at 12:40 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd watch it chronologically as each iteration is informed by that which went before it.

So TOS, in the order they were shot (not aired, there's a slight bit of weirdness if you do that), but whatever order they're in on your DVD set is fine.

TNG, DS9, VOY with ENT last.

Agree with SNWidget that there are Easter Eggs in the later series that will make you smile s they're callbacks to original series. Trials and Tribb-ilations is the one that springs to mind. Although the Re-Booted Star Trek movie has a delicious bit with Scotty, Enterprise etc. Sooo... yeah, watch in chrological order.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:43 PM on January 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd go with option 3. Option 2 is legit, but option 1 isn't going to make all that much sense. ENT gets a lot of its jollies out of explaining things that occur later in canon chronology but are well-established in release chronology.

But the end of TNG and the beginning of DS9, and then bits of DS9 and bits of VOY are interacting with each other. There are even references in some of the movies to things going on in DS9. So series as discrete units is easy, but it'll be a little more fun if you take the time to watch in order of air dates and interleave the series the few times it happens. So option 3, to me, is superior to option 2.
posted by valkyryn at 12:47 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would go through a list of the episodes of TOS, and watch the ones that are either considered important (whether artistically or canonically) or where the plots sound interesting. TOS is the absolute least consistent as far as quality goes, and really doesn't resemble the latter series.

Skip TAS unless it sounds like it would be fun to watch.

Watching TNG and DS9 interleaved could work, but I'd honestly watch DS9 on its own as it is the absolutely stand-out of the entire Star Trek thing. But definitely watch them both in full. DS9 is more consistent, but TNG has great episodes in every single season.

VOY you can either watch all the way through or skip around. I've yet to encounter anyone who managed to get into VOY without having followed it on TV.

I sat through like three episodes of ENT before giving up.

As far as the movies, I'll comment on the ones I can actually remember:
Wrath of Khan: Absolutely watch it.
Generations: Shitty, but could be fun in a campy sort of way. If you enjoy TOS, I'd give it a shot.
First Contact: Pretty fun, especially if you like time travel.
Insurrection: A mediocre-to-shitty episode of TNG with a really high budget.
Nemesis: A lot of weird, inexplicable continuity stuff, but worth watching.
posted by griphus at 12:47 PM on January 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Oh, the VOY does a lot of fun Borg stuff, so if you're into the Borg but you're not fond of VOY, watch those episodes at least.
posted by griphus at 12:50 PM on January 14, 2013

In order of airing, with the qualification that you should watch both unaired pilots of TOS. Though it features a very different crew than the main series, The Cage is a memorable episode, featuring a callback in a later episode.

Also, TNG is about to get 3rd season on BluRay release (April) , remastered from originals; if you can pace your viewing so you can enjoy as much as possible on BluRay, do so. TOS has also had a re-release with enhanced SFX scenes-- nothing jarring, but worth the improvements, IMO.

Good luck. Some friends recently made a foray into sequential viewing of TOS, and found that there's a lot of filler between the episodes we think of as classic.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:54 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am currently watching through in order in which they aired. The disadvantages to this are: one has to end watching Voyager (kinda weak) and Enterprise (mostly not very good). This leaves a lot to trudge through as you get near the end. Working chronologically through the Trek universe would leave you starting with Enterprise and ending with Voyager, so you'd be bookending with two of the weaker series. Since that's really the only difference (unless you're counting the films as well), it's down to whether you want to get the worst (Enterprise) over with first or save it for the end.

Also, TAS is tough to get through, but you can do it!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:57 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm doing a similar thing right now.

I was super into TNG as a middle schooler, so I started there. Just because I don't see the point in soldiering through a bunch of things I'm less interested in for the sake of completionism or Doing It Right or whatever. I may go back and watch TOS later, I haven't decided yet. My plan right now is to watch DS9 next, then Voyager, then Enterprise. I'm not sure whether I'm interested in re-watching any of the movies, though I realized recently that I never saw the last TNG film.

Ideally, a Trek syllabus would probably be:

The Original Series
The first 6 (pre-TNG, Original Crew) films
The Next Generation
All the Next Generation movies
Deep Space Nine
The JJ Abrams reboot

I feel like the Animated Series is entirely inconsequential and can be skipped, but I guess if you want to watch it, it should go between TOS and the early movies.

You could make an argument for flitting between series/casts for things like the later Original Crew movies (which came out after TNG had aired), watching later years of TNG and DS9 together, and watching later years of DS9 and Voyager together.

I remember, during my prime Trekkie phase, adoring the fact that there was a new episode from each series to watch every week (at the time it would have been TNG and DS9), in addition to TNG reruns in different time slots, and I definitely made a point of watching maximum Star Trek, even if the series continuity was off. I'd have considered it weird if some 21st century time traveler had told me I was doing it wrong by watching mid-series DS9 before I'd seen the first few seasons of TNG, or watching TNG episodes out of order based on syndicated rerun schedules.

I can't speak for TOS, and this changed significantly by the mid 90's when DS9 was in its prime, but for the most part, Star Trek doesn't have a lot of ongoing story that you need to be aware of from episode to episode. It's not like Mad Men or Breaking Bad where seeing the show out of continuity would make no sense.
posted by Sara C. at 12:59 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

A short while ago I decided to go back and start watching Star Trek, and decided to do it in series order. So I watched TOS first (in whatever order netflix has them). Then I started watching TNG, and I knew that DS9 intermingled with TNG at some point so I considered watching them mixed as they aired, but I didn't do that.

Instead I did something incredible nerdy. I watched the episodes according to their stardate. Which mostly worked except let me warn you: DS9 is sloppy with stardates. There's numerous episodes without one, and the occasional episode with a date out of line with the rest of the season. I decided to just watch though DS9 as it is, and then maybe pick up VOY and ENT once I'm done with it.
posted by borkencode at 1:00 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am doing the same thing! I watched the first season of TNG on Blu-Ray and adored it. Went to Netflix to find that Season 2 was there in the original format and.... ugh. So, in the space between, I watched TOS until TNG Season 2 Blu-Ray came out. I expect in the time between 2 & 3 I'll watch more TOS.

I do not recommend this method, but I do heartily and emphatically recommend the remastered TNG Blu-Rays. So I vote for number two, but only if you think watching TOS and TAS will take long enough that there will be a substantial amount of TNG to watch.
posted by AmandaA at 1:06 PM on January 14, 2013

I suppose if you wanted to add the films and still do everything chronologically in the universe it would be:

TOS: The Cage
Star Trek (2009) (maybe, though I suppose it is an alternate universe)
The rest of TOS
Star Trek 1 - 6
Star Trek Generations
First Contact and Insurrection (both take place sometime during DS9 and VOY)
Nemesis (which is terrible)
Star Trek (2009) (if you didn't think it fit in earlier)
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:07 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you want to drive yourself completely batshit, you can read the published fictionalizations of the original episodes.

I never saw TAS, but I read all the fictionalizations, which were really good (to my 12 year old self.) Yesteryear was especially good.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:07 PM on January 14, 2013

I watched the episodes according to their stardate.

I think this would be better done by someone who already has a basic grounding in the world of Trek and wants to go back and re-watch in a novel way. A Trek newbie will have to fall way down the rabbit hole to even find a list of episode stardates, and there's no obvious purpose for doing it this way as opposed to just watching in Netflix order.

Stardates are extremely tangential to what Trek is actually about, and in no way relate to any aspect of continuity in any of the series. It wasn't until TNG that the writers even thought it necessary to make the stardates consistent, and then they based them on the season and airdate, not on any internal consistency in the world of the show. So for instance stardate 44596.5 would be around noon somewhere in the middle of the fourth season of the show. So Netflix or your Blu-Ray box set can sort this out for you much more easily than you could yourself.

Note, too, that early in TNG there's a degree of discontinuity, either because the writers felt it didn't matter, or because the writers had little control over the order local affiliates would air episodes. So for example the Romulans and the Neutral Zone are mentioned in several episodes in the middle of Season 1, but then there's an episode late in Season 1 where it's stated that "no one has heard from the Romulans in decades". Completely forgetting that they, themselves, had been dealing with the Romulans just a few episodes ago. Best not to take this stuff too seriously.
posted by Sara C. at 1:14 PM on January 14, 2013

I was going to say a modified version of Sara C.'s order, but The Great Big Mulp did it for me.

I'd also note that 2 through 4 of the TOS movies are meant to watched in sequence, but you could easily drop watching 1 and 5 if you're not a completest.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:16 PM on January 14, 2013

Despite the chronological overlap between DS9 and VOY, I suggest that you mostly stick to the original air dates:

Movies 1-6
Movies: Generations through Nemesis

As others have suggested, ENT, even though it is in-universe chronologically first, should be seen last. The final season is pure fan service and the final episode is an outstanding conclusion to the Trek universe.

I haven't seen much TAS. I know that it is officially canon, but is not really treated that way.

The most recent Star Trek movie is an abomination and should be watched by no one.
posted by John Farrier at 1:20 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you want to drive yourself completely batshit, you can read the published fictionalizations of the original episodes.

I loved these when I was a kid too, and would also recommend them to anyone embarking on a completist review of all things ST. The TOS books were written by James Blish, a pretty good sf writer of the 1950s-60s vintage.

I would watch TAS after TOS (there's only a season and a half as I recall) but not expect it to stick to canon with everything else. I was 10 when it aired so I wasn't very critical about the quality of such things.

If you're a Larry Niven fan, it's worth watching "The Slaver Weapon," in which Niven arbitrarily puts quite a bit of Known Space paraphernalia into a Trek episode, including inexplicably having Kzinti where you might normally expect Klingon enemies. Wacky; it would have been very easy for Niven to have written the same plot using only ST background.
posted by aught at 1:30 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I watched them all in the past couple years as well. I watched in an almost completely random order switching series whenever I got bored so I didn't have to slog through long stretches. I probably would never have finished if I was faced with seasons and seasons of nothing but Voyager and Enterprise.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:39 PM on January 14, 2013

It turns out I was mistaken, above, about the "unaired pilots" I mentioned. The pilot called "The Cage" has been aired, but I wanted to emphasize that it's best to watch that before the series, though its first airing was long after. The other pilot, I've been informed, was aired as the third episode in TOS. Doh! Take some points off my geek license.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:42 PM on January 14, 2013

When you're done with TOS, watch the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (season 4, episode 11.) It's as loving a send-up of TOS as I've ever seen and features most of the original cast.
posted by griphus at 1:48 PM on January 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've got Star Trek in my Netflix queue, and I was planning on doing season order (although I have some misgivings about that, since by the point TNG and DS9 interleave they've gotten big on the cliffhanger season finale). I'm planning on skipping Voyager, since I remember not liking it, and I'm not sure if I'll do Enterprise or not.
posted by ckape at 1:56 PM on January 14, 2013

I think either option 2 or 3 would be fine. As valkyryn says, there's occasionally some interaction between TNG/DS9, so #3 might be the "purist" way to do it, but I think most of it's fairly minor so you won't really miss that much if you do #2 instead. Although I kind of like ckape's suggestion of treating a season, rather than a series or an episode, as the fundamental unit for ordering and doing it that way.

I would like to put in my recommendation to include TAS, though. I watched most of TAS long after I had seen the rest of Trek. My first reaction, as I watched the beginning of the very first episode, was that the animation was cringeworthy (and no, it doesn't get any better). But some of the plots are just as good as those found in TOS—indeed, I found myself wishing that some of them had been fleshed out into hour-long episodes. And TAS is only 22 half-hour episodes, so it's not a huge time investment in terms of the entirety of Star Trek.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:10 PM on January 14, 2013

Also after TOS, I recommend that you read the John Scalzi novel "Redshirts: A Novel and Three Codas." It's about a group of crewmen aboard a ship that bears a... passing resemblance to the TOS Enterprise, and who have discovered that the accident rate for crewman, as compared to officers, has deviated to a startling degree from the norm. Sure, you got the joke as soon as you read the title, but keep reading.. this book has truly unexpected depths. And not a few unexpected deaths. It's a fast read, amusing, and eventually engrossing.

Other material that should be seen, in addition to the aforementioned Futurama episode: Galaxy Quest, the SNL episode hosted by Shatner (at the very least, the infamous "Get a Life!" sketch), and the documentary "Trekkies," (about Trek fandom taken in some unusual directions and extremes).
posted by Sunburnt at 2:17 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I recently did this, with the exception of TOS. I watched TNG, then DS9, then VOY, and finally ENT. I will turn to TOS next (I just finished ENT a few days ago, and really can't disagree more with John Farrier's assessment of its final episode, but that's somewhat beside the point).

I have to say, I do slightly regret not watching TOS before all the others. Not because I didn't get some of the in-jokes in the final season of ENT (the first three seasons, as I understand it, don't tie into TOS at all), but because TOS establishes Gene Roddenberry's vision of Trek. TNG also does to some degree. Watching those first, I think, and having an understanding of his concept of morality and the Prime Directive and all that, helps put the other series in context and lets you evaluate whether they are true to his vision (and whether that's a good or bad thing).

TNG-DS9-VOY should be watched in that order because there is some continuity with their casts. So I would indeed go TOS-TNG-DS9-VOY-ENT if I could do it all over again.
posted by payoto at 2:45 PM on January 14, 2013

Re the films, First Contact references Voyager and you might consider watching it after at least one season of that. It also references DS9 so leave it till at least after season 6 of that.

Nemesis should be watched after you are done with all of Voyager.
posted by biffa at 2:55 PM on January 14, 2013

I just did option 3, starting at "Farpoint" and ending at Nemesis. Interleaving TNG and DS9 was totally worth it. DS9 and Voyager... not so much. (The obvious reason is that there's no interaction.) Voyager is, on the whole, skippable. I would watch the Borg episodes, the highly-rated episodes, and the few where they actually make progress in getting home. These tend to be similar subsets.

The times when air date differs from stardate really don't matter, other than a weird thing with Worf traveling from and to DS9 around First Contact.
posted by supercres at 2:56 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just want to make sure you saw this comment of Greg Nog's in a similar thread, which I've found helpful as I introduce my kids to Trek.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:11 PM on January 14, 2013

Best answer: there's a lot of filler between the episodes we think of as classic.

Describing the lesser-known (and -liked) TOS episodes as "filler" is generous to an extreme. Several of these episodes are outright bizarre, even taking into account the decades that have past since their airing. The Star Trek dancing meme and videos on Youtube are a good representation of what's in store for you if you venture into this territory. Yes, they're that bad, and I always feel self-conscious when watching these episodes. And embarrassed.

Keep in mind that TOS, despite its revolutionary concept and hiring of famous SciFi authors to write screenplays, was a product of the sixties, an era in which serious TV was still finding its legs. Television sets had only been a universal household item for fifteen years (since 1952 or 53), non-B&W sets were relatively scarce, and shows were still working with different approaches to serialization and wooing advertisers.

What's more, TOS is a late sixties show. Yes, that late sixties. The big show in this period that everybody watched was "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In," a goofy, zany take on hippy culture toned down for older Americans. TOS reflects a lot of this, with its shows on drug culture and hippy idealism. You'll also get a smattering of shows with knightly characters wearing frilly lace ruffles and playing harpsichords, both popular at the time. On the other side of the coin, you'll get a similar smattering of episodes with Western themes, which reflect the resurgence of Westerns as a movie artform (think "Butch Cassidy") and shows like "Gunsmoke." (TOS, after all, was conceived as "a wagon train to the stars").

TNG and later Trek come from a more sophisticated era of TV, when mixing genres is a no-no, and also when maintaining an even standard of quality is expected from a long-running show. TOS, on the other hand, is from the wild west era of TV, and the "filler" episodes reveal this in all its glory. So, when you're watching TOS, try to view these episodes in order, but certainly feel free to introduce a 2012 historical perspective--and ironic eye--into the mix.
posted by Gordion Knott at 3:21 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am not a trekkie/treker or anything like that.

I like the original series, liked TNG a lot. Like the reboot and a few of the movies. The other stuff I couldn't get into. I liked the flashback type episode where DS9 members went into the TOS tribbles episode.

I think the best way is by star date. Keep all in order, regardless of series.
posted by Leenie at 3:36 PM on January 14, 2013

I think the best way is by star date. Keep all in order, regardless of series.

Man alive, I didn't think you could do that but you can.
posted by mazola at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I would go with order aired, by series, and also really suggest allowing yourselves to skip Voyager and/or Enterprise (either entirely, or just start skipping boring-sounding one-off episodes whenever you get bored). There are still a few niceties to consider about the movies, though. I'd watch I-V after TOS and before TNG, but there is an argument to be made for waiting a bit on VI — as the older Spock appears in the TNG two-parter "Unification" and makes reference to the events of that film in what was at the time a promotional tie-in — and there's no harm at all in waiting to watch Generations until you do the TNG-cast movies. It's arguable as well that you might want to wait till after DS9 to do the later TNG-cast movies, because it'll throw you off the in-universe chronology and also take you away from the airing/screening chronology a bit (e.g. you'll be a little confused about what Worf is doing and won't catch the occasional reference to the Defiant), but I think it's probably more fun to stick with the same cast of characters through their recorded adventures before you move on.

So that leaves you with:

TAS (don't skip it, it's fun)
Movies I-V
TNG through mid-Season 5
Movie VI
rest of TNG
Movies Generations-Nemesis (or defer post-Generations movies until after DS9)
Voyager to taste
Enterprise to taste
posted by RogerB at 3:59 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can't speak for TOS, and this changed significantly by the mid 90's when DS9 was in its prime, but for the most part, Star Trek doesn't have a lot of ongoing story that you need to be aware of from episode to episode. It's not like Mad Men or Breaking Bad where seeing the show out of continuity would make no sense.

True, this. The only exceptions are some of the season-ending cliffhangers. The two-parters wouldnt make much sense seen out of order, but they ought to be in the correct sequence in your collection. If memory serves, there were occasional references to earlier events during the later seasons of TNG, but nothing that would ruin any one particular episode.
posted by jquinby at 4:03 PM on January 14, 2013

The Star Trek Babies movie is a fine movie, but I wouldn't include it if mainlining the original. Get to it after the big binge, whenever is fine.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:56 PM on January 14, 2013

"Fine" being used in the sense of "it's perfectly fine as a space action movie where things blow up" not in the sense of "fine cinema".
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:57 PM on January 14, 2013

I can't believe someone actually did the stardate order. I mean, of course I can believe it because: internet, but still. This is coming from someone who worked (in Continuity!) on DS9 and VOY. We just laughed off the stardates at the time. Was literally paid to sit through ENT and would not do so again. The beagle was cute though.
posted by last night a dj saved my life at 5:45 PM on January 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Re the TNG movies and Voyager, I saw maybe three episodes of Voyager, ever, and have seen most of the TNG movies. I found nothing confusing about this.

Star Trek, as a thing, really predates the modern completionist way of consuming media. I think you should choose whichever order works for you and go forward, trusting that, as long as you watch with some notion of rhyme and reason, everything will be fine. It's not Lost. It's Star Trek.
posted by Sara C. at 9:03 PM on January 14, 2013

Best answer: The chronological by stardate order inspired me to revise my own preferred viewing order. Now I'm thinking:

1. TOS (in production order is recommended)
1b. TAS (it's fun and kinda groovy but I consider it optional. Maybe watch an episode and decide if it's your cup of earl grey. If not, proceed directly to...)
2. Star Trek I - VI (these films have an arc that I think works best when viewed sequentially...I can understand why others have suggested waiting to watch VI until you are at the "Unification" episodes in TNG but I think it would diminish the overall effect)
3. TNG (rather than moving directly to the TNG movies, I suggest you take a day or two to reflect and recover from "All Good Things...". When you are ready to move on, proceed to...)
4. DS9 [stop after "Meridian"](now, because DS9 premiered when TNG was still airing there is an opportunity here for some interweaving between series, if you are into that sort of thing. To set up the DS9 universe several TNG episodes introduced plot elements that would feature prominently in the latter series, such as the Bajoran/Cardassian conflict. While interweaving may be interesting it would not be a satisfying viewing experience, IMO. Rather, I think "The Emissary" works as a great transition from TNG, as Picard shows up to hand the baton to Sisko. But stop watching after season 3 ep 8, "Meridian," because then it's time for...)
5. Generations (after 3 seasons aboard Terok Nor maybe you're missing the crew of the Enterprise, or at least curious about what they've been up to. Now is a great time to rejoin them for their first big-screen adventure!)
6. DS9 [from "Defiant" to "Ascent"] (rejoin your favorite space station dwellers, and be sure to check out my personal fave DS9 ep "The Visitor," but after you watch Se5ep9 "Ascent" take a break for...)
7. First Contact (this film introduces the boring black and grey pajamas as the new Starfleet uniform...color had always been an important part of the Starfleet look, but no more. Anyway, these dull duds are the new standard, and everyone will be wearing them when you return to...)
8. DS9 [from "Rapture" to "Covenant"] (another solid run of the DS9 mythos, then I suggest a quick excursion to...)
9. Insurrection (this trek is more like a day trip...it's essentially a TNG 2-part episode with F. Murray Abraham as a monster face bad guy. Honestly you could skip it if you wanted to stay with DS9)
10. DS9 [from "It's only a paper moon" to finale] (finally you can finish this series and watch the exciting conclusion of the Dominion War)
11. Voyager (Voyager premiered while DS9 was still airing, so you could always interweave episodes between the series, but who has the time for that? Just watch it after you finish DS9, though be prepared to be confused when everyone's back in the old starfleet uniforms. I'm not much of a Voyager fan, so without advocating skipping the series entirely I suggest reading the synopses before deciding to watch an episode, or if the intro is boring skip it [I'm assuming that you have a Netflix account and a desire to spend time watching tv series that are available on instant watch]. A personal favorite of mine is "Blink of an Eye" in season six)
12. Nemesis (watch as the TNG crew are shoehorned into a poorly conceived Wrath of Khan homage/ripoff, and keep your eyes peeled for potential cameos from survivors of the other series!)
13. Enterprise (Why the hell not? Personally I hate it and refuse to accept it as canon)
14. Star Trek 2009 reboot (Everything old is new again!)

By the time you finish it should be around May, so go see Star Trekkin' 2: Darkness in theaters. After that, you can initiate the next iteration of the time loop by starting the whole process over, but that's totally optional.
posted by mediated self at 9:10 PM on January 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I have a friend who literally just finished doing this; watching all of the Star Trek corpus, most of it for the first time. I put your question to him, and this is what he said:
If they're at all familiar with Star Trek, I would go with [in-universe] chronological. There were things that were mentioned in Enterprise that makes parts of the original make more sense. Also, I would finish DS9 and then go to Voyager. They're very different creatures with little crossover (though there is a little between the shows). Also, DS9 is a good departure from Next Gen and the rest of the regular Star Trek universe, while Voyager brings you right back in a different way.
-Your friendly neighborhood Star Trek geek
posted by churl at 1:22 AM on January 15, 2013

Best answer: I put together this Google spreadsheet to track my progress through TNG, DS9, VOY and TNG movies in order of airdate. I like this order for two reasons: it preserves continuity and makes for a lot of variety when the shows overlap. I don't think I would be able to sit through a VOY marathon, but alternating with DS9 dilutes the influence of Neelix. We'll see how it goes once I finish DS9 and I am left with only VOY and ENT.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 6:52 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the answers. Our plan now is to view it chronologically by series, but leaving open the possibility of interleaving TNG, DS9, and VOY if we feel like it, although not strictly by order-aired. mediated self's order seems like a good one, so we might try that.

And we're going to at least try TAS, although we won't force ourselves to finish it if we truly can't stand it.
posted by unix at 8:55 AM on January 15, 2013

There's no real reason to interleave any of the series, since there's no real crossovers in terms of storylines between any of the series (unless you count Worf's personal character arc, and he joins the DS9 crew sometime after TNG and Star Trek: Generations). The one major exception that I can think of is the fate of the Maquis, which is established by the end of DS9, so if you watch that series to the end before Voyager, you'll start the latter series already knowing what happens to the Maquis who don't get dragged to the Delta Quadrant. (As it happens, though, the fact that some of the Voyager crew are Maquis ends up being shoved so far in the background that it only becomes a plot point about once a season or so in Voyager.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:41 PM on January 15, 2013

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