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Wiper

The terrifying, never-ending (old) Star Trek thread - new movies and Discovery talk in the other, dedicated threads

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I knew not what power I wielded when creating this thread, whose very soul has warped and cracked, leaving an insatiable monster in its wake. Abandon all hope ye who enter, and despair, for the curse of Trek will never release its grip. I can only hope that future generations will look upon me with forgiveness in their hearts.

 

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This might belong in ATF, but this seems a better fit - apologies if I'm wrong to put it here.

Quite simply, I've finally decided that I'd quite like to watch Star Trek. As actual series. As a kid I always used to see the random episodes of TOS/TNG/DS9 that would be on TV, but as we lacked cable/sky and never bought TV guides, I never actually watched a full season - just caught whatever was on Channel 4. At least, I think it was C4 that showed them. It was a while ago.

Thing is, because of this I have a good idea of the characters in the different shows, but not of, well, their development - where they start and end, any significant plot arcs (though I understand that pre-Babylon 5 series-long plot arcs didn't really happen in sci-fi series). And now I'm curious to watch them. Particularly DS9 (as a good friend assures me it's incredible) and TNG (as that was the show whose random episodes I enjoyed the most), but I'm also curious about TOS as well. Less so the later series.

Problem is, I have no idea where to start. Do I watch from the beginning TOS and go from there? Or is it a bit, well, shit, compared to the later shows? Could I happily watch TNG, then DS9, and ignore TOS without any issues? Are there any 'bad' seasons (or particularly atrocious episodes) of any of the series that I should know about and avoid?

Apologies for the specific requests, I just want to know where to start. For reference, I have recently watched and loved Babylon 5 (but could not bring myself to watch the final season), loved the first two seasons of the recent BSG (but regret bringing myself to watch the latter seasons...), but otherwise have only caught random episodes of other sci-fi series (Farscape, SG-1). Oh, and I've tried to watch Firefly, but hated it. Which came as a surprise.

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It's been a long time since I've seen Star Trek but I'd highly recommend all of the ones you mentioned, just avoid Voyager and Enterprise as they're mostly shit.

I'm pretty certain there's no overlap from TOS either so you could safely skip it should you want to go straight to TNG/DS9. The only overlap from the TOS I remember is for the movie Star Trek 2 Wrath Of Kahn but nothing tv series wise. As for TNG and DS9 well the first seasons are the weakest for each as that's before they really found they're feet but I don't remember anything offensively bad. However as I said it's been years for me so maybe some of the bigger fans on the forum could give you better information but I would say don't skip TOS as it's great.

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Start with TNG - it's the most accessible

Then go with TOS to understand where it came from and to begin debating the eternal 'Picard or Kirk' question (the answer is Sisko). This is amazing Trek. Don't dismiss it.

Watch Star Trek movies I, II, III, IV, VI

Sit down with DS9. Grit your teeth through a lot of season 1. Get read for adult Trek.

Once this is done and the yearning begins, watch the rest of the films, then carefully approach Voyager.

Repeat every 3 years or so.

Don't skip episodes. Some are total bobbins, but they are still essential. Either they're hilarious or you'll need them to understand hundreds of .gifs.

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Start with Star Trek 5, then segue backwards into 3 and then one. Follow up with Nemesis and then Insurrection, and then watch the first half of Enterprise, and then the second half of Voyager. You'll kind of be able to feel out the rest of it for yourself. Only watch one episode of TNG though: Sub Rosa. Unless you can get the Lwaxana Troi anthology boxset, that's definitely worth seeing.

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The first half dozen episodes or so of the original series are brilliant science fiction by any standards. Not seen beyond that for donkeys years, but I remember re-watching the first few several years ago and being bowled over by them.

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The man has only a limited time, so with that in mind...

• TNG from series 2 - from there it develops into classic sci-fi. Absolutely essential. Some mind blowing shit in that.

• Then switch to DS9 starting at season 4, as it basically 'rebooted' itself at that point in order to boost ratings and draw a new audience (and because the first four season were a bit dull in my opinion). You didn't miss anything from those first 4 seasons, and it suddenly gets amazing at that point.

• Voyager is fluffy, but I'd watch it from the start. I always felt the first season was the strongest. Great cast and some cracking stories.

• Wouldn't bother with Enterprise myself, they were mostly rehashed plots from the other series. Unless you've become a dribbling Trek addict by then.

• Wouldn't bother with TOS either. As groundbreaking as it was at the time I'm not sure you'd enjoy it beyond it being a bit of a curiosity. You already know the story, Kirk, Spock, tribbles, yadda yadda.

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To offer my opinion, you might want to consider just watching it all in (simplified*) release chronological order - so Star Trek, movies 1-6, TNG, TNG movies, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Star Trek 2009.

Some of it is good, some of it is bad, some of it is very good and some of it is the pits. I think though, if you really want the Trek experience, you have to see through it all - the original series' early ideas, TNG's initial stumbles leading through its brilliant bits, DS9's mediocre start followed by its meteoric rise in quality, Voyager's constant battle with being crap with the occasional glimmer with precious little consistency, Enterprise's similar issue (though I think it gets more flak than it deserves)... Then of course the roller-coaster ride of the films between superb and absolutely atrocious (Star Trek 5).

So to sum up, if you want "the Trek experience", you have to watch it all. You can't just have your Corbomite Maneuvers, Best of Both Worlds and Wrath of Khans. You need to have your Lwaxana Trois, your hyper-evolved space slugs and your going-to-meet-gods. Otherwise you'll always be watching a "best of" and not the whole thing.

*I say simplified because there are overlaps. For example, TNG overlaps with Deep Space 9. I wouldn't recommend really trying to compensate for that.

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The man has only a limited time, so with that in mind...

• TNG from series 2 - from there it develops into classic sci-fi. Absolutely essential. Some mind blowing shit in that.

• Then switch to DS9 starting at season 4, as it basically 'rebooted' itself at that point in order to boost ratings and draw a new audience (and because the first four season were a bit dull in my opinion). You didn't miss anything from those first 4 seasons, and it suddenly gets amazing at that point.

• Wouldn't bother with TOS either. As groundbreaking as it was at the time I'm not sure you'd enjoy it beyond it being a bit of a curiosity. You already know the story, Kirk, Spock, tribbles, yadda yadda.

These paragraphs make me sad.

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(the answer is Sisko)

Eurgh.

My advice: watch TNG then the originals and don't bother with anything else (apart from the latest film, which is a bit of fun).

Voyager in particular is horrendous, a real cultural disaster. It was completely dishonest of the writers to put Janeway in charge. As if a woman could effectively manage a spaceship! And DS9? Too much wanking on about shit, fictional politics in a static vessel. Shit.

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*I say simplified because there are overlaps. For example, TNG overlaps with Deep Space 9. I wouldn't recommend really trying to compensate for that.

Given that there are what, two crossovers and neither of them really affect continuity, I don't see it as anything to be concerned with.

I would either go with Neg Stalker's suggestion of starting from the beginning or start with Next Generation. You could in theory start with DS9 but much of the series is built on events and details that started in TNG that I would recommend watching it after TNG.

if you want a gradual approach you could for example rent the TOS blu-rays, then get the TNG ones when they appear sometime this year. If you want to buy, you can get all of TOS on DVD for about £45 on Amazon, and the other series for £100 each.

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These paragraphs make me sad.

Ok, the point is that if you start at season 1 of TNG, you get beardless Riker, Skin of Evil, Shades of Grey, the Worst of Wesley - just pointless Trek. Any right thinking person would just switch off at that point and then miss out on the good stuff that comes later. Nobody, should have to wade through twenty hours of mindless shit. These are the uncomfortable truths.

Should he really have to suffer Jake and Nog's adventures running around a bar for four series? That's 80 hours of fluff (aside from the excellent pilot episode of course). Wasted hours that Wiper won't get back.

We all had the luxury of watching these on a weekly basis when we were younger (and less discerning) and had more time on our hands (or when we'd rent them out to watch in a bedsit with a few stoned chums when we were skint), but if Wiper (with a presumably busy adult life) tries to watch it all he'll give up by the time Picard is drawing a smiley face in a frozen warp core explosion.

And rightfully so in my opinion.

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I don't think anyone would argue about Shades of Grey. You need to see Wesley to understand the hatred for him, thats part of the experience. You need to see the transition from beardless to bearded Riker for much the same reason.

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I went through DS9 from the start within the last 2 years and thoroughly enjoyed Nog and Jake's whacky adventures! Early DS9 has some absolute crackers in it, and you can only appreciate the weapons reveal of S4 after living through the station as a more peaceful entity. And how could you understand the politics of the Bajorans when jumping in at such a late point? Plus, Wiper is a man of taste, this much I know. He will want to experience every second of DS9 he can get.

And Shades of Grey is something every Trek fan must sit through once to understand just how bad it is. Same goes for Sub Rosa.

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I don't think anyone would argue about Shades of Grey. You need to see Wesley to understand the hatred for him, thats part of the experience. You need to see the transition from beardless to bearded Riker for much the same reason.

Are you saying that because we had to suffer, then Wiper has to suffer? You're a cruel man Dandy.

A quick google suggest that the undertaking people are suggesting (watch it all) would take 546 hours. Who has that amount of time?

It would be a shame to miss some outstanding television because Wesley stands on some flowers.

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I went through DS9 from the start within the last 2 years and thoroughly enjoyed Nog and Jake's whacky adventures! Early DS9 has some absolute crackers in it, and you can only appreciate the weapons reveal of S4 after living through the station as a more peaceful entity. And how could you understand the politics of the Bajorans when jumping in at such a late point? Plus, Wiper is a man of taste, this much I know. He will want to experience every second of DS9 he can get.

And Shades of Grey is something every Trek fan must sit through once to understand just how bad it is. Same goes for Sub Rosa.

Y'see, to me, this argument is the same as the old "You had to have 'Skin of Evil' for there to be a 'Yesterday's Enterprise'". I just don't buy it.

Just give the man his Yesterday's Enterprise. Pleasure without the pain!

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A quick google suggest that the undertaking people are suggesting (watch it all) would take 546 hours. Who has that amount of time?

There is nothing to say he has do do it all within a set period of time. He doesn't seem too concerned with Voyager and Enterprise so it's 324 hours + the films.

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• Then switch to DS9 starting at season 4, as it basically 'rebooted' itself at that point

No, he would need to start about mid way through series 3 to get the idea of story before the reboot, not to mention what the following 4 seasons was all about. It sets up so much including Sisko's amazing beard. DS9 isn't that hard of a slog so start from the beginning to get a good idea of the characters.

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He doesn't seem too concerned with Voyager and Enterprise so it's 324 hours + the films.

Thing is, Voyager is way, way, way better than the first four season of DS9, and the first couple of TNG series as well. Voyager seems to be dismissed out of hand by some here, yet it is much more enjoyable than the episodes from other series that people are suggesting he should watch instead,

So he should sacrifice the shit, so he can get better enjoyment out of his 324 hours.

I really rate Voyager (black and white pantomime episodes aside), and would definitely recommend that series as part of his Trek experience.

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No, he would need to start about mid way through series 3 to get the idea of story before the reboot, not to mention what the following 4 seasons was all about.

It's been a few years, I must admit. But season 4 was essentially Paramounts way of grabbing a new audience (bringing in Worf and Riker's beard) and basically starting again. So everything this new audience needed to know was built into 'Way of the Warrior', they made sure you didn't have to have watched any prior episodes. Hell, they even retconned the whole 'Prophets Orbs' thing.

I'm sure there was some subtleties and character development that was lost, but someone could absolutely come into Series 4 as if it was a brand new show. That was the whole point of it.

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Thing is, Voyager is way, way, way better than the first four season of DS9, and the first couple of TNG series as well. Voyager seems to be dismissed out of hand by some here, yet it is much more enjoyable than the episodes from other series that people are suggesting he should watch instead,

I'm not a Voyager hater, but I really can't agree with your comparison. It's actually quite ludicrous. You're suggesting he skip episodes that show the growth of the series, in order to watch a show that is incredibly inconsistent from start to finish with more misses than hits.

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• Then switch to DS9 starting at season 4, as it basically 'rebooted' itself at that point in order to boost ratings and draw a new audience (and because the first four season were a bit dull in my opinion). You didn't miss anything from those first 4 seasons, and it suddenly gets amazing at that point.

Don't do this. Apart from the whole Bajor/Emissary stuff which is set up early on, you would also miss the introduction of the Dominion at the end of series 2 and the early good mirror universe episodes. And the second episode you would watch would be 'The Visitor,' the best episode of Trek ever and hinges on the Sisko/Jake relationship which is built up in the early series. You can skip 'The Storyteller' though.

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No, he would need to start about mid way through series 3 to get the idea of story before the reboot, not to mention what the following 4 seasons was all about. It sets up so much including Sisko's amazing beard. DS9 isn't that hard of a slog so start from the beginning to get a good idea of the characters.

The bulk of the overall story arc in DS9 was hinted at in series 2, and introduced fully in the beginning of S3. :coffee:

It's been a few years, I must admit. But season 4 was essentially Paramounts way of grabbing a new audience (bringing in Worf and Riker's beard) and basically starting again. So everything this new audience needed to know was built into 'Way of the Warrior', they made sure you didn't have to have watched any prior episodes. Hell, they even retconned the whole 'Prophets Orbs' thing.

Er, no they didn't. There are several episodes post Way of the Warrior that deal with the orbs, leading to several major story events, without having to fiddle with the continuity. Way of the Warrior may have changed the heading of the series, but it doesn't suddenly drop everything to do so. It kicks off a new story arc that merges into the final major arc, but doesn't suddenly drop everything that went before it, if anything it keeps several arcs running alongside that remain until the end of the show.

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Best answer is to watch it all :lol: except Voyager and Enterprise as they were pretty poor. Voyager started off well enough when they started showing the ship as struggling to survive. Then the magic reset button came into play and the whole thing was pristine and supplies plentiful from week to week. A hugely wasted opportunity and on around the same time as DS9 so not like they couldn't go down the decent sized story arc route.

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I'm not a Voyager hater, but I really can't agree with your comparison. It's actually quite ludicrous. You're suggesting he skip episodes that show the growth of the series, in order to watch a show that is incredibly inconsistent from start to finish with more misses than hits.

I wouldn't suggest someone new watch the whole series, but certainly track down the better episodes. Episodes like Counterpoint, Latent Image, Living Witness, Nothing Human and Hope and Fear can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of any Trek.

I'd personally start any intro with the first Season of TOS. Only 3 or 4 episodes I'd skip in the whole thing.

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I wouldn't suggest someone new watch the whole series, but certainly track down the better episodes.

It's the opposite of what the OP wants though. He's asking for a place to start, not random episodes.

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if you want a gradual approach you could for example rent the TOS blu-rays, then get the TNG ones when they appear sometime this year. If you want to buy, you can get all of TOS on DVD for about £45 on Amazon, and the other series for £100 each.

I might actually do this - the rentals, that is. I wasn't aware it was getting blu-ray treatment, and a cursory glance suggests it's a really nice one. I'm a sucker for HD, and should it turn out I really don't enjoy TOS - well, I can always skip ahead and go for the DVDs of TNG instead (or borrow them from a friend). I'll also bear in mind what people have said about the first seasons of TNG and DS9, and temper my expectations accordingly. Should keep me occupied for a good few months (not least with there being absolutely zero chance of me bringing wonderful-girlfriend-who-can't-stand-space-drama into the proceedings, so this'll be a solo activity), at the very least!

Y'see, to me, this argument is the same as the old "You had to have 'Skin of Evil' for there to be a 'Yesterday's Enterprise'". I just don't buy it.

Just give the man his Yesterday's Enterprise. Pleasure without the pain!

Thanks for all the advice in this thread, even if I've not ended up taking it, but this comment made me realise that you would make the worst German philosopher ever. Pleasure without pain? Madness!

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The man has only a limited time, so with that in mind...

• TNG from series 2 - from there it develops into classic sci-fi. Absolutely essential. Some mind blowing shit in that.

• Then switch to DS9 starting at season 4, as it basically 'rebooted' itself at that point in order to boost ratings and draw a new audience (and because the first four season were a bit dull in my opinion). You didn't miss anything from those first 4 seasons, and it suddenly gets amazing at that point.

• Voyager is fluffy, but I'd watch it from the start. I always felt the first season was the strongest. Great cast and some cracking stories.

• Wouldn't bother with Enterprise myself, they were mostly rehashed plots from the other series. Unless you've become a dribbling Trek addict by then.

• Wouldn't bother with TOS either. As groundbreaking as it was at the time I'm not sure you'd enjoy it beyond it being a bit of a curiosity. You already know the story, Kirk, Spock, tribbles, yadda yadda.

I'd say TNG from S3 onwards, then move to DS9 from S3 onwards - this is Trek at it's finest.

I'd also recommend fitting in S2 of TOS at some point as it *is* still worth a watch and that's probably the best season.

Voyager isn't essential, though I enjoyed a lot of it at the time.

Enterprise had a very good first season by Trek standards then faltered before having a decent final year.

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