Star Trek is pretty up there when it comes to how it has impacted pop culture over the years. It is a vast franchise that started with Star Trek: Original Series which premiered in 1966 and went on for three seasons.
Later, the other series of the franchise began to appear one after the other with a wide range of reactions from its audiences.
Of all the series in this franchise so far, which one is the best? What makes it the best?
Of course, it is not possible to point towards one series and call it the best because this is a subjective matter. Further, there are several different ways in which people measure what the ‘best’ is, such as ratings, popularity or the opinion of the critics.
According to us, all of these measures hold their own merit. Based on a bit of everything as well as what we think, We believe that Star Trek: The Next Generation is the best in the series because of the cultural impact that it has had as well as the positive general reactions of the people.
Let’s explore this in further detail below.
What Is the Best Star Trek Series and Why?
We think that the best Star Trek series is Star Trek: The Next Generation mainly due to the fact that lots of people love it and we have been personally inspired from it.
This series premiered in the year 1987 and went on till 1994 for a total of seven impactful seasons. Based on the Star Trek timeline, this series is set after an entire century of the events of the Original Series which ran through the years 2364-2370.
This series includes different characters as well as the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) starship.
Let’s take a more detailed look at why we think that this is the best series.
Ratings and Popularity
This series also has extremely high ratings and has won several awards. While its first two seasons were still finding their footing, it started picking up considerably from its third season, allowing it to earn plenty of popularity across the world.
A big reason for its popularity comes from the fact that it was syndicated, allowing multiple channels to play this series.
The Next Generation does not exactly have the highest ratings when it comes to the opinions of critics. Yet, it still manages a 71% rating which acknowledges the fact that its impact was quite high across the world in terms of popular culture.
Since The Next Generation was set nearly a century after the Original Series and featured new characters, the series offered a pretty modern take in the canon universe of Star Trek, allowing it to reach a wide audience.
Since the budget was higher as well, the making of the film also became a lot more modern, at least for its time.
There were entirely new characters in this series, all of which were played by great actors. The characters were also written pretty well and in a diverse manner. It also sought to delve into several relevant themes beyond space exploration such as peace and humanity.
Introducing various relationships further led to greater engagement with audiences.
In terms of accessibility, we think that this series is highly accessible considering the fact that it can act as a great starting point for people looking to get into the Star Trek series. Since it also has a diverse cast and progressive themes, the accessibility levels are quite high.
Now that streaming is a thing, this series has become more accessible than ever while also gaining newer generations of fans.
Narratively, this show was still a bit weak in the first couple of seasons, but it truly picked up once the third season started. It went on to explore a wide range of themes while also establishing the plot and the characters in an effective manner.
It is also believed to have several well-written episodes along with satisfactory finale episodes.
The impact of this series is undeniable. Due to the onset of streaming, people continue to discover and love this series. It also has a huge impact on the franchise as well, allowing other series to come into existence. This series also has a loyal fandom that continues to create its own content based on the characters of the show.
There are several other great series in the franchise which deserve a mention here too. These include the following.
- Original Series: Since this began the entire franchise in the first place, it holds a special place since it gave birth to an entirely new subculture. It also established the universe of the franchise and is still loved across the world.
- Deep Space Nine: This series began in 1993 and ran for seven seasons until 1999. It also received high ratings from general audiences as well as from critics. It takes place on a space station and explores a few somber themes while still maintaining narrative richness.
- Voyager: This also ran for seven seasons from the year 1995 to 2001. In terms of the timeline, it is set around a similar time as Deep Space Nine. It also portrayed the first female captain in the series along with a diverse cast and well-written characters.
There are several other series in the franchise that have their own merit as well, such as Discovery, Enterprise, Picard and others. Ultimately, what people consider the best depends on their own engagement with the franchise.
To sum up, the best Star Trek series according to what we think is Star Trek: The Next Generation mainly because of its popularity, ratings, impact, modern take, well-rounded characters, accessibility and diversity as well as its narrative strength.
We hope you enjoyed knowing our take and we hope that you enjoy exploring this series in your own way!