My Star Trek Viewing Guide

If you know me well enough, you know that I’m a pretty big Star Trek fan. I put together a viewing guide as a way to introduce new fans to what I think is the most consequential science fiction property in history.

Why do I think this? For starters, Star Trek is the direct inspiration for nearly every scientific advancement of our day. It’s quite likely that you’re reading this on a handheld touchscreen device. Where did the inspiration for such a device come from? You guessed it. Star Trek. The Personal Access Data Device (or PADD, for short) is the direct inspiration for your iPhone, Pixel, or Galaxy Note. 3D Printers? They were inspired by the replicators on Star Trek. Your Google Home and Amazon Echo assistants? Star Trek‘s Computer. The list goes on and on.

Star Trek is also commentary for contemporary political discourse. TV’s first interracial and same-sex kisses came on Star Trek and Deep Space Nine. The franchise constantly speaks to the strengths, benefits, and challenges of multiculturalism, and to the dangers of xenophobia and ethnocentricity.

It’s also a crucial part of American pop culture that has spawned hundreds of spinoffs, parodies, and homages that it’s impossible to avoid the pervasiveness of Star Trek. Everyone should give Star Trek a try.

Having said all that, I fully understand the daunting nature of the franchise. 50+ years of material spanning over 700 episodes of television and 13 movies is a frightening proposition. However, you don’t have to go through all of it. I’ve developed this guide as a way to enjoy some of the highlights and get a sense of the narratives and themes in Star Trek without having to commit to the entirety of every series.

You’re also more than welcome to start your journey at any series. For instance, if you’re more interested in Deep Space Nine than any of the other series, feel free to start there (just note that there a few episodes from the previous series you need to watch before diving in).

Anyway, my episode guide is linked here. Or copy/paste this:

Hope it proves helpful as you boldly go where so many Star Trek fans have gone before!

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