All the Star Trek shows in order

Wondering which Star Trek shows to start with? Here’s the order of the Star Trek TV series

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek is an expansive franchise that spans 13 movies and 12 TV series. It’s considered one of the best franchises of all time in the science fiction genre. With so much information out there about this enthralling universe, an overwhelming feeling can quickly set in.

So, whether you’re a longtime “Trekkie” or new to the franchise and looking to figure out which Star Trek shows you should start with, this post will give you an overview of the order of the Star Trek TV series and how it has evolved over time.

#1 Star Trek: The Original Series

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A still from Season 1, Episode 14 of Stak Trek: The Original Series entitled Court Martial

Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek: The Original Series started the franchise with its debut on September 8th, 1966 on NBC. It is set in the 23rd century and follows the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and civilizations.

It introduced some of the most iconic roles in the franchise, including Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForrest Kelley), Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (James Doohan), Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), among many others. The show also introduced some of the franchise’s most notable alien races, such as the Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, Tellarites, Andorians, and Gideonites, just to name a few.

While the show only ran for three seasons until 1969, it has been hugely influential in popular culture and is often credited with paving the way for shows like Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.

#2 Star Trek: The Animated Series

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A still from Season 1, Episode 8 of Star Trek: The Animated Series entitled The Magicks of Megas-Tu

Star Trek: The Animated Series aired from 1973-1974 and was created as a direct result of the success of Star Trek: The Original Series. The show features the voice talents of many of the original cast members and continues the adventures of the Enterprise crew. While the animation style was not well-received by fans of the Star Trek franchise, the show is still considered an important part of the franchise.

#3 Star Trek: The Next Generation

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A still from Season 1, Episode 3 of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled The Naked Now

Star Trek: The Next Generation aired from 1987-1994 and is set in the 24th century, 100 years after the original series. Star Trek: TNG follows the crew of a new Starship Enterprise as they explore the galaxy and encounter new challenges. With a cast led by Patrick Stewart, the show was hugely successful, running for seven seasons and spawning two spin-off series.

Star Trek: TNG is known for introducing the Borg, alien species popular for their cybernetic enhancements, hive mind mentality, and relentless pursuit of “perfection” through assimilation. They are one of the most iconic and formidable villains in the entire Star Trek franchise, appearing across various series and films.

#4 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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All the Star Trek TV Series in order 5

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine aired from 1993-1999 and is set in a space station rather than a starship. The show follows the crew of the station as they deal with political intrigue and the challenges of living in close quarters. The show is darker in tone than the previous Trek series and is considered one of the best-written shows in the franchise.

The main character of the show is Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), the first African-American captain in Star Trek history. Sisko is a widower with a young son who is appointed the first commanding officer of Deep Space Nine.

#5 Star Trek: Voyager

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All the Star Trek TV Series in order 6

Star Trek: Voyager aired from 1995-2001 and follows the crew of the USS Voyager as they are stranded in the Delta Quadrant, far from home. The show features a mix of action, adventure, and drama as the crew struggles to find their way back to Earth.

#6 Star Trek: Enterprise

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Star Trek: Enterprise aired from 2001-2005 and is a prequel series set in the 22nd century. The show follows the crew of the first Starship Enterprise as they explore the early days of interstellar travel. The show was not as successful as the previous Trek series but is still considered an integral part of the franchise. Its final season was in 2005 but its influence reverberates throughout the universe.

#7 Star Trek: Discovery

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All the Star Trek TV Series in order 8

Star Trek: Discovery aired its first season in 2017. The show is set 10 years before the original series and follows the crew of the USS Discovery as they explore new worlds and encounter new threats. In a departure from previous Star Trek series, the show’s primary protagonist, Michael Burnham (portrayed by Martin-Green), is not the captain of the titular ship for the first few seasons. The show, which has received mixed reviews from fans and critics, is streaming on Paramount+. Star Trek: Discovery season 5 is set to premiere in early 2023.

#8 Star Trek: Short Treks

A still from Season 1, Episode 1 of Star Trek: Short Treks entitled Runaway

Star Trek: Short Treks is a series of short films released in 2019 and 2020. The shorts are set in the Trek universe and feature new stories and characters.

#9 Star Trek: Picard

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Star Trek: Picard is a series that was released in 2020 and is set 20 years after the events of the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis. The series follows the titular character, Jean-Luc Picard, as he comes out of retirement to deal with a new threat to the galaxy and ponders the Final Frontier. As of February 2023, the show is airing its third and final season.

#10 Star Trek: Lower Decks

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All the Star Trek TV Series in order 11

Star Trek: Lower Decks is an animated series that was released in 2020 and is set on a support vessel during the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show follows the lives of the lower-ranking members of the ship’s support crew and is geared towards a more light-hearted tone. Returning to Paramount+ for its fourth season this 2023, the series features the voices of Tawny Newsome (Beckett Mariner), Jack Quaid (Brad Boimier), Noël Wells (D’Vana Tendi), Eugene Cordero (Sam Rutherford), Dawnn Lewis (Carol Freeman), Jerry O’Connell (Jack Ransom), Fred Tatasciore (Shaxs), and Gillian Vigman (T’Ana).

#11 Star Trek: Prodigy

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All the Star Trek TV Series in order 12

Star Trek: Prodigy is an animated series that was released in October 2021 and is aimed at a younger audience. The show follows a group of teenage aliens as they are given command of their own starship.

#12 Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

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All the Star Trek TV Series in order 13

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is a television series that was released in 2022. The show is a prequel to the original series and follows the early days of the Enterprise crew’s five-year mission. The show, which stars Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, has been very well-received by Star Trek fans for featuring many of the iconic characters and villains from the original series, including villains like the Gorn, while also introducing new civilizations that Trekkies have never encountered before in the Star Trek universe.

As you have probably noticed in the list above, the best way (arguably) to watch Star Trek shows is in the order each series was made. Watching them in this order allows you to follow the franchise from its inception and explore its universe as the original fans did several years ago.

Want to learn more about Star Trek movies? Check out our story about Star Trek films covering 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. 

Is there any upcoming Star Trek TV series?

Yes, there’s one confirmed upcoming Star Trek TV series. In March 2023, Paramount+ greenlit Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, which is set to go into production in 2024.

There isn’t enough information yet to definitively say what Starfleet Academy will be about. However, based on announcements and interviews, here’s what we can expect:

Setting:

The pilot episode and the series will be set in the 31st century, aligning with the current timeline of Star Trek: Discovery seasons 3, 4, and 5.

Plot:

It will follow the stories of a new class of cadets attending Starfleet Academy, the prestigious institution that trains future officers for the United Federation of Planets’ spacefaring force. The showrunners described it as “a coming-of-age story that delves into the lives of iconic characters on Earth who aspire to join the stars.” It is expected to have a young adult audience focus, similar to shows like Riverdale and Teen Wolf. While exact details haven’t been confirmed, the story will likely explore themes of friendship, rivalry, self-discovery, and navigating the challenges of training for a career in Starfleet.

Characters:

We’ll meet a diverse group of alien and human cadets from various backgrounds and cultures. No specific characters have been announced yet, but they will likely represent a range of personalities, strengths, and flaws. We might also see appearances from established Starfleet personnel as instructors or mentors.

Tone:

The showrunners have described the series as “really funny” and “a new side of Star Trek,” suggesting a lighter and more comedic tone compared to other Star Trek shows. However, it will likely still balance humor with exploration of deeper themes.

What is the best way to watch all Star Trek movies?

Now that you’ve found out the order of Star Trek TV shows, you’re probably wondering how about the Star Trek movies.

There’s no single “best” way to watch all the Star Trek films, as it depends on your preferences and what you want to get out of the experience. However, here are some popular approaches with the movie lists included

Chronological Order

This follows the in-universe timeline of events, offering a sense of continuity and allowing you to appreciate the evolution of the franchise and its characters. However, it can be jarring to jump between different casts and production styles.

Here’s the list of movies in chronological order:

  1. Star Trek: Enterprise (2009): Prequel film focused on Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the first starship named Enterprise.
  2. Star Trek: The Original Series films:
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
    • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
    • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
  3. Star Trek: The Next Generation films:
    • Star Trek: Generations (1994)
    • Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
    • Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
    • Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
  4. Star Trek (Kelvin Timeline) films:
    • Star Trek (2009)
    • Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
    • Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Release Order

This follows the order in which the films were released, providing the historical context of each film and letting you experience them as audiences did at the time. However, it can be confusing due to continuity errors and retcons introduced in later films.

Here’s the list of movies in release order:

  1. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
  3. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
  4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
  5. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
  6. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
  7. Star Trek: Generations (1994)
  8. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
  9. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
  10. Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
  11. Star Trek (2009)
  12. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
  13. Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Themed Order

You can group the films by theme, allowing you to delve deeper into specific aspects of Star Trek that interest you and create a more curated viewing experience. However, it might involve skipping some films or watching them out of order, potentially missing important plot points.

Here are some thematic groupings you can consider:

  • Focus on a specific character: Watch all the films featuring your favorite captain, like Kirk, Picard, or Sisko.
  • Explore particular storylines: Group films by themes like first contact, exploration, war, or diplomacy.
  • Experience different genres within the franchise: Watch the action-packed films together, then the more character-driven ones.

Ultimately, the best way to watch Star Trek films is the way that you enjoy most. If you’re new to the franchise, starting with the Original Series films or the Kelvin Timeline films might be a good entry point. If you’re a longtime fan, you might prefer to rewatch your favorites or explore some of the less popular films.

Source: Memory Alpha Fandom, Star Trek
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