The best Trek series

After reading through this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=505888,
I wondered what people thought was the best overall series.

Certainly the production team learned things over time, and the universe progressed in certain ways, as did actual show-making technology, but without retconning, which series do we think was best?

I watched TOS as a youngster and there are elements and episodes that are irreplaceable, and more importantly the films. But it had a hackiness that was part of the era in which it was filmed.

I grew up with TNG, but the many problems with it mentioned in the other thread were obvious from the start.

I think a lot of those problems were fixed in DS9, but I’ve still never seen the whole series and there are still bits of it (like the rediculous holodeck episodes) that drive it over the top.

I’ve seen maybe 10 episodes of Voyager, and have little to say on the matter.

For my money, Enterprise is actually the best overall written show. It’s got the same message of trying to liove together in peace and make a better galaxy, but it’s still recognizably “human” in people liking to drink, having “racial” issues with aliens, arguing and conflicting and hating each other and what they have to do.

The humans distrust aliens, the Vulcans treat the humans as children, there is no technobable to fall back on, and *every * character has very obvious goals and flaws that are made important to the series.

And the series gets really, really good as the seasons continue. I’m sorry it didn’t last longer. The last episode is bloody incredible.

Deep Space 9. It was the first Trek that really broke away from Roddenberry’s happy-shiny-communists view of the future, and it got nicely dark in the process. The first grown-up Trek, I think.

I love the Original Series. It was ground breaking and I grew up with it in syndication.

Next Generation was a major disappointment to me. Angsty and annoying.
Picard was boring, they did not have a real engineer but instead a transfer officer wearing an air-filter. Dr. Crusher was annoying and Wesley one of the worst characters ever. Troi needed to be killed early in the series. She was horrible. Worf was the best part of the show and Chief O’Brien wasn’t bad. They both escaped to the second best Trek.

DS9 was fairly good. I enjoyed the early episodes but lost interest after several years.

Voyager started very well and got weak very quick. By the second season it was Gilligan’s Island and without Mary Ann. Well I guess they had 7of9 but she was more of a Ginger.

Enterprise was unwatchable for me. Maybe my Trek interest had waned too much by the time it showed up.

Long live Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty and the rest. They were by far the best and most exciting.

I’d go for DS9, too. But there are two big caveats there- I didn’t watch more than two or three Voyager episodes (they were terrible) and didn’t watch Enterprise. DS9 appeared to reflect an understanding of the world that was a little more nuanced than the other shows.

jayjay, I am not sure it is fair to describe Star Trek as “happy-shiny-communists”. They were in what was effectively a full out cold war with the Klingons & Romulans. They met dishonest traders and criminals at various times. They weren’t communist, they were military during a mostly cold war with occasional flame ups. They showed prisons, red shirts died by dozens and entire planets were completely destroyed.

Your description sounds like Next Gen only in fact.

I dunno. DS9 introduced a world where you have to work for latinum and to earn it, you could be a Dabo girl, or whatever it was called.

What was the point of progress, again?

Easily DS9. Overall I think it has the best acting. I prefer a show that has a continuing story line rather than one off episodes. TNG had too many hanging plotlines and not enough story movement through the years. I watched Voyager but recognize it as the worst one. Mostly because of the bad acting and the worst captain. I watched Enterprise when I caught it but I never really got into it.

All of the characters in DS9 were interesting, and each had their own developing plot-line. TNG, Voyager and Enterprise had ensemble casts where a sizable chunk were boring and increasingly ignored by the writers.

But basically I felt the first three series were good for different reasons, and the final two were varying degrees of suck.

Voting for DS9 as well. Slow to start and I hated the whole Cisco is an agent of God message, but once they had the Klingon/Cardassian/Founder war going on, it got real good real fast.

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. Once Dax died and they replaced her, it went bad real fast.

DS9 was the most ambitious and probably the best overall. However, I probably personally liked Enterprise the best, mostly because of the “right stuff” aspect, but also because Hoshi is my favourite Trek Chick (and yes, my favourite episodes were the “In a Mirror, Darkly” storyline).

I have to admit tho, even tho I understand how people can hate on Voyager, I think it was good as Star Trek done comedy. Also, I luurve the time travel episodes, and I think Voyager’s were my favourites (well, except for “Yesterday’s Enterprise”) of that type, the Maquis were my favourite parts of the whole Star Trek universe (even tho the TNG Maquis episodes were better than any of the Voyager Maquis episodes), and I just always have a good time watching and laughing along with (at?) Voyager episodes.

Oh well, I seem not to have come to any conclusions. Meh.

I don’t think it got too bad after the change but I do admit I don’t like the Dax storylines much after they switched. Despite the fact that she is cute as a button. I pretty much break DS9 into pre-goatee and post-goatee periods. I like it pre-goatee but it was much better post-goatee.

When the wheel was invented, back in the Fertile Crescent about 10,000 BC, it did not have ball bearings or hydraulic brakes. They were definite improvements, but I think most people dealing with the history of technology would rate the invention of the wheel above the invention of ball bearings and hydraulic brakes as a feat of innovation.

To my mind, that is why comparing TOS with its successors is like comparing apples, not with oranges, but with the color purple.

Television, by the mid-1960s, had evolved some clear ‘rules’ on how to craft a successful program. One had recurring characters with whom the audience could identify, in some form of relationship with each other – family, employer/employee, coworkers, colleagues (Marshall Dillon, Doc Adams, and Miss Kitty, for example, were acquiainted professionally in their three disparate roles, as well as being friends)… Anthology programs without recurring characters were a niche area, generally succeeding due to the taste of the producer/host who introduced the episodes (Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling). Science fiction for televiision was not of the ‘literature of ideas’ quality of contemporary written SF; it was a LCD space opera done in the strongest of melodramatic black and white, and was, other than the anthologies Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, confined to syndication as Saturday morning filler.

When Gene Roddenberry decided to make a good science fiction TV show, he realized that the need for recurring characters had been demonstrated – yet he still wanted to explore the potential for looking at the world through different visions that was the strong point of quality written SF. What could use the breadth of possible environments and scenarios available to SF while preserving the viewer identification element?

His solution? Look at the 18th century British Navy. It would send forth ships on extended voyages of exploration, learning new things and showing the flag in exotic new ports. If Earth had a ‘space navy’ in the tradition Heinlein and others had invented, and one of its ships, fully crewed, was sent on a voyage of exploration… why, then you would have the potential to explore new ideas, new viewpoints, while preserving the ‘recurring cast we can identify with’ criterion. And in casting that crew, you can make some statements important to make in the Sixties just by what the crew comprises.

It succeeded – beyond anyone’s expectations, it succeeded. And that’s why it stands in a realm by itself. ST:TOS ‘invented the wheel’ – it created the mechanism by which A/V SF could be seen to be as potentially a successful investment, that would attract an ongoing audience. That it didn’t have the technical glitz, or character development, of later series, is immaterial – it’s like contrasting a chariot with a Beemer, without realizing that the latter is the development and refinement of the former.

What this guy said.

Debate the merits of the the rest (In descending order of merit - DS9, TNG, Voyager and then trailing by many lengths, Enterprise.) but I was there when TOS first came out. It was that sensational.

I choose Enterprise but I don’t exactly agree with what say here. I’m conflicted.

The show’s writing was okay but it was too pliable/malleable to the whims of the critics. Some of the arcs were just bad. And although the panda was watchable, all the bickering and “sin” elements sort of turned me off.

What I love about it is the promise it gave every episode: we’re so close to the stars. Right now we could be doing what leads up to what they did every day of their lives. That’s what got me. And the opening sequence almost always makes me choke up. (More so with the original theme song.)

Deep Space Nine is the best of the series, by a good long shot. TNG & TOS are tied for second; each have things to recommend them, and each have major flaws. Voyager sucks over all, but did have the two best actors (Picardo & Ryan) and the single best series premiere. Enterprise might have been great given time, and I liked its theme song best; however, its first two seasons were so shudderingly awful that even the thought of them causes nosebleeds.

For best writing I agree. But with the exception of the most soulful Captain ever, the acting was not so good. The Ferengi-style Cheers wackiness was pretty grating too.

I noted that Voyager, which had far, FAR worse writing, had the two best actors in the franchise. But I think you should give DS9 more credit. I mean, it had Colm Meaney and Nana Visitor, for gossake.

Picard and Sisko tended to deliver their dialogue like they were in a Shakespearean play. Janeway and Archer came across as a bit more normal, ship’s captain-wise.

Star Trek was, and still is, the best of the bunch.

But it was NOT successful. Indeed, it was spectacularly UNsuccessful. It almost was cancelled after 2 seasons. It WAS cancelled after three seasons. It simply could not compete with the other shows that were out there at the time.

Of course, it might have been successful if they had had alternate “networks” at the time. One can assert that the only reason TNG finished its first full season was because it had a captive network showing it.

I, too, think that, of the more modern versions, DS9 was the best. Better acting, better stories, more interesting themes.

Am I really the only person who thinks Avery Brooks is the most horrendously appalling actor to actually be considered successful?

He is so agonizingly painful to watch and listen to I have a hard time getting through some episodes. And it isn’t just in Trek - I had the misfortune of watching the trainwreck that was “The Big Hit” and he was exactly the same, even though the film called for over-the-top acting while Trek did not.

[shudder]