I need some Star Trek advice. I’m a moderate ST nerd: I’ve seen TNG 7x+, DS9 2x+, Voyager 2x+, Picard, all the movies 2x+ times (Khan + First Contact + 1st JJ film are my faves). What should I watch next? Lower Decks? Discovery? SNW? Prodigy? Convince me!

Discussion  33 comments

Lucienne Druckman

I'm well beyond a moderate ST nerd, and I've seen it all (multiple times!). I would recommend Strange New Worlds - it's really well cast, playful with how it approaches genre (courtroom drama? musical? comedy? it has it all!), and follows the "adventure of the week" format, which is what makes TNG, DS9 and Voyager so rewatchable, in my opinion. I thought the second season was even better than the first, and it's the one Star Trek show my non-ST-nerd partner has really gotten hooked on.

Jon Deem

I'm picky about what I watch and look for feedback before I do. It took me a long time to watch Discovery for that reason. I think SNW is a better next choice and as an added bonus you get a peak at LD in one of the episodes!

Michael S.

Count me as a third vote for SNW - it's super fun and the cast has chemistry for days!

Kevin Lawver

Fourth vote for Strange New Worlds. It's the best Trek since TNG for me. I love the cast, the stories and that they're respectful of the lore, but not dogmatic about it.

Lower Decks is a lot of fun, and you should definitely watch at least a couple episodes of it before you start Strange New Worlds season two.

I couldn't make it through the last two seasons of Discovery, but enjoyed the first two a LOT.

Jason KottkeMOD

Lots of votes for Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks over on Bluesky and Mastodon, as well as some YMMV about Discovery. Not a single person has mentioned Enterprise... 😬

Brady J. Frey

This is one of the few times I'd love an upvote feature on comments.

Daniel O

Agreed

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Scott McMillin

Add my vote for both SNW and Lower Decks!

Matt S

My wife and I tried SNW and couldn't get past the back to back episodes that hinged on child sacrifice. Did they knock it off or is there more?

FWIW we both enjoy Discovery.

Nick Husher

Strange New Worlds is an absolute banger of Star Trek. The second season plays with formats a bit (they have a crossover with Lower Decks, a cartoon, and a musical episode), which was mostly received positively. I liked them a lot, but I can imagine people not thinking they are “Star Trek” enough.

The more Star Trek you watch, the more you might enjoy Lower Decks. It’s goofy and not always to be taken seriously, but it truly loves Star Trek and many of the storylines are decent.

Nick Husher

Also, Enterprise is … fine. It was cancelled before it could hit its stride, because the last season is generally pretty good. I would put it above Disco and below Voyager, FWIW.

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Zachary Carrel

Discovery has its ups and downs, but I love the cast and I really think the last couple seasons have been on point. Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones are brilliant as Michael Burnham and Saru. Their presence is worth a watch of discovery alone.

SNW is beautifully filmed, the cast is amazing, and it's really nice to get some stand alone episodes again. It's like a summer evening out or a cozy blanket.

Lower decks is StarTrek comedy gold, It's like an easter egg gift box for fans as devoted and well watched as you. It also has a great balance of irreverence and heart for what makes Star Trek great.

Prodigy is def for young fans, I would have loved to have this show when I was a kid. The story has so much potential and untapped world building. And of course Captain Janeway, I can never get enough.

Brady J. Frey

SNW for sure! Everyone here is on the money; it is a modern play on the core of star trek and a lot of fun. Not to mention well do e. Lower deck is paragon level nerd 100 and may not be your cup of tea (my wife was like *wat* most of the time, where I picked up on the inside baseball). I have not been able to finish Discovery, it irritates me. Enterprise if you haven’t tried it might be fun, but no where near as fun and well-done as SNW.

I’m surprised you tackled Picard over SNW. I really disliked most of Picard, especially season 2: space tv show with only 1% space.

Jason KottkeMOD

I loved the cast of TNG so much that I couldn't resist Picard. 🤷‍♂️

Brady J. Frey

That is probably why I came back to it. Season one was painful, season two was a torment, and season three I smiled most of the way. Season three actually felt like closure.

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Pete Ashton

Mostly what everyone else has said, but will emphasise Lower Decks, which is daft nonsense but also very sincere and fully in the spirit of the thing. It's probably my favourite spacey scifi thing at the moment. Mariner's character development is just perfect. And the crossover with SNW is *chef's kiss*.

Paul Burdick

100% Lower Decks if you are a Star Trek fan. It is one of my favorite series from this year and it makes me so happy with all of its references and humor. Not only that, its stories are really well written. Strange New Worlds is good, but it falls a bit into the recent Marvelization of Cinema that seems to have happened in the last 5 years. I really wish the creators would work more on making it well-thought out, coherent, and focused without the throw away jokes. The stories sometimes get a bit silly or meander more than is really necessary, IMO.

Greg Lescoe

Echoing all the support for Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks, both of which are by far the Star Trek-est of the new Trek shows. It sounds like a goof, but honestly the pitch for Strange New Worlds is essentially "what if we made a new Star Trek show that was… a Star Trek show."

Discovery was an interesting experiment with "what if a prestige serial drama took place in Star Trek," and it has great actors, but the writing has an unfortunate tendency to basically spend its entire time at THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IMAGINABLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD and "I've known writers who use subtext and they're all cowards." I kind of gradually shifted to semi-hatewatching it after season 2, but I will still surely watch the final season next year just to see how it ends, and also because, well, I like the actors and the characters.

Picard is pretty weird too — it felt like all three seasons were written by entirely different teams who kind of all got locked in separate rooms and asked how they would do a prestige drama about Jean-Luc Picard, and then they got back together, compared notes, and did one season each of almost entirely unrelated stories. The third season leans into nostalgia in a way you'd have expected the first two to, but around the ⅔ mark it starts to feel resentful, as though the show caught us, the audience, sneaking a little nostalgia and so it sits us down and forces us to smoke the whole pack.

Lower Decks is a Star Trek sitcom written by people who loooooooove Star Trek, and so it nails that feel of "the best parodies are written by the biggest fans." It also helps that it's episodically structured, and the faster line deliveries enabled by the animated format actually mean that a given episode of Lower Decks contains about the same number of plot beats as a given episode of TNG, just running at double speed. I love Lower Decks.

William Fitzgerald

Well, I liked Enterprise. I like Scott Bakula’s optimism, the Altarians, many of the epoisodic stories. The super sexy Vulcan was a mistake, but the character (T’pol) and the actor (Jolene Ballock) were not. The linguist character (Hoshi Sato) too — interesting to have a ST where translation isn’t always magic.

Rion Nakaya

I did. not. enjoy. the first 2 seasons, but oh man, S3 of Picard was so satisfying / heartening / fantastic. After that I accidentally fell into Strange New Worlds, which has been solid. I did like some of Disco for the actors, character-building, and effects, but it was uneven, and a bit heavy on slow-moving Klingon-subtitled scenes. I may revisit when I run out of SNW.

Also, ha, no one has mentioned The Orville. Season 1 was rickety and I bailed on S3, but if I remember correctly, S2 was an amusing send-up of TNG. Maybe fun to dip into.

Jared Fullerton

If you're rewatching old ones or watching new stuff for the first time, you should check out The Greatest Generation and Greatest Trek podcasts. They've watched through TNG, DS9, and most of VOY on TGG and all of the new Trek on Greatest Trek, both are on Maximum Fun. I highly recommend it.

https://maximumfun.org/podcasts/greatest-generation/
https://maximumfun.org/podcasts/greatest-trek/

Jared Crookston

I also loved Lower Decks and SNW. Both are have great casts and are a lot of fun.

P

Great thing about SNW (like old ST) is that you can skip most episodes if you're not feeling it, without any loss of continuity. I don't care for musicals, so I skipped that S2E9 episode, and I also skipped S1E8 which was the lowest rated episode that season by a far margin.

Jonathan Dobres

Strange New Worlds would be my pick. It's not perfect, but it's an anthology show with some light continuity, which gives it a storytelling flexibility that Trek has lacked lately. It is technically a spin-off of Discovery, which I like less, because it commits the cardinal sin of centering the show on one character. Star Trek is always at its best as an ensemble.

Jonathan Dobres

To clarify: SNW is very much an ensemble. Discovery isn't.

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Leslie Kaminoff

TOS remastered!

I watched almost every single one of the original broadcasts as a kid before they were re-runs. But that meant I only saw them on low-res small screens.

Reliving those episodes today on a large, hi-res monitor is like being on an acid trip down memory lane. It really took me by surprise how much color, texture and detail had never registered.

I highly recommend the experience for every true Trek fan. All episodes are available on Paramount+.

CM

Adding yet another plug for Strange New Worlds, known in my household as 'Hair Trek,' in honor of Captain Pike's coif.

Jonathan Dobres

Without question the most stunning head of hair on television, possibly ever.

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Yen Ha

Lower Decks too sitcom-y for me, but definitely yes SNW, which I resisted for a little because ugh another white male captain?! But it's way less him than the whole crew. Discovery also very much enjoyed for the cast interactions.

Jim Cormier

If you've never watched TOS, definitely check out the remastered version, even if only for laughs and historical relevance.

Also, it occurs to me that Star Trek is one of the few fandoms where you can list a resume like you have here and still be only a "moderate" nerd.

Jason KottkeMOD

Right? I had a couple of people question the "moderate" part of my declaration and I was like no, you don't understand...

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Jason KottkeMOD

Thanks for the recs, everyone. I started Strange New Worlds yesterday and I was hooked 10 minutes in. Excited for the rest and to start in on Lower Decks at some point too.

Colin Davis

https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2022/05/23/eros-iv
https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2022/07/11/exodus
(I love Tycho's commentary underneath. I agree with most of what he writes.)

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