Star Trek is undeniably one of the single most influential and enduring pop culture phenomena in history. The franchise began over half a century ago and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
While Star Trek has certainly made a name for itself in the world of film over the last several decades, the franchise's genesis and rise to prominence began with television.
The original Star Trek series, which debuted in 1966, was not only a vessel for a forward-thinking and incredible sci-fi drama in its time, but would also spawn six more television programs (in addition to the aforementioned film series.)
However, while none of the Star Trek shows have been objectively bad by any stretch of the imagination, some have lived up to the franchise's reputation of progress, innovation, and adventure much better than others.
So, let's take an in-depth look at all the shows this beloved franchise has given us over the years, and decide which of them boldly went where no TV show had gone before, and which went there in a slightly more reserved fashion.
7. Star Trek: The Animated Series
As previously stated, no Star Trek series has been a bad one. Not even the short-lived '70s show, Star Trek: The Animated Series. However, the show was also something of a give and take.
On one hand, it was a charming continuation of Captain Kirk and Co's adventures from The Original Series that featured the vast majority of the main cast reprising their roles. In addition, thanks to the series not being bound by a special effects budget, it allowed for more ambitious character designs and sequences that wouldn't have been possible in live-action at the time.
On the other hand, it's clear that a lot of corners were cut by the show's animation department in terms of the way our heroes moved and expressed emotion, as well as the fact that a lot of backgrounds and character actions were recycled.
Ultimately, however, this show is still very much Star Trek at its core. All of the powerful values established in The Original Series were alive and well. Plus, it was nice to see new stories of the original Enterprise crew being told following their first show's premature cancellation.
At the end of the day, while it wasn't quite up to the standard of its live-action counterparts, Star Trek: The Animated Series was absolutely fine for what it was.