Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1 (1966-1967) This ambitious first series established three lead actors perfectly suited to their roles (and who struggle when pushed beyond them). Pros: relatively high production values, genuine SF concepts, ground-breaking racial diversity. Cons: patchy scripts, gender objectification, Kirk’s (Shatner’s?) creepy interactions with women.
The Orville, Season One (2017) A deliberately cheesy Star Trek pastiche that relies more on its characters and comedy than on plotlines. At its best when mixing incidental humour with quirky SF ideas or space opera (‘Firestorm’); cringeworthy when attempting to tackle serious issues (‘About a Girl’).
Star Trek Beyond dir. Justin Lin (2016) The Enterprise is lured into a trap and taken down in a well-executed show of pathos. What follows is a good-natured SF romp, sufficient almost to divert viewers’ attention from Chris Pine’s curious attempts to channel both William Shatner and Eddie Izzard.
Galaxy Quest dir. Dean Parisot (1999) Out-of-work SF actors are plucked from the convention circuit by guileless aliens who, failing to distinguish them from their Star Trek -like characters, beseech them to intervene in a real-life space war. The quality of the cast makes this spoof very watchable.