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Saturday, January 3

A Post Appropriate for Shatnerday!*

As I was working on a post listing my top 10 movies (a topic recommended here) I briefly touched on the Star Trek TV shows. Since I was having trouble pegging my 10 favorite movies I decided to put that post aside for a while to discuss the all important ranking of the various Star Trek shows. I won't be including Enterprise as I have not seen it, have no desire to see it, and haven't had anyone give me a good reason to see it. That leaves Star Trek (the original series), Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9), and Star Trek: Voyager.

At the risk of outraging purists everywhere I'm going to drop the original series to the bottom ranking straightaway. I like Spock, Scotty, and Kirk. I love "The Trouble With Tribbles." But no one is going to convince me that the original series is of a higher caliber than its spin-offs (as counter-intuitive as that may be). There's just no contest as far as I'm concerned.

That leaves us TNG, DS9 and Voyager. I'll take a look at four main catergories: series plot, episode plot, characters and wildcard.

Series Plot:

My first inclination was to pick Voyager as the winner, but as I thought more carefully I realized that the overarching storyline for Voyager was so consistent as to be downright boring at times. So then I thought of DS9 (TNG was entirely too episodic to even qualify in this category). DS9 had a pretty nice story line (if we ignore all the alternate universe episodes) until the very last season. I have a theory that all the writers for DS9 were fired just prior to the last season and a bunch of high school fan boys were hired in their place. There were too many unexplained plot points and too many infuiriatingly frustrating events (which, to avoid spoiling the ending for those who have not yet watched DS9, will remain undescribed). Nevertheless...I'll give this catergory to DS9.

Episode Plot:

TNG. No contest.

All right, all right...a brief justification: TNG had the greatest number of individual memorable episodes ("There are four lights!!!") as well as the greatest variety of episode plots.

Characters:

DS9 had Quark, and Odo as well as Gul Dukat (who was a deliciously wicked bad guy). Voyager had The Doctor, and Seven of Nine Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One.** Personally, I loved Seven of Nine. She was my favorite Voyager character. Neelix was occasionally an asset in this catergory, but sometimes not. Chakotay made a fine first officer, but wasn't special enough to clinch the characters category for Voyager. No, that honor goes to TNG.

TNG had Troi, Geordi, Riker (beared Riker, not clean-shaven Riker), Guinan, Barclay, Hugh, and by far, the best captain, Captain Picard. TNG also had Miles and Keiko, Worf, and Q who were so lovable they were used in the other two shows. And last but certainly not least is Data. Data is not only my favorite Star Trek character but one of my favorite TV characters. The sheer awesomeness of Data alone is enough to not only earn TNG the win in this category, but also forgiveness for the unfortunate character that is Wesley Crusher.

Wildcard:

DS9 gets points for taking place in a setting other than a starship, but loses points for having episodes that take place in a universe other than the regular one.

Voyager gets points for inclusion of musical performances. Voyager loses points for bad technobabble, contradicting themselves, and contradicting facts well established in other shows.

TNG gets points for exceptional use of poker as a character and plot development tool. TNG loses points for the first season and a half as they were getting into the groove of things.

Winner of the wildcard category? No-one.

Overall Winner:

TNG. Really, it shouldn't be surprising that TNG took the win. It was the only one of the three popular enough to be made into movies. Speaking of which, keep an eye out for my Top 10 Movies post in which one of the TNG movies is listed.

*Technically only the last Saturday of every month is Shatnerday, but whatever.
** Adam feels she should get bonus points just for having the longest name.

1 Stubborn Stains:

CrystalHW said...

I agree, TNG is the best of the bunch!

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