I am interested in watching Star Trek and have a few questions about doing so. Firstly, I have never watched anything with an 'old' feel to it. For some reason I just can't get into them but I hope that's not the case with Star Trek.

I have seen the first 10 minutes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series' and it was too much to for me. Is it possible to skip this series?

This order has been recommended but not sure if it's good:

  • Star Trek Films 1 through 6
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek Film 7
  • Star Trek: Voyager
  • Star Trek Films 8 through 10
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Star Trek: Enterprise

Also do the new movies have any significant relationship with any of these previous TV series/movies? So is it possible to watch them without watching any of the rest? It seems like a completely new canon so not sure.

  • you should look at this answer scifi.stackexchange.com/a/37697/25784
    – Malachi
    Oct 17, 2014 at 18:37
  • 2
    If you feel like you can't enjoy TOS after giving a few episodes a try (try a few of different flavors - action, comedy, drama - rather than just the first episode) you can skip it. You'll miss out on a few references, especially regarding the movies and a few cameos in TNG, but I only ever saw two episdoes of TOS and almost every episode of TN and could still enjoy the latter (those two episodes being Trouble with Tribbles and A Piece of the Action)
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 17, 2014 at 18:41
  • 1
    There is no need to watch any movies first; just pick one of the series and go for it. I recommend "The Next Generation." Oct 17, 2014 at 19:04
  • 3
    @Ben Miller - if someone is a total Trek Newbie, I might recommend they watch maybe the pilot of TNG and the borg intro episode and "Measure of a Man", then skip right to season 3, because the first two seasons are widely seen as being overall lower in quality than season 3 on, and slogging through all the mediocre episodes might alienate a first-time viewer (you can always go back to earlier seasons once you've seen enough to get fond of the characters and the show's style).
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 17, 2014 at 19:52
  • 3
    If you gave up on TOS after the first ten minutes, it's no wonder you couldn't get into the series. Ten minutes isn't long enough to even remember the characters' names, let alone grow attached to them. For new TV series today, I give them three episodes. If they can't get me to care after telling me three stories about the characters, or worse yet have me rooting for the bad guys, then it is time to find some other amusement. If you'd done this with TOS, you'd have seen "The Man Trap", "Charlie X" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before", one fair, one good and one excellent episode.
    – Kyle Jones
    Oct 17, 2014 at 22:35

2 Answers 2


Since other questions have already given us answers on what to go with a full viewing order in mind, I'm going to focus on the other aspect of your question: Whether you can skip TOS (and since the other two questions are pretty through in every other regard, I'd suggest editing your question to focus on that anyway).

It is entirely acceptable to skip TOS

TOS is set in a time long before most Star Trek series - a long enough time that most of the characters you would encounter in TOS are long gone by TNG times. What's more, the TV series, as well as the movies, are made to be stand-alone entities, so no prior knowledge of the series is required to enjoy them.

If you want to skip the TOS movies, simply skip past the numbered ones (I through VI) and start with Generations. Though with that being said...


Skipping TOS is going to leave you out on a number of references to the original series. And that may strongly impact how much you enjoy those references. To name a few:

  • Star Trek: Generations - The movie is mostly about TNG and its crew, but features the TOS crew prominently, and without any knowledge of their exploits, it may be less enjoyable for you.
  • TNG - Several episodes feature characters that are either from TOS or related to characters from TOS. Doctor McCoy from TOS appears in the very first TNG episdoe, Spock's dad Sarek has an entire episode named after him (though even just knowing he's Spock's dad is enough to enjoy that particular episode), Scotty shows up for an entire episode and his history as an engineer is the whole focus of said episode, and Spock shows up for a two-parter. Not knowing anything about these characters will make these references less enjoyable.
  • DS9 - It's a fairly significant spoiler, but there is one episode in particular that very prominently references TOS.
  • Voyager - George Takei appears in the episode "Flashback" (thank you, Jason Baker)
  • ENT - What? Sorry I don't know that one. (cough cough)

In short, while you aren't going to lose any possible enjoyment you might get from a Star Trek series by skipping TOS, you WILL be missing out on every reference they make to it. And while they aren't constant, there are a few cases where knowing the original series can help you enjoy those episodes immensely more.


I would, however, recommend watching at least an episode or two of the TV series before getting into the movies directly related to the TV series. You'll be a bit more out-in-the-cold if you don't already know the cast. Likewise, even the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies are a bit more enjoyable (Or less, depending on who you ask) after having experienced TOS.

  • 2
    Psh, given that it was constrained by being a prequel, ENT was pretty good. Oh, and ENT 4x18/19 In a Mirror, Darkly and Part II acted as a sequel to TOS 3x09, The Tholian Web, and a prequel to TOS 2x19, Mirror, Mirror. It's completely out of left field if you didn't already know about the Mirror universe from one of the other series
    – Izkata
    Oct 17, 2014 at 21:04
  • 1
    The first DS9 cross over to the mirror universe nicely summarizes what happens after TOS's Mirror, Mirror too.
    – Andy
    Oct 17, 2014 at 21:44

I'm not going to address viewing order, since that's covered in this question, which I believe is where you got your list from. Instead I'm going to address your other questions.

Can you skip TOS?

I'm probably going to upset a lot of Trekkies, but in my opinion you probably can. There are a handful of guest appearances of TOS actors in later series, but I think you'll get all the background on them you need by watching the early movies. The list of appearances are1:

However, I don't recommend skipping all of TOS. Although the early episodes can be pretty dry, the last half of season 1 and nearly all of season 2, are excellent. I would at least recommend watching Space Seed, which sets up the movie Wrath of Khan, The City on the Edge of Forever, Amok Time, and The Trouble With Tribbles. Zibboz also recommends A Piece of the Action, which is definitely one of Shatner's better performances and helps motivate the Prime Directive that becomes central to so many TNG plots.

Do the new movies have any significant relationship with previous series/movies?

There are some character crossovers and references. I already mentioned Kirk, Scotty, and Chekhov appearing in Generations, but there are a few others:

  • Worf's introduction in First Contact (The 8th movie) doesn't make a lot of sense unless you've seen at least the start of Season 4 of Deep Space 9
  • Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway from Voyager) has a cameo in Nemesis (The 10th movie)

There are also occasional references in those movies to things that happen in DS9 (Like the Dominion Wars), and references in the shows to things that happen in the movies (What springs to mind: Worf's introduction in DS9 references the destruction of the Enterprise-D in Generations), but those shouldn't hamper your enjoyment of either.

One major exception is that the Enterprise season 2 episode Regeneration is pretty much a direct sequel to First Contact, the 8th film. The episode is perfectly serviceable if you're unfamiliar with the film, but you need to ignore some significant plot questions that the episode doesn't answer.

In general, I find that you can fit the movies in anywhere. The new movies deal with the TNG main cast, were all made after TNG was cancelled, and don't have much overlap with later series. They're pretty standalone.

I can't resist making one comment on your suggested viewing order. In my opinion, the premise of Voyager doesn't make a lot of sense without watching a good bit of DS9. Although the Maquis are introduced in TNG, their story gets a lot of treatment in DS9, and understanding the tension between the Maquis and the Federation makes watching several Voyager episodes (Especially the early ones) much less confusing.

1 There are lots more, but they're mostly TOS guest actors who reprise their roles in later series. I'm only focusing on the TOS main cast here

  • I'd also recommend "A Piece of the Action", if for no other reason than it being my favorite and being a much more light-hearted episode that is very enjoyable.
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 17, 2014 at 19:09
  • Added it, although personally I didn't enjoy it all that much; Shatner's hamming was a bit too distracting for my tastes Oct 17, 2014 at 19:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.