The WiC rankings: Every single Star Trek show ranked worst to best

Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Pike, and Dan Jeannotte as Samuel Kirk of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+
Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Pike, and Dan Jeannotte as Samuel Kirk of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ /
1 of 10

There have been a lot of Star Trek shows over the years, and ranking them is a proud and contentious tradition. Without further ado, Here’s are WinterIsComing’s definitive ranking of all 11 Trek shows. Let us know what you think!

Unrated: Star Trek: Prodigy, 2021-?

When I began contributing to the FanSided family of sites, I said that I was caught up with all the Star Trek shows. This was untrue. I totally forgot about Star Trek: Prodigy. I still haven’t seen it.

I love the idea of a Star Trek show for kids. It’s the opposite of where the trendline in franchise media is going. For instance, the original Star Wars movie from 1977 was fun for all ages, but the recent movie trilogy and TV series are too sophisticated for children. Kids need to be able to share in the fun.

Now, I don’t believe in dumbing things down for kids, and I don’t believe that adults can’t get into kids’ stuff. There can be plenty of intersection on the Venn diagram of kids’ media and grownup media. But kids have different needs from their media, and sometimes it’s nice when things are specifically targeted at them. I have no qualms about adults getting into Prodigy, but I hope that kids always remain the target audience.

Prodigy’s future is up in the air, but there’s a good possibility that a network will pick it up after it was dropped by Paramount+. I know the series maintains a strong link to the other series, and to Star Trek’s past. This warms my heart. When Trek series reference the wider franchise, it’s a treat for longtime fans and a gateway for newer ones, and pretty much all of Prodigy’s viewers are new.

This kinda makes me want to actively stay away, so Prodigy remains purely for the new fans. The kids are alright.

10. Star Trek: The Animated Series, 1973-1974

Star Trek: The Animated Series is the awkward child of the Star Trek franchise. It’s not exactly unloved, but we really just don’t know what to do with it. Back the 70s, kids’ media didn’t have the kind of crossover appeal that it does now. When Star Trek: The Next Generation came along, The Animated Series was effectively swept under the rug out of embarrassment, but it was welcomed back into the canon in 2010.

The problem with Star Trek: The Animated Series is the distractingly bad animation. Due to budget constraints, only a handful of drawings of each character existed; the drawings were mixed and matched and placed on different backgrounds to form each scene. Characters frequently covered their mouths to speak so that they wouldn’t have to animate lip movements. Even calling this “animation” is a bit of a stretch.

The show’s two seasons were produced during a writer’s strike, but a loophole in the WGA regulations allowed writers to work on animation. So the original series’ writers were all there, including the legendary Dorothy Fontana, as well as the original actors. This should’ve made for a quality show, especially since an animated series can show show alien species and worlds that the live-action show couldn’t.

But this advantage was undone by another of animation’s perceived “benefits”: actors did not have to be physically present during production; they could tape their lines from anywhere and mail the tapes in, which led to stiff and disjointed line readings. They might have had respected professional writers, but neither the dialogue nor the animation could do their scripts justice.

Not to mention that they were working in a studio system that did believe in dumbing things down for kids. With all those limitations and issues, everyone involved must’ve worked their butts off for the few classic moments that the show did produce.