Want to watch the most popular sci-fi series of all time? Now you can, as the Star Trek television universe soars onto Paramount+. Formerly CBS All Access, Paramount+ is an expanded streaming service from the studio that brought you Star Trek: The Original Series.
Paramount+ launches March 4 and will host every single Star Trek television series, from hour long dramas like The Next Generation and Discovery to, shorter content like The Animated Series and Short Treks.
With 10 series and more than 500 hours of Star Trek content to enjoy, one may wonder where to start. This binge guide will tell you about each series and why they might be your new TV addiction.
Keep scrolling to discover which Star Trek show you should stream first on Paramount+!
Where Should I Start?
Where to start is a hotly-debated question among Star Trek fans. The simplest answer? Start at the beginning. Star Trek: The Original Series aired from 1966 to 1969, and although the sets and effects evoke a different time, the ideas, characters, and writing are still as sharp as any show from the last 50 years.
Two other options are to start with The Next Generation, which offers seven satisfying seasons with a stellar cast and diverse storylines, or with Discovery, which is an action-packed and accessible modern take on the Star Trek universe.
But Star Trek has so much to offer, and everyone is different. Find below a binge guide to help you identify which Trek you would vibe with the most. All of these remarkable and groundbreaking shows are available in their entirety on Paramount+.
The Original Series
As mentioned, this is the series that laid the groundwork for the most popular science fiction television franchise of all time. It follows James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock, Dr. Leonard (Bones) McCoy, and a diverse cast as they go on a five-year exploratory mission aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You want to see Star Trek from the very beginning.
The Next Generation
The Next Generation takes place a century after The Original Series, and follows Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc-Picard. TNG continues TOS’s ambition to weave sharp social commentary and thought-provoking writing into interplanetary conflict. There are some stand-out episodes early on, but once Season 3 is underway, TNG fires on all cylinders with addictive, binge-worthy storylines that make blazing through this seven season series a breeze.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You crave an extended and complete series that embodies everything Star Trek can be.
Deep Space Nine
Deep Space Nine switched it up by following a politically and commercially important space station rather than an exploratory vessel, led by the stern-but-fair Captain Benjamin Sisko. It also changed the format by going for longer narratives arcs (rather than episodic adventures) and darker themes than previous iterations.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You like complex storylines, multifaceted characters, and modern serialized television.
Voyager was the first Star Trek series to center around a female captain and her crew, in this case Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway. It also features a killer setup: Both Voyager’s crew and the rebellious vessel they are chasing are flung 70,000 light-years from home. They must work together to make the long trip back. Voyager offers a good balance of problem-of-the-week episodes tied in with a larger, overarching narrative.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You want to see a woman take the helm with an intriguing setup.
Enterprise is a prequel to the franchise and follows Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer as he takes the first capable Earth-made vessel into deep space. It chronicles the crew as they make first contact with the many alien species that would become cornerstone allies and enemies of the Federation.
Star Trek: Discovery launched 12 years after Enterprise ended in 2005. It’s the first Star Trek to follow an officer, rather than a captain, as the main character, science specialist Michael Burnham. Discovery is an exhilarating high-budget show with lots of sleek action sequences, but it doesn’t lose the scientific problem-solving that Star Trek is known for.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You want to watch a Star Trek series that is currently releasing new episodes.
Star Trek: Picard picks up 20 years after we last saw the iconic French captain. While providing a deep character study of the man Jean-Luc has become since leaving the Enterprise, Picard also has a lot of the action and adventure that fans have come to expect from Star Trek and have enjoyed so much in Discovery.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You loved The Next Generation and you want to see the next chapter.
A perfect aperitif after streaming Discovery and Picard, and while awaiting new episodes from Paramount+'s expanding Star Trek universe, is the Emmy-nominated series Short Treks. These 10- to 15-minute stand-alone stories allow fans to dive deeper into the key themes and characters that fit into Discovery and Picard.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You're looking for something quick to stream and you can't get enough of Trek's newest characters.
Lower Decks is an animated comedy from Rick and Morty writer and executive producer Mike McMahan. It focuses on the ensigns and other less often seen members of the crew, “lower deckers,” that don’t get enough credit on the ship as they constantly deal with otherworldly disasters and upper management.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You love animation, sci-fi, and comedy mixed into one show.
The Animated Series
Following your Lower Decks binge, you can stay in the animated universe by revisiting Star Trek: The Animated Series. The first sequel to The Original Series features the voices of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley as the Enterprise crew explores the Milky Way galaxy.
You should watch on Paramount+ if: You love The Original Series and want to follow more adventures with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.
The Good News
You don’t have to commit to any Star Trek. With Paramount+ you get access to every episode of every series! Try them all out and see what catches your attention. Before you know it, you'll be in full-on binge mode with every series. There’s no greater franchise to get lost in. Enjoy the exploration!