by Jesse Merkel
It’s probably safe to assume that you have your favorite version of Star Trek that you’ll readily defend until the sun explodes. Whether you’re an Original Series purist, a Picard-Diehard, a fan of the Abramsverse, or you just love it all, you’re one of the millions of dedicated fans across the globe.
Aside from one of the most diversified science fiction franchises of all time, it’s also one of the few that has truly withstood the test of time. When you stack Star Trek against some of the other popular science fiction brands, it becomes clear that Trek will always be towards the top of the heap.
How Does Star Trek Stack Up?
Stargate has been around for a solid 20 years. Despite incredible box office and television success, nothing new is currently being produced, thanks largely in part to MGM’s disastrous bankruptcy. (Not cool, MGM…)
For 37 years, Star Wars has been one of the most popular franchises in the entire world. It boasts two distinct trilogies, one outstanding cartoon series, and (cough) an endearing Christmas special, with new material still in the works.
The only series that has been going longer and has produced more content than Star Trek, Doctor Who is currently one of the most popular shows in the world, shown in dozens of countries every week. While yet to produce a major (canonical) motion picture, the series does nothing but gain momentum each year. (Allons-y!)
With 12 movies, five TV shows and a wide-open future, Star Trek is going strong once again after several years of weak ratings and poor box office numbers ground the series to a halt. Now approaching its 50th anniversary, Trek is a real force to be reckoned with against other established summer blockbusters for the first time in its history.
Which Trek wins?
As you can see, fans have a lot of valid points when they make the case for Star Trek being the most venerable of all sci-fi franchises. While of course we all know that Star Trek is arguably the best, we also know that there must be a pecking order within the franchise. But which Star Trek truly is the best?
Short answer: all of them.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get serious. Recently, The Washington Post reported on how The Switch had examined all 12 Star Trek feature films, using the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) user rating and box office gross, all of which were adjusted for inflation.
One thing to keep in mind is that IMDb may follow Rotten Tomatoes (and most of the Internet, for that matter), which means that the majority of its rankings are made up by younger viewers. With that in mind…
According to IMDb, the average user rating for the original series films came to 6.7. The Next Generation films came out exactly the same and the two Abramsverse ‘reboot’ films came out to a solid 8.
Picking up where The Switch left off, The Washington Post looked at all of the five different television shows using the Kevin Wu-designed Graph TV tool.
According to the Post, the Star Trek series with the highest overall IMDb average is The Next Generation, with an 8.7 rating. The Original Series comes in at an 8.4 average. Deep Space Nine clocks in at a respectable 7.9, while Voyager and Enterprise have an average of 7.7 and 7.5, respectfully.
While each series naturally had its best and worst episodes, they all garnered respectable IMDb scores.
How did your favorite Star Trek do? Did you find yourself feeling slightly revolted that the Abramsverse movies have been so successful, both critically and commercially? Did you feel a sense of pride that the thought-provoking TNG came out on top? Do you feel a sense of righteous anger that DS9 only averaged a 7.9? (I certainly did!)
As Trekkies, we’re all passionate about this fabled franchise. You may agree with the general populace, or you may think everyone else has their head up their... well, y’know.
Where did your favorite series line up? Let us know in the comments below!