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Do the Star Trek movies stand alone from the TV series?

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Do the Star Trek movies stand alone from the TV series?

Old 02-19-07, 08:36 AM
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Do the Star Trek movies stand alone from the TV series?

Believe it or not, but I have never seen any of the Star Trek TV shows or movies. For some unexplainable reason, I just decided that I want to get into them. Do I need to watch the TV shows in order to understand the movies, or can I just jump straight into the movies? Looking on wikipedia, I see that there are four or five different TV series. Are they all good, or are there some to avoid?
Old 02-19-07, 09:07 AM
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jump straight to star trek 2
Old 02-19-07, 09:08 AM
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The first 6 movies definitely take place after the series. The original series was a five-year mission, and with the first ST movie, James Kirk is now an admiral stationed on Earth...and all the subsequent movies go from there.

I assume the Next Generation movies also take place after the series.

It's not absolutely imperative to watch the different series first, but it would definitely help, if for nothing else than to introduce you to the characters. There's also lots of references in the movies to the original series they were spawned from, so that's another reason to watch the series first. For example, the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will make more sense if you go back and watch the original episode to find out what happened to Khan.
Old 02-19-07, 09:13 AM
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And you have to watch DS9 to figure out why the 60's TV Klingons look so different from Klingons in the movies and the ones on all the recent Trek Series.
Old 02-19-07, 09:48 AM
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My general answer would be yes. However, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek: First Contact are sequels of sorts to episodes from their respective series. However, my enjoyment of TWOK was not hampered by the fact that I had never seen "Space Seed", the episode that introduced Khan.
Old 02-19-07, 12:12 PM
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My exposure to Star Trek started with The Motion Picture in 1979, but it was Star Trek II that made me a lifelong fan and got me to go back and watch all the episodes.

So Star Trek II is a GREAT starting point for "newbies". The fact that it remains the best of the 10 motion pictures, doesn't hurt, either.
Old 02-19-07, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Cartload
My general answer would be yes. However, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek: First Contact are sequels of sorts to episodes from their respective series. However, my enjoyment of TWOK was not hampered by the fact that I had never seen "Space Seed", the episode that introduced Khan.
Ironically, I would say that the 2 movies that are sequels to episodes are the best places for newbies to start. Because they work so well as flat-out exciting sci-fi adventures. Sure you'll be missing the depth of the characters that fans had, and gave some moments greater emotional impact. But it's a good litmus test - if you watch these 2 movies and remain unimpressed, it's safe to say that the Star Trek universe is not for you. If you do like them, then you have hundreds of hours of ST to dive into afterward (with the understanding that, like everything, there are ups and downs along the way).
Old 02-19-07, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Infidel
The first 6 movies definitely take place after the series. The original series was a five-year mission, and with the first ST movie, James Kirk is now an admiral stationed on Earth...and all the subsequent movies go from there.

I assume the Next Generation movies also take place after the series.
For the OP: the first TNG move "Generations" is in two time periods: the first act is set a few years or so after ST 6 The Undiscovered Country. After that, it jumps to about six months after the end of the Next Generation tv series. Some of the series and movies overlap, but there's nothing too important that you need to know.

That's actually a good thing and a bad thing IMHO, in that you don't have to have watched all the previous stuff to understand, but then after you do watch it, you may find yourself going "well, why didn't they...?" more than once.
Old 02-19-07, 05:31 PM
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I would say if possible track down "Space Seed" from the original series, then watch movies II-IV as they demonstrate the epic storytelling that Trek was capable of in its heyday. After that go straight to VI; you can go back and watch the motion picture and star trek V after you've seen the best of the best.

I enjoyed Generations but never enjoyed the next generation movies after that at all (not even fan favorite 'first contact'). To me, they lacked the grand sweeping storytelling of the original cast when they made the jump from tv to the big screen. While I enjoyed Generations, it's not a fan favorite at all and I would never recommend the ones after it.

Michael
Old 02-19-07, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by brainee
Ironically, I would say that the 2 movies that are sequels to episodes are the best places for newbies to start. Because they work so well as flat-out exciting sci-fi adventures. Sure you'll be missing the depth of the characters that fans had, and gave some moments greater emotional impact. But it's a good litmus test - if you watch these 2 movies and remain unimpressed, it's safe to say that the Star Trek universe is not for you. If you do like them, then you have hundreds of hours of ST to dive into afterward (with the understanding that, like everything, there are ups and downs along the way).
I agree with this litmus test. I was never into Star Trek at all. I was at Best Buy one day last summer and saw all the movies for $9.99 each. I remember enjoying II and IV as a kid so I bought them to see how they held up. I enjoyed them very much so I got the other four movies with the original cast and watch them in order (V is not bad at all, I don't get all the hate). When I finished those I wanted more so I bought the full original series. I'm about halfway through the second season and enjoying it very much. The television episodes are very self-contained so the order really doesn't matter as much as the movies. It was nice seeing 'Space Seed' as a backstory to "The Wrath of Kahn" but it is in no way a required viewing to enjoy the second movie. I've seen some of the Next Generation but it didn't really grab me so a friend has lent me a few of the movies. When I finish the original series I'll check a few out.

Last edited by DarthMarino; 02-19-07 at 05:58 PM.
Old 02-19-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by fiver
I would say if possible track down "Space Seed" from the original series, then watch movies II-IV as they demonstrate the epic storytelling that Trek was capable of in its heyday. After that go straight to VI; you can go back and watch the motion picture and star trek V after you've seen the best of the best.
I wish I would've tried this. I got all the movies for cheap, but hadn't seen the show. I found the first movie tedious (and I usually like even bad sci-fi) so I just sold everything. I guess I should've watched the second one.
Old 02-19-07, 06:27 PM
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If you can track down some of the best of the tv show that have been released recently, (esspecially the borg best of) you'll enjoy it more and won't have to spend hundreds of dollars on these sets.
Old 02-19-07, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by starman9000
I wish I would've tried this. I got all the movies for cheap, but hadn't seen the show. I found the first movie tedious (and I usually like even bad sci-fi) so I just sold everything. I guess I should've watched the second one.
Wow, yeah...big mistake. The first one is barely even liked by fans. I personally like it, but it's the easily the most boring of any of the 10 movies. It's also completely unlike any of the other movies. With the first one they were trying to go for more of a "hard" sci-fi movie, whereas the other 9 are just space adventures. Plus, TMP has ridiculous fan-service moments like the 10 minute fly-over of the Enterprise that doesn't even make any sense if you're not already a fan.

If you're going to start watching the movies cold, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan isn't just the best place to start, it's the only place to start.
Old 02-19-07, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthMarino
I've seen some of the Next Generation but it didn't really grab me so a friend has lent me a few of the movies. When I finish the original series I'll check a few out.
ST:TNG doesn't hit its stride few a couple of seasons. Some of the early episodes are actually quite bad - some stories directly ripping off a ST:TOS episode, and they hadn't quite figured out what the new characters are about. The second season introduces the Borg, and in the 3rd season is when consistently good episodes are made (culminating in the incredible "Best of Both Worlds", of the "First Contact" movie is a sequel to). Have patience with it.
Old 02-19-07, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by brainee
ST:TNG doesn't hit its stride few a couple of seasons. Some of the early episodes are actually quite bad - some stories directly ripping off a ST:TOS episode, and they hadn't quite figured out what the new characters are about. The second season introduces the Borg, and in the 3rd season is when consistently good episodes are made (culminating in the incredible "Best of Both Worlds", of the "First Contact" movie is a sequel to). Have patience with it.
But if I check out a few of the Next Generation movies first (maybe Generations as a way to hand the torch off or First Contact which seems to get the best reviews) would that be a good indication of the quality of the series? The original series and its set of movies do feel different but I felt right at home jumping in after seeing the six films. I don't think I actually know anybody who owns the Next Generation seasons and I'm not sure I would risk just buying it. I suppose there are other means to acquiring the episodes but I can't really get into something when I'm watching it on my computer.

Last edited by DarthMarino; 02-19-07 at 07:01 PM.
Old 02-19-07, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthMarino
But if I check out a few of the Next Generation movies first (maybe Generations as a way to hand the torch off or First Contact which seems to get the best reviews) would that be a good indication of the quality of the series? The original series and its set of movies do feel different but I felt right at home jumping in after seeing the six films. I don't think I actually know anybody who owns the Next Generation seasons and I'm not sure I would risk just buying it. I suppose there are other means to acquiring the episodes but I can't really get into something when I'm watching it on my computer.
Can't you rent DVDs? Overall, I don't like the NG movies as much as the OS ones. Probably reflected in my DVD purchases: I own I, II, III, IV from the OS, but only "First Contact" from the new bunch. First Contact is the only one I think is on a level with I-IV and VI. Ideally, maybe you could rent the first DVD of the "Borg Collective" set, see "Q Who", "Best of Both Worlds", and be ready to dive into First Contact. Missing out on Picard's background with the Borg is a lot more critical than not knowing Kirk and Khan's history (though there are flashbacks in the movie to fill in the plot holes). I didn't care for Generations, but maybe you will (hell, you like ST V )
Old 02-19-07, 08:39 PM
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just watch the even numbered movies
Old 02-19-07, 09:22 PM
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I have to warn you: By the third movie, almost everything is in Klingon without subtitles. You see, Trekoids (the official term for Star Trek enthusiasts) are very hardcore, and virtually all Trekoids know how to speak Klingon.

Most of TNG is in a new form of English that was made exclusively for the series.
Old 02-19-07, 10:23 PM
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Taffer, you don't need to watch the series. Just start with Star Trek: The Motion Picture and go from there. Star Trek II, IV, VI, and First Contact are the highlights of the series (II is a dramatic improvement over the first one), but watch them all, in order.
Old 02-22-07, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
just watch the even numbered movies
No. Star Trek III is the integral second part of the trilogy that is Star Trek II, III and IV. Besides, the movie is also the significant exception when it comes to the "odd-numbered curse".

Hell, it's probably my second-favourite TOS film.
Old 02-23-07, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ian Whitcombe
No. Star Trek III is the integral second part of the trilogy that is Star Trek II, III and IV. Besides, the movie is also the significant exception when it comes to the "odd-numbered curse".

Hell, it's probably my second-favourite TOS film.
Yes, Star Trek III has always been vastly underrated. In many ways, it's more entertaining than Star Trek VI.

"Kirk, you do this and you'll never sit in a captain's chair again..."
"Warp Speed!"

I would also suggest the odd-numbered Star Trek: Generations is underrated (the seventh film). It's choppy, but Shatner gives one hell of a good performance.
Old 02-24-07, 09:55 AM
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my review

1 - OK but a little long. basically made for TV movie
2 - awesome
3 - OK but the plot is a little way out there with the planet healing spock
4 - fun movie but the worst even numbered one
5 - only watch it since you have to as part of the series. first part is OK, killing God with a photon torpedo is not
6 - great movie second only to #2

this is where the odd/even thing ends. after this they are worse than the odds
7 - OK but too much hype of passing the torch and not really doing it. like a lot of NG a lot of the dialogue is forced like picard telling data every little thing to look at to find the heaven thing
8 - was this insurrection? i forget
9 through whatever. don't even remember the names
Old 02-24-07, 10:41 AM
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TNG movies
7/Generations: The passing of the torch. It's kinda shaky, but it's still got some fun bits to it.
8/First Contact: Pretty much the best of the Next Gen bunch. Picard as Ahab vs The Borg.
9/Insurrection, starts to go downhill here. A retelling of Who Watches the Watchers? from the series, but not nearly as good.
10/Nemesis: even I have seen this one. Apparently deals with Romulan vampires or something.
Old 02-24-07, 11:13 AM
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My take:

1 - Quickly throw together because Paramount needed a Star Wars clone. For a production plagued with problems, it's better than it has any right to be. The DVD cut is the best version yet.

2 - The true highpoint of not only the Trek movies, but the entire Trek universe. Tight SPFX, good story, lots of action, and real character development. Not just a good sci-fi movie, but a good movie.

3 - An odd followup to Khan, but worthwhile. They had to bring Spock back, and it's better than some kind of parallel universe/time travel/all a dream story.

4 - Another good movie, although it's mostly an excuse to have fun with the characters.

5 - Garbage.

6 - A solid story and a nice way to wrap up the series. They could have easily done two or three more movies like 5 to cash in, but they took the classy route and retired gracefully. Well, most of them did anyhow.

7 - I've always thought that the entire TNG movie arch was done more out of a sense of obligation than anything else. After all, the original cast got to do movies, why not these guys? Never mind that TNG had a full seven seasons to tell their stories. That said, the idea to tie the two series together was handled fairly well.

8 - The obligatory Borg movie was pretty good, but tying in yet another historical figure (especially one that contradicts canon) may have been overkill. The character development was much clunkier than the TOS movies, but so are the characters themselves.

9 - Garbage.

10 - Good movie with an interesting villian, but the ending seemed tacked on simply to finish the franchise, as opposed to 6, where the entire story dealt with endings and change. And no sign of the promised naked Deanna

Last edited by Jason; 02-24-07 at 11:15 AM.
Old 02-24-07, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DarthMarino
But if I check out a few of the Next Generation movies first (maybe Generations as a way to hand the torch off or First Contact which seems to get the best reviews) would that be a good indication of the quality of the series? The original series and its set of movies do feel different but I felt right at home jumping in after seeing the six films. I don't think I actually know anybody who owns the Next Generation seasons and I'm not sure I would risk just buying it. I suppose there are other means to acquiring the episodes but I can't really get into something when I'm watching it on my computer.
Don't even bother with any of the TNG movies besides First Contact. Generations is definitely a movie for fans only, and Insurrection and Nemesis are garbage.

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