Star Trek Viewing Order

Revised May 2013, but then I forgot to upload the new version before August.  “Optional starting points” have been added in recognition of the fact that it may be tedious and/or impractical for potential new fans to acquire and view everything from the beginning.  From whichever point viewing of Star Trek is begun, it is recommended that viewing proceeds as described here. Television series can generally stand on their own and be viewed (or excluded) individually; however, due to the chronological overlap in later series, I don't personally recommend this. This guide is copyright ©2008–13 Vid the Kid.  Star Trek is copyright © Paramount.

Audience
Year(s)
Story
Year(s)
Story
Stardate(s)
Season(s) or Movie(s) Notes
1964 2254 Unknown “The Cage” Original pilot for Star Trek, rejected by NBC. Released to public in 1988. Footage recycled in TOS season 1 episode “The Menagerie”.
1966 – 1969 2265 – 2269 1300 – 5990 TOS s. 1 – 3 Optional starting point: content was produced with assumption viewers hadn't seen “The Cage”. Stardates somewhat random.
1973 – 1974 2269 – 2270 1200 – 7400 TAS Not canon. Stardates very random.
1979 2272 7412.6 TMP Optional starting point: production values are higher from this point onward. For the first six films, especially this one, the Collector's or Director's Edition is significantly better.
1982 2285 8130.3 Wrath of Khan Considered by many to be the best Star Trek film. Starts a kind of trilogy.
1985 2285 8210.3 Search for Spock
1986 2285 8390.0 Voyage Home End of story arc beginning with Wrath of Khan
1987 2287 8454.1 Final Frontier
1987 – 1991 2364 – 2367 41100 – 44995 TNG s. 1 – 4 Optional starting point: entirely new cast, considerable forward “time skip”.
1991 2293 9521.6 Undiscovered Country As this film takes place long before TNG begins, it's the first (and for several years, the only) departure from linear storytelling in Star Trek. It could be seen as an isolated "flashback" compared to the television episodes airing at the time.
1991 – 1992 2367 – 2368 45020 – 45960 TNG s. 5
1992 – 1994 2368 – 2370 46000 – 47990 TNG s. 6 – 7 & DS9 s. 1 – 2
1994 2371 48650.1 Generations First “Next Generation” film.
1994 – 1996 2370 – 2372 48200 – 49970 DS9 s. 3 – 4 & VOY s. 1 – 2
1996 2373 50893.5 First Contact
1996 – 1998 2372 – 2374 50020 – 51980 DS9 s. 5 – 6 & VOY s. 3 – 4 Sexy Jeri Ryan joins Voyager at end of season 3 / beginning of season 4.
1998 2375 Unknown Insurrection
1998 – 1999 2374 – 2375 52080 – 52900 DS9 s. 7 & VOY s. 5
1999 – 2001 2375 – 2378 53000 – 54975 VOY s. 6 – 7
2001 – 2002 2151 – 2152 N/A ENT s. 1 Optional starting point: this series is set the earliest in future history (excluding individual time-travel plots). Star trek storytelling takes a major backward “time skip” at this point.
2002 2379 56844.9 Nemesis This film is a continuation of the “Next Generation” films, and not closely related to the Enterprise television episodes airing at the time of its release. 
2002 – 2005 2152 – 2155 N/A ENT s. 2 – 4
2005 2370 & 2161 47457.1 “These Are the Voyages...” ENT final episode, technically takes place during a TNG episode. A lot of viewers felt cheated by this.
2009 2387 64333.4 – 64467.14 “Star Trek: Countdown” 4-issue graphic novel of unclear canon status. Details the late-24th-century events which give rise to the alternate 23rd-century timeline.
2009 mostly 2258, in an alternate timeline Unknown Star Trek Optional starting point: Strictly speaking, this movie makes sense if you haven't seen everything else.  But then you miss out on a lot of inside jokes.
2013 2259 Unknown Star Trek Into Darkness Same alternate timeline begun in previous film.

Connections

There are a few plot connections between movies and series. Here are the ones that I'm aware of:

See Also