34% Said This Is Their Favorite Star Trek TV Series - Here's Our Vote

(Welcome to Survey Says, a feature where we conduct a movie-related survey for a random group of people and explain why they're completely right, completely wrong, or somewhere in-between.)

Forget the BFI's Sight & Sound Poll, the Nobel Prize nominating committee, the The U.S. Census, or the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, /Film has just received information on the single most important poll ever conducted: A casual poll run on SurveyMonkey haphazardly asking readers which "Star Trek" series they liked the best without any qualifications or comments. 

Clearly such a prestigious event needs to be accompanied by the utmost sincerity and formality, so I encourage you, the reader, to pause for a moment while you contact Balenciaga Couture, Maria Tash, Thelma West, and BVLGARI to put an outfit together. Also be sure to arrange a hair appointment — I recommend Rossano Ferretti – get your makeup done, and book a limousine. You're not going anywhere, but book a limousine nonetheless. Oh yes, and you can't read this poll without also looking forward to the afterparty, so be sure to buy several bottles of Armand de Brignac Rosé 30L Midas, some Macallan Lalique Scotch, and some Russo-Baltique Vodka. Be sure Rihanna reads with you, too. She's usually game for this sort of savage event.

Once you're dressed to the nines, and have that borderline-illegal afterparty planned, you'll be in the proper mindset to read a poll that said 34% of a group of 579 random readers prefer the original 1966 "Star Trek" over any of the others. 

The Winner is...

I know the Annamika Khanna-designed ORRA diamond bustier you're wearing is uncomfortable, so let's look at the results. Without any sort of guide, prompting question, or parameters whatsoever, here is what some people preferred:

"Star Trek," the original series from 1966, topped the list with 34.2% of the vote.

With the sheer volume of television currently available in the world, popular culture has sort of blurred into an amorphous mass of candy-colored information units that we suck through the holes in our skulls, hoping that our overworked and beleaguered neurons can grasp something before a deluge of new information threatens to push it all out again. With brains like an Etch-a-Sketch submersed in Karo syrup, it's no wonder that we're increasingly returning to the familiar, the nostalgic, the things that already have context in the popular consciousness. A new "Star Trek" series means new character, new species, new settings, new technologies that the poor writers have to invent, and the poor viewers have to strain to recall. Our capacity for absorbing new mythologies is, however, not infinite, so we return to what we already know to allow our bruised brains to heal. As such, the original "Star Trek," now over 50 years old, is something we can rest inside of. It's your childhood quilt wrapped around you.

Second is Star Trek: The Next Generation with 19.52%, followed by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with 11.23% of the vote. "The Next Generation" is — if I may continue by belabored bed metaphor — still a well-made bed, but it's more like the first mattress you bought for yourself. Maybe not the most expensive, and more utilitarian than nostalgic, but golly did it do a great job at comforting you, and it was a nice place to sleep. "Deep Space Nine" is kind of like that uncomfortable bed you slept in while staying in that one youth hostel in Budapest while you were taking a gap year between high school and college: Not comfortable, but oh, the memories.

The Rest of the Treks

"Star Trek: Enterprise," came in fourth with 10.71% of the vote, surprisingly beating out "Star Trek: Voyager," which only scored 8.12%. 

"Voyager," then, is your dorm bed. It got the job done, and definitely wasn't glamorous, but you kissed a college crush on it, and spent time on it drunk, so it has integrity. "Enterprise" is the bed you slept in while staying with relatives. Weirdly homey, but definitely not your home. 

Rounding out the bottom of the poll are the Paramount+-era shows, which ranked as follows: "Star Trek: Discovery" with 7.43%, "Star Trek: Picard" with 4.15%, "Star Trek: Lower Decks" with 1.21%, and "Star Trek: Prodigy" with 3.45%

That accounts for 100.02% of those polled (with a .02% margin of error).

The Paramount+ shows are the hotel beds you stayed in while on business trips. You can't ever seem to get comfortable on them, there aren't enough pillows, and for God's sake, don't look at them with any sort of scrutiny.

The Takeaway

Noticeably absent from the poll is the "Star Trek" animated series, which ran from 1973 to 1975. Curious that it should be neglected, as its half-hour format and animated medium allowed for classic "Star Trek" stories to be told free of the limitations of live-action special effects, and condensed into straightforward morality tales without asides to ogle yeomen or be racist toward Spock.

Also absent is "Short Treks," but that can be debated as to its legitimacy as a series. "Short Treks" was a series of easy-to-produce, inexpensive short films made in between the first and second seasons of "Star Trek: Discovery," and were clearly intended to keep people subscribed to CBS All-Access, now Paramount+, while there was no new "Star Trek" content. It was a pretty insidious way for a monthly subscription to string along a Trekkie audience, as only one "Short Trek" was released every month at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, and they rarely featured more than one or two familiar actors. One of the "Short Treks" only recently paid off in season 4 of "Discovery."

One takeaway we may notice from this high-end poll is that the popularity of the "Star Trek" series is almost in line with its age; The older the show is, the more popular it tends to be. This is only bucked by the popularity of "Enterprise" over "Voyager," and, curiously, the popularity of Nickelodeon's "Prodigy" (not yet one season old) over "Lower Decks." It'll be interesting to see how the perception of fans changes, if at all, as more "Star Trek" is on the horizon.

Now go take a few shots of Gran Patron Burdeos. You've earned it.