Star Trek: Discovery has now aired its first nine episodes, which is plenty of time for fans to make up their minds about whether the prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series is for them or not.
We have already made a case for how Star Trek: Discovery is still a show in the spirit of classic Star Trek. We’ve also made the case for why the fact that the show streams on CBS All Access shouldn’t be sufficient reason for fans to ignore Star Trek: Discovery. However, we know that not everyone agrees, and that’s why we’re here to offer some alternatives.
So if you’re not a fan of Star Trek: Discovery – or you just need more new Star Trek in your life while the show is on break and you’ve finished watching all of the “Cadet Training” episodes – where do you turn?
We’ve compiled a list of five great alternatives for fans to get their Star Trek fix. Do you hate that you have to pay a subscription fee to watch Star Trek: Discovery? Well, we’ve got a show that, while not officially Star Trek, does carry the same spirit on a traditional TV network.
Want the classic crew back? We’ve got a great fan series for that too. Are you disappointed that Star Trek: Discovery is a prequel and doesn’t continue the story further into the future? Well, there’s a video game with your name on it. Want more of the characters from the 1990s Star Trek era? We can hook you up there too. If none of that is quite what you want, we’ve even supplied a means for you to create a series of Star Trek stories that are designed exactly to your own personal specifications.
Here are our five alternatives to Star Trek: Discovery.
Some fans were apprehensive about Seth MacFarlane's comedic homage toStar Trek, but now that the show has debuted many find the series to be more true to the spirit of Star Trek past than Star Trek: Discovery.
The series stars MacFarlane as Captain Ed Mercer, commanding officer on a mid-level exploratory vessel of the Planetary Union. From the very outset, The Orville has a number of superficial and cosmetic similarities to Star Trek, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. MacFarlane is a longtime Star Trek fan, and The Orville wears its creator's love on its sleeve.
But what really surprised fans was how much the storytelling felt like old school Star Trek, especially beginning with the show's third episode, as opposed to the comedic spoof that some of the advertisements for the show were trying to sell it as. Part of that likely has to do with the involvement of Star Trek alums like Brannon Braga and Jonathan Frakes on the show.
For the purest of pure Star Trek fans, the fans for whom there was only ever one version of the USS Enterprise and for whom the only acceptable Captain is James T. Kirk, the fan series Star Trek Continues is carrying on the legacy of Star Trek: The Original Series.
Star Trek Continues recasts the roles of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the Enterprise crew to continue their adventures past where the show's third season left off, but prior to the where fans rejoined Kirk and crew in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Don't let the fact that this is an unofficial fan series with a new cast put you off. It is incredibly well-made and features some actual Star Trek actors, like Michael Forest reprising his role as Apollo, as well as John de Lancie (Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn even supplied the voices of the prime timeline and mirror universe computers respectively.
Star Trek Continues just released the final episode of its first season, which brings the original five-year mission of the Enterprise to its end. That means it is the perfect time to binge-watch all eleven episodes and prepare for where the series takes the Original Series crew next.
If you're not satisfied with the Star Trek adventures being shown in official releases, why not make your own?
That's the opportunity that Star Trek Adventures, the brand new, officially licensed Star Trek tabletop roleplaying game from Modiphius Entertainment presents to fans.
Star Trek Adventures uses the 2d20 game system to recreate the excitement of an episode of Star Trek. The core rulebook includes details on how to run a game in any era explored by one of the previous Star Trek television shows, so fans can set their crew on adventures in the 22nd century of Star Trek: Enterprise, the 23rd century of Star Trek: The Original Series, or the 24th Century of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
You don't know to be an experienced tabletop gamer to get the hang of Star Trek Adventures. The 2d20 system is relatively simple, and if you're worried about coming up with story ideas, you can pick up the first volume of the Star Trek Adventures: These are the Voyages series of supplemental books containing a variety of pre-written adventures for a game master to run.
And if you don't have a group of friends to play with, or just want ot get an idea of what a game of Star Trek Adventures looks like, you can always check out Shield of Tomorrow, a Geek & Sundry-produced Star Trek Adventures live play series.
If video games are more your thing, as opposed to tabletop gaming, then Star Trek Online may be the best way to continue your Star Trek saga.
Star Trek Online, from Cryptic Studios, was originally met with a lukewarm response by fans when it was released in 2010. Since then, the game has gone free-to-play, made its way to consoles, and improved its gameplay and story to become a worthy successor to the Star Trek television shows of the 1990s.
The story of Star Trek Online picks up 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and continues the story for another 14 season worth of story and gameplay. The first batch of seasons is like a Star Trek greatest hits list as the Federation and Klingons go to war once again, the Borg reappear, and the Romulans search for a new home.
After that, the game begins the Iconian War, the biggest conflict in the galaxy since the Dominion War. The most recent storyline in the game sees the Federation rebuilding after the war and rekindling its spirit of hope and optimism as it helps a newly discovered alien species find a homeworld.
The game also features some classic Star Trek actors. Leonard Nimoy narrates and, more recently, LeVar Burton returned to voice his Star Trek: The Next Generation character Geordi La Forge.
While the quest system and ground combat of Star Trek Online is pretty standard MMORPG style gameplay, the game shines with its space combat and the ability to customize your own captain, ship, and crew. You can even play an officer of the Starfleet of the 22nd century who was shot forward in time.
With it being a free-to-play game, there's almost no reason not to give Star Trek Online a try if you've got a PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4.
Finally, if you're not a gamer, you can always indulge in some "Trek lit" of either the prose or graphic novel variety.
Simon and Shuster currently have the license to Star Trek novels, and it's continued to publish series featuring the crews of every Star Trek series to date.
Arguably the most interesting thing that the publisher has done is its "relaunch universe." This is a line of books that continues the stories of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager past their season finales, and Star Trek: The Next Generation past Star Trek: Nemesis. There's even a new series, Star Trek: Titan, the follows Will Riker and Deanna Troi as Riker takes command of the titular ship.
What's fun about the relaunched universe is that, with no production schedules or actor contracts to worry about, the writers are free to craft stories with unifying themes across every series and allow the characters to crossover as the stories demand to create something more like the DC Comics Arrowverse that currently runs on The CW.
Simon and Shuster have recently begun putting out audiobook versions of their more recent releases in this series, so fans can enjoy some Star Trek on their commute.
Additionally, IDW Publishing currently has the rights to Star Trek comics. While the publisher has dabbled in the prime timeline with the anthology series Waypoint and the mirror universe story Star Trek: The Next Generation - Mirror Broken, its flagship ongoing title has been focused on the crew of the Kelvin timeline movies.
That may be offputting for some traditionalist fans, but the fun of the series is that it puts the movie crew in something more akin ot a serialized television series structure. The series begins by showing how the events of classic Star Trek: The Original Series episodes unfold in the Kelvin timeline, which is a fun exercise, but the series really shines as it confidently moves into new ground with "you'll never see this on TV or film" style stories that have the Kelvin crew meeting Q and crossing over with the Orignal Series crew from the prime timeline.
The ongoing series has recently been relaunched as Star Trek: Boldly Go, picking up after the events of Star Trek Beyond. Even if the JJ Abrams movie wasn't your favorite Star Trek, this series may surprise you.