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Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce Someone To Star Trek? 634

Posted by samzenpus
from the trouble-with-tribbles dept.
First time accepted submitter red$hirt writes "I have a few friends, plus my girlfriend, who I would like to introduce to Star Trek. They do have a general interest to watch it, but I'm not sure what's the best way to start. There are so many series and movies and I would like to pick an order that keeps them interested. My first idea is to start off with a few good TNG episodes, and then let them watch First Contact. What does Slashdot think? I'm sure some of you have introduced others to Star Trek before. How did you do it, and how successful were you? Which particular episodes would you recommend watching for someone who is completely new to all this?"
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Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce Someone To Star Trek?

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  • Khaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by greg_barton (5551) <greg_barton@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:26PM (#40392609) Homepage Journal

    KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!

    • by 2.7182 (819680) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:27PM (#40392619)
      But I am pretty sure that showing them the episode "Spock's Brain" would be the worst way.
      • OK it's camp, but it is my favorite. The "french-fried brains" look on McCoy's face after using the Teacher helmet: Priceless.
      • by IBitOBear (410965) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:13PM (#40394441) Homepage Journal

        Star Trek can be skittish around strangers and if you approach it from the wrong side or too qucikly.

        If Star Trek begins to smoke, move away quickly and cover head.

      • by Magic5Ball (188725) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:23AM (#40396151)

        One could show Star Trek without Star Trek, by staring with good stories.

        TNG: Darmok
        DS9: The Visitor
        VOY: Blink of an Eye
        TOS: The Devil in the Dark, The City on the Edge of Forever

        (and a few others)

        Such stories are accessible to new viewers since they do not depend on much cannon or story arcs or character history to be fully enjoyable. The major cannon episodes that series fans enjoy for being loaded with many intersections of individual motivations, big conflicts, implicit story, and consequence (e.g., "The Best of Both Worlds") would be lost to anyone who had not been exposed to the big players and landmarks. Starting with character development episodes would bet too much on new viewers caring about the characters on first exposure, and similarly with arc development episodes.

    • by magarity (164372) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:38PM (#40392747)

      Watch the original series episode that introduces Khan back to back with the movie.

      • by Nationless (2123580) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:15PM (#40393127)

        For future reference the title of that episode is "Space Seed" which, unfortunately, sounds like a porn version of Star Trek.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:43PM (#40393387)

        TOS may be campy, but it's first season is one of Trek's best. Why? Because it was written by lots of science fiction authors, rather than the standard TV crap writer. (NOTE: Season 1 is also best-watched in production number order, not airdate order. The storyline will make more sense then.)

        • by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:00PM (#40394365)
          Agree with this, I only recently started watching star trek having run out of other tv shows to watch. I started watching it in chronological order and I just finished tng and am half way through ds9. Out of the three I like tos best as the premise of each episode was a very simple 'what if' thought experiment with a very simple philosophical question. I guess I enjoyed the simplicity. The other two cover more complex issues like family and politics and economics which I think detract from the sci-fi aspect of them and push them more towards the realm of standard drama series and soap opera respectively. It depends what kind of people you are showing it to though. I was surprised how easily I got over the datedness of tos but that might not be so easy for everyone. Don't take it too seriously.
      • by Fubari (196373) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:24PM (#40394491)
        I would personally skip the movies for a while; "Wrath of Khan" and "Save The Wales / Nuclear Wessles" movies are fun, but largely because the fan-base knew the characters and enjoyed seeing the actors back in the saddle.

        Your friends will enjoy the moves a lot more after they absorb the chemistry; McCoy + Spock don't really hit their stride until the end of the first season. Anyway, while people with no background in StarTrek certainly can enjoy the movies, people with some background in StarTrek will enjoy the movies at least twice as much. (I say it is worth the wait; you asked for how to best introduce your friends to Star Trek... so realizing there is no need to rush anything will help you do a better job with that introduction).

        TOS stories are (mostly) all well done. And the concepts are ground breaking when you consider they were presented in 1968. Some of the social points are astonishing; equality, moral dilemmas, and so on - especially(!) when you compare them to other shows that were airing in the late 60's early 70's. (Myself, I like using TOS as a mirror to get a glimpse of that generation's culture.)

        So... maybe show them 3 TOS episodes then leave it at that; more than that will risk burning them out. If they like TOS they'll follow up on their own, or come back for more "home video nights." (And if you can do it, go with the re-mastered TOS; they really do look nicely done).

        Maybe for a later "video night" in a do a few TNG episodes. Or they may be grooving on working through TOS. *shrug* Either way, at that point, they will ask for more or just politely nod and focus on other things.

        Lastly, and this could be the most important part, show some restraint in pacing and tempo with what you play for your friends. And express interest in what your audience likes and is passionate about; you might find something new that you like, and you will almost certainly learn more about your friends.

    • by kilodelta (843627) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:51PM (#40392899) Homepage
      Indeed - skip the first Star Trek movie and go directly to Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan! My favorite Star Trek movie by far, so much so that the Khan bellow is my ringtone on my phone.

      As for series - start off with TOS, then I'd do ST:Enterprise, then ST:TNG, then Voyager and DS9.
      • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:04PM (#40393037)

        It's fucking hard to get through the campiness of TOS, though.

        I mean, Space Hippies [youtube.com]. That's pretty much the best way to make someone never want to watch a Trek show again.

        • TOS stories are timeless philosphical tales as seen through the eyes of the flower power generation (who thought 'gay' meant 'happy' and 'homosexual' meant 'punching bag'), the stories just happen to occur on a spaceship.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Indeed - skip the first Star Trek movie and go directly to Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan! My favorite Star Trek movie by far, so much so that the Khan bellow is my ringtone on my phone.

        As for series - start off with TOS, then I'd do ST:Enterprise, then ST:TNG, then Voyager and DS9.

        The first film is great, not action oriented but really epic. It's a true science fiction film.
        And because of this it's the perfect film for someone that is not a trekkie.

        For the other films I'd go ST II, ST IV and ST VI for classic star trek.
        Next generation : First contact only, the rest are best forgotten.

        Tv series : no questions asked DS9

        • by pthisis (27352) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @02:10AM (#40395281) Homepage Journal

          The first film is great, not action oriented but really epic. It's a true science fiction film.
          And because of this it's the perfect film for someone that is not a trekkie.

          The first film's basically a drawn-out version of one of the original episodes (the Changeling) that starts pretty well and ends strong but has tons of dead space in the middle because the plot's too thin to support more than 45-50 minutes. You'd be better off watching the original episode or many of TOS episodes instead.

    • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:23PM (#40393199) Journal

      Khaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

      Bitch all you want about the /. moderation system, but that is correct in every possible way with the exception of a new Funny/Informative rating.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:21AM (#40395647) Journal

      Actually if they had never seen it "Space Seed" which introduced the character would be a better place to start, to see his fall from power and the lovely wife that Ceti Alpha V would take from Khan would give better context to the movie.

      If it were my list I'd probably start with a greatest hits from each series,City on the edge of forever, balance of power, space seed, the conscience of the king, corbomite maneuver,A Taste of Armageddon,Mirror mirror,trouble with tribbles,ultimate computer,day of the dove,Requiem for Methuselah,The Savage Curtain and probably doomsday machine from TOS.

      With TNG it gets a little harder as some of these are probably more personal favs than on anybody's top ten but the measure of a man, elementary dear data and ship in a bottle (I always liked Moriarty), best of both worlds I&II, Darmok, Q Who, yesterday's enterprise,inner light,chain of command, all good things.

      For DS9, again subjective, Duet,our man bashir, trials and tribbleations,blood oath, Crossover (always liked the mirrorverse),civil defense,through the looking glass (mirrorverse), the adversary,little green men (silly but cute and a good character piece IMHO),return to grace (good Dukat piece), call to arms through sacrifice of angels (6 episode Dominion war arc),Waltz, in the pale moonlight, treachery, faith and the great river (cute and light hearted Ferengi piece),once more into the breach (good Klingon character episode), Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges (good dark episode that shows the federation isn't always the good guys), some like what you leave behind but I thought they should have killed Dukat at Waltz and went too far to keep him as a character so that should be enough there.

      Sadly Voyager and Enterprise didn't get as many good episodes, i loved the characters of Voyager but the writers were pussies and kept hitting the reset button and thus killing any character development but there were a few, more than Enterprise which seemed to be an excuse for bad speeches and lesbo yay more than anything. From Voyager..heroes and demons,jetrel,prototype, dreadnought (I liked it), death wish (great Q piece), the thaw (truly good, and a great villain),future's end I&II (again I liked it and had some cute bits),year of hell I&II (damned shame they didn't have the balls to stick with the story instead of the reset button),scorpion I&II (good Borg episodes), message in a bottle, living witness (good doc episode), timeless, nothing human (good character piece),counterpoint,bride of chaotica (just a cute episode) , course oblivion (VERY dark but good) warhead, equinox I&II (another dark but good), tinker tenor doctor spy (silly but cute and a good doc ep), life line (another good doc),author author (another good doc), latent image (noticing a pattern with doc getting the good ones?) dark Frontier I&II (Janeway and the Borg Queen which fits in nicely with the final ep) and Endgame.

      As for Enterprise...sigh, only the two Mirrorverse are IMHO worth watching, as in every other episode it feels like the writers are passing the idiot ball and most episodes have the captain especially cringe worthy. The movies? Easy, 2-4 although 3 isn't as good as 2 and 4 they fit nicely together and First Contact is decent.

      That should give you more than enough decent episodes that if they like it they can always ask to see others. BTW if you hate them make them set through Okana from TNG and Threshhold from Voyager, both so horribly bad they make for good MST3K style fodder.

  • My advice (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:26PM (#40392613)

    If you want to keep your girlfriend, forget about Star Trek.

    • Re:My advice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:05PM (#40393043)
      Or find a girlfriend that like Star Trek...
    • Re:My advice (Score:5, Informative)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:27PM (#40393235)

      Not everybody likes the same thing.
      If you insist upon Star Trek, I'd start with TNG because Gene Roddenberry purposely made each episode a stand-alone story. According to his wife Majel he thought continuing stories alienated the viewers (because they would be lost).

      I'd start with some of season 1's better episodes (because they establish character backgrounds), skip the writer's strike-damaged season 2, and then continue onward from there.

      Or you could just start with season 3 which I thought was the best of all of them. Almost every episode is a winner.

      • Re:My advice (Score:4, Informative)

        by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:56PM (#40393501)

        If you insist upon Star Trek, I'd start with TNG because Gene Roddenberry purposely made each episode a stand-alone story. According to his wife Majel he thought continuing stories alienated the viewers (because they would be lost).

        A lot of people watch shows with continuing story lines now: Lost, True Blood, Breaking Bad, The Wire I think have proven this point. I recently started going through Deep Space 9 for again on Netflix, and it's incredible! I think it's now my favorite of the modern TV Treks. A broad story arc with several different conflicts, very interesting characters and extremely interesting villains -- someone could probably write a doctoral dissertation on Gul Dukat or Garak. It also features complicated political problems and intrigues, and occasionally Starfleet officers do evil things, without being possessed by a lizard alien. It's exactly the kind of show Roddenberry would never have allowed to be made.

        There are also amazing gems like Little Green Men [memory-alpha.org] and Trials and Tribblations [memory-alpha.org].

        My issue with starting someone on TNG is that season three is great, but it gets soap-opera'y by season 7, with evil twin brothers, love triangles, and all the actors are so chummy it feels like a community theater show. Also several of the later episodes fall into particle-of-the-week-ism and repeat premises from earlier in the series.

      • Re:My advice (Score:5, Informative)

        by DudemanX (44606) <dudemanx AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:14PM (#40393641) Homepage

        There are a few gems in the second season like Elementary, Dear Data and Measure of a Man.

      • by mrxak (727974)

        The trick, I think, is to show a few really good episodes from all the series, that shows what Trek is all about, while avoiding some of the camp and nonsense.

        Hardly a complete list, but a few good ones that should leave the right sort of impression. People don't get into Star Trek because they don't get Star Trek. These episodes are a crash course on what it's all about:
        TOS: Space Seed, The City on the Edge of Forever, Mirror Mirror, The Trouble with Tribbles, The Tholian Web
        TNG: The Measure Of A Man, The

    • Re:My advice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:39PM (#40393357)

      The joy in Trek is largely nostalgic. As a kid Star Trek was one of the first "grown up shows" I watched. While it covered issues and topics I didn't always get until I was older, but a Space Ship, Aliens who wern't scary, and cool tech, was enough to keep me interested. As I got older and watching the shows over again I found more complexity in the plot. As I went into adolescence it was a family approved show with babes in tights or short skirts where you sometimes get a panty shot. Then you get more of the plot. After that it is a lot nostalgic of when you were a kid and life was easy.
      For most people the debat over TOS TNG DS9 VGR and ENT falls what you watched when you were 8-12 years old.
      If you didn't watch Trek as a kid, you are probably not going to get that into it. For one the age of the shows covers many issues that are no longer a big deal. Second the plots and acting while ok are for the most part not spatactular.
      That said... I think Deep Space 9 is the best bet. It isn't as campy as the other Trek and there is growth in all the charactors.

      • Re:My advice (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nabsltd (1313397) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:10PM (#40394055)

        For most people the debat over TOS TNG DS9 VGR and ENT falls what you watched when you were 8-12 years old.

        I watched TOS during that age in my life, and yet DS9 is my favorite series, with TNG and Enterprise tied for next (both had some problems, but both also had some great episodes). And, Voyager was absolutely the most unwatchable (I've only seen the first couple of seasons).

        To answer the original question, I second the motion of starting with "Space Seed" from TOS, then WoK. After that, go back to some of the better TOS episodes (if nothing else, "The Trouble With Tribbles" is absolutely required), then continue with the TOS movies (skipping VI). If they are still interested at that point, TNG or DS9 depending on whether they like a continuing storyline better than mostly stand-alone episodes. Even if DS9 is their choice, some of the better TNG episodes would still be worthwhile first to set some of the background for new technology.

        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          then continue with the TOS movies (skipping VI).

          Of course I meant to skip V: The Final Frontier. /. needs a "sanity check" on posts.

    • by countach (534280) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:43PM (#40393389)

      Wait, this Trekky claims to have a girlfriend? Is it just me, because I don't buy this story at all.

      My suggestion samzenpus: get some spock ears, take your supposed girlfriend to a restaurant, and verbally explain to her all the back stories in deep space nine. That will REALLY get her involved.

      LOL.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:26PM (#40392615)

    Please not Deep Space 9!

    • Re:What not to! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:31PM (#40392673)

      Why not? I think it's the best. It's pretty much a soap opera in space. Story arcs some tech babble thrown in.

    • Re:What not to! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by poity (465672) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:03PM (#40393031)

      I think DS9 was the best. It was the most emotionally complex Trek series, and showed a future that wasn't so clean and utopian, with people who weren't so predictable. The introspective and rather cynical view it took of the Federation was by itself enough to elevate it above other series.

      • Re:What not to! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:25PM (#40393213)
        Agreed. It's the only series that's really put forth the possibility that the Federation as a whole wasn't necessarily the "good guys" that knew what was best for everyone. Avery Brooks might actually be my favorite Captain, even above Picard. Definitely a BMF.
        • by tooyoung (853621)

          Agreed. It's the only series that's really put forth the possibility that the Federation as a whole wasn't necessarily the "good guys" that knew what was best for everyone.

          Totally, without doubt this is the best series to introduce people to Star Trek. Just imagine your friends trying to comprehend the complexity of a plot line where the main governing power isn't necessarily the "good guys". This sort of originality really sets the series apart from others. Make sure to devote some serious time after

      • I especially liked the characterization of Elim Garek [memory-alpha.org]; a real spy's spy with superior cunning and a touch of ruthlessness that enabled him to do and say things which the Federation crew needed to do, but couldn't be seen doing. And yet despite all of this he still managed to cultivate a sinister sort of charm to offset his sharp wit and shrewd observational abilities. His friendship with the intelligent but naïve doctor, Julian Bashir [memory-alpha.org], made for some wonderfully humorous exchanges playing Garek's bitter
    • Re:What not to! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:15PM (#40393125)

      >>>Please not Deep Space 9!

      Probably not a fan of Babylon 5 either. (Or novels.) I know it sucks when shows make you have to remember plot details over the course of an entire season, but hey, that doesn't mean the show is bad. ;-)

      B5 and DS9 still rank up there as my favorite SF shows. Add-in Hercules and Xena and the X-Files and seaQuest (year one) and earth2 and Buffy and Twilight Zone and Outer Limits..... and the 90s was an awesome decade for fantasy/science fiction television. Most of it was produced off-network as individually-funded shows (syndicated). It's a shame the syndication market died out. CW/MyNetworkTV is a poor substitute..... the independent channels died out.

    • Agreed. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by csumpi (2258986) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:52PM (#40394327)

      I tried to introduce myself to star trek, and deep space 9 was recommended online as the best series.

      It completely turned me off star trek.

  • Redshirts (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:29PM (#40392647)
    Just a plug for Scalzi's new book, "Redshirts" - it's only indirectly about Star Trek, but well worth the read if you want to get into Trek....
    • by jbeaupre (752124)

      I was rather disappointed by Redshirts. It started off well. But about 1/2 through, the deux ex machina showed up. And not a very good one. I know that is sort of the point of the book (there are a couple levels of parody). But it made the story arc peak too soon. The rest was a chore.

      At least that's one person's opinion. Other Scalzi books I'd happily reread. Not this one.

  • Odd question. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by methano (519830) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:30PM (#40392663)
    People either know all about Star Trek or they don't. If they don't, it's because they don't want to. You'll only annoy them by trying to "introduce" them.

    Sometimes I'm glad that I'm old. Sheesh, "Introduce" somebody to Star Trek. What a weird concept.
  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sasayaki (1096761) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:30PM (#40392667)

    As someone who introduced my ex to Trek a few years back, and who's still in largely into it despite not being together anymore, I took the simple approach of "show the good, skip the crap".

    More specifically, this is what I did:

    - Saw Star Trek 2009. Explained beforehand, very briefly, that it was a "darker and edgier reboot" of the original series that for canon purposes took place in an alternate universe. Answer any questions she has ("Why is Spock bleeding green? What is a Romulan? What is Warp?")
    - Showed her DS9 and TNG, especially First Contact, since that's one of my favourites, along with Generations.
    - Watched some Voyager, some Enterprise, etc. A bit of everything.

    And that was it. Again... show the good stuff, skip the crap stuff ("Threshold"? What is that? I am not aware of any episode with that title). It's a show with a huge body of content; there are some gems in there, but there are some poo nuggets too.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sasayaki (1096761) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:33PM (#40392695)

      Also, don't fucking go on a massive rant about Subject X. If she asks, "What is Warp?" Just say, "It lets the ship go faster than light." Don't regurgitate the entire Memory Alpha article that you've memorized or possibly helped write.

    • by Jesus_666 (702802)

      - Saw Star Trek 2009. Explained beforehand, very briefly, that it was a "darker and edgier reboot" of the original series that for canon purposes took place in an alternate universe. Answer any questions she has ("Why is Spock bleeding green? What is a Romulan? What is Warp?")

      It might help to point out that the rest of Trek wasn't directed by J.J. Abrams and thus has things besides lens flares visible on screen.

  • Next Gen Q (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:31PM (#40392669)

    The Next Generation Q episodes are the most demented fun. From Picard waking up in bed after a sexual encounter only to be greeted by Q to my favorite exchange in the final "All Good Things" episode:

    Elderly Picard: Q, where's the anomaly?
    Elderly Q raises horn to ear: Where's your mommy? Why, I don't know.

    • Re:Next Gen Q (Score:5, Insightful)

      by magarity (164372) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:44PM (#40392813)

      No, while Q was acted well, he was the worst plot device in the entire franchise and is guaranteed to put off any new viewer. Even worse than the holodeck on Voyager.

      • That seems like a joyless take on some entertaining episodes. Oh well, too each his own.
  • by Keen Anthony (762006) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:35PM (#40392711)

    Perhaps go with the films? I was never a big Star Trek fan. I preferred Babylon 5. I loved the original films though. In fact, I really have liked every feature film I've seen. Maybe that can be an entry way into the TV series.

  • Don't bother (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charcharodon (611187) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:35PM (#40392713)
    Don't bother "introducing" anything to them, just simply pop in one of the newer movies (the reboot would probably be the best place to start) or start watching one of the newer series. If they are interested they'll join you and get "hooked". If you force it on them you are pretty much hosed and will never get them to watch any of them again.
  • The Inner Light (Score:5, Informative)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:35PM (#40392719) Homepage Journal

    Get them to watch The Next Generation episode "The Inner Light." This was by far one of the best hours of television in history. Then maybe "City on the Edge of Forever" from the original series. If those don't hook them, don't bother trying any further, it's a hopeless cause.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:35PM (#40392721) Homepage Journal
    Marry the girlfriend. Have a child with her. When the child gets old enough, start the child on Star Trek, watching it with you and the wife.

    Worked for me. Although, to tell the truth, Valerie watched some Star Trek with me before Stanley came along.

  • by fiziko (97143) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:42PM (#40392797) Homepage

    What does your girlfriend like to watch? Start with the episodes/movies that are closest to that. For some people, "Star Trek: First Contact" is the best intro. For others, it's the JJ Abrams reboot, for others it's DS9, etc. "Star Trek: Insurrection" is often referred to as "Star Trek: Date Movie" for good reason; that might be a starting place.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:47PM (#40392847)

    Start with Star Trek IV, it's very accessible.

  • you lie! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jjeffries (17675) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:50PM (#40392883)

    >"I have a few friends, plus my girlfriend"

    Oh, c'mon... I stopped believing you right there.

  • by multiben (1916126) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:52PM (#40392915)
    ...and nothing else. She will either adapt or leave you.
  • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:53PM (#40392921)

    The one where Vader hacks off his son's hand with a laser sword.

  • Drinking games ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:55PM (#40392933) Homepage

    Don't foist too much of the geeky stuff on them, have fun with it ... drinking games!

    Every time McCoy says "dammit", everybody drink. Every time Spock says "fascinating", drink. Every time Kirk gets his shirt off, drink. Every time an un-named red-shirt gets killed, drink. Every time Uhura says "scanning all frequencies", drink.

    Of course, if you're watching next gen, any time Wesley saves the day, they mention tachyons or other particles with magic properties, or Deanna Troi wears the cheerleader outfit, or Warf drinks prune juice ... drink.

    But, in the end, maybe just let sleeping dogs lie ... your friends may never really appreciate your beloved Trek, and in the end may decide it's not something they like. It isn't everybody's cup of tea.

  • by Un pobre guey (593801) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:59PM (#40392979) Homepage

    The first rule of introducing Star Trek to people who have never seen it is: Do not introduce Star Trek to people who have never seen it.

    The second rule of introducing Star Trek to people who have never seen it is: Do not introduce Star Trek to people who have never seen it.

  • by xaoslaad (590527) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:18PM (#40393159)
    I tried this with my wife with Dr. Who, going to the old first and it was an epic fail. But now that she has seen the new stuff she has become more interested in the old. The new movie is nice and neat and tidy and stands on its own. If they like it they have all the rest of the universe to get excited about. At worst they sent through an action movie in soace and shouldn' hate you for subjecting them to Sci Fi.
  • Leslie Nielsen (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wrencherd (865833) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:56PM (#40393489)
    Screen "Forbidden Planet" for them and nonchalantly mention that it's often cited as having "inspired" much of ST's look and style.

    If your friends have the remotest interest that will certainly reel them in.
  • by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:08PM (#40393589) Homepage Journal
    Chairs with straps and eye-lid spreaders like in A Clockwork Orange.
  • by macshit (157376) <miles@ g n u.org> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:39PM (#40393829) Homepage
    (1) tie them up
    (2) lots of beer
    (3) eyelid clips
  • Series guide (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FrootLoops (1817694) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:49PM (#40393899)

    My guide to the six Star Trek series is below. If you've ever wanted to watch a few episodes of a series and stop there, pick some from the relevant "best of show" list. They're all independent episodes that require essentially no back story (though caring about the characters always helps), unless otherwise noted. The NxM numbers indicate season and episode.

    The Original Series (TOS): quality varied wildly. Season 2 was the best; season 3 was largely weird.
    * Best of show: 1x28 The City on the Edge of Forever [memory-alpha.org]; 2x05 Amok Time [memory-alpha.org]; 2x10 Mirror Mirror [memory-alpha.org]; 1x08 Balance of Terror [memory-alpha.org].
    * Worst of show: 3x06 Spock's Brain [memory-alpha.org].

    The Animated Series (TAS): terrible for adults; decent for kids (or maybe nostalgia if you saw it as a kid). One real season.
    * Best of show: 1x02 Yesteryear [memory-alpha.org].
    * Worst of show: 1x05 More Tribbles, More Troubles [memory-alpha.org].
    * Most surreal moment in all of Star Trek: Midway through 1x04 The Lorelei Signal [memory-alpha.org], Scotty sings Welsh ballads while the Enterprise slowly orbits. The scene drags on for 37 seconds.

    The Next Generation (TNG): season 1 is terrible. 2 and 3 are hit-and-miss. 4-7 are quite good, with 6 and 7 being almost universally good.
    * Best of show: 5x25 The Inner Light [memory-alpha.org]; 2x16 Q Who? [memory-alpha.org]; 3x26 The Best of Both Worlds [memory-alpha.org]; 6x15 Tapestry [memory-alpha.org]; 3x15 Yesterday's Enterprise [memory-alpha.org]. The series finale, 7x25 All Good Things... [memory-alpha.org], is also quite good and has no "spoilers".
    * Worst of show: 2x22 Shades of Grey [memory-alpha.org] (clip show); 2x12 The Royale [memory-alpha.org]; Wesley's part in 1x03 The Naked Now [memory-alpha.org] (also Wesley's most annoying part period).

    Deep Space 9 (DS9): season 1 is terrible with the notable exception of Duet. 2 is a marked improvement (for instance, Siddig learns to act). 3 and 4 are sometimes hit-and-miss. Seasons 5-7 are excellent if you like space opera.
    * Best of show: 1x19 Duet [memory-alpha.org]; 5x06 Trials and Tribble-ations [memory-alpha.org] (excellent if you've seen the TOS episode!); 4x03 The Visitor [memory-alpha.org]; 4x08 Little Green Men [memory-alpha.org]--these are each essentially independent episodes. 6x19 In The Pale Moonlight [memory-alpha.org], 6x06 Sacrifice of Angels [memory-alpha.org], and the series finale 7x25 What You Leave Behind [memory-alpha.org] are all excellent as well, but they're part of the Dominion War story arc and should really be watched starting from, say, 4x26 Broken Link [memory-alpha.org].
    * Worst of show: 5x07 Let He Who Is Without Sin... [memory-alpha.org].

    Voyager (VOY): seasons 1 and 2 are terrible. Again it slowly amps up until 6 and 7 are pretty universally good. Lots of good 2-parters. Fun fact: Captain

  • by w4rl5ck (531459) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @02:52AM (#40395525) Homepage

    Pick something that is Picard-heavy, could be sth. Borg-related.

    If you could find an episode that also features a heavy amount of Guinan and Data, you should be at a good starting point. Patrick Steward, Brent Spiner and obviously Whoopie Goldberg are the best that ever happened to Trek. Ever. Seriously. I love Nimoy, but Steward and especially Spiner took it to a level that fits Goldberg.

    A Q episode might easily do the trick.

    Also, the Sherlock Data/Moriarty episodes are brilliant, but some of the humor might be to complex and tied to the characters to fully enjoy.

    I'd then pick one nice episode of every series but Voyager (there was not one nice episode to pick) and show how the series changed over time, and that there are lot of different 'versions'. A lot of brilliant episodes have already been mentioned here. Pick Way of the Warrior for DS9. It has everything, brilliant humor, acting, suprise, action, and loads and loads of Klingons. Plus five thousand photon torpedoes armed and ready to launch. Goose bumbs here. "He said: it's a good day to day". Oh my good was it great to watch that for the first time. I hated DS9 until that point. What a turnaround!

    Enterprise: the episode in which they unveal the Vulcans using the monestary to spy on the Andorians. Self-explaining, deep for showing how twisted the Vulcans really are. Plus T'Pal. Uh I actually forgot about those nice "we have to go through desinfection again" fanservice scenes...

    TOS: Horta, obviously. There are better episodes, but this one nails the 'Trek against dilemma' sheme. After that show "mind meld" (the documentary) which fills in the background of Shatners father dying during shooting it.

    As for movies, IV is the most funny and brilliant, while The Unknown Country is by far the best Trek movie EVER EVER made, as it perfectly chimes into the tune of the universe. II of course... KAAAAAAAHN' - but VI is even better. Avoid uneven numbers, they suck. That's law.

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