I decided to rank every single episode of every Star Trek series because wanted to share my love for Star Trek, but I know other people have opinions which may range from the belligerent Tellarite to the logical Vulcan.
Well for either of those individuals and for everyone in between, here’s some printable files you are free to download and use for your own ranking, whether you use something like my methodology or something else.
As with the rankings, I will be updating these as new seasons (and new shows) of Trek are added.
What’s on the cards
Each card will have the episode title up top for easy sorting.
Series, Season #, Episode #
Next, you’ll get the series, the season(s) and the episode(s).
Writers and Directors
I’ve included the director and writers because I plan to do a ranking of directors and writers in the future… and perhaps you will want to as well. Bear in mind that writing credits on TV and film are always fraught with the peril of imprecision. TV shows can be being particularly tricky as there’s often “writers’ rooms” where ideas are raised and stories mapped out en masse before they’re assigned. Of course, some decision is made by the time the episode is produced and this ends with credited writers. In general, where you see an “and” between writers’ names, that means they did separate drafts on a script. When you see an ampersand (“&”), that means they were a writing team working on a draft (or drafts) together. I’m going with the Wikipedia information and did not necessarily validate it against all the on-screen credits (trusting the task was already done correctly), so if there’s some errors, please let me know and I’ll update the files.
I added the stardates because I thought that’d be fun. However, be warned: before season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, there’s no attempt by the creative team to have them serve as any sort of sequential continuity device (and absolutely no continuity for TOS or TAS).
Finally, we have an episode description, because once you’re dealing with over 700 episodes, you’re bound to forget which episode is which from time to time. For the most part, I got these from either Wikipedia or IMDb episode summaries trying to minimize editing (although some of the summaries are awful). Time permitting, I may revisit and update some of these summaries with the Memory Alpha summaries, which seem to be far better.
So enjoy! And please feel free to share your top 10, 20, or 100 episodes with me in the comments of the main blog post.
All the files (last updated July 2020)
Star Trek: Lower Decks (LD) – Season 1
(To be added sometime after airing)
A Note on Printing
The current files are designed for standard 3″ x 5″ index cards. This is how I do the pairwise comparison. Many home printers (including the one I used) have a way you can feed in these size cards.
I will also be creating files for use with sheets that might be easier for many people to print (I would suggest at least 80# paper to duplicate some of the heft of the index cards).
In both the case of feeding the index cards to print or cutting up the resulting sheets, this will be the most tedious work. I recommend starting your Star Trek binge-watching whilst doing these tasks.
A Note on Scope
As detailed in the methodology, I found great value in judging Star Trek series by series. Each one was finding its own voice and building on it — with stumbles even in later seasons.
I found it was good to rank them in this way, to understand their take on Trek on “their own terms” before judging them against another Trek series. You can judge apples against oranges and both against kumquats, but trying to judge the entire produce aisle at once is a bit daunting.
Alternately, if you just want to pick out your favorites across the different series, go through and discard all the cards (either before printing via the Word file or after printing) and do a sort that way.