Star Trek Fans Need To Watch These Shows

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Thanks to all the new offerings on Paramount Plus, there has been a lot of great Star Trek content for fans to consume in the past few years. Once you finish binge-watching everything new, though, it becomes that much harder to wait for new content from your favorite franchise. However, if you don’t mind a change of pace (or space, in this instance), you can scratch that itch by watching the following shows that Star Trek fans are guaranteed to love.

1. The Orville

the orville season 4

Since the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, there has been a mild schism in the fandom between those who love “NuTrek” for all its weirdness and those who wanted a return to the glory days of Star Trek: The Next Generation. If you fall into the latter group, you seriously need to stop reading this right now and start binge-watching The Orville ASAP.

Created by Family Guy auteur Seth MacFarlane, The Orville is possibly the most comprehensive love letter to Star Trek in Hollywood history. The bridges are bright, the uniforms are snazzy, and the characters are both charming and relatable. And if you hate Family Guy, don’t worry: this show eschews gross-out gags in favor of amazing one-off sci-fi stories, and even the hardest of hardcore Trekkers have to admit that this show channels the ‘90s Star Trek vibe the fans have been craving for so long.

2. Babylon 5

It’s an open secret that Babylon 5 appeals to Star Trek fans because it has so many surface-level similarities to Deep Space Nine. Like that show, Babylon 5 uses its titular space station as the backdrop to stories of galactic intrigue involving a mix of human and alien cultures.

Back in the day, there was even fierce debate about whether Star Trek had basically ripped off Babylon 5’s premise. While we’re not going to try to settle that debate, we will say that this show will instantly appeal to anyone who enjoyed both the darkness and the expansive mythology of DS9.

And unlike Deep Space Nine, this show is amazing from start to finish, and it might be one of the most rewarding binge-watches for sci-fi fans looking for something new to obsess over. 

3. Battlestar Galactica (2003)

One of the reasons that we’re confident Star Trek fans will love the Battlestar Galactica reboot is that the showrunner is veteran Trek writer and producer Ronald D. Moore. He even won an Emmy for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and he brought an entire lifetime’s worth of amazing talent and powerful storytelling to Battlestar Galactica (a show already recognized as his masterpiece).

Interestingly, one of the hallmarks of Galactica is that Moore brought in many of the darker plots that he could never get away with on Star Trek. While that means this show isn’t as light as, say, The Orville, it does mean that Moore got to make a show where every decision matters and every character beat has the potential to affect all of humanity.

It’s a high-stakes show with lasting consequences, and that makes for a great watch if you get sick of Star Trek: Voyager always hitting the reset button between episodes.

4. Stargate SG-1

stargate sg-1

While the original Stargate movie was a big hit, nobody at the time could have predicted that it would become a sprawling television franchise with generations of fans. Many of those fans originally fell in love with Star Trek, and it’s not hard to see why: on the most fundamental level, Stargate SG-1 is all about characters seeking out new life and exploring strange new worlds.

If that’s not enough reason for Star Trek fans to tune in, they should know that the longer they stick around, the more familiar faces will show up. Robert Picardo, John DeLancie, Marina Sirtis, and many more pop up in SG-1, and even more Trek alumni pop up in spinoffs like Stargate: Atlantis. From the great writing to the killer cameos, there is plenty here for the average Star Trek fan to love.

5. The Expanse

By definition, this list is composed of the kinds of sci-fi shows we’d recommend to hardcore Star Trek fans. However, The Expanse is a show that we’ve started recommending to everyone because it is just that damn good.

Like Star Trek, this is a show driven by compelling characters who are devoted to preserving peace, but they face an uphill battle against various agents of chaos. While the show is a bit more down to Earth (so to speak) compared to the house that Roddenberry built, The Expanse is going to appeal to any fans who embraced Star Trek’s dream of making the future a better place.

6. Doctor Who

doctor who

Once upon a time, Star Trek was known as a relatively serious sci-fi franchise with occasional dips into silliness. However, recent shows like Star Trek: Lower Decks have helped this franchise find its silly side. And if you like it when your sci-fi can go from silly to serious and back again at a moment’s notice, you really need to watch Doctor Who.

We’d recommend starting with the 2005 series, though Classic Who has more than a few things for fans of Star Trek: The Original Series to enjoy. But modern Who is more characterized by big stories, bigger characters, and an ever-growing mythology that stretches back for the better part of a century.

Plus, if you get a kick out of Star Trek’s “technobabble,” it’s hard not to laugh when the Doctor Who writers give up on providing a scientific explanation in favor of cutesy phrases like “wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.” 

Doctor Who

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