― Gene Roddenberry
STAR TREK: ORIGINAL
It was probably one of the first shows on TV, that had something like the diversity of the United Nations for their cast. But this brave approach, was absolutely crucial in showing just how far human beings had come against their pre-existing prejudices. The original show gains further kudos, as the themes of intolerance, justice, war, occupation and the fight for civil rights were really occurring, during the time Star Trek was being filmed, in the late 60s. Ironically, the reverse scenario is narrated in the fictional TV show's, fictional Earth. Here the governing body of the planet: The Federation, have abolished money and dedicated themselves to exploration and the betterment of themselves, a far cry from what was really going on, but the future hope of creator/producer Gene Roddenberry
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
Set 70 -100 years after the original series, The Next Generation showed the evolution of technology and the deeper reach that the federation had made. The characters on the bridge were fleshed out much more, each having episodes that would focus on them. Characters outside of command were also featured, as this Galaxy Class Enterprise shipped a huge amount of people. Other than the ship's crew, the Enterprise's manifest carried explorers, scientists, spouses, visiting diplomats, business folk, children and civilians. TNG is also responsible for introducing us to the economic tyrants - the Ferengi, the war mongering Cardassians and of course the dreaded Borg. TNG very much carried on where the Star Trek Original left off, in it's exploration of the human condition, but it also gave us a more intricate and emotional look at all life forms ways of life and living.
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
Set 5 years after we are introduced to The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine was the third live Star Trek franchise and it took a very different route to the other shows. DS9 for starters was not set on a space exploration ship, it was set on a spacestation, plonked right by a wormhole and was left and centre to an ongoing war. Heavy political intrigue mixed with war and religious aspects made DS9 a very different animal and the war element especially made this franchise the grittiest of the bunch. The writers did manage to put in quite a lot of humour in the show too.
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
The Voyager series returned us to the format of having a crew on a Federation starship, however this bunch were not out in space exploring. In pursuit of the Maquis (a long story) the space vessel Voyager was tossed 70,000 light years away, by a being called the caretaker (not really living up to his name) and Voyager's mission for what would be a 75 year journey, was to find the quickest way home. Of course, on their way back, they run into all manner of things they have never seen before, as they are in uncharted space, they are in the further reaches of the Delta Quadrant.
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE
Enterprise took us back to the beginning, where we see all the familiar elements of Star Trek being invented or developed. Ultimately Enterprise is about seeing how everything we have come to know about Star Trek came about. The politics, the wars, the customs and alliances formed all begin after first contact with the alien race; the Vulcans, by Henry Archer. It is his son, Jonathan, a Captain in Starfleet that takes the first steps out into space and in a sense writes the book about what being a captain is. Archer is responsible for making first contact with many alien lifeforms.
SOME WAYS THEY COULD GO...
All the battle tactics that have ever been used, are named and located in Starfleets computer data bank so they can be initiated at will. Those tactics along with Starfleet protocol and the whole host of skills an officer has are all given, trained and honed at Starfleet Academy. I could envisage a series where we follow a class of cadets learning their trades, having adventures leading to them going out into space. This would also provide an opportunity for guest teachers and lecturers to come onboard in the shape of characters that still exist in the timeline. I would like to see Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) as the main teacher.