Star Trek: a beginner's guide
Star Trek (1966 - 1969): Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Doctor McCoy lead the USS Enterprise on its five year mission to explore the universe. Kirk plays an All-American ask-questions-later lady's man.
The Next Generation (1987 - 1994): For many, the best Trek series, with Patrick Stewart giving us the definitive Starship commander as the unflappable Jean-Luc Picard. Dublin's Colm Meaney achieved fame as Transporter Chief O'Brien.
Deep Space Nine (1993 - 1999): Meaney reprised his role for DS9, set on a labyrinthine space station in a disputed part of the galaxy, its emphasis was on sprawling plots and intricate characterisation.
Voyager (1995 - 2001): It was back to the thrill of the unknown in a series set in an unexplored quadrant of deep space. Kate Mulgrew created history as the first female Starship captain to have her own series, while Jeri Ryan became a nerd pin-up as Seven of Nine.
Enterprise (2001- 2005): The watery prequel starring Scott Bakula that nuked the series from orbit. Set in the earliest years of humanity's conquest of space, this touchy-feelie mess was loathed by Trek fans and regarded with bafflement by anyone else.