Trek vs Trek is a series of essays by Peter Aidan Byrne (@peteraidanbyrne on Twitter). I take two episodes of Star Trek from two different series, compare and contrast them, and explore what they have to say. I choose episodes based on a similar premise, or dealing with similar themes, and I try not to take the “vs” part too seriously: I’m more interested in discussing the different ways Trek has dealt with its favorite ideas and tropes over the years than I am in ranking episodes or series.

That being said, I have my own preferences, and my own history with Trek, as any fan does. I grew up on The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 as they were originally airing, with a healthy dose of Original Series reruns sprinkled in for good measure. Voyager is where I dropped off of watching Star Trek as it aired, but I’m appreciating it a lot more now as I rewatch it, and I’ve been enjoying catching up on The Animated Series and Enterprise as well as watching Discovery and the other new Star Trek series as they air; they all have their hits and misses, certainly, but that’s equally true of all Trek, and of all TV, that came before them. I’m a fan, and I won’t pretend to be entirely objective – after all, these essays are very much about the subjective experience of watching Star Trek from different times at different times – but I do try to view every episode, love it or hate it, with a thoughtful, critical eye.