Your guide to watching Star Trek in the UK
Live in the UK, new to Star Trek and want to find out where you can view the whole collection of the expanding Star Trek Universe? Check out our quick guide.
In 2009 J.J. Abrams relaunched Star Trek for a new generation with his Kelvin Timeline reboot, the first Trek to appear on screen since Star Trek: Enterprise whimpered out of existence in 2005. The Kelvin trilogy was full of action and exciting set pieces coupled with amazing special effects that brought Trek right up to date.
Although the Kelvin films are not to everyone’s taste, especially die hard, long term Trek fans they did manage to not only bring in a fresh new audiences to help build the Star Trek brand, they also helped user in a new era that continued with Star Trek: Discovery and now with the expansion of the Star Trek Universe.
I can speak from personal experience as I have friends who love the new films and Discovery but have never seen any of the original show or its subsequent spinoffs.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you are in luck. Below is a quick guide on where you can continue your Star Trek education. Of course this is not just for those that are new to Trek but those casual fans who would like to catch up and build knowledge before the Star Trek Universe created by Alex Kurtzman reaches its fifth gear!
We are lucky in the UK. We only have a handful of TV options available to us but with many of them crossing over. Virgin Media for example has the Sky Sports and Movies channels available, Sky has access to Netflix via their Sky Q box and of course we have a plethora of streaming options available from Dongles to Smart TVs, so hopefully everyone can have the chance to catch Star Trek on television. First of all we will start with streaming.
Netflix has it all in terms of streaming the various TV series. All six of the original shows and spinoffs are available to you any time day or night. As you may know its the home to Star Trek: Discovery but what you might not have known, it also has the Animated Series as well, just to fully round it all off. If that wasn’t enough, For the Love of Spock the excellent documentary made by Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam is also available and I highly recommend that you watch it.
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Amazon Prime video at the moment doesn’t have much in terms of Trek that comes with the subscription price, you can however, purchase/rent all of the above via their service. They do have the excellent William Shatner made documentary Chaos on the Bridge which focuses on the turmoil that surrounded getting The Next Generation produced. Again, I highly recommend watching.
Star Trek on Amazon Prime will soon change come 2020 as they will be showcasing the highly anticipated return of Captain Picard from The Next Generation in Star Trek: Picard. That should be worth the subscription price alone.
A number of TV stations are also showing some of the TV shows on a regular basis. Currently the SYFY channel shows both Voyager and The Next Generation daily, while the Horror channel screens The Original Series and Deep Space Nine. These of course are only available during scheduled showings but if you do not want to spend money on streaming could be your best bet.
As stated above, Amazon Prime have all the films available to rent or buy but are not covered in the subscription. That’s not to say they are not available anywhere else.
Sky Cinema currently has all the original crew films and three of the four TNG films. Sky Cinema is available through Sky directly or as part of your Virgin Media bundle. As you can see from the screenshot above it also has the first of the Kelvin Timeline films, the 2009 reboot. At present there is nowhere available without paying an extra fee to watch Into Darkness, Beyond or Insurrection (although that last one is no loss really.)
Other TV providers might not have access to Sky Movies and if that’s the case, then renting from Amazon Prime could be your best option to watch the films.
If that wasn’t enough for you, no doubt once you have caught up with all things Trek you will want to meet the stars! Well guess what… YOU CAN!
First up is London Film and Comic Con 2019 running from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, July 28 at the London Olympia. I have been to this event a number of times and it pains me that I will not be able to attend this year, considering the Trek alum they have lined up. Not only will Mr Kirk be there, but he will be joined by Zachary Quinto, Walter Koenig, Shazad Latif, Ethan Phillips, Nicole De Boer AND Robert Picardo. Totally worth the £22 entry fee if you ask me.
But thats not all folks…
No, because in October this year Destination Star Trek returns to the NEC in Birmingham, one of Europe’s biggest Star Trek conventions running from October 25 to the 27. As well as photo shoots, exclusive panels, exhibitors and more, this event will see some 30 or more Trek stars make an appearance. Stars including George Takei, Anson Mount, Jonathan Frakes, Ethan Peck, Alice Eve, Denis Crosby, Connor Trinneer, Robin Curtis, David Warner and more.
Please note that all of the services mentioned above come at a cost. For rates contact the individual providers.