The fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery premieres Thursday in the U.S. After compiling the Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek Lower Decks, in Chronological Order, I struggled with how to do something similar for Discovery. The series is a puzzle-box show, with season-long story arcs where episodes collect puzzle pieces to assemble. (Alas, sometimes the final picture doesn’t match what was on the box.)

Given the show’s structure, I don’t think it would make much sense to watch the Top 10 episodes of the show in chronological order: too much would be omitted. So instead, I decided to recommend the top-rated season.

I might have guessed it was Season 4 or Season 2, but–to my surprise–it was clearly Season 1, which has the highest IMDB ratings and 6 of the Top 10 episodes.

Average Rating of Each EpisodeAverage Rank of Each EpisodeNumber of Top 10 Episodes
Season 17.53#136
Season 27.35#164
Season 36.67#300
Season 46.56#320

Chronologically in the Star Trek universe, Season 1 of Discovery takes place long after Star Trek: Enterprise and around the time of “The Cage.” Of course, modern production values being what they are, the ship Discovery NCC-1031 looks far higher tech than Enterprise NCC-1701. And, it has a unique jump drive, which… well, spoilers.

So, if you want to watch Discovery, start at the beginning!

And here’s hoping Season 5 becomes the new highest-rated season…

Update: As of June 2, 2024, season 5 is the lowest-rated season, with an average episode rating of 6.3. My hypothesis was that the biggest fans would watch first, inflating the ratings from their long-term average. We’ll see.