The evolving looks of 'Star Trek' crews from 'The Original Series' to 'Discovery'

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Star Trek: Discovery, which premiered on CBS and CBS All Access on Sept. 24,is the sixth live action Star Trek series that seeks to transport audiences to a better, brighter future. But the franchise’s depiction of said future has evolved significantly over its 50-year and counting history on television, sometimes causing older iterations of Trek to look more like museum pieces rather than glimpses of the world of tomorrow. To illustrate how the look of Star Trek has changed from The Original Series to Discovery, click through the above gallery featuring members of the various Trek crews over the years and decades for evidence of their ever-changing uniforms and alien makeup. And keep in mind, this is in production order rather than Trek timeline order, which is why the prequel series, Star Trek: Enterprise, looks more futuristic than The Original Series.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are released on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS All Access.

‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ (1966-1969)

For ’60s-era audiences, the original Enterprise ensemble represented a veritable rainbow of color, featuring characters from different racial, cultural, and interplanetary backgrounds. At the same time, they weren’t necessarily the most fashion-forward bunch. These early Starfleet suits look decidedly off-the-rack compared to some of the sleeker uniforms that followed.

(Photo: Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

‘Star Trek: The Animated Series’ (1973)

The short-lived (but much-loved) cartoon series sought to preserve the look of the live action show, right down to the sweater-and-pants combo. In this picture, at least, Kirk went for a more orange hue in his choice of shirts.

(Photo: Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (1987-1994)

With The Next Generation the Star Trek franchise enters the final fashion frontier: jumpsuits. The one-piece look is meant to communicate that much time has passed, and Federation sewing technology has evolved, since the more casual days of the 23rd century.

(Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ (1993-1999)

Setting a series aboard a shared space station, as opposed to a Federation vessel, allowed Deep Space Nine to expand on the franchise’s character and costume profile. The darker Starfleet jumpsuits reflect the show’s own darker, more complex storytelling, and the prominent ppresenceof Bajoran and Ferengi fashions in the frame speaks to the mix of cultures that inhabit this deep space outpost.

(Photo: CBS)

‘Star Trek: Voyager’ (1995-2001)

Running concurrently with Deep Space Nine for much of its run meant that Voyager largely followed the look of that show, at least in regards to the uniformed officers. (Being on the other side of the galaxy also limited their exposure to new clothes.) The aliens, on the other hand, got to model more interesting clothes, from Neelix’s Talaxian duds to Seven of Nine’s form-fitting Borg-suit.

(Photo: Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ (2001-2005)

Set 100 years before the original Star Trek series, the Enterprise officers were forced to wear a purple ensemble that their descendants wisely jettisoned. Also missing are the familiar Starfleet insignias, predated by circular arm patches instead.

(Photo: UPN/Courtesy Everett Collection)

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ (2017)

On the Trek timeline, Discovery happens between Enterprise and The Original Series and the outfits similarly seek to straddle those two ears. The Enterprise purple is long gone, replaced by a dark blue, and there’s a rugged fit to the clothes that foreshadows Kirk’s rough and tumble approach to space exploration.

(Photo: Jan Thijs/CBS)

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