I love science fiction, and I love when people new to the genre take their first steps into it. There are a lot of negative stereotypes around sci-fi (some admittedly well-deserved), which makes it all the more impressive when non-fans make the courageous jump.
As a massive sci-fi franchise of seven television series, twelve feature films, and countless books, graphic novels, and games, Star Trek is a daunting universe for the novice to get into. From the outside looking in, the bulk of that material can seem dull, pedantic, and devoid of feeling. But beneath the slick surface of transporters, warp engines, and holographic doctors, Star Trek is, at its core, a story about the triumph of the human spirit. Trek shows us humanity at its best: flawed in many ways, but capable of astounding ingenuity, bravery, and compassion. These themes and story-lines are relate-able to anyone, hard-core sci-fi geek or otherwise.
So, how does the non-Trek-fan break in? Which show offers the path of least resistance for the modern pop culture consumer? My answer–and I am 100% firm in this–is Deep Space Nine.