. Having the later conditions in the Federation be a genuinely hard accomplishment, having redemption be a struggle and showing that growth both personal and institutional often hurts
a whole lot - that's not dark as much as mature, and perfectly Trekkian.
And to be clear, I respect attempts to grow the franchise's range. DS9 did, and I think we're all better off for it. Plus a willingness to be challenged by the material makes a healthier reader