1. The musical theme was completely different from TOS and TNG. If you remember, the theme of TNG was reminiscent of TOS.
2. It was on a space station. Not on the Enterprise, not on a starship. There would be no exploration in there. At least it would not be a show focusing on exploration or explorers.
So by the end of the credits of Emissary
, it was already pretty obvious that this was not the usual Trek.