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Old December 22 2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Location: Ireland
Re: Starting on Deep Space Nine

Honest advice? Don't go into DS9 expecting a shining example of serialised television, it's a semi-serialised patchwork of mostly good ideas and some bad ones. For a Star Trek series, it is far and away the best at continuity and story arcs, major events do matter in future episodes, but because the show is grounded in Star Trek's usual episodic style, it sometimes takes a while for plots to be followed up on. A non-spoilery example is the story of a recurring character that betrays Sisko in one episode, but that story isn't followed up at all for a whole year, at which point we're expected to believe that Sisko has been obsessing about that betrayal all that time. Compared to modern serialised shows, DS9 comes across as somewhat amateurish. The show's strength is in that the writers were really good at taking loose plot and character threads and tying them together with unrelated threads to forge a grander narrative. There are unexpected turns on the journey, but they all (well, most of them) make sense and add something to the show's core.

Most importantly of all, DS9 makes the Star Trek universe feel alive, it's more than just a random jumble of planets, anomalies, and adventurers. Deep Space Nine is a place where people live, they have jobs, they learn, they grow, they have fun, and they struggle. All the major races get developed, both as governments and individuals. This framework allows the characters to flourish and develop in interesting ways, including complete transformations for some. There are characters in What You Leave Behind that you wouldn't recognise from watching Emissary, but you don't have trouble believing those transformations because you witness the characters being shaped by the events they're involved in.

That is why us Niners love the show.
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