I'm not arguing that it didn't exist in TNG. As I said, I love TNG. I just feel there was more development in DS9 -- not more as in quantity, but more as in DEEPER, much more time and more attention given to specific cultures and characters making the development more complex, and that development helped to build a broader story. They had to do it that way because the station wasn't going anywhere and the mission this time was not to explore strange new worlds. TNG did indeed introduce and develop characters, aliens and cultures, and they were interesting (never said they weren't), but there was not a larger, complex story there that encompassed the series. In other words, the development of the characters and cultures were mostly contained to individual stories that were resolved quickly, and then it was time to move on and continue the mission of exploring. Yes they revisited many of those cultures and developed them further, but they didn't live with those cultures the way DS9 did simply because they moved around the galaxy a lot more. And there's not a thing wrong with that! They were just two different kinds of shows. It's not an elitist argument, it's just the nature of each show. And I love them both.
I get what you're saying, Deep Space Nine created this wonderful tapestry of a setting in which to tell their stories, and while you enjoy TNG, you feel like the combination of DS9's setting, characters, and story themes resonate more with you. That's cool, but you have to understand that is a subjective experience, and isn't inherently "deeper" or more developed.
TNG has it's own wonderful tapestry, it's supporting characters just tend to wear starfleet uniforms instead of Bajoran outfits. Yes, the ship itself bounces around from planet to planet, but the community of people on the ship are the show, and they don't go anywhere. Along with some cool outsiders that pop up from time to time like Gowron, Q, Lwaxana, etc...
I keep using TNG as an example because honestly it's the only one I'm into as much as DS9, so I don't have the level of familiarity with Voyager and Enterprise. The original is an animal all of it's own classification, heheh.
I haven't read the article, but can we stop with the misnomer that DS9 is some red-headed step child of the Star Trek franchise? Why are fans still carrying this thought. Ever since the DVDs came out I think DS9 has gotten a lot of respect. Also, this week LaLa land records is bringing out the music of a series and it sounds like they are going through great pains to respect it. The series may not be in syndication, but neither is Voyager or Enterprise. All the series are on DVD, freely avaliable on Netflix, and ever since the DVDs, the series has gained a much larger following (This board showing a good example of that).
I say it's time to stop being this bastard child and freely enjoy the show. To ask for any more respect than it's already given does strike me the same way of a spoiled brat.
That's my whole objection to this article in a nutshell. It's time to stop perpetuating the myth that DS9 didn't succeed because the unsophisticated masses couldn't handle it. It should be celebrated for what it was and what it accomplished, not falsely remembered as the martyr of more refined tastes.