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Old November 13 2013, 10:21 PM   #27
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
Well, there's that, there's the fact that both stations have a single digit number at the end of their names
Which the DS9 creators only intended as a placeholder title until they thought of something better, but then it got out to the public so they were kind of stuck with it. It wasn't planned.

and are positioned near a hole in space (wormhole, jump gate)
Which is a nonsensical comparison. The Bajoran Wormhole is a unique, mysterious alien construct connecting only two points in space, whereas a jump gate is one of hundreds of constructed artifacts that allow entry into hyperspace and access to any other jump gate, making them no more exotic in context than freeway on-ramps. Anyone who thinks they're equivalent isn't paying attention.

both shows begin with a commander in charge and end up with a captain
No, one show had a commander who was replaced with a different captain, while the other had a commander who was promoted to captain. And of course neither show planned things that way.

, both had story arcs featuring god-like good and evil forces (DS9: Prophets and Pah-wraiths; B5: Vorlons and Shadows); DS9 had Section 31, B5 had Bureau 13
Hmm... both the Pah-wraiths and Section 31 were created by the same people, David Weddle & Bradley Thompson, whom I always considered the weak links on the DS9 staff -- in large part because they created both of those things which I really disliked. So maybe they were emulating B5 (or maybe just drawing on the same prior influences it did), but they weren't part of DS9's creative team until the last 2-3 years of the series.

There are other similarities, but those I think are all of the most obvious. I chalk it up to coincidence, of two series beginning with a similar concept finding similar story elements that work. But the similarities are there, and it's more than just the fact that both series are set on a space station.
You can find similarities between any two things if you look for them. I've heard so many "This show is just like that show" comparisons that rely on cherrypicking the evidence, dwelling on the similarities that exist and ignoring the differences. Human beings are very good at deluding ourselves into seeing relationships or patterns that don't exist.

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
I'm sure that by the early 90s people were trying to play with the successful TNG sci-fi formula WITHOUT it being just another spaceship-based show. SeaQuest DSV was another attempt, replacing space with water.
Right. A lot of the similarities just come from B5 and DS9 both trying to differentiate themselves from TNG, which was the 800-pound gorilla of SFTV at the time.

The thing the people who cry "This show ripped off that show!" fail to understand is that it's almost impossible to create something that isn't uncomfortably close to a prior or contemporary creation. The primary reason why scripts or stories get rejected is "We're already doing one like that." It happens all the time, and without anyone trying, just because all creators in a given society and genre are working with the same conceptual and cultural building blocks. So as a rule, if you want to sell a story, you have to make it different from the other stuff out there. If a creator sees that someone else is doing a particular thing, they're not going to copy it, they're going to bend over backward to be different from it. So the vast majority of the time, if you see a similarity between two works of fiction, it's accidental, not intentional. But I despair of the general public ever figuring that out.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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