HaventGotALife, I don't feel insulted. Nor was I trying to insult. I own some of DS9 - not a lot - and it's not usual for it to be on, when I just need some background noise, whilst I'm painting, cooking, or cleaning. I would never discourage anyone from watching this series. But I stand by my statements. These technicalities you pointed out about the specifications of the Defiant, or the opression of the Klingons, are merely splitting hairs. I know that you're trying to point out how mining so heavily from TNG only added to the ... to the texture ... the flavour of the series. But I enjoyed DS9 most for its original elements. Even Ezri Dax, whom I never found to be all that attractive or interesting, but my unfamiliarity with her species and her specifically helped the Seventh Season, in Jadzia's absence ...
My point is not to "split hairs." It is to show that even when using familiar elements (Worf, Miles O'Brien, having a ship, the 24th century version of Klingons), the show was able to maintain its themes and develop its characters.
I make this distinction because I don't believe the UPN shows--Enterprise and Voyager--did a very good job doing anything that was original. The Borg Queen didn't have layers added to her. She was the same in Voyager as she was in First Contact. The same thing with the Maquis. The creative juices were not flowing through those shows.
I don't know about you but any show that is a spinoff will have familiar characters and situations. But a good spinoff is one that tells an original story or does something unique with the "universe." For instance, Frasier
was a successful spinoff from Cheers
. While Frasier remained unchanged and was the center of the show, the characters around him became funny and endearing as any character on Cheers
. That allowed them to tell interesting stories and situations without having to re-tread on Cheers. It wasn't set in a bar in Boston, for instance. It was a family and workplace drama of a different sort (a radio station). And as they brought characters from Cheers onto the show, the characters had a reason for being there. It furthered the show beyond just seeing them and expecting them to be the same characters. It showed how Frasier had changed in some respects from his time on Cheers
Deep Space Nine
is a good spinoff because it adds to the texture of the known 24th century universe. Sure, the Cardassians, Bajorans, and Trills had been in TNG. But they changed drastically from TNG to DS9. Uniforms, make-up, how they fit together in the universe, all of that changed. For instance, "Dr. Beverly" saw a bumpy-faced man who said that he was merely "a host," that "Edan" was the slug. In DS9, it's a symbiotic relationship between two individuals--the host and the symbiot.
I think the show didn't "sell out" as it were when it got a ship. We never had a prolonged threat. We had enemies, but it was essentially a peaceful time. This show, DS9, explored a prolonged threat to the entire Alpha Quadrant. How different species would react, how we can destroy ourselves, and how we will deal with an existential threat. Voyager didn't have anything that focused or concise.
Stand by it if you must, but I feel that DS9 is, indeed, an original spinoff. They weren't telling TNG stories on that show. Sisko wasn't a clone of Picard. As a matter of fact, it's more in the first season that they encounter "alien of the week" stories that mirror TNG. It's not until the middle of the second season that the show really takes off with its own brand of storytelling.