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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old August 19 2012, 12:58 AM   #16
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
I think DS9 (and to a slightly lesser effect B5) may well have been responsible for the shift in audience preferences.
DS9 and B5 weren't even blips on the pop culture radar.

The late night soaps like Dallas, Dynasty, Twin Peaks, etc were responsible for slowly shifting things over. As for sci fi, X-Files had much more influence than DS9 I'd imagine as well.
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Old August 19 2012, 04:34 AM   #17
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Either way, DS9 was waaay ahead of its time, in terms of both content and format. To whatever extent DS9's popularity might be growing, it's due to the fact that viewers are beginning to understand DS9's place in the evolution of serialized TV.

On a personal note, I was so turned off by DS9's first few episodes that, at the time, I completely dismissed it as a series (I was still in college when it debuted). Only years later (oh, say, fifteen years later), did I give the show a chance. That's when I realized just how good it was.
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Old August 19 2012, 09:06 AM   #18
Diogenes5
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

DS9 was so badly treated as a show in its later years. I have always been a trekkie but could never catch it as it switched timeslots every season and I was in elementary/middle school when it aired. I remember catching the series finale one day and going to myself, "Holy crap it's over!" and "Wow, this show must've been awesome with all the parts they are wrapping up."

Sadly reruns did not play things in order so I was never ever able to really catch up with the show.

It was only with Netflix and the release of the DVD's that I was finally able to watch the whole show straight through around 2006 and what a ride it was. The finale had whole new meaning for me as it left a yawning pit in my stomach as I had to said goodbye to the characters I had come to love.

I think the main reason DS9 has so much legs is that it really maximizes television as a format and develops it's characters over its 7 year run. Nog becomes a starfleet officer, the wet-behind-the-ears doctor is not a mature veteran of war, and so on.

Even better are the numerous relationships which we get to see develop over the years. My favorite was the friendship of Garak and Bashir. At first bashir is a naive young doctor that has no idea what to expect of the mysterious Mr. Garak. By the end of the show, Bashir and Garak's friendship is on a whole other level. There were so many characters and so many relationships intertwined with each other that DS9 felt like a living, breathing world with characters I really cared about.

Many trekkies are right that DS9 is not quite Star Trek. It didn'
explore as many grand big-picture sci-fi plots as TNG did; it focused on relationships and characters and was closer to a drama than science fiction; at least by Trek standards.

Many of the things that make DS9 loved by the few who got to see it in its entirety are also those things which hurt it in terms of ratings and popularity. There were no DVD's, no netflix, no online way to catch up if you missed an episode. Nowadays, we kind of expect it in serious dramas. Studio heads are no longer scornful of serialization with true character and plot development; in fact they encourage it because serialized shows have the best DVD sales (For example the CSI shows have great live ratings but mediocre dvd sales). In this way DS9 was ahead of its time.

However, I would have to disagree saying that DS9 is growing in popularity. The show has been off the air for 13 years now and it is no longer seen on US airwaves even on cable. It's a great show and I'm grateful that the star trek name allowed us to get 176 great episodes. Think about it, that's about 9 20-episode seasons today, and about 13 13-episode seasons of a Cable TV show (like mad men).

I think people are appreciating it more now though because sensibilities and expectations about serialization and character development in TV have changed for the better.
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Old August 20 2012, 03:47 PM   #19
Use of Time
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

I don't know about growing popularity but I have found that it is easier to turn non Trek fans onto this series than any other I have tried.
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Old August 20 2012, 04:33 PM   #20
MacLeod
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Diogenes5 wrote: View Post
DS9 was so badly treated as a show in its later years. I have always been a trekkie but could never catch it as it switched timeslots every season and I was in elementary/middle school when it aired. I remember catching the series finale one day and going to myself, "Holy crap it's over!" and "Wow, this show must've been awesome with all the parts they are wrapping up."
You want bad treatment of a show from memory when channel 4 aired S4 of B5 in the UK, there was something like 21 timeslot/day changes. Which might not have been so bad except that it was only a 22 episode season. So it basically moved slot every week. Try keeping track of that.
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Old August 20 2012, 10:45 PM   #21
Temis the Vorta
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

DS9 doesn't have pop culture awareness and I don't see that changing too much in the future.

However, because space opera can't survive on broadcast anymore, the next series will have to be on cable or straming only services like Netflix, where the old episodic format for drama is completely passe. Even DS9s mixed serialized/episodic format is questionable. The days of episodic Star Trek may very well be over for good.

Ditto for tone. These days, something like Falling Skies is the most wholesome you get for cable drama (other than maybe those quirky cop shows on USA). That tone is pretty comparable to DS9, so the next series will be no lighter than that and perhaps much darker/sexier/more violent, depending on where it ends up.

Use of Time wrote: View Post
I don't know about growing popularity but I have found that it is easier to turn non Trek fans onto this series than any other I have tried.
That's not surprising given the way TV has been trending. Everyone I know watches nothing but cable dramas now, since broadcast is so sanitized and boring. DS9 is the only Star Trek series that looks even like the more vanilla type of cable drama.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:05 PM   #22
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Deep Space Nine is on nowhere here in the States and every time it pops up, it is quickly shunted to late night before being pulled back off the air.

It did well in the ratings in its' original run, but like most serialized dramas it has no legs in the post-first run markets.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:17 PM   #23
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

^Maybe, Maybe not. If it is aired less frequently and at less social times it'll never do well during re-runs.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:22 PM   #24
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

MacLeod wrote: View Post
^Maybe, Maybe not. If it is aired less frequently and at less social times it'll never do well during re-runs.
Most serialized dramas are pushed off to the wee hours here in syndication.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:39 PM   #25
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Which is why they don't do well, and because they don't do well. Stations are less likely to air them at a more favourable time.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:48 PM   #26
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

with word of mouth on the internet and dvrs in every home I don't know how much difference it makes when anything airs anymore.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:50 PM   #27
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Which is why they don't do well, and because they don't do well. Stations are less likely to air them at a more favourable time.
They don't do well because people on this side of the pond usually prefer something they can jump in and out of as their schedules dictate. It's the reason sitcoms, reality TV and game shows do well in those early evening slots.
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Old August 20 2012, 11:51 PM   #28
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

wissaboo wrote: View Post
with word of mouth on the internet and dvrs in every home I don't know how much difference it makes when anything airs anymore.
Sure it matters. Time slot drives the amount of money a station can charge for commercial time.
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Old August 21 2012, 02:15 AM   #29
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
DS9 and B5 weren't even blips on the pop culture radar.
That's true, I think. For something like DS9, it's not so much that it influenced anything in a general way (probably in certain specific cases, when people working on it moved on to new projects), but rather that the writers and producers could sense which way the wind was blowing and were willing to try different things.

Last edited by flemm; August 21 2012 at 02:30 AM.
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Old August 22 2012, 09:51 AM   #30
Diogenes5
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To be fair at all the people who are making statments about ratings; while it is extremely hard for serialized shows to make money in syndication, they proved to be extremely profitable when DVD's came out.

JMS always talks about how Babylon 5 made several hundred million dollars for WB (Pretty damned good considering they spent little to make the show). I could never find sales stats for the Trek DVD's but I'm sure they made in that ballpark too as they were all released right around the height of DVD's popularity and were all way more popular than Babylon 5 in terms of live ratings.

Serialized shows continue to do well relative to their more popular episodic cousins when it comes to DVD sales. For example, CSI dominates top 10 rankings for network TV but it has middling DVD sales. Serialized Fair like "Lost" did very well on DVD.

Also, we have seen some megahits come out with very serialized plots. Lost as I already mentioned, Heroes its first few seasons, and a few others. These were all top 10 shows at one point. Cable ratings have a lot of dramas that are extremely serialized and successful; Justified, Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad.

So while yes, tv is dominated by reality tv and procedurals, there have been way more successful serialized shows in the last decade than there were in say the 80's and 90's, and DS9 (along with B5) help set the path. I would say that DS9 set the path even more (and I am a fan of both) only because JMS basically wrote all of B5 by himself (and hasn't done much tv since) whereas most of the writing staff of DS9 has been very influential: Ira Behr produced the 4400 and is currently working on Alphas. Ron Moore did Battlestar Galactica. A lot of the other writers are on successful shows as well.

So for the few people that know what DS9 is, there is a newfound appreciation for its character and plot development arc over several seasons. I wish it were enough to make a movie for the show but alas that will never happen. Hopefully, it will be enough to allow for a blu-ray remastering.


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