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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 November 13 2013, 01:01 AM   #16
Hober Mallow
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

I liked DS9, but I don't think it could be more crystal clear that there wasn't any kind of long-term planning.

R. Star wrote: View Post
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The DS9 master plan was as follows:

Yeah... I guess TOS copied every other sci-fi series too because it was about a ship in space. Nevermind small details like DS9 airing before B5... by over a year if you take away that one shot pilot.
There are a lot of similarities beyond the superficial between DS9 and B5, but I think that has to do simply with beginning with similar premises and coincidence than with conspiracies.
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Old November 13 2013, 01:29 AM   #17
MacLeod
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

Well Hollywood is notorious for competing films coming out at roughly the same time with similar themes.

Armageddon vs Deep Impact
Olympus Has Fallen vs White House Down

A space station based ST was the next logical step for the franchise. Besides in many respects B5 owes it's existance to ST esp. TNG. Had that not been a success I doubt B5 would have seen the light of day.

But I enjoyed both B5 and DSN.
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Old November 13 2013, 03:11 AM   #18
Christopher
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

The only reason anyone thought DS9 and B5 were similar is because nobody else had ever really done a space-station show before. If two police procedurals or hospital dramas or school-based sitcoms are similar to each other, nobody bats an eye, but heaven forbid that two different science fiction shows should have similar settings! The whole thing was ridiculous from the first accusation.
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Old November 13 2013, 02:10 PM   #19
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

^And to be fair, Michael Straczynski never accused Berman or Pillar of pilfering Babylon 5. Indeed, the evidence seems to support the notion that they were unaware of a competing show proposal based on a space
station. If anything, Straczynski blames Paramount for "suggesting" Berman and Pillar make changes based upon what the studio liked about B5.
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Old November 13 2013, 02:43 PM   #20
GameOn
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

I didn't start watching B5 until after DS9 had finished and I never paid much attention to the rivalry between them. Apart from some superficial similarities the two shows are separate and distinct in my mind. I actually find it amusing how similar the Mass Effect series is to B5.
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Old November 13 2013, 04:05 PM   #21
Christopher
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

Oh, and I need to correct myself -- Filmation's Space Academy and its spinoff Jason of Star Command were set aboard a space station. So I should've said that nobody else had really done a space-station show in prime time. Unless there's something else I'm forgetting. I don't count Space: 1999 because that was a surface base on the Moon, and because the Moon was wandering around so impossibly fast through interstellar space that it was effectively a spaceship show from a structural standpoint. As for UFO, I know there was a featured space station there, but it was primarily an Earth-based show, I think.
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Old November 13 2013, 04:54 PM   #22
RandyS
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The only reason anyone thought DS9 and B5 were similar is because nobody else had ever really done a space-station show before. If two police procedurals or hospital dramas or school-based sitcoms are similar to each other, nobody bats an eye, but heaven forbid that two different science fiction shows should have similar settings! The whole thing was ridiculous from the first accusation.
Which is exactly why I ignore all that, and just enjoy both shows.
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Old November 13 2013, 05:29 PM   #23
Lindley
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

I never really cared about the rivalry, although I will say that some of the parallels are just weird. As in, similar enough that you have to doubt coincidence, but with no clear reason why that in particular would be copied. Dukat/Dukhat, for instance.
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Old November 13 2013, 05:32 PM   #24
Hober Mallow
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

Christopher wrote: View Post
The only reason anyone thought DS9 and B5 were similar is because nobody else had ever really done a space-station show before.
Well, there's that, there's the fact that both stations have a single digit number at the end of their names and are positioned near a hole in space (wormhole, jump gate); both shows begin with a commander in charge and end up with a captain; both stations eventually acquire a starship (Defiant, White Star) in the third season of each series and both ships are eventually destroyed and replaced, 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; both series had major characters lose an eye...

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.

It's interesting, though, that no one ever accuses B5 of cribbing elements of DS9, particularly when it's clear how much Star Trek as a whole "inspired" B5.
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Old November 13 2013, 06:06 PM   #25
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

I think it was a logical step. In 1993 there was a quickly canceled show called "Space Rangers", involving a group of interstellar lawmen operating from a a remote home base and using small ships to get to their adventures (sometimes involving a wormhole). 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.

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Old November 13 2013, 06:21 PM   #26
dub
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

another one was Earth 2. Wish that show didn't get cancelled.
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Old November 13 2013, 10:21 PM   #27
Christopher
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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.
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Old November 13 2013, 10:57 PM   #28
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The DS9 master plan was as follows:

Yes, that's scientifically proven.

Here's the theory. For every idea, there is only one person in the world capable of coming up with it or even anything similar to it. Therefore if two television shows have any traits in common, no matter how obvious and base those traits are, one logically must have copied the other. If one person came up with an idea for a science fiction show on a space station, then it's physically impossible for anybody else in the universe to think of putting a science fiction show on a space station.

Just like, a few years ago I was talking with my friends and I said "Hey wouldn't it be cool if they did a movie of Ender's Game?" Obviously somebody from the studio was overhearing the conversation and stole my idea.

Frankly, if I found out tomorrow that the makers of DS9 did explicitly set out to rip off B5, I wouldn't give a shit, because both shows feel completely different and the DS9 writers did a better job with it. Star Wars ripped off Hidden Fortress and Flash Gordon. And yeah, who the hell cares?
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Old November 13 2013, 11:11 PM   #29
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
end up with a captain; both stations eventually acquire a starship (Defiant, White Star) in the third season of each series
Although the Defiant is a Millenium Falcon rip-off, while the White Star rips off the D'deridex-class.
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Old November 13 2013, 11:22 PM   #30
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: Was there a seven year plan?

...So they rip off ships from other franchises! Crap, that's too similar to be a coincidence!

Mark
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