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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 January 30 2013, 03:26 AM   #1
Captain Nebula
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The best continuity...?

Is it just me or did DS9 have the best continuity of any of the Star Trek series?

I'm in the middle of the 3rd season on DVD and I'm also catching bits and pieces of later episodes on YouTube. I saw it when it first was on TV and I got a couple of seasons from the library before. There's just so many recurring characters. Kai Winn and Gul Dukat were recurring "villains" from the first show to the last. I mean, in Next Gen, you might hear Riker talk about his father once or twice or you get a Klingon storyline once a season. On DS9, the build up to the Dominion War is almost from the first season. The Borg didn't even get that kind of continuity. TOS, TNG, VOY, and ENT had some nice main character background episodes, but it was few and far between. You also don't seem to get to know the background characters on the other shows very well, probably because they're at a different planet every week and DS9 stays in one place. TNG had Q, but still he might have been on one show per season. Gul Dukat is on like every 4th or 5th episode of DS9.

It's just such a completely different feel than the other Trek series.
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Old January 30 2013, 05:07 AM   #2
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Re: The best continuity...?

I think it did (thought I never watched ENT so I can't compare that one). There are a few things you could nit-pick here and there, and you can't compare 1990s continuity to TV shows of today (Breaking Bad, The Wire etc.) but overall it was good.
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Old January 30 2013, 05:54 AM   #3
AllStarEntprise
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Re: The best continuity...?

Captain Nebula wrote: View Post
Is it just me or did DS9 have the best continuity of any of the Star Trek series?

I'm in the middle of the 3rd season on DVD and I'm also catching bits and pieces of later episodes on YouTube. I saw it when it first was on TV and I got a couple of seasons from the library before. There's just so many recurring characters. Kai Winn and Gul Dukat were recurring "villains" from the first show to the last. I mean, in Next Gen, you might hear Riker talk about his father once or twice or you get a Klingon storyline once a season. On DS9, the build up to the Dominion War is almost from the first season. The Borg didn't even get that kind of continuity. TOS, TNG, VOY, and ENT had some nice main character background episodes, but it was few and far between. You also don't seem to get to know the background characters on the other shows very well, probably because they're at a different planet every week and DS9 stays in one place. TNG had Q, but still he might have been on one show per season. Gul Dukat is on like every 4th or 5th episode of DS9.

It's just such a completely different feel than the other Trek series.
Best continuity because it's a stationary show. Kirk, Picard, Janeway and Archer are hopscotching across the galaxy. They are in a different part of the space every week. DS9 has recurring characters because the DS9 crew isn't going anywhere. They do next to no exploring. You have Dukat, Kai Winn, the Nagus and other recurring aliens appear on the station because the people they want to see they know they can find there.

Honestly it can get annoying at times. Especially Winn and the Cardassians. Like seriously do these people have nothing better to do than troll Sisko and the gang?

Also the Dominion was first alluded to in the season 2 episode Sanctuary.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:46 PM   #4
lvsxy808
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Re: The best continuity...?

You're overestimating a couple of things slightly - Winn didn't appear till the last ep of the first season, for example, and Dukat appeared in only 35 eps out of 175, although come to think of it that is precisely 1 in 5.

But I think the point is that these characters are so well developed and so much an important part of the continuing narrative that they feel like they appear more frequently than they actually do. Garak feels as much of a main character as any of the others, and yet he only appears in 33 episodes.

That's the joy of the show - that the supporting cast make up a more interesting set of characters than the main cast of other shows. And that is thanks to something that seems like common sense but actually happens vanishingly rarely - writers looking at what was already established and asking "what happens next?" Aka, continuity.

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Old January 30 2013, 03:07 PM   #5
Tosk
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Re: The best continuity...?

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
Also the Dominion was first alluded to in the season 2 episode Sanctuary.
They were first named four episodes earlier, actually. In Rules of Acquisition.
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Old January 30 2013, 03:41 PM   #6
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The best continuity...?

If DS9 had good continuity they would have used the wide beam setting on their phasers and ended "The Seige of AR-558" in five minutes. To make it worse, they used the setting in an earlier episode, when doing their Changeling hunting drill...

There's also Bashir's reveal as an augmented super genius, which renders a lot of his earlier stuff nonsensical.
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Old January 30 2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: The best continuity...?

King Daniel wrote: View Post
There's also Bashir's reveal as an augmented super genius, which renders a lot of his earlier stuff nonsensical.
Not nonsensical - only more complex than initially apparent.

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Old January 30 2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: The best continuity...?

It might be easier to watch the shows on Netflix streaming!
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Old January 30 2013, 04:57 PM   #9
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Re: The best continuity...?

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
It might be easier to watch the shows on Netflix streaming!
No kidding, I decided to do a DS9 rewatch as I have been working remote quite a bit lately, I have watched the into early season 6 in the past month. Watching the episodes so quickly really helps bring out the nuances of the character/plot development on this show.
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Old January 31 2013, 12:55 PM   #10
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Re: The best continuity...?

DS9 does have the best continuity, hinting at things that don't happen for a season or two, referring back to previous events to build on stories and characters. When they lost a runabout new ones were mentioned to arrive and replace them (no magical shuttle elfs here). No reset buttons either.

The fact they were stationary helped, as things they did had consequences they then had to deal with. It also allowed the characters to grow and develop, building on their past experiences and moving forward.

As for Bashir revealing to be genetically enhanced, it was drilled into him since childhood to not stand out, so he couldn't display all his brilliance from the beginning (though there were hints of it), with little things (like his med school finals) he did to purposefully sabotage himself.

But then again, to me, DS9 is the greatest Trek, so I'm a little bias
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Old January 31 2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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Re: The best continuity...?

DS9 is the first series to really put an emphasis on establishing and maintaining a fairly rigid continuity, but I think people underestimate how much of this same attention to continuity there actually is in both Voyager and Enterprise. It's not flawless, but it is present.
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Old January 31 2013, 10:27 PM   #12
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Re: The best continuity...?

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
I think people underestimate how much of this same attention to continuity there actually is in both Voyager and Enterprise.
I remember a Voyager thread where the poster was so impressed with the continuity, and their example was that in one episode a character mentioned a Crewman Golwat and that this person was a Bolian. And that in another episode, Crewman Golwat's name was called out, and a Bolian actually answered it! OMG@! Such amazing continuity!



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Old February 1 2013, 04:27 AM   #13
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Re: The best continuity...?

There were very few developed recurring characters in TOS or TNG; this changed with DS9, and was carried over, to a degree, to both Voyager and Enterprise. Continuity also exists in both of the latter series in the form of ongoing arcs that are revisited more than just once or twice, which is what tended to happen on TNG. A few key examples:
* The development of the romantic relationships between Tom and B'Elanna and Trip and T'Pol

* The Q, Borg, Species 8472, and Hirogen story arcs from Voyager, all of which were extended over the course of multiple episodes and seasons and were progressive, with each subsequent piece of each arc building on the previous installment

* The Archer vs. the Klingon Empire, Temporal Cold War, and Xindi story arcs from Enterprise, all of which again were progressively built and extended over the course of multiple episodes and/or seasons

You also have the recurring and progressive use of certain alien races from both series, which is much closer to the way things were handled on DS9 than the way things were handled on TOS and TNG.

Anyway, this is veering off topic, so I digress. DS9 was definitely the most consistent when it came to establishing and maintaining continuity, but there's not the huge discrepancy between it and the series that followed it that I think a lot of people might think there are.
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Old February 1 2013, 05:08 PM   #14
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: The best continuity...?

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
* The Q, Borg, Species 8472, and Hirogen story arcs from Voyager, all of which were extended over the course of multiple episodes and seasons and were progressive, with each subsequent piece of each arc building on the previous installment
I do think that the Borg were overused to the point where they were never really much of a threat--seeing as one starship beat them every time.

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
* The Archer vs. the Klingon Empire, Temporal Cold War, and Xindi story arcs from Enterprise, all of which again were progressively built and extended over the course of multiple episodes and/or seasons
Though when S3 began everything related to the TCW was dropped, then wound up in a single episode that never bothered to answer who the 'Future Guy' was, or what the over all point of the TCW was. The Xindi arc was done well, with everything building up and up to the finale (with a dud episode here and there, but no season is perfect). I did love seeing just how much of a beating the NX-01 could take, without being magically fixed by the next episode (if only VOY had done something similar).

DigificWriter wrote: View Post
Anyway, this is veering off topic, so I digress. DS9 was definitely the most consistent when it came to establishing and maintaining continuity, but there's not the huge discrepancy between it and the series that followed it that I think a lot of people might think there are.
DS9 wasn't the only series to have recurring plot elements, themes, species and characters, both VOY and ENT had them as well (so did TNG though not to the same extent), but DS9 was just in a better position to do it, since they were a station.
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Old February 2 2013, 12:19 AM   #15
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Re: The best continuity...?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I do think that the Borg were overused to the point where they were never really much of a threat--seeing as one starship beat them every time.
I counted the number of appearances of the Borg in Voyager, and, not counting hallucinations or holographic representations, we only saw them 3 times in Season 3, twice in Season 4, 3 times in Season 5, 4 times in Season 6, and 5 times in Season 7. That's only 17 direct run-ins with them, and having that high a number of encounters with them makes sense given that the Delta Quadrant IS their home base/territory.

Though when S3 began everything related to the TCW was dropped, then wound up in a single episode that never bothered to answer who the 'Future Guy' was, or what the over all point of the TCW was.
Even if the conclusion to the arc was less than satisfying, Enterprise did maintain a continuity of storyline and did so in a manner that was much closer to the way DS9 handled story arcs.

DS9 wasn't the only series to have recurring plot elements, themes, species and characters, both VOY and ENT had them as well (so did TNG though not to the same extent), but DS9 was just in a better position to do it, since they were a station.
Hmm. I think the last statement you make is open to debate, but that's neither here nor there.

DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise dealt with story arcs and multi-part episodes much differently than TOS and TNG did, and also dealt with serialized characterization and character development differently, which was the point I was trying to make. There are certainly things that Voyager and Enterprise could have done to improve and enhance the way they dealt with continuity and the serialized nature thereof, but, as I noted, I firmly believe that the degree of continuity and serialized storytelling and characterization and character development in both series is much greater than many people would believe.
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