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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 17 2012, 11:54 PM   #1
timtonruben359
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DS9's growing popularity

DS9 is now and was during its original run my favorite of the Star Trek spinoffs. I remember during the show's original run, most of my 'Star Trek friends' either didn't like the show or had stopped watching it after its first season (which granted the first two years were pretty awful). Many of them would comment that it was too dark, or too boring, or not really star trek. Even Paramount treated the show a bit like the ugly middle child rarely promoting it. Rick Berman's daily involvement in the show pretty much stopped after the first season as he focused on Voyager (which is probably why it was so good). Even today it's easy to find TOS, TNG and VOY reruns but DS9 doesn't rerun very often.

I recently went to a convention (my first one in about a decade) and was surprised that when I would mention DS9 was my favorite Trek the response would be "I hated it when it was first on the air, but now I've been re-watching it and I love it." I had an interesting conversation with a man who loathed the show originally because he felt it was not real Star Trek because the show was set on a space station and they didn't go anywhere exploring. Now he feels the show is more in tune with TOS and Roddenberry's original vision of taking the major social issues of the day and giving them a sci-fi twist. DS9 dealt with war, terrorism, religion and politics which in a post 9/11 world are pretty much the major issues of our times.

My question is, had DS9 come on the air a decade or more later than it did, do you think it would have achieved a higher degree of success? And do you think more Star Trek fans are embracing DS9 now?
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Old August 18 2012, 04:19 AM   #2
indolover
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

DS9 is considered widely amongst the pre-eminent Trek series.

However, in pop culture terms nobody really cares about it.
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Old August 18 2012, 05:21 AM   #3
C.E. Evans
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

I think Trekkies are the only ones who even remember DS9 at this point. IMO, it was really overshadowed by TNG at the beginning and VOY at the end as far as mainstream audiences were concerned. There may be some people who are late in discovering it, but that's true for many TV shows that are no longer in production.
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Old August 18 2012, 05:29 AM   #4
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

It's late air time certainly didn't help it's "mainstream" appeal either.
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Old August 18 2012, 06:30 AM   #5
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

I actually liked it right from the start when it came out, but also am rewatching it currently as it has been a while
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Old August 18 2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

DS9 was heavily promoted by Paramount during its first season and the ratings were stellar. The problem came in season two, when all the focus was on TNG's run ending and the last episode. Then after TNG ended, the focus shifted to "Generations." And then Voyager and UPN premiered right afterwards. DS9 got lost in all that.
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Old August 18 2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

I'm not sure if DS9 is growing in popularity. I think at the time when I first joined, I thought it was because I was finally able to talk with other trek fans and found out that DS9 was indeed widely liked, and the DVDs were coming out. I'm sure when the Blu-Rays come out (If they come out), some of that popularity will come back. I know because of this forum and the DVDs (finally being able to see the series again) DS9 became tied with TNG as my favorite series. We just won't see Star Trek like what we had in the 90s again and that's unfortunate.
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Old August 18 2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

The first couple of seasons weren't stellar but there were pointers to a real potential, which was later realised.

DS9 works brilliantly as Trek and as a serious ongoing drama. None of the other shows do. It will never have the profile of TNG (which I love) but for many of us will always be far and away the best of Trek...
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Old August 18 2012, 02:14 PM   #9
C.E. Evans
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

R. Star wrote: View Post
It's late air time certainly didn't help it's "mainstream" appeal either.
Depending on where you lived, DS9 more often than not aired in the same timeslot that TNG did.
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Old August 18 2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

"Growing" and "Popularity" don't relate to any Trek where I live.

DS9 deserves to grow in popularity.. but so does Bab5 and that sure isn't about to happen.
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Old August 18 2012, 07:42 PM   #11
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

Well, I think basically what it boils down to is that DS9 is a bit of a transition between the TNG/Voyager style (episodic and basically sort of "wholesome" overall), which tends to feel really dated now, and the grittier, somewhat edgier sensibility that tends to be the norm these days.

It still revisits a lot of Star Trek clichés shared by the other shows of its era, and it's probably derivative of B5 as a concept, but it also had a lot of really good writers and actors working on it.

So it has aged much better than the other shows of its era and can be really rewarding when people revisit it, or pick it up for the first time on DVD or Netflix or whatever.

I'm not sure that equates to gaining in "popularity" at all in the standard sense, since the number of people we are talking about must be pretty small compared to the number of people who originally watched the show when it was on the air (ratings were always good or not bad for a show of its type, just not amazing like TNG's).

What it probably means is moreso that it is simply a good enough show that it will retain a bit of a cult following and always be worth watching.

Personally I haven't been watching it at all lately, but I look forward to revisiting it again at some point. It's one of my favorite shows.

timtonruben359 wrote: View Post
My question is, had DS9 come on the air a decade or more later than it did, do you think it would have achieved a higher degree of success? And do you think more Star Trek fans are embracing DS9 now?
On this particular point, it's hard to really talk about a hypothetical.

On the other hand, one thing I enjoy about DS9 is that it was a bit ahead of its time. As far as the issues addressed, it *feels* like a show made in the post-9/11 world, when actually it predates that. You can also see that it was a bit of a creative crucible for certain things that some of the writers did later, especially Ron Moore's take on BSG.

So, I don't know... sometimes it's ok for a show to just be a bit of an under-appreciated gem. One reason DS9 is so good at times is that it was flying a bit under the radar and the studio cared about it less. I'm pretty happy it is what it is, and it doesn't really bother me that it probably never got the attention it deserved.

Last edited by flemm; August 18 2012 at 08:03 PM.
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Old August 18 2012, 10:56 PM   #12
DS9 Gal AZ
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

The thing is, if DS9 had been more popular in its time, they probably wouldn't gotten away with making it as different from mainstream Trek as it was. I seem to remember TV Guide praising it with words like "harsh" "gritty" and "realistic." Critically, it was praised, but it wasn't being watched as much as TNG or VOY at the time. If studio execs had taken more notice of it, they probably would've tried to dumb it down and made it another "TNG lite" a la Voyager - because execs seem to think viewers want more of them rather than something different that actually takes risks. Which is not to bash TNG or VOY, but there is something to be said for arc storytelling vs. stand-alone episodes.
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Old August 18 2012, 11:02 PM   #13
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
It's late air time certainly didn't help it's "mainstream" appeal either.
Depending on where you lived, DS9 more often than not aired in the same timeslot that TNG did.
And sometimes it aired on Saturday afternoons. And then it was pre-empted by baseball games. Yay!
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Old August 18 2012, 11:15 PM   #14
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

In some respects shows like DSN and B5 came out a few years too earlier, in so much as they had a story arc to them. Whilst that style of programme had been for a while it wasn't until a few years after DSN and B5 aired that there was a shift in what the audiance wanted from the shows they watched.

DSN has been for many years regarded as one of the more popular shows amongest fans, and regularly appears in the Top 2 shows in ST polls.

As for why people like it now, rather than when it was first on, a person age could play a role in what type of shows they like.
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Old August 19 2012, 12:02 AM   #15
Relayer1
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Re: DS9's growing popularity

MacLeod wrote: View Post
In some respects shows like DSN and B5 came out a few years too earlier, in so much as they had a story arc to them. Whilst that style of programme had been for a while it wasn't until a few years after DSN and B5 aired that there was a shift in what the audiance wanted from the shows they watched.

DSN has been for many years regarded as one of the more popular shows amongest fans, and regularly appears in the Top 2 shows in ST polls.

As for why people like it now, rather than when it was first on, a person age could play a role in what type of shows they like.
I think DS9 (and to a slightly lesser effect B5) may well have been responsible for the shift in audience preferences.
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