10 Reason ST:DS9 Misjudged

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Photon, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Andymator

    Andymator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Perhaps you're confused... because that wasn't what I claimed at all. Lucky for me it's all right there in the thread's previous posts for you to go back and read rather than waste time re-iterating my points again.

    You can repeat that all you want, it doesn't make it true. DS9 dabbled in some very conservative serialization in rare instances, but consisted of a majority of stand alone stories and relied no more heavily on continuity than TNG.

    It seems like you're trying to convince me that DS9 is a good show... you really should go back and take your time reading my posts. I am a huge fan of DS9.

    Please go back read what I actually was saying, instead of letting your kneejerk reaction govern your response. I have not claimed that the TNG characters were more complex, just that there are plenty of conflicted characters on TNG, just as on DS9. Picard, Worf, O'Brien, Ro, etc...

    What does that even mean? How on earth are you measuring A to C or A to M? This is nonsense. You're talking in vague descriptors and buzzwords... What are you referring to when you say things like "the ugly underbelly of humanity" or "a universe in which idealism couldn't work in the end"?

    As for your three actually specific citings...

    - Captain Picard has his consciousness usurped and murders thousands of people in "The Best of Both Worlds II".

    - Data decides to kill a sentient man in "The Most Toys". He doesn't get to be sort-of somewhat partially responsible for that decision.

    - In "Reunion" Worf kills one of two candidates for the leader of the klingon empire in retalliation for the murder of his mate.

    And of course, all of this has nothing to do with the point of my initial post, which is that the article is a load of crap. To summarize what I initially intended to say;

    - DS9 was not a failure, it was a great success.
    - Several of the article's 10 points are demonstrably false.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    No sense in wasting your breath.

    You have a group of devoted DS9 fans that are convinced it was nailed upon the cross and died for our Trek sins.

    At the end of the day, it was a good TV show that I didn't enjoy quite as much as its two predecessors. Hell, I've always felt that TOS is actually the darkest of the Trek series. The first episode dealt with kidnapping and possible forced breeding, the second a man had to kill his best friend and so on. People let the bright uniforms, 60's production values and the sometimes oddly light way certain episodes ended color their judgment the content of the stories themselves.
     
  3. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Location? What is this?
    Perhaps you should try an experiment and go over to the TOS message board and say something like this:

    TOS was a great show, but come on...Was it really a ground-breaking show? Or was it just an adventure show geared toward kids? I love TOS a whole bunch...but if we're going to be honest TNG had more seasons because TNG turned out to be better to most people than TOS. And there's nothing wrong with that, you know, different strokes.​

    I bet all of those open minded TOS fans would come back and say, "You know, you're so right. Good point there, buddy. No argument here!" :rofl:

    Seriously though, I rather enjoy the discussion and debate as long as it doesn't get personal. I guess I'm weird like that.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Well, I did post this in another thread discussing DS9.

    Over the years, there has been a lot of deconstruction of the myths of TOS. Including its status as a massive ground breaking show.

    I say this as the Captain Kirk action figure on my desk looks at my with disapproval. :lol:
     
  5. NKemp3

    NKemp3 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    Before I respond to individual points I need to point out that while there has been some talk about revisionism on the part of those talking up DS9, there has also been plenty of revisionism by those defending TNG over the years. This has come about in the wake of more adult sci fi TV like the new BSG, Firefly, Lost, etc. Those doing the defending make claims that TNG was gritty in its own way, that it did tackle the big issues of the day in sophisticated ways, that it also took chances, that it wouldn't shy away from some of the darker qualities of mankind, etc, etc, etc.

    Look I love TNG. What it did it did very well, better than anyone else. No other family sci fi show that was almost strictly episodic provided consistent and smart entertaining hours like TNG. Not Stargate and not even the original Trek. In fact TNG may have been better at what it did (providing great episodic television) than DS9 was at what it did (providing a hybrid semi-episodic/semi-serialized TV). Nonetheless Roddenberry's intent was to make TNG a more idealized and a more progressive vehicle than his previous Trek. He did not want conflict, he did not want human failing and immorality, he wanted quick and progressive solutions administered to any conflicts. He had no room for intolerance or religious beliefs when it came to his main (and mostly human) lead characters for this new Enterprise. And while the writers and producers, especially after Roddenberry's death, did their best to maneur around these guidelines, for the most part they kept those guidelines firmly in place.

    As a Star Trek nut at the time DS9 came around, I got my hands on every article, every behind-the scenes book, and every magazine that dealt with the Trek franchise. And I would check out the relatively new phenom known as the internet in the immediate following years to get even more of a feedback of what people were saying about Trek. I recall clearly all the criticism thrown by many towards DS9. The criticism would come from professional critics, sci fi novelists being interviewed or the quotes from Trekkers in convention halls. The problem they had with DS9 were : (1)the characters fought too much and therefore not likable; (2) the first season was boring; (3) too much stuff about Bajor and religion and politics which was also boring; (4) the infighting amongs the crew was too different from the smooth sailing of TNG and not what Roddenberry would have wanted for a modern Trek show; (5) they never went anywhere/how could it be a Star Trek show without a ship taking them to different planets; (6)they really liked Quark (the non Starfleet characters were initially the most popular) but could not stomach Ferengi-centered episodes; (7) they wanted more action and were waiting on something bigger to happen; and they didn't care for Sisko and liked Avery Brooks even less.

    Also there were quite a number of people who were huge fans of TNG but decided to attach their wagons to Babylon 5 instead of DS9. TNG was like some huge empire whose demise eventually led to multiple factions diving up the old bloc into different territories, including one for Stargate which popped up first on Showtime. People DID Take sides. When VOY came along that was another faction. Yes, there were millions out there who would watch both DS9 and VOY and millions who would watch those shows as well as B5, SG-1 and any other sci fi show they came across (Andromeda). But there were also millions out there who picked only one as worthy as their post-TNG loyalty. That included those who used to watch TNG but then "grew up" by moving on to the new fan fave "The X-Files". Hell, some simply stuck with the TNG movies and/or old eps of TOS and TNG and gave up on all new sci fi TV series in general.

    As for the argument over whether DS9 was "darker" the most important point to keep in mind was that was how it was initially sold to the public and mainstream media. You can see such descriptions in those countless TV Guide articles that mag used to do for Trek. Only when there were signs that DS9 wasn't generating the excitement, loyalty and devotion of TNG did TPTB tried to walk back from that description by claiming it was not really any darker than other Trek shows. Whether they were right or wrong they had their motives in defusing that whole "dark" description. By the time VOY arrived on the scene the producers and writers had gotten the message. All those attached to VOY emphasized that the show was going to be more like TNG than DS9, that it was going to go back to the TNG method in which there weren't conflicts (which is why the Maquis was so quickly folded into the Starfleet community on the ship) and that the show was going to follow TNG's approach of planet-hopping every week. They couldn't come out and directly slam DS9 but they indirectly made it clear VOY was to be the anti-DS9 and would not experiment with that show's more darker elements. They kept emphasizing Roddenbery's vision of the future as what they were trying to follow.



    Yes, this all happened and most of this is actually mentioned or hinted at in this "10 Reason ST:DS9 was Misjudged" article. I was there to witness this stuff. I had friends and family members who did some of the very things I mentioned above. I had contact to the new message forums on the internet to read remarks by people who didn't care for DS9 and those remarks were similar to the ones covered in this article. So for some of you to claim that the writer is off track with his assessment is a bit much. There were maybe a couple of things he included that didn't belong as well as a couple of examples that he failed to use. But for the most part he got it right. Now if you disagree with those facts I tossed out based upon my own experience and argue that this position of mine is simply my opinion then so be it. But your counters, which I find lacking in evidence, is also merely an opinion. So what makes yours more legit than mine or vice versa?

    Halftime is over. I'll come back later to respond to individual posts once I'm done with my game watching. :)
     
  6. NKemp3

    NKemp3 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    One quick thing to get in while there's a commercial break. Just because the points that the writer argued are legitimate doesn't make those who disliked the show for those same reasons less credible. If DS9 wasn't your cup of tea because of those examples so be it.
     
  7. Andymator

    Andymator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    What I would like you to do is seriously ask yourself why you fabricated and inserted this part;

    "...was it really a ground-breaking show? Or was it just an adventure show geared toward kids?"

    Was there anything analogous in what I was saying to this?

    Good god man, I have no idea how to begin addressing this tangential diatribe. Factions split off from TNG? :vulcan:

    The topic of discussion is whether the article's presentation of the facts was legitimate or not. Try to stay on point. I maintain that several points in the article can be proven false. I will elaborate if you wish to challenge that statement.
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    DSN like it's parent show TOS, seems to have found a bit more life once it had finished it's original run. That is to say it has gained in popularity a bit, with quite a few saying it's the best of the Trek shows.

    Serliased shows have been around for years long before the likes of DSN and B5. So the audiance can and will follow a serialised show. As for why it got lower ratings take your pick :

    Time slots
    More competition from other genre shows
    Dislike of the concept
    Slow to get going (yet DSN S1-2 where better in quality that S1-2 of TNG)
    etc....

    We each have different tastes, perhaps part of the feeling as to why DSN is/was considered mistreated stems back to when it was first announced/produced. Star Trek on a space station how will that work, they won't go anywhere etc...

    Yet Star Trek was never so much about the going better exploring the human side of the equation. Visiting the alien planet of the week just allowed the writers to get things past the censors which might not have gotten post them in a contempary setting (true not every episode).

    In the end DSN was a success for Paramount, it made them money.
     
  9. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    I would say both TNG and DS9 had a hard time gaining acceptance with fans when they were first announced. At that time when TNG was starting out, many TOS fans were saying it wasn't Trek without Kirk or Spock. The first two seasons being so weak really didn't help either.

    ENT also had a really rough start with fans with the whole prequel thing.

    VOY had it easy compared to all the other spin offs.
     
  10. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    VOY had the opposite problem with the high standards of it' predessor shows it had a lot to live upto.
     
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    TOS thrived on the strength of the chemistry between the main characters. The premises of the episodes were incredibly base scifi 'what-ifs'. The only thing that sets it apart form other science fiction shows is that it approached it from the standpoint of the logic versus humanism.

    It's true DS9 was originally judged because the premise was different, but that's no longer the case. The fact that it doesn't have a ship is not a concern to new fans.

    But the plain simple fact is, there are 20 million TV fans who want an idealistic adventure show and 3 million who want a dark show that criticizes human nature. That's the only reason for difference in the ratings.

    TNG and DS9 are both spectacular shows.
     
  12. NKemp3

    NKemp3 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    Maybe then you should do a better job at making your point because I'm not the only one in this thread who took that as your meaning.

     
  13. NKemp3

    NKemp3 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000

    And you have a collection of arrogant, dismissive individuals who think they can paint a portion of fans of a show with a broad brush.

    I for one am a huge DS9 fan who does not come close to having the opinion that you implied. Besides long ago I stopped caring what others thought of DS9. If someone doesn't like it, oh well, the world still goes on. I grew up on TOS, TNG and later DS9. I will always love all three shows. Nonetheless I can still agree with the writer of the article because that writer, like me, doesn't appear to have any amnomosity towards those who have rejected DS9. He and I both agree however on the reasons why fans may not have warmed up to the show. And as I made clear in a previous post those reasons are perfectly acceptable. Move on and stop being insecure when DS9 fans have the audacity to enjoy positive writeups of the show.
     
  14. Andymator

    Andymator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    There is no possible way for me to do a better job than coming right out and clearly stating that I feel the quality and skill in the execution of Deep Space Nine was just as good as The Next Generation, and that different people having differing tastes is what led to the bit of disparity between the two show's level of success.

    That would be a scathing retort if I had just kept repeating "DS9 is not heavily serialized, it's episodic!"

    Unfortunately for you that's not what I did. I claimed that DS9 was heavily episodic, with a minor serialization element. Then when challenged on this I provided figures to back up my claim. I don't believe any objective person would call a show with over 150 stand alone stories of it's 170-something episodes a serial. Or even "heavily serialized" for that matter, let alone point to that as a reason said show was unfairly shunned.

    But here's the crazy part... even if the episode ratio was heavily tipped in favour of serialized storytelling, that STILL wouldn't be a valid reason for the show's imagined lack of deserved success. The "X-files" was a comparable property with even more serialization than DS9 airing at the same time, and it did EVEN Better than TNG! Surely that would prove the presence of serialization in storytelling cannot be responsible for limiting the audience in a meaningful way.

    Continuity and serialization are not the same thing. I have NEVER claimed that TNG had any serialization integrated into it's format. It however had all kinds of continuity.

    Yes that's called continuity, and it doesn't alienate anybody. Things evolve over the course of a show. You could tune in one day and Ross and Rachel are kissing in the corner, and then you tune in another day and he's engaged to some british chick... HOW DEEP I CAN'T POSSIBLY FOLLOW THIS SHOW!

    When did I claim TNG did? Serialization and continuity are not the same thing. It appears from the facts you're citing here that you're in complete agreement with me, and yet you're spouting them as if you're in opposition to my sentiment?

    Picard and Q.

    On TNG Worf can adjust to becoming a father for a hell of a lot longer than 1/3rd of a year.

    On TNG Picard's slow acceptance and growing comfort with his role as leader occured from year to year, culminating in his willingness to open himself and connect with those under his command.

    The looming threat of the borg built for a year and a half, climaxing in an all out invasion and then a few more years of looming threat. That didn't go away just because there was no formal declaration of war. Not to mention managing the tensions between the Federation and Cardassian Union, and the Federation and the Romulan Empire. These things were treated with the same amount of continuity as they would have been had the Federation been in a state of war with these entities i.e. A few episodes here and there dealing with the situation in between unrelated stories. Just like Deep Space Nine.

    I disagree. Deep Space Nine has great recurring and guest characters, but most of them were not changed during the show's run. How was Morn or Joseph Sisko or Vic Fontaine or Admiral Ross forever affected by game-changing events? There were also great ones who really did go through some ordeals during the show really shaking up their status quo. Nog, Garak, Dukat, etc. Just like Wesley Crusher, Ensign Ro, Q, etc. That IS what I call continuity.

    That wasn't condescending... I hadn't adressed you at all, and you went out of your way to basically tell me how you prefer DS9 to TNG and that you're not alone in that opinion, as if that was somehow relevant, despite the fact that two posts earlier I had said this;

    "I prefer TNG (only by an infinitesimal margin), but I honestly couldn't find any fault with anyone who's taste led them to prefer DS9."

    Let me say it again... it's irrelevant. If pointing that out means I've lost the argument, then congratulations.

    Let me paraphrase this to break it down nice and simply for you and anybody reading this...


    ME: Both TNG and DS9 have conflicted characters, one is not more conflicted than the other.

    YOU: By all means please list all these more complex TNG characters because me and my buddies will make fun of them!

    ME: That's not what I said... I never claimed that TNG has more complex characters than DS9...

    YOU: Stop shifting the goal posts!


    ... okay?


    The rest of your post seems designed to try and dismiss the 3 examples I provided when you requested them. All I can say is that they speak for themselves. They are all complex and difficult situations for the characters involved in them. If you feel that Picard's ordeal in The Best Of Both Worlds was dramatically impotent and less important because he was forced to do these terrible things instead of choosing to do them, then I don't think you'll understand my reasons for disagreeing. If you think that because Data didn't become a vicious killer after pulling the trigger on Kivas Fajo or because he was pulled out before the weapon fired the story is somehow less dark and complex than other examples you cited, then I'm not sure there's anything I can say to convince you otherwise.

    I, on the other hand, am not going to try and diminish some of the cool dilemmas set up in DS9 like "In the Pale Moonlight" or "For the Uniform". These are just as good as the great ones TNG threw at us. Totally awesome.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Andymator, you keep reiterating this argument that everybody thinks 'People didn't like DS9 because it was too deep, too complex, too above their heads!' In this entire thread maybe one person has actually said that.

    The rest of us are saying, scope of appeal and size of appeal are two different elements. A lot more people watched Survivor than The Sopranos, but the people who watched The Sopranos got a whole lot more on average out of it. In this case, a lot more people watched TNG, but the DS9 viewers got the same amount on average as the TNG viewers. Is quality of a show a measure of width or height? I say height. And if you say width, be prepared to defend Justin Bieber.

    Nobody is saying that every TNG character had complete amnesia between episodes. There were arcs, there was character development over time. Most of that development was limited to the main cast, and the only exceptions are really O'Brien and Ro. DS9 had development for most of its huge secondary cast.

    And, nobody is saying DS9 had absolute linkage between every single episode whereas TNG had a total reset every week. It did, however, base a great deal of its standalone episodes on previously established storylines, and the amount of background information you needed to get solid footing in the story was far higher, even for most of the standalones. Look at a standalone episode like The Ship. How can you possibly understand why the Gem Hadar and the Vorta act the way they knowing the things established in To The Death? Without that information, the resolution would not make any sense, and it's the same with Rocks and Shoals. And then there's Rapture, it's a standalone episode but none of it makes any sense if you don't know the entire history of Sisko being the Emissary. TNG had arcs like Sins of the Father/Reunion/Redemption, but in general, any episode can be watched with a completely blank slate and gotten completely.

    Rocks and Shoals is not deeper, more complex, or better television than Cause and Effect. But you do need a lot more previously established information to know what's going on. And that's all people are really arguing.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'd argue that TNG had the first Trek three-parter with The Best of Both Worlds I/II and Family. And those episodes were part of a bigger arc starting with Encounter at Farpoint about humanities place in the universe. :shrug:
     
  17. Andymator

    Andymator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I don't keep reiterating this argument that everybody thinks 'People didn't like DS9 because it was too deep, too complex, too above their heads!', I stated that the article said it and that it was incorrect, and then I've been responding to multiple challenges to my assertation.

    Is this not accurate?

    This thread isn't about this thread, it's about the "10 Reasons Deep Space Nine Was Cruelly Misjudged" article.

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. You're agreeing with me I think?

    I disagree. I don't feel you need to watch "To The Death" to grasp the story of "The Ship" any more than you have to watch "Skin of Evil" to grasp the story of "Yesterday's Enterprise". It adds alot for those who do catch every episode, but the stories are structured to tell you everything you need to know during the 44 minute runtime.

    "Rocks and Shoals" definitely utilizes more backstory than "Cause and Effect", but you're cherry picking episodes to strengthen your argument. Does it utilize more backstory than "Family" or "Redemption II"?

    People seem to be taking my objection to the article as some kind of personal attack... and then getting caught up in minutia like Deep Space Nine has 26.5 recurring characters and TNG only 17.2 recurring characters... really? REALLY? How does this have anything to do with my assertation that the article isn't accurate?

    And for that matter why do people keep trying assign sentiments to the things I've said that clearly aren't there? I.e. Deep Space Nine isn't a complex show, or TNG is more complex than DS9?
     
  18. NKemp3

    NKemp3 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000

    I would say don't waste your breath but I don't want to be rude like BillJ who must have rushed over here to spread truth to the rest of us idiots.

    As for Andymator...no point in even reading his stuff further because in my view he has failed to make his case with any credible evidence. All we get I'm afraid are weak arguments that fail to contradict what the writer of the article stated. Thus we are going in circles even by debating him. And the rebuttals that we get from Andymator is stuff such as Picard being taken over by the Borg as proof that TNG was equally willing to venture into darker territory. Give me a break. To me the thing that helps makes TNG great is ultimately its idealism. That makes it corny to some folks as well but different strokes for different folks. Why the revisionism all of a sudden about TNG's complexity and darker elements? The only thing I can think of is that some TNG and even TOS fans get insecure when people out there make claims (which are merely opinions) that DS9 is the superior show.

    If Andymator had simply stopped at pointing out that DS9 is nowhere near a serialized as some folks make it out to be he would have had a winning case. Instead he himself becomes, respectfully, a tad revisionist by insisting TNG relied just as much on continuity, character development, complexity and risk taking as DS9 (and then denies doing so!). Worse of all the writer of the article that led to this thread listed at least 8 items that Trek and casual fans during the 90s actually complained about or mentioned as reasons why they did not support DS9. These gripes were common knowledge. Yet Andymator insists that the article was nothing more than made up ramblings which suggests that the rest of us were imagining all the whining that went on about Deep Space Nine during its run. Considering Andymator has, as far as I'm concerned, failed to back up his spin on events all he is doing is taking a thread hostage in order to express his singular viewpoint. But that's just my opinion. Nothing personal against the guy.




    Here's another example. Halfway through the seventh season "Shadows and Symbols" Sisko freezes before he opens the Orb of the Emissary and all of a sudden the scene shifts to a padlocked room with a character named Benny Russell writing a story on a wall. It is a great moment that ends up playing a major part in how the confrontations of the episode are concluded. But it also comes out of the blue with no explanation of Russell's significance to Sisko's story arc or any hint ahead of the time that this plotline would even play a role in the episode at all. You would have to had followed DS9 and recognize Benny Russell as a (possibly) figment character of Sisko's imagination from a stand-alone episode of the previous season of the show to understand what it all meant. Otherwise a viewer wouldn't have a clue of what to make out of those important scenes in "Shadows and Symbols" because the writers never took the time to explain them. That's strong continuity. Period. And there is nothing that I recall like it that took place during the TV run of any other Trek show (although I do admit I haven't seen every episode of Enterprise). Does that make the other Trek series inferior? No. But let's not pretend those other Trek shows relied on such continuity and heavy doses of serialization as DS9 did.
     
  19. NKemp3

    NKemp3 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000

    And I would argue that not Berman, not Piller nor any of the promotion department folks at Paramount EVER advertised those episodes as a three-parter. That would be just as silly as saying "In the Hands of the Prophets", DS9's first season finale that led to the three-parter that opened its second season, was actually the first chapter of a four-part episodic run of DS9. But no one here is silly enough to do that.

    Go take it up with both Berman and Piller who in media promotions/interviews declared DS9's second season The Circle Trilogy as the first three-parter of Star Trek. This was how it was reported in the pages of TV Guide, USA Today and now defunct genre magazines. TPTB was trying to regenerate buzz for DS9 and so they intentionally came up with the idea of doing a three-part storyline for the first time in Trek history to open up season #2.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I said a portion of the fan base. Guess what? Every fan base has those nuts. But I won't let facts get in the way of you nailing yourself up on the cross. :rolleyes:


    I don't need Rick Berman to tell me that an episode is part of a three-parter to realize that's what it is. Family builds directly off of the events of The Best of Both Worlds II, The Best of Both Worlds II builds directly off of the events of The Best of Both Worlds I. Sounds like a three-parter to me. But your mileage may vary.

    And I see no problem calling In the Hands of the Prophets the first part of the Circle trilogy.