Did Deep Space Nine limit itself dramatically with the Dominion?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Lance, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    We all like the Dominion storyline (well, most of us do :p). It changed the game for DS9, and also revitalised the Star Trek universe in a new direction. I certainly don't think it was a bad thing.

    However, I was just reading a bit of 'The Making Of Deep Space Nine' over the weekend, and something struck me: in the original pitch, one of the things that was underlined as being important about the wormhole is that the Gamma Quadrant is rich in potential aliens we haven't met before in Star Trek, and the frisson of danger with DS9 being next to the wormhole exists because something new could come through at any moment for our heroes to deal with. There was some feeling of this in seasons one and two, with for example the Tosk alien in "Captive Pursuit", the games aliens in "Move Along Home", the refugees in "Sanctuary", etc. It differed only from TNG (and VOY) in that the aliens would unexpectedly come to the station, instead of our people going and finding the aliens, though they did their fair share of that as well in the beginning. But the big thing was, the aliens were (like VOY, in theory) all new ones. The writers were only being held back by their own imaginations.

    Now, while the introduction of the Jem'Hadar, the Founders, and the Vorta and didn't change that overnight, it did seem to me that later seasons basically made this kind of 'new alien races' aspect impossible. The Gamma Quadrant seemed to be defined purely by the fact that the Dominion are there; and rarely, if ever, was there anybody else.

    The types of stories that DS9 told had evolved... but did the writers, arguably, dramatically limit themselves by 'closing off', so to speak, the Gamma Quadrant to just being "that place where the Dominion are from"?
     
  2. Dantheman

    Dantheman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I remember watching a Star Trek person on a Star Trek QVC show (Michael Piller, perhaps?) talking about how on Deep Space Nine when the Dominion will show up (this was like in DS9's second season) we'd see a rhinocerous-looking alien amongst them. My head then imagined something akin to Doctor Who's Judoon, and then when the Jem'Hadar showed up, I was like, "That's not a rhinoceros, that looks more like an horned toad".
     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The "alien of the week" syndrome can get kind of repetitive after awhile, but with the arrival of the Dominion, DS9 narrowed its focus to one new alien civilization that would have far-reaching consequences for years to come.

    I don't see it as a limitation, but rather a different kind of story than in previous and subequent Trek shows, and one that couldn't be resolved in just one or two episodes, IMO.
     
  4. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Honestly, if anything, I think maybe the Dominion should have been used as a means to explore more Gamma Quadrant races. The Dominion is basically the Evil Federation of the galaxy; it would have been cool to see other races and the roles they played.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I thought the whole Dominion War storyline was far too long, it should have been half of one season. This would have left (in a seven season run) more time to see the aftermath of the war, and move ahead into non-Dominion stories in the gamma quad.

    Stories like Take Me Out to the Holodeck could have easily been done after the war, and might have made more sense.

    Move these (and others?) outside of the Dominion War time period.

    Far Beyond the Stars rewritten to some extent outside of the war.

    The Sound of Her Voice
    either prior or after the war.

    Chrysalis with it's romance plot after the war

    It's Only a Paper Moon
    with it's PTSD story would be better after, not during, the war. Everyone else is moving on, but not Nog.

    The Emperor's New Cloak lose altogether, DS9 over milked the mirror universe.

    Field of Fire with it's murder plot after the war.


    :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  6. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I liked that the storyline lasted years, even if it could have been better handled in S7.
     
  7. Marcus Porcius Cato

    Marcus Porcius Cato Commander Red Shirt

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    I would have liked to have seen the Dominion War begin with Season 5, Ep. 1 and End with Season 7, Ep 10 or so. Give the next 12/13 Episode to the Emissary/Post War material.

    This would have given the war its due in time and space, and could have set the direction for the future of Trek (Voyager, Nemesis, etc) in more positive direction
     
  8. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Completely disagree with you guys about ending the war earlier. If anything, I'd have kept the focus more narrowly on it in the later seasons. I know the characters need R & R, but having Sisko sitting around when he's supposed to be one of the great architects of Starfleet's victory seemed really weird to me. Plus there was really no need to have unknown aliens come via the Gamma Quadrant. The Alpha Quadrant is huge and still full of unexplored worlds.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The Dominion War really only lasted two years, but there were a couple of years of build-up leading to it, including a brief falling-out between the Federation and the Klingons. I do think some of that pre-war escalation could have been condensed so that there was more time to deal with Bajor's admission into the Federation, even if it was only in the series finale, IMO.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I really missed the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant after the wormhole was closed during the last two seasons. Yeah, I know DS9 wasn't that kind of show but it became a bit too war heavy, though thankfully it didn't become fully serialized since there was still a couple of standalone episodes in the last two seasons.
     
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Even with the war going on, a few more covert missions in the Gamma Quadrant would have been fun to see.
     
  12. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Sadly that would have been impossible. The Dominion would have put a huge fleet of ships at the wormhole over at the Gamma Quadrant side the moment the war started.
     
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What I would have done, instead of shortening the Dominion arc, had the Dominion be made up of more diverse races like originally planned.

    Make it a real 'Totalitarian Federation'. Have more races than just the Gem'Hadar comprise the military.
     
  14. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I think the Dominion was the first Trek race composed of multiple species, adding more much species might have made things too complicated for the casual viewers.
     
  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You really think the 3 million people who stuck with the series to the end were casual viewers? ;)

    Two or three common races with a couple random crazy makeup aliens thrown in here and there wouldn't have been more complicated than the things the audience were expected to remember about the Gem'Hadar or about Bajoran politics. And viewers are already expected to remember a few dozen AQ races.
     
  16. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    DS9 pretty much dumped the Bajoran politics during the later parts of the show and went for the good vs evil thing, which was a good idea.

    Also it's spelled Jem'Hadar NOT Gem'Hadar! Sorry, but your misspelling been bugging me.:p
     
  17. BruntFCA

    BruntFCA Commander Red Shirt

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    Having other species in the Dominion military doesn't make sense. The Founders don't trust any solids which is why they created their own (Vorta and Jem'Hadar).
     
  18. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    We should have seen how the various Dominion members interacted. Even though the writers intended it to be an anti-Federation, they didn't really highlight this well.