DS9's concept it seems was based on intrigue rather than exploration. Is this why it faltered in terms of ratings? The essential setting laid out in Emissary was the protection/incorporation of Bajor, keeping the Cardassians at bay, and the new frontier of the Gamma Quadrant. People talk about competition, but the X-Files was huge, and probably the biggest sci-fi show of the 1990s. Shows like Hercules, Xena, etc. were not direct competitors anyhow (well to me fantasy and sci-fi are distinct genres). It's like blaming low ratings on Two and a Half Men due to competition from The Big Bang Theory (yes, both sitcoms, but one lampoons sex whilst the other lampoons nerds).