Was there a seven year plan?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by MikeS, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, and I need to correct myself -- Filmation's Space Academy and its spinoff Jason of Star Command were set aboard a space station. So I should've said that nobody else had really done a space-station show in prime time. Unless there's something else I'm forgetting. I don't count Space: 1999 because that was a surface base on the Moon, and because the Moon was wandering around so impossibly fast through interstellar space that it was effectively a spaceship show from a structural standpoint. As for UFO, I know there was a featured space station there, but it was primarily an Earth-based show, I think.
     
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which is exactly why I ignore all that, and just enjoy both shows.
     
  3. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I never really cared about the rivalry, although I will say that some of the parallels are just weird. As in, similar enough that you have to doubt coincidence, but with no clear reason why that in particular would be copied. Dukat/Dukhat, for instance.
     
  4. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Well, there's that, there's the fact that both stations have a single digit number at the end of their names and are positioned near a hole in space (wormhole, jump gate); both shows begin with a commander in charge and end up with a captain; both stations eventually acquire a starship (Defiant, White Star) in the third season of each series and both ships are eventually destroyed and replaced, both had story arcs featuring god-like good and evil forces (DS9: Prophets and Pah-wraiths; B5: Vorlons and Shadows); DS9 had Section 31, B5 had Bureau 13; both series had major characters lose an eye...

    There are other similarities, but those I think are all of the most obvious. I chalk it up to coincidence, of two series beginning with a similar concept finding similar story elements that work. But the similarities are there, and it's more than just the fact that both series are set on a space station.

    It's interesting, though, that no one ever accuses B5 of cribbing elements of DS9, particularly when it's clear how much Star Trek as a whole "inspired" B5.
     
  5. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    I think it was a logical step. In 1993 there was a quickly canceled show called "Space Rangers", involving a group of interstellar lawmen operating from a a remote home base and using small ships to get to their adventures (sometimes involving a wormhole). I'm sure that by the early 90s people were trying to play with the successful TNG sci-fi formula WITHOUT it being just another spaceship-based show. SeaQuest DSV was another attempt, replacing space with water.

    Mark
     
  6. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    another one was Earth 2. Wish that show didn't get cancelled.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which the DS9 creators only intended as a placeholder title until they thought of something better, but then it got out to the public so they were kind of stuck with it. It wasn't planned.


    Which is a nonsensical comparison. The Bajoran Wormhole is a unique, mysterious alien construct connecting only two points in space, whereas a jump gate is one of hundreds of constructed artifacts that allow entry into hyperspace and access to any other jump gate, making them no more exotic in context than freeway on-ramps. Anyone who thinks they're equivalent isn't paying attention.


    No, one show had a commander who was replaced with a different captain, while the other had a commander who was promoted to captain. And of course neither show planned things that way.


    Hmm... both the Pah-wraiths and Section 31 were created by the same people, David Weddle & Bradley Thompson, whom I always considered the weak links on the DS9 staff -- in large part because they created both of those things which I really disliked. So maybe they were emulating B5 (or maybe just drawing on the same prior influences it did), but they weren't part of DS9's creative team until the last 2-3 years of the series.


    You can find similarities between any two things if you look for them. I've heard so many "This show is just like that show" comparisons that rely on cherrypicking the evidence, dwelling on the similarities that exist and ignoring the differences. Human beings are very good at deluding ourselves into seeing relationships or patterns that don't exist.


    Right. A lot of the similarities just come from B5 and DS9 both trying to differentiate themselves from TNG, which was the 800-pound gorilla of SFTV at the time.


    The thing the people who cry "This show ripped off that show!" fail to understand is that it's almost impossible to create something that isn't uncomfortably close to a prior or contemporary creation. The primary reason why scripts or stories get rejected is "We're already doing one like that." It happens all the time, and without anyone trying, just because all creators in a given society and genre are working with the same conceptual and cultural building blocks. So as a rule, if you want to sell a story, you have to make it different from the other stuff out there. If a creator sees that someone else is doing a particular thing, they're not going to copy it, they're going to bend over backward to be different from it. So the vast majority of the time, if you see a similarity between two works of fiction, it's accidental, not intentional. But I despair of the general public ever figuring that out.
     
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, that's scientifically proven.

    Here's the theory. For every idea, there is only one person in the world capable of coming up with it or even anything similar to it. Therefore if two television shows have any traits in common, no matter how obvious and base those traits are, one logically must have copied the other. If one person came up with an idea for a science fiction show on a space station, then it's physically impossible for anybody else in the universe to think of putting a science fiction show on a space station.

    Just like, a few years ago I was talking with my friends and I said "Hey wouldn't it be cool if they did a movie of Ender's Game?" Obviously somebody from the studio was overhearing the conversation and stole my idea.

    Frankly, if I found out tomorrow that the makers of DS9 did explicitly set out to rip off B5, I wouldn't give a shit, because both shows feel completely different and the DS9 writers did a better job with it. Star Wars ripped off Hidden Fortress and Flash Gordon. And yeah, who the hell cares?
     
  9. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Although the Defiant is a Millenium Falcon rip-off, while the White Star rips off the D'deridex-class. :rommie:
     
  10. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    ...So they rip off ships from other franchises! Crap, that's too similar to be a coincidence! :D

    Mark
     
  11. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, I don't want to bag on B5. I loved all the scenes with Klaus Nomi.
     
  12. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm also convinced this is only coincidence:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw-YsBeqHx0[/yt]

    :p
     
  13. GameOn

    GameOn Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jump gates are also B5's version of faster than light travel making them analogous to warp drive.
     
  14. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    ^Aren't they more like Buck Roger's stargates?
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At least with B5 we found out (in one case in great detail) what happen to Babylon One through Four. I can't remember any mention of Deep Space One through Eight.

    Why did Starfleet rename it "Deep Space Nine?"

    :)
     
  16. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Deep Space 3 was the base the USS Hera, Geordi's mom's ship left before it was lost.

    Deep Space 4 had computer records of the Hansens before they left for Borg Space

    Deep Space 5 was a Federation base that the Cardassians were spying on in Parallels.

    Deep Space 7 was cited as the destination of a civilian ship in Inheritance.

    Before I take credit, memory alpha's a great tool, though I did remember the DS5 one off hand. ;)
     
  17. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I cannot answer that question but I seem to remember a reference to a "Deep Space Five" in a TNG episode.
     
  18. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps a better question is: why didn't the Bajorans rename it?
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, and like various earlier "jump point" or "gate" drives that had been portrayed in science fiction over the decades. There is virtually nothing that has ever existed in science-fiction film or television that wasn't around in prose SF at least a decade earlier, usually two or three decades earlier.


    The "Deep Space" designation seemed to be for starbase-type facilities located beyond the Federation's borders. The former Terok Nor was evidently the ninth such station to be established since the usage was inaugurated. It seems to be a successor to the 23rd-century usage which gave us "Deep Space Station K-7" along the Klingon border.
     
  20. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Don't forget that Deep Space 1 and 2 were sabotaged during construction, and Deep Space 8 disappeared 24 hours after going online...