O'Brien - is he actually the 2ndary protagonist?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Ianburns252, Nov 8, 2022.

  1. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Captain Captain

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    So first, I do apologise that this may lack some substance.

    I've been doing a DS9 rewatch (thanks mostly to Farscape and Oddish doing that excellent thread on comic synopses) and it feels to me in, at least the first 3 seasons, that he fills the role of the 2nd lead behind Sisko, maybe 2a and 2b with Kira.

    So many episodes utilise him as a key player - and to good effect - and it isn't without note that Through The Looking Glass has him as the lead Terran.

    Episodes such as the one with Ruhgal and the one with him and Keiko going on holiday and him getting arrested by the Cardassians push him front and centre.

    My thinking is that, due to him having the greatest backstory of any from the off due to his time in TNG that it made sense to draw on it until the others could catch up.

    Maybe I'm full of it and it is just because I like Colm Meaney as an actor that I am drawn to his part in episodes but I think it stacks up.

    What are you thoughts people?
     
  2. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with the caveat that the same applies to all the cast members not named Avery Brooks.
     
  3. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Admiral Admiral

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    I think Kira would be but DS9 was a show that focused so much on everyone including ongoing guest characters like Rom,Nog,Garak etc to the point where they feel like regulars it's kind of hard to say you had a secondary lead. Even Sisko who is the lead often felt pointless in many episodes due to not every story being focused on some Starfleet mission of the week.
     
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  4. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Deep Space 9 is a show that "spreads the love" better than any other classic Trek. Nearly every character had plenty of moments in the sun. More to the point, though Jake was sidelined a bit at times because he wasn't Starfleet, it didn't really neglect anyone.
    TOS focused on the big three and neglected... well, everyone else, at least until the movies.
    TNG focused most on Picard and Data, and neglected Geordi and the ladies.
    VOY focused on Seven, the EMH, and Janeway, and neglected Chakotay and Harry.
    ENT focused on Archer, Trip, and T'Pol, and neglected Mayweather and Hoshi.
     
  5. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Captain Captain

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    This is where I do think my theory may fall down as DS9 was so good at spreading the focus to be fair
     
  6. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that the DS9 writers gave so much to all their characters that it's tough to find a secondary lead. As Oddish succinctly puts it, they spread the love better than any series.

    Having said that, Colm Meaney is a really exceptional actor who can hold his own with anyone. (Frankly, the casting department of DS9 was first rate, particularly with the leads and recurrings.) It's easy to write for an actor like that, and with a character as likeable as O'Brien. I don't think I've heard a single negative thing about his character by anyone in all my years on the internet, and that's an accomplishment in itself.

    It could also be a matter of just subconsciously locking in on him as a second lead because he is also a father on the show. We tend to look toward parental figures, especially good ones, as a type of leader.
     
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  7. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of the reasons why I like Deep Space Nine so much.
    The show had great characters and all of them got their time under the spotlight.
     
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  8. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Commodore

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    That's because those three were the main cast and everyone else was not. TOS wasn't an ensemble show.
     
  9. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Both Kira and O'Brien are the point of view characters for the first two seasons. As the former resistance fighter in the show's setting and the everyman, they conveyed impressions that helped Sisko to act. It also meant that they shared the spotlight with Sisko. From the third season on, Odo is the POV character, with Kira coming back on the finale arc.
     
  10. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe. The movies allowed the other characters a little more exposure, especially ST IV, which was very much an ensemble show.
     
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  11. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Captain Captain

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    That is a really good point (and to be fair, my rewatch was only about halfway through season 3 so syncs up).

    From Season 3.5 - 5.5 (ish) there is so much focus on Odo finding himself in the context of now knowing his ancestry and coming to terms with it so it makes sense to pivot.
     
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  12. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought that O’B was perhaps the most “Starfleet “ of the main cast.

    Sisko always struck me as being rather a maverick officer,hiding out after Wolf 359 and then taking a low profile posting to what (before the discovery of the wormhole and all that followed) was really a backwater.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the reason many people like O'Brien so much is that he's just a regular guy.

    I mean, Starfleet has plenty of men. But there is a definite lack of guys - just regular dudes who aren't afraid to do regular guy things like drink, smoke, swear, throw parties, that type of thing.

    TOS had - wait, hold on, let me think here...

    (40-minute pause)...

    Transporter Chief PItcairn from "The Cage". Sorry, that's about it. :lol:

    TNG and DS9 had O'Brien.

    VOY, to a lesser extent, had Tom Paris.

    But still, Trek could definitely use more guys.

    Characters that DSC, for example, will most definitely NEVER have.

    Edit: Just thought of Picard in ST:Nemesis. That bit with him on the Argo? DEFINITELY a guy moment. Probably the only time Picard was ever a guy. ;)
     
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  14. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Captain Captain

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    I'd argue that Booker filled the role of being a "lad".
     
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  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If Book wasn't into all that empathy stuff, I might agree that he's a guy.

    But no. We guys don't share our emotions. :lol:

     
  16. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Captain Captain

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    He is a modern day lad - David Ajala is in his 30s, and from East London. He definitely would be considered a lad these days
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I'm not exactly talking about age, here. Anybody, regardless of how old they are, can be a guy. ;)

    There is definitely a difference between being a man - the perfect, bloodless, flawless paragons of virtue that male Trek characters tend to be - and a guy, i.e. a normal dude with flaws who doesn't look or act perfect and doesn't pretend (or even want) to be.
     
  18. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If "man" is the paragon of ideal masculinity, and "guy" is imperfect but lovable everyman... I shudder at what I would be labeled as.
     
  19. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    If you wanted to put your show on American broadcast television, there better not be much swearing in it. (Darn or Ass, maybe.)
     
  20. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's why they have convenient interruptions. Like O'Brien saying to that vendor "how'd you like a jumja stuck up your..." and Keiko yells "MILES!" just in time. You couldn't say "ass" back then unless you were referring to a donkey.