Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by DS9forever, Mar 31, 2013.
That reads almost as badly biased as the article in the original post.
I think there is a fair argument that DS9 produced more influential writers than any other Trek series, as Sci suggests. I'm not sure it would hold -- but I think it could be made.
I think the notion that DS9 pioneered character-driven serialization is more than a tad overstated. DS9 was following on the footsteps of several other programs already, and was hardly the most influential.
I can't get the entire article to display with the multipaging crap. But callng DS9 the "most influential" sounds like fanboy hyperbole to me. If there had been no TOS, there would have been no DS9.
The 'DS9 copied B5' argument is pretty ridiculous. It's not like a show on a space station that's serialized is a super-obscure idea two different groups couldn't possibly come up with on their own. It's like how South Park did an episode about pretending to be handicapped to cheat in the Special Olympics, then a crappy movie came out with the same premise. All the South Park fans said "The movie copied South Park!" Then the South Park creators said "No, they totally didn't copy us, it's just a really obvious idea."
A space station was a logical progression of the space opera genre that naturally lends itself to serial storylines which the hardcore end of the scifi fanbase was aching for at that point.
And B5 may have had an awesome main plot, but if you take any individual incident out of the context of the main plot, it suddenly looks really silly, whereas a majority of DS9 stories stand on their own in addition to being part of a great main plot.
But did DS9 really influence other scifi or was it just a good scifi series in a style that was just starting to become popular?
The author is obviously a Niner.
DS9 is a great show but like I say it is a completion/companion piece. DS9 only sticks out so much in peoples minds because of the strong contrast it has with TNG.
On TNG we saw what life was like in the post-Undiscovered Country galaxy. With peace with the Klingons and the StarFleet primarily focused on exploration and adventures in the final frontier. There were some curveballs thrown at TNG, the Borg in season 2, 3 and 4, the Klingon Civil War, Romulan-Vulcan Unification fiasco, the Cardassian incident in Chain of Command, contact with super beings like Q, the Traveler and the alien from 'the Surviors', and time travel fiascos. However it was all apart of the journey into the frontier and daily life was comfortable in the Federation outside of that.
DS9 with the introduction of the Dominion threat, a coup d'état attempt by a bent StarFleet admiral, the Maqui-Cardassian Fiasco and Section 31's genocide scheme you have more ridged show. Tough problems require tough decisions. However I don't think this means DS9 is a more competent show than TNG, just that the environment was crafted in a way that caused the DS9 crew to respond the way they did.
DS9 is Gotham to TNG's Metropolis. Gotham is dark, hard, corrupt, and needs hard solutions to fix it's bent function. Metropolis is light and bright, but monsters still fester there and strike out at it. Each has the appropriate hero to deal with the problems of their respective city. Could Superman fix Gotham? Sure, just like Picard and crew could navigate solutions for DS9's problems. Would Batman's tough tactics work in Metropolis? Of course only the variety of crime is different. There is no competency threshold DS9 has sole claim to. It's purely environmental.
A lot of people cite "In The Pale Moonlight" when Sisko uses says he can live with the consequences of ordering an assassination of a Romulan delegate to coerce the Romulan empire in to the war, and how Picard and Kirk could never do those things. No one ever seems to see how this risky game could've blown up in Sisko's face and led to and even swifter defeat of the Federation by the combined forces of the Dominion and the Romulans. Compare Sisko to Anakin Skywalker for a second. Both of them committed acts of evil in order to serve their own agendas. Sisko with the assassination to preserve the Federation and Anakin assisting the execution of every Jedi. However both maintained they could live with their actions because they would make up for it later. In summation "committing small acts of evil now but making up for it with greater acts of good later". Sisko's was the preservation of the Federation and peace in the Alpha and Beta Quads despite the potentially tens of thousands of Romulan lives that would be lost. Anakin's was saving his wife and children using the force to ressurect and save people from death, at the cost of the Jedi across the galaxy. Sisko's gamble turned out in his favor. The war was won and he never had to live with the consequences of his decisions for long since he soon departed this reality to live with the Prophets. After seeing Cardassia decimated, and learning the full scope of what the war cost in lives, Im sure Sisko wouldn't have remained "Defiant" about his statement about how he could live with his decision to get the Romulans into the war. Anakin's gamble didn't work out in his favor. He lost his wife and children, was mutilated by his mentor and friend and was burned alive. He was placed in a living life support suit and struggles to breath with his seared lungs, and never gained the powers he was promised.
You have to think what if. What if Sisko's gambit hadn't worked in his favor? Would people be singing his praises for his bold decision that worked in his favor?
DS9 is a great show, and easily in the top 3 of the Trek series. Is it the best or most influential? I'm afraid not.
*sets Phaser (TOS classic, of course) on stun*
You need to be checked out in Sickbay. Much crazy talk coming from you.
I think we forget twenty years later how bold casting an African-American actor in the lead role was. I found this quote from the author of the "Far Beyond the Stars" novelization - "DS9 is a major cultural turning point for America, and therefore, the world as a whole... DS9 is, as far as I'm concerned, the first successful dramatic television show in history with a non-Caucasian star".
Well at least you're not killing me for holding a different opinion!
I agreed in an earlier post that TOS was pretty much the foundation of Trek's influence. Though to say "nothing matches TOS" on a ST, sci-fi or tv level... well you're taking it as far as the eloquent fellow who wrote that article in my humble opinion.
But just because I concede the influential part, doesn't mean it's my favorite series. Roddenberry once said something to the effect of I hope better Star Trek comes after me made by other people... well... to me that's DS9.
It is true DS9 greatly benefitted from the cultures and precedents established in TNG, and that the Dominion War wouldn't have been as cool if it weren't for several seasons of utopia preceding it. It doesn't diminish how awesome DS9 was, but a lot of the things DS9 capitalized on were earned by TOS and TNG.
Late TNG and DS9 are pretty much the same show with different characters anyway. DS9 got almost all the good TNG writers.
But I think the Sisko/Anakin comparison is pretty weak. In The Pale Moonlight was 'Ends justify the means', Anakin Skywalker was 'Anyone who opposes me should die because Palpatine convinced me to act completely on rage'.
Both were ends justify the means scenarios. Both Sisko and Anakin were tempted and gave into their dark compulsions with the promise of greater rewards by someone. One is a master of deceit who prides himself on manipulation and telling half truths with the power of suggestion to achieve his goals and the other is a sith lord. We saw both Sisko and Anakin weigh the options of their decisions and chose their own selfish desires. While Sisko's was indeed for a nobler cause when compared to Anakin. I think the body count for Romulan casualties outweighs the Jedi casualties cause by Anakin's betrayal. Comparing Anakin to Sisko in this way I find interesting because in Ep III we see Anakin go from a brave knight to evil bastard. One decision and Anakin slides further and further down the silppery slope "Into Darkness". With Sisko we get the same line every other Captain, Admiral and even Section 31 members utter " it's for the Federation" . So I guess that makes it ok.
The high praise is warranted, of course. But where the author get the idea that ILM was involved(?).
Umm... Deep Space Nine was never part of the UPN line-up. It was syndicated all seven seasons it aired.
Well we're apparently comparing Sisko to Darth Vader now... so what's a small thing about changing what channel the show was on?
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was never a UPN show; it was syndicated all seven seasons. However, many of the stations which carried it were UPN-affiliated stations, such as WUAB in Cleveland. ILM did some early work on TNG, and built some of the early Enterprise-D models, but never worked for DSN.
Wait, didn't most of the writers on DS9 start out as writers on TNG? They were just carried over when TNG went on and DS9 was in it's run. To say that DS9 produced more influential writers than any other trek series when those writers got their start on TNG is wrong.
No it's an opinion. One I happen to share at that. TNG had some great episodes. DS9 had a great story arc. While each of TNG stories may well stand equal with any DS9 story, DS9's stories collectively painted a picture that TNG's didn't. So DS9 seems to me as greater than the sum of it's parts. To say nothing of most people do this thing called... improving... after they do something long enough.
Some, not all. Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Bhr did work on TNG first -- Michael Taylor, Bryan Fuller, David Weddle, and Bradley Thompson did not. Others worked on TNG, but either only worked there once or twice as freelancers (Robert Hewitt Wolfe) or only worked there for a while and never achieved prominence at TNG before moving to DSN (Ira Steven Behr). And of course, quite a few of these guys had careers long before DSN OR TNG (Peter Allen Fields).
No, it's a subjective opinion, and it's based on the assumption that these writers achieved industry prominence as a result of creative decisions they made at DSN rather than at TNG.
I disagree with the sentiment expressed in the article.
To me, what made Trek great was that it was more than TV show: it was a vision.
It was idealistic, yes, but it wasn't pointlessly idealistic: it was giving us a grand dream of a bright future.
Just listen to Dr Michio Kaku talk about future tech or space and invariably reference Trek, listen to his enthusiasm.
That's what made TOS & TNG so great: they did extreme (especially TNG) idealism right; which is extremely rare in entertainment.
Comparatively, it seems to be easier to make quality "dark & edgy" works than idealistic ones.
DS9 seemed to be about undermining all of that. Yes, some episodes were very well made (The Visitor, In the Pale Moonlight, Way of the Warrior*, Inter Arma enim Silent Leges,...), but the near-constant undertones either undermining Trek's pre-established ethos or pushing religiosity, it seemed to be trying very hard to be the "anti-Trek" Trek series.
And in doing so, it became "just a show". Entertaining, but nothing more. Certainly not inspirational, unlike the prior series.
And let's not forget that, while DS9 wasn't the worst-written series overall (TNG>TOS>DS9>ENT>VOY, IMO), it gave us the worst Trek episode, by far: The Reckoning. The Reckoning makes VOY: Threshold look good by comparison.
*note: quite an underrated ep, that.
I don't agree at all. I think DSN was deconstructing the Trek paradigm, but that by doing so, it was also reaffirming it. I find DSN's firm insistence that a better world will be harder than we think but is still possible to be more inspirational than early TNG's flippant belief in its own characters' moral superiority.
And I think TOS was much more like DSN than TNG in its skepticism of flippant utopianism.
Separate names with a comma.