I watched very little of Deep Space Nine when it was on the air, whereas I was a pretty faithful watcher of The Next Generation. Not long ago, I finished going through TNG again for the first time in a long time and found it to be every bit as good as I remembered. I even discovered a handful of episodes I am pretty sure I never saw back in the day. When I went to college, there was a guy in my dorm who loved Deep Space Nine and I caught the occasional episode with him, but only for one year. After that, I never saw him again and probably never saw more than a handful of DS9 episodes. I was, therefore, not in a position to ever opine on the DS9/TNG rivalry. I am now making my way through DS9 and just last night finished season four. With three seasons to go, I am still not in a position to make a final determination as to which series was superior, but I am starting to notice a pretty clear pattern. I wonder whether it will continue in the final season of DS9, which most people seem to think are its best. To compare the series, I have matched episode vs episode by season. To account for differing season lengths, I split each season into quartiles and, after ranking the entire season, match the top episode of each quartile against its counterpart until one series runs out of episodes in that quartile. For instance, season two of TNG had 22 episodes but 26 in DS9, so TNG was split into quartiles of 5/5/6/6 while DS9 was split into quartiles of 6/6/7/7. The best episode in quartile one for TNG is Q Who, for instance, while for DS9 it is Necessary Evil. The fifth best episode of the first quartile for TNG, Where Silence Has Lease, goes up against the fifth best for DS9, The Maquis Part 2, but the sixth best episode of DS9 in its top quartile is idle. This prevents the worst episode of TNG's second season, Shades of Gray, going up against DS9's merely fifth worst episode, Rules of Acquisition. What I am noticing so far is that after season one for both shows, TNG has most of the worst episodes, most of the best episodes and DS9 is far more consistent. DS9 won the episode matchups 11-8 in season one. When I weighted the quartiles, giving 4 points to the top quartile match ups and 3 to the second and so on, DS9 still maintained a 25-20 edge. There did not seem to be any trend as far as which quartile DS9 was winning and losing in and it was consistent with my gut reaction: DS9 had a poor first season, but was definitely better than TNG at the same stage. After that, a very strong trend has developed. In season two, DS9 won the head-to-head matchups 14-8. This would seem to be a clear victory, but TNG won the first eight matchups and wound up taking the weighted score 29-24. In season three, the matchup count was 13-13, but TNG won the first six and wound up with a comfortable 40-23 victory in the weighted category. Season four was interesting because it is the TNG season that is most like DS9: not as strong at the top but very consistent. However, it still isn't as consistent as DS9 because the trend is as strong as ever. TNG finally took an episode count 17-8, and it won the first 17 matchups, leading to a 52-9 blow out. From what I gather, DS9's two best seasons are yet to come, and season 7 is also quite strong, whereas TNG's seventh season is very strong at the top but very weak at the bottom. I don't know how these will turn out, but I can definitely say that after four seasons, TNG is the stronger series. The top episodes are more important than the bottom ones, which can be skipped, and TNG is the clear victor here. DS9 has had some strong episodes, but has yet to produce one I would call outstanding. Q Who, The Measure of a Man, The Offspring, Yesterday's Enterprise, Best of Both Worlds I and II and the Drumhead are superior to anything DS9 turned out in its first four seasons: The Duet, Necessary Evil, Whispers, The Adversary, Improbably Cause, The Die Is Cast, Homefront and Starship Down. And yes, I left The Visitor off that list. Decent episode, but way overrated. Anyway, let me know what you think. I expect I will get a lot of disagreement, but so far, when TNG was clicking, it was superior to anything DS9 could come up with.