The Eternal Question: TNG or DS9

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Spirit of 73, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or maybe Dax thinks that risking everything for love isn't immature. Maybe when you have 300 years worth of memories, you realize that love is more important than almost anything else...and if that's true, then it'd mean that Dax is acting in an extremely mature manner. ;)
     
  2. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    More Picard like speeches?
     
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  3. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I watched Captain's holiday last night, I think its the one where Patrick Stewart asked for and got 1. action/adventure and 2. a love scene. At first it felt strange seeing him in the role because up to then the character came across as very monklike and asexual. Either Captain Jean Luc (Frenchman) Picard visited the holodeck a lot, had an 'arrangement' with Guinan or had lots of bromide in his 'Earl Grey hot' tea.
     
  4. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Prior to Captain's Holiday, we'd already seen displays (or talk) of romantic attachment with Beverly Crusher and Jenice Manheim. I posit that Picard wasn't asexual, he was just attracted to widows. ;)
     
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  5. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is something that has irritated me a little, writers annoyed by the rules that they have to follow when writing material.
     
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  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    I really don't get that read at all. It's a rather large leap to see these writers as exploring the fringes of the Federation society established in TNG, and possible consequences from actions (Wolf 359 and Sisko's bitterness being top of the mark).

    I don't see it as immature...:shrug:
    I do like that aspect of serialized shows that things are not neatly wrapped up.
    Superior? I cannot think of an episode with the Ferengi being portrayed as superior to humans. What an odd thing to say.
    Interesting point.
     
  7. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    The main reason I'd argue that people claim DS9 is more adult is because of the different way that it dealt with moral issues.

    In general, TNG was very simplistic and didactic in its moral reasoning. If it was going to be a "message" episode, then some sort of conflict was set up where the other party (alien race, admiral of the week, etc) will be proven completely, totally, inexcusably wrong, and Picard & Co. will be right - possibly with some monologue given by Patrick Stewart at the end. The TNG style is honestly fairly didactic at times - as if it was purposefully set up to educate young people about issue X.

    In contrast, DS9's style was more to ask questions rather than give answers. The protagonists of the series have very different moral frameworks - from Odo's need for order, to Quark's focus on greed, to Kira's religiosity. This brings them into inter-personal conflict, but the show is generally keen to present things in an evenhanded way, which allows for interesting critiques of aspects of the Federation we didn't see elsewhere. Also importantly, the main characters are allowed to be wrong. Not just wrong as in a temporary setback over the course of an episode, but wrong in a manner which has lasting repercussions - costing lives and wounding relationships. The show often really isn't interested in telling us what to think, so much as it is showing us an "issue" and having us draw our own conclusions.
     
  8. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps I've read too many memory alpha episode articles, and it's tainted how I interpret certain scenes
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    And that's why I could struggle at times. I didn't mind them exploring issues or ideas-far from it. But, the didactic model was rather odd to me.
    This is probably why I could relate far, far, more to these characters than TNG ones. It's not that I want them to be wrong but I appreciate the fact that they can be wrong.
     
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  10. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In a few DS9 episodes, Quark expresses the opinion, but usually written for laughs (and once to make a point about humans considering themselves superior to Ferengi).

     
  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, they are so few and far between that I cannot recall one, aside from Quark's observation regarding human's away from their creature comforts. Except, in that same episode Quark demonstrates similar qualities to the humans he condemns-that when faced with an existential threat he would kill just as easily as the humans he despises.

    What interests me far more in the Ferengi is episodes which show them trying to grow past the stereotypes often lobbed at them. Quark works hard for a time to explore alternatives to what is usually expected of them. And it's living up to the Roddenberry ideal, in a way, of growing past your limits and becoming more.
     
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  12. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They didn’t like the idea of doing WWII: In Space! I don’t blame them. It’s Star Trek, not Space: Above and Beyond. They did civil war in “Redemption”, brinksmanship in “Data’s Day,” cold war in "The Enemy," showed the bad guy stop a war in “Journey’s End,” thwarted the start of a new one in “Preemptive Strike,” talked about post-war realities in “The Hunted," about the prejudice of war and the machinations toward war in "The Wounded," and about the weapons of war and the innocents harmed by it in "Booby Trap," among others. And they didn't kill billions in the background to do it.

    Yes it did. Viewership was dropping across the board in television and it spooked them. They went for the low-hanging fruit of war. The complaint you heard again and again from TPTB was that the show was that the show was limited by its stationary setting. That's BS. Most television series are set in one place. Besides, they jumped around everywhere; they didn't need the war to do it.

    The problem isn't the drama but in making war exciting. Something perhaps to yearn for in your otherwise boring, sometimes desperate, life.

    That's the part of the series I really liked. Frankly, the war arc, though fun, wasn't "new" enough when they really went into it...I wasn't amazed by the sci-fi or storytelling choices. Contemporary drama did it better.

    What part? Sisko declares Earth is paradise filled with saints (like that's a bad thing), but all these amazing extraordinary people, what, don't get the basic politics? No, by Quark's estimation, Earth is boring. What? It's paradise, not Pleasantville.

    Not at all.

    "You're overlooking something. Humans used to be a lot worse than the Ferengi: slavery, concentration camps, interstellar wars. We have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We're nothing like you... we're better."

    That's how you appreciate the scene at face value, and it's great in that. But, same as the Eddington Federation = Borg scene, Sisko has no counterargument. Please.

    I'll have to get back to you on Rom's achievements in the finale (also, realistically, he would have been eaten alive in the position, if not assassinated), but they spend the entire series talking about hypocritical human disdain for the different (not awful) Ferengi, then take away that differentness at the end because, yeah, it was awful but now we don't have to come up with stories every week so, fuck it, let's make them "just like the Federation."
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  13. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    And yet, the Ferengi are demonstrated as being capable of being just as barbaric as the humans, as the people they look down upon.

    Regardless, as @eschaton noted, just because the characters say something doesn't mean the writers are speaking through them or that those characters are right. The characters in DS9 are capable of being wrong, in many different ways.
     
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  14. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In other words, 'war' with no real consequences, always neatly tied up in a bow by the end of the episode. *Yawn*.

    So you're saying they did it because they didn't need to do it? The ratings don't make much of an argument either way. DS9 Just never had very good ratings, war or no war. General audiences weren't attracted to it.


    DS9 didn't do that at all.



    So you agree they didn't have an inability to tell compelling stories outside the war.



    Don't get the basic politics of what? I still have no idea what you're trying to say here. And one man's paradise is another man's hell. Of course Quark would think a Federation paradise is boring, he's Quark.

    Said the Ferengi.

    Sisko doesn't have to have a counterargument on the spot for the audience to draw the obvious conclusion that the argument is not entirely accurate.

    They don't become 'just like the Federation', just more like the Federation. They're still 100% capitalist, for instance.
     
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  15. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

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    Definitely-- it doesn't make her a bad person at all. Beverly has a right to reject Odan, especially if she wasn't attracted to her new gender .

    But her mannerisms tells a different story. She was smiling when she was waiting for the Trill replacement to arrive. When it arrived, she said "send HIM in". When she saw it was a female, her expression instantly changed, her smiled dropped, and after that she was quiet.

    Then she gives him the speech about how she can't keep up with the changes and maybe its a human failing and maybe one day a human's ability to love won't be so limited. Odan even kisses her wrist and she seems kind of shocked somewhat. But she admits she'll always love Odan.

    It's obvious she expected another male and was disappointed when she turned out to be female, so why the insincere speech about "it's about the constant changes"? When it was visually obvious it was mainly her being a female.

    I'm not 100% sure at all, but I get the feeling DS9 would have had Dax just outright admit she wasn't attracted to another female. It didn't really shy away from concepts like that.

    Whereas TNG was kind of stuck in some ways -- It says humans have evolved beyond judging by appearances. But at the same time the networks couldn't have her decide to get involved in a same sex relationship. But they couldn't have her admit she wasn't attracted to other women either--because it might hurt the idea of how we see TNG characters--as being open minded and tolerant and nearly perfect.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  16. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The episodes were about the consequences. Which is what DS9 was supposed to be about. What happens when the starship leaves and you deal with the people and relationships. They should have focused on the unknown possibilities of those relationships than retreading the WWII war stuff we all instantly know and recognize.

    Episodic television. Unlike serialized which can suffer the pitfall of manufacturing drama despite it making little narrative sense. (I.e. retconning the existence of genetic-engineering in the Federation despite the fact that we're doing it now and it will likely be considered child abuse not to in 400 years. Or that they were clearly doing it in TNG's "Unnatural Selection.")

    The series premiere was one of the highest rated Star Trek episodes ever. They didn't hold onto the viewership. As the ratings continued to go down, they went war-happy instead of building on the great stuff they'd managed to do in the middle seasons. I'd love to get a look at the series in the alternate universe where they just got better at doing their DS9 thing without going the sexy war-route. God what would that, what, 7-episode final arc have been like fueled by...other stuff? Making Bajor part of the Federation, exploding open the alien wormhole realm, meeting an interesting new Gamma Quadrant people who maybe wanted into the Federation or had some connection to the Ancient Bajorans, exploring the nature of the Great Link further, even giving Sisko Borg closure. Or maybe a two-parter sending Odo to Betazed, or Sisko to Cestus III for a Gorn story, or seeing Earth through Kira's eyes, or a non-red contact lens end to the Dukat storyline, or doing more with the Tzenkethi or the Talarians or whomever (I loved that they brought in the Breen but did find them kind of one note). I dunno, other stuff....all culminating in something being built, not destroyed. Probably that thing being Bajor entering the Federation, with strings of starships and fireworks and a sense of achievement and hope...the sort of thing we want in the real world between today and a TOS-like future: show us how to make the Federation.

    The politics of the Maquis situation that Sisko felt Starfleet wasn't getting that prompted the speech. Rewatch it if you need a refresher.

    Meaning he's emotionally damaged and may not even know it. Or that the Roddenberry-resentful writers made Earth Pleasantville instead of the spectacular citadel one imagines for a capital world of a trillion people from the future.

    Sisko doesn't reply because it's supposed to be a mic drop from the writers that human aren't so special and Ferengi are better than they seem, and it's unearned.

    I did love the alienness of learning that the Ferengi were horrible in different ways than us, though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Why the assumption of resentment on the part of the writers? Even Michael Piller lamented the "Roddenberry box" in terms of writing and yet was able to work in side of it.

    There is a lot of assuming and black and white thinking coloring the opinions here. And, honestly, it makes very little sense so it is hard to take seriously. :shrug:

    DS9 was losing viewers is no surprise. All the Trek shows were losing viewers at the time if one looks at the trends. It was not something unique to DS9. From what I've read, the writers recognized that they were not the focus, as VOY was used to launch UPN. So, they took the opportunity to explore different stories that might not have happened on TNG or VOY. That doesn't make them "resentful." :shrug:
     
  18. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    As I've mentioned numerous times in the past, Deep Space Nine had higher ratings than Voyager during its entire run (both comparing season-for-season and chronologically) though both series basically had continual ratings decline, with fourth-season attempts to shake them up (Worf/Dominion War in DS9, and Seven in VOY) basically not accomplishing anything in terms of boosting ratings.

    Given the two shows were about as far apart as could be reasonably expected during the era for Trek shows, I think it's hard to argue that anything intrinsic to either scared viewers away. How could DS9 have been hurt by serialization when Voyager wasn't rewarded for doubling-down on episodic adventure? How can DS9's dark tone have been bad for it, when VOY's sunny tone didn't help? How can DS9's stationary setting have mattered, when VOY's roaming setting didn't help?
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, that's exactly my point and thank you for explaining it in such a succinct way.
     
  20. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

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    Because DS9 was more or less left alone, I'd argue it was a big reason why it was so great. Having the gloves taken off, for the most part, really let the show expand the concepts of STAR TREK enormously.

    I think TNG made the franchise far more popular, while DS9 made it better.