The Eternal Question: TNG or DS9

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

  1. Voracious Vidiian

    Voracious Vidiian Commodore Commodore

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    That's cold, man. Like Breen cold.
     
  2. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    Harsh but fair.

    But, I think that DS9 had much better space battles.
     
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  3. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know. I kind of think DS9 was the lucky one, in that it didn't get any movies.

    IMO, the better one to go with is, "We're getting Star Trek: Picard. We'll never get Star Trek: Sisko."
     
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  4. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why? Brooks giving up acting isn't DS9's fault.
     
  5. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oy. Oy. Oy.

    I was telling someone else to take how to take a bigger dig if they wanted to go there. You have to pretend this is high school, we're in the cafeteria, and there's a TNG Fan vs. a DS9 Fan, and they're one-upping each other on comebacks.
     
  6. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I get that, but you objected to the first one because you didn't think it made sense and then replaced it with a different one that didn't make any more sense.
     
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  7. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There you go!
     
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  8. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    For myself, I'll sum it up as simply as this:

    My head knows Deep Space Nine is superior, but but heart will always belong to The Next Generation.
     
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  9. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tongue in cheek, dry sense of humor, and all that..
     
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  10. Spirit of 73

    Spirit of 73 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Really? My heart and my head are in unison, and it's TNG for me.
     
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  11. Spirit of 73

    Spirit of 73 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I just finished DS9's season six. It was probably my favorite so far, edging out season five. And as TNG's season four was its most DS9-like season - not as strong at the top but more consistent - season six was DS9's most TNG-like season - real strong at the top but with some pretty bad episodes at the bottom.

    When I scored the two season sixes against each other, TNG again came out on top, 16-10 in the episode count, and 39-24 in the weighted score (although DS9 actually took the first two episodes, with In the Pale Moonlight and Sacrifice of Angels edging out Timescape and Tapestry).

    At this point, DS9 is never going to catch TNG for me. TNG is just an overall better series. People who defend DS9 talk about how it is darker, realistic, long-form storytelling... fine. Agreed. But those are not reasons why it is better. Those are reasons why it is different. Is The Twilight Zone inferior because it isn't long-form storytelling? Is Star Wars no good because it isn't dark? These are preferences without a note of objectivity to them.

    When we look at the objective aspect of the two series - and there is indeed objectivity in art - TNG is just superior. DS9 did not have a main character who could match Patrick Stewart and what he did in creating Jean-Luc Picard. And for every Garak and Weyoun on DS9, there was a Q and Guinan on TNG. DS9's approach was to lock itself into a story about a Dominion War. It was a good story. I've enjoyed it so far. But the same reason Hollywood movies are bland nowadays is the same reason DS9 can't reach TNG's heights.

    The Dominion War is like a reboot of a beloved series. It's a safe bet. The audience is already interested before they see the trailer. They're invested in the story. But it also makes it difficult to branch out and explore new avenues, to take risks. Movies cost so much that it's safer to just make MCU movies two or three times a year. But it's when you take risks that you get something like Star Wars, which was a risk at the time, or Alien. Or Vertigo. Or Psycho.

    When you take risks, you have failures, too. That's the price you pay for occasionally achieving something new and fantastic. This is not to suggest that DS9 never tried to branch out, but TNG was forced to on a weekly basis, and it shows. Without a proven and recurring storyline to anchor itself to, TNG floated around more and was stronger at the top and weaker at the bottom because of it. But who cares about the bad episodes? You can skip them, especially in an episodic show like TNG.

    DS9's best two episodes for my money, are In the Pale Moonlight and Empok Nor, both exceptionally good stories dealing with an ongoing storyline. TNG gave us the Borg, which gave us Q Who, The Best of Both Worlds and I Borg. But it never tethered itself to this storyline, so it was free to give us Yesterday's Enterprise and All Good Things. The former could have been made to fit in a Dominion War storyline, but the latter was definitely something only TNG could have done. The Offspring? Couldn't have happened on DS9, and Odo never gave us a story that touching.

    TNG was not only free to take risks, it was forced to. And that's why the best it gave us outshines the best of DS9. I shall begin season seven soon, but DS9 is just too far behind at this point. It's best episode would be number seven or eight on the TNG list, and a single season of DS9 that hardly anybody thinks is better than seasons six, five or four is not going to lift the series over TNG.

    Everyone is entitled to their preferences, but TNG is objectively a better series. It was more creative in its stories, was stronger at the top, had better theme music and had Patrick Stewart. DS9 was better at finishing two-parters and had a greater quantity, though not a greater quality, of good recurring characters.

    An episodic show on a starship is just a more fertile field to sow the seeds of great stories than a sort of long form series on a starbase. And did I mention Patrick Stewart?
     
  12. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    I prefer the characters is DS9 to TNG. Patrick Stewart wasn't enough to carry TNG for me.
     
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  13. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nah. DS9 is when the depiction of space battles in Trek started to go wrong. The screen filled with fast moving CGI ships and pew pew.
     
  14. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    Agree to disagree then.
     
  15. Tiberous Q Data

    Tiberous Q Data Ensign Red Shirt

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    Next Generation is peak Trek so far for me.

    I enjoy DS9 and generally consider it underrated in most circles but I amazed how much some folks love it compared to Star Trek and Next Generation when is comes dangerously close to being Star Trek for those who would generally prefer BADaylon 5 to either of the previous entries.

    It isn't something that reflects in some head to head match up of episodes to me as much as the overall tone, to a significant degree embracing Roddenberry's vision, and especially early on DS9 can feel a little moribound just by being stuck in a fixed place to a large extent. Getting the Defiant helped a bit.

    While DS9 is probably the most consistent in quality (though 7 is super hit and miss for me) it also seems to "get" Star Trek (to my reckoning) the least of all the series to me even Enterprise which I don't much care for so it is 3rd in the franchise for me.
     
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  16. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Could you expound on what Star Trek is? (In terms of a show "getting" it.)
     
  17. Pumpkin Spice Garak

    Pumpkin Spice Garak Commodore Commodore

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    I grew up on TOS in endless reruns in syndication and watched them religiously. There was a time in my life I could quote them verbatim, then age happened and filled my head with a bunch of other things. TNG started airing when I was in high school. I was so over the moon just to have another Trek, I likely would have sopped up anything they served in that bowl, even if it was drek. DS9 started airing in my 20s.

    During the brief overlap of TNG and DS9 airing concurrently, I found myself gravitating to DS9. I recently tried to start a rewatch of TNG and could not get through the first season. I have been able to rewatch DS9 multiple times. TNG, imo, has not aged well, particularly in its treatment of its female characters. It suffers from a lot of the sexism of the '80s, and it shows. As others have stated in this thread, it also at times comes across as didactic, preachy, pedantic, and moralizing. I have never been a shiny, happy people kind of person. It feels fake and forced. The lack of conflict is also dull and bland. Trying to rewatch that season felt like trying to cram my mouth full of stale white bread that someone else told me I have to like if I have any decency.

    DS9 allowed its characters moral ambiguity. My reading of Sisko's actions in "In the Pale Moonlight," could not be further from the interpretation that, "the writers want us to think Sisko is right and a big hero for what he did," to loosely paraphrase another point made here. The writers didn't put their thumb on that scale whatsoever. They leave it up to the viewer to decide and question. Sisko himself heavily questions and makes a decision in the end that tells me he is a very real person with very real flaws, deleting that log entry. Is what he did overall the right decision? Are there any "right" decisions in war, or is it only the lesser of two evils? How does any individual weigh and measure morality? Is it principled to value your own integrity above the greater good? Can anything clean come of dirty hands? I have no memory of TNG addressing any issues like that in meaningful ways.

    In my experience of talking Trek with others through the years, I've found that in general (and there are always exceptions) the people who prefer TNG are people who prefer black and white storytelling and tend toward idealism. You've got good guys, you've got bad guys, and never the streams shall cross. (Don't cross the streams.) People who prefer DS9 are more comfortable with shades of gray (please, for the love of cheese, leave the 50 out of that) or prefer it. They like some chocolate in their peanut butter and vice versa. I wouldn't say they're cynics on the whole. DS9 is not cynical. It has a lot more themes of inclusion and acceptance in its messiness. It's still hampered somewhat by taboos and biases of the time, but not nearly to the degree of TNG. It is far less dated, and it and a few other key shows of the time laid the groundwork for serialized storytelling in television, something I vastly prefer to episodic shows.

    Ultimately, unless you can come up with concrete and measurable metrics that everyone can agree upon about what makes a show great versus merely OK or bad, this is a question that will only ever be answerable subjectively. For the record, I don't hate TNG. I feel a good deal of nostalgia for it and remember enjoying it very much at the time it aired. Nothing I could discover about it as an adult with extremely different tastes than I had at the time will change that or take it away. It's just not the Trek for me now. I'll also still happily sit down and marathon the hell out of TOS with no need for nostalgia. It was (mostly) brilliant storytelling that I can sink into very easily.

    So many food metaphors. I think it's time to fix myself something to eat. :o
     
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  18. Tiberous Q Data

    Tiberous Q Data Ensign Red Shirt

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    I will try.

    It is probably best encapsulated by the world famous...

    "Space... The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before."

    The Dream of the stars, a vision for a more perfect humanity, understanding that our greatest conflicts are with our own ignorance and within ourselves, a sense of grand adventure, a future to aspire to, hope beyond the mundane yet within us already.
     
  19. Brain Melter

    Brain Melter Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ds9 definitely! Tng started bad and ended baddish. While Ds9 got better and better (except maybe the last season that contained a couple of clunkers) and didn't start as bad as Tng did, to begin with.
     
  20. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TNG was pretty damn popular, even during its first season. It looks bad now when have the later, better seasons to compare it to.