The Eternal Question: TNG or DS9

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

  1. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

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    IMO, Worf got to express himself a lot more concerning his history, experiences opinions in DS9 than he ever did in TNG. He definably got scenes and episodes devoted to him in TNG, but I think DS9 really set him free.

    Still as far as how TNG encouraged static characters, Insurrection and Nemesis said nothing about him being and ambassador now - there's no conversation about it, no quick mention. Instead he shows up, the plot unfolds, and Worf is acting as a security officer--just like he was on the show. It just seems like the format freezes the characters into their roles.

    Geordi acts as he does on the TV show. Wesley and Beverly act as they did on the show.

    I have a feeling Picard and the other TNG characters (if they appear) are going to sound and act a lot differently on "Trek Picard" because it's (probably) going to be serialized and that's going to free them up to behave and express themselves a lot differently than they did on the original show.
     
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  2. WebLurker

    WebLurker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Didn't notice that. He did seem to gravitate more to Klingon culture then he had on TNG, but he was introduced to the show as someone who was trying to rediscover their purpose in life, so maybe that had something to do with it.
     
  3. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

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    I think DS9 did a lot more with Worf overall -- because it was a more character-focused show in general. However, it is true that Worf showed a lot more growth on TNG. He'd have to, considering he started the show essentially as a blank slate.
     
  4. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When people say that DS9 had better first few seasons, it's good to remember that first TOS and then TNG made that possible.

    DS9 had a world that first TOS created and then TNG molded. TNG did have the basics from TOS but DS9 had much more to work with when it started alongside TNG. TNG had stories that were carried over to DS9 or maybe some episodes even were made to help DS9 get off the ground? Maquis, DMZ and all that.
     
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  5. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    DS9 is indeed the underrated pinnacle that was created by its progenitors, both original and spinoff people said could not be done in the late-80s. And DS9 was even more quick to become its own thing rather than putting in over the top callbacks the way TNG did with TOS. DS9 still "went there" with Q and Lwaxana, when surrounding episodes were much more tightly crafted. But it can also be surmised that their episodes were just fodder to help demonstrate (heavyhandedly to an audience sweet on TNG) that DS9 was very different, using these TNG staples to go against the grain with deliberately. They still weren't needed... and I thought the DMZ and Maquis were more a springboard fore Voyager anyway?

    TNG definitely laid the groundwork for DS9 on some fronts, no question. Universe building is a great thing if handled well. And the makers of the impending spinoff knew they were aiming for a lot more that neither TNG or TOS could really do.

    But the other question is: Would DS9 work on its own without any other Trek preceding it? Easily. The characters were great and the underlying premise was strong. Can the same be said for the Kelvin movies (arguably no)? Or Discovery (arguably yes)? Or Babylon 5 (clearly yes)?
     
  6. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Would it work on it's own? Probably. Would it have been anywhere near as good? Probably not. Would it have lasted 7 seasons? No, absolutely it would not have.

    TNG built up an incredibly immersive and foundational universe that DS9 was able to play in, but the producers seemed to have a motto that was "What would Star Trek do? Let's do the exact opposite." If it wasn't a Star Trek show, there'd be no guideline at all to maintain at least some of those rules. Plus, there'd be no Rick Berman, and for all the grief he gets, he acted as a stopgap against some really bad ideas. So without any adherance to the universe or its conscientious caretaker, there wouldn't be the same balance in the creative process that DS9 benefitted from.
     
  7. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think I would have liked DS9 more had it not been a Trek show. All the deconstructing of TNG they did really bothered me.
     
  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    For those who prefer TNG how could DS9
    be different to be as enjoyable as TNG?
     
  9. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Personally, I have trouble appraising either show in any other terms than what it already is. If DS9 was more like TNG, it would probably hurt the show. I can find things I don't like about the show and say "if it had less of X, it would be better," but I don't know if that would make it more enjoyable than TNG, or vice versa. I like every series for different reasons, and feel that rankings are ultimately futile.
     
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    I can see that, but as I am told (often it seems) comparison is inevitable. Longinus' comment about deconstruction of TNG just started an interesting thought experiment inside my head regarding what exactly was deconstructed that made TNG less by DS9's addition?

    For my own part, this is my speculation. Section 31 is seen as undermining the core principles of the Federation. Except, we see our heroes, including TNG, go on black ops style missions, that are pretty much the essence of Section 31 style operations.

    Poor leadership? The Admirals in TNG were known for being crooked, manipulative or just plain crazy.

    Morally questionable behavior? The order to commit genocide with the Borg springs readily to mind. We see examples of bigotry, insensitivity and outright manipulation to serve the Federation's ends.

    So, I'm trying to figure out where DS9 dipped too far? Like, what would bring it in line towards TNG that makes it seem less so right now?
     
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  11. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's nothing DS9 can do that can diminish enjoyment of TNG. Even if it were "deconstructing" the universe, you can go right back to TNG and fall right back into that universe. If anything, the deconstructing comes through the commentary as if the writers, or some of the writers are taking swipes at TNG(or perhaps Roddenberry), such as Sisko's speech in the Maquis, Michael Eddington's rantings, Quark's frequent appraisals of the Federation, Garak's frequent of the same. Actually, it seems like every species on DS9 except the Bajoran characters are constantly appraising the Federation. There's almost a fixation on it, as though the writing team is taking frequent opportunities to call out perceived hypocrisy, or make the Roddenberry 24th century humans to look like hypocrites. It feels juvenile. I cringe when Sisko says "It's easy to be a saint in paradise." The line makes no sense in the context of the story. They continue to call Earth "paradise" in a tongue in cheek manner later in the series.

    This stuff comes off as a meta commentary from the showrunner and his team, making the writers look immature, and as if they are irritated about the universe they forced to write for.
     
  12. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    I think at the end of the day the thing that bothers people the most is that DS9 chose to openly defy the idea that humanity is the super-wonderful yardstick of the universe and narratively undermine the heroes' ability to fix any problem at the drop of a hat just using the power of bullshit 'Science'. It's not that people in the Federation do bad things, because that's always been there, it's that some of the people on the show ideologically agree with the bad things and ideologically disagree with the Federation ideals. It's not that there is war, as that's always been around, it's that the heroes aren't allowed to put an end/hold on the war at the end of the episode via some clever strategy/diplomatic gambit.
     
  13. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ that misses the point entirely. It isn’t that humanity is superior, but that the Federation achieved something hopeful. Episodic problems are solved episodically and continuing storylines continue — ask Worf about his father’s honor or Picard about the Borg or Evec about Federation wolves. And thank god they try to use strategy or diplomacy or “clever” bullshit like that to stop wars because wars are bad, and it’d be unfortunate to spend season after season on the mother of all ones to distract from a writing staff’s inability to maintain viewership without aggrandizing the drama of it all.

    Christ, hypocrisy is in spending a series in regressive counterpoint to another. Earth is full of saints, but they somehow don’t get some basic politics that only our heroes do. The Ferengi are comedy and fun and superior to violent humans yet they treat women as slaves, keep their children illiterate, and don’t give a damn about losers dying in the gutter. That is until the series finale when Grand Nagus Rom(!?!) magically changes all that.

    Give me a break. I love the show like mad, but it was run by too many people holding grudges against Roddenberry and/or their fathers.
     
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  14. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    Well, from where I'm sitting DS9 had lots of strategies to try to stop wars, too, they just made a narrative choice to explore what happens when those strategies aren't successful, which is something worth doing and something TNG was never willing to try. And it certainly had nothing to do with 'distracting from the writing staff's inability to maintain viewership without aggrandizing the drama of it all'. Which, really, what exactly is wrong with drama to begin with? And also, you do realize there are tons of non-war related stories, many highly regarded, in every season of DS9, too? There was hardly an inability to tell interesting stories outside of the war.

    I'm not even sure what point you're trying to make with the politics of Earth, though you certainly seem to have missed the point of the Ferengi, which was clearly not that they're 'superior' at all. Rather that they see themselves as superior to humans just as much as humans feel superior to them and that there are actually plausible arguments to be made on both sides of that discussion because neither species is even remotely perfect nor is either one irrefutably evil. They're just different. They also didn't change by magic, nor overnight, nor by order of Grand Nagus Rom. It was Ishka and Zek who transformed Ferengi society dramatically by creating their own women's liberation movement - appropriately helped along by the argument that women owning property would be great for profits, but in the end leading to a massive demographic shift that allowed for major changes to the Ferengi government (the establishment of a legislature and reduction of the Nagus' powers, which was all done before Rom was given the position).
     
  15. Beckerjr

    Beckerjr Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    That's a terrific and honest line from Sisko IMO.

    Calling the DS9 writers "immature"? DS9 is hands down the most mature Trek show made. It was an adult show with adult stories. It was a modern 21st Century TV show that happened to be made made in the 90's the way many consider a show like Hill Street Blues from several years before.
     
  16. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know.... that what I used to think until I started watching DS9 more, and couldn't help but compare the differences between the two. DS9 was different in dialog, storyline and approach to real life topics.

    And it really clicked in one day when I realized while watching TNG reruns that I was paying less attention and already knew what scenes were coming up, everything the characters were going to say, and how it was going to end. There's an opening, a plot, a discussion or speech, technobabble and the problem is solved at the end. And then probably not spoken of again and on to next week's adventure.

    DS9 gives less of that feeling, because the characters mention things that happened the previous week, a month, or even years ago. They openly talked about real life issues. They said off colored things. They sounded more like real people.

    TNG kind of avoided anything too controversial or too close to real life issues. So they either used alien analogies or avoided it outright. Beverly rejects Odan when he returns as a SHE. She doesn't consider the possibility or actually attempt a relationship and then change her mind, she had to reject Odan immediately. And it's never spoken about again.

    In DS9, Dax didn't. It didn't work out anyway but she attempted it.

    The Outcast used aliens as the analogy--they could just as easily had Riker say that on earth in the past, they has similar attitudes towards same sex relationships--but it was totally avoided. TNG played it very safe a lot of times.

    This, for me anyway, made DS9 more interesting to watch.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  17. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How is it any more mature than TNG? Because it has war stories? Holosuite brothels? And what does that have to do with the writers showing immaturity? Nothing. Nothing at all.

    But as far as the tone of the show, TNG has a sense of professionalism, maturity, and sophistication that is greatly diminished in DS9(and VOY). The characters on DS9 act more immature, back-bitey, bickering, complaining. The series takes on a less mature tone in other ways, like the adoption of sitcom plots, soapy relationship drama, frequent Ferengi hijinks, etc. Just because it more frequently visits more bleak material doesn't make it more mature
    That's not what the word means. If you see a TV show or video game marked "mature" that doesn't mean the content or tone is more mature, but that it recommends the audience to be mature(a grown up, responsible, conscientious, able to make sound decisions, etc).
    -
    Here's why Sisko's line makes no sense in context of the story- He's calling out his leadership as being naive, hypocritical, and oblivious to the facts on the ground because "they live in paradise, and it's easy to be a saint in paradise." This makes Sisko look narrow minded for failing to see the big picture. These admirals have been dealing with the Cardassians for longer. They just ended "the bloody, bloody border wars" or whatever O'Brien calls it. They have experience with them. Sisko says "open a dialogue with them...what does she think I've been doing?!" Well, he omitted that fact from his report to her. She's concerned with the bigger picture, and for all of the rest of the story besides his rant about "paradise," Sisko sees the big picture too, so his rant comes off as the writers throwing some shade at "The Federation/Earth," and is out of place.

    I love DS9, and just as much as TNG, but for different reasons. It's its own show. Rankings ultimately can be reduced to "I currently get more satisfaction from X than I do from Y"
     
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  18. Smellmet

    Smellmet Commodore Commodore

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    As much as I loved TNG, the characters were portrayed to be a little too perfect and preachy in comparison to DS9's cast, who were often portrayed with much more shades of grey to them, which I found to be more interesting, realistic, and ultimately more compelling. It still had just as many sci-fi concepts as TNG and some highly creative episodes. The story arc from series 4-7 sealed the deal for me.
     
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  19. unimatrix7

    unimatrix7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like both and just watch whatever I'm in the mood for at the time.

    It's impossible to discuss DS9 critically in anyway, because of a pack of Niners will set upon you like the prime rib in the dog shelter. If pressed I'd say that DS9 is my favourite Trek, but it can only be discussed by participating in a circle-jerk about 'arcs' and 'taking risks' and so on.
     
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  20. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TNG is definitely more episodic, but you might be surprised just how frequently they bring up past events from previous episodes.

    You bring up an interesting point about Dax. The episode in question shows a somewhat reversion to the TNG presentation of Trill, that the symbiont is the driver, and the host merely the vehicle. And more importantly, the reaction of Dax vs Crusher. Crusher is a different character from Dax. She is uncomfortable at first with Odan in another body, but learns to go along with it. When Odan switches to a woman, she is not ready for that change or will never be ready for it. So she rejects him/her. If that's how Crusher feels, there's nothing wrong with that.
    However, Dax doesn't haven't that issue. She(it?) herself is a joined Trill, and has been both male and female, but more importantly, Dax acts immaturely in this episode. She's(I'm not sure if it's just the actions of the symbiont in this episode) going to throw it all away for the love of a past life. Either the symbiont is being reckless and irresponsible with the host, or the host/symbiont is acting impulsively without consideration for her friends, coworkers, and society of her home planet. She does this also in Meridian. For being 300 years old, she's not very mature.