What do some fans see as DS9's flaws?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by DS9forever, Aug 8, 2022.

  1. DS9forever

    DS9forever Commodore Commodore

    Oct 3, 2007
    United Kingdom
    Every so often, there will be a thread with the usual thing about people not liking the Ferengi episodes, the Prophets/Pah-wraith episodes, the Vic Fontaine episodes. Those are the three that come to mind.

    Personally I like the Ferengi episodes (I've watched Profit and Lace more times than TNG's best episodes), I found the Prophets/Pah-wraith episodes really interesting (TNG & VOY did alien possession episodes too!) and thought Vic was a clever mix of Bashir's 20th century nostalgia with the ideas of holographic life. I concede I am in the minority, but my opinions are still valid.

    But those three examples are not the main focus of the series. Did some people just not like DS9, because it wasn't set on a ship? That it was the only one of the four 1987-2005 series that didn't have a white actor in the lead?
  2. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    Orbiting Urectum
    Other than the first couple of Mirror Universe episodes the rest got steadily worse. The introduction of Section 31 was also something I could've done without.
  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 11, 2014
    I have no issues with the lead. My biggest frustration with early DS9 was just a lack of engagement with the Cardassian conflict. I think it got better but Dukhat was a frustrating presence early on that just made the show not very enjoyable. Funny though because I liked the Cardassians more as we saw some different ones (besides Garak). But, early on, it was not that fun.
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 2, 2002
    Well, for me it started out asking me to care about a society I had no investment in. Once they realized nobody watched Star Trek for political bickering, the show began to solidify.

    Also Bashir's personality was horribly grating at the start. I was fine with Section 31...but I hated that they ran with the concept in other shows. I felt like they worked in the DS9 situation as a response to the mounting threats from invading species, but not in Enterprise or the later shows as much.

    As far as the lead, I only saw him as "that guy who rhymed on Spenser for Hire." I didn't think about his race all that much, only when it was mentioned in magazines on the checkout line. Eh, not being racist, I just looked for an actor I wanted to follow on adventures every week. Avery Brooks was always a strange actor. When he was good, he was electric. Commanding. When he was bad, he could vaporize Shatner with his over the top and rapid fire delivery. Or, worse, he could be pompous (Ever see A Man Called Hawk? Oy). However, man, when he was being dragged away from Jennifer's dead body in the pilot, I absolutely felt his pain. Brilliant.

    Nana Visitor was also wildly over the top at the start. Honestly, the whole cast took a little while to shake down and get comfy. Once they did, I'd stack them up with any of the casts of Trek.

    But flaws? They relied on comedy, the mirror universe and Vic Fontane a bit too much. Oh and really, they should have let the Dax symbiont go when they killed Jazdia (whose death fell flat for me anyway).
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
  5. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 7, 2020
    Firstly, the Ferengi episodes. I didn't like the later ones because they felt the need to destroy Ferengi culture because it wasn't PC enough. And Profit and Lace pissed me off because...
    1. Gender equality comes slowly. Women don't go from "chattel" to "full equality" overnight. Each right, each new milestone, each glass ceiling, is a new challenge to be faced. You might get momentum on your side, but it's still a journey.
    2. Gender equality takes a lot of like-minded people. Susan B. Anthony didn't establish it by toodling off to DC and banging the President. She led thousands of suffragettes on her 40-year quest, and others took over for her afterward.
    3. Gender equality requires consensus from the powers that be. Given that 399 out of 400 of the Ferengi bigshots weren't interested in transforming their society, the 400th probably wasn't going to change much.

    And "Dogs of War" finished the job. Instead of a society of pure capitalism where everything was for sale and nothing was free, Ferenginar was practically Federation 2.0...
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  6. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Considering Season 2 is my third favorite season of the show, I wish they had done more with Bajor and the original premise. I get fans thought that was boring, but I've started to appreciate episodes like the Circle Trilogy and Rapture a lot more over the years and it would have been nice to see Sisko's original mission come to fruition.

    I also think they dragged out of the Dominion War too much. I think the Dominion War should have ended where the Final Chapter begain. You can still make Sisko a god at the end (Even though I didn't entirely like that development) but I wanted to see some kind of aftermath, and they could have brought Bajor into the Federation as Sisko's final act, or combine that with his fight with Dukat.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
  7. Trekker09

    Trekker09 Captain Captain

    Sep 17, 2009
    VIrginia, US
    I agree about the Mirror episodes - the Q episode didn't belong...and a couple of Ferengi stories like "Emperor's New Cloak." But to me, the biggest flaw by far was forcing Terry Farrell to leave the show.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
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  8. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    I found the Bajoran religion stuff boring. In general the whole culture and world building attempts at the Bajorans was uneven. Every time one writer tried to add something truly alien about their culture (such as people just automatically changing careers across the planet because a messiah told them to), another writer would drop them back into blandness. As much as we were supposed to believe they'd been through a holocaust and a lengthy occupation, you never really felt it.
  9. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Even with nitpicks, many episodes are still solid-at-worst, if not overall very good or great. But...

    • I loathe the mirror universe episodes, especially later on when it was easier for them to go back and forth between universes than it is for me to slice a slab of butter with a warm knife.
    • Farrell should have stayed, or because her main character is a slug that switches bodies when convenient, they could have had eight or nineteen Dax's (or more!), one for each roll of a D&D dice set (two D10s come in nicely, though a handful of D30's works if you're that adventurous...)
    • Some Ferengi stories were good, but others were objectively awful.
    • And that baseball episode from season 7, a season in of itself that felt weaker than most (I've rewatched more of season 1), is fairly bad too.
    • A couple of times they had huge character shifts; one involving Rom and another for Dax. I'd have to look them up... the results were a net positive, but this was the 90s when serialized TV was still new, and to come up with everything perfect out of the gate is impossible and sometimes the perfect idea comes a season or two late so it begs the question of which direction to go... which reminds me, a D500 dice set would be pretty slick...

    So those I'd consider the weak bits.
  10. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 7, 2020
    Plus they killed the best Mirror characters (except Kinky Kira) and kept the most boring ones (stubbly Bashir). And it was hard to root for the rebels, given what the Terrans did when they ruled the roost.

    Just keep it simple: give Terry Farrell what she wanted, a reduced role in the show. The seventh season was the wrong time to introduce a new character, especially one with Ezri's potential.

    Worst thing is that Sisko has to "learn a lesson" that he of all people should have understood from the start.
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    Now or back then?

    Back then it felt like a betrayal of the show’s mission statement. Getting into a war. Betraying ideals to win it.

    Now I see DS9 as the show that argued Roddenberry’s ideas could survive in the real world but only if they are strong and flexible enough to defend themselves. The perfect marriage of idealism with reality.

    When the Ferengi episodes managed to call the Federation on their hypocrisy they worked, when they doubled down on cartoon silliness they were awful.

    Vic was awful when the crew was inexplicably fettishising an idealized prohibition era period piece but awesome in Paper Moon.
  12. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

    Aug 3, 2014
    Prohibition era? Vic's was set in 1962. Prohibition ended in the United States in 1933. People were drinking in the lounge, and Vic's isn't some speakeasy where it's all in secret.

    Agree with your other points though, especially about the Ferengi working when they were making points about humans and not when they were just comic relief.
  13. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 24, 2020
    I'm surprised to see so many people didn't like the Bajoran political stuff: I really enjoyed that.

    Me to.

    ...Except that one. Why in the world would you do that to yourself?

    Me to, though more due to how they were used in Discovery, which wasn't DS9's fault.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
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  14. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

    Nov 14, 2014
    I think the war should ended maybe 3/4 the way through the season and then they could have done some post-war storylines like ones that follow real life wars, like governance, transition to self-administration, investigating war crimes, hate crimes. But I'm not fond of Season 7 really so I don't think it matters.
    Bajor should have joined the Federation in that post-war period though.
    Their cave set was used way too much and looked awful.
    There's no real explanation of why we should give a shit about the Prophets and Pah-Wraiths conflict and why there's animosity in the first place. The Prophets seems like a bunch of assholes who manipulated a planet and built a bloke by bodyjacking an innocent lady so she could become some asshole alien's meatsuit and get impregnated and then killed offscreen. All so they could trap some of their "evil" mates in a book down a hole. Fuck those guys. From my point of the view the Prophets were evil and the Pah-Wraiths were rebelling against their manipulative shit.
    They should have done only one more Mirror Universe after "Crossover" and it should have been near the end of the show, although I can't fault them going back to that well again. At the time I wanted them to too but I think it takes something away every time you go back to those alternate universes. I feel the same way with how "Redemption" followed on from "Yesterday's Enterprise" and SG1's "Point of View" followed on "There but for the Grace of God".
  15. anti-matter

    anti-matter Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 5, 2002
    canon violation
    Firstly I have no problem making a leap of faith in any sci-fi fantasy production.

    But keeping in the spirit of the thread I suppose it would be Kira Nerys taking down all those armored up opponents over the years.

    Even though I may have enjoyed those scenes, in the back of my mind a voice was screaming 'no way'.
  16. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 7, 2020
    Regarding S31, I'm Ok with the concept. Just like every body needs a...ah, digestive terminus, it seems like every polity needs a secret organization (or not so secret) for handling its dirty work. What I thought was dumb was introducing them right before "In the Pale Moonlight". We find out that Starfleet has this organization... and one episode later, Sisko feels that he has to do the dirty work in question, with no involvement from S31, though this is the sort of thing they probably do normally.
  17. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 19, 2014
    Enterprise bowling alley
    None that I am aware of.

    Nitpicks? Sure, I guess.

    Flaws…? Can’t think of any to be honest.
  18. Dee1891

    Dee1891 Captain Captain

    Mar 20, 2022
    Los Angeles
    The Dominion War arc and Dukat's attempt to destroy Bajor. I don't think both arcs were well handled in Seasons Six and Seven. Especially Season Seven. Also, the series suffered from the franchise's problem of failing to show consequences of major decisions.
  19. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    My mansion on Qo'noS
    Maybe he had a slip of the keyboard and meant Segregation era rather than Prohibition era. That's a big deal when it comes to romanticizing the time period in question, and Sisko even pointed out the historical realities in "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang."

  20. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 6, 2020
    The Kelvinverse
    Its only had a couple of flaws.

    1. Outside of a handful of episodes like “Duet”, S1 & S2 episodes are slow and plodding. The original focus of the show is on the Bajorans, Cardassians, and Maquis – a continuation of TNG, basically - but the show just lacks direction for the first couple of seasons. Its probably not a coincidence that the inclusion of the Jem’Hadar and the Dominion by the start of the third season helped the show find its footing and direction.

    2. That it did not continue on past S7 in the sense of Law & Order, NCIS, or CSI. It conceivably could have continued into the mid '00s and had about 12 seasons. And like those shows rotated their cast in and out, DS9 could do the same. It was basically doing just that in S7, with Ezri joining the station, and Sisko, Odo, Worf, the O’Briens, Rom & Leeta leaving the station for various reason.

    It would have led to some post-Dominion War stories, and some post-VOY stories upon Voyager’s return. Maybe NEM gets a better build in the lead up to the movie if DS9 lasts a few more seasons, or becomes the crossover movie featuring TNG, DS9 & VOY. Maybe the mirror universe explores its potential in crossovers from TNG and VOY by feature those respective shows mirror counterpart, and gets a better finale than the Terran rebels capturing Worf. Maybe more DS9 episodes could have been the launching point of a sequel show set in the 24th century. Or a prequel show by having a ship being permanently thrown in the past and its crew having to blend in and not alter history.

    It might have also allowed them to slow down on the development of Ezri Dax if there were reassurances that the character would get several seasons of development instead of just the one.
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