What would the series have been like without the Dominion?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Arpy, May 19, 2023.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think introducing the Borg into DS9 would have been a catastrophic error.

    Catastrophic for DS9, that is. They can't exactly warp away, and even after the upgrades it seems unlikely they could have withstood any significant Borg incursion.
     
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  2. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True. A direct attack would have been terrible. The station should be destroyed or assimilated and a successful defense of the station would have defanged the Borg — again, enough of that going around already.

    What might have worked is more flashbacks to 359, say after Gamma Quadrant planets are assimilated or more outposts scooped up. Heck, that might have made for a memorable visual.

    Though, I wasn’t actually thinking of the Borg seriously. Just saying there are other baddies out there. A great many new ones in the Gamma Quadrant too I imagine.
     
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  3. Captain Zog

    Captain Zog Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think DS9 was wise to steer clear of the Borg, who were always better in small doses. VGR definitely suffered from its overreliance on same.

    The Klingon-Cardassian War in Season 4 was pretty compelling IMO. That was the show's strongest season up to that point and it was interesting to witness an entire season set in the 24th century where Klingon-Federation tensions were back in force.

    Still, I think the significance of the wormhole and the Gamma Quadrant made it appropriate that those components should have continued to play a major role in the unfolding narrative even without the Dominion. The main alternatives I can envisage would be either another new villain. Perhaps even an old foe such as the creatures from "Conspiracy" (TNG Season 1)? Either that or a much more assertive and aggressive Cardassian regime taking root and perhaps allying itself with other hostile powers. I really do believe the show would never have excelled had it continued on in a similar fashion to its first two seasons.
     
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  4. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

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    That's fair, but I still stand by the point that they felt they needed to do something concrete with the Gamma Quadrant to differ it from what Delta was going to be, instead of some nebulous undefined region of space. That's not me saying that, that's basically what Wolfe and others were saying back then. They could have done something else with the GQ in another way to define it but I don't think it's enough to just be another frontier in space because that's what Voyager was going to be. The Dominion basically combines their need to define the GQ with them wanting to introduce new villains and I think that was pretty genius.
     
  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think there would have been a stronger focus on the religious / political environment on Bajor and how that all plays into their readiness to join the Federation. You'd also most certainly have seen a protracted conflict with the Cardassians.

    Otherwise, I think it would have continued to play out much like S1 and S2 did.
     
  6. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It could have been that the "Conspiracy" aliens originated from the GQ and the show could have focused on them a bit more (it's a decent story arc in the relaunch novels), but then you're substituting one "alien race that can be anyone" for another...and potentially losing the Jem'hadar and Vorta in the process, and while the former arguably are largely faceless goons (and yet DS9 still gave them some depth!), the latter were almost(?) universally entertaining.
     
  7. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked the Changelings (the drop an ocean and an ocean a drop) from a sci-fi perspective, but the rhinoceros men Jem Hadar seemed pretty silly to me. Droids or drones would have been more realistic. Humanoids simply cannot compete with machines for lethality.

    The “Conspiracy” parasites might’ve been interesting. They could have been coming through the wormhole all along, and no one would have noticed until its discovery in “Emissary.” Every alien, every character, but have been a suspect at all times. Imagine at the end of the series we find out one of the main characters who is in selves a parasite — like Changeling Bashir. Imagine if it was even Kira or Sisko. The Emissary despite himself. Who Kira kills at the end. After not killing Dukat who is the one with the Damar-like turnaround.
     
  8. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I totally agree on that.

    But for other reasons than what you bring up.

    Honestly, the Borg were finished after being beaten in Best Of Both Worlds and even more after "humanizing" them by bringing in characters like Hugh, the Borg Queen and Seven. All that was excitig with The Borg was gone then. From that on, they were just another hostile species.

    The problem with creating a total superior villain is that there will come a moment in the story when the "good guys" find a way to win over them.

    When that happens, the villain is finished and is no longer interesting as villain.

    The Borg were finished after Best Of Both Worlds and the appearance of Hugh. What happened after that were only futile attempts to whip a dead horse to make it run again.

    Therefore I consider the Cardassians in particular and even the Dominion as more exciting villains than The Borg.

    The Cardassans were mean and cunning. They weren't superior when it comes to technology and such but they could manipulate the Federation, pretend to be friendly and then attack again. The same with The Dominion. They had some advantages against the Federation, like shapeshifters able to create trouble, somewhat superior technology and the Jem'Hadar but they were no super villains, just hard to beat.

    They weren't drones, like the Borg but actually normal people manipulated by an evil system, the Cardassians in particular. Therefore characters like Odo, Garak and later Damar who questioned the actions of their own species were more believable than Hugh for example.

    So I'm more than happy that the Borg never showed up in DS9.

    As for a series without the Dominion War, it could have worked due to great characters and great storytelling. but there's the risk that it could have become TNG#2 of it. The Dominion became that icing on the cake which made the series even more interesting but personally I would have liked to see more exploration and adventures in the Gamma Quadrant too.
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's not hard to do.

    While it would run the risk of TNG#2 I still think exploring the Gamma Quadrant and looking at strange new worlds, possibly some new life, or a civilization or two, would have potential if written well. I think the ongoing conflict with the Cardassians, possibly as a bit of an "New Space Race" in to the new frontier could have served as dramatic impetus.
     
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  10. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

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    Also the Borg were used very extensively in TNG and Voyager. They were overused. Much better to leave the Borg to them, and get new villains for DS9.
     
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  11. Oddish

    Oddish Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed, though it would have been interesting to see what a production team of DS9's caliber could have done with the Borg. Voyager was a show known for squandering premises.
     
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  12. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

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    I wonder if they could have introduced like an allegorical broken up soviet type nation in the Gamma Quadrant that's now a bunch of different states fighting over resources. Kind of like if the Dominion had broken up and it was left to the member races to pick up the pieces. It's a bit like the Kazon or the Xindi but this is 1993/94. I like the idea of Starfleet having to deal with these guys on their home turf or even introduce a common villain that everybody could go fight, like the space locusts they wanted to do in Season 5 except badder and meaner and sentient. They take DS9 into the Gamma Quadrant where the forces of light can go battle the forces of darkness.
     
  13. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never cared about the Borg to begin with, so having the Borg in DS9 would have brought down the show for me.
     
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  14. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sounds like New Frontier.

    What were the space locusts?
     
  15. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah it does a bit. I wasn't consciously thinking of that because I actually had uh "borrowed" that idea for another project but more what you could do in place of the Dominion. I actually had a bit of Stargate Atlantis in my mind, that's why I was saying take DS9 into the Gamma Quadrant as like a riff on Atlantis as the base in the Pegasus Galaxy
    The only stuff I know about the space locusts is from this small article but they're really just in place of thinking up some mindless horde alien race that people can team up to go kill without feeling remorse. Kind of like the Atlantis version of the Replicators and how everybody fought them in Season 4. I had this image of the Gamma Quadrant being invaded and then Starfleet has to go team up with aliens to fight them before they invade the Alpha Quadrant.
     
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  16. Oddish

    Oddish Admiral Admiral

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    We had something like that in "Independence Day", though that wasn't a Trek movie.
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Without having more information to work with, I'm not quite convinced that "space locusts" wouldn't have ultimately ended up being simply a lower-powered version of the Borg.
     
  18. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    We'd get the Wadi explored instead. While their first (and only) story doesn't go into detail, they're clearly more than what meets the eye and are almost as eccentric, chaotic-neutral, you-name-it as Q.

    Only with better sartorial taste.

    But we'd lose the Eddington saga,



    Even with the utterly stupid discussion of muh adjective-laden veggies:



    Mmmm, adjectives. Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom.
     
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  19. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral



    Including song lyrics!

    ♪ In a Wadi world,
    In a Wadi world,
    wrapped in plastic,
    it's fantastic ♫

    Loved Allison's summary; it's genuinely an underrated episode.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2023
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  20. CarnelianClout

    CarnelianClout Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Perhaps it would have been possible for a joint Cardassian-Romulan alliance to be the major threat, with the Breen joining them. It would be interesting if the "Conspiracy" Parasites orchestrated the whole thing to get the Alpha Quadrant powers to fight each other by conquering the Romulans and Cardassians in secret, making them out to be the bad guys, when in reality they were the first victims of the Parasites, which had been manipulating the Romulans and Cardassians for years.