What's Special About DS9?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Spot's Meow, May 17, 2019.

  1. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Jul 1, 2004
    Hotel California
    I have seen most of TOS and all of the other series, except for DS9. I have only seen bits and pieces of some episodes. Most of my knowledge about the series was picked up from browsing these boards, but really I know very little. However, what little I saw and knew kind of put me off the series. But I wonder if I'm not giving it a fair shake, and I would love to watch some new Trek if it's something that I'll enjoy. I figure who better to enlighten me on the positive qualities of this series than the fine folks of the DS9 forum.

    For context, TNG and Voyager are about equal as my favorite series. I love that era of Trek. I appreciated TNG for the characters, and Voyager because it was like a more whimsical version of TNG. For more context, I do not typically like the episodes or arcs that have to do with wars, Klingons, battles, politics, etc. My understanding is that these types of stories are more prevalent in DS9, which is why I've avoided the series.

    Am I totally wrong about this? Does the series have good character development? Should I give it a shot? What makes it special in your opinion?

    No spoilers please, in case I do decide to watch!
  2. GulBahana

    GulBahana Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 11, 2015
    There is more conflict between the main characters than in TNG since they aren't all in Starfleet. It is also more serialized than TNG and plots are more complex. It's usually considered to be "darker" than TNG. The war is a main focus from the 4-7th seasons and DS9 fans usually like those the best so it might not be for you. Watch the pilot and decide from there.
    FanST likes this.
  3. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 2, 2007
    DS9 was a definite step up in giving us fully drawn characters, especially the women. The main crew of TNG are all charming and fun to watch, but many times character development was pretty thin.

    I'm a TOS fan. I think what drew me to DS9 was that it was specifically playing against the TOS/TNG model of episodic TV about a ship in space. The big draw for me was the serial storytelling, which made it much more interesting for me, and made excellent use of a setting that didn't change much. That said, it feels like they weren't afraid to break some rules. As you go on in the series, they throw some excellent curveballs, the sort of thing that's standard on TV today, but was ahead of its time, after a fashion.

    YMMV. This is why Voyager felt like a setback to me, as they kept to the episodic format, and it didn't feel very challenging to me.

    I would give DS9 another shot. The first season or so is a little rough at parts, but also has some great episodes.
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  4. Tom

    Tom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 10, 2003
    In your Mind!
    DS9 has the best character development of all of Trek IMO! There is a great ensemble of characters that develops through the seasons.

    Seasons 1 and 2 can be a little slow at times but it ramps up after that.
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  5. kkt

    kkt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 3, 2014
    DS9 does have really great character development, the best of any Star Trek show. However, part of the way they do that character development is by character arcs. There are war stories, but the war is a backdrop for the character development. They don't do very much mindless shooting at each other. And yes, Worf and other Klingons are in the show from season 4 on, so if that's a non-starter for you, you might as well not watch it.
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  6. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 19, 2013
    Bad Thoughts
    I'm going to say that DS9 had better, more complex character development than the other Trek series. Even the weaker actors on the cast are given interesting stories that challenge them and that show their characters growing. There are no Chakotays, Harry Kims, Mayweathers, Hoshis, … .
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  7. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Jul 1, 2004
    Hotel California
    I don't have anything against Klingons per se, for some reason their episodes just don't interest me that much. Especially on TNG, those are the episodes I typically skip. I guess because they're often focused on some treaty, honor, politics, boring ceremony, etc. There are some Worf episodes I like because they focus on him as a person.

    This is good to hear. What's funny is I've actually met and had conversations with some of the DS9 actors when I was on the Star Trek Cruise last year. No idea who they played, but they were great people.
    Gabriel likes this.
  8. Kitty Worrier

    Kitty Worrier Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2002
    Awesome characters, great father-son relationship, and it has Kira Nerys.
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  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    Orbiting Urectum
    All of it!

    Work on character development is great, story arcs are well told, the tone is darker and more "realistic" (not so idealised as it is in TNG), the look of the show is so intricate and detailed. It is the pinnacle of Trek, everything that's followed has declined massively in quality.
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Moderate Democrat Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2001
    It examines the Trek universe from a different angle. I loathed the show twenty years ago, but have been doing a selected rewatch over that last month or so and find the show competent, sometimes spectacular, but other times wonder what exactly they were thinking with some of the choices they made.

    So Trek in a nutshell... :rofl:

    EDIT: If Metaphysics isn't your thing, then the show probably won't satisfy you. One man's prophet is another man's wormhole alien.
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  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    One of the advantages of DS9 "staying in one place" as it were was that there was a lot less of the typical Trek formula of the crew encountering some one-off world and aliens then moving onto the new story. As time went by, DS9 got more serialized, less episodic, and so was able to flesh out its world and characters, instead of just dealing with the new bumpy-headed Aliens of the Week.

    According to the new documentary, by the end, DS9 has something like 18 recurring characters on call, on top of the series regulars. Which made for a very rich and intricate tapestry.
  12. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 11, 2014
    It has some of the best character development, in my opinion, including a lot of secondary characters that get some pretty interesting stories.

    I get not liking war stories, but they do a lot with the characters as the story moves on.
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  13. Armus

    Armus Commodore Commodore

    Feb 14, 2003
    Massachusetts, USA
    DS9 is the homiest Star Trek series. It feels like a living, breathing community where anything unexpected might occur. The Promenade was one of the greatest sets in Star Trek history. Although DS9 was very character oriented it managed to explore politics, religion, civil wars, alien legal systems, and racial conflict. DS9 even did a old fashioned Star Trek time travel story once and a while. DS9 featured some of the strongest family relationships in all of Star Trek. Furthermore, the writing was well plotted, layered, and complex, and with lots of humor. It has plenty of flaws and often indulged itself far more than necessary. The casting is not as strong as TNG. But its rarely boring.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  14. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    My mansion on Qo'noS
    It has real people, unlike TNG.

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  15. guyute03

    guyute03 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 27, 2003
    Best character development of any Trek series. It's my favorite Trek and still my favorite TV show of all time, even over Game Of Thrones.

    Absolutely worth your time.
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  16. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 31, 2015
    It had characters like Garak, Damar and Martok. And Casey Biggs and J.G. Hertzler could be seen without prosthetics in different roles...... Outstanding.
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    FYI: Salon recently ran a good article on DS9's legacy . . . even if the article mistakenly refers to Picard as an Englishman. :)

    (Not an unreasonable mistake, to be fair.)
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  18. bigglesworth

    bigglesworth Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 2, 2017
    DS9 had way more character development than any of the other series. The primary characters such as Sisko and Kira all grew throughout the seven years as did secondary characters such as Nog or Rom. Even in the alien of the week episodes (and there wasn’t many of those), the characters were given a chance to grow and/or the main narratives of the show progressed such as the Dominion and the eventual war, or the Bajorans/Prophets.

    IMHO, TOS, TNG and DS9 are the crown jewels of the Star Trek franchise and while I love both TOS and TNG and each show had numerous thought provoking and poignant episodes, DS9 is a better series as a whole.
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  19. Discofan

    Discofan Admiral Admiral

    Feb 23, 2018
    It shows a more realistic and less idealistic aspect of the Federation.
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  20. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

    Jan 20, 2016
    TNG the first few seasons deal with fantasy humans and a fantasy work environment
    DS9 deals with humans still being humans but just 300 years older than ourselves and a recognisable work environment.