Okay, I’ll start.
In the pilot, “The Emissary” we are introduced to characters that are genuinely interesting. They do not all get along, or have 24th century Starfleet manners. We are introduced to aliens; a Trill, a Bajoran, a Ferengi, a Cardassian, a shapeshifter, and even a “Morn”–all of whom we learn a great deal about. There are only four “humans”–all of which also turn out into very deep characters with real human problems. So instantly there is conflict, and hence, drama. The general goings on onboard the Enterprise or Voyager seem rather dull compared to DS9. Who wants to see a show where everyone gets along? And there was the fatal flaw to Roddenberry’s view of 24th century humanity–it may have been paradise, but didn’t make for great television. So TNG and VOY had a lot of challenges, dramatically. All the conflict had to come from outside. Whereas DS9 had conflicts inside, all the time.
Another reason I love DS9 is that its so consistent. More consistent to “canon” than any show before or after. There is a multitude of examples, not only of DS9′s consistency, but of all the other show’s inconsistency. TOS we can forgive, because its the original. TNG was all over the place–from props to text–but we could forgive that as well, since its the second original. But VOY’s “Threshold”? Nothing done before or since was that stupid and off canon. And ENT was off from day one. But DS9 had a steady dramatic rhythm, that illuminated both the 24th and 23rd centuries. Who knew Klingons lived so long? Or about Section 31? Or Roswell (20th century)? Or the Rules of Acquisition? Or, or… there was so much.
Did I mention the characters? Not since TOS had there been such friction between officers. And they evolved so much from season one to seven. Ensign Kim was still an Ensign in season 7 of VOY. Sisko became the Emissary. Look at how dramatically Odo, Dax, Rom and Nog changed. Even O’Brien and Bashir seemed like very different men by season seven. There were secrets about most of the characters that were eventually revealed. Whereas there wasn’t a lot of mystery to the other shows. They were more black and white, while DS9 thrived in a grey area.
We never really knew what would happen between O’Brien and his wife, between Cardassia and Bajor. An episode or two could even take place where the Fedaration doesn’t even control DS9. The most common criticism I’ve heard was that they never went anywhere. First of all, who cares? Did the prisoners on “OZ” or “Lost” ever go anywhere? And they did go to a lot different planets, both in the alpha quadrant and the gamma quadrant. They went to Earth a few times, Qo’nos, Trill, Bajor, Cardassia, the Founder home world, Ferenginar and a hundred others. The wormhole itself became a destination. And the station itself was more vast than the Enterprise D.
I think DS9 was more subtle, and therefor more difficult for the general audience to understand. DS9 marked a high period in the Star Trek franchise that has only recently been matched. The set alone was the most expensive ever built. Not that a price tag necessarily means anything. But it does represent the faith instilled in the series. I could go on. But I’d rather read other appraisals before I go on…
Nothing that came after DS9 even came close to matching the strong characters and storylines.
DS9 was the apex of the series franchise, everything that followed was poor in every capacity. Â¿And pretty much killed any chance of a new series ever coming to TV for the next decade it was so bad.
Overall, its been how many years since DS9 went off the air and we are still talking about it.
it didn’t have Berman.
I think the relationships were more real and touching. O’Brien & Keiko’s marriage was almost too real. And the Odo/Kira and Rom/Leeta links were totally about Trekkies. About characters that are so seemingly different that they can’t imagine these beautiful woman wanting them. Its a perfect example for the typical 40 year old virginal male Star Trek fan that still lives with his parents. Yes, even you can get a Dabo girl. It just takes confidence and some small amount of understanding.
However, I do like DS9 the best because of the inter-species politics, character development and story arcs, and yes I’ll say it, space battles.
But my reason for DS9 being the superior
Great stories(esp the story arcs)
and great characters
Including the Most Gorgeous Doctor Ever-JULIAN BASHIR!
DS9 means the most to me. The characters in ST are good people. People you’d kinda like to be like. In all the other series, at the end of an episode you can just warp away: ”Good bye, alien of the week. Hope we didn’t mess things up too bad for you!”
In DS9 what happens this week can turn around & bite you in the behind next week. A lot like real life. I thought the show was great at showing how humanity can deal with being under less than ideal situations.
It’s writting, acting and stories!
Great writing… CHECK.
Great acting… CHECK (mostly.)
Great and incredibly well-developed characters… EXTRA CHECK.
And the fact that the characters ended up being so well-rounded, and that they interacted so well with each other, is I think what makes the stories what they are… and therefore what makes the series what it is.
I cannot imagine that any story could be as good as that without being built on well established characters.
Epic, like some great old opera. The entire scale of DS9 made TNG and VOY seem small, even isolated. With DS9 you were right in the midst of Federation activities–from exploration to all out war. DS9 became the crossroads of the galaxy–watching every known space-traveling civilization go by. Who cares about one ship, or one planet?–when you’re dealing with multitudes of starships, dozens of planets, all interacting around a Cardassian station and a wormhole!
The truly brilliant secondary characters. Garak, Quark, Weyoun, Dukat, Kai Winn, Nog, General Martok and Rom all brought something to the show. I’m sure I have forgotten some too.
They really weren’t afraid of making “secondary” characters more interesting than the primary ones (at times). What other program could make this claim?
I agree with you. I was always a huge TNG fan, and didn’t really get into DS9 much. I always considered TNG the superior series. But then I started getting into DS9 more because it was the only series that would show in my area.
I started to realize that TNG’s characters actually weren’t all that textured or deep. I mean, Picard is really great, and there isn’t a better actor in Star Trek (or really anywhere imo), but I found that characters like the Doctor or Riker and Geordi or Troi were very “blah”. And the show focused mainly on the senior staff, and many times only a few of them would be featured prominently.
However, on DS9 there are alot more characters and they seem alot more fleshed out. The non “officer” people are really what made the show for me; Garak, Quark, etc etc.
Also, things seemed more realistic. The people on the show weren’t so black and white like they were on TNG. On TNG you got the sense that every person was a righteous noble person who only existed to make mankind better. But on DS9, they seemed more like real people with real motives, and I really enjoyed that.
DS9 was like Star Wars but I don’t think that was such a bad thing. I also liked the fact that it portrayed humans in a more realistic sense. The admirals were like today’s politicians, and there were times that humans got paranoid. I always thought TNG was too perfect at times. Not that I didn’t enjoy TNG but I think something will always motivate people to do things, and not always toward altruistic ends. I also liked Sisko. He started out kind of hammy, but In the Pale Moonlight prooved that he would be willing to do whatever it took to save people. I don’t think Picard, or Janeway would have been able to do what Sisko did. Basically it was a dynamic series that should have gotten more praise from Berman, and it could have gone further than 7 seasons had Berman allowed it. I have said this once and I’ll say it again. Had Behr and Moore been involved with Enterprise I think Enterprise would have gone 7 seasons.