As I mentioned in an earlier post, after watching Star Trek Into Darkness I decided that I needed to go back and watch the good parts of the franchise. I had already seen most of the episodes from the original series (which are hit or miss, I like the Original series movies more) so I turned to The Next Generation, which was awesome. After I finished Next Generation I needed a show to watch. I had already watched through Arrested Development a ton of times so I started watching the next Star Trek series after Next Generation which is Deep Space Nine. I am pleased to say that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was one of the most enjoyable television shows I have ever watched. In a nutshell Deep Space Nine (further abbreviated as DS9) tells the story of a Starfleet crew manning a space station protecting the planet Bajor after the Cardassian occupation. They discover a wormhole connecting Bajor to the Gamma Quadrant where they come in contact with the Dominion, an interplanetary government bent on conquering the Alpha Quadrant and all of its inhabitants. If you understood that you are a hopeless nerd. You should probably watch this series.
So I think that this will probably be easier to do in bullet points. I’m going to list the reasons why you should watch it, and then I’ll list the reasons why you might be hesitant to watch it.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT
– GRITTIER DARKER STORY LINES- DS9 is usually known as the darker Star Trek for good reason. A lot of the plots revolve around war, terrorism, deception, sacrifice, and murder. The characters is DS9 are good people but they are faced with hard choices and sometimes their actions are pretty morally ambiguous. Probably my only problem with Star Trek: The Next Generation was that everybody on the ship seemed to be shinning examples of moral stability. You knew exactly what they would do. But in DS9 sometimes hard decisions need to be made when there are no perfect options. Sometimes the ends justify the means. It’s nice to see a Star Trek series conquer some of the more tricky issues of ethics and morality, and DS9 does it perfectly.
-STRONGEST ENSEMBLE- Out of all the Star Trek’s this series has the strongest ensemble. These characters feel more real than in other Star Treks. Each one has flaws and quirks that make them interesting to watch, and triumphant when they overcome their weakness to do the right thing. The writers also really took the time to develop the relationships between characters and it really pays off. Relationships like the friendship between Dr. Bashir and Miles O’Brien is the most lifelike friendship I have yet to see in a Star Trek franchise. Throughout the series, the writers also allowed conflict to erupt between characters, which just makes the series all the more interesting and lifelike. Every character is fleshed out and likable enough that I didn’t mind seeing episodes solely focused on one of them. In Next Generation I was ok seeing a Picard or Data episode but having to suffer through a Troi episode was just unbearable. Nobody is unbearable in this show.
-COVERS TOPICS NOT USUALLY SEEN IN STAR TREK – The biggest difference between DS9 and the other series is an ongoing story line. Both Next Gen and Original Series had episodes that were self contained. You could start watching anywhere and not really miss much. DS9 however, had an ongoing story line of a war between the Federation and the Dominion. War is not usually something that you see in a Star Trek series, especially an ongoing war, but it was fascinating to see how these conflicts played out. As exciting as the war is, the show did a good job focusing on the outcomes and ethics of war. This is hardly a “shoot-em-up” series. The war is an ethical dilemma to be worked through, one which taxes the characters and creates enough risk for the audience to become invested in the outcome. This show is also really the only Star Trek to really cover the idea of religion. We see four different religious systems in this series and it’s interesting to see how the writers portray religious convictions and how it can change the way people act.
-BETTER ACTION- The big thing that people notice about DS9 is the action, which is written and shot really well. This cast was the best suited for long action scenes and you can tell that the writers put a lot of effort into making these scenes believable but also exciting. For the best Star Trek action, you should probably watch DS9.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T WATCH IT
Honestly, there isn’t any reason.. But here’s two things that might keep you away
– The show assumes that you already know a little bit about Star Trek to start off with. It doesn’t take time to explain who Klingons are, or who Ferengi are, or the inner workings of Starfleet. It won’t ruin the series if you don’t know anything about Star Trek but you’ll be a little lost and first and won’t initially enjoy it as much. Basically, this is not the Star Trek series to start out with. See a few episodes of Original Series or The Next Generation first.
– If you are a hardcore believer in Gene Roddenberry’s ideas of the future you might be a little annoyed with this series. DS9 is far from the peaceful utopia that he imagined. The show is more focused on politics and wars than boldly going and discovering strange new worlds. Really though, if that annoys you… You probably need to get out more.
- As an aside.. If you do watch this series just hang in through seasons 1 and 2. They are a little rough but after the season 2 finale, this show really takes off.