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Old 10-28-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
quinncidence
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Default TNG -> DS9 Transition

Looking for some opinions. I just finished watching all of The Next Generation for the first time since it originally aired. There was more mediocrity than I remembered but the good stuff is still some of my favorite tv ever.
My question is, how should I start DS9? I generally agree with the advice given to noobs to start TNG on season 2 or even 3 and avoid season 1 at all costs. I also know DS9 had a much stronger, more confident start than TNG, but is there still similar advice for DS9?

EDIT: Btw, I’m not totally new to the show. I’ve seen quite a few episodes from the early seasons back when they originally aired, and since then a couple of the stand-outs like the brilliant DS9/TOS crossover, I’m just curious if there’s a generally accepted starting point to DS9.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:54 PM   #2
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I'm a huge TNG fan. It's such an insightful show. Gene Roddenberry in his finest. I appreciate the original series but it's a little on the nose, I much prefer The Twilight Zone from that time frame of TV.


DS9 has a good opening but falls very fast to soap opera in space. It has been greatly simplified to appeal to a wider audience. And Voyager while some of the episode ideas are interesting the characters feel like living cartoons.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:07 AM   #3
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To OP: It really depends what you want from your Trek. While TNG occasionally flirted with serialization in its later years, it remains a firmly episodic show til the end. DS9 begins with a slightly more serialized approach, though it’s still episodic at its core. It then does a remarkable transition to full serialization in its later seasons (5-7, roughly) and bears little resemblance to its TOS/TNG ancestors, both structurally and thematically.
My personal opinion is that DS9 in its early seasons (1-4, roughly) is consistently higher quality than even TNG’s best seasons...but it’s markedly less interesting also. There just aren’t those instant classics like “Yesterday’s Enterprise” or “Best of Both Worlds”, “Family” or “Inner Light”, in DS9. It’s a much more consistent 7, rather than TNG’s 9 followed by two 3’s and a 5. In the later seasons DS9’s another show entirely and you can honestly see the beginnings of modern serialized television taking form right in front of your eyes.
In answer to your question, you may not be a DS9 virgin, but my advice is still to start at s1e1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of recommendations to start elsewhere with DS9.

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Originally Posted by NineGzuz View Post
DS9 has a good opening but falls very fast to soap opera in space. It has been greatly simplified to appeal to a wider audience. And Voyager while some of the episode ideas are interesting the characters feel like living cartoons.
I obviously disagree with your opinion on DS9.
Voyager, yes, is best avoided altogether.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by quinncidence View Post
My question is, how should I start DS9? I generally agree with the advice given to noobs to start TNG on season 2 or even 3 and avoid season 1 at all costs.
TNG season 1 certainly had a lot of terrible episodes, but they make me appreciate the gain in quality that came with season 3 even more.

And when I last watched all of TNG after it was released on Blu-ray, there were actually some surprisingly good episodes in season 1, and even more so in season 2. For instance, "The Measure of a Man" was way ahead of its time.

If you have access to it, the documentary "Chaos on the Bridge" is highly recommended. It's a look behind the scenes of season 1 and highlights just how terrible the fluctuation was in the writer's room, and how many different parties all wanted to have a say. In hind sight, it's a miracle the show lived beyond season 1.

But coming to the actual question, I agree it makes sense to start DS9 right at the beginning. There are some pretty strong episodes in the first season, and all the while the bond of the crew is strengthened and the characters are explored. Season 2 has several story arcs that, while somewhat short and self-contained, develop characters well beyond the season. And then towards the end of S2, the show opens the door to what will become its main topic for the remaining 5 seasons, so if you absolutely must cut it short, there's just no way to start watching any later than the season 2 finale "The Adversary".

But seriously, cutting it short means missing out on a whole lot of brilliant characters like Garak, Gul Dukat, Quark and Odo, Bashir and O'Brien, and Dax of course.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:50 AM   #5
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... and Dax of course.
I don't recall anything after the first time I saw Dax.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:12 AM   #6
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Gene Roddenberry in his finest. I appreciate the original series but it's a little on the nose, I much prefer The Twilight Zone from that time frame of TV.
Hm, there are some pretty strong arguments that Star Trek in general and TNG specifically was at its best when Roddenberry’s influence was not necessarily marginalized, but counterbalanced by other creative forces. Season 1 was very much GR’s baby and he was largely sidelined by the other producers and writers from season 2 onwards because of it.
I respect the hell out of TOS and there are some really great episodes in its catalog. But yeah, I never could fall in love with it. It’s just soooo dated. Even young 1984 me couldn’t accept those plywood sets, shiny skittles uniforms and that plastic toy ship were actually in space.

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Originally Posted by NineGzuz View Post
DS9 has a good opening but falls very fast to soap opera in space. It has been greatly simplified to appeal to a wider audience. And Voyager while some of the episode ideas are interesting the characters feel like living cartoons.
Man I don’t know about that. From everything I’ve heard and the small amount I’ve seen of DS9 I doubt we’re going to be in agreement.
Voyager...yeah I have no plans to subject myself to that again.

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TNG season 1 certainly had a lot of terrible episodes, but they make me appreciate the gain in quality that came with season 3 even more.

And when I last watched all of TNG after it was released on Blu-ray, there were actually some surprisingly good episodes in season 1, and even more so in season 2. For instance, "The Measure of a Man" was way ahead of its time.
Oh I agree there’s something to be said for suffering through Yar and Pulaski, beardless Riker and asshole Picard. And Wesley episodes *shudder*. Watching the show repeatedly stumble does make the later successes that much more enjoyable. The problem is when recommending the show to the truly uninitiated. When the seasons are 26 friggin episodes long it’s hard to ask someone to start at the beginning and watch 40+ hours of bad tv just for a gem here and there. (“Measure of a Man” is very much one of those gems.) Better to start them on 3 and let them come back to the beginning after they’re already comfortable.
I haven’t heard of Chaos on the Bridge but I’m looking it up right now. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:21 AM   #7
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And Wesley episodes *shudder*.
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I guess the intentions behind the character were sincere, it just turned out wrong in the show.

I can easily see how alt.wesleycrusher.die.die.die appeared on the usenet, but there was a kid actor behind that badly written character who certainly didn't deserve that.

The really odd thing is that Wil Wheaton seems to be one of the coolest dudes on the planet. I have a huge amount of respect for this guy. He's a nerd, he's an incredibly talented story-teller, a great writer... unlike Wesley, he's someone I can relate to (plus, when he recommended Firefly as a great show, I finally took the plunge and watched it and became a fan instantly).

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The problem is when recommending the show to the truly uninitiated. When the seasons are 26 friggin episodes long it’s hard to ask someone to start at the beginning [...]
Hahaha, that's certainly true.

A few years back I started to watch Stargate SG-1 for the first time. I was told it was going to be quite decent by season 3. Well... everything positive about the show that I was promised didn't happen until roughly season 6. Up until that point, it kinda seemed they found new Stargate addresses into planets that looked like Canada, somehow missed their chance to kill their arch-enemy, and then went back to doing the whole thing over and over again.

I actually like all of the Stargate shows by now, but SG-1 certainly took a loooooong time to go anywhere. In that regard, and considering the time-frame, TNG wasn't that terrible after all IMHO

Anyway, I believe that in order to enjoy TNG or DS9 or SG-1, it makes the most sense to start at the beginning and suffer through all of the bad episodes.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:41 AM   #8
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Ah, yes. DS9...

While I have to say TNG is my favorite from Star Trek, DS9 is rather good as well. Quark is my favorite character from DS9 but the cast as a whole comes together quite well. I would start from the beginning. Sisco goes through a series of events that has to be watched in order to understand the foundation of Deep Space Nine.

I tried watching Voyager. Lost interest.

Major Kira is quite the number as well. I particularly liked her as the Overseer of DS9 in the altered reality episode where the Cardassians still controlled the station. HAWT DAM!
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:22 PM   #9
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Voyager was prolly the only one with a Season to Season Progressive Story Line,
And it was Cut short, because Producers did not want Voyager to break TNG's Episode/Season Record for a SciFi Series, which was broken later by Stargate SG1 (10 Seasons Consecutive).

TNG was Random except for Season Arc/2 Parters.

Enterprise was Bleh, DS9 was Pretty Much All Politics with a General Story of this party vs that party. though the last half of DS9 got a lot of action.


I actually spent a few months, watching Stargate SG1, Atlantis and Universe in Order, because I had missed episodes when it was airing on Shotime before it was moved to the SciFi Channel.
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