The first season is kind of weak compared to later seasons. It starts to really pick up steam with the second season (though the season 1 finale, with the controversy over Keiko teaching Bajoran kids about the wormhole/celestial temple, hints at where they’re going). It really hits its stride with the Dominion War arc…
Confession: I only watched the first two seasons of ds9 in the original run and nope’d out. Same with Voyager and Enterprise. Enterprise is the only one I haven’t subsequently gone back and watched entirely, though I have watched specific episodes and storylines when they were made relevant in subsequent series.
In DS9’s case, they clearly realized a new direction was needed given the change post season 2. In the case of Voyager, there were way too many early “alien of the week” episodes, and their poor handling of time travel and the WTF warp-10 episode just pulled me too far out of being genuinely into their story. Enterprise though seemed so listless initially, and their attempt to course correct-through-terrorism was the end of it for me.
Rewatching TNG has given me the opposite impression, which is funny. The first 2.5-3 seasons were a slog to get through, but even though things got progressively better as the show moved forward, my rewatch left me realizing there were a lot of things TNG suffered for because of when it was made, and the realities that caused (ubiquitous cameras and communication, for example) that newer Trek gets right, coupled with much tighter writing teams ensuring consistency. But none of that stops me from going back an thoroughly enjoying TNG episodes on the regular in a way that I don’t really think any of the other Trek of that area does for me.
Enterprise got better in its back half. Season 3 being a fictionalized reaction to 9/11 but handled ultimately in a purely Trek fashion for the better. The series finale is “Terra Prime”, there are no episodes after that.
The funny part about the Warp 10 episode of Voyager is the callback of it in Outer Decks (where the most embarrassing stuff in Trek is officially made canon!). Out of the new series, I adore Lower Decks, and have taken a shine to Discovery (Major improvement by Season 2). Picard was way too much fanservice and has ended at just the right point.
I adore that final scene, while my head might say DS9 is the best of that era my heart definitely lies with TNG. It’s also making me want to watch the remastered version, it looks gorgeous.
Is Strange New Worlds being made available all at once or just week-by-week? I really liked the first episode which is available for free. I tend shift my streaming around between the non-Netflix/non-Amazon in monthly blocks so I can binge a couple of things in a month then move on.
Strange New Worlds is weekly on Thursday. We have 3 episodes so far. And so far I’ve liked it.
DS9 is by far the most underappreciated Trek, I think. It’s outstanding. For anyone who hasn’t tried this, rewatch it after watching the new Battlestar Galactica. You can really see Ron Moore learning how to do dark space opera. DS9 is fully a prototype of BSG, especially when they get into the Dominion War years. Great stuff.
DS9 isn’t bad, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as TNG.
It’s also just had the worst effect on downstream shows, since their writers keep sticking its worst ideas (‘Oops! The federation have always been bigoted against genetic engineering suddeny!’ and Section 31) into the new series. It’s like if they kept obsessively putting the Turnabout Intruder machine or Remote Controlled Brainless Spock in stuff.
Gul Dukat may be the best single character in any Trek. He chews up the scenery in every shot and outshines everyone around him. So good.
I do love TNG, but DS9 is da best.
He is right the fuck up there for sure. Marc Alaimo is an underrated actor.
Yeah, there isn’t much good to watch in season 1. Watch Encounter at Farpoint just so you can meet the characters and Q, and then you can mostly just skip to season 2. Of course season 2 has some stinkers as well, including possibly the worst episode of the entire show, ‘Shades of Gray’, the last episode of the season. Even writer Maurice Hurley agrees that it was “terrible, just terrible.”
Basically it was designed to be a very low budget clips episode in a bottle that they could shoot in a just a few days (it took only three!) and then use the production tapes to get a bunch of scenes from previous episodes to represent Riker’s memories to pad out the episode.
It has always been Trek to use future situations to comment on current issues. Those current issues change.
Some people want a simplistic storyline that doesn’t look at complex issues and changing environments and growing in understanding. That’s a kid playing Cowboys and Indians. Then they grow up and realize what playing Cowboys and Indians really means.
Which is to say - you couldn’t be more wrong about this.
Still waiting for the show I thought Picard was going to be, which was “retired old man hanging out with his friends on Future Earth”
The dog would have been a major character
But that’s the exact problem. Section 31 doesn’t give you a complex story. Section 31 is just the simplistic dystopian “There are two types of society. Those that are run by their secret police and are open about it, and those that are run by some secret cabal and pretend not to be.”
There are lots of interesting, complex stories one could do, including ones that challenge the federation. Like what happens when an expansionist group devoted to peace and communications discovers there’s nowhere left to expand? Do they start leaning on planets who didn’t want in before?
Or, for that matter, just the conflict between the Federation and the Maqis is actually good, complex, morally ambiguous storytelling.
Section 31 is lazy cynicism mistaken for story.
But do those two societies have the same relationships to their secret organizations? And how does their public culture and recognition influence the actions of members of those societies?
Does Garak look at the Obsidian Order in the same way that Sisko does? Is the Federation’s self concept challenged by the existence of Section 31? Is the Federation’s benevolence given more scrutiny given the existence of Section 31? Is it’s story less or more complex?
Is the existence of a quasi military organization like Star Fleet believable without a clandestine service? Is the existence of that quasi military organization compatible with the idea of a completely benevolent organization?
The existence of Star Fleet is totally believable without a secret, unaccountable service. It’s not like there isn’t Federation intelligence, which is perfectly capable of running a spy apparatus without laughable self-aggrandizing maniacs pretending their organization doesn’t exist.
Whether the Federation is truly benevolent or not is an excellent question. And one that can actually be investigated with actually good storytelling, as they did with the Maqis. And it’s not like Star Fleet had any shortage of people abusing their power whether for sympathetic reasons or not.
Admiral Leyton actually tried to pull off a coup. And it was actually good writing, because it wasn’t some adolescent James Bond secret service power fantasy, and as a result could actually show the consequences, and friction with (presumably elected) authorities leading to it.
What isn’t believable is the “Oops! Suddenly all bigots!” storyline. Khan Noonien Singh might (barely) suffice to explain a centuries old taboo against genetic engineering on Earth, but nowhere else. How do the other species feel about this? Why are the Vulcans, Andorians, Binars, and everyone else not calling out Earth on trying to impose its own trauma-driven superstition on the rest of the galaxy?
And if it only applies to Earth, is the rest of the federation really going to go along with that kind of sapient rights violation? Unquestioned? What about other worlds humans move to?
TNG wasn’t completely sanguine about genetic engineering. Hence the Masterpiece Society.
But yes - finding discrimination still exists even in “advanced” societies is exactly the type of story
Trek would do to reflect on current conditions.
It’s weekly. Paramount+ does all their Trek shows that way.
It’s pretty much what it is, but with a plot to drag him into shenanigans.
Quite possibly so, but it’s still not a very well-written story nor does it make sense in context of the rest of the world.
Also it’s just not a very applicable as a reflection on current conditions, given that Bashir gets blackmailed into joining the adolescent James Bond power fantasy. All the disabilities created by back-alley genetic engineering does better as a commentary on the war on drugs or abortion than discrimination, though not a very good commentary on either.
And with both, if they’d just stayed in DS9 I wouldn’t care particularly. But one’s getting it’s own spinoff show. They feel the need to make them major influences in current shows. Section 31 is responsible for the nonsense ‘yet another AI going to destroy all life for no reason’ storyline that interrupted and hijacked what would have been a quite promising second season for Discovery.
It’s like the Borg Queen. Showing up in the movie was just bad writing because they wanted a sexy(?) antagonist for some reason. Making her the focus of anything involving the Borg from that point on, on the other hand, was totally avoidable. Same with this stuff.