Why I hated Deep Space Nine as a child
Updated: Apr 15
As a teenager, I watched tonnes of Star Trek which was shown at 5pm and again at 10pm on Sky1 which meant I could find myself watching The Next Generation twice a day some days or at the very least, I never had to miss an episode.
When it came to Deep Space Nine, I never got to see the first episode until this year, and never felt connnected to either the characters nor the set.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine is a Nor Class Space Stationlarge that was formally a Cardassian base used for mining ore by Bejoran slaves and was known as Terok Nor before being transferred to the Federation.
I read an article yesterday, that talked about some of the reasons why the show wasn't a bigger success, and they talked about franchise fataigue with so many new Star Trek series shown in the 1990s, and the series being too dark with the themes they touched upon but for me the show never went the distance until they got their own little space ship, The Defiant.
Hear me out, the stories are actually good and the acting fine even if the set is a little dark and boring but it was the lack of space ships that bored me. Imagine watching a spin off series of The Love Boat which was called the Ticket Office or Loss and Found, and was set at an empty port when there were no ships docking or leaving.
Can you imagine a Knightrider spin off set at an empty petrol station or onboard the Knightrider truck? I wanted to be turbo boasting into the future with a red light on the front of a car and the coolest thing about the truck was when the ramp came down and the Trans Am Firebird drove onboard.
It would be like having a spin off series of The A Team set in their billing department. Yes it would be interesting to see the paper work behind a group of mercenaries but not interesting for very long.
That is how I feel about Deep Space Nine, it is like a model train station but without any trains.
If you compare the two intros that were used, you might see what I mean. In the first few series, we see the starbase being shown alone but from season four onwards we see a starship moored while small shuttles move about and three astronauts work on a pylon.
When you see a Klingon Bird of Prey docking at the station, in one episode, it looks so cool but I thought there were far too few space ships passing the space port when we should have seen shuttles exploding close by or ships like the Enterprise docking all the time.
Maybe the design didn't actually allow many models to attach easily to the set but I want to see space ships and in the opening credits for the first few seasons at least, we only see small shuttlecraft moving to and from Deep Space Nine but if it is in deep space, why do we see so many space canoes paddling out of their depth?
Were they all going to Bajor? Yes later series had many more ships passing DS9 after the Cardassians retook the station but they over used space Ubers in the beginning when I wanted to see Voyager and Galaxy Class star ships. Forget the shuttles, I wanted to see alien freighters and big ass space ships.
I am enjoying watching Deep Space Nine now but the beautiful plush settings of The Next Generation's cruise ship was immediately impressive when it first appeared on our screens in 1987 compared to the dark space base where they were always talking about ships arriving but rarely showed them.
Rushing to the scene at warp factor 9 like on TNG was so much cooler than Odo or someone saying that, their shuttle arrives in four hours.
Deep Space Nine was a bus station compared to the beautiful sleek cruise ship speeding through the stars with Captain Picard looking out the window as he drank his cup of, "Earl Grey, hot."
I see DS9 as being the black sheep in this space ship series franchise and again, I believe it has nothing to do with the dark depressing storylines and everything to do with the lack of spaceships at the start of the first few seasons.
MASTERING THE FUTUTE
I think what is needed is a remastered version in the future that adds some CGI ships in the first few seasons. There were a lot more ships in the latter seasons as I have mentioned and in some battles they filled the screens with space ships, and in one scene it looks like two Galaxy Class starships attacking in a paired formation which was awesome to watch.
I want to see more drama and space battles and scenes where Chief O'Brien quotes Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" but above all I want to see more space ships at their space port.
MORE SHIPS CAPTAIN
Again it is very easy to add CGI ships to a few scenes in the future and both Star Trek and Star Wars have enjoyed remastering their early Episodes with a little digital remastering.
The storylines of the base being taken and retaken were great but I don't think they worked as well on tv like the cruiseship Enterprise did and probably work much better now that we can stream them on the big screen in the order they were meant to be seen.
I enjoyed Quark and his strange little gambling emporium but wonder what Black Lives Matter would make of all the constant suspicon that the chief of security has about every move he makes, and trying to arrest him.
I enjoyed watching him time travelling to Roswell New Mexico and listening to him and his brother quote Casablanca on two different occasions as if Deep Space Nine was Rick's Cafe in Casablanca.
I especially loved Garak's character who played a sort of The Tailor of Panama spy but was always surprised how much gambling and drinking took place in Quark's bar considering the concept of money doesn't really exist in the future, at least not for Star Fleet personnel.
Why I hated Deep Space Nine when I was a teenager is now clear, I wanted more speed that a star base simply doesnt give and even when Doctor Who relaunched, at least the 10th and 11th doctor always seemed to be running somewhere or from something, and DS9 didnt have the necessary movement to catch my interest and keep it when I was younger but at least I am really enjoying it on Netflix now.
It is worth rewatching and to help you enjoy DS9 in the future, just imagine there is actually a great big space navy cloaked around the upper pylons of Terok Nor. Works for me.