Creator: Rick Berman, Michael Piller
I would love to do a countdown of this show like I did for Next Generation, but first I need to finish it. I’m almost done with season five, but that was five years ago. I lost my inertia. Some day, I promise.
Unlike its predecessor, Deep Space Nine more or less has to be watched in order. A very common thing for today’s dramas, less common back then. Unfortunately like its predecessor, the first season of DS9 is pretty bad. A ton of time is spent on character development, lending itself to some contrived plots with a lot of exposition. Nana Visitor is horrendous early on, her character suffering from PTSD so bad it’s a wonder she isn’t forced to resign immediately. Dr. Bashir is also overly smug and obnoxious, though it does give room for some good character development later. If it weren’t for strong performances by Rene Auberjonois and Colm Meaney, I may have given up on the show entirely.
That said, the final few episodes of the first season show serious promise. Getting Louise Fletcher for a recurring role helped quite a bit. Mainly, the show just becomes more focused as it develops the Maquis story lines and increased conflict with the Cardassians (still the best Alpha Quadrant antagonists). And, of course, beginning season three the show hits dynamite with the introduction of The Dominion. While there’s occasionally a dud of an episode around this time (mainly involving Ferengi), it’s strong week in and week out. Worf’s addition in season four also helps, and his character is allowed much more depth than it had on TNG. Another favorite are the alternate dimension reality episodes, including the one where they go back and visit an episode of the original series.
While I rank TNG higher, that is frankly due to my unfettered adoration for Patrick Stewart (and to a lesser extent, the character of Data). Deep Space Nine has the stronger writing and more satisfying plots.