While I wouldn’t quite call it a binge, I’ve certainly been enjoying a steady diet of Star Trek that started last year with The Next Generation and has grown to include Deep Space Nine this year. I’ve got one season left of TNG, and just finished the first of DS9, and that’s the one I want to talk about. Because for a while rhere, I wasn’t at all sure I was going to make it.
DS9 began in 1993, when I was 11, and while I have fond memories of staying up late watching TNG with my dad, back then I just couldn’t get into this new series. Nobody was going on adventures, and I was just too young to care about the post-war conflicts of the Bajorans and Cardassians or the politics of the Federation/Bajor operation. But I thought surely at 33, I’d see things differently.
Then the pilot almost did me in, and one of the first things I did after watching it was take to Facebook to say I didn’t think I’d be sticking with it. I think the bulk of the blame sits at the feet of boring wormhole entity visions and not really being able to buy Avery Brooks’ anguished cries during his Big Dramatic Moments.
I know enough about DS9 to know Brooks’ Sisko is going to be a Big Deal, and if those scenes were a precursor to what’s coming…I wasn’t interested. And that left a cloud over the few things I did enjoy: Namely, Quark, Odo, Dax and the lone exciting moment of watching them move the giant space station to protect the wormhole (it reminded me a lot of a certain scene that would air nearly 17 years later on Stargate Atlantis.)
And I really didn’t like that nobody seemed to get along. In hindsight the camaraderie on TNG may not have been instant, either, but after 5+ seasons of it, it was something I really enjoyed and really missed on DS9. But it wasn’t entirely absent, either. There was the lingering friendship of Sisko and Jadzia (formerly Kurzon) Dax, and the burgeoning friendship between station kids Jake and Nog, not to mention the familiar face of Chief O’Brien to keep me hanging on for a few episodes until my opinion of the series started to turn around.
There are still some things that I think might keep me at odds with the average DS9 fans — or at least the viewers at Mark Watches, where I’ve been going to read old posts and see what other people thought. Namely, while I sometimes find Dr. Julian Bashir’s pursuing of Dax to be a little try-hard and sometimes irritating, it’s far from making him a “creepy” character. And I just don’t have a lot of patience for Major Kira. I don’t dislike her, but her tendency to fly off the handle whenever she feels even remotely slighted make her someone I prefer in small doses. I do appreciate, however, that her attitude leans more to being headstrong than that of Ro Laren, the first Bajoran we saw on TNG, who was just outright belligerent and hostile because she thought she was right all the time.
We do see a little bit of that with Kira, but we also see an entire episode that deals with her coming to terms with not always being right and having to re-examine her biases. And I do like that about DS9. It’s not quite as set in its ways of making our heroes infallible.
Everyone kept telling me that DS9 would get better, and it did. I’m also going to watch Voyager and restart/finally finish Enterprise, and I’m not sure where DS9 will fall on my personal favorites (on which I suspect The Next Generation will continue to lead), but I’m certainly eager to see if things keep looking up for it.
Of course, I’m also eager to see how Netflix keeps describing it. I’ve been tweeting about it a little @theLTtweet.
I think I’m going to pay more attention to descriptions across series and see if I can make #NetflixDescribes a thing.