NOTE FROM LB: Pardon me while I interrupt my originally scheduled order of posts for this week with a Special News Bulletin.
Okay, so maybe not so special (nor even a news bulletin), but still something I feel the need to immediately share. Ever since my first (and last) meeting with the producers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (way back in the mid 1990’s) I’ve believed that DS9 is (or would be or has in fact been) the best of all the ST series.
It was a pitch meeting, naturally, and not one I particularly wanted to take because:
A. I’d never watched the show.
B. I’d long ago lost all interest in TV writing and, in fact, had retired from showbiz in general.
C. I’d recently moved from Santa Fe, NM with my new bride (known to the cognoscenti among those reading this as Gwen the Beautiful), and our new place was way out in Thousand Oaks, almost an hour’s drive from Paramount studios and who the hell wants to make a two-hour round trip to bullshit their way into doing something they don’t want to do?
But my agent (or maybe it was someone who wanted to become my agent) was so excited and insistent that I hopped into Gwen’s teeny red Hyundi (more fun to drive than the hideous green Mitsubishi SUV I had at the time), made it to the meeting almost on time–
And had one of the most thoroughly enjoyable first contacts I’ve ever had with the staff of any show, including many of my own shows.
These people were great. They smiled and complimented me on my career and sat back all chill while telling me what they were doing and the joy they felt about the approach they were taking to what I’ve always thought of as “Gene Roddenberry’s Alternate Dream Universe.” It just poured out of them, including some insider info about how they were hoping Avery Brooks’ character eventually would evolve into – oh, no, wait, they really couldn’t say because it was a big secret having to do with Gene’s favorite character archetype, you know, the one that had never before been done properly on any of the Star Trek shows.
I was so impressed about them paying homage to the late Great Bird of the Universe and tipping me off about it that not only did I too sit back all chill, I also told them how much I was enjoying meeting them – and admitted that I had absolutely nothing to try to sell them and no intention of even attempting to book passage on their rocket to star(trek)dom. We exchanged more smiles (the meeting was so chill that out and out laughter would have felt violently wrong), and then off the Teeny Red Hyundi and I went to the freeway and, eventually, home.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I spent the next days, weeks, months, years watching DS9 and peeing in my pants with excitement at the way these lovable geniuses were fulfilling their vision. Well, sorry to disappoint, but that wasn’t the case. In truth, I had no reason to watch because I knew how unlikely it was that what had they’d already put on the air and were continuing to put on the air, would be half as fun to watch as the staff’s enthusiasm.
It wasn’t until years after DS9 have gone off the air that I finally sat down with Gwen and started watching it via reruns and, later, various streaming stations and found that lo and behold! – the show was better than I’d expected or even hoped at delivering a final season that gave viewers what I was – and still am – absolutely certain what Gene R. would have wanted and delivered had he been:
A. Alive to be comfortably ensconced on the bridge and in the command chair.
B. Wise and open enough to be even more chill than the staff I’d talked to and accept that they were, in fact, way better at doing his thing than he’d ever been and let them do the job their for all practical purposes perfect way.
Why, by the tears of the prophets, am I writing all this now? Because yesterday morning I saw an article at ReviewGeek.Com that supported what I’ve believed but never heard anyone else say. I’m delighted by the way writer Danny Chadwick doesn’t fall into what I admit is my silly fanboy turned pro turned nostalgic retiree perspective, instead using a straightforward, well thought out critic’s frame of mind in his piece, Why ‘Deep Space Nine’ is the Best ‘Star Trek’ Series.
In other words, I’ve just spent over 700 words and God knows how much of your valuable time and mine writing this introduction for:
Why ‘Deep Space Nine’ is the Best ‘Star Trek’ Series
by Danny Chadwick
Since the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, fans have debated which series is best. But it seems that most Trekkies can’t distinguish “my favorite” from “the best.” In honor of the 30th anniversary of Deep Space Nine, here are all the reasons why DS9 is the best of the franchise.
Warning: Opinions incoming, Captain! In explaining why I believe Deep Space Nine is the best series, I necessarily mention that I don’t enjoy some other series–probably some you like. Please remember that I’m not attacking you personally, nor am I disparaging the actors, writers, and producers of lesser Trek series. Live long and prosper.
It Moves Beyond the Confines of Starfleet
It Challenges Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek Ethic
Stellar Main Cast
Compelling Recurring Characters
The Perfect Combination of Episodic and Serialized Storytelling