The Instigator
BennyW
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
calculatedr1sk
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points

Deep Space Nine was the best star Trek show.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,408 times Debate No: 33624
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)

 

BennyW

Pro

I will be arguing that overall, Deep Space Nine (from now on abbreviated as DS9) was the best Star Trek. My opponent may argue that any of the others were better but cannot rely solely on one movie (for example using Wrath of Khan to prove the original series was the best).
The first round is for acceptance.
Good luck and may the best nerd win.
calculatedr1sk

Con

I accept, and note that the burden of proof is on my opponent to demonstrate that DS9 is the "best" of the Star Trek series.

Also note that there is some ambiguity as to what "best" means. I think it goes without saying that we not determining "best" by any one single metric such as longest running, most viewed, etc... because what fun would that be? Instead "best" will represent a composite of a broad range of metrics, at least some of which may be subjective. The weight assigned to each metric will be subjectively determined by each individual voter, with consideration given to the arguments which we will present here, and the skill with which we do so.

Engage.
Debate Round No. 1
BennyW

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I am going to show my criteria for why DS9 was the best Star Trek.

I will start with the fact that it was philosophically the deepest. Sure the other shows did deal with controversial issues but not on such a consistent basis as DS9 did. There are several points where it pushes the bounds of ethics to get you to think but none more apparently than the Episode "In the Pale Moonlight" where Sisko, who is usually a highly ethical character in desperation goes to the one character whom he can trust to be reliably unethical, Garak (I will discuss him more in a bit). While I don"t condone this course of action, it shows the humanity of Sisko. [see first clip] [1]

It even addresses the issue of PTSD after Nog loses his leg.

DS9 was also the best in terms of character development, we got to see the characters evolve over 7 years, in the other shows the characters developed very little. Oh sure in the original series once we get to the movies we can see Chekov mature and in TNG Riker grows a personality with his beard but in DS9 every single character that plays any sort of role in the storyline develops. I would like to make a special not of Garak. He was originally intended to be a single appearance character but he proved popular with fans and became one of the most complex characters in Star Trek. DS9 even had the opportunity to develop 2 characters introduced in TNG further, O"Brian and Worf. DS9 also dealt with a larger supporting cast of characters. It even develops the Ferengi who were introduced in TNG but never quite lived u to their potential in that show.
Part of the reason characters were able to develop more was in part due to DS9"s reliance on story arcs as opposed to stand alone episodes. The only other show to do that was Enterprise. In fact the whole second half of the final season was considered one continuous story.
Just as the Original series tried to make strides in acceptance of minority groups , DS9 by having a Black Captain really completes Roddenberry"s vision. It even examines racism directly in the episode "Far Beyond the Stars". [2]

While the other shows (with the possible exception of Enterprise and certain aspects of Voyager) were very Utopian, DS9 shows the horrors of a dangerous galaxy. It also showed that the Federation itself was not the Utopia it appears to be by introducing Section 31 as well as the Maquis" dissatisfaction. [3][4] Sure the Maquis play a role in Voyager but really only the first season.

Now some might argue that DS9 was lacking when it came to ratings but remember the same was also true of the Original series.

I await my opponent's response and pass it on to him.
1 http://en.memory-alpha.org...(episode)
2. http://en.memory-alpha.org...(episode)
3 http://en.memory-alpha.org...
4 http://en.memory-alpha.org...
calculatedr1sk

Con


I thank Con for creating this debate, for presenting a compelling case for DS9, and for the feelings of nostalgia it inspires in me. I concede his point that the story arcs, deep character development, and thought provoking dilemmas were all highly rewarding for loyal viewers, relatively few in number though we may have been. I recall feeling empathy for Odo, it was as if I too was lost and conflicted. I remember my amusement at Quark’s mischief, as if he were as much my ironic friend as he was Odo’s. I remember my admiration for Sisko, who through wisdom, cunning, courage, and strength always lived up to the challenge of being both Captain and Emissary. I remember my undying crush on Jadzia Dax, “old man” though she may be. I remember fretting over the fate of the Alpha Quadrant once I understood the true magnitude of the Dominion threat. In short, I will not be arguing that DS9 was bad or boring, because I actually did rather like the show.


But here’s the big problem for my opponent: I also remember feeling something else, and worse, I’m not the only one. I remember feeling a bittersweet anguish that could probably better be expressed in classical Romulan, but which I am limited to approximating with these English words: “My beloved Next Generation has run its course, and all I have left now is this eclipsing shadow of a once radiant magnificence. DS9, this fading echo of a glory that once was.”


My friends, the true contenders for best Star Trek series can only rightly be The Original Series (TOS) or The Next Generation (TNG). DS9 was the runt of the litter who lived long, but never really managed to prosper. Let us first consider the only three major points raised by my opponent.


Confronting Social Issues


Pro admits that the other series have confronted controversial topics, but then quickly brushes aside the value of those occasions by pointing out the consistency with which DS9 did so. Not so fast. By the time Ben Sisko was installed as the African-American Captain of an abandoned Cardassian space station, issues like integration, interracial courtship, and blacks in leadership positions had largely already been settled in mainstream America. By contrast, when Uhura and Kirk kissed in TOS episode “Plato’s Children,” NBC officials were extremely resistant to airing that version because they feared the controversy. It was only by taking a stand, and deliberately sabotaging every take of the kiss-less version of the scene that Bill Shatner and Nichelle Nichols were able to get the historic black-white interracial kiss put on TV. [1] Additionally, TOS movies casually depicted people of African and Asian ancestry in extremely important positions, such as Admiral Cartwright, who obviously outranks both James T. Kirk and Ben Sisko, and did so as far back as 1986. [2]


Characters


Pro contends that “in DS9 every single character that plays any sort of role in the storyline develops”. While that may be true, the characters still end up not being as memorable or interesting as they are in TNG or TOS. The complex relationships between Spock and McCoy as well as Riker and Worf were each critical to building tension and driving the story in their respective series. The dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in particular clearly deserves the description “Legen-wait for it-dary”. Perhaps most importantly, a fairly large sampling of fans provided by Ranker.com does not even have a single DS9 character in the top 10. Jean Luc Picard, Data, Spock… the “best” characters are all from other series, mostly TOS and TNG. [3] Ben Sisko ranks a pultry 31st, taking his rightful place just behind Pavel Chekov.


Dystopian Setting


This point is both incorrect and irrelevant. The Maquis were hardly the first Federation personnel to violate Starfleet Command. James T. Kirk routinely violated direct commands from his superiors. In Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, there was a comparable, but more insidious, more duplicitous, more dramatic, more shocking, and more consequential coup by traitorous officers - and it happened two years before the first DS9 episode was aired.


The war with the Dominion was probably one of the more interesting features of the DS9 storyline. Nevertheless, the intrigue of TNG Klingon and Romulan storylines could compete, even if they managed to do so on a free-standing episode basis. I submit to the reader that “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” for example, was every bit as dark and filled with the torment of moral dilemma as what we can find in DS9 [4]. Furthermore, the Borg threat matches and trumps the one imposed Dominion, and does so without being so long and drawn out.


In Summary


I have demonstrated how all of the points which my opponent listed as favoring DS9 on closer inspection actually favor my contention that DS9 is inferior to TOS and TNG. TOS and TNG were both groundbreaking and essentially created and defined the world of Star Trek, while DS9 was little more than a sequel which followed closely on the heels of it’s better cousin. At the time it was better than nothing, but let’s not get carried away and pretend it was the “best.”


1) http://en.wikipedia.org...


2) http://en.memory-alpha.org...


3) http://www.ranker.com...


4) http://en.memory-alpha.org...




Debate Round No. 2
BennyW

Pro

I thank my opponent for his well thought out arguments last round.
I will concede what my opponent said about the Kirk and Uhura kiss being a major breakthrough.
As for Admiral Cartwright (who FYI was played by the same actor who played Sisko"s father) he may be a higher rank but is not as close to the viewers as the Captain is the one they tend to see as the guy in charge.
It appears my opponent concedes the point about DS9 relying more on story arcs than stand alone episodes.
My opponent claims the DS9 characters were not as memorable, I beg to differ:
Using my opponent"s own source of ranker he is incorrect there are plenty of DS9 characters that appear high even before Sisko, as ranker is subject to change these are the rankings at the time of this writing. Worf is #4, yes he is TNG character but is also a DS9 character. Jadzia Dax is #14. Quark is #21, Odo is #25, Garak is #29 and now it appears Sisko has been pushed down to 32 but by another DS9 character Dukat. While by the sheer numbers looking at the votes some of these ranks are confusing but according to ranker there are other criteria. Odo and Sisko are controversial as people rank them either very high or very low. Garak is a niche meaning he has a dedicated fan base even if it is small. If you want to talk about inter character relationships. On DS9 you have Jake and Nog, Dr. Bashir and Garak, Dr. Bashir and O"Brian, Odo and Kira, Odo and Quark Worf and Dax etc. Ranker however is overall fairly subjective.

DS9 was also more of an ensemble cast so you saw episodes focus on everyone from Sisko as well as other leading characters like O"Brian or Dr. Bashir all the way down to supporting characters such as Nog. In fact some episodes dealt almost exclusively with aliens, there were a few Ferengi centric episodes [1] [2] and some Klingon centric ones where humans didn"t play much of a role. In terms of the Ferengi episodes in particular and all we see of their civilization on the show, it showed that they were far more interesting than TNG gave them credit for.

My opponent says its dystopian nature is irrelevant. This is untrue it is part of what sets it apart. While it is true many people use science fiction as an escape and so a more Utopian future may appeal to them, this gives them a little does of reality. DS9 even took the bold move of showing a ship full of young cadets getting blown up. That was truly disturbing but showed the ruthlessness of the Dominion. [2]
It is true Kirk was unconventional and rebellious and even got demoted for blowing up a ship and stealing another. However he never resorted to the guerrilla tactics of the Maquis or the blatant violations of Section 31. I"m not even saying the first mutiny, but they seem to be the most organized.
In terms of comparing the 3 captains Kirk was rebellious and did things his way while Picard was by the book while still acknowledging that "There comes a time when men of good conscience can no longer blindly follow orders". Sisko was sort of half way between both of these. He had an additional characteristic that none of the other Captains had and that was that he was revered as a religious leader. He took a while to come to terms with it and this was part of his character development.

As for the enemies, the Borg were a formidable foe and quite comparable to the Dominion. Both were superpowers with large control of a different quadrant of the Galaxy that tried to take over the Alpha quadrant. The Bog and the Founders both had a sort of collective consciousness (when linked in the founder"s case) and had a ruthless female leader. The Borg had a huge impact on Sisko"s life even though they didn"t play a part in the story after the first episode. The Borg however didn"t have the advantage that the dominion did, since the founders could pretend to be anyone, they could much more easily infiltrate Earth covertly while the Borg would have to do so by force. The bad guys that were seen in DS9 were more diverse. The original series did have a plethora of bad guys but most made only one appearance. DS9 had Dukat, Kai Winn, The Female changeling, Weyoun, and in a certain sense Brunt. It also dealt with the conflict between the Prophets and Pah Wraiths adding more complexity to the story.

There is another key difference in the show; it is the only one to take place on a Space station, and a non-Federation one at that. The most prominent ship is also significantly different, as opposed to the other key ships with a saucer section and external warp nacelles, it has no saucer section and it"s warp nacelles are secured at its side, it also has a cloaking device. So in that way the show is at least unique (although the Voyage Home takes place on Klingon Bird of Prey with a cloaking device, this is one movie in the cannon of the original series).

The one major shortcoming in terms of storyline was that the writers weren"t able to wrap up everything they wanted but that was due to the network"s limit of episodes.
I thank my opponent and look forward to the next round.

1 http://en.memory-alpha.org...(episode)
2 http://en.memory-alpha.org...(episode)
3 http://en.memory-alpha.org...(episode)
calculatedr1sk

Con


Thank you, Pro for fighting the good fight, but in the end, resistance is futile. After a difficult round which probably left him feeling like a Ferengi at a Klingon drinking contest, my opponent has tried to retreat to more defensible ground. I’m afraid I cannot allow his escape. Weapons free, fire all torpedoes.


Characters


My opponent misread my comment about Ben Sisko’s placement at #31 on the list as being a claim that he is the highest ranked DS9 character. If you re-read my earlier comments, you’ll find I made no such claim that he is the most popular. Since my opponent had invested so much into building Sisko into an important piece of his argument by emphasizing the importance of his race, the power of his monologue, and the depth of his character’s moral dilemmas, I chose to emphasize how ineffectively that has endeared him to fans. My point was simply that despite all the reasons my opponent gave defending Sisko’s relevance, including his quasi-religious status, we still have a character that is less beloved than Pavel Chekov. I was not claiming that there are no DS9 characters who ranked more highly than the captain.


Worf and O’Brian did spend a considerable amount of time on DS9, although they were introduced on TNG, and in my mind earned most of their popularity on TNG. Even if we concede a split for Worf between DS9 and TNG, there’s still only half a character in the top 10 to support Pro’s case (I’m not giving Q to DS9 even though he did cross over for an episode or two. No way no how, he was much more interesting vs Picard, and played a much bigger role on TNG). .5 characters is clearly not good enough for him to win “best“ in the characters category when TNG has 4.5, and TOS has 3. TNG continues to win 5 more characters if we extend it to the top 20, while DS9 straggles behind with only Jadzia Dax and Quark earning honorable mentions.


Setting


I did contest Pro's argument that DS9 is the only series which explored a dystopian future, but I could agree that no series stayed dark and depressing for quite as long as DS9. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that dystopia and “best” do not necessarily have anything to do with one another. Taking place on a space station was limiting rather than liberating. TOS and TNG could both explore anywhere, and there was a sense that anything could happen. DS9 was often limited to being little more than a soap opera in space (this changed marginally once the Defiant came online). “Best?” No.


Alien Civilizations


Pro admires DS9 for spending episodes exploring alien civilizations, and in particular the Ferengi. TOS and TNG were responsible for introducing and developing all of the major Alpha quadrant civilizations, so whatever piggy-backing off of this DS9 might have done was not nearly enough to earn it “best!” My friends, Star Trek was great because of its ability to take us on adventures. When Picard has to make a choice between letting millions of people die, or disobeying a direct order, that’s the kind of worthwhile TV that builds meaningful tension, plot, and character development. TNG episode “Darmok” [1] was an incredible example of what can be done with intra-species encounters, and of how alike we are even with those we seem completely different from. By contrast, when characters of an annoying, fictional satire race like the Ferengi are stressing themselves over fictional currency and Dabo girls, it just seems like a waste of time. Nog’s heroism and difficulties adjusting to his injury was alright I guess, but in this aspect he was really less of a Ferengi than he was a human actor wearing a Ferengi costume. I mean, rather than enlightening us about anything unique about the Ferengi, he spent his time recovering in a holosuite with 1962 Earth singer Vic Fontaine! [2] I’m sorry Pro, no dice.


Other Differences


Pro goes to considerable lengths to differentiate DS9 from the other series, but many of these differences do not give it a better or worse position, just a different one. Take for example, that Defiant has a non-traditional design specification – so what? How does that make DS9 the “best”?


Movies


Some important differences between DS9 and other series are absolutely not in favor of Pro’s resolution. Take for example, the fact that there are no DS9 feature length films. TOS had six well received films with the original cast, and now a restarted series by JJ Abrams that remains extremely promising, and which probably gives it the edge over TNG as the best Star Trek series. So how many of us think DS9 is coming back? Does Pro even think DS9 has anywhere to go with a movie? Does he think movies add nothing to the greatness of the series they represent? DS9 is decidedly NOT the best series. Vote Con.



1) http://en.memory-alpha.org...


2) http://en.memory-alpha.org...




Debate Round No. 3
BennyW

Pro

As this is the last round I will not be bringing up any new arguments.
Characters
My opponent contests that the DS9 characters are not as interesting and that Sisko in particular is not very memorable. OK I will concede Sisko may not be as memorable as the like of Kirk or Picard but as I brought up, DS9 was an ensemble cast so the Captain wasn’t always hogging the spotlight and a well balanced cast is more interesting than one that revolves around a single person.

Alien Civilizations
My opponent particularly contests Ferengi civilization. The fact is that they were meant to represent humanity in its current form while the humans on the show were the future of humanit. See the clips on the right to see how they had an understanding of economics that had been forgotten by humans of the future and their unique perspective on human nature.
As for Nog’s PTSD not being particularly a Ferengi issue. This is true it could have happened to anyone with the same effect but I think he was chosen as he was a young officer who had seen a lot of action, but I don’t see how that proves any point for my opponent.

Other Differences
My opponent questions why I brought up the unique aspects of the show, It is because it shows how the writers were more creative and less formulaic. The Space Station doesn’t travel through Space but all manners of aliens come to them and the Wormhole makes this possible.


Movies
My opponent brings up that DS9 does not have any movies. This is true.
However it’s not all about the Numbers. It had an influence on the other shows. Insurrection and First Contact make reference to DS9 directly. Nemesis mentions the Dominion war. Dr. Bashir makes an appearance in an Episode of TNG. The First Episode of Voyager takes place of DS9. Those are examples of its influence on other shows but there was also potential for the characters. I think there is still potential for the characters even though they did a pretty good job of wrapping up their adventure. They all go their separate ways but that opens up more possibilities not less.
In closing I don’t think my opponent has shown how DS9 is not the best Star Trek overall using a number of criteria.

I thank my opponent again and wait for his final comments



calculatedr1sk

Con

This debate has been a great pleasure, and I thank my opponent for instigating it. I hope readers have gotten as much satisfaction from this bold exploration as I'm sure we both have. And now, to battle.

Characters


With the odds badly stacked against him by the evidence from ranker, and having nearly been forced into a total rout on this issue, Pro attempts some daring evasive manuvers by essentially arguing that no single character hogged the spotlight, and instead that DS9 was a well balanced ensemble cast. I commend him for his resourcefulness in the face of defeat, but nevertheless I must ask the reader - when Spock lays down his life to save his allies, do you not lose control of your emotions, however logical it may have been? When you watch the opening sequence of Jim Kirk's Birth and George Kirk's death in the 2009 restart, can you do so without getting choked up?

When you see the cast of the USS Enterprise saying their final goodbye at the end of The Undiscovered Country, when you see on their faces the courageous, dignified acceptance that 25 years of adventure has come to an end, is that not truly what it is to witness greatness? This is what it is to be invested in characters. To behold that bittersweet completion of a timeless epic leaves me almost without words. Brothers and sisters, are these legends who started it all not worthy of our respect as "The Best?"







Alien Civilizations


Pro primarily used Ferengi to support his case, which is why I “particularly contested them”. Nog knows how to grease the wheels of bureaucracy much smoother than O’Brien - but so what? My cat knows more about getting what he wants than O’Brien does. Seeing as how O’Brien had a bigger role in DS9, I’ll leave his character in my opponent’s column. If you think O’Brien is a fascinating character, then I have some grass that is just about to grow.

Other Differences


DS9 was absolutely not more creative than TNG and TOS. The two series before it had made the entire world which DS9 tried to exist in and further develop. I maintain that DS9 is but a dark (and stationary) shadow of TOS and TNG’s glory.


Movies


Having a cameo in other people’s movies is sort of like being mentioned in someone else’s wedding speech. Guess who is not going home with the bride, bud.

Endgame

Now this I had to see to believe… “In closing I don’t think my opponent has shown how DS9 is not the best Star Trek overall using a number of criteria.”

I’m not sure if he is saying this for comedic effect or not, but I hope readers will agree that my counter-arguments have taken every one of his points and torn them asunder. The brave Maquis would surely be glad to count him among their number, for he doesn’t seem to mind being outgunned and losing encounter after encounter to fight for something pointless. Meanwhile, although I didn’t even have the BoP, I have on many fronts advanced TOS as being the best Star Trek series, followed closely by TNG. Rather than even try to contest the status of these two incredible series, my opponent retreated back to his station, and if the voters are just, to his defeat.

My thanks to my opponent, and my thanks to the readers for taking an interest in our battle of wits.

May you all live long and prosper.


Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Iogrey 2 years ago
Iogrey
DS9 has always been my favorite, and Sisko is by far my favorite captain! Ok, Picard is a close second.
Kirk? That arrogant #@%%$^! And McCoy? He was a horrible racist. He should have been court martialed for discrimination and harassment! And everyone just ignored his constant racial slurs. I know, it was a different time. I'm old enough to (just barely) remember watching TOS on TV. I liked the other series too, but there's a special place in my heart for DS9. :)
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
Love them both, I could argue for either.
Posted by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
I actually kind of like how it ended in a tie I don't want a rematch on this exact subject. What do you like better Star Wars or Star Trek?
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
A shame this one didn't have a longer voting period, this was a pretty good debate to have ended in a tie. Ever thought about a rematch, Benny? I'd be up for it if you are.
Posted by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
Oh my goodness I was just reminded of this episode.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
IMO Star Trek opening credits get worse every time, never better.
Posted by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
One other thing I considered was the theme songs, DS9's gave me the chills none of the others did, but that's not much of an argument anyway. also, don't get me started on the Enterprise theme, it's a good song, but not for Star Trek.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 4 years ago
calculatedr1sk
Thanks, Benny. I agree that since subjectivity is by its nature an important factor my appeals to emotion were appropriate, at least in this context. This debate has been my most enjoyable so far; I hope it will not be our last.
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
wrichcirw how could you know "anyone who believes in the resolution needs to get their head examined." if you haven't even seen it? Anyway, well done calculatr1sk although under normal circumstances your last round could be seen as congaing appeals to emotion but due to the subjective nature of this debate I can see a valid use for it.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
I'm not reading this debate because I've never seen DS9, but anyone who believes in the resolution needs to get their head examined. :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
BennyWcalculatedr1skTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Hard to judge... DS9 ends up winning to me mostly due to the small reason of how distinctive it was from the rest of them. I also cannot count the Star Trek reboot as a part of TOS; this only enhanced for me when a couple things mention in pro's argument about how good DS9 was came up in the new movie (proving it has a lasting influence).
Vote Placed by SaintMichael741 4 years ago
SaintMichael741
BennyWcalculatedr1skTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Close one. Both parties should be proud with themselves for a clean and honest debate. I'm giving this one to con only because his arguments were slightly clearer and well defined. This was a tough call though.