In the casting, there was a clear intent to differentiate the show from its predecessors. Genre stalwarts Tony Todd and James Earl Jones were considered for Commander Sisko before Avery Brooks. The one letdown at the time was that Michelle Forbes did not carry Ensign Ro across from The Next Generation, but when the explosive Nana Visitor defiantly slapped her hand on a console in the pilot episode, viewers knew they were in for a different crew dynamic. In fact, the two-part pilot show ("The Emissary") is largely responsible for DS9's early success. Mysterious, spiritual, claustrophobic, funny, and feisty, it remains the most attention-grabbing series opener (apart from the original series') the franchise has had. The first year may have relied on a few too many familiar faces--like Picard, Q, and Lwaxana Troi--but these were more than outweighed by refreshingly detailed explorations of cultures old and new (Trill, Bajoran, Cardassian, Ferengi). As it turned out, Deep Space Nine was the boldest venture into Roddenberry's galaxy that had been (or ever would be) seen. --Paul Tonks
The packaging is noticeably different. Instead of TNG's heavy cardboard box and foldout disc trays, DS9's trays are bound in a book format, which makes the discs much easier to get to; on the downside, the outer plastic sleeve seems more susceptible to wear and tear. Another benefit is that the set occupies almost 50% less shelf space than a season of TNG, meaning that from the Original Series to TNG to DS9, each series is getting more compact, which is a welcome development for Trekkers who had been considering renting a storage unit to house their collections. --David Horiuchi
The rest of the season was generally good, with a few standout episodes and no particular bloopers. My biggest complaint was that the closest thing to a season theme (tension between the Bajorans and Starfleet) never got the consistant attention it needed. Also the final episode of this brief package (only 19 episodes), although quite good as a stand-alone episode, was completely unable to balance out the overall experience and left everything feeling truncated.
That said, the episodes were engaging and occasionally thought-provoking. Although DS9 lacks the commanding presence of Patrick Stewart and is thus more of an ensemble piece than TNG, the characters were interesting and worked well together. Recommended!
DS9 had hard and high expectations. Read more