I'm done with the first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Here are my various thoughts.
The show's critics say that the show is Star Trek Airport. The complaint is that they always stay on the spaceship, and they never go anywhere else. That's not the case in the first season! There was a fair amount of leaving the station, travelling to other planets and meeting new species.
It reminded me a lot like the first Star Trek series, where every episode had a gimmick. What if everyone was sucked into a board game? What could make our heroes try to kill each other? What if they got trapped on a planet with endless war? What if all the viewers were huge fans of the first series, and we just reused ideas from that show?
I personally prefer the episodes where the characters stay on the station, instead of doing space exploration. I think that's mainly because my favorite character is Quark. He's both funny and interesting, and the constant tension between him and Odo is good fun. They're my favorites, followed by Dr. Bashir.
Surprise, surprise, Michael likes the comedic characters.
As for the other main characters, I'm kind of indifferent to them. O'Brien doesn't seem to have much of an emotional range, beyond "vaguely flustered" and "vaguely annoyed". He tends to use his "I'm spewing meaningless technobabble" voice at all times, even when dealing with his wife, which puts me off. As for Dax and Kira, I want to like them, but they didn't have any good storylines! Kira's storylines were mostly "she has feelings for a guy who turns out to be a huge jerk". Dax's best (only) storyline was about her past, when she was a completely different person. Interesting, but I'd rather have some focus on who she is now, not who she used to be.
Which brings me to Commander Sisko. He was great in the pilot episode! But that was the only episode where he's the main character. The rest of the time, he only took center stage in ensemble episodes. As the season went on, I found myself liking him less and less. It's not that he's a bad character who I actively dislike, but he doesn't get enough focus for me to take an active interest in him. Most of the time, he's just the guy who talks in a calm voice.
I dunno. I wonder what it would have been like, if Deep Space Nine had Commander William Riker in charge. You know, like a more traditional spinoff show. I find it odd that O'Brien was picked as the character to center a spinoff around.