The 6th season wasn't the ebbing and flowing. The story arc started with the final episode of the 2nd season and ended with the final episode of the 7th season. It ebbed and flowed through five seasons. The Klingon Civil War arc (my second favorite arc) started at the 23rd episode of the first season and ended on the first episode of the 5th season. That's probably the next longest but it didn't ebb and flow nearly as much.
This x1,000,000. Complaining about seasons 6 and 7 is missing more than half of the picture - some of the great dominion episodes happened prior to the actual war. The prison camp two-parter, for example.
Look at everything after Sacrifice of Angels
Wedding, mirror universe, Ferengi, Bashir and his I'm so freaking smart, Morn, Runabout is shrunk, Worf trying to bond with his son that isnt' really a Klingon, taking on pirates (in the middle of the war?), Vic Fontaine, rouge starfleet cadets, Time vortex, time wormhole with a captain stranded a long time ago and then, finally, oh yea, there's a war going on. But the only time you really hear about it is when Sisko goes over the casualty list at the beginning of an episode.
You're cherry picking. I could do the same - Rocks and Shoals, In the Pale Moonlight, Waltz, One Little Ship, Honor Among Thieves, Change of Heart, Inquisition... the list goes on - and I'd have more episodes than you. Besides, even the non-war-focused episodes were usually set against the backdrop of the war. Do you just hate character development? If every episode focused on the front lines it'd be a documentary, not a show. It would also get stale really fast (nevermind budget constraints)
The first six episodes of seaon 6 and the final 9 of season 7 should have been season 6. Maybe a couple of character building episodes. The wedding and ... the mirror universe is okay. The rest was filler garbage because the writers didn't know how to approach the topic of war. Because it had never been done in Star Trek before.
The mirror episodes are pretty weak, I'll give you that, but they're just "mix up the characters with no lasting repercussions" episodes, so they still have their merits. Other than that I feel like you're once again complaining about this not being a war documentary. Plenty of the so-called "filler" episodes were great episodes, and most advanced the characters, war or not.
This is a station that is a stone's throw away from Cardassia and just happens to guard the only way in to the quadrant for the Dominion. And yet ... not even considered front lines.
You're just nitpicking now. Might as well complain about the inconsistent size of the Defiant or say warp drive is unrealistic. Besides, the Dominion had a non-aggression pact with Bajor and the wormhole was closed after "Sacrifice", so the station no longer held any especially significant strategic value.
This was a war that was unheard of in Trek history. It simply hadn't happened. Not at this level or this scale. No one had seen fleet battles like this. No one had seen a ground battle before. Trek had never dealt with issues like PTSD, massive casualties, martial law and other things. The Federation had never been painted as anything other than a Utopia.
Yes, this is true, and that's part of what makes DS9 great - it deals with all of these things.
And, by your own admission, there are 16 episodes over the course of two seasons that deal with the single most important thing to happen in Star Trek history ... ever. The war effectively started in the middle of season 5 and there are, maybe, 20 episodes that deal with it in any depth. There are two that are actually gut wrenching and deal with real, emotional loss and agony.
Yeah, I'm done with this for real after this post, because you clearly aren't listening. I cited 16 easy episodes, I did NOT say they were the only ones - far from it. To say that only two episodes in deal with real loss and agony again demonstrates you terrible and/or selective memory (or maybe you're just heartless
) And the war started long before mid-seasons 5. Open hostilities began around that time, but the cold war goes all the way back to the end of season 2, and gets hot plenty of times in the intervening seasons. Besides, what's wrong with seeing war from behind the lines too? I guess we should just pretend that life doesn't go on during a war
Maybe they ran out of money. But I honestly believe that the writers just didn't think their audience would handle a dark storyline like that. Severely underestimated Trek fans in my mind. Or maybe I'm vastly over estimating them.
I prefer not to second-guess the writers, but there is plenty of information from various sources (DS9 companion, interviews, etc.) on the Star Trek wiki at memory-alpha.org. Great resource if you're into behind-the-scenes stuff. I'd really like to get my hands on a copy of the DS9 companion but it's out of print and copies on Amazon are outrageously priced. No e-versions, either
tl;dr - I'm not saying DS9 didn't have its flaws, but you're vastly undercrediting it, IMO. The fact that you wish it were more like BSG says a lot to me about why we disagree so strongly on this. As I said before, to each their own. At least we agree on it being the best