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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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I am going to start my re-watch of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Netflix tonight.

Was going to wait for it to be released on Blu-ray. But I've been cherry picking TNG episodes on Netflix and it just rewoke an urge to start watching what I still consider THE BEST of the Star Trek series.

I already know that when it gets released on Blu, I can easily watch it, and enjoy it again. It's timeless.

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The Emissary (part 1 and 2)

It's been a few years since I've seen this. At the time I considered it the best, most rounded of the modern Star Trek pilots and that still holds true today. Encounter at Farpoint is, in retrospect, pretty bad. Caretaker is a decent action romp but without much depth.

The aim was clearly to make it stand out from the bright, optimistic TNG which was a ratings winner at the time.

They went to pretty big extremes to do so, even to the point of having the lead of this show, Commander Sisko blatantly dislike Picard, who he considered responsible for the death of his wife.

Patrick Steward's cameo is actually far more then a gimmick to interest TNG fans, and his acting is top notch.

DS9 would see major changes throughout it's run, the most during season 3 and 4 when it added Worf to it's main cast, the Dominion Wars would erupt and the show began to be more ambitious in scope and production then what was though was possibly for Star Trek. With a large cast of secondary characters bringing colour and texture to the show and plot and character arcs that would take seasons to evolve and resolve.

The Soprano's is generally regarded as the first show where TV really grew up and could deliver something film could not. That might be true. But that show and similar shows of that era did not "just" sprang out of no where.

In the 90's there were several shows, all sci-fi/fantasy in nature already experimenting with vast and complex story arcs, and an assumption that there didnt need to be a reset button at the end of every episode and all conflicts were resolved when the credits rolled. X-Files and Buffy are two of those shows that paved the way for the more " advanced" TV shows we now enjoy. Deep Space Nine was among those too.

The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica takes a hell of a lot from DS9, btw.

Can all this be gleamed from the pilot?

Not really. Like TNG the show had a shaky start, needed to find it's feet, and find the direction it had to go too. Rick Berman and Michael Piller created the show, but Ira Steven Behr became it's showrunner. Something of a radical in nature I believe he was the one who eventually pushed it into the right direction.

The pilot remains a strong piece of sci-fi drama, with well drawn characters, an interesting plot that promises more and some neat angles. I love how Sisko uses baseball as an analogy for the unpredictable nature of a linear existence. And when he finally breaks down, it is felt. Whoever says Avery Brooks was dull before he shaved his head and grew a beard is insane. (he would become better after that though).

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Was going to wait for it to be released on Blu-ray. But I've been cherry picking TNG episodes on Netflix and it just rewoke an urge to start watching what I still consider THE BEST of the Star Trek series.

I already know that when it gets released on Blu, I can easily watch it, and enjoy it again. It's timeless.

It's quite fun to watch TNG and DS9 chronologically, i.e. fetch a stardate liste off the internet and watch each episode in the correct order.

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I have no interest in going through all of TNG right now.

Does it really add anything? There isnt much crossover stuff. Apart from The Marquis storyline. Which was really nothing more then a set up for Voyager.

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A Man Alone

First episode proper.
Focuses on Odo, and has very much the "frontier" feel that they tried to give the show. With Odo being the sherif.
Fairly standard Trek murder mystery that spends some time establishing Dax, the O'Briens, and has the first real Quark/Odo sparring.
Dax in season 1 is far less hedonistic then in later seasons.

perfectly watchable, but slowly paced.

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I have no interest in going through all of TNG right now.

Does it really add anything? There isnt much crossover stuff. Apart from The Marquis storyline. Which was really nothing more then a set up for Voyager.

It's spelled as "Maquis" not 'Marquis' that sounds like the car that was made. :P

I do agree with what you said too about how DS9 took off and found better footing for the best Trek series. I too love how Sisko became a self doubting Starfleet Commander to one of the famous Starfleet Captain's and a bold one at that.

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I a recent docu about Avery Brooks showrunner Ira Steven Behr pretty much admitted that they weren't doing the actor justice in the first few seasons of the show.

Though I've never been one of those people who thought he was boring.

But you do see that there was a big change after Brooks was allowed to shave his head, grow his goatee and look like "himself" again.

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I a recent docu about Avery Brooks showrunner Ira Steven Behr pretty much admitted that they weren't doing the actor justice in the first few seasons of the show.

Though I've never been one of those people who thought he was boring.

But you do see that there was a big change after Brooks was allowed to shave his head, grow his goatee and look like "himself" again.

Ya and I do like that he was kind of doubting things on how he wanted to bring the Romulan's into the war but by that point he was desperate. He was tired of seeing the casualty list every week. He needed to have things change, no matter the cost.

"In the end, I can live with it."

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Back in the 90's i kinda stopped watching about half way though. It certainly wasnt bad, but like you said, it dragged.

It was the three part season 2 opener that pulled me back in and never let me go again, despite the fact that season 2 has a few duds too. But you could see that things had already started to develop.

I really can't watch most of season one and take it seriously anymore. I can forgive the rather cheapish look of some of the production, or that the actors were still finding their characters. But some of the writing is appalling!

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The first season of DS9 was all about tying it back to TNG, which was understandably required in order for it to find its legs (Dominion, Jem'Hadar, etc.) but also weakens those episodes in hindsight. Lursa and B'tor. Q and Vash. Lwaxana. A lot of those plot elements promote the idea that the only interesting stuff in the Federation happens on ships named Enterprise and wherever the cameras are today.

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That is probably the only episode where the crossover stuff felt forced. (was it during the sweeps season btw?)

Mother Troi in DS9 worked because of Odo. Thomas Riker on DS9 worked because it got Frakes in an episode AND doing something different. Even the Doc Zimmerman episode was fun. And of-course Worf on DS9 worked like gangbusters.

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Hell ya I loved Michael Eddington he was a great antagonist, especially when he turned Maquis. I too sorta hated the Maquis but sometimes their involvement wasn't too bad.

I had read a while back that think at some point they were going to re-visit Tom Riker and it would have taken place during the Dominion War where he escaped from the prison he was held in. I don't remember what all they were going to do about it but they of course didn't go back to it.

I also didn't mind the mirror universe cross-overs too.

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Past Prologue

More interesting in terms of story then A Man Alone, though still rather slowly paced.

Two important aspects that would play major roles in the series are introduced here.

First of all it shows the friendship and trust between Kira and Odo. She comes to him for guidance about whether to betray either Sisko of a fellow Bajoran. Visitor and Auberjonois already work well together.

More importantly, it is the first episode to feature "plain, simple" Garak, Who would later becomes one of the shows most enigmatic supporting characters. Andrew Robinson nails his character straight away! It's also the first time Bashir is even remotely likeable.

Lursa & B'tor from TNG show up for a bit. Nice bit of continuity. But they don't add much.

Again, decent episode, but apart from Garak, nothing much to get excited about.

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Babel

First episode since the pilot to have any real sci-fi element to it. Inhabitants of the station become infected with a virus that causes them to speak and hear jibberish. Kira traced this virus to a Doctor named Ren.

Some rather nice character stuff between Jake and Sisko, Quark and Odo. And the first ep to show O'Brien as a long suffering, overworker fixer.

Fairly solid and interesting ep that does resort to a false threat to the station, something about an exploding ship.

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Captive Pursuit

The first "message" episode of Deep Space Nine. Showing the futility and cruelty of hunting for sport. It's a decent effort, though I never really cared for the episode much. Colm Meany shows O'Brien at his most likeable, while the rest of the crew appear a bit powerless and impotent. Unwilling to do anything because the Prime Directive doesn't permit it.

The creature Tosk has several (intentional) similarities to the Jem Hadar who would be introduced at the end of season 2. Similar looks, quite a similar code of honour and a personal cloaking device. This si about the most interesting thing os this episode.

Meh...

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Q-Less

While there would be some crossovers with the other Trek shows throughout it's 7 seasons, this is the only one that feels blatant.

Famous guest star Q comes to DS9 and stirrs up trouble, or does he? He is joined by Vash, Picards former squeeze and this episode is peppered with references to TNG.

Now while this is all very blatant, it's not without it's enjoyment.
There is no reason Q needs to be in DS9, but DeLancie is always fun to watch.
Vash and her scheming ways actually fits very well on DS9. And she has a decent report with Quark.

A fairly inconseQuential episode, but actually a bit more dynamic then the previous few.

At this point it's becoming very noticable that since the pilot, no episode has had any scenes away from the station or a Runabout. Every episode feels like a "bottle show".

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Dax

Despite the title, Jadzia Dax doesnt feature much. It's more a Sisko episode. But it is the first DS9 episode to properly explain the Trill, and the relationship between host and symbiont.

And more importantly, it featured the first mention of raktajino!!!

Some nice character stuff, but sadly the character of Jadzia remains a bit dull.

They actually went to the expense of putting Odo in a room on another planet. But it still feels quite convined.

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Dax

Despite the title, Jadzia Dax doesnt feature much. It's more a Sisko episode. But it is the first DS9 episode to properly explain the Trill, and the relationship between host and symbiont.

And more importantly, it featured the first mention of raktajino!!!

Not to forget that it stars the great Fionnula Flanagan.

It's still pretty much a season 1 episode, but it's also a decent Star Trek courtroom story. Dax's behaviour does seem somewhat contrived most of the time, but the way it deals with personal integrity and honor (and the way it ties that into the deeper Trek history) is quite admirable.

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Agreed!

The Passenger

This interesting episode introduces the concept of a Starfleet security officer clashing with Odo.

Ltd Primmin would only be on the show a few eps, but the idea would be revisited a few seasons later with commander Eddington.

This is the first episode to really highlight one of the conceits of the show. Quark getting away scott free with something. The Ferengi fascilitates Vantika with men who help him to abduct a cargo vessel. From the looks of it, people die or are seriously wounded. Yet Quark goes unpunished. It would happen several times on the series that he is atleast in part responsible for something quite damaging happening without seemingly being punished for it.

Another odity is that in the opening episode Bashir states that a tricorder is not very reliable when it comes to dead people. Yet in Star Trek, before and after this episode it's used COUNTLESS times to check is a person is dead.

The pacing on this episode is a little better.

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Move Along Home

Bit of a weird one. Even among the cast and producers opinions of it are devided. Brooks disliked it and it rather shows in his performance, while Armin probably gives his best performance to date. His groveling is rather hilarious.

This is the first episode to actually state that Quark's holosuites also run sex programs. Quite a big shift from the Holodecks on board the Enterprise.

The main issue i have with Move Along Home is the revelation that none of the "players" were ever in any real danger, which makes the episode a bit pointless.

Standard alien of the week episode.

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Another odity is that in the opening episode Bashir states that a tricorder is not very reliable when it comes to dead people. Yet in Star Trek, before and after this episode it's used COUNTLESS times to check is a person is dead.

The most important thing about Bashir in this episode is surely Siddig's overacting though. It's so over the top, I can't decide whether it's funny or just plain embarrassing.

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He certainly needed to grow in the role. Right now Bashir is either portrayed as arrogant, clumsy or clueless.

The Nagus

In retrospect, this is actually rather an important episode in the series. It establishes many thing about Ferengi culture that would be a staple of the series. The Nagus, the Rules of Acquisition etc. It's also the first episode to feature the dynamic between Quark and Rom. With Quark being the smart, devious older brother and Rom being the simpleton.

It is also the first episode that shows that DS9 can do comedy. And to have a story that could not have worked at all on TNG.

The Ferengi were of course introduced on TNG as a major new villain, akin to the Klingons or the Romulans. But in that they failed...mis-se-ra-bly! ;)

They would be reduced as mere petty thieves for the rest of the series. DS9 takes that idea and develops it.

This episode is a lot of fun. Shimmerman shines as Quark, Grodénchik begins to emerge from the background and Wallace Shawn is wonderful is his sneering portrayal as Grand Nagus Zek. (that voice!)

This is also the first episode since A Man Alone to feature a substantial B story. Exploring Jake and Nog's friendship and Sisko's disapproval of it. Jake and Sisko butting heads recalls Work and Alexander doing the same on TNG. But the conclusion is actually rather moving.


Vortex

Another episode full of first. Namely the first episode where Odo genuinely smiles!

And the first one to really deal with the question about Odo's origins. Which would eventually be resolved at the start of season 3.

Interestingly, the character Croden at first claims to have met "changelings" and know about them, this eventually turns out to be a ruse. A lot of the information his gives does prove accurate though. About how Changelings were persecuted. Their suspicious nature regarding other life forms. and their sense of order and justice.

Already the pacing of the series has shown improvements and the characters are slowly emerging. Auberjonois for the first time gets the opportunity to me more then just the stern and suspicious constable.

Also for the first time since the pilot the special effects are a bit more ambitious. There is a great shot of the Runabout on a rocky asteroid, and a few shots of the Vortex are nicely done (though easy to spot where they re-used effects from TWOK's Mutara Nebula)

Again, pretty solid episode, and interesting to watch after you know Odo's origins.

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Battle Lines

The time that an episode spends the majority of it's running time away from the station, DS9 re-introduces us to Kai Opaka from Emissary as she takes her first and final, fated, trip through the wormhole.

Camille Saviola is excellent as the Kai. Enigmatic, mysterious but forceful. The best scenes of the episode are between her any Kira. For the first time Kira is actually worried what anyone thinks of her. And Opaka forces her to face her inner turmoil. It is actually the beginning of the slight softening up of Major Kira's character. Nana Visitor does good work in Opaka's supposed death scene.

The background of the episode, two sides embroiled in an endless war of which the original purpose had long since been forgotten and has turned into nothing but a struggle for vengeance is very much a Star Trek concept. The execution doesn't go anywhere beyond the obvious though.

Still a stronger, and more emotional episode then any since the pilot. Mainly because of Opaka and Kira.

This episode also sets the stage for the arrival of Kai Winn, the exact opposite of the truly spiritual Kai Opaka.


The Storyteller.

A unusual and rather fanciful episode. The basis of the story comes from a script written during TNG's first season and that kinda shines though. It was adapted to a Bajoran episode.

Though it doesn't really fit seamlessly with any other Bajoran story from the series, on it's own it's entertaining enough.

It's the first O'Brien /Bashir story, where the 2 characters really haven't bonded at all. Siddig is actually fun to watch in this episode as he enjoys O'Brien lavished with attention and responsibility.

The B story is also a Bajoran one. featuring Jake and Nog. They would often feature in fun, lighter B stories up until The Visitor, when it was clear Jake could be used for more serious stuff.

It's a nice episode in that it has a change of scenery from the usual dark stuff on DS9. Even if it does really feel a bit early TNG.


Progress.

The first morality tale of Major Kira, where she has to chose between her instinct as a rebel, and her current job as an administrator. When is is forced to convince a stubborn, but very likable farmer to vacate his home of 40 years. Visitor had been rather underused in the first part of the season. This episode and the rather brilliant Duet later in season one make up for that. They show the character as more then just an obnoxious trouble maker.

Brian Keith has a fine guest role as the farmer. You sympathize with him, even though you realize he is basically being selfish. The deck is very much stacked against him, but that doesnt make Kira's act of burning his home so we has no more reason to stay any less sad.

This episode features one of the more charming Jake/Nog B-stories. The one where they try and make a profit by trading Yamok sauce for self-sealing stem-bolts and eventually land.

In just a few episodes DS9 already showed a dramatic improvement in tone and story content. While none of the earliest episodes before lets say The Nagus was bad, they didn't have much in the way of emotion or even audience involvement. It's also nice to finally get away from the Station or the Runabout exteriors a bit.

For one effects shot they used a slightly tweaked shot of the Genesis sunrise from either The Wrath Of Khan or The Search For Spock.

Strong morality play that doesnt cop-out at the end.

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Epitome of nerdy this one was. The others in the franchise were at least accessible on a charm and charisma level, but the stodgy turgid world of DS9 made World of Warcraft look like instant hipster babe-magnet private yacht ownership.

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Now, what exactly does that mean?

Do you speak with any knowledge or are you just trying to be your usual belligerent self when it comes to what you perceive as "geek" culture?

Since such hostility comes from a man who devotes a hell of a lot of time on a forum dedicated to some 82 year old man who composes music for movies, it's very much the pot calling the kettle black.

The "high brow" TV shows you seem so fond of actually have their genesis is fantasy/sci-fi based shows of the 90's. Those broke the boundaries when it comes to having continuous story arcs in episodic TV, something that was before mainly reserved for either cheap soap opera's or glossy melodrama like Dallas or Melrose Place.

If you actually have some knowledge of what you are talking about, I'll happily debate this with you. Always looking for the (semi)informed opinion of someone I consider something of a kindred spirit. If you are just horsing around however....

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I DON'T Star Trek!

http://youtu.be/FCARADb9asE

Now, what exactly does that mean?

Do you speak with any knowledge or are you just trying to be your usual belligerent self when it comes to what you perceive as "geek" culture? Since such hostility comes from a man who devotes a hell of a lot of time on a forum dedicated to some 82 year old man who composes music for movies, it's very much the pot calling the kettle black.

Quote saved for future use.

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Speaking of horses.

If Wishes Were Horses.

The first actual sci-fi episode in a while. People's imaginations become real as a strange phenomenon threatens to destroy the station and the Bajoran star system.

So most of the crew see people from their imaginations come to live. Bashir is suitably embarrassed by a foxy, rather submissive Jadzia Dax.

The most lasting thing to come from this episode is the baseball, which would become a regular fixture on Sisko's desk, and carry deep symbolic significance. It's given to him in this episode.

This is a good, if not great episode. O'Brien was originally supposed to dream up a Leprechaun, till actor Colm Meaney rejected that idea for being a racist stereotype.

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I DON'T Star Trek!

Just Star Trek? Or any other popular sci-fi shows you never watched? X-Files, Buffy, Angel, B5?

If you dont watch Trek, how did you obtain the opinion you shared a few moments ago?

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