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Sounds ghastly!


The Forsaken

A bottle show, takes place completely on DS9, like most of the early season one stuff. But by this time the writers and actors have managed to get a better handle on the dynamic is the show and it feels far less stodgy.

Lwaxana Troi, one of the most noted "guest" stars if TNG makes her first appearance. But unlike Q's guest spot on this show she was actually given something to work with.
Of all the people on DS9 to go for it would obviously be Odo, who shares similar character traits that Picard has.

On TNG the character of Ma Troi has always been hit or miss with me. Often unbearable if she is used for nothing else then over the top comedy. But she has been effective in shows where he is shown as a little bit more then an unbearable man-hungry hag.

The Forsaken does just that. It takes the epic cliche of putting two completely different people in a lift, have the lift break down so they have no choice but to bond and actually makes it fun and moving.

Majel Barret gives one of her better performances as this character. And Auberjonois is excellent as he gets his change to add a few more touches of vulnerability to his character.
The climax where Troi takes of her wig to make Odo feel more at ease is genuinely moving.

The other 2 stories, Bashir dealing with obnoxious ambassadors and O'Brien having to deal with a "puppy" in his computer systems are fun!

Dramatis Personae

In this episode, a "telepathic infection" sets the crew into two factions fighting against each other, with Major Kira leading the mutiny.

DS9's attempt to do a The Naked Time/The Naked Now I guess.

I read the cast and crew had fun doing this. It certainly shows. But I've actually never cared for this one at all. It feels dramatically false. Since none of the characters are actually really doing the things they do out of personal choice, but because they have been somehow taken over. I remember Voyager did a few episodes like this in season 5, and it's the reason I stopped watching.

It feels like phony, tacked on drama and conflict.Appears just like that, and disappears by the flick of a few buttons.

Meh...

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Duet

After a Cardassian man arrives on the station suffering from an illness that he could only have contracted at a Bajoran labor camp during the Occupation, Major Kira leads an investigation to determine whether he is actually a notorious war criminal.

This is an outstanding episode. Aptly named because it plays as a duet between two characters. The Bajoran freedomfighter who bears a hell of a lot of hatred and prejudice against the people who occupied her planet, and a Cardassian who seems to take pride in admitting he basically ran a concentration camp and was responsible for the slaughter of countless.

This is the first DS9 episode to really shape the Bajoran occupation. This story has an obvious Holocaust angle, but the actual occupation has shades of British Imperialism to it.

Harris Yulin is excellent as a insignificant file clerk who pretends to be a war criminal so he can be put on trail and answer for the crimes of his race. Loathsome as he blusters proud fully about all those he had slaughtered, and suddenly moving as the truth is revealed. He is the first Cardassian on DS9 who gets the change to make big, declamatory speeches. Eventually the likes of Garak, Damar, Dukat etc would follow. (The Cardassians were originally envisioned on TNG as a race who could be a verbal match to Picard)

Nana Visitor is in top form as a Kira Nerys who, for the first time manages to look past her hatred of Cardassians just a bit. This would later be a continuing thread for the character.

The scenes between her and Yulin are top notch and makes this one of the more memorable DS9 episodes.

Marc Alaimo returns for the first time since Emissary as Gul Dukat, though only on a view-screen this time.

An excellent episode, the only point of criticism might be that parts of it feel a bit rushed, even though there is no B story, one someone wants them to linger on certain scenes a bit longer.

With just one episode before the end of season one DS9 really hits it's marks.

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Duet is, in a way, DS9's Yesterday's Enterprise: A turning point in a series that was up to that point still more (TNG) or less (DS9) trying to find its footing, and so ambitious (from a writing point of view, also with regards to production values in TNG's case and to complex themes that would be a central part of the show's future fabric for DS9) that it not only stands head and shoulders above anything that came before it, but also ranks up there with the best episodes of the full series.

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In The Hands Of The Prophets.

This is a splendid episode and a brilliant end to season one.

Without ending on a cliffhanger like TNG does it sets up several themes and characters that would be further explored in the series.

This is the first true Bajoran episode to deal with the complex and shady mix of religion and politics.

An ambitious Bajoran fundamentalist uses a controversy over Keiko O'Brien's scientific approach to teaching to attempt an assassination on an opponent in the race to become the next Kai. (Pope)

In The Hands Of The Prophets raises many questions regarding science versus theology, and does so without stacked the deck. Vedek Winn is an extremist, but Keiko O'Brien comes of as equally inflexible. (though far less manipulative)

Kira initially supports Winn's position. and Sisko is left defending the middle ground. He's given his first chance since the pilot to really flex his acting muscles a bit and stand out as the leader of his community, and preach tolerance and understanding.

These concepts very much follow classic Roddenberry lines, but remain a little more unresolved then that. The end of the episode leaves us with as many questions as the start.

This episode introduces Louise Fletcher to the show as Vedek Winn, she is the opposite of Kai Opaka. Using her faith and talent for manipulation to advance her position. It's a brilliant character which would become part of the shows fabric. Fletcher brings some of her steel eyed determination to the role, masked by her seemingly soft words.

The murder conspiracy is well executed and actually featuring the murderer in an episode before this one helps to lure the viewer into a false sens of security.

Simply excellent!


Duet is, in a way, DS9's Yesterday's Enterprise: A turning point in a series that was up to that point still more (TNG) or less (DS9) trying to find its footing, and so ambitious (from a writing point of view, also with regards to production values in TNG's case and to complex themes that would be a central part of the show's future fabric for DS9) that it not only stands head and shoulders above anything that came before it, but also ranks up there with the best episodes of the full series.

I agree. In terms of both complexity and subject matter Duet and In The Hands Of The Prophets is where DS9 really starts to show it's true colors. While there are good episodes before, nothing came close in terms of storytelling. Much like Yesterday's Enterprise.

Having watched all of season one I have to say that overall it's a strong season. The one that shows the most growth. Going from run of the mill stuff like A Man Alone to In The Hands Of The Prophets in just one season is a hell of an achievement.

The first batch of episodes shows that while they wanted to do a show with a very different setting and concept then TNG, they had not really figured out how to do it.

At seasons end they still had not completely nailed the direction they would eventually take. The concept of the Dominion Wars would not be introduced until a bit later. And in season 2 the concept of continuous story arcs would remain limited for the time being till Rick Berman shifted his focus on Voyager and left Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr in charge. But the growth had definitely begun.

Of the characters Odo, Kira, O'Brien and Quark were significantly developed in season one. Sisko was the most developed character from the pilot, but wasn't really the focus much in most of season one. The writers didnt seem to have a clear idea on who they wanted Bashir and Dax to be I think.

In The Hands Of The Prophets would set the stage for season's two opening story. An ambitious 3 part episode, the first one in trek's history. Years ago, in the 90's it's that three parter that would hook me onto this series.

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The Homecoming.

Season 2 opens with a bang, the first 3 parter in Trek history.

Kira rescues a Bajoran Resistance hero from a Cardassian labor camp meanwhile an extremist group calls for all non-Bajorans to leave Bajor.

The character of the war hero Li Nalas is a very interesting one. A solid take on the reluctant leader/hero.

Meanwhile a new guest star called Essa Jaro is introduced, played by the formidable Frank Langella, who appeared as a favor to his children and is uncredited in this and the other 2 episodes.

The episode opens with a fun scene where Quark makes Odo more suspicious them ever by feeding him information without asking anything in return. This would be the first time Quark is portrayed as being able to acquire info that Sisko or Odo have no access too. In season one he was mainly a disturbance.

There seems to be a small but noticeable change in either how the show is lit or graded compared to much of season one. A tad brighter maybe.

The episode ends with the announcement Kira is being replaced by Li Nalas as second officer on DS9.

The Circle

Picks up straight from part one. Opens with a delightful character scene where Kira is packing and assorted crew members are either trying to convince her to resist her re-assignment, or say goodbye to her. The interplay between all the characters shows a warmth between them that has not been seen before.

Bareil and Winn are re-introduced in this episode. Bareil as a possible lover for Kira, and there is a very good scene between Louise Fletcher and Frank Langella where their characters subtly negotiate for power while seemingly flirting with each other.

The orbs are seen for the second time, and Kira has her first encounter with them. Bareil identifies this as the orb of prophecy and change, meaning that the Cardassians probably returned several or all the orbs to Bajor.

Some nice character stuff. Kira in a monastery trying to make herself useful at first. (they did make her use the all too earth-centric phrase "It's like riding a bicylce", which always stuck out like a sore thumb.

The Siege

Sisko tries to prevent the Circle from taking the station; Kira and Dax take proof that the Cardassians are the real force that is arming the Circle to the Bajoran government.

Some strong scenes between Dax and Kira as they have to make their way to Bajor. Already the writers are treating Dax differently then the rather serene "dull" character in season one. Also, Bashir is far less annoying and a bit more authoritative.

Nice cat and mouse game between the Bajoran forces and the Starfleet crew remaining on DS9. But by this time the character of Li Nalas, who was introduced so strongly in the season opener hasn't actually contributed much. His death is the most memorable thing here.

It's fun to see Vedek Winn shift sides so easily after realizing Jaro's coup will fail.

This three parter remains an excellent package of solid plotting, action and character development. And was for it's time possible the most expansive epic story that had been done for the Star Trek TV series. They producers purposely set out to do a story they could not do on DS9. (even though the Li Nalas part is based on a treatment Jeri Taylor had submitted for TNG) At the time TNG had reached it's final season and was slowly winding down, while DS9 really needed to start establishing itself. This 3 parter does that.

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Invasive Procedures

Evacuated due to a plasma storm, Deep Space 9 is taken over by a group of mercenaries, led by a Trill who wants to remove Dax from Jadzia.

John Glover turns in a splendid performance as Varad, the Trill who takes possession of the Dax symbiont. Turning him from a bitter, stuttering and nervous wreck to a confident, arrogance man. There's a good scene when he talks to Sisko right after the operation. Suddenly this man who has taken them hostage and nearly murdered one of his officers has become his closest friend. Brooks turns in some fine work in this episode.

Tim Russ, the man who would later become Tuvok on Voyager plays a Klingon here. Which looks a bit funny now.

This episode expands on the nature of the joined Trills. Not all of them are joined with a symbiont. It takes years of training and dedication. Terry Farrel also puts a nice contrast on her character. The joined Jadzia Dax, with hundreds of years of experience and memory. And the scared Jadzia after all of that is taken away.

This episode is an old favorite of mine, but the scenes with Quark have always been a bit problematic. He is basically a conspirator in this, yet in the end it appears he inst punished in any way. I know he helped to save Jadzia, but still....

Other then that, very good episode.

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Cardassians

Political heat rises on the station as a Bajoran enter the station with an orphaned Cardassian he has adopted.

This episode has the return of "plan simple Garak" and one of my single favorite lines from the entire series, which perfectly sums of the character.

Garak: I believe in coincidences, coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences.

Very much an "issue" oriented show which deals with subjects as war orphans, self hatred and racism. But it uses those issues for some nice character scenes.

There's a good scene between O'Brien and the Cardassian boy. Chief O'Brien is prejudiced against Cardassians, having fought in conflicts against them. The boy hates Cardassians and maybe to some extent himself.

This episode also continues with the strengthening of the Bashir character. In his first encounter with Garak Bashir is a blubbering nervous wreck. Here he is often the one challenging Garak to reveal more. And he's not afraid to confront Dukat.

Andy Robinson is once again a delight to watch as the mysterious tailor. His feud with Gul Dukat is hinted at here for the first time. And there is a moment of genuine discomfort when he is confronted with the Cardassian war orphans.

Sisko makes the decisions to return to boy to Cardassia. It's an interesting choice. The safer choice (from the writers) would be to let him remain with his adoptive parents.

An interesting morality play with a few nice hints of political intrigue. This is essentially a bottle show, but the writing, acting etc makes it feel less confined then previous episodes that take place mostly on DS9.

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No....

TNG Starship Mine with Picard

DS9 Invasive Procedures with Sisko

Generations on the bridge of the B with Kirk (Harriman doesn't count because Russ is only counting series captains)

Voyager series with Janeway

The half captain is a stab at Genevieve Bujold, the woman who would captain Voyager.

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The character was originally called Nicole Janeway, and english.

Since Bujold has a strong french Canadian accent. ;)

Tim Russ actually worked with Sisko when he was a Captain and a Commander!

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Melora

Another "social issue" episode, about disabled people basically. Sadly nothing much about it gives any new insight or goes beyond the cliched.

Bashir has a few good character moments, and there's a nice scene at the Klingon restaurant. But it's a story about a disabled person dealing with disability. Very socially conscious, very PC.

Dana Ashbrook gives a solid performance though.

The B story features a cool looking alien with the tip of his nose attached to his chin! But that was the most interesting thing about this episode.

Forgettable.


Rules Of Acquisition

A "first" for several reasons.

First episode to show Dax being friendly with Ferengi's, even playing Tongo.

First episode to show a Ferengi female.

First episode to mention The Dominion. Interesting that what would become DS9's defining aspect is introduced in what is essentially a run of the mill, comedy ep.

This, also is something of an "issue" episode, exploring sexism in Ferengi culture, where women are not allowed to leave their homes, acquire profit or even wear clothes. But unlike Melora, this ep does it in a way thats fun.

Not a great episode by any means, but enjoyable because of the comedy. Grand Nagus Zek trying to seduce Kira is quite hilarious.

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Necessary Evil

After an assassination attempt on Quark, Odo reopens a five year old murder case in which Kira was the main suspect.

This is the first episode to feature Deep Space Nine before the end of the occupation, while it was under Cardassian control and named Terok Nor.

It shows Odo's beginnings as chief of security as he is brought in by Gul Dukat to investigate a murder. In this episode, we see Odo meet Gul Dukat, Kira Nerys, and Quark for the very first time.

The episode is very much an homage to the film noir detectives of the 40's, dark photography, hard boiled narration etc. They even have a scene with the classic Good Cop/Bad Cop routine and at one point Odo doesn't Columbo's most famous trick "Oh, one more thing...". None of this distract from the overall mood of the story though.

This is an excellent episode in a rather mediocre patch of season two. Auberjonois is excellent as an inexperienced but determined Odo, forced to deal with constant harassment from Cardassians, and even Quark. This is the first episode where we learn that Rom may be a lot smarter than most people think and that he is in fact possessed of a great deal of mechanical/technical knowledge and expertise.

It all leads up to the final scene where Odo realizes he was wrong about Kira 5 years previous. It's also the first true indication of their later relationship.

This episode would get a follow up of sorts in season 5's Thing's Past, when the tables would be turned.

First rate! A story that could work in any season of DS9.

This story would get a compagion


Second Sight

Sisko falls in love with a mysterious alien woman, while a brilliant Federation scientist arrives on the station with a plan to reignite a dead star.

Starts Sisko's tendency of having rather tragic love affairs. After this one he would fall in love with a mirror universe double of his deceased wife and a Maquis smuggler. Unlike the other shows leads Sisko is the only one portrayed as someone who was once married, and has a family. And the only one who would commit to a long term relationship again.

The idea for this episode is actually rather interesting, the problem is that it somehow doesn't work. The two guest stars in this episode are quite ineffective. Salli Richardson-Whitfield is stunningly gorgeous and can actually act (as she would demonstrate in Eureka). But we dont connect with her character (or characters) at all. Therefore it's a bit hard to care or believe that Sisko does.

The other guest star Terraformer Gideon Seyatek was played by Richard Kiley (spared no expense). He was written as a larger then life John Huston type. But he mainly comes of as an annoying and arrogant blow-heart.

Because of this the episode largely fails.

The good stuff are a few nice character scenes between the regulars. (which is usually what makes even the poor episodes tolerable on this show)

NEXT!


Sanctuary

A group of aliens escaping persecution in the Gamma Quadrant arrive at Deep Space 9.

Obviously another "issue" show, dealing with the coming of hordes of refugees to DS9, and their desire to relocate to Bajor.

Shows like this only work if they don't simplify the issues. And Sanctuary doesn't. It shows Bajor, and Kira and sympathetic, but unwilling to take on a group of 3 million immigrants.

That this may be a mistake is pointed out in a nicely downbeat ending.

While the overall story is interesting enough, this episode stands out (if it does) mostly because of it's details. It's one of the rare Trek episodes that deals with the Universal translator in any serious way (that great conceit that allows aliens from other worlds to speak English). It is the second ep to mention the Dominion.

The refugees are deliberately portrayed as being rather ungainly, with flaking skin and argumentative, dressed in rags and with strange customs. Giving Quark the opportunity to be a bit "prejudiced".

Character actor Leland Orser plays one of them, as does Walter Koenig's son.

A generally solid episode with some interesting idea, but It's never been a favorite of mine, my attention drifts away from it.

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oh I agree, and a big difference with TNG is the character stuff.

A boring TNG episode has very very little to offer. If the story is bad, the episode is bad. But even the lesser DS9 ones always have a few interesting character scenes. The characters interacting with each other in interesting ways (something that was TNG's weak point, apart from Worf, Data and Picard)

For example:

Rivals

Basically two B stories.

Quark meets his match when a new rival opens a casino opposite Quark's Bar on the Promenade; meanwhile the station is suffering issues of high improbability. And Bashir and O'Brien become rival players at Raquetball.

Guest-starring Chris Sarandon as a con-man (from the same race as Guinan) who sets shop opposite Quark.

I suppose this was intended to have a "day in the life on board DS9"feeling to it. But the storyline simply isnt very interesting. Nor is Sarandon's character.

A few scenes with Quark are very watchable though. And the secondary story of Bashir and O'Brien competing is fun. This is before they would become best buds and O'Brien still thinks Julian is a bit of a dick. There's a nice little scene with Keiko encouraging her husband on a game he can't possibly win, that rings true.

But, there is something off about it structurally. I actually originally thought it was a season one episode. No pace at all. Everything set on DS9. Even Bashir goes back to the annoying character he used to be.


The Alternate

The Bajoran scientist who studied Odo visits the station with news that he may have found clues to Odo's origins.

Reveals and confirms some very interesting aspects of Odo's character and history. Despite the fact that he sets himself apart from humanoids he has a deep hatred of being regarded as a scientific curiosity or a circus freak.

Doctor Mora Pol is the closest thing he has to a parent, but there is a deep resentment between Odo and him.

Originally Auberjonois was supposed to play both roles, but that would have taken too much time, so character actor James Sloyan was hired. With make-up and hair style to give him just enough of a superficial likeness to Odo then it works. Sloyan gives a solid performance. And would return for another episode in season 5.

Much of this episode deals with a mystery about a disapearing life-form that turns out to be Odo. The script seeds several red herrings and ends with a rather effects laden scene of a blob like Odo trapped in a forcefield. This has always been my least favorite part of the episode.

Still, decent viewing. Loved the opening conversation between Quark and Odo about death rituals.

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What are the worst episodes, in your opinion.

There are some dull/uninteresting ones. Quite a few to be honest. But i cant recall ones that are like...agonizing to watch, like almost all of season one of TNG.

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The Armageddon Game

O'Brien and Bashir help to rid two races of their biological weapons, however both governments want to make sure no technical knowledge of the weapons can survive.

Even though the two characters shared an adventure before (The Storyteller) this can be seen as the start of the Bashir/O'Brien friendship.

The two play of each other very nicely, and there is a good scene where Quark gives a final salute to the two when they are assumed dead.

"To our dear departed comrades... we may have had our differences, but I'll say this for them--and it's the highest tribute I can think of: They were good customers. They always paid their bar bills on time."

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Wasn't the start of their relationship the episode where they get drunk singing drinking songs?

What are the worst episodes, in your opinion.

There are some dull/uninteresting ones. Quite a few to be honest. But i cant recall ones that are like...agonizing to watch, like almost all of season one of TNG.

That's a good question. I've watched both TNG and DS9 in full on DVD twice, but I can't recall any specific bad DS9 episodes, unlike TNG (all of S1, much of S2, and of course Dr. Crusher's ghost porn episode in I think S6). There's an overall feeling though that the first three (or four? When did Worf arrive?) seasons of DS9 still have plenty of dull spots and sometimes feel like treading water. Once Worf is on board and the Dominion war in full action, even the few lesser episodes in between are on a pretty high level.

There's stuff like the Tosk episode of course, which, while decent, just bores me nowadays (I've probably seen that one a few times on TV back when it was on originally, so that doesn't help), although I think it was a major step up in the makeup department. Or Move Along Home, which is fun, but somewhat pointless (and I'm not even complaining about the trick ending, the whole thing would be pointless without it). I'm sure there are a few relative stinkers still coming up. I'll let you know if one of your reports reminds me of something I disliked in particular.

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Many of the earlier season one episodes don't really have the strong character scenes yet.

Worf arrived in season 4. But you can see that the show was already hitting it's strides in season 3. The founders, The Defiant. things going on between the Cardassians and Romulans. (The Die Is Cast has a battle scene that offers a glimpse into what would follow later)..

Whispers.

This is a really good season two episode. O'Brien returns to DS9 after a mission away and discovers everyone on the station is acting...different. Shutting him out. Questioning him. Submitting him to long medicals. Evgen his wife doesnt seem to be his wife.

Wonderfully paranoid atmosphere with Colm Meany as an O'Brien who is slowly being cornered.

The resolution, while abrupt was a complete surprise to me back in the day. It all felt very "twilight zone".

Superb!

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I remember "Whispers" when it first aired and practically had the same feeling you did about it back then. Although I had a sneaky suspicion it had to do with a clone some way or another. It definitely was a good episode.

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And as you said, the atmosphere really works. Especially with O'Brien as the main character: One of the most sympathetic characters of the crew, but with some personal flaws (e.g. his racism towards the Cardassians) that make you not quite trust him to not do something horribly wrong at some point (though I'm not sure now if that bit is relevant to this episode).

Thinking of it, O'Brien's conflicted personality might be the (much milder) predecessor to most of the BSG crew.

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O'Brien is a bit unique because he is the only main character (iiirc) that displays any kind of prejudice. Worf did on TNG, towards the Romulans and ofcouurse Kira did, Quark etc etc.

On TNG that made him look a lot more flawed then it did on DS9, where it actually makes him more human.

While there are a lot of similarities between DS90 in BS9 in style and tone and,design and even in casting (James Callis as Baltar looks and sound so eerily like Bashir at times it must be done on purpose...) I dont really think O'Brien would fit in BSG.

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O'Brien is a bit unique because he is the only main character (iiirc) that displays any kind of prejudice. Worf did on TNG, towards the Romulans and ofcouurse Kira did, Quark etc etc.

Didn't you just contradict yourself by including Kira and Quark?

The difference is, Quark is Quark, Kira is primarily an ex-terrorist/freedom fighter, but O'Brien is an everyday worker class man whose military past only comes up occasionally (and then usually in combination with his racism).

While there are a lot of similarities between DS90 in BS9 in style and tone and,design and even in casting (James Callis as Baltar looks and sound so eerily like Bashir at times it must be done on purpose...) I dont really think O'Brien would fit in BSG.

Of course not. Essentially, every character there becomes a war criminal at one point, stays one (!) for at least half a season, an then somehow becomes likeable (or at least understandable) again later on. But there's perhaps the seeds to this in some of DS9's characters' shadier pasts.

And full ack on Baltar/Bashir.

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LOL i meant to type HUMAN character.

In Star Trek, serious character flaws are usually reserved for it's alien characters.



Of course not. Essentially, every character there becomes a war criminal at one point, stays one (!) for at least half a season, an then somehow becomes likeable (or at least understandable) again later on. But there's perhaps the seeds to this in some of DS9's characters' shadier pasts.

Oh I'm sure. Sisko made decisions that are at least questionable, so did Kira etc etc. Many of it's supporting characters start of one way and become another. Damar for example. Or Dukat.

On BSG Lee is the only character who remained incorruptible and principled throughout the series, with the exception of that one rather bad episode where he falls in love with a hooker and shoots a pedo.

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Paradise

Commander Sisko and Chief O'Brien transport down to a Class M planet only to find that they are unable to return to the Runabout that brought them to the new world. On the planet, they come across a group of human colonists who had crashed on the planet ten years ago, and had encountered interference on the planet that rendered useless the technology they had once used to survive.

Never been fond of this one. It's a reworking of the old cliche thatsmall, idyllic communities are unwholesome under the surface.

Features good work from Avery Brooks as the strong willed Sisko defying the near fascist community leader-woman. But it's all a bit too simple, obvious and by the numbers.

Only features Sisko, O'Brien, Dax and Kira. None of the other regulars are in this one.

At this point Sisko wants Jake to follow his footsteps and join Starfleet.

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Paradise

Commander Sisko and Chief O'Brien transport down to a Class M planet only to find that they are unable to return to the Runabout that brought them to the new world. On the planet, they come across a group of human colonists who had crashed on the planet ten years ago, and had encountered interference on the planet that rendered useless the technology they had once used to survive.

Never been fond of this one. It's a reworking of the old cliche thatsmall, idyllic communities are unwholesome under the surface.

Features good work from Avery Brooks as the strong willed Sisko defying the near fascist community leader-woman. But it's all a bit too simple, obvious and by the numbers.

Only features Sisko, O'Brien, Dax and Kira. None of the other regulars are in this one.

At this point Sisko wants Jake to follow his footsteps and join Starfleet.

Ya didn't care to much for that episode either.

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Shadow Play

Dax and Odo come across rare omicron particles on a planet. Beaming down to the surface, they are swept up in a village's investigation to find out what happened to twenty-two of their fellow inhabitants. Back on Deep Space Nine, Kira, covering for Odo while he's away, welcomes Vedek Bareil to the station, and Commander Sisko assigns Chief O'Brien to work with his son so that Jake can prepare himself for the day he enters Starfleet Academy.

3 smaller stories rolled into a single episode. The Odo/Dax story is very similar to TNG's Survivors and features Odo is a Data type role befriending a young girl. the story isn't particulary memoroable but has some nice performences.

Jake not wanting to join Starfleet basically cements his position in becoming the anti-Westley, and therefore a far more interesting character.

This episode is the start of the love affair between Kira and Bareil. It shows interesting aspects about Bajoran religion. Even though these monks live in relative seclusion and belong to a strict religious order, they are appartently allowed to engage in romantic/sexual relationships and even gamble....hmmm....

This episode marks the final reference to the Dominion before they are finally encountered in the second season finale, "The Jem'Hadar".

Decent enough episode. Because it has 3 stories it isnt as boring as Paradise.

Playing God


An initiate for the Trill host program has boarded Deep Space Nine to meet his trainer Jadzia Dax. A bit worried about Dax being his overseer, he is surprised to see that Jadzia Dax is nothing like he thought that she would be. In Ops, the crew try to purge the station of Cardassian voles before they become too much of a nuisance. Meanwhile an expanding proto-Universe threatens to destroy the station.

They dont seem to get the balance right in the episode. The discovery of a proto-universe with life forms in it that is expanding and threatens to take over our own universe is done here as a sort of secondary story. Robbing it of any significance. The A story here is Dax dealing with a fellow Trill. Good character stuff for Terry Farell there. Love the scene in the Klingon restaurant. For some reason the Trill initiate reminds me far too much of Chandler Bing from Friends.

To put the proto-universe out of harms way (it's never stated where), Dax and the other Trill fly it through the wormhole, careful to avoid colliding with verteron node inside it. Basically giant asteroid like boulders that have not been seen inside the wormhole before and will never be seen or mentioned again. They only exist to provide a rather obvious element of danger.

Interesting because of some of the character stuff, and a fun B story about Cardassian voles, but that's it.


Profit and Loss

A Cardassian vessel suffering systems failure is docked at Deep Space Nine. While there, the three Cardassians onboard the ship are seen by Quark, who was once romantically involved with one of them. Meanwhile, "plain simple" Garak spots the three guests of DS9, which begins to worry them. It isn't long before a Cardassian warship arrives.

This is the first episode to refer to the Cardassian dissident movement. The problem with this episode is that many of the cast make decisions that seems strangely out of character for them. Quark comes of as too heroic. Odo agrees to release the prisoners a bit too easily and Garak shoots a Cardassian Gul mostly because at that time the plot seems to dictate it. Even Sisko comes of as weak.

The episode does show of Shimmerman's qualities as an actor. Even in full make up he is convincing as a man in love, and the few romantic scenes between him and the Cardassian woman of hid dreams actually work quite well.

Also there are a few strong scenes between Quark and Odo and also Garak that makes this watchable.

The story started out as an homage to Casablanca, with Quark in the Bogart role. They were forced to rewrite it and it shows.

Very very average.


Blood Oath

The episode featured the return of John Colicos, William Campbell and Michael Ansara to the Klingon roles of Kor, Koloth and Kang, respectively. Each of those actors had previously portrayed the roles in episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. These three Klingons swore a blood oath with Curzon Dax eight decades ago to kill a Klingon known as The Albino, who killed all three Klingons' first-born sons. Now, The Albino has been found and the chance for vengeance is at hand.

This is the best Dax episode so far, establishing her deep understanding and devotion to Klingon culture. Even to the extent that she is willing...insisting to be held to a blood oath for vengeance made by a former host.

Blood Oath is both an epic adventure and a morality tale. There is some great scenes of Kira and Sisko deeply questioning Dax's decision to participate in what is essentially a fight to the death.

Of the three actors who return to their roles for the first time since the 60's John Colicos is the most memorable as a hard drinking, hard fighting Kor. Larger then life and flamboyant. He gives dept to what could have been just a slightly buffoonish portrayal. Ansara is impressive in a more restraint way. Campbell doesn't have much to do, but I did like the way how Odo backed down after his Koloth took offense to how he was being addressed.

Blood Oath is the first episode of DS9 to establish a connection to the classic series. And does so in a rather excellent way. A few episodes later Crossover would even exceed it.

After a string of decent but basically forgettable episodes it's nice see a really strong one again.

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The Maquis part 1

When a Cardassian freighter explodes at Deep Space Nine, the Cardassians blame Federation colonists in the new Demilitarized Zone.

Part 1 of a very important story for the franchise. It established many element that would become the focus of Voyager. The DMZ, war between Federation and Cardassian colonists and a terrorist group named The Maquis. It is also the first episode that features Gul Dukat as more then just a sinister Cardassian villain. Eventually the character would develop strong, but always ambivalent ties with both Sisko and Kira. And Marc Alaimo plays essentially the role of his career. always mixing an undeniable charm with a deeply sinister quality.

The same can not be said for Bernie Casey, playing Cal Hudson. One of Sisko's best friends who will eventually become an adversary. While Brooks is quite strong in their scenes together Casey seems rather dull.

Lots of good character scenes in this episode. Quark trying to seduce a Vulcan woman, confrontation between Kira and Sisko, and some very nice back and forts between Sisko and Gul Dukat.

Talkative ep, not a lot of action, but solid stuff.

The Maquis part 2

This, fairly low key episode highlight the main difference between the word of the Federation as portrayed in Star Trek: The Next Generation and in Deep Space Nine. A short speech Sisko gives to Kira:

Do you know what the trouble is? The trouble is Earth-on Earth there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise.

It's easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there in the demilitarized zone all the problems haven't been solved yet.

Out there, there are no saints, just people-angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with Federation approval or not.

The concept of the Maquis was probably set up to facilitate a background for Voyager, but after the pilot that show would take place in a completely different part of the galaxy. I assume it was the intention that the Maquis would become a main focus of Deep Space Nine after that.

However after Rick Berman concentrated on Voyager and left the production of DS9 in the hands on the likes of Ira Steven Behr, Rober Hewitt Wolve and Ronald D. Moore they began to focus much more on The Dominion and the Maquis only appeared occasionally. And were actually rarely portrayed in a sympathetic light. (possibly because the showrunner Ira Steven Behr resented having to feature them at all)

Like part one, the strongest scenes are the ones featuring Gul Dukat, who easily overshadows the Maquis in this episode. There's a good scene where he ridicules his captures on the clumsy way they are trying to get information out of him.

A couple of good effect shot for a short skirmish between a few Runabouts and Maquis raiders, but it would not be until late in season 3 that the space battles would leave the TNG style of production and things would really start to get visually impressive.

A good episode but with a slightly underwhelming resolution.

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The Wire

An excellent character piece featuring Bashir and Garak. the first episode to offer any (albeit conflicting) information about Garaks background.

Introduces the Obsidian Order and the character of Enaberan Tain.

Andrew Robinson gets the chance to offer of something more then his usual suspicious charm as he plays a Garak going through severe withdrawal symptoms. And Fadil as Bashir is finally a equal match for his verbal prowess.

Features a solid script with a strong concept and some first rate dialogue. If it has any weak points is that the resolution comes rather easy. Bashir simply flies to Cardassia, talk with Tain a few minutes and gets what he needs...

Other then that, outstanding!

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Crossover

Just before entering the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant, the Runabout that Major Sisko and Doctor Bashir were on suffered a plasma leak. They make it to the other side of the wormhole, but find themselves in a very different place.

Mirror Mirror is one of the classic episodes of the original Star Trek series, where Captain Kirk accidentally find himself in a parallel universe where human kind and the Federation are a brutal and savage empire and he is a tyranical captain.

This fan favorite episode ends on an optimistic note when Kirk seems to manage to persuade an "evil" Spock (complete with villain mustache) to turn things around.

Crossover brilliantly takes it from there and shows that Kirk's meddling has had a disastrous effect on human kind, who became peaceful, and were subsequently enslaved.

Of course one has to go along with the conceit that mirror universe opposites are not only all vastly different characters, but also seem to find themselves in roughly the same location. But thats part of the fun. To see familiar characters turned around.

In this episode the most fun goes to Nana Visitor, who plays both her regular Kira Nerys, and her"evil" alternate Intendant Kira Nerys.

Visitor is a delight to watch as a privileged, spoiled and very very dangerous character, strutting around like a 1940's femme fatale, casually orders the torture or death of humans. She becomes totally smitten with...basically herself.

Normally Visitor downplays her femininity in favour of far more interesting character aspects. Her she has a change to go hog-wild and gleefully shows her stuff. Her Intendant is dead sexy and deadly. And would become a memorable recurring character.

Quark is a noble, if frightened smuggler. Sisko is basically a gigolo. Odo is Odo but completely without any compassion and sense of justice. Only O'Brien is fairly similar as the one we know and love.

The direction is more inventive then usual. Employing a lot of Dutch angles to differentiate the mirror universe from "our" one.

The art direction returns to the dark look of Terok Nor.

This is an outstanding episode! Well written, fun. With some nice twists and turns. And, unlike almost any episode of either TNG or Deep Space Nice up to that point. Sexy...

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The Collaborator

With the choosing for the next Kai upon the Bajoran people, a former collaborator with the Cardassian Occupation returns from Cardassia in the hopes of returning to his home world.

Instead, he is detained to await punishment for his crimes. Meanwhile, Vedek Bareil seeks the guidance of the prophets in order to bring himself to terms with the past.

Another episode highlighting Kira, investigating whether Bareil, her lover, was a collaborator during the occupation.

Vedek's Bareil and Winn return to DS9. Win has a few good scenes with Sisko and Kira, but Philip Anglim as Bareil is still rather dull and flat in his delivery. A lot of Bareil's dialogue is often quite sarcastic in nature. But the actor usually doesn't manage to bring it across.

That's really the only (small) blemish on a very solid episode.

The Collaborator is the first episode that hints, still in a very small way, of Odo's true feelings for Kira. After she tells him she loves Bareil, the usually stoic facade breaks. Just for a few second you can see that it hurts. It's a small, but beautifully played moment by Auderjonois, that would get a nice pay-off later in the series.

Another aspect that would get a massive pay of is because of events in this story, Winn becomes the new Kai (Pope) rather then Bareil. A great choice from the writers. Bareil is a benevolent character. While Winn is essentially a Borgia Pope. Far far more potential for conflict there.

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Tribunal

Chief O'Brien embarks with his wife Keiko on their first vacation in five years. While on their way to their destination in a Runabout, they are stopped by a small Cardassian warship. Allowed to beam over, the Cardassians put O'Brien under arrest on charges of crimes against the Cardassian state. He is taken back to Cardassia Prime to await his inevitable execution.

This is a prime example of the "O'Brien must suffer" series of episodes. Designed to basically put the character though hell once a season.

The trail he has to endure is a classic case of Kafka nightmare. With the guilt of the accused already established before the proceedings begin and the offering of evidence contrary to that guilt being against the rules.

Miles O'Brien is given a treatment on Cardassia that reminds of the tortures Picard had to endure in Chain Of Command.

This is the first mention that the Cardassians use cosmetic alterations in order to infiltrate their enemies. A concept that would be reused later on DS9 in Second Skin, and in Voyager (Seska).

Overall a solid episode with good performances, the the resolution seems a bit too easy.

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