HTF REVIEW: Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Complete Fifth Season (Recommended)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Scott Kimball, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Fifth Season

    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1996-1997

    Rated: NR

    Length: Over 1200 minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Fullscreen

    Subtitles: English


    Release Date: October 7
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Complete Fifth Season opens where the fourth season left off - with Odo stripped of his shape-shifting abilities, and The Federation suspecting that Gowron has been replaced by a changeling. Kira is pregnant, carrying the child of Miles and Keiko. And so it begins...

    Aside from the developments in the Dominion war in season five, which I will not discuss here for those who have not seen the series through yet, there are some excellent standalone episodes, and some interesting personal developments, as well.

    The first episode,Apocalypse Rising, begins shortly after Dominion infiltration of the Klingon Empire is discovered in season 4. Our crew goes into the Klingon Empire, undercover, to expose the Dominion threat. Of course, we find that not all is what it seems to be.

    Perhaps the most famous episode of DS9, Trials and Tribble-ations, is found early on this season. This episode, a Star Trek 30th anniversary celebration, unites the the Deep Space Nine crew with the characters and events of the original classic episode, The Trouble with Tribbles.

    For the Uniform reintroduces Captain Sisko’s Maquis nemesis, Michael Eddington in an outstanding episode.

    A two-part Dominion episode advances the plot in In Purgatory’s Shadow and By Inferno’s Light.

    In the finale, Call to Arms, things with the Dominion come to a head, resulting in one of the most impressive space battle sequences ever filmed for television. This episode ends with many unanswered questions - much more a cliffhanger than previous seasons. Fear not - season six will be in stores on November 4.

    Episode List
    Disc 1

    Apocalypse Rising
    The Ship
    Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places
    ... Nor the Battle to the Strong

    Disc 2
    The Assignment
    Trials and Tribble-ations
    Let He Who is Without Sin...
    Things Past

    Disc 3
    The Ascent
    Rapture
    The Darkness and the Light
    The Begotten

    Disc 4
    For the Uniform
    In Purgatory’s Shadow
    By Inferno’s Light
    Doctor Bashir, I Presume?

    Disc 5
    A Simple Investigation
    Business as Usual
    Ties of Blood and Water
    Ferengi Love Songs

    Disc 6
    Soldiers of the Empire
    Children of Time
    Blaze of Glory
    Empok Nor

    Disc 7
    In the Cards
    Call to Arms
    SPECIAL FEATURES


    The Video:
    Colors are beautifully rendered, vibrant and saturated. The discerning viewer will notice some occasional mild pixellation or pixel drift, especially in darker action scenes... but it's usually momentary and rarely distracting. The casual viewer most likely will not even notice. The picture is as sharp as previous seasons - showing some evidence of high frequency filtration, but it is adequate and does not exhibit any noticeable edge enhancement. Shadow detail could be better - my biggest complaint - but it is comparable to previous DS9 outings on DVD. The program is presented in its original fullscreen aspect ratio.

    The Audio:
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. As expected with a television production, the mix is non-agressive. The forward soundfield is expansive, with dialog anchored to the center channel. Rear channel effects are noticed in space battles and action scenes, and for general ambience, but they lack punch. The LFE is noticeable in the action scenes, as well as the ever-present rumble heard on the station or on a ship as ambient noise. Again, though, the low frequency effects are slightly underutilized. The mix is average or above average for television product from this time period.

    Those who are familiar with the look and sound of previous DS9 outings will find this season to be on par with the rest.

    Special Features

    Trials and Tribble-ations: Uniting Two Legends (17:00)
    1996 and 2002 interviews with Ira Steven Behr, Ronald D. Moore, Alexander Siddig, Michael Dorn, Rene Auberjoinois, Terry Farrell, Rene Echevarria, Rick Berman and Charlie Brill. Discussion of the impetus and logistics of the 30th Anniversary special “Trials and Tribbel-ations,” which unites Deep Space Nine with the original series through “Gump” technology. Cast relay their impressions of sets, props and costumes. The “Klingon problem” is discussed. The casting of an original cast member from “The Trouble with Tribbles,” Charlie Brill as Arne Darvin, is discussed. A chance encounter between Behr and Brill at a Pizza restaurant set this casting choice in motion.

    Trials and Tribble-ations: An Historic Endeavor (16:39)
    This featurette includes comments from Herman Zimmerman, Gary Hutzel, Doug Drexler and Michael Okuda, as well as input from many of the same people in the “Uniting” featurette, above. This piece concentrates on the mechanics of the production - from the recreation of sets and models to the special effects used to marry shows from two different eras. An entirely new Enterprise model was built for this show. Since the original model at the Smithsonian Institute had been refurbished (incorrectly), the model builders had to go back to the original illustrations and photography and build a new model from scratch. Sets and props from the original show no longer existed, so they were also built from scratch.

    These two featurettes are very interesting, giving over thirty minutes of documentary material on the groundbreaking special anniversary episode.

    Crew Dossier: Miles O’Brien (11:30)
    Interviews with Colm Meaney, Ira Steven Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell and Ronald D. Moore reveal the character of “every-man” Miles O’Brien. Emphasis is on how, every year, the writers like to make Miles’ life miserable, because the fans can empathize with the character.

    Inside DS9 with Michael Okuda (7:19)
    Scenic Arts Supervisor Michael Okuda, a virtual encyclopedia of all things Trek, discusses his contribution to the show. Discussion includes the “look” of the technology, and the building of props from everyday items: bird feeders, canteens, plumbing fixtures, air fresheners, etc... Also talked about: the little in-jokes - odd text on control panels that isn’t picked up by the camera, the namesake businesses on the promenade such as: Berman’s Dilithium Supply and Chez Zimmerman.

    Michael Westmore’s Aliens (7:32)
    Michael Westmore discusses makeup design. Emphasis is on the creation of wounds (burns, bruises and scars), Jem’Hadar makeup (patterned after rhinoceros skin), and Trill makeup (applied with a Sharpie). Westmore estimates that he, personally, applied Farrell’s Trill spots with a Sharpie 479 times.

    Photo Gallery
    Over 40 images from the episodes of season 5, and from behind the scenes.

    Section 31: Hidden Files
    01: “The Begotten” / Rene Auberjoinois
    02: “The Ascent” and shooting on location
    03: Interview with Robert Hewitt Wolfe
    04: Interview with Nana Visitor - discussing her pregnancy and her character
    05: “Ties of Blood and Water” Interview with Nana Visitor
    06: “Soldiers of the Empire” All-Klingon episode / interview with Ronald D. Moore
    07: “Dr. Bashir, I Presume” / Interview with Chase Masterson
    08: “Ferengi Love Songs” - Armin Shimerman talks about “Moogi.”
    09: Interview with J.G. Hertzler about his character, Martok
    10: Interview with Jeffrey Combs about his characters: Tiron, Brunt and Weyoun

    Trailer
    Indiana Jones Trilogy

    Final Thoughts
    Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Complete Fifth Season continues the tradition of great storytelling and special effects set forth in the earlier seasons. This set also includes some great special features, most notably the featurettes about the making of “Trials and Tribble-ations.” The Dominion arc gets wound tightly by the end of the finale, leaving the viewer hanging until the release of the next season of DS9.

    Paramount continues to do justice to this series, with a wonderful season set. I only wish that episode trailers were included, and that chapter stops would be consistently placed after the opening credits. Like MGM’s “Stargate: SG1,” chapter stops after the credits are a crapshoot. These are just minor complaints for an outstanding TV on DVD set.

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for genre fans
    RECOMMENDED for anyone else
     
  2. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Great review Scott! Thanks!

    Sadly, I may have to wait a few days to pick this up! (Next payday...) [​IMG]

    2 documentaries totalling more than a half-hour on "Trials & Tribblations"! WOW. That's just too cool. I was hoping for some stuff on that ep, but I didn't expect a half-hour of material! Awesome. [​IMG] (They should have interviewed David Gerrold, author of the origial episode and creator of tribbles! He was on the set of DS9's "Trials", and appeared as the silver-haired security guard seen in the background several times.)

    Lookin' forward to adding this to my collection! Man, this fall is just gonna be expensive!
     
  3. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I forgot to mention one little "extra."

    When you select the "Trials and Tribble-ations" episode on disc two, instead of hearing the ambient "station sounds" on the next menu screen, you are greeted with the sound of purring tribbles.

    -Scott
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Scott, this really is a nice review. You covered all bases succinctly and professionally. Thank you for the good work.
     
  5. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Nice to see the last 3 releases a month apart. It's been a long wait since the beginning of August.

    I've already blown through the first 8 episodes (got it Saturday).

    I've never seen a lot of these episodes and I was surprised to see that the concept of the pah-wraiths
    was introduced this early. I always thought it was something they came up with in the last season.

    Can't wait to finish the set this week! Great review!
     
  6. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Wonderful review, Scott! Well done! And the set makes for a nice Christmas or wedding present, too (hint hint to y'all out there!) [​IMG]
     
  7. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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  8. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Now *this* is what I'm talking about!!

    Not one, but two, special features on Trials and Tribble-ations!!

    Way to go, Paramount!!

    Needless to say, Season 5 is a *must have* for DS9 fans; but, due to the treatment of the official 30th Anniversary Star Trek show with this set, this is now a *must have* for all Star Trek fans!!

    Great Job!!

    (Man, I can't wait to get this package!!)
     
  9. Daryl Stovall

    Daryl Stovall Second Unit

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    Is Deep Space nine Considered superior to ST TNG? I'm kinda new to the whole post Star Trek series phenomenon after Kirk & Spock
     
  10. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Daryl,

    TNG vs. DS9 is basically apples vs. oranges.

    Both series have unique characteristics that make them special IMO.

    I own both series on DVD, and while I had seen almost all of the TNG episodes before I bought the DVD's, I had seen next to none of the DS9 episodes prior to season 6 before.
    And I've still enjoyed the DS9 sets every bit as much as the TNG sets. It took about half of season toget used to the series and characters, and after that I started liking it more and more.

    If you have to decide on one over the other right now, that's a tough call. DS9 tends to be much more serialized than TNG, so in that sense it lends itself much more easily to DVD.
     
  11. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  12. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    To add onto Jason Seaver's excellent comments, one of the aspects of DS9 I liked the most was how well it developed its secondary characters. I always disliked how on TGN you never knew anything about anyone else on the ship except the senior staff.

    In many ways DS9 was more satisfying as a series, but TNG had better individual episodes, if not some of the best dramatic television episodes in general, such as "The Inner Light" and "Darkmok" (a favorite among college professors).
     
  13. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

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    Ds9 was way more serialized, but it had some really good stand alones also. The Visitor for one is excellent, Tribbles in season 5, Far Beyond the stars and a few others.

    capt
     
  14. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Excellent review Scott! This is my number one item for pickup this week. Can't wait to get my hands on this set.....hell, I want the rest of them. Good thing only two months separate me from completing my collection.[​IMG]
     
  15. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    ....of course you could look at it another way as well.. we're only 3 sets away from voyager


    ...thank god my wallet could use a break.
     
  16. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    I agree, there are differences between TNG and DS9, but nothing I would say that makes one any better than the other.

    TNG had a charm all its own and followed in Gene Roddenberry's original footsteps, even in the final two and a half years after Roddenberry's passing. While they seemed to punch it up a bit in the second half of the series, it had charm and adventure and great little moments that added to the series.

    DS9, however, started pushing the envelope from its initial Fort Laramie/"Gunsmoke"-style concept and kept on pushing the envelope with its serialized stories and rich character arcs. Along with "Trials and Tribble-ations", DS9 had so many wonderful character pieces such as "The Visitor", "Far Beyond the Stars", and "In the Pale Moonlight", among others, that really gave twists and turns to the series. And they also had fun, too, in episodes such as "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" and "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", as well as the aforementioned "Trials and Tribble-ations".

    I like Jason's earlier allusion to "Law and Order" and "NYPD Blue" about both series. Both got the stories executed and had their own approaches to it, yet both have to be analyzed on its own individual merits to be fully appreciated.
     
  17. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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  18. Bill>Moore

    Bill>Moore Second Unit

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    Can't wait to pick up the set later today!
     
  19. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Gonna have to wait a few weeks,too poor [​IMG]
     
  20. Haden

    Haden Supporting Actor

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    Any info on what the Best Buy bonus disc has on it for this season?
     

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