Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

HTF Review: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Fourth Season

DVD Reviews TV Reviews

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
98 replies to this topic

#1 of 99 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

Scott Kimball

    Screenwriter



  • 1,500 posts
  • Join Date: May 08 2000

Posted July 24 2003 - 04:22 PM

Posted Image


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Fourth Season




Studio: Paramount

Year: 1995-1996

Rated: NR

Length: Over 1200 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Fullscreen

Subtitles: English

Release Date: August 5, 2003


"Let's just say DS9 has more shades of gray..."

Spoken by Captain Sisko in "Hippocratic Oath," these words not only serve, in the story, to contrast life on a space station vs. life on a starship - they also define Deep Space Nine, the series. It has more shades of gray than its predecessors. Gone is the sterile atmosphere of a starship. Gone are the simple good vs. bad relationships. In DS9, events unfold in an unclean universe where allegiances shift, and the lines between good and bad are no longer clear.

Seasons one and two were like the first act of a seven-season-long play. We were introduced to the people, and to the world which they inhabit. By the end of season two, we were given hints at the conflicts which would define the series. Season three was the turning point. The Defiant made its first appearance, and we started to see threads emerge. At the end of season three, one of those threads was pulled, unravelling a story that took four seasons to unfold.

Season four opens with a bang in "The Way of the Warrior," as the Klingons enter into conflict with the Cardassians, an act which will allow the Dominion to exploit the turbulence in the Alpha Quadrant and start on their path to domination. Commander Worf has joined Deep Space Nine as Strategic Operations Officer, in response to the new Klingon threat. The stage for the four season Dominion arc is set in this exciting double length episode.

Not every episode is dedicated to the Dominion arc, and the producers expertly set the balance needed for a threaded series. In fact, episode two, "The Visitor," is one of the most personal stories ever told on DS9 - and it's one of my favorites. Jake is separated from his father in an accident and spends a lifetime trying to get him back. Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton turn in excellent character-building performances here... and guest star Tony Todd steals the show as the elder Jake Sisko, with a stirring performance of his own.

Other favorite standalone episodes include "Little Green Men," an homage to great scifi of the past, as well as to Area 51 lore. "Our Man Bashir" has Julian playing a James Bond-like character... decidedly uncharacteristic of him. It's episodes like these that continue the character-building we saw in the first seasons, while other episodes, such as the fantastic two-part Homefront and Paradise Lost, are left to advance the Dominion War plot. As the season progresses we begin to truly realize the peril that the Alpha Quadrant faces, as we see hints of just how far the Dominion has infiltrated the quadrant... setting the stage for season five and beyond.

The cinematography of this series is as different from the others as its themes. The expansive promenade and large OPS center allow for long tracking shots and deep focus photography. The lighting is mostly sourced lighting... scenes are kept dark, seemingly lit by visible lamps, accent lighting and control panels. This gives a dark overall impression, and allows the set to be selectively, boldly, and beautifully painted with light and color, rather than bathed in unsourced light. This series is beautifully shot from start to finish.


Episode List:
Disc 1:
The Way of the Warrior
The Visitor
Hippocratic Oath

Disc 2:
Indiscretion
Rejoined
Starship Down
Little Green Men

Disc 3:
The Sword of Kahless
Our Man Bashir
Homefront
Paradise Lost

Disc 4:
Crossfire
Return to Grace
Sons of Mogh
Bar Association

Disc 5:
Accession
Rules of Engagement
Hard Time
Shattered Mirror

Disc 6:
The Muse
For the Cause
To the Death
The Quickening

Disc 7:
Body Parts
Broken Link
SPECIAL FEATURES

The Video:
I've been pleased that the quality of the video in the DS9 sets has been better and more consistent than we saw with "Star Trek: The Next Generation." This holds true for season four as well. 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. Casual viewers most likely will not even notice. Colors are vibrant and saturated. The picture is not exactly razor sharp, but it is adequate and does not exhibit any noticeable edge enhancement. 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. Music and sound effects shine in the left and right front channels. 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. Again, though, the low frequency effects are slightly underutilized. There's nothing remarkable about the surround mix, but it is at least above average for a television series of this genre, age, and production budget. One of the best demo episodes for audio is "Our Man Bashir." The score is excellent - reminiscent of James Bond films, and the sound effects in the opening sequence are well done.

Both audio and video are comparable to the prior Deep Space Nine releases.

Special Features:
Charting New Territory (approximately 18 minutes).
Executive producer Ira Steven Behr and writer / producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe talk about how they took the series in a new direction, and the difficulties they faced integrating the character Worf into the series. They and other cast and crew members also discuss the outstanding stand-alone episodes of the season, including the controversial "Rejoined," the sci-fi homage "Little Green Men," "Our Man Bashir," and the fan favorite "The Visitor." Also talked about was the season finale, "Broken Link." There are serious season four spoilers in this featurette. You will want to avoid watching this until after you have finished viewing season four.

Crew Dossier: Worf (approximately 14:30 minutes).
Michael Dorn discusses his character Worf in interviews from 1995, 1999 and 2002. Discussions of Worf's character development and relationships with crew are included. There are serious spoilers for seasons 4, 5, 6 and 7 in this featurette. If you are viewing this series for the first time, consider yourself warned.

Michael Westmore's Aliens (approximately 11 minutes)
Michael Westmore discusses creating alien makeup effects for Star Trek, and reveals how many of these props are recycled among the Star Trek series. Of particular interest is the discussion of the origins of the character Morn. No spoilers.

Deep Space Nine Sketchbook (approximately 10 minutes)
Illustrator John Eaves discusses the process of designing show elements through illustration in this 2002 interview.

Photo Gallery
Dozens of still images from the episodes of season four, and from behind the scenes.

Indiana Jones Preview Trailer
You'll be seeing this on several upcoming Paramount titles.

"Section 31 Files"
Those who are unfamiliar with the term "Section 31" will need to wait until the season 6 episode "Inquisition" to find out more. The "Section 31 Hidden Files" on the DS9 DVDs are simply little, easy to find "easter eggs." These short (2 - 5 minutes) featurettes bring us behind the scenes and inside the characters of DS9.

There are ten "Hidden Files" on disc 7.
Hidden File 01: Alexander Siddig discusses "The Quickening" in this 2002 interview
Hidden File 02: Armin Shimerman talks about the making of "Little Green Men."
Hidden File 03: Nana Visitor talks about playing out of character in "Our Man Bashir."
Hidden File 04: Guest Susanna Thompson speaks of her role in "Rejoined."
Hidden File 05: Director David Livingston talks about the landmark episode "The Visitor."
Hidden File 06: Visual Effects Coordinator Gary Hutzel talks about raising the bar on TV visual effects.
Hidden File 07: Writer Ronald D. Moore talks about pushing the envelope in "Sons of Mogh."
Hidden File 08: Chase Masterson discusses her first day on the set as "Leeta" in this entertaining clip.
Hidden File 09: Michael Dorn discusses the Klingon episodes, like "The Sword of Kahless."
Hidden File 10: Robert O'Reilly (Gowron) talks about his experiences playing a Klingon

---

Final Thoughts...

My one complaint about this set is minor, but it bears mentioning. Once again, the authors of this DVD set have not consistently placed a chapter stop after the opening credits. Don't hit the chapter skip button, or you may find yourself missing several minutes of the program.

Season 4 of Deep Space Nine is when the series really begins to soar, turning the screw on the Dominion plot, as well as turning in some of the best stand-alone episodes of the series. This boxed set is highly recommended for fans of the series. Those unfamiliar with this series, but who are familiar with other Star Trek series will want to take note: this is not Star Trek: Recycled. This is a bold, different Trek. Of course, if you've made it through season three, you knew that already.

#2 of 99 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul



  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted July 24 2003 - 04:26 PM

Quote:
Both audio and video are comparable to the prior Deep Space Nine releases.

OK, Scott, the $64,000 question: Did Paramount finally fix the 5.1 mix of the opening theme? It was fine for season 1, but then something happened that introduced a huge glitch affecting every episode in seasons 2 and 3. It's right when the comet passes across the screen.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#3 of 99 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Executive Producer



  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted July 24 2003 - 04:40 PM

Michael, they'd have to mix it again for season 4, as that's when the theme music changed to the more upbeat "thrum" version

#4 of 99 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul



  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted July 24 2003 - 04:49 PM

Quote:
Michael, they'd have to mix it again for season 4, as that's when the theme music changed to the more upbeat "thrum" version

Which isn't a guarantee that it can't be screwed up again. There was no need to remix for season 2, and yet they obviously did, since that's when the glitch appeared. So it's at least possible that they revisit the theme music for each set, and there have now been two sets with a similar mistake.

I continue to be astonished at the lack of comment on this problem. Other far less noticeable flaws in popular titles have generated endless posts. Does everyone just skip past the theme music?

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#5 of 99 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Executive Producer



  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted July 24 2003 - 05:02 PM

I usually watch it for the first few eps and then stop personally

#6 of 99 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

Ric Easton

    Screenwriter



  • 2,814 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted July 24 2003 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for the great review, Scott! Nice to see another DS9 review since Ron's season one! As usual, I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Ric

#7 of 99 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

Scott Kimball

    Screenwriter



  • 1,500 posts
  • Join Date: May 08 2000

Posted July 24 2003 - 05:18 PM

What kind of huge glitch are we talking about? I honestly never heard it before... and I just went and spot-checked some S3 episodes and still didn't hear anything. Is it a dropout? Distortion? I don't have S1 ready at hand to compare.

Season four has been completely re-mixed - including that section of the title sequence. The french horns wait an extra few beats before playing... so maybe whatever it was has been fixed.

Can anyone else chime in on this? Is it perhaps a player or decoder dependent problem?


-Scott

#8 of 99 OFFLINE   Doug Pyle

Doug Pyle

    Second Unit



  • 279 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 13 1998
  • Real Name:Doug
  • LocationMiddle of the Pacific

Posted July 24 2003 - 08:46 PM

Quote:
Is it perhaps a player or decoder dependent problem?
I don't know for certain, but I suspect so. I upgraded my receiver a few weeks ago, and I now use the digital out for sound. I heard the sound problem during the comet sweep before my upgrade, but the comet sound effect is flawless, decoded through my new Burr Brown DACs.

Before the upgrade, the sound noticeably distorted during the comet sweep. This occurred when heard via analog outs from my DVD player (Panasonic A310).

The difference:
When distorted, the comets make a crackling sound. I thought it was a DVD error in the soundtrack.

Through the better DACs, it is a pleasant, high-pitched tinkling sound sound effect, as if large grain sand were dropping onto glass - a sound like comet dust could make (if not for that pesky vacuum in space ... but then you couldn't hear nearby ships' engines roar or warp core explosions in space's vacuum either ... and that would ruin many fine ST sound effects!).

#9 of 99 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

Joseph Bolus

    Screenwriter



  • 2,193 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 1999

Posted July 24 2003 - 09:08 PM

I can't wait for this set.

To me, this series became Star Trek with this Season, and even began to surpass TNG in many aspects.

Since this series left the air, sadly, Star Trek has never seemed to be able to completely capture the "magic" that was established by TOS and refined by TNG.

So ... Let's revel and wallow in Seasons 4,5,6, and 7 of DS9! It may be the best Trek we'll get for quite some time to come!
Joseph
---------------

#10 of 99 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

Greg_S_H

    Executive Producer



  • 14,898 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2001
  • Real Name:Greg
  • LocationNorth Texas

Posted July 24 2003 - 10:02 PM

Quote:
Through the better DACs, it is a pleasant, high-pitched tinkling sound sound effect, as if large grain sand were dropping onto glass - a sound like comet dust could make

I always liked that sound. They did a similar thing for the Voyager opening, when the "camera" passed through the asteroid belt. Nifty.

As I've said in other threads, I'm seeing DS9 for the first time on DVD. I hear from almost all quarters that it becomes an excellent show this season, which will be an amazing thing: in spite of a few clunkers here and there (which every show has), the first three season have been outstanding as far as I'm concerned. If it gets even better, I'm in for a real treat. These next 11 days are going to be torture. I cannot wait. Posted Image

Now, I'm going to avoid reading most of this thread for fear of spoilers. Posted Image

#11 of 99 OFFLINE   Daniel Kikin

Daniel Kikin

    Screenwriter



  • 1,621 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 03 2001

Posted July 25 2003 - 12:28 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the great review, Scott! Nice to see another DS9 review since Ron's season one! As usual, I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

Ric took the exact words out of my mouth (or fingers). It's great to see another DS9 review on HTF. Can't wait for the last three seasons.

#12 of 99 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

Bill Williams

    Screenwriter



  • 1,699 posts
  • Join Date: May 28 2003

Posted July 25 2003 - 12:51 AM

Two thumbs up from this DS9 fan here! Looking forward to the set! Posted Image Posted Image
"I have in my heart what it takes to run with the big dogs in this life, and nobody can say otherwise."

"Attention all personnel. Tonight's movie is a holdover from last week and will be shown right after supper, which is also a holdover from last week."

#13 of 99 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul



  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted July 25 2003 - 01:27 AM

Quote:
Is it perhaps a player or decoder dependent problem?

I don't think so, as I've reproduced it on several different setups, including a Lexicon MC-8, which is generally thought to be a pretty good decoder. Posted Image As noted, the glitch does play differently through the player's analog outputs (i.e., with the 5.1 downmixed to stereo) than through a 5.1 decoder. The downmixed version sounds like exaggerated flutter, with some of the french horn notes rapidly fluctuating in pitch (it's almost a warbling sound). Through a 5.1 decoder, the glitch manifests itself as crackling and breakup in the rear channels.

In light of some of the observations here, I'll experiment with a few settings on the MC-8 to see what effect that has on the playback.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#14 of 99 OFFLINE   Tony Whalen

Tony Whalen

    Producer



  • 3,150 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 29 2002

Posted July 25 2003 - 02:21 AM

Man ... there are some GREAT eps in this season! Rejoined, Little Green Men, Visitor, Sword of Kahless...wow! Can hardly wait to add it to the collection!!! Posted Image

#15 of 99 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

Jeff_HR

    Producer



  • 3,596 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 15 2001

Posted July 25 2003 - 05:45 AM

Quote:
To me, this series became Star Trek with this Season, and even began to surpass TNG in many aspects.
A matter of opinion.

Nice review. I'll looking forward to purchasing the set.

Cogito, Ergo Sum
My DVD Library / The BLOOD is the Life!
Pioneer Elite PRO PDP-111FD - 2/28/2009

#16 of 99 OFFLINE   Randy_M

Randy_M

    Supporting Actor



  • 677 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 25 2000
  • Real Name:Randy Margolis
  • LocationPeoria, AZ

Posted July 25 2003 - 06:48 AM

I've said it before and I'll say it again....IMO, DS9 is some of the best television I've ever seen.

That goes for writing, acting and production.

I, for one, do not in any way think the first 3 seasons were at all weak.

That said, I'm really looking forward to the remaining seasons. Thanks for whetting my appetite with this excellent review.

Cheers
My DVDs

#17 of 99 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Executive Producer



  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted July 25 2003 - 07:12 AM

Well, they were weak compared to the last 4 Posted Image

#18 of 99 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

Rob Gardiner

    Screenwriter



  • 2,950 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 15 2002

Posted July 25 2003 - 09:25 AM

After three seasons of DS9, I've discovered that my favorite character isn't one of the regulars, but our charming Cardassian friend GARAK. ("Join me, Doctor, enHANCE my evening.") Posted Image I find THE WIRE totally fascinating. How is it we can learn so little about his history, yet so much about his character? I was thrilled when I saw Andrew Robinson on The X-Files as a cryptozoologist (specialist in extinct species).

If the season containing THE SEARCH 1 & 2, SECOND SKIN, THE DEFIANT, IMPROBABLE CAUSE, THE DIE IS CAST, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, and THE ADVERSARY is "weak", I can't wait to see what the show is like when it gets in high gear!!!

#19 of 99 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Executive Producer



  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted July 25 2003 - 09:31 AM

I think most people would name their favorite character in the supporting cast. Given that there are, by the end 20-30 regular supporting characters is one of the massive strengths of the show, and Garak is definately the curry powder in the spice rack of DS9 Posted Image

#20 of 99 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

Lew Crippen

    Executive Producer



  • 12,060 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2002

Posted July 25 2003 - 10:24 AM

Quote:
with some of the french horn notes rapidly fluctuating in pitch
Is this the same thing as being out of tune? Posted Image
¡Time is not my master!


Back to DVD, Blu-ray & Digital HD Reviews



Forum Nav Content I Follow