Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Fifth Season
Length: Over 1200 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Fullscreen
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season left off - with Odo stripped of his shape-shifting abilities, and The Federation suspecting that Gowron has been replaced by a changeling.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.
Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places
... Nor the Battle to the Strong
Trials and Tribble-ations
Let He Who is Without Sin...
The Darkness and the Light
For the Uniform
In Purgatory’s Shadow
By Inferno’s Light
Doctor Bashir, I Presume?
A Simple Investigation
Business as Usual
Ties of Blood and Water
Ferengi Love Songs
Soldiers of the Empire
Children of Time
Blaze of Glory
In the Cards
Call to Arms
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.
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.
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.
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
Indiana Jones Trilogy
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