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HTF REVIEW: Star Trek Deep Space Nine - Season 6

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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted October 31 2003 - 01:28 AM

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Sixth Season



Studio: Paramount

Year: 1997-1998

Rated: NR

Length: Over 1200 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Fullscreen

Subtitles: English
Release Date: November 4, 2003


Warning!
This Season 6 review contains spoilers from the end of Season 5. Given the nature of this series, it is unavoidable. Continue reading at your own risk


Season 6 of Deep Space Nine sort of broke the rules set forth in Trek production in previous years, opening with essentially a long arc, leading up to the Federation’s retaking of DS9 (occupied by the Cardassians at the end of season 5). Producers pushed the envelope on continuing threads as far as Paramount executives would let them, and the result is a truly memorable start to the season. With the exception of “Sons and Daughters,” the thread runs continuously until episode six. (This would open the door for even longer arcs in season 7)

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In an exciting episode, “Sacrifice of Angels,” the Defiant endures a huge space battle (one of the most impressive FX sequences ever made for television), to make it back to DS9 in an attempt to maintain a minefield guarding the wormhole, and re-take DS9. The episode ends in somewhat of a Deux ex machina, but the justification for the resolution is made over time, through to the end of the series. I won’t get any more specific than that, for those of you who have not yet seen the series.

This is a difficult season to review without revealing important plot points, so I will now touch upon a few of the excellent episodes of the season while avoiding spoilers.

Who Mourns for Morn is a fun episode where we get to hear characters eulogizing Morn, giving him attributes contrary to what we have seen... for instance: Morn is apparently quite the conversationalist! This is a great standalone episode.

Far Beyond the Stars is an excellent homage to pulp sci-fi. It’s one of the best written episodes of DS9. See more comments below, under Special Features.

One Little Ship is DS9’s answer to Fantastic Voyage.

Inquisition introduces us to Section 31.

In the Pale Moonlight explores the darkness to which humanity will sink when confronted with impossible choices, as Sisko lies and puts people at risk to bring the Romulans into the war with the Dominion. This is one of the most compelling hours of television I’ve ever seen.

Disc 1
A Time to Stand
Rocks and Shoals
Sons and Daughters
Behind the Lines

Disc 2
Favor the Bold
Sacrifice of Angels
You Are Cordially Invited
Resurrection

Disc 3
Statistical Probabilities
The Magnificent Ferengi
Waltz
Who Mourns for Morn

Disc 4
Far Beyond the Stars
One Little Ship
Honor Among Thieves
Change of Heart

Disc 5
Wrongs Darker than Death or Night
Inquisition
In the Pale Moonlight
His Way

Disc 6
The Reckoning
Valiant
Profit and Lace
Time’s Orphan

Disc 7
The Sound of Her Voice
Tears of the Prophets
SPECIAL FEATURES


The Video
I’m used to doing some copy & pasting in this section, from reviews of seasons past - since the seasons have been essentially the same in this department. This season, however, seems to show improvement in some areas. Images seem a bit brighter and sharper than in seasons past. And, some of the effects sequences seem sharper - quite noticeable alongside recycled flybys from seasons past. Some darker scenes still exhibit some occasional pixellation or drift. As before, colors are beautifully saturated. This is the best DS9 yet.

The Audio
The audio is as before: expansive forward soundfield with moderate use of surrounds and light use of LFE. About as aggressive as you will hear from TV product from this time-frame, but not nearly as open and aggressive as most film product.


Special Features

Be aware that viewing the special features may spoil some surprises that are in store for you if you are viewing DS9 for the first time. Don’t watch the special features until you have completed viewing the entire season. I have done my best to minimize spoilers in the review, but you may wish to read no further.

Spoilers Ahead...



Mission Inquiry: Far Beyond the Stars (8:49)
Cast and crew react to the landmark episode, Far Beyond the Stars. The episode let the entire cast step out of character, and out of makeup, and offer up an homage to classic pulp sci-fi - and to the writers who often worked for little money and under pseudonyms to create it. The episode is not only great scifi, it is relevant social commentary.

24th Century Wedding (10:54)
Ronald D. Moore, Terry Farrell, David Livingston and others talk about the marriage of Worf and Dax. Particularly interesting is the interview with Aron Eisenberg, discussing the finer points of Ferengi dancing.

Crew Dossier: Julian Bashir (14:21)
Alexander Siddig talks about the evolution of his character. Ira Steven Behr recognizes that Bashir was disliked by fans early on, and talks about developing the character, in part, via his friendship with Miles O’Brien, and the intrigue with Garak - not to mention the “Section 31” thread.

Crew Dossier: Quark (16:00)
Armin Shimerman talks about the evolution of his character “Quark,” and how he tried to make changes from the way the Ferengi were portrayed in TNG. The relationship between Odo and Quark is discussed.

Sketchbook: John Eaves (9:16)
Illustrations from season 6.

Photo Gallery

Indiana Jones Preview Trailer

Section 31
01: Major spoiler:
The death of Jadzia Dax
02: Nana Visitor talks of her character’s relationship with Cardassians
03: Nana Visitor on singing with “Vic Fontaine”
04: Ira Steven Behr on the lengthening story arcs
05: Iggy Pop is an alien
06: Rene Auberjonois on the “harumph”
07: Kira and Odo kiss... finally
08: David Livingston on “Change of Heart”
09: Marc Alaimo on Gul Dukat
10: Who mourns for Morn?

Final Thoughts
Deep Space Nine keeps getting better and better, and the presentation on DVD seems to have improved a bit, too. While I was only able to watch a handful of episodes, I also noticed that there are chapter stops after the opening credits... on all the episodes I screened. I can’t say that holds true for the entire season, but spot-checking about two thirds of the episodes bears that out.

This season took bold strides in extending the arcs and advancing the Dominion thread, while also providing some excellent standalone stories.

Recommended!

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Nicodemus

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Posted October 31 2003 - 03:47 AM

Thanks for the review, Scott! Nice to hear Deep Space Nine keeps it's quality after season 5. I'm currently watching season 4 and I've been a bit worried about the later seasons - I read somewhere that season 5 is the best of the bunch and seasons 6 & 7 don't even come close to it and are therefore disappointing. I'm truly glad that whoever bashed seasons 6 & 7 might have not known what he/she was writing about...

Well, quess it's just a matter of opinion.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 31 2003 - 04:26 AM

Thanks, Scott, for yet another typically thorough review. Looking forward to this set.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted October 31 2003 - 04:55 AM

Me too there were some great episodes this season especially Sacrifice of the Anglels which is one of my all time favorite ST episodes.

The dialogue and interaction between Dukat and Weyoun was a high point for me here.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted October 31 2003 - 06:28 AM

"In the Pale Moonlight" was probably one of the top 5 episodes of any Trek.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted October 31 2003 - 06:31 AM

Excellent review! Now if I could only get this set for a very affordable price as a present... heehee Posted Image
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#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Tony Whalen

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Posted October 31 2003 - 09:06 AM

Whoever said that seasons 6 & 7 are weak should be smacked. Posted Image

Man, I'm looking forward to this set. Some great episodes!!! The whole Dominion War arc is fantastic, but here are the standouts to me:

"You Are Cordially Invited" - love it! And that dress... Posted Image

"Statistical Probabilities" - not everyone's favorite, but I love the three guests. Posted Image

"Who Mourns for Morn" - fun ep!
(Star Trek: The Experience really needs to hire a guy to just sit at the bar in that suit. "Quarks" just doesn't seem complete without him.)

"Far Beyond the Stars" - brilliant bit of writing! I rank this one up there with TNG's "Inner Light"

"Honor Among Thieves" - the requisite "punish O'Brien" episode... I really like this story.

"Inquisition" - first appearance of "Section 31", and good ol' Sloan.

"In the Pale Moonlight" - just a fantastic episode!

"His Way" - Vic Fontaine's first appearance! (I love all the Vic episodes...mostly because I love crooning 60's lounge tunes, and I love Vegas.)

So much stuff happened this season!!!

I can hardly wait! Posted Image

Great review! Thanks!

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted October 31 2003 - 10:02 AM

Quote:
Whoever said that seasons 6 & 7 are weak should be smacked.

Absolute agree with that statement. The quality continues all through the remaining seasons. The Dominion War storyline is fantastic. Although I wish they would do one final movie to provide closure to one loose thread at the end of the series (which I will not disclose here - watch the series and find out. Posted Image ).

I recently finished 'Rapture' on disc 3 of Season 5....by the time Season 6 arrives, I should be ready for it.Posted Image

Oh...and thanks for another great review Scott.Posted Image
Recently watched- Lovejoy Christmas Specials, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard, Up 3D, The Grandmaster, Edge Of Tomorrow 3D, The Comedy Of Terrors, The Raven(1963), Mulholland Falls, Saturn 3, Cheers: Season 6, Nosferatu: The Vampyre, Battle Beyond The Stars, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers(1978), Ransom, Dragonheart

Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 2, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, The Equalizer: Season 2, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 1, Arrow: Season 2, Star Trek: Season 1
 
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#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Kenny Goldin

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Posted October 31 2003 - 07:30 PM

Thank you SO MUCH for RUINING the end of Season 5 for those of us who have yet to finish it...Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
"We make it hard...the easy way."

Funniest line I have ever read in DVD a review: "'The Simple Life' stars rich, spoiled friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie as two rich, spoiled friends who are taken out of their posh Los Angeles lifestyle and deposited in a small town in Arkansas..."

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted November 01 2003 - 01:56 AM

This is a review of season 6, not season 5. Given the nature of this series, I have to assume that the reader has knowledge of previous seasons. I purposely held off on posting the review (I could have posted a week earlier) to give people time to finish with season 5, given the proximate release dates.

It was hard enough writing this review without spoiling season 6. I would have been able to provide little information without season 5 background, since almost the first third of season six depends on that knowledge.

I recommend you NOT read the season 7 review until after you have viewed season 6. There will be MAJOR SPOLIERS in the season seven review... much more so than in this one. I hope this is fair warning.

I'm sorry it was spoiled for you, but given the nature of this series, I can't write a coherent review without background from earlier seasons.

There are spoiler warnings for season 6 content. I will add another spoiler warning to the top of this review, for season 5.

-Scott

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Lloyd White

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Posted November 03 2003 - 06:17 AM

I am one of those people who used to think Season 5 was the best overall season of DS9, but that by no means that Season 6 and 7 are weak. Whoever said that should be smacked! The final verdict on my favorite season won't be done until after I watch all the eps on DVD, and I'm only begining Season 5 right now, and Season 4 was almost perfect, with some really meaty and risky episodes.

That said, if I was watching DS9 for the first time, I'd avoid all DS9 special features until all the seasons you want to watch, have been watched. They are really retrospective, from the point of view that you have already watched the whole series.
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#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Christopher D

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Posted November 05 2003 - 11:36 AM

I'd just like to make a quick observation on price! I have been happily buying these at Costco for $85 a pop. I picked up Season Six yesterday, got it home and discovered that one of the discs was missing. When I returned it, they were already out of Season Six, so I went elsewhere for replacement and was absolutely shocked at the prices.

$99 on sale at Best Buy? $116 sticker price? $129 list price? *Huh*?! Does anyone actually pay anything more than $99 for these? When did the MSRP for these jump so high? (Wound up ordering from Amazon for $91 shipped).

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted November 05 2003 - 03:30 PM

There is no MSRP on the Star Trek season sets, but $99 seems to be the average street price. It's been that way on the Star Trek sets since the first season of TNG was released last year.

Street prices on Fox's X-files are similar.

-Scott

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   GarySchrock

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Posted November 05 2003 - 03:47 PM

I thought it was odd that this time around BB's sticker price was actually $106.99, which is somewhat lower than the recent sets have been. Course, the sale price was still only $99, so they didn't pass the savings on there. I just wish I could get my hands on an intact set. (2 sets so far, both with scratched discs). No costco around here, and my sam's club tends to be iffy on boxed sets, so I tend to go with BB and the bonus disc.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted November 05 2003 - 11:02 PM

Thanks for the excellent review.

I bought my set at Suncoast where they were offering 10,000 bonus points on their Replay program. Their price was $99, but with the bonus program, I'll end up getting something else there very cheaply or even free. I'm owed some certificates from the purchase of Season 5. Combined with this one, I should be getting certificates any day now. They also have the bonus disk on their sets and I got one of those, for what it's worth.

At the start of the year, I wasn't all that thrilled with DS9. I happily bought all of the TNG sets, and figured I'd spent all I cared to until TOS sets eventually come out (individual releases are TOO EXPENSIVE).

After reading through the DEEP SPACE NINE COMPANION book, I began to remember some of the nifty things the series had offered. I'd seen them all on original run, and dutifully taped them each week, so I had ready access to any and all episodes. That was helpful as I'd read about an episode and then want to see it.

I then rationalized that Season 4 was worth buying. It had a lot of favorite episodes - and Season 5 was probably right behind it. My wife had never been terribly fond of DS9, but something in Season 4 hooked her as we watched the DVD set. She too began to remember how good the series could be - and the rapidfire availability of the episodes on DVD instead of one-a-week made the semi-continuous nature of the series flow better. We're hooked now, watching Season 6 and anticipating Season 7.

I've even begun the backtracking process to find the older sets. Just got Season 3 on eBay for $50 and looking for 1 and 2 to complete the set at a reasonable price.

Harry

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#16 of 17 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted November 06 2003 - 12:30 AM

Ive seen all the Star Trek DVD sets at BJs for $79.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Christopher D

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Posted November 10 2003 - 03:39 PM

For details you can see my post upthread, but I'd return it to Costco (which has a liberal return policy) for refund and order a replacement from Amazon. When you factor in tax and super saver shipping, it's only a dollar or so more.