Deep Space Nine: For the Fans

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,527
Location
Albany, NY
I haven't been posting because New York's Capital Region got walloped on Wednesday with a catastrophic thunderstorm with 90 mph winds coming from an unusual direction. My neighborhood looked like a tornado had gone through it. Fortunately no trees went through the building I live in, but I lost power with over 200,000 other people Wednesday afternoon, and only got power back this evening.

But fortunately, Netflix allows you to download content to your device for offline viewing, and since DS9 is only 480i it was the ideal choice to load onto my phone.

During the power outage I watched:
  • 4x01/4x02- "The Way of the Warrior": The third season finale really set things up where the war with the Dominion felt imminent. So the whole thing with the Klingons in this two-parter that opened the fourth season kind of came out of left field. With DS9 struggling to get buzz, I can understand why the producers wanted to bring in another beloved character from TNG. And with TNG over, and Generations having come and gone in theaters, I can understand why Michael Dorn was happy for the gig. Introducing a conflict with the Klingons provides a reason for Sisko to summon the only pureblood Klingon officer in Starfleet. But I can't help but feel like the show is getting sidetracked, just as it was building up momentum. That being said, the writers did a great job of putting Worf into a situation where sticking to his principles would cost him nearly everything, and recognizing the quiet heroism when he actually made that sacrifice. The scenes between Worf and Sisko are also really interesting, because Worf held Picard in such high esteem, and Sisko is a very different kind of leader. It was fascinating to watch these two men -- so similar in certain ways, so different in others -- work to find an equilibrium between them. Both are forceful and passionate. But Worf is deeply honorable, while Sisko is far more pragmatic. Worf is the guy you want by your side in the thick of the moment; Sisko is the planner and builder you want steering the bigger picture over the long-term. It's a credit to both of them that they can each see and appreciate the strengths of the other.

  • 4x03 - "The Visitor": I'll join the chorus in saying that this was a sophisticated and immensely impactful hour of television. It reminded me a lot of It's a Wonderful Life, in that the story of one man's impact is told through his absence. And it's a particular achievement that an episode that devotes the bulk of its running time to two guest stars can pack this much of a punch. I've always admired Tony Todd as an actor, but I pretty much only remember him playing villains. Seeing him as the elderly Jake was a revelation. The tension driving the episode, more than anything else, is what kind of man Jake Sisko will be. This Jake Sisko accomplishes some great things, but his life is pretty melancholy. The nature of his predicament is in some ways worse than if his father had died; if his father had died, he at least could have moved on. But his father's brief, periodic appearances make that impossible. Seeing how the burden of that shapes him, for good and for ill, was really powerful. And Rachel Robinson was really great as the surrogate for the audience, the person elderly Jake tells his story to. The wonderful thing about Captain Sisko's journey in this episode is that he doesn't waste a moment worrying about his own fate. He spends every moment he gets with Jake trying to be the best father he can be, to steer Jake toward being the best man he could be, and toward a life with joy and fulfillment. The scene at the end where Jake sacrifices himself to save his father was just staggering. His father doesn't want him to do it; he'd happily give up his life for Jake's. But Jake understands that it's not just his father that he'd be saving; sending his father back to the moment of the accident, he gives that Jake a life free of the burden that has consumed his.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,917
Hi Adam, ok. I had a comment about The Visitor that I won’t make as you have not seen the entire series. It’s not a big plot point.

I saw Hippocratic Oath and Indiscretion. I strongly remember seeing those episodes on broadcast night. Both had very good and important character moments. I’d forgotten the revelation in Indiscretion was this early In the season. Both really good episodes. I’ll be interested in seeing your impressions Adam.
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,527
Location
Albany, NY
Yesterday I watched:
  • 4x04 - "Hippocratic Oath": My big problem with this episode is that I just didn't buy that O'Brien would disobey a direct order. I can understand the basis of O'Brien's prejudice, but he's never been anything less than dutiful during his entire run on both series up until this point It felt like a contrived way to juice the conflict between O'Brien and Bashir. I also think Gene Roddenberry would have hated this episode, in particular. Starfleet condemning dozens of sentient beings to their deaths based on prejudice and fear is so antithetical to his vision for the future. I'm not necessarily opposed to that -- this entire show exists in a much grayer space than Roddenberry would have been comfortable with -- but it should be earned, and it didn't feel earned here. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the B story with Worf adjusting to life aboard Deep Space Nine. Aboard the Enterprise, he basically had the same job that Odo has aboard Deep Space Nine but they are very different people with very different approaches. That was bound to create conflict and tension, and I appreciated that the show addressed it head on this soon so that Worf could move on and start acclimating to his new role in a place with a very different culture than the very disciplined professionalism of Picard's Enterprise.
Today I watched:
  • 4x05 - "Indiscretion": I really, really enjoyed this episode. We've been told that Bajor has a peace treaty with the Cardassians, but this is the first episode where you really feel the change in the dynamics between these two old enemies. Both Kira and Dukat make decisions in this episode that would have been impossible before the peace treaty. Dukat, in particular, feels like a much more three-dimensional character by the end of the hour. There is the undercurrent that Dukat has a crush on Kira, and both of them know it. But there is also the fundamental divide in the philosophies of their two peoples. Kira is a warrior, but she comes from a planet with a pluralistic society that produced a long history of scholarship and cultural achievement. The five decades of Cardassian occupation interrupted this heritage but didn't not erase it. Dukat comes from a society with a long history of fascism; basically the Third Reich if it had triumphed in World War II and progressed to interstellar travel. The two types of society have very different values, with very different expectations of behavior. What Dukat intends for his illegitimate daughter is monstrous, but it is a logical choice based on what Cardassian society rewards and punishes. The fact that he doesn't ultimately go through with it, instead acknowledging her as his own and accepting the risks and consequences that come with that, shows how Dukat has been changed by the end of the Occupation, how there is perhaps an opportunity for Cardassia to change more generally. As for Tora Ziyal: She reminded me a lot of Ba'el, from the "Birthright" two-parter on TNG, in that she is the product of a wartime union between members of two warring peoples, who will never been accepted by either group as a result -- similar to the abandoned children of American soldiers and local women during the wars in Korea and Vietnam. The difference between the Ba'el and Tora Ziyal is a reflection of the difference between TNG and DS9 on a philosophical level; Ba'el remains safely with her loving parents in the sanctuary they have created for her. Tora Ziyal heads off with the father who was planning to kill her to a society that will despise her, in circumstances that are anything but safe. On TNG, Tora Ziyal would be a bridge to further reconciliation between Bajor and Cardassia. On DS9, I'm afraid that she will just be seen as an unacceptably dangerous powder keg that personifies the fault lines that remain from the Occupation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Favate

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,917
I liked that in Hippocratic Oath, we see that Bashir realizes that maybe he could really help those Jem‘Hadar with the dependence on the White. He is so into his work and the potential benefit, that O’Brien sees that his friend has lost sight of reality. The Jem’Hadar were bred to be what they are and they can’t change. The leader of the Jem’Hadar who got off the addiction was likely a mutation as the others could not adapt without the White. So I thought O’Brien did what he had to do to escape.

Indiscretion was a great episode as we see the humanity of Dukat and Kira, they are no longer enemies and see each other as just people. Even though Kira will never see Dukat as a friend, she at least is not seeing him as the enemy. It’s true that Dukat has a thing for Kira! He definitely is oozing that vibe.

The revelation of Tora Ziyal is an interesting addition to the storyline.

Its a big step. That was a great B story!
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,917
I’ve moved along with Rejoined, Starship Down and Little Green Men. Three more great and diverse episodes.

I remember when Rejoined was close to airing, there was a story on Entertainment Tonight covering the episode because of a controversial aspect. But they missed the point. To be fair, they didn’t see the episode yet and only focused on one aspect. It is a good episode that explores a side of Trill society.

Starship Down is a fun episode but I don‘t want to give anything away to Adam. Little Green Men is a very fun episode. Lots of great homages to TOS and sci-fi movies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Favate

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,527
Location
Albany, NY
This evening I watched:
  • 4x06 - "Rejoined": This is another episode that focuses on a particular nuance of the joined Trill's unconventional life cycle: namely, what happens when you run into the love of your life, from a former life. It's the only time I can recall any of the nineties Trek shows tackling a queer love story, albeit between two people who don't experience gender in quite the same way as non-joined beings do. I liked that things ended between them not because of some great calamity, but just because her partner had other priorities than her. And while the relationship itself didn't work out, the episode provided a nice means for the two Trills' prior hosts to get some closure for the traumatic way their marriage ended. I loved Susanna Thompson as the morally compromised matriarch on "Arrow", and as the non-Alice Krige Borg Queen on "Voyager", so it was nice to see her pop up here as Dax's love interest. The scene where Dax goes to Sisko for advice and he gives it, first bluntly and then tenderly, was wonderful.

  • 4x07 - "Starship Down": This was basically a submarine movie with a starship, with the atmospheric pressure of the gas giant substituting for the pressure the ocean deep. It meant that all of these characters were trapped on board together, and allowed a number of small stories to be told in lieu of the usual A plot/B plot episode structure. The episode featured another example of Worf learning to adapt to the DS9 way of doing things, and benefited from the existing relationship and mutual trust between Worf and O'Brien from their Enterprise days. The complexity inherent in Sisko's dual role as Starfleet captain and Emissary of the Prophets and how that affects his relationship with Kira's dual role as both his first officer and a devout believer in the Bajoran religion gets a bit more exploration. The subplot with Dax and Bashir in the turbolift is a nice sort of metacommentary on how the two characters were clearly supposed to be paired up as love interests before the show took them in a different direction. It was weird seeing James Cromwell pop up in a pretty standard guest star role as Hanok, basically the Gamma Quadrant's counterpart to Quark, given that he would be playing a middle-aged Zefram Cochrane in First Contact less than a year later. One thing that did strike me with this episode is what a lost opportunity it is that these shows have such little follow through with the subordinates; the female ensign on the bridge and two of O'Brien's crewmen in Engineering play prominent roles in this episode, but will probably never be seen again. One thing that "Discovery" is much better at is having these smaller characters recur and even develop to a certain extent. None of the nineties-era Trek shows were really good about it.

  • 4x08 - "Little Green Men": Rarely do I find that Star Trek humor actually works for me. It's usually too broad for my tastes, or lacks bite. But they hit it out of the park with this one, starting with the audacious concept: The Roswell crash was actually Quark and his family. And then the rest of the hour is one big send up of the space invasion b-movie genre, every character a recognizable type from those movies. It was fun to hear Ferengi as it actually sounds, and the audio manipulation was a neat way to present what English would sound like to the Ferengi. Star Trek has done a lot of stories about character's trapped in Earth's past, and it's always the cause of great anxiety. I love that Quark wasn't fazed at all; he saw the whole mishap as one giant business opportunity. The always reliable Charles Napier was terrific as the prototypical American movie general. And then the sheer audacity of them using a nuclear detonation at the Nevada Test Site to get home! (On that last point, an interesting note: It's one of the areas where the timeline of the Star Trek prime reality differs from our own; the Roswell incident did happen in July 1947, but nuclear testing didn't resume until 1948 with Operation Sandstone, and those tests were conducted in the Pacific Proving Grounds, not in the Nevada desert. The footage used in the episode is cleaned up U.S. Army footage made available in 1959, but probably photographed during Operation Tumbler-Snapper in April 1952.)
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,917
I enjoyed The Sword of Kahless and Our Man Bashir.

Spoilers below:

i had not seen the Sword of Kahless for some time. So it was good to see again as I had forgotten the effect of the search and then having the sword in their hands had on Kor and Worf. They both became so consumed by it that they lost their senses. And it was great to see John Colicos back as Kor. It was great the dialogue included him uttering the Glorious.

Our Man Bashir was a lot of fun and so totally out there. A James Bond homage done on Star Trek was such an unusual combination and two of my favorite franchises. They really nailed it with each of the character attributes. Dr. Noah was a great name and fit his evil plans. And I like the way Garek just wasn’t having any of it! It’s too bad MGM put the brakes on them from doing more of those. I seem to recall there are at least one or two more times we revisit the world of Julian Bashir, secret agent until Vic Fontaine.

This was fun to watch, right before jumping into the 3rd season premiere of Discovery.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joshEH

Sam Favate

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
9,589
Real Name
Sam Favate
With my Discovery rewatch completed, I'm back to DS9. Last night was The Way of the Warrior, a great double episode, and a sort of "second pilot" (as it was called at the time). This one, of course, introduced Worf, and the episode is very Worf-centric, but the cast need not have worried as the writers handled adding Worf to the crew with grace. Unlike Seven of Nine on Voyager, Worf does not dominate the show.

This episode had unparalleled visual effects for Star Trek, and a broad canvass. There's great stuff with all of the cast, even members that don't have much to do, like Quark (who still steals every scene he is in). I enjoyed the first three seasons and there are moments of excellence in each of them, but this is the moment where the show picks up and never slows down. Seasons 4-7 of DS9 are probably the most consistent any of the shows have ever been.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,917
I pressed on with my viewings of Home Front, Paradise Lost and Crossfire.

I had not seen Home Front and Paradise Lost in some time. I did see them during initial airings. It’s been so long that I forgot the events in the second half. It was a good twist to the plan.

Crossfire, I remember too. But it was an odd one, I figure they are setting things up for what happens later. I won’t spoil it for Adam. :)
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,527
Location
Albany, NY
A couple days ago I watched:
  • 4x09 - "The Sword of Kahless": John Colicos returns as Kor, and is as engaging and enjoyable as ever. There's something about TOS characters that just feel a lot less stiff, and that energy enlivens the episodes in which they appear. The pairing of Dax, Worf, and Kor in this episode really allowed the dynamics between Dax and the two Klingon men to be compared and contrasted. She has a long history with Kor, and has only recently met Worf. She appreciates both of them, for very different reasons. Worf, because he has spent so much of his life among humans, has a tendency to want to be more Klingon than the Klingons who've spent their entire lives within the Empire. Kor is a perfect foil for Worf, because Kor is irreverent and very at ease with his own flaws and shortcomings. Worf takes everything too seriously; Kor sometimes does take things seriously enough. The conflict driving the episode relies on our history with both characters; they were only in this mess because Worf, in a very human act of mercy, spared Toral's life in the TNG "Resurrection" two-parter. And they were also only in this mess because Kor got drunk and ran his mouth when he shouldn't have. Dax is forced into being the adult in the room. All three actors did good work, but I didn't quite buy that Worf or Kor would become so power-hungry. There's no question that the Sword of Kahless has enormous symbolic power, similar in impact to what people of Judeo-Christian faiths would feel if the Ark of the Covenant were discovered or what Christians would feel if the Holy Grail were discovered. Possessing the Sword of Kahless would go a long way in achieving power within the Empire. But neither Worf nor Kor is particularly ambitious. I don't think either of them wanted to be Emperor at the beginning of this episode, so I didn't buy that either of them would want to be at the climax of this episode.

Tonight I watched:
  • 4x10 - "Our Man Bashir": The conceit of this episode was interesting, because it delves deeper into how transporters work. The core conceit has remained consistent for Trek in its various iterations: The transporter "locks onto" something: a person, an animal, a plant, or object. It converts that matter into an energy pattern that constitutes an exact record of the converted matter down to the sub-atomic level. This energy pattern is transmitted at the speed of light and processed by the transporter into the pattern buffer, and then reconstituted from the pattern buffer into the original matter. These energy patterns represent vast amounts of information; the transporters are designed to handle these vast amounts of information, but only for short periods. Basically like a computer with massive amounts of RAM but a harddrive only large enough to hold its operating system and core programs. The question then becomes: What happens when those energy patterns, and the massive amount of information contained within, need to be stored for a longer period of time? The TNG episode "Relics" proposed one solution: Scotty rigged a transporter to basically cycle the signal through the pattern buffer over and over and over again for decades. In lieu of long-term storage, this solution came kept the energy pattern fresh in the pattern buffer by constantly refreshing it. This episode proposed another solution: Turn an entire space station's long-term storage capacity over to the task, and trust the main computer to find the best places to store everything. It's far from a perfect solution, and it's right that it's imperfect: Transporters are right up there with warp drives for the most futuristic technology in Star Trek; communicators and datapads have been surpassed by smartphones and tablets, voice-interface computers are in millions of homes with Alexa and in millions of pockets with Siri. We go through countless automatic doors in our daily routines now. And so on and so on. But transporters still feel like magic, especially when the matter-energy conversion takes place on a planet's surface, millions of miles away from the transporter itself.Make it too easy, and nobody would ever die again: Anytime they'd go on a risky away mission, just keep a copy of their energy pattern in storage, and restore from the backup if they die on the planet. In terms of the specifics of this episode: That Bashir's fantasy is to play James Bond -- and not modern Bond, but very regressive sixties Bond -- is very revealing about his psyche. I don't love holodeck episodes, which are probably fun for the writers and fun for the actors but often seem like a waste of time for the audience. But the twist of part of the pattern buffer being stored in the holosuite program gave Bashir's flight of fancy some real stakes. Outside the holosuite, it was fun seeing Eddington -- who has been consistently portrayed as vaguely nefarious, just having to deal with cleaning up the mess resulting from the sabotage. Seeing this guy, whose background is in security, having to deal with an engineering nightmare was a bit of fun.
 

Sam Favate

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
9,589
Real Name
Sam Favate
Last night I was watching The Visitor - one of my favorite episodes of any Star Trek - and I'm about halfway through and the &%$#@&! power goes out (in the whole town; transformer blew). So, now I am faced with whether to watch the entire episode again tonight, or just the second half.

Anyway, take this with a grain of salt, but this is the second report I have seen in two weeks that says CBS is considering some kind of DS9 revival. Does anyone know the veracity of the site Geekosity? I've never heard of them, but that's where the rumor originates. I would like it to be true, but that doesn't mean it is and I'm skeptical. For one thing, Brooks is retired. I doubt very much he'd want to participate, especially after he turned down a chance to be in the DS9 documentary two years ago. Also, after his somewhat erratic appearance in William Shatner's The Captains documentary, would CBS want to build a show around him?

 

The Obsolete Man

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
3,346
Location
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Real Name
Robert
It's a bunch of know nothing nobodies trying to get nerd cred by predicting bullshit that will never come true. Then, they play telephone between their loser sites with these rumors, and the only proof any of them has is the initial article that is, well, bullshit to begin with.

So, don't believe any of the rumors until a real site reports them (which none have done in the week this story has been out there). And if they do come true in this case... Ugh. Ruining beloved characters again? Cant't the NuTrek usual gang of idiots do anything that doesn't require dragging in an established character to destroy?
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,585
Messages
4,746,920
Members
141,492
Latest member
Speakerspeaker