The "Discovered DS9 on DVD" thread (no spoilers)

Greg_S_H

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I'm starting this because the other thread is geared towards those who know the DS9 story inside and out. This one should be for those just watching the show for the first time. Longtime fans seemed interested in hearing the thoughts of newcomers when the set was first released, so that's what this is for. If the mods don't want a second thread, please lock this one rather than merging it. Newbies like me will be avoiding the other thread and won't see the merged messages.


Now,

I grew up watching the movies and the original series on occasion. By the time TNG came out, I was still a very casual Star Trek fan and didn't watch much TV, so I didn't catch that show until much later in syndication. I didn't catch DS9 at all, so I waited impatiently for the discs from the time the TNG boxes were hinted at. I'm now about three-fourths of the way through season 2.

The show started out a little rocky. After watching the pilot, I was a little concerned I wasn't going to like it. Avery Brooks's acting choices were a little strange in places, and the whole "so-advanced-they-appear-supernatural, sitting-in-judgment-of-the-human-race" (I hope that isn't a spoiler) thing is a little old hat, having appeared in at least two of the five Star Trek pilot episodes (and, the theme is kind of there in Voyager's premiere), as well as various episodes of the various series. In short, it wasn't my favorite episode (though, I suspect I'd like it better now).

Still, it didn't take long for me to become engrossed with the characters and the setting. I can't recall at which point that happened, but I quickly began to look forward to my nightly DS9 viewing session. In fact, I've been tempted on more than one occasion to watch "just one more." This, in spite of the fact that the first season had more than its fair share of clunkers. Some of these, like Move Along Home, were as bad as the worst of Voyager (a show I actually like). I'm talking as bad as Micheal McKean as the clown and Chakotay boxing with Kid Chaos.
Others, like Duet, were excellent. But, even the worst of them were entertaining. Maybe I'm too forgiving.


Special mention must go to In the Hands of the Prophets, which was one of the most even-handed messages episodes I've seen on any Trek. Some of the later episodes of Voyager were extremely heavy-handed and unfair to the view with which the writers disagreed, so this was a pleasant surprise.

So now I'm approaching the end of season 2, and I'm pretty much a confirmed DS9 fan. I've read that season 2 was worse than season 1, but I've enjoyed most of the episodes so far (only a couple of clunkers!). Some of them have been downright excellent (particularly Sisko's dramatic scene in Paradise--I've long since come to like Sisko a lot). My only concern now is that the show will leave me behind with season 3. I know most people say that's where the show really took off, but I've seen a few say they had no interest in the show after season 2. I really hope I'm in the former group.

Finally, why in the world isn't Garak a weekly mainstay? Is it because of the "rule of seven?" He is a joy to watch and steals every episode in which he appears, as far as I'm concerned. I hope we get a lot more of him in later seasons! Later seasons . . . it seems so long until early June!


I know I said "finally" above, but I hope everyone will remember that I'm not Ron. I know this hasn't been professional, but go easy on me. Better yet, more testimonial from other newbies, please!
 

PhilipG

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Excellent post, Greg. I agree with all your points. Although I am not a DS9 newbie, I'm not an authority on it either (I have now seen the first two seasons, most of the last 1.5, and about half of the remaining episodes). So some of the episodes with each DVD release are new to me.

"In The Hands of the Prophets" was a fantastic season finale. One of the best Trek has to offer. In combination with The Circle trilogy it represents a high water mark for science fiction on television.

I'm glad you mentioned "Paradise" - it was one of my favourites from season 2, and I wish there were more DS9 eps like it. The protagonists were all convinced they were doing the right thing, and were prepared to debate it. It was the classic "episode that makes you think".

Season 2 also began several episodes in the "Make O'Brien Suffer" theme, which is fine since Colm Meaney is one of the better actors on the crew. When I compare "Tribunal" to the recent Enterprise episode "Judgment" it is very obvious to me how superior DS9 was in terms of the writing. And "Tribunal" wasn't a particularly strong episode, either.

Finally, why in the world isn't Garak a weekly mainstay?
He should have been. But in a way I'm glad they didn't overuse him, as they did with Quark & Odo.
 

Greg_S_H

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But in a way I'm glad they didn't overuse him, as they did with Quark & Odo.
You're probably right. It may be best that he's a rare treat for the audience. As it is, I found a list of Garak episodes, and I keep count of how many days I have left until it's time to watch one.
 

Ric Easton

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Great thread, Greg!

I'm not a newbie but I'll be checking in to see what you folks think as things develop. Don't be too concerned about the later seasons. One of DS9's strengths has been that the central focus has always been on the characters, as they change and grow.

Ric
 

Jeff Kleist

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Garak gets plenty of screen time in latter seasons, frankly I think it was in just the right amounts. As demonstrated by the episodes you've already seen, they keep the mystery about the character going, and at the same time you have no idea what's the truth and what's a lie, but darn it, the lies are as good as the truth.

Ds9 is great because it has a stong main cast, what makes it brilliant is the wealth and breadth of the supporting characters. There must have been around 20 or 30 characters that appear in 3 episodes or more(with the large majority well into the double digits)

The people who say they're stopping after season 2 are the "planet of the week" people, because season 3 is when the macrostory which starts in the season 2 finale a kick in the pants with a pile driver.
 

Greg_S_H

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Philip:

Yeah, I guess there are some similarities there. The old tricks still work, it seems!

Ric and Jeff:

I'm pretty confident I'll like the later seasons. I saw one episode from that period--O'Brien, Garak and Nog investigate a derelict freighter--and liked it quite a bit. I doubt if that single episode is representative of the changed direction, but . . . seriously. If I can like Voyager, I can like good Trek!


Now, I hope there are some other "newbie" testimonials in this thread. I mean, I know these sets are kind of expensive for a blind buy, but I can't be the only bold one.
 

John C

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I'll just say that the season 2 finale sets the tone that the rest of the series will follow. Don't worry, the best is yet to come. I love TNG but I LOVE DS9!
 

Simon Massey

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Well I am a newbie to a lot of early DS9 though I have seen most episodes from Season 4 onwards and loved it. I just never got round to watching the earlier ones, and I more or less know the whole major arc of the series. But its interesting watching the early episodes knowing how these characters develop, especially Kira, Odo and Garak, who were my favourite characters from the later episodes. And I never realised how awful Bashir is in these early episodes. He certainly improved.

And at least Sisko learned that a glare or a look was better than an outburst of anger. He was much better at the former.

Duet is probably one of the best Trek episodes ever.
 

Win Joy Jr

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To those of you who are embarking on the journey, I have one bit of advise...

As much as you want to see every bit of it now, do not jump around and watch any of the episodes that may still be airing or you may have on tape. Wait for the DVD's. Watch the eveloution of each character, the story, the relationships.

Walk the path the Profits have set out for you...


In all honesty, you do not want to spoil your enjoyment of the series. I LOVED each and every season of DS9, something I cannot say for TNG , VGER (which I stopped watching half way through) or ENT. The development on DS9 is just so well done.
 

Rollie

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For those who wish to remain spoiler free, I would steer clear of the "Crew Dossiers" which accompany each season's supplimental material. Each actor talks about his/her character's development throughout the ENTIRE series. Dax's was especially spoiler-filled.

You have been warned.
 

Terry St

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Finally, why in the world isn't Garak a weekly mainstay? Is it because of the "rule of seven?" He is a joy to watch and steals every episode in which he appears, as far as I'm concerned. I hope we get a lot more of him in later seasons!
I was pretty happy to see the actor get a semi-heroic role. The only other role I can ever recall seeing him in was the psychotic sniper in "Dirty Harry". Garak is truly one of the best Star Trek characters ever conceived. I must agree that he was a highlight of the series even if he wasn't one of the principles. DS9 is probably the only Star Trek series that had morally ambiguous protagonists. (Garak and Quark) Every other Star Trek series is filled with the same old honorable starfleet types that are nowhere near as interesting. I suppose it's hard to fit lovable criminals and spies on board a starfleet vessel though. Neelix, in Voyager, could potentially have been such an interesting character, but unfortunately he just turned out to be a wee bit mentally deficient. (Ironically he had guest roles as a ferengi on TNG...)
 

Greg_S_H

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I almost forgot, Season 3 also marks the introduction of the Defiant, unless I am mistaken. You're gonna love that little ship, trust me! It's the Bruce Lee of starships.
I've seen it briefly in First Contact, and I've even walked through it in The Fallen (that game will make more sense after I watch the show, I imagine). It'll be great to actually see it in use in context.

I'm not real worried about liking later seasons. I could be disappointed, but I doubt it. I didn't know it would become more action-oriented, so I'll have to see how that plays out. It is interesting that the direction seems to be keyed off of minor little clues introduced here and there throughout Season 2. We've heard about the Dominion, but nothing concrete. I guess it's sort of the way the Borg were masterfully introduced in The Neutral Zone.
 

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