When DS9 came about in 1992, TV production values had come so far
(or should that be Star Trek's production values) that there is rarely
something bad to say about the show's visuals. Apart from silly hairstyles
and dumb make-up every now and then, there really isn't anything bad or
cheap about visuals. Actors' performances and scripting ideas are where
there may be problems rather than cheesy effects. The first two seasons
are all right but the third suffered a strange drop in quality, especially
when the producers got so enamored with their own internal continuity that
left viewers behind. The Fourth season sees a remarkable turnaround in
quality without sacrificing the little stories that work so much better
here than on the Enterprise.
Also, the political wranglings and machinations became even more complex than B5.
ratings (relative to all of Star Trek) ***** this is
what's it all about **** excellent
*** Solid ** Mediocre * Poor
Of all the modern Trek series, DS9's first season, in retrospect at least, was the best shakedown year and at the time was also the least disappointing. Many fans found it difficult to adjust to another Trek series that strayed somewhat from the "boldly going" format but there weren't the howls of frustration and cringing like early TNG and Voyager.
The Emissary ****
(AKA Lightning Stikes Thrice)
A great pilot with some of the wierdest concepts in the series but not ruined by the 30 second wrap up
The cast need time to settle in, or should I say the producers needed time to nail the series concept
Past Prologue **
(MEMO: the pilot has cost around 12 million dollars so nothing more expensive than a toothpick for a while)
A Yada Yada story. Nothing too exciting, just a look at the new cast and how they're not cozy like TNG. Probably the best element of the first season was a crew that didn't always agree, or even agree to disagree but violently disagree
A Man Alone **
(Working Title: Odo's Story)
The maguffin of the clone was quite well done but other than that a nothing episode- mobs are always done so badly on TV especially when not one of the agitators really has any stake in the station to be getting so worked up. Zayra, the Bajoran mob leader was supposed to appear from time to time as DS9's resident pain in the arse (Mrs. Mangel from Neighbours)
(MEMO: Again, toothpick, so what cheap bottle shows can we do)
The first of many attempts to a story that would have been easy to do on TNG, cheap to make reasonably well, yet utterly unengaging for viewers. Here the nature of the threat means we don't even get to examine the character all that much except for Odo and Quark and what we learn here is never touched on again.
Captive Pursuit ****
(MEMO: We need to do something, people have lost interest for some reason)
Excellent. Is this the first season's best? Probably. It has heart. It has action. It has a concept that doesn't rely on Technobabble for threat or wrap-up. What can you say?
(Working Title: Placate the Trekkers)
All right. Not great not bad, not boring but definitely nothing special. Q deserves much better than a story where he actually has some bearing on the story rather than a very passive observer. The actual weight of latinum really needed to be fixed before the program started as one bar is worth a lot in one episode and chicken feed the next. It never ceases to amaze me how Quark in particular affixes value to things imply by how flashy they are. When I worked in a Pawn Broker, there was no way flashiness has any link to the value of Jewelry with concepts such as gold plated jewelry, cubic zircons and moisanite (something that most pocket diamond detectors would normally scan as real diamond, hence a separate detector for the fake stone).
(MEMO: Where's Dax. Show me Dax.)
And now it's Dax's turn. Surprisingly we learn a lot about the symbiont Dax and the Trill in general but unsurprisingly the episode falls flat and is duller than any colour that contains 'matte' in the title.
The Passenger *
(Working Title: Bashir is Possessed)
Oh shit. Siddig El Fadir is easily one of the best actors on the show but in some of these early shows you can see he's come from a background which allowed a lot of rehearsal to a medium that allowed for almost none. He still hasn't got to the point where he can pull a decent performance for things like this. Acting possessed believably is a Trek staple and he blows here. In fact several times this season you can see Bashir over the top, a fact openly discussed by producers and writing staff.
Move Along Home **
(Working Title: Sisko is Pissed- Off)
What do TV producers think to recreate the atmosphere of Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner that they just have silly sets and people saying silly innocuous things that have a thousand meanings, or none. Just stupid
The Nagus ***
(AKA: The Quarkfather)
Ferengi are finally funny rather than irritating comic foils
(Working Title: Keep watching, there's a trailer for next week's episode at the end)
Here's where the fungus starts growing again. A waste of time
Battle Lines ***
(MEMO: Kai me up, Kai me Down)
But then again this makes up for any bad episodes. Not the most original premise but a good one nonetheless. The Gamma Quadrant doesn't really feature much in this season (only four stories), but stories like this show the potential that wasn't always utilised much in later seasons. Writing out the Kai is the first step in Bajoran intrigue that would really gather steam soon and run right up until the time the producers realised most viewers were immensely bored with Bajor's problems. I was too at first but
The Storyteller ***
(AKA: O'Brien, Poet Laureate)
Apparently this was sitting over at the TNG offices for quite a while before it was developed for DS9. Why? This is so much better than all those soap stories that littered season 5 of TNG. After seeing the complete episode, you couldn't really imagine this as Geordi and Riker and
(AKA: Bore me rigid, Kira)
This is boring. Unfortunatley there's six more seasons of "when I was a little girl on Bajor" to come
If Wishes Were Horses *
Then this episode is a pile of horse shit. Done to death and not even interesting the first time...
The Forsaken ***
(AKA: Call me Lwaxana)
Half a Life proved that Lwaxana episodes don't have to be annoying. A touching performance by Ms Barret and Rene Auberjonois
lifts this above the bottle show norm
Dramatis Personae ***
(AKA: The Flip Side of Benjamin Sisko)
The idea is as white and crumbly as a Sega Saturn but the performances of the cast make this a winner. I particularly like Dax's symptoms of acute nostalgia and Bashir's watching events from afar. In the end, this is the first good Odo show.
(AKA: Hara Kira)
I bet this didn't cost very much to make. This premise was okay but having the Cardassian being file clerk Maritza who altered himself to look like Darheel out of guilt is pushing the boundaries not of drama but credibility. Harris Yulin is always good to watch but how many of these stories will we see of Kira starting off antagonistic towards a single Cardassian in an episode then make peace with him somewhere around act four...
In the Hands of Prophets ***
(AKA: Bring me the Head of Keiko O'Brien)
This wasn't meant to be a cliffhanger nor was it made as one but in the light of events in later seasons was as nail biting as they come. Vedek Winn is easily the most loathsome character ever to appear in the Star Trek universe. You can't help but want to go out and pop a cap in her arse. Louis Fletcher must get abused in the Supermarket everytime she leaves the house, such is the evil she projects.
The Homecoming, The Circle, The Siege ***
(AKA: The Three Part one )
Since it's a three parter, every one with three very different epos, one review encapsulates my feeling on this one, The middle one was the Empire Strikes back with all the political intrigue. The action back third part was very well done though as far as character development, I loved the Li Nalis storyline though he's one character that should have been allowed to live for future episodes. More Louis Fletcher is good and Frank Langella as the scheming would-be dictator is excellent though why he's never been used again is a mystery. The Bajoran general would have been DS9's star if Avery Brooks hadn't been cast though isn't that the git from Wings as the ambitious Bajoran colonel in The Siege? (git from Wings is a tautology, I know). A really good way to start a show that would run up against TNG's final series. We now know that unlike the poor final season of its progenitor that was being produced concurrently with DS9, season two was just okay, as opposed to poor. This story probably set up as much as The Pilot and marked the shift away from the dark grittiness that was promised but really never eventuated until Berman realised the X-Files was a hit.
Invasive Procedures **
(Working Title: Jadzia, Daxless)
Trill stories often sound unexciting on paper, and most are dull but this one is a different story. Despite the whole Trill angle, Terry Farrel really doesn't do much in this story as it's 60% ensemble, 40% Sisko. John Glover is excellent as usual and Megan Gallagher is always welcome.
(AKA: Suddenly Cardassian)
Another episode that you read in the TV Guide and think, oh god more soap opera. But instead of focusing solely on the Cardassian boy living as a Bajoran, we have Garak introduce us to Cardassian political white-anting. Garak is always interesting to watch and Dukat works best when he's the black hat. I know this is supposed to be a drama but it's amazing how insensitive throwaway lines can be. Usually it's a line by someone disconnected with the plot such as Jake or in this case Keiko when she automatically assumes Rugal (the boy) loves Cardassian food.
(AKA: I knew Bashir was a lightweight, but this is ridiculous)
The future Doctor Who companion Daphne Ashbrook as the stunning Melora. Julian here describes his father as a diplomat. Tee hee. So he lies very convincingly.
Rules of Acquisition **
(MEMO: Let's get the biggest, meanest actors we can find and put clown makeup on them)
The Dominion are first spoken of in this first episode. But no sense of fear is engendered as the Nagus thinks they're just a business consortium. The Dominion would take a long time before you could possibly take them seriously so for the moment we'll treat them like we did the Ferengi in most of TNG. With utter contempt. The Tootsie/ Kiss me Kate bit was played all right but nothing special.
Necessary Evil ****
(AKA: Law & Odo: DS9)
Probably the best episode of the season after the original three parter, this allows us to see for ourselves for the first time DS9 under Cardassian rule rather than just here from Kira or Odo. It seems a little convenient that Kira and Odo had crossed paths on the station before she was assigned to the station but then without leaps of faith, we would have no drama and for once, that's not something this story is lacking. Excellent for an Odo story. He's a great character it's just that in the early years of the series 'his' episodes weren't ever that engaging.
Second Sight *
(AKA: Sisko and the Ghost Chick)
This is tripe. It's the usual cheapo crap where someone doubts their sanity and is getting frustrated because no one will believe them Maguffin. Fenna/Nadelle is one very attractive lady but not the most interesting performer though Seyetik is the complete opposite. Perhaps a little too ridiculously larger than life for my taste. Usual cheapo..
(AKA: "Cleanup on the promenade, Quarks, Ops, Ward Rom, Sick Bay...")
Apart from the Skrian leader's last speech to Kira this episode really has nothing to offer
(AKA: Magic 8 Ball comes good)
Dull, dull and duller. Chris Sarandon is fairly lifeless
The Alternate ***
(Working Title: Odo's Ego, Id and Superego)
Odo's is attacks. Dr Mora Pol is like an estranged father figure but for once we see Odo is not immune from being possessed.
Armageddon Game ***
(AKA: What if we stopped a war and everyone came?)
In any other show but Star Trek, the plot would revolve around warmongers trying to kill Bashir and O'Brien rather than peaceniks. The Bashir/O'Brien relationship is probably most realistic here when O'Brien is merely short with his colleague rather than overtly despising him. Keiko's coffee spotting is rather like the line from Airplane! (Flying High) "He never vomits at home!"
(AKA:Miles O'Brien, Aut O'maton )
More paranoia and frustration, this time because of a perceived conspiracy. This episode hilights a major problem in the Trek Universe regarding O'Brien's rank.
Forgetting that he appeared in many Next Gen episodes from the first and second seasons as a security and con officer (rank changing with each appearance). But ever since the TNG episode "The Wounded" Things have gotten more and more confusing (or less and less logical, depending on your point of view). We know he enlisted rather than go to the academy and become an officer. But all Academy graduates are ensigns so what ranks do the enlisted personnel hold?
O'Brien is Bashir's Subordinate and he's a lieutenant. Yet O'Brien is basically chief engineer (which would make him a Lt. Commander on a starship) and despite the fact that the CO is only a commander, it would seem acceptable for a lower ranking to have the responsibilities of what would be a superior office had they been aboard a starship. So he enlisted and somehow became tactical officer on the Rutlege (which is usually a full Lieutenant rather than an ensign). Okay, he might have been filling in after casualties during hostilities with the Cardassians but it seems the Star Trek Producers are very mean with Promotions. Data is still a Lt. Commander. Worf was 6 years as a Lieutenant yet Geordi seemed to leapfrog from a junior lieutenant to Lt. Commander when he was made Chief Engineer at the beginning of the second season. The legendary Curzon Dax was Sisko's superior officer yet Jadzia is only a lieutenant. The 'churn' rate of Starfleet personnel must be very high as it seems as though there' next to no chance of advancement. He comments later that when Nog graduates from the academy, he would have to salute him. Is Starfleet really so elitist that anyone who didn't go to the Academy can't become an officer?
(AKA: Paradise Not)
Sisko and O'Brien would have tried to escape or forced the issue much sooner. It's unbelievable that Sisko would go the Gandhi route and go for non-cooperation (it's not even that as he does whatever he's told). There's something highly unsatisfying about Sisko's strategy of cooperating in action but not spirit. Look at Data in Most Toys, he was threatened yet still bit back at his captor, refusing to give an inch whereas Sisko and O'Brien didn't even attempt to assert or defend themselves.
(AKA: Village of the RAMed)
A cute idea about the computer-generated hologrammatic village and a lovely episode. Dax used to be an awkward character but nowadays she is as engaging to watch as Spock or Data. Science Officers are seemingly the most interesting. Odo was originally thought to be the Spock/Data character but he's not the science officer. He even has to deal with kids and learns something about himself. Blah, blah, blah.
Profit and Loss **
Quark's Girlfriend. Yawn. Garak's not a bad guy after all. Yawn. Not totally soporific like some shows but just median. The female Romulan student is Susan from Seinfeld (the envelopes?). Quark Love stories are a strange one but then with a few expensive stories this season quite a few of the remaining episodes would feature romances for the crew. Well, four anyway. But it feels like more.
Blood Oath ****
(AKA: A Good day to watch people die)
Excellent. This glorious episode honours every single viewer. It is a good day to watch.
Three aged Klingons (all of who had each appeared in the original series played by these actors: William Campbell, Michael Ansara and the late John Colicos) bring to life characters in a way that most actors to play Klingons don't. These are real Klingons, the sort Worf is.
The Maquis, The Maquis II **
(AKA: Maquis and Maquiser)
A new subplot is not the most interesting development in the series. The name is too pretentious for a start. What is the deal with naming all SF criminal gangs after historical ones? The Maquis are supposed to be the sort of rebels we will sympathise for so that we will empathise with Sisko's agony. Instead, we think of them like gun-freak Militia (one is mad, one is boring).
The Wire **
(AKA: Garak Band)
Garak's true history is revealed. If it were any other actor other than Andrew Robinson and we'd all have been switching on our own implants. Try watching this and TNG's Ethics on the same day sand you'll see how different the two shows are. One is medical drama intersperced with a morality play whereas the Wire starts off as another Bashir-fest that thankfully changes into an exploration of Garak' situation and the Cardassian psyche.
(MEMO: Whose bloody idea is it, Again?)
A good idea? Maybe. Well done? Maybe. As great as Mirror, Mirror? No. A diverting episode with some interesting twists but just once I'd like them to only have one or two alternates instead of chance having all but Dax in the same place in the Mirror universe. Still, while it's a lot of fun to see our regulars in different roles, it smacks of something that only Red Dwarf has ever been able to pull of successfully on more than one occasion. Two gripes. One, what is it about your evil twin always being the kinky fetishist? And two, I know Treks aren't as long as they were 35 years ago (down by about 4 minutes) but this episode is a classic example of characters using the viewer as a bug. What does that mean? Well one seen between the two Kiras alone and from then on, everyone else seems to be aware of what was said between the two regarding the Crossover. A bit two convenient even if it does save us from hearing the same explanation three different times.
The Collaborator ***
(Working Title: Two Kais, a Girl and a Space Station)
Yawn. I know good drama is served by this episode. I mean, what story potential would there have been if Bariel had become the Kai? None. So we have this episode. Louis Fletcher is still someone you'd want to take a pop at but that's the sign of a really evil villain.
(AKA: Gully McBeal)
An interesting idea, despite the throwback to Chain of Command. What is it about O'Brien that they feel no problem with putting him through the ringer more than the other characters. He's tortured by the Cardassians, been promoted and demoted weekly, jailed, kidnapped, etc. Why not just kill off his family while you're at it?
The JemíHadar **
(AKA: Vorta Eyes Only)
Apart from the space-ship battle at the end (which is really out of place it pains me to say), this is a rather low-key episode to set-up the Dominion. Every mention of them in season two and Early season three undermines their value as a major foe. Later on, things change but here they're no different than the race-of-the-week. The Vorta here is Herman's Sensitivity.
The Search I, The Search II **
(AKA: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For)
While it's nice we learn about Odo and it's a good twist to have his race at the head of the Dominion, this story is lacking in something despite all the new elements. Martha Hackett as a Romulan is cuter than Martha Hackett as a Cardassian. It many ways not appreciated till much later, this story set the tone for the Dominion becoming a worthy threat but at the time, the whole 'dream' but, valid in terms of the story, yet unsatisfying to many seemed to make the Vorta into smug Romulan Clones, the Jem'Hadar into GM Klingons and Odo's people into the Godfathers of the Gamma Quadrant. We built up the Defiant as the best defense against the Dominion and totally devalue it bu having humbled at the first opportunity (and not thanks to its inherent deficiencies). Still, it's a pity that there's 20 odd uninvolving episodes between the opening two-parter and the season's best episode, the finale "Adversary."
House of Quark **
(AKA: The House that Quark Swindled)
This is a pretty ho-hum episode. Klingon stories without Worf seldom (I didn't say never) work as well as they might. But from the moment Quark starts to use his Ferengi nous to overcome his situation, the episode suddenly becomes a good one.
(AKA: A Bad Host Day)
Starting off as a dull episode this one thankfully improved despite the crap with the masks. The writers still congratulate themselves over the masks. Typical staff arrogance to say the best element of the show was in fact the most boring and least interesting element. Once the plot starts to unravel around the third act, this becomes engrossing viewing. Stories like this remind us the Trills aren't Vulcans
Second Skin *
(AKA: Major Kira Spoonhead)
What a load of old cobblers. Despite protestations this wasn't a cheap rewrite of TNG's Face of the Enemy, this IS a cheap rewrite of Face of the Enemy. Certain plots only really work well if they're done once, not once a season for whatever show happens to be in production at the time.
The Abandoned *
(AKA: Connect the Dots)
You can see what direction certain shows are heading before the end of the teaser and in others things surprise you. The first few acts are total bilge but when Odo tries to shepherd the young Jem Ha'dar away from the usual kill-bot lifestyle as so many of us have dreamt about, you feel the same sort of frustration you get when you're stuck behind elderly drivers.
Civil Defense ***
This is a great idea and a very good episode, even if the climax isn't anything we haven't seen a thousand times before. The whole concept is just so perfect.
Well. At least they didn't have fake Scottish accents. Let us never speak of the Scottish DS9 again.
Frakes is back and for the first time in front of the cameras on DS9. A very good episode despite what I've said about this season overall
What a load of old cobblers. Though I'd probably get a letter from an elderly schumacher from Stuttgart saying that members of his profession better compared to "Night Terrors" from TNG.
Past Tense I, Past Tense II **
DS9's first foray into time travel is fairly epic in terms of production values (and it probably cost a fair bit) but it really is lifeless and mutes with very unrealistic characters trying to make a social statement (Just after the early 90's Recession had bottomed out) about America's values. Fine. But there's very little entertainment value to be had from this story as it bangs you over the head with the message. Comparable to Future's End in Voyager but that at least had a sense of fun about it. To travel back in time but still be in the viewer's future is a tricky one, something that's rarely worked well (apart from First Contact). Social commentary used to work well in the 60's Trek, but TNG found it rarely worked. DS9 should have taken those lessons to heart.
Life Support *
Blando Calrissian. I suppose the procedure that Bareil underwent is the same as the writer of this bilge underwent. Where's an eight foot Native American when you need him.
Heart of Stone *
Oh well, so it was all a dream. Oh, sh*t, this episode was made for real.
Apart from Tracey Scoggins, this episode has little to offer. Seeing Cardassians as real people is interesting for a minute but all in all counting sheep and warm milk do the job better.
Prophet Motive **
Strange. My attention is linear. What is interesting. We have no knowledge of this phenomenon. It is totally alien to us.
Okay. This has lots of interesting ideas but has no excitement whatsoever. They seem to get out of each crisis too easily. Just because Colm Meaney has read the script doesn't mean Miles O'Brien should have. Could have been a contender. But it's a mediocre Voyager.
Distant Voices *
Bashir's subconscious is a stupid premise for an episode and the writing is appalling. If it wasn't for Alexander Siddig's performance, this would be the sort of episode that everyone skips when going through their Trek Collections (like Shades of Grey). Dumb and dumber (and that's just acts one and two).
Through the Looking Glass **
Another look at the parallel universe first seen in the Original series classic "Mirror, Mirror." And like while Crossover was a passable sequel, this mini-arc encounters the law of diminishing returns (the same reason that sequels that probably shouldn't be made have smaller budgets than the original). Each time we revisit the universe you fell more and screwed and by this time the swelling is becoming too painful.
Improbable Cause, The Die is Cast ***
This isn't a bad story of Garak's short-lived redemption. But it really isn't worth two episodes. Two part stories need a Grand scope and the battle at the end is one of the least dynamic ones we've ever seen (Even the "Read along with Worf style" of the tactical officer narrating would have worked, considering this episode seemed written as a cheapie. The padding is so unnecessary (how many discussions to Odo and Garak need to have about who accompanies who. It moves several plotlines forward, most notably that of Odo and Garak as well as the Jem Hadar but the whole X forms alliance with Y one week and the nest Y has ties with Z to crush X is a bit silly. DS9's major fault is the way it tried to embrace Babylon 5's arc concept without having a clear idea of where they were going to go next episode, let alone two seasons down the track. It's why the X-Files got so stale.
The Explorers ***
Something different where the plot is driven by a hobby. That's something that DS9's format has going for it over every other SF story. It's basically the Contiki story in space, so it works (a little quickly perhaps). A nice story though the Bashir subplot isn't really necessary.
Family Business ***
Ferengi intrigue finally rivals that of the Klingons. It never worked as well on the station but seeing the Ferengi in their environments is hysterical yet you don't feel it's comic relief because everything they say or do is not accompanied by a disapproving look from either Odo or Kira. A fun episode, not quite as good at the 5th season sequel that also featured Zek.
This episode also had a follow-up in the 5th season but that wasn't anywhere near as interesting as the events in this episode. Louise Fletcher is so amazingly evil you just want to burn down her house. I used this episode in court as a defense and luckily he agreed, demanding Ms Fletcher pay me damages.
An obvious idea to have the regular cast play versions of Dax's former hosts but at least it wasn't due to a dream or a virus or a transporter accident. It was actually handled very well for what was supposed to be a cheap show- but it never felt that way and was pretty dynamic. The only thing that stank was Avery Brooks trying to be Hannibal Lector which was nothing like we saw the first time the Psycho host was introduced.
The Adversary *****
Probably the first great action show on DS9. Not just good, nor very good, but great. The script is quite good with nothing too outstanding but the execution is where this scores over previous efforts. The acting is brilliant combined with top notch direction and you have the first sign that DS9 not only had potential but the potential had finally been realised. Tense and exciting in a way that DS9 had never been.
Way of the Warrior ****
Worf is back on DS9 (he was onboard briefly during Birthright I) and he's here to stay in a story that echoes the pilot closely (Which this effectively is, for a new improved DS9)
The Visitor **
Not good. Silly and self indulgent and pointless. You think Way of the Warrior was for nowt.
The Hippocratic Oath ****
The good thing about this season is that the good stories outweigh the crap ones. And what do we have? Conflict not only between two Starfleet officers, but conflict between O'Brien and Bashir and not just the silly "O'Brien thinks Bashir's a prick" from the first season. A wonderful episode and in earlier seasons, we would've seen Bashir triumph in a "I, Borg" sort of way. Thankfully, drama won out over happy endings.
It's strange to see at the same time as DS9 matured into a confident and above all, good Star Trek series, even a story like this which could have very easily been just Dukat and Kira managed to do quite a lot within the confines of the story. A very good story.
Ladies in Love. Star Trek likes the idea of having a lesbian kiss but won't have it continue. In other words, they figured they could get away with it in some circles once but not as an ongoing plot. Still Terry Farrell sells this episode which is otherwise dull. Forget the Trill taboo of reassociation. This is the 'lesbian show.'
Little Green Men ****
An excellent idea that puts the whole overblown Roswell phenomenon into perspective. The usual technobabble in order to facilitate time travel is involved but anytime we get to see actual time travel to a known location rather than in our future Trek's past we have an opportunity for a good laugh. Stablemate Voyager has also improved a lot but still has a problem with comedy.
Starship Down ***
This is both and good and bad. The action is quite good but of all the 'character' scenes, the only ones that actually work are those with Armin Shimerman and James Cromwell. The most pointless is Kira and Sisko, slightly less pointless was Worf and those pansy engineers and okay was the bit where Dax and Bashir finally lay to rest his original intention towards her, ie spanking her Trill arse.
The Sword of Kahless **
Yes, it's a take on Treasure of Sierra Madre, but it's not much fun to see Worf and Kor 'Blair-Witching" each other. The late John Colicos is great as ever but this is not a great story.
Our Man Bashir **
This James Bond homage is totally overrated. The only ones to get totally into their roles are Nana Visitor (proving life begins at 40) and to a lesser extent Terry Farrel. This isn't so much 60's spy more 70's TV. The direction is more Austin Powers than Goldfinger. In a Bond film a fight scene would be filmed in close-up with each punch and kick getting it's own setup of a second at most rather than here where we have choreographed sequences running for five to ten seconds. Colm Meaney is awful and Avery Brooks is a really bad Dr Evil. It's rather stange that Marc Alaimo was missed out since his career has been built on playing various heavies and thugs, invariably wearing a turtleneck (as worn by Garak).
Homefront, Paradise Lost ****
Easily the best multipart DS9 to date (The excellent premiere shows for season 1 and 4 for movie length), the first part built up a Dominion invasion when in fact it was just a shit-stir so that in part two rather than face Jem Hadar warships we had a Seven Days in May thing of Sisko realising he's actually the bad guy. Robert Foxworthy gave up a continuing role on B5 to play the admiral. Brock Peters is a bit OTT at times but he has to play Sisko's liberal conscience. Part two also turns out to be the perfect prelude to the film The Siege, though that film was quite awful in comparison to this little TV episode.
Odo stories are like Data stories (up until TNG's last season) in that whatever you threw at Rene Auberjonois, you coiuld bet it would be a watchable hour of television. This is no exception and apart from the discovery of the Founders a season earlier, marks the greatest amount of character development for Odo, this time focusing on him rather than his background. Rene Auberjonois sells this story of unrequited love.
Return to Grace ***
(AKA: Jonathan Livingston Gul)
Another Dukat story, and in a strange twist, has him totally humiliated before he manages to find away to at least regain his self-esteem, if not the position he desired. He also manages to have swapped positions with Kira. She was once the terrorist/freedom fighter and he in the position of power and now the tables have been turned. Of course, Dukat's true colours will change again in the fifth season so if you've grown accustomed to him as a misunderstood warrior, then you're in for a surprise. This has a great plot straight out of an old movie or at least it feels like one.
Sons of Mogh ***
(Working Title: Red Worf)
The first time I saw the ending, I though this was the most mean spirited way. Repeat viewings reinforce my feeling. I mean, erase Kurn's memories so he forgets who he was, when you know Worf may well regain his 'honour' again in the future (he does at least become part of Martek's clan later). It's a cop out. Worf was prevented from being killed in TNG but DS9 had evolved to a point where Kurn would have been allowed his dignity.
The Bar Association ***
(AKA: Miami S Club11- Stop Galaxization!)
An okay Ferengi story that you expect Ed Asner to make a surprise appearance as Grant Nagus Lou and Michael Moore as Brunt. But as usual, one of the few unionised industries in the US is the Hollywood studio system. Yet whenever they bring the subject up, its amazing how the unionists win but the union doesn't survive the last act. Strangely enough B5 did one of the most overtly pro-union TV shows in its first season "By Any Means Necessary" and they were one of the few hollywood productions that was non-union. "Teamsters, we don't need no stinking teamsters."
Still way off the topic, Star Trek V- The Final Frontier was made during a Teamsters striker and when non-union labour was used to finish the film, the unions used extremely unpleasant tactics to make their point. Captain Kirk's death might have been two films earlier.
Of the later Ferengi stories, this is a bit dull but it's single greatest contribution to DS9 is to finally rid Rom of the idiot tag he had originally be created as in the first three seasons.
(AKA: Bajor Can Wait )
A little Bajoran story. Nothing special. The production team whinged because they tried to get David Warner to play the poet instead of the adequate performance of the actor eventually hired (Here's a hint- if you can't get who you want, at least look for someone who's a big more magnetic).
Rules of Engagement **
(AKA: A Few Good Klingons )
The silly direction to stop this being a talky courtroom drama (which of course it was) are straight out of a pretentious early 70's film. The actual dialogue is very good despite the silly distractions. They could have made a good budget-concious story enlivened by more people in the courtroom or using file footage from the ships to demonstrate their points without the annoying 'through the fourth wall' crap. Best line was Sisko's last "You think it's hard now, wait till you've got four pips. You'll wish you had gone into biology."
Hard Time *
(Working Title: Oh My, O'Brien, Oh Shit!)
Oh my God! After watching this I wished Colm Meaney had killed me. He was good in this shitefest. The Trek writers feel very comfortable in putting certain characters through the ringer and O'Brien is one of them with Bashir summing up how crappy Mile's life was even before his imagined incarceration. They would think nothing of killing his family if they could get a cheap episode out of him. And with Worf on DS9, the production team's other favourite whipping boy, you'd think O'Brien might be able to have a normal life.
Shattered Mirror **
(MEMO: We've filed for intellectual bankruptcy)
I've mentioned before how each time the mirror universe is used in DS9 you wish someone could pull out your heart while it was still beating. These things get worse and more pointless everytime they pull it out and this is more pointless than words can describe. The ease with which people who, until recently, were slaves denied much education can easily transfer themselves to a parallel universe, apparently at will, is ridiculous.
The Muse **
(AKA The lamer they are, the harder they walk)
The story with Odo and Lwaxana is *** and the plot with Meg Foster is *. That bit was pretty damned awful. But the Troi story proves the alternating good and bad Lwaxana Troi story theory. Of course, it is Odo who makes it, putting aside his front to help someone who has helped him in times of crisis. It was actually pretty sweet to see Troi actually growing on someone in a good way (Haven, Half a Life, etc) rather than the carbuncle way (Menage a Troi, Higher Ground, Dark Page)
For the Cause ***
(Memo: Do you know how many cats are called Kasidy Yates?)
Not a bad story, but since Kasidy Yates (What wanker came up with that name?) is duller that paint colours prefixed by 'matt' her arrest is not a major loss but then Eddington's betrayal is a thing of beauty(Penny Johnson is excellent everywhere but here). They picked the right sacrificial lamb. That aside, DS9 suffers a Voyager style defeat but Sisko at least retains his dignity at the end rather than Janeway's constant caving but moralising at the end of most early-season Voyagers.
To the Death ****
(Working Title: Why can't we all just get along?)
A brilliant SF action story, in the same vein as Blood Oath which showed an action story could also involve characters interacting rather than just grunt shooting. The culture clash of Human Vs Jem Hadar is not bad but borders on ID4 style cliche.
The Quickening ****
(AKA: Doctor Bashir's Casebook)
Potentially another medical heartbreaker for Bashir with just as much potential for melodrama and easy solutions with the just the right balance of snatching a victory out of the jaws of defeat in a believable way. One of the few medical Treks that is great.
(MEMO: We're in trouble. We've made Keiko pregnant on the show but Nana has just visited me with a Doctor's note)
The O'Brien/Kira things is definitely the B plot with Quark's troubles being the episodes reason for being. Brunt is the Ferengi version of Worf's Duras. Often in DS9, someone who had a beef with Quark would threaten him but in Brunt we have Quark's nemesis even though Quark had done nothing directly to hurt Brunt.
(Original Pitch: Let's make Odo Human)
It has it's good points. Odo losing his abilities for more than one episode's duration is rather like Worf losing his honour (the first time) or Quark and the business licence. You know they're going to get them back. Unfortunately in this case the producers couldn't even wait a full season and what jars even further is that the Quark storyline was the preceding episode. What's next? Nog loses a limb? Still a good (cheap) episode with a convoluted cliffhanger.
Apocalypse Rising ***
(AKA: Kiss my ridged Klingon ass.)
Not the best season opener but pretty good nonetheless. Seeing O'Brien Sisko and Odo as Klingon's should have been more engaging but it's strangely flat in places
The sort of premise you look forward to like Trials and Tribbelations but in this case wasn't half as good as you'd expect. That said is wasn't bad, but you would have expected a knockout punch, but then DS9 to date hadn't been known for its end of season cliffhangers (This would change).
The Ship *****
(Working Title: Vorta Few Dollars More)
This is excellent television. Forget the first three seasons of the show. Stories like this exceed the TNG average. Season 5 shows that season 4 was no fluke
Direction, acting, script and production are all first class. Sometimes the heart overwhelms the adrenal gland of Trek writers butfinally, like the Original series, the plot is always the A story and everything else is formed because of it.
Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places ***
Cyrano De Bergerac (or Steve Martin's Roxanne, if you are that stupid) as a trek episode works quite well, considering both Worf's past and the episode House of Quark actually make this all very believable, the puppet Quark was a nice touch that is a nice 24th century way of keeping very closely to the original storyline. Grilka was played by the second Na Toth from B5, actress Mary Kay Adams.
...Nor The Battle To The Strong ****
Hmm, so Jake is a little cissy. Who'd have thought back in season 1 that Nog would be the outstanding Starfleet cadet and Jake a 'fraidy cat. Sitting in the replimat. A beautiful story that in all of Trek to date really demonstrates how scary combat is. This is Saving Private Ryan for Trek sensibilities and Jake is the translator who's so petrified he can't act. Cirroc Lofton's best performance.
The Assignment ***
This is the only Miles and Keiko sytory that I've ever found interesting and for once Rosalind Chao plays Keiko like one those babysitter turning out to be a succubus stories and is very engaging. You can feel O'Brien's tension when things like Keiko having Molly contact him just as he might tell Sisko what's happened. The eventual denoument was very well handled even if the pah wraith story was a little too convenient to be heard for the first time.
Trials and Tribbleations *****
Again with the tribbles. Finally a special edition that improves upon the original. The flashy special effects may be meaningless (Look at the DVD versions of the classic series) but this episode is a perfect excuse to redefine an earlier episode rather than plunder it. To call it the best DS9 perhaps demeans DS9 as it relies on the original series so maybe it's the most fun. It's just the most fun DS9 episode ever.
He Who is Without Sin ***
A nice little episode for Worf and Troi, er Dax. Prudes in Ibiza angle worked well though Worf still comes across as the ultimate party pooper. "I cannot let my hair down, that would disrectful to Armando's of Nice."
Things Past ****
Starts off like so many lame transference episodes and at times seems like a quadruple Quantum Leap episode but as things fall into place, you realise you're just too hooked to look away. If it had been a ploy by the changelings to poison Odo's reputation with the solids, then the ending might have a bit more satisfying than the Odo's subconscious is prodded by an anomaly in space. If I'm driving down the freeway and someone throws a wrapper out of the car ahead and it grazes my windscreen, it won't make me tell my passenger that I don't have a license, or that I really need glasses to see past the bonnet or that I'm so loaded that I think I'm piloting a camel through the Amazon.
The Ascent ***
The Jake and Nog/ Odd Couple was pretty pointless when the Quark/ Odo story was so interesting. The Edge was a pretty lame arsed movie compared to this. Perhaps a large bear would have garnered an extra point? As far as Jake and Nog are concerned, I'm surprised that Potsie and Ralph Malph didn't paint a white line down the centre.
(Working Title: I See Dead Cities)
Another Brilliant DS9 episode that would have gotten five points in the ending hadn't degenerated into a melodramatic mess.
The Darkness And The Light *
(AKA This Pile of Shit)
This episode is a pile of shit
The Begotten ***
(AKA. How Odo got his Groove Back)
Of course, the whole birth of the baby was boring as bat-shit but the Odo/Dr Mora story was nice, seeing how Odo's and Mora's methods worked well in conjunction with each other. Odo getting his powers back was a bit much. He was without them for only a very short time.
For The Uniform ***
(AKA: Resistance is Futile)
A pretty good episode apart from the horribly gimmicky holotransmitter. The idea could have worked if they hadn't done the $1.99 version of having the actor so obviously on the same set and just punch an invisble button at the end (Every communication ends the same way). Sisko's solution was a bit B5 but sirely poisoning a planet's atmosphere is not only grounds for a court martial but also a long, long prison sentence?
In Purgatory's Shadow, By Inferno's Light ****
(AKA Garak to the Future)
This is a great DS9 two-parter that manages to change so much of the DS9 universe that it reminds you of those momentous B5 episodes where the entire universe is turned oin its ear. It was a nice touch with Bashir's uniform and you have to wonder at what point exactly was he abducted? Apparently during Odo's fostering of the wounded changeling, the fake Bashir just stood by and watched.
Still, the Worf and Garak storylines were very well done, though the whole thing with Dukat seemed a little too rushed to be believable.
Dr. Bashir, I Presume ***
(AKA: Continuity, Schmontinuity)
This was never going to be an expensive show. Use a Voyager regular who's already under contract and the premise of Zimmerman butting heads against Bashir would have made for a quirky episode. Then the Bashir family secret turns a corner into a dark avenue with Babu (you very bad man- you think anyone who had a guest spot on Seinfeld will ever be remembered for anything else?). The bickering was more realistic than the sort you'd get in a soap opera episode though the whole idea of what was so wrong with Bashir didn't really make sense even after the Khan anecdote appeared in the crappy hologram at the end of the episode. Nice idea but then how come no one can keep their mouths shut about the whole affair after this episode
A Simple Investigation *
(Original Title: A Simple Gynaecological Investigation)
Odo scores and guess what? She's married. I didn't see that coming from the Gamma Quadrant!
Business As Usual ***
(Working Title: Quark III: Arena)
Remember a time where an episode featured a Ferengi in the A story was boring? Sort of. I have a vague memory of things. The Ferengi in DS9 are like the Data episodes of Next Gen.Steve Berkhoff is always wonderful although with most Trek guest starts preferring to bland out their performances, it's good to see someone going incredibly OTT, almost camp.
Ties Of Blood And Water **
(AKA: Kira Kira Kira)
Silly premises again for more Kira flashbacks/reminsences. Kira's character must surely be the most talkative about her youth with either a story or a flashback to illustrate any point she has to make.
Of Love And Profit ***
(AKA: Moogie Dearest)
An excellent Ferengi episode. After stuff like this, you can easily dismiss their misuse in much of TNG. Great characters and excellent dialogue put an end to the yawnfest of much of the last few episodes. Ishka and Zek and Brunt all together makes for a very good episode)
Soldiers Of The Empire ****
(AKA: Worf and Peace)
A Klingon story with something new, Klingons who have given up. A great Klingon Episode that shows Worf to be honorable but Dax to be the real Klingon. Worf's selfless act to help Martok gains him a place in the General's family. I would have thought he would have fought to restore his family's name (as he did before) but after what he had done to Kurn, it seems a bit rich for one brother to join another house and another has his memory erased. Still great Klingon stories are always something to behold. Dax, though, comes off much better than Worf.
Children Of Time *****!!!!!! BEST DS9 EPISODE
(AKA: Civilisation at the Edge of Forever)
Beautiful. This episode is THE most beautiful episode of Star Trek. Or at least in the same region as City at the Edge of Forever, Inner Light, Darmok. True Star Trek. But it's the classic Trek story that you keep coming back too except that to save one life, thousands will never have existed. Not a moment drags, not cliché to see and nothing is predictable as each act takes on a new direction. Apart from the illogical ruse of having the ENTIRE station's command staff on the Defiant at one time, including the security chief (It was just lucky they didn't contrive Quark stowaway- though he does appear as a computer generated teacher). After most of the first three seasons of this show, I never would have thought I'd say my favourite TV episode of Trek ever was actually a DS9 episode but Children of Time is enough to bring a tear to the eye of even the most bloodthirsty Klingon. Or psycho who dresses like a Klingon and works at the post office. Wonderful. Bravo, Bravo. Encore!
Blaze Of Glory ***
(AKA: Midnight Runabout)
Are we being spoilt or what? I can't believe what a run of great eps we are having. When will the divine run of beautiful episodes cease? When do we get the pap that the Non-enterprise shows are known for? It's good that fans can watch a DS9 and not feel short changed (like they did for so long). This felt like a cruddy two hander that is beloved of the Trek writers but then we get something that manages to combine the characterisation strengths of this with the kick ass action stories. And isn't that's what people want?
Empok Nor ***
(AKA Die Cheap II, Die Cheaper)
Not the best episode ever, but probably one of the best use of minor characters (or at least lower ranking). Logic is a bit iffy with only O'Brien out of the senior staff going along (well they're all going to get killed, including the useless Doctor from Crusade). You would have though that the mission would have warranted people like Worf and Dax along. But noooooo.
In The Cards ***
(AKA: On The Cheap)
A smaller episode than we've been used to, i.e. - No action at all, but I like the way that Jake and Nog have been supplanted. Nog is now the respectable and reliable Star Fleet cadet and Jake is the sometimes unpredictable and ready to lie (though not out of malice). The nutball wasn't too funny though. Face it, bald men in Star Trek (Patrick Stewart, Sisko and William Shatner aside) always get their asses kicked.
A Call To Arms ****
(AKA- Light the Blue Touch Paper and Stand Back)
DS9's best cliffhanger to date (apart from the clumsy revelation that Jake has stayed behind), with a grim atmosphere that doesn't bod well for the future. Excellent all round.
Thi season starts off stringly and maintains the momentum of the tail end of Season Five and keeps it going. The actual battle sequences are spaced out in the first six episodes but the character interplay here is spot on. Of course, having spent a lot of money in the first half dozen episodes, you can tell that the books will have to balanced with a few 'small' shows. Of course, the quality stayed high throughout, even with the odd less than stellar entry into the Trek canon. Of course, while this was going on, Voyager was having it's best year...
A Time To Stand ****
(AKA- "They Kicked Our Sorry Asses back to Earth")
The revelation that the Federation has been trounced by the Dominion/ Cardassian fleets is a bit much to take when you consider that the Cardassian capacity to build vessels has been destroyed and that no reinforcements can get through the wormhole. Granted, the Dominion have an excellent fleet, but a single space station was able to hold off a large fleet for quite a while the combined might of the Federation and Klingon Fleet (the later having a good strike rate against Cardassian vessels) are losing more battles than they are winning. Of course, it is this sort of shorthand that annoys you when you're mostly treated to pTople talking about battles. That aside, this is a promising start to a season. You know, like Odo's powers, Quark's business licence and Worf's honour that they will reclaim the station but then, it's how they do it that provides the entertainment value.
Rocks And Shoals ****
(AKA-The Ship, Pt II)
For the second year in a row, most of the regulars are left stranded on a barren rock facing the Jem Ha'dar in the second episode of the seaosn. While that story put the accent on melodrama, here we see a battle weary crew so the cast underplays everything and it works brilliantly. Another slimy Vorta makes an appearance here (or is that a tautology)?
Sons And Daughters ***
(AKA: Alexander the Not-So-Great)
Whilst this is technically part of the Dominion War 'arc' it's great to see a personal Klingon show. Martok (JG Hertzler) has done much to get restore honour to the Klingons. For too long, Worf had been the only Klingon who lived as what we are constantly told the Klingons are meant to be like. Nearly every other Klingon we have seen since has either been a schemer like Gowron, Duras and his sisters or an impersonation of Chistopher Lloyd's rogue Kruge from Star Trek III. Alexander being a klutzy Klingon seems to be a bit unfortunate and the idea that Worf would basically not speak to his son for years is somewhat out of character. Worf would neglect his son for a reason but according to this, there is no reason. Hmmmm. The new Alexander plays the role very well, considering the character is less than 10 years old.
Behind The Lines ***
(Working Title: La Resistance)
The events on DS9 aren't as compelling as Sisko and Co's adventures. The double team of Weyoun and Dukat is priceless. The both despise each other, yet would never say anything out loud. The visualisation of the first Vorta in season two was unfortunate since the series was stuck with these rather silly Casey Kasem lookalikes. The Vorta from last season's The Ship was an improvement but of course Jeffrey Combs brings the right balance of whimsy and menace to the proceedings, always following a threat with an olive branch (poisoned, of course).
Favor The Bold ***
(AKA, From Rom, With Love)
The calm before the storm sets up the big episode to follow, and shows the legacy Babylon 5 has had on its fellow 'space station' series. B5 and DS9 have oft been accused of ripping each other off but no one could have forseen the Trek series taking cues from the JMS's upstart creation.
The Sacrifice Of Angels ****
(AKA: Get Out of Our Quadrant!)
A huge space battle, the wormhole aliens, redemption all round and a kick arse story to reclaim DS9. Still, as Sisko will soon say "the War's not over..."
You Are Cordially Invited ***
A fun episode. SInce the war, the writing team have allowed themselves to use a more flippant style of dialogue between the regulars, snappy and funny, if only because of the quick pace of the dialogue. "Kill Worf," is DS9's funniest line.
What a boring piece of shit. The actual episode isn't bad (not great, though) just the Mirror Mirror universe thing makes me so angry that DS9 keeps using it progressively worse each time.
Statistical Probabilities ***
(AKA One Flew Over the Cardassian's Nest)
Was it that bad Dudley Moore movie Crazy People or Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys. Obviously, Bruce Cambell was detained elsewhere.
(AKA: Dukat Cover)
Dukat is loopier than an LA freeway. This episode's about as hard to navigate.
The Magnificent Ferengi ****
(AKA Weekend at Ferengi's)
This is easily the best Ferengi story in Trek history, this wonderfully slapstick show provides a type of humour Trek has rarely embraced: physical comedy. The sight of the reanimated Vorta banging into the wall is one of the wierdest in any Trek. And I only just realised that both Brunt and Weyoun are both played by the same Jeffrey Combs (the fact you can't recognise him without putting the names together is a sign of versatility).
Who Mourns For Morn? *
(AKA I Don't)
Pile of Shit
Far Beyond The Stars ****
Nice one. Actually having an episode deal with real racism. ANd just like the idea of having Bennie's story presented as a dream to get it past the usual audience, so is using an SF idea to present a story on racism on an episode of DS9. Brilliant and very nice to see everyone without their make-up. The best were the writers and in particular Colm Meaney. "I'm quite fond of robots."
One Little Ship ***
(Coming Soon for PC, PSX and DC: Army Men: Starship Attack)
It was kind of an obvious thing to do though a few years earlier and it would have been the crew in a more Land of the Giants-style setting of badly oversized big props. The Runabout's manoevrability was a bit of a stretch.
Honor Among Thieves ****
I like Colm Meaney but usually I hate O'Brien episodes. It's because the writers take a perverse delight in putting him through the grinder. They admit it. If this was Pulp Fiction, he'd be Ceasar (Remember what happened to Caesar in the gun store basement).
Change Of Heart ***
(MEMO: Terry Wants Out)
This is written very well, acted very well and directed very well, but since the whole mission was a failure, it dissipates the thrill of having Dax recover (especially when you know she won't be there next season, at least she went onto something decent, Becker). But Worf always gets chewed out for personal things but I don't recall seeing O'Brien getting chewed out after he sabotaged DS9 when Keiko was taken over by the P'ah wraith.
Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night **
(AKA: Terry's quit, let's give Nana a reason to resign)
I like Nana Vistor. I like Kira. I hate most Kira story's that don't involve other cast members. The story here is lame and pointless making time travel so easy for the sake of a plot point dilutes the golden plot device in SF.
(MEMO: Did anyone catch the Prisoner reruns last night?Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?)
This actually works out quite well. A little bit Drumhead and a little bit Tribunal and a smattering of Patrick McGoohan's masterpiece. Of course, SF fans may well be thinking of B5's Bureau 13 which was mentioned in one episode and never heard of again. Time will tell.
In The Pale Of Moonlight ***
(AKA: Hastala Vista Babylon 5)
It's a bit hypocritical of Sisko to feel nauseous over his actions in this episode when he ordered Bashir to do something he didn't want to do at the end of last week's episode. The B5 influence is getting more and more pronounced in DS9. This is framed as a really lame flashback episode that manages to surprise you at the end (in a good way, for one). Two characters have benefited most from the Dominion threat, Sisko and Garak and to see them collaborate on a project is a joy to watch.
His Way ***
(AKA: Ocean's Nine)
Wasting good guest stars in Holodeck fantasies is getting to be a trait in both DS9 and Voyager, but that's not to say these are bad stories. It's always nice to see good actors acting instead of the usual bland performances from actors just trying to remember their dialogue and deliver it in a non threatening civil servant kind of way. James Darren is very good and Odo and Kira's connection is more of an event than the Worf- Troi/ Dax couplings or Paris-Torres simply because of the massive three years since we first learnt of Odo's feelings for Kira.
The Reckoning ***
(MEMO: They'll be more impressive if they just stand around)
DS9's not to Asian action films without having any Kung Fu. Of course, had this been made in Hong Kong, we would have seen harness effects a la Xena and Hercules which would have made thisb a very different DS9. Instead, it stays true to type.
(AKA: Bugsy Photone)
A brilliant show but I can't help feeling Jake and Nog didn't really try hard enough. These kids were so arrogant you wanted to punch them. And why do they all look 15? The youngest cadets were 17 and most would be older. And wasn't Red Squadron Discredited in season 4? I know there's a war on but wiping the slate clean and giving them dangerous assignments is a bit of a stretch. And obviously Caroline Rhea isn't enjoying Sabrina very much. That aside, It was a good episode
Profit And Lace **
(Working Title; Quarksie, Mrs Quarkfire, Big Moogie's House)
This was off, in the same way Outcast was off. Did they actually emasculate Quark just for the sake of a ruse? Would Bashir have gone along with this? I seriously doubt it. It just seems like the writers couldn't be fudged to actually make this show work and they probably think it was the best thing all season (It wasn't)
Time's Orphan **
(AKA Fruit is Swelling)
An obscure joke but someone will get it. Try IMDB
The Sound of Her Voice **
(MEMO: I know we only have to hire a voice-over artist but we still need to put her in a push up)
A good show until you realise the real reason Lisa is dead when they find her. The would have had to pay and actress rather than just a voice-over artist. Fans like many of these intimate shows when they're well written but the ending here is just too cheap. Were they really that close to having a clip show here? And the weird thing is, they could have used this script to write out Terry Farrel here instead of next episode.
The final season of the two previous Star Trek TV series both have a poor reputation. While TNG's last season had some really, really bad shows, for the most part it was solid, unlike the last year of Classic Trek had a few good shows but for the most part was really, really bad. The first half of DS9's final year, preceded by the excellent sixth season didn't quite have the same resonance, but for the most part, managed to avoid the total crap (but not totally). While Voyager in the same year slipped markedly from its excellent 4th season, DS9 managed to keep the flame burning brightly, if not luminously. The second half, dominated by the 10 episode arc culminated in the big movie-length finale, on the other hand is the best 10 episodes of Trek in a row. Of course, DS9 took longer than any Trek to get 'good' it ended up surpassing TNG as the best of modern Trek and gets to be a near equal of the original.
Also, DS9 had a new regular to fill in Tery Farrell's shoes. Voyager traded in its cute star for a more glamorous one while DS9 went the other way. And you know what, it worked for me on both shows...
Image In The Sand ***
Just as DS9 was evolving into the Trek action franchise, it was also starting to embrace a sort of spiritual fantasy with the P'ah Wraith/Wormhole Alien struggle in the vein of so much Asian cinema. In fact, that Sisko's mother was in fact possessed by a Prophet to ensure his birth makes the revelation of Anakin Skywalker's father less of a stretch.Of course, the whole timem there's one question on your lips. Where's the new Dax? Before her appearance here I new Nicole de Boer was in a kids SF called Deepwater Black which I never got around to seeing despite its ads looking intriguing adn the movie Cube, which also looked intriguing but alas I had never gotten around to seeing it. Of course, she appears in the last scene and lights the place up.
Shadows And Symbols ****
I like this as a Sisko show, but of course, I want to hear about Dax. I instantly like Nicole de Boer, but was also dissappointed because I knew there would only be about three or four episodes to spotlight her character before DS9 ended forever (I'm not holding my breath for even a telemovie). The idea of the Prophets controlling Sisko's destiny goes a long way to replace the godlessness that had characterised the Trek universe for so long (I never had a problem with that). This episode does everything its supposed to, and is not predictable in any real way.
Having an Ezri Dax episode so early was about as predictable as finding several wonder-bras with "Jeri" on the tag in the Voyager wardrobe department. Of course, you'd expect this to be solely about Dax and Worf, but in the End there's only a short scene between them , focusing on Dax itchy feet and lack of self confidence.
Take Me Out To The Holosuite ****
Since baseball means nothing to people outside of the US Canada and Japan. Who cares. Still, its the most fun episode of DS9 in a long while.
Treachery, Faith, And The Green River ***
(AKA: No Weyoun Out )
So we have more Weyoun that we can poke a stick out. Jeff Combs turned the Vorta from silly looking cissies to people that you would never turn your back to. The Changeling virus would basicallu be one of the driving poltlines as the season and the series reached its conclusion.
Once More Into The Breach
The Siege Of AR-558 ****
(AKA: Nog the Peg)
DS9 has turned into Combat and along the line with the characters having become so desensitised that action shows such as this have become a bit of a yawn. It's a very good show but compared to the first few shows of season six, the war motif has been stretched to breaking point. And the whole point of the sub space mines was wasted. Bashir amputated Bog's leg from a phaser hit when a mine would have been more relevant (especially when a bullet in the leg rarely means losing a limb but tripping on a land mine, a real possibility in much of the world would easily mean that).
(AKA: Dukat Koresh)
A reasonable enough episode about those nice devil worshippers. Dukat is lucky he wasn't pretending he was of certain Earth faiths or else he might find his 'covenant' might have made walking a little more painful.
It's Only A Paper Moon ****
(AKA: Nog gets legless at Vic's)
Vic Fontaine is easily the best holo character (apart from the EMH) seen in Trek, far better than say Leonardo
Prodigal Daughter ***
(MEMO: We forgot we had a new character)
Dax has been underutilised this season, a pity since Ezri will only have one season in the pantheon of Star Trek (Unless she appears in the fifth Trek series) and he we see her mum is a control freak and one brother is a doormat/ killer.
The Emperor's New Cloak *
(AKA: Kill Me Now)
The first time DS9 revisited the alternate universe, Mirror Mirror was a decent, but flawed episode. But for some reason the Production team could leave well enough alone and every year have had pounded this premise into the grave. From season four on these became so ridiculously convoluted that reading alternate universe on the back of the video cover sent shivers up my spine.
Field of Fire ***
(Working Title: Silence of the Trills)
A decent Dax episode and even though the concept of her talking to her previous host as an hallucination is a bit of a stretch, its a very watchable show
(AKA Odo's long lost Cousin)
Laas (actually JG Mertzler, Martok, under the makeup) is a bitter Changeling. He wasn't link-fed as a small patch of goo and so harbours much hostility towards the solids. He can exist as a gas, which is good if you've ever wondered what changelings do when they fart. Next time you're on DS9 and you smell a Silent-but-deadly and you ask you companions, "Did you fart?" bear in mind thit fact, especially if you can't see Odo at the time
Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges ***
(AKA: The Decline and Fall of the Romulan Empire)
In the Origibnal Series, the Romulans were a foe similar to Humans. The TNG, the Romulans became the scheming ones, always trying to provoke someone else into a first strike. In DS9, they arrive with all of the baggage of TNG but with little of the conspiracy. In DS9, it's Sisko and Garak who manipulate the Romulans into the war with the Dominion and here we see Federation agents conspiring to a friendly Romulan Senator in order to protect a high-level spy. Oh well. They had it coming I suppose.
(AKA: Shag Worf, but think of Bashir)
Well, Ezri Dax does have some feelings for Worf and Worf still has feelings for Dax but not Ezri so they get it on but afterwards decide to leave it there. Anyway, now we suddenly have Ezri secretly in love with Bashir on a subconsious level. The Bousch, I mean the Breen make a last minute appearance in the DS9 universe. Since they were first mentioned back in season 3 of TNG (Around 1989) we had only very occasionally heard of them before finally seeing some in Return to Grace and later in the Dominion prison. And now, they're a big part of the last stages of the Dominion War.
Best bit by a long shot is Worf killing Weyoun 7 ( I think it's 7).
The Changing Face Of Evil
When It Rains...
Tacking With The Wind
Extreme Measures ***
(AKA: Bashir Heart Attack)
Dogs Of War **
(AKA: ROM, Space Nagus)
Pretty lame penultimate episode tpo the series. With only a little bit of the multi-part arc involved in the a plot, this is basically a wrap up for some lesser characters. Nothing at all special.
What You Leave Behind ****
(Working Title: The Last Episode of Cheers)
Well, another Star Trek series has come to an end, and unlike TNG's finale before it, DS9 wraps up every single loose end leaving little possibility for any type of reunion movie.
Whereas All Good Things basically brought the TV phase of the TNG crew to an end, you felt good at the end because it felt as if the adventures would continue. Here's the state of play of all the main characters after seven seasons.
Sisko: Dead, but exists as a prophet
Jake: Living on DS9 for a while but it destined to become a writer
Colonel Kira Nerys: New head of DS9
Lt Commander Worf: Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. Lost his honour again, wiped his brother's memory, became a member of the house of Martok, married and lost Jadzia, decided the second Klingon Chancellor in a row.
Lt Commander Jadzia Dax: Host killed but Symbiont lives on.
Chief O'Brien: Becomes Professor of Engineering at Starfleet Academy, moves family back to Earth
Dr Bashir: Stationed on DS9 with his new love, Ezri
Lt Exri Dax: the new host of Dax is Counsellor on DS9 and in a relationship with Bashir
Odo: Returns to the Great Link to cure his people.
Quark: Says goodbye to some friends and carries on, business as usual
Garak: After enduring a long exile, working for the Federation in the war against the Dominion-Cardassian Alliance was the only Cardassian regular to survive to the end of the series.
Rom: Went from Barman to Engineer to Grand Negus of the Ferengi alliance. Married to Leeta
Leeta: Dabo girl married to Nagus Rom. Presumably wears clothes as a result of the changes on Ferenginar
Lt Nog: Troubled youth joins Starfleet and quickly rises to Lieutenant. Lost a leg in battle
Gul Dukat: Went from former dictator to misunderstood adversary to leader of a puppet Goverment to lunatic to Pagh Wraith vessel disguised as a Bajoran before being killed, reverting to his natural form and being trapped into the Fire Caves on Bajor
Kai Winn: Turns her back on the prophets, beds Dukat, embraces the Pagh Wraiths and is killed by them when she tries to redeem herself
Cassidy Yates-Sisko: Sisko's widow had a chance to say goodbye via the medium of vision.
Damarr: Dukat's former first officer and his successor as Dominion puppet ruler lead the revolution but was killed just short of fulfilling his goal
Chancellor Martok: The General became Chancellor at the end of the series.
Ziyal: Dukat's daughter was killed by Damarr in season six.
Grand Nagus Zek: Went from being the Ferengi archetype to being the one who changed everything. Shacked up with Moogie.
Ishka (Moogie): Quark and Rom's mom and Zek's squeeze, burned her lobes for equality.
Brunt: Still in action in the the new Ferenginar
Weyoun: We went through about 4 in the course of the series. The last one is dead.
Female Changeling: Dying but cured by Odo, surrendered to the Federation and accepted responsibility for the war.
Gowron: was more of a TNG regular but appeared in DS9 enough times to qualify. Killed by Worf, finally.
Bariel: Kira's former lover died in Season Three.
Admiral Ross: Still around
The first hour or so finished off the Dominion war with a short sidetrack for Sisko to confront Dukat in a rather quick finale before we had a drawn out clearing up to hammer home the state of play at the end of the show, containing talking about the situation (a la Cheers) and flashbacks (a la Cosby Show). Whearase All Good Things bought a tear to your eye because of Picard's realisation his senior staff were indeed his friends, What You Leave Behind threw everything at you to tug at the heart strings. It works but you can feel the manipulation. It was good and was better that the major storyline of the Dominion War ended in the last episode rather than having a whole season follow with nowhere to go (Babylon 5's last season and Crusade really hurt its legacy). There's not much to say. If you have any questions. Just watch it again. DS9 took longer than Voyager and TNG to get its head of steam (season 4 as opposed to the season 3 in the cases of the other two shows). But it got so engaging in a way that TNG never was, making you want to watch the next episode I will miss DS9 and I can't see watching Voyager's finale in 2001 being as emotional an experience as this or All Good Things. Or the original crew's last show (Undiscovered Country)