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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Dramatis Personae (Review)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is twenty years old this year. To celebrate, I’m taking a look at the first season. Check back daily for the latest review or retrospective.

Dramatis Personae tends to get lost in the shuffle at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s first season. Sitting between two of the season’s most generic Star Trek stories (If Wishes Were Horses… and The Forsaken) and two distinctly Deep Space Nine classics (Duet and In the Hands of the Prophets), it’s easy to see why Joe Menosky’s tale of repeated history tends to get overlooked. It manages to sit quite neatly in both camps, as a generic Star Trek tale and as something more specific to Deep Space Nine.

After all, possession stories are scattered throughout the Star Trek mythos. Star Trek: The Next Generation was quite fond of have various members of the crew impersonated or doubled or controlled by a variety of alien influences. Dramatis Personae also feels like a very Joe Menosky script, linked by various thematic connections to the writer’s work on both The Next Generation and later on Star Trek: Voyager.

And yet, despite all those links, Dramatis Personae feels quite anchored to Deep Space Nine. It’s hard to imagine the dynamic working with any other Star Trek cast, even Voyager‘s Maquis and Starfleet ensemble. There’s also the sense that the episode’s pattern of repeated history feels more in keeping with Deep Space Nine‘s perception of history than any other Star Trek show’s.

The man with the plan...

The man with the plan…

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