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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Facets (Review)

This September and October, we’re taking a look at the jam-packed 1994 to 1995 season of Star Trek, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Check back daily for the latest review.

Facets in more than a little muddled. It’s an episode that is all over the place. It’s a script that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be, leaning in one direction and then another. The episode’s big plot point isn’t dropped until half-way through, and there are any number of points where the script offers a feint towards a plot that never quite develops. As befitting a story called Facets, this is an episode with quite a few different (and often conflicting) sides.

It’s a disjointed little story, and perhaps an effective demonstration of just how much trouble the producers were having with Dax as a character. And yet, despite all this, Facets works surprisingly well. This is likely down to the fact that – like Playing God and arguably Blood Oath before it – it feels like a Dax story that is as interested in the character as it is in the concept.

A little piece of herself...

A little piece of herself…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Playing God (Review)

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

Playing God is – structurally – quite similar to Shadowplay. The episode follows the same basic format. We have three plots running concurrently. One of these plots is a science-fiction plot while the other two are centred around character development. What’s interesting about Playing God is that the script essentially changes the priority of these plot threads. In Shadowplay, the central plot concerned the science-fiction mystery in the Gamma Quadrant, while here the ethical quandary is pushed firmly to the background. (Much to the chagrin of writer Jim Trombetta.)

Instead, Playing God brings the character plotline to the front, giving us the first Dax-centric episode firmly based around Jadzia rather than the symbiote inside of her.

Quark smells a rat... er... I mean vole...

Quark smells a rat… er… I mean vole…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Lives of Dax: Reflections (Jadzia) by L.A. Graf

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

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

The Trill are an absolutely fascinating species, arguably much more so on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine than they were on Star Trek: The Next Generation. They were introduced in The Host as a race that was relatively straightforward – a bunch of symbionts living inside humanoid bodies. There was no indication that the host was anything but a blank slate for the organism inside to overwrite and control.

On Deep Space Nine, they became much more complex. The show’s first Trill-centric episode, Dax, pondered if it was possible to divorce the actions of the host from those of the symbiont, or vice versa. Though the episode in question wimped on giving a definitive answer one way or the other, the implication is that each Trill is a fusion of host and symbiont, rather than one dominating the other. Because of that, it seemed like the show always had trouble defining Jadzia (the character on the show) relative to Dax (the sum of lifetimes of experience).

As such, it’s hard not to pity veteran writers Julia Ecklar and Karen Rose Cercone (writing as “L.A. Graf”) for drawing the short straw and winding up writing the story from the anthology The Lives of Dax focusing on Jadzia.

ds9-thelivesofdax1

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