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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Jem’Hadar (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.

In terms of sheer quality of execution, The Jem’Hadar is probably the weakest of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s season finalés. It lacks the gut punch of A Call to Arms, the shock twist of Broken Link, the atmosphere of The Adversary or even the timeliness of In the Hands of the Prophets. It is, at its most basic level, a story about a disastrous first contact that occurs during a father-son bonding trip that goes horribly wrong, ending with precious little actually advanced.

However, in terms of conceptual ideas, The Jem’Hadar is a game-changer. It is the cornerstone upon which Deep Space Nine would construct its most iconic narrative arc. It caps off two years of trying to develop the Ferengi as more than one-note jokes. It’s a bold statement about the freedom that Deep Space Nine would enjoy with Star Trek: The Next Generation retiring from the airwaves. It cemented the notion that Deep Space Nine never really dealt in two-part episodes to bridge seasons.

For Deep Space Nine, season finalés did not exist simply as pieces of Lego designed to snugly fit those other pieces at the start of the following season, crafting some illusion of continuity flow between two different seasons of television. Instead, cliffhangers on Deep Space Nine changed the rules, shook up the status quo, and teased the changing face of things to come.

A Jem?

A Jem?

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Generation Next: The Changing of the Cinematic Guard…

There are times when I feel quite young. I was born on the same day that The Joshua Tree was released. My dad took me to the cinematic re-release of Star Wars. I was mainly introduced to the great directors through video and DVD. Hollywood as it exists today is not markedly different from the Hollywood that I grew up with. However, as I sat in the cinema last week, it occurred to me: perhaps I have sat through my first real changing of the cinematic guard, so to speak. It’s an occurance so subtle and gradual that I never really noticed it, and yet it must, by necessity, be part of Hollywood’s seasonal cycle.

Putting the older generation out to feed?

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Battlestar Galactica: Razor

It’s strange what we carry with us past the end of the world. In The Road, it’s hope for our children carted around inside an old shopping trolley; in 28 Days Later, it’s whatever humanity we can find hiding amid the ruins. For Admiral Helena Cain, what she carries with her after the destruction of her home is what she’s carried with her her whole life: a razor she picked up as a small child to defend herself after the loss of her younger sister. She carries that until she can’t – then she passes it on to her surrogate daughter, who carries it until she can’t. The razor itself is lost with Kendra Shaw, and maybe that’s a good thing. The last member of Cain’s inner circle dies taking all that hatred and aggression and lust for validation and vengeance with her. It’s an important transition. It’s also particularly insightful – given how Battlestar Galactica has generally focused on rebuilding after the fall of society – establishing a functioning democracy, a legal system and even rebuilding Caprica in a form – that this television movie focuses on the flipside of the coin: what humanity takes with it after the fall.

Talk about retro chic...

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