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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 1 (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.

Well, that was actually pretty satisfying. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has probably the most satisfying debut season of any of the Star Trek spin-offs. While the show’s first year can’t quite measure up to the very first season of Star Trek ever produced, it can hold its head high among the spin-offs. Although I will concede that the bar isn’t exactly high when it comes to measuring the first year of the tie-in television shows.

When I began a recent re-watch of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I was glad to finish the show’s rocky first season. It was a slog, like the work one has to put in before delving into “the good stuff.” I recently picked up the blu ray of the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise. While there are a couple of nice episodes, there are quite  a few I’d forgotten entirely because they were so bland. There are more I would like to forget. Star Trek: Voyager‘s first season is the single largest missed opportunity in the history of the franchise.

So Deep Space Nine‘s first year doesn’t have to do that much beyond “not sucking” in order to earn the coveted title of “best pilot season of a Star Trek spin-off.” However, as I watched the season, I was continually impressed with the quality of work done. There are a few duds (and a few classics), but the first year demonstrates remarkable insight into what is unique about the show’s premise. It doesn’t always have the courage to follow through on that promise, but it at least acknowledges it.

ds9-season1a

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – If Wishes Were Horses… (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.

And after Progress gives us the most Deep-Space-Nine-y” episode yet, If Wishes Were Horses… offers the most generic Star Trek episode this side of The Passenger. The plot here should be very familiar. Like in Imaginary Friend or Shore Leave, the characters find their imaginations seem to be bringing things to life. Of course, it turns out to be an advanced alien intelligence that really just wants to study our crew, like in The Observer Effect or Scientific Method or even Schism. What I’m getting at here is that there’s really very little in this premise which hasn’t been done before or since on Star Trek, and nothing which wouldn’t feel more at home on Star Trek: The Next Generation or Star Trek: Voyager.

While it’s not as bad as The Passenger or Move Along Home, it is terribly generic and it feels like a waste of an episode in an already truncated season.

If wishes were emus...

If wishes were emus…

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