Posted on April 14, 2017 by Darren
Honour Among Thieves is effectively Star Trek: Deep Space Nine pitching itself as a nineties crime film.
One of the luxuries of Star Trek is the sheer flexibility of the format week-in and week-out, the capacity to tell different sorts of stories depending on the tastes of the writers. The franchise can do comedy episodes like The Trouble with Tribbles or House of Quark, political thrillers like Sins of the Father or Homefront and Paradise Lost, weird science-fiction like Whispers or Threshold. The possibilities are endless, the variety incredible. It is a remarkable flexibility, to the point that the audience is never entirely sure what genre they will end up with in a given week.
To Bilby or not to Bilby…
The writers on Deep Space Nine have long been fascinated with the darker side of the Star Trek universe, the pulpy aspect of the franchise that was largely downplayed in the Rick Berman era. Episodes like Necessary Evil played with the conventions of noir storytelling, while Whispers hinted at some postmodern paranoia. The Orion Syndicate were brought back into twenty-fourth century continuity in The Ascent. Occasionally, the strands would come together, most notably in A Simple Investigation, a cyberpunk noir that blended “net girls” with bantering assassins.
Honour Among Thieves very much continues along that evolutionary line. It picks up the Orion Syndicate thread from earlier episodes like The Ascent or A Simple Investigation. However, it also positions itself very much in the context of nineties gangster cinema. This is Deep Space Nine channelling Donnie Brasco, casting O’Brien as a mob informant finding himself sympathetic to his target.
Miles ahead of the enemy.
Filed under: Deep Space Nine | Tagged: crime, deep space nine, donnie brasco, honour among thieves, o'brien must suffer, orion syndicate, prodical daughter, star trek, star trek: deep space nine | 5 Comments »
Posted on September 23, 2016 by Darren
The Assignment is perhaps the most conventional episode of the fifth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It is also one of the most disappointing.
The Star Trek franchise has long been fond of “possession” and “imitation” stories, dating back through Whom Gods Destroy and Turnabout Intruder to Lonely Among Us and Datalore and Power Play. It is easy to see the appeal of these stories from a production standpoint. An effective possession story can likely be filmed on standing sets and relies primarily upon an established member of the ensemble. For an actor, it provides an exciting opportunity to play against type, which is a great way to keep a weekly television series exciting.
O’Brien must suffer… through a terrible script.
However, it is very much a stock plot. There are only so many variations that a long-running franchise can put on the tried-and-tested formula before it begins to feel a little tired. Deep Space Nine has already had more than its fair share of “out of character” plots, from The Passenger to Dramatis Personae through to Crossover and all the other mirror universe episodes. It gets to the point where “there’s an evil alien inside Keiko O’Brien” feels like a fairly bland iteration of this particular type of Star Trek story.
In a season where Deep Space Nine spends so much time pushing the boundaries of Star Trek, it is frustrating to see the show offer up such a generic installment.
Rom is in a bit of a fix…
Filed under: Deep Space Nine | Tagged: bradley thompson, david weddle, o'brien must suffer, pah wraiths, star trek, star trek: deep space nine, the assignment | 12 Comments »
Posted on October 2, 2014 by Darren
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.
Visionary confirms that “O’Brien must suffer” is to become an annual tradition on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The second season of the show had made a good start with episodes like Whispers and – to a lesser extent – Armageddon Game, but Visionary confirms that this will really be O’Brien’s niche in the ensemble from this point on. Visionary sees O’Brien randomly jumping forward through time, inevitably glimpsing some horrible tragedy that must be avoided. (Boy, it sure is lucky that he started jumping at this point, isn’t it?)
Visionary should feel contrived and convenient, hinging on a pretty flimsy plot hook. That said, the episode ultimately works quite well, even if it doesn’t stand out as a classic piece of Star Trek. Watching Visionary, there’s very much a sense that Visionary only really works as well as it does because Deep Space Nine has built up a larger mythology of characters and long-form plotting that can support what might otherwise be a fairly flimsy premise.
“Why the hell doesn’t this ever happen to Julian?!”
Filed under: Deep Space Nine | Tagged: deep space nine, destiny, Dominion, ds9, future, klingons, O'BRIEN, o'brien must suffer, romulans, star trek: deep space nine, time travel, visionary, wormhole | 2 Comments »