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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Prophecy & Change: The Orb of Opportunity by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels (Review/Retrospective)

The 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.

It is fun to imagine the negative space that exists between various episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In its third season, the show was making nods towards serialisation, but there was never really a point where the series could not be broken down into reasonably well-defined episodic units. Even during the ten-hour series finalé, each of the constituent elements had its own narrative thrust and its own clear purpose. So it is fun sometimes to try to connect these threads together.

The ordering of episodes in a season of television is very interesting. It creates a fascinating connective tissue in the minds of fans. Although each episode is its own story, they come together to form something larger and more intriguing. On The X-Files, for example, placing Never Again directly after Leonard Betts changed the whole context of the episode. There are threads that do not necessarily exist within the individual episodes, but can be implied by the sequencing of the shows.

Placing Heart of Stone directly after Life Support is an interesting choice in several respects. It creates all sorts of interesting implications and developments, contradictions and possibilities. It is weird to have an episode about Odo’s attraction to Kira air directly after an episode focusing on the death of Kira’s long-term love interest; give her a week or two of space, guys. Similarly, it is strange to go from Nog’s characterisation in Life Support to his development in Heart of Stone.

The Orb of Opportunity is very clearly intended to bridge the gap between those two episodes, explaining how and why Nog developed in the way that he did.

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