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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Equilibrium (Review)

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.

Equilibrium is another troubled Dax episode. Dax is probably the hardest character on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine cast to write for, if only because of the character’s central premise. “Well-adjusted functionally immortal alien slug inside a young woman’s body” is a nice character description, but it’s hard to ground a character-driven story in that. It’s tempting just to turn the Dax symbiote into a convenient macguffin that can drive various plots.

To date, Playing God is really the only Dax-centred episode of Deep Space Nine that has placed the emphasis on Jadzia rather than the slug inside here. (Although Blood Oath did at least try to deal with how a current Trill host deals with obligations incurred by past lives.) In Dax, the symbiote was a gateway to a pretty conventional and generic murder mystery story. In Invasive Procedures, the symbiote was something particularly valuable to be stolen and exploited.

The biggest problem with Equilibrium is that – like Dax and Invasive Procedures before it – the episode uses the Dax symbiote as a springboard to a story that is more driven by Sisko and Bashir than it is by Jadzia Dax. While Equilibrium does have a great hook and some biting social commentary, Dax feels more like a plot point than a character in her own right.

Shocking behaviour...

Shocking behaviour…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Family (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

He’s still out there. Dreaming about starships and adventures. It’s getting late.

Yes. But let him dream.

– Robert and Marie try to figure out what all this “Star Trek” milarky is about

Starry, starry night...

Starry, starry night…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Sins of the Father (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

Sins of the Father is another watershed moment for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek as a whole. It’s really the first time that the franchise has invested in proper long-form world-building, rather than treating continuity as something that occasionally built up by sheer narrative momentum. It’s an episode that ends on an ambiguous note, suggesting more to come. It’s also an episode that nails down a lot of Klingon culture and tradition.

In a way, it’s the logical conclusion of a narrative style that has been building since The Enemy and The Defector earlier in the season; creating a sense that The Next Generation isn’t just the story of the crazy adventures that or crew have week in and week out, but a window into a much larger fictional universe. There’s a sense that the adventures of the Enterprise are set against a much larger and vaster universe, and Sins of the Father really gives us a glimpse at that.

It broadens the scope of The Next Generation, in terms of subject matter and also in terms of narrative possibilities.

Picard gets his Palpatine on...

Picard gets his Palpatine on…

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