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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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Star Trek – Shore Leave (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

When I talk about the surreal sixties energy that really holds quite a bit of Star Trek together, it’s quite possible that it sounds like a back-handed compliment, a cheap and easy gig at a cult television show. However, I mean that sincerely. When I argue that the illogical and somewhat scattershot dynamism of the last act of Court Martial can barely hold the patchwork script together, it’s quite possible that I sound like I’m being sarcastic. However, my affection for the mad-cap mayhem particular to the first iteration of Star Trek is entirely genuine. Although it makes no sense, the climax to Court Martial isn’t the problem. Everything leading up to it is.

I think Shore Leave is pretty much the perfect iteration of this concept. It is, from start to finish, absolutely insane nonsense that threatens to fall apart if one concentrates too hard on any particular detail. However, it’s executed with enough energy and drive that it becomes a compelling and surreal piece of television, and one of the best illustrations of the kind of weirdness that the classic Star Trek could pull off almost effortlessly.

No bunny business...

No bunny business…

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