Advertisements
    Advertisements
  • Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

  • Advertisements

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Paradise (Review)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is twenty years old this year. To celebrate, I’m taking a look at the first and second seasons. Check back daily for the latest review or retrospective.

In a really weird way, this second half of the second season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine really has its finger on the pulse of the nineties. Whispers tapped into pre-millennial anxiety, the sort of paranoia that fed into shows like The X-Files and would play itself out through the show’s admittedly underdeveloped “Changeling” arc. In a few episodes, The Maquis will play with the old “freedom fighter/terrorist” debate in a way that was only really possible in an America completely at peace, post-Cold War but pre-9/11.

Paradise taps into some other anxieties. According to The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, writer Jim Trombetta was heavily influenced by the anti-technology philosophy of the Khmer Rouge, the infamous regime where even the stereotypical signs of learning and education (for example, wearing glasses) were justification for execution. However, whatever the inspiration, Paradise seems to tap into something decidedly more contemporary.

"This is my boom stick!"

“This is my boom stick!”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – In the Hands of the Prophets (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.

Both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation allowed their first seasons to run an episode too long. The City on the Edge of Forever, the penultimate episode of the first ever season of Star Trek, is a genuine classic. I don’t envy any story that has to follow it, especially not something as mediocre as Operation — Annihilate! While Conspiracy, the second-to-last episode of the first season of The Next Generation, is hardly a classic in the same league, it does up the stakes on the show’s first year, and tie up a dangling plot thread. The Neutral Zone, on the other hand, is a bland return to form, with a particularly insufferable b-plot.

So the excellence of Duet might offer the viewer cause to worry. A penultimate first-season episode which is significantly above average? One would be forgiven for wondering if the first season might have been best served to wrap itself up at that point, going out in a high, safe in the knowledge that it had contributed one classic episode to the Star Trek mythos and with the potential to offer quite a few more. Quit while you’re winning, and don’t tempt fate with another superfluous episode.

In the Hands of the Prophets, however, puts those fears to rest. Serving as a companion piece to Duet, it’s another one of those “only on Deep Space Nine stories, closing out the first season with a reminder of what makes the show unique. In the Hands of the Prophets is another classic piece of Deep Space Nine. It might not pack quite the punch that Duet did, but it’s a compelling piece of drama which demonstrates just how much Deep Space Nine has to offer the Star Trek mythos.

Beyond belief...

Beyond belief…

Continue reading

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Q-Less (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 the first season of Deep Space Nine continues its trend towards mediocrity. I feel I should qualify that. The first season of Deep Space Nine is never truly terrible. Even the (very) dodgy Move Along Home is superior to any number of episodes from the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, like Code of Honour or Angel One. The first season of Deep Space Nine just winds up feeling like it’s treading water, as if it is trying too hard to emulate The Next Generation, instead of exploring the unique storytelling opportunities offered by the show’s setting.

Q-Less is arguably the most obvious example of these attempts at imitation. While episodes like Babel and The Passenger could have been reworked as episodes of The Next Generation with a minimum of fuss, Q-Less rather cynically takes two recurring guest stars from The Next Generation and allows them to steal focus from an ensemble that is still finding its feet. It feels not only a little ill-judged, but also a bit rude.

Guess Q...

Guess Q…

Continue reading

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Captive Pursuit (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.

Much like Babel, it’s not too difficult to reimagine Captive Pursuit as an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s notable for being one of the few episodes of Deep Space Nine to really feature the famous “Prime Directive”, something of a staple of the original Star Trek, The Next Generation and even Voyager. Like a lot of episodes from the middle of Deep Space Nine‘s first season, this seems almost like an attempt to port on episode concept directly over from The Next Generation. In particular, the notion of the crew dealing with a fugitive while wrestling with the Prime Directive feels like a retread of The Hunted.

That said, Captive Pursuit does work quite well, taking a familiar concept and putting a twist on it unique to the show. Despite the fact the episode’s premise feels like it has been carried over, the execution is careful enough to distinguish Deep Space Nine from its older sibling.

The hunted...

The hunted…

Continue reading

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Past Prologue (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.

Past Prologue is a pretty decent second episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It does what it needs to do, serving primarily to build the world of Deep Space Nine just a little bit. After all, a story like this was inevitable with a character like Kira in the main cast, so it’s probably for the best that the show deals with it so early. It’s not a classic episode by any means, feeling as if the show was obligated to tell this particular story. Then again, I suppose that’s what the first season of any television show is for. Set up and development.

Past Prologue continues to hint at the strengths of Deep Space Nine, investing considerable effort in crafting a tangible setting for the series. However, there’s also a hint of the weaknesses of the first season to be found here. Like just about any of the Star Trek spin-offs, Deep Space Nine is going to spend its first year searching for its identity. While Past Prologue indicates the series is looking the right direction, it hasn’t quite found its footing.

Los cannon...

Los cannon…

Continue reading