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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Maquis: Soldier of Peace (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.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

The Maquis: Soldier of Peace is a rather interesting little miniseries, produced while Malibu comics held the rights to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine spin-off comics in the early nineties. Malibu owned the rights to the earliest comics, publishing just over thirty issues of the main Deep Space Nine title between August 1993 and December 1995. Due to Paramount’s desire to exploit the license as much as possible, Malibu only had access to the Deep Space Nine rights, and not to Star Trek: The Next Generation or the original Star Trek.

Malibu would eventually be bought by Marvel, allowing the company to briefly publish Star Trek comics related to all on-going series. However, the company managed to generate an impressive amount of content in the time that it held the rights. Cynics would suggest that company was trying to cash in on the comics boom of the nineties, trying all manner of gimmicks, including one-shots and even a “celebrity” prestige series featuring stories written by Mark Lenard or Aron Eisenberg.

As such, these comics offer an interesting snapshot of where Deep Space Nine was at this point in its history.

The three amigos...

The three amigos…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Maquis, Part I (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.

The Maquis is an interesting episode, because it really illustrates the weird place that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine holds in the pantheon. It’s the middle act of an arc designed to play out across the final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the second season of Deep Space Nine and into the first year of Star Trek: Voyager. This was all part of gigantic lead-up to Voyager, a way for the producers to generate friction between the regular cast of the show.

However, with The Next Generation ending and Voyager being set on the other side of the galaxy, Deep Space Nine wound up stuck with this plot thread. As Michael Piller concedes in The Deep Space Log Book: A Second Season Companion, “DS9 is the true inheritor of the Maquis since there is no long term benefit to Voyager.” And so – despite the fact the Maquis were never intended for the show – they wind up become a perfect vehicle to explore the show’s world view.

Picard's not the only one who can get a good face palm going on...

Picard’s not the only one who can get a good face palm going on…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Playing God (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.

Playing God is – structurally – quite similar to Shadowplay. The episode follows the same basic format. We have three plots running concurrently. One of these plots is a science-fiction plot while the other two are centred around character development. What’s interesting about Playing God is that the script essentially changes the priority of these plot threads. In Shadowplay, the central plot concerned the science-fiction mystery in the Gamma Quadrant, while here the ethical quandary is pushed firmly to the background. (Much to the chagrin of writer Jim Trombetta.)

Instead, Playing God brings the character plotline to the front, giving us the first Dax-centric episode firmly based around Jadzia rather than the symbiote inside of her.

Quark smells a rat... er... I mean vole...

Quark smells a rat… er… I mean vole…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Shadowplay (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.

Shadowplay is a great example of the kinds of things that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is beginning to do very well. While the main plot works very well (so well, in fact that Star Trek: Enterprise would borrow it – and Rene Auberjones – for their first season episode Oasis), it’s remarkable how much of Shadowplay is given over to the two character-development subplots unfolding back on the station. Indeed, Dax and Odo have effectively solved the mystery of the missing villagers by about two-thirds of the way into the episode.

The character-development stuff in Shadowplay is interesting because the two subplots are not written with resolutions in mind. Indeed, they don’t even kick off the respective character arcs. Kira and Bariel have been waiting to become a couple since The Siege at the latest. The last episode, Paradise hinted that Jake might not be cut out to be a Starfleet officer.

In short, what is interesting about Shadowplay is the fact that it’s really just demonstrating that the show has reached the point where it is doing the things that it does relatively well. Deep Space Nine has found its groove, that point in a show’s history when it seems like it’s relatively easy to produce an hour of television of reasonable quality.

A holo crowd...

A holo crowd…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Terok Nor #0 (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.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the episodes with some additional materials – mainly novels and comics and films. This is one such entry.

Terok Nor might be the best of Malibu Comics’ Star Trek: Deep Space Nine range, a one-shot written by Mark A. Altman and illustrated by Trevor Goring. It isn’t so much the plot that makes Terok Nor so distinctive – there is a lot of running around, some betrayals, some action sequences – but rather the execution of Altman’s story and the atmosphere provided by Goring’s pencils. The origin story of the space station Terok Nor, Altman very shrewdly frames the story as something of an oral history. It’s almost mythic and grand and epic, drawn in broad strokes rather than finer detail.

It serves quite well as the story of the construction of the central hub of the Star Trek show most concerned with legacy and history.

A monument to the Bajoran people...

A monument to the Bajoran people…

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