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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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Non-Review Review: The Tempest

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Julie Taymor’s Titus. It was a punk rock adaptation of perhaps Shakespeare’s trashiest play, and it was a fusion which just worked. The Tempest, on the other hand, is a very different beast. Far from being one of the Bard’s more easily forgotten plays, it has been one of his most highly regarded since its revival in the nineteenth century. It is, despite some outward cynicism, a far more optimistic and (dare I say it?) lighter piece than the orgy of death and destruction in Titus Andronicus. So Taymor’s skills aren’t quite as perfectly in step as they might be. That said, she’s still a remarkable director with a keen visual sense, and the movie manages to be engaging and entertaining, despite a few missteps.

It's a kinda magic...

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