And also speaking of Stargate, I can't help but imagine Chris Judge
I believe it was KRAD who said that's who he pictures as well, only based not on his role in Stargate
, but rather in his guest role in one of the few good episdes of Andromeda
. I'm okay with it, although it does kinda play into the "angry muscley black guy" sci-fi character stereotype.
And the conflict with Ascendants begins. First hinted and teased back in 2001 in "Horn and Ivory" it's very exciting to see this storyline FINALLY coming to the fore.
I've been setting bits and pieces up since episode 1, and it's all starting to come together now.
Although I gotta say, I'm a little pissed off that the new blurbs for the upcoming books by DRG3 (as posted here
) seem to be interpretable as referring to the Ascendant storyline. I almost want them not to cover it so that my version can stay the only version out there! <pout>
A disastrous first battle in the Gamma Quadrant sure does seem a lot like the first real encounter with the Dominion, but I'm sure this story will enfold differently. I'm really interested to see how this develops.
A bad first contact was absolutely vital to me, and I was aware of the similarity to the Dominion situation, which I tried to get around by hanging a lantern on it - to wit, making the characters aware of the similarity.
But it had to be that because of one thing - Warpath
The entire plot of this two-parter - and indeed a large portion of the whole season - came directly from Kira's vision of Ancient Bajor from Warpath
. That was so clearly set up as a foretelling of substantial parts of the yet-to-come Ascendant storyline that I had to respect it here. That was simply a given.
But I think I managed to weave it suitably in with all the other continuing plot lines. In fact, I made a big effort to work in every single continuing story I've got going in the entire season in these two episodes. I really wanted to make it into the lynchpin upon which the entire season turns. You've got all the big plot issues with the Ascendants, plus Cardassia, the Eav'oq, the Ohalavaru, Yevir, Vaughn-Opaka, Vaughn-Prynn, Prynn-Shar, Dax-Bashir, Bashir's issues about being left behind, the Dominion civil war, Ro's painkiller addiction, Vaughn's grudge with Sisko... all of that plus introducing Iliana back into the equation and handling the commanders of five additional ships. I don't think I did too bad of a job given all that.
Some other observations: The structure of the two episodes is deliberately mirrored. In part 1 ("Harmony") we have the story of the Eav'oq-Ascendant crusade as told by the Eav'oq. In part 2 ("Heresy") the exact same story is told, even using some of the same visuals, but from the Ascendant point of view. Trying to get a rounded picture of the circumstances, and explore how the same events can be interepreted so very differently. The Ascendants actually saw them
selves as the injured party - unjustly cast away, their birthright withheld from them.
Now how about that battle scene, eh? 17 pages of the fucker!
I chose the additional ships in the fleet carefully. I wanted a mix of new superfast ships with old lumbering ships. And I didn't want to make up ships from scratch - I wanted ships that had already been established. Sending the Cerberus
meant that not only would I get a Prometheus-class multi-vector assault mode separation, which just looks cool, but also it's a message of support from Ross to Kira. He has to be stern, but he can do what he can to help her.
I deliberately chose the Gryphon
as the one to be destroyed not only because we had substantial dealing with them in season 8 during the parasite crisis, and it's always better to kill somebody you know instead of a random redshirt, but also because the Akira class is supposed to be one of the toughest in the fleet, and if that gets its ass kicked, then we're in deep doodoo. Same reason as the Odyssey
got wiped out by the Jem'Hadar, really.
's destruction - again right out of Warpath
. Her big running cat was named Jayol, and it was killed under her by Ascendant arrows. Who saved her? Sisko riding his own big cat, Denigarro (aka Rio Grande
The captains of the ships, I wanted to make a good mix of humans of all kinds, and non-humans of all kinds, and all genders too. A Bajoran woman, a Vulcan man, and a human woman are already established (I assumed Spillane would have been promoted to captain of the Gryphon
as the most senior officer after Mello and Montenegro were both killed). So I made it half human half non-human, and half-male half-female. Also notice that not a one of the human captains is American.
As for Bashir apparently throwing in with Section 31? I'm not buying it. Memory serves about pipe being lain under the surface here with Vaughn recruiting him into the Kirk cabal in 'Abyss', and the appearance of that Admiral earlier on in Season 10. I think Bashir is going to use 31 for his own ends, especially since as of 'Zero Sum Game' we know that Cole was ultimately a failure.
Wait and see.
Also of interest is Ro's character arc. One wonders how long it will be before she feels more comfortable being in command of the station.
Wait and see.