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Old January 14 2013, 10:07 PM   #7
Rear Admiral
Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: 'Streamlining' DS9

^ Were arguing semantics here, I feel, which is pointless, so let's move on. Here's my review of Past Prologue.

Past Prologue Review
As I start my review, I'd like to make note of something I forgot to put in my review of Emissary.

There have been numerous comparisons between DS9 and J. Michael Strachzynski' s Babylon 5, but the two series are actually very different, and both Emissary and Past Prologue illustrate these differences rather vividly.

The first difference between B5 and DS9 that is illustrated by Past Prologue is the nature of DS9's storytelling versus the nature of B5's storytelling. Soul Hunter, the second episode of B5, is about setting up/seeding pieces of the B5 mythology both in terms of Sinclair's character arc as well as in terms of the wider B5 universe, whereas, by contrast, Past Prologue is a character piece through and through.

Another significant difference/distinction between B5 and DS9 that is illustrated by Past Prologue is DS9's ability - by virtue of its being a spinoff of a franchise - to use/feature already- existing characters in what are essentially extended cameos in order to expand and enrich the narrative of a given episode.

There was no reason the writers could not have used two completely original characters as Tahna Los' collaborators in obtaining one of the components of his bomb, but by using Lursa and B' Etor, they were able to establish continuity and character development by having Odo and Sisko discuss the reasons why their presence aboard the station is troubling and enhance Odo' s character by establishing the style by which he would traditionally deal with station security. Using the Duras sisters also enhances the impact of the subplot involving Garak and Bashir.

Past Prologue is a great follow-up to Emissary and an excellent example of the things that differentiate DS9 from B5, as well as an excellent vehicle for exploring Major Kira' s character and giving Nana Visitor yet not opportunities to establish herself as one of the series' standout actors, as her tiff with Sisko early on in the episode is a great follow- up on her verbal smackdown of Bashir in Emissary.

Speaking of Bashir, he serves as the perfect foil for Garak, whose smooth attitude as written and the brilliant acting choices of Andrew Robinson imbue the scenes between the two characters with a delicious undercurrent of behavioral innuendo that only serves to accentuate their interactions.
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