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Old June 7 2013, 05:53 AM   #6
Paper Moon
Re: Essential DS9 Episodes

Trimming DS9 down to 61 nights, eh? Challenge accepted! (Though I actually really do like R. Star's approach.)

For funsies, my final list is at the end; my interim lists come first, so you can see which episodes were easy to delete.

Well, that got it down to 153... let's try again.

Alright, so that's 41 of the 61 I'm allotting... get to pick 20 more!

*some time later*

Well, here we are. This was an interesting exercise and I'm not really happy with the results, to be honest. On the one hand, I think I might be able to come up with a better list if I devoted a lot more time to it. On the other hand, I'm not sure I could really come up with a satisfactory "Abridged DS9" episode list in 60-ish episodes. I do like the results of my first culling– but if you're gonna watch 150 episodes, you might as well watch all 173.

The final list's episodes fall into three categories:

1) The Big Ones: The major events, the big plot advances. Almost all of the two-parters are in here. I omitted Past Tense even though I think it's really good because it has few repercussions and there are just too many other really good episodes that tie into the larger arc more explicitly. (I do think Past Tense fits into the thematic arc of DS9 very well, and is a key episode in Bashir's development, but still.) I omitted The Maquis for similar reasons. In fact, as I did with the Mirror Universe arc, I omitted the entire Maquis and Eddington arc, simply because there wasn't enough space.

2) The Masterpieces: Duet, The Wire, The Visitor, Far Beyond the Stars, In The Pale Moonlight... hours of television that really approach art.

3) The Little Guys: These choices reflect my personal preferences much more than the rest of the list. These are kinda the "best of everyday DS9"; these episodes aren't major turning points within the narrative of the show, nor are they extraordinary hours of television, they're just great DS9, representative of most of the rest of the series.

The list is very skewed towards the Dominion War, in a way that's not representative of the series as a whole. It also is less representative of the lighter episodes of DS9, some of the only instances of Star Trek doing comedy effectively. As I said, it lacks the Maquis/Eddington Arc, the Mirror Universe arc, as well as the Trill Arc, such as it is, and all of the Ezri episodes in season 7. It's also biased against Klingon episodes, since I personally think that several of them ("Blood Oath," "The Sword of Kahless," and "Once More Unto The Breach") are relatively weak, so it's better to remove the whole arc from the list. Lastly, it is very much biased towards later seasons and against the first two (much to my chagrin; I really wanted to include "Past Prologue," or "Babel," or "If Wishes Were Horses," or "Cardassians," or "Progress"...).

Anyway, here it is:

Actually, though, this was kinda fun; I think I might develop extensive arc lists; the Dominion War seems pretty well covered, but I'd love to create a Bashir's Arc list, or a Odo's Arc list. Maybe later this summer...
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