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Old June 17 2013, 07:45 PM   #67
nureintier's Avatar
Location: PA, USA
Re: Was I the only one who disliked Far Beyond the Stars?

Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post

It's sometimes helpful to use contrast to drive home a particular point. The Star Trek universe presents a uniform, utopian society, and it's easy to view problems such as racism as an abstraction when faced with the ideals and views of the Federation. The vision experienced by Sisko allows the audience to see the characters of Deep Space 9 as they may have been had they lived in a world dominated by intolerance, a world that is still extremely relevant in our own society, unfortunately, for we are not as far removed from the problems of the early-to-mid-twentieth century.

The vision is made all the more powerful by the episode's conclusion, the scene in which Sisko is speaking with his father and offers the idea that perhaps Deep Space 9 is the illusion- that Benny Russell dreams of the universe that Sisko and company live in- an idea that many who love Star Trek can relate to.
This. While there is certainly a lot of themes involving racism and xenophobia elsewhere involving alien races, I think this was also making a point specifically about humans, and to do that, it was helpful to set it in the past. Contrasting this with regular DS9 showed that humans had moved beyond that. Sisko's skin color is completely irrelevant on DS9, and that's the whole point: in the past, it would have been a big deal. (It's kind of like, I think it's the first eps of TNG where Q is talking about the savagery of the human species, and Picard tries to tell them how far humans have come.)

This issue is addressed in one of the holosuite/Vic Fontaine eps where Sisko tells Kassidy he refuses to go to Vic's because of the racism in that time period. Kassidy says it's an idealized version of the time, but that it doesn't mean they're forgetting about racism in the past. Still, Sisko's initial refusal shows that he feels, that by having fun in a cleaned-up version of the past, he's doing a disservice to the memory of all the people in the past who suffered because of racism.

Throw in Brooks' usual overwrought, I WILL E-NUN-SEE-ATE E-VERRR-REEE SILL-UH-BULL delivery and it is virtually unwatchable to me.
I think it's a pretty dull episode, and I agree with the OP. Not impressed with Avery Brook's embarrassingly bad over-acting on display in the episode either.
I can't stand it when he shouts, in this or any other episode. I have no problem with Avery Brooks otherwise, but his shouting annoys me so bad. "Iiiittt's Reeeaaaalll!"

Other than that, I thought it was a fun episode (though a bit preachy), I liked seeing a lot of the actors without makeup, and little funny things they said, like Dax talking about a story about a woman with a worm in her belly.
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