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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old January 19 2012, 01:58 AM   #691
TheGodBen
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen's Rise Review (*½)

This review is kind weak, there's very little insight to the episode it's reviewing and hardly any humour at all. It's really just a list of likes and dislikes from the episode, with me liking the character stuff and disliking the plot. I didn't go into much detail for either of those areas, which is partly the fault of the the episode that was being reviewed being not all that interesting. I can understand the difficulty in trying to be interesting when writing about a subject that's not all that exciting, but I expect better from me and I let myself down with this review

I also think I was too lenient about the shuttlecraft counter, it's highly unlikely that Voyager picked it up as it seemed like a wreck, but I let the show get away with yet another shuttle crash because I didn't want to rock the boat too much. That displayed a serious lack of backbone, I feel. At least I had the balls to count the torpedoes properly. Also, while it's not technically part of the review, this was the post where I started referring to the Doctor as Shmully, which was a nice bit of continuity that remained throughout the thread.

The review itself was overshadowed by Jaespol's rude attitude towards neogothboy74 because of his choice of avatar. Jaespol, if you're reading this somehow then I'd like you to know that you were quite a character, but it would be a mistake to try and make a dual and come back because you will fail.

Torpedo counter use: 5

(Yes, I checked.)
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Old January 19 2012, 01:59 AM   #692
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

WIN.
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Old January 19 2012, 03:39 AM   #693
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Nice.
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Old January 19 2012, 06:28 PM   #694
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Season 2 Review

So, how much of a step up was season 2 from the first one? Behold the glory of the graph!



The average score for this season is 6.231, the highest score I have awarded to any season of Star Trek, although lower to the scores I gave to seasons 3, 4 & 5 of Babylon 5. It's a strong score, almost a great one, but this is a show still being held back by poor and mediocre episodes, particularly in the first half of the season. The trendline shows quite strongly that the second half of the season was rated higher than the first half, thanks mainly that that really strong run of episodes from Blood Oath to The Jem'Hadar.



This shows us why the score was so high, it's because of the impressive number of episodes that scored 8. Remove those episodes and the score would be roughly average, but the height of that bar compared with the lack of a similarly-sized bar on the left of the graph is what stands out. When this season was good it was really good, and when it was bad it was about average.

I rated seven episodes this season below average, two were average, and seventeen were above average.
Best episode: The Wire
Worst episode: Second Sight


The Writers

Last season saw Fields as the runaway winner with Piller, Behr, and Wolfe all scoring below average. How will things change this season?



Fields ends his run as a staff-writer with an even more impressive score than last season's, an average of 7.75 out of four episodes. Hans Beimler's score is something of an anomaly as he only wrote one episode and wont be joining the writing-staff until season 4, so his score is 7 from the episode Paradise. Piller is next, strongly improving his score to 6.5 out of four episodes. The most improved score is Ira Behr's, an average of 6.333 out of six episodes. Wolfe trails behind with a still above-average score of 5.4 from his 5 episodes. Now let's combine season 1 and 2's scores and see where that leaves the writers.



Peter Allan Fields leaves the show with a score of 7.571 out of seven episodes, which will be very difficult to beat. He'll write one more episode in season 5 (For the Uniform), but that's unlikely to change his score much. Beimler's score is 7, but we can't read much into that from one episode. Michael Piller writes his final script for the show (officially) and bows out with a final score of 5.5 out of ten episodes. Ira Behr is next with 5.375 out of eight episodes. Wolfe gets a perfectly average score of 5 out of 8 episodes.

There's five seasons to go and with Ron Moore and René Echevarria joining the show next season there is still the possibility of Fields losing the top-spot.


Statistics

Runabouts Lost: 2 (+1)
Form of... : 12 (+6)
Wormhole in Peril: 1 (+0)
Sykonee's Counter: 13 (+4)
Stupid French Things: 1 (+1)

Season 1 Average: 5.211
Season 2 Average: 6.231
Overall Average: 5.8

Voyager Average After 2 Seasons: 5.122
Enterprise Average After 2 Seasons: 4.882
Babylon 5 Average After 2 Seasons: 5.356


In Summation

Michael Piller says that for season 2 he encouraged the writing staff to focus on the areas that made DS9 different from TNG, and that's the key difference between this season and the first. When the show focused on Bajor, Cardassia, or the characters we were usually in for a good hour of television, but when it focused on anomalies or aliens of the week we were usually in for a poor to mediocre episode. The writers' score graph for this season tells us more than which writer "won" the season, it also shows us that almost all the staff-writers outperformed the season average, and the main reason why Wolfe trails behind is because of his involvement with Second Sight, a poor attempt at a TNG episode. The score this season appears to have been weakened by the freelance writers, most of whom contributed more general episodes that could have been adapted to work on the other Trek shows. But the staff writers were focusing on DS9's uniqueness, and that's where the season got its strength.

Is this one of DS9's greatest seasons? Before I would have said yes, now I'm less sure. Remove the poorer, inconsequential episodes and this is a very strong season, one that sets up much conflict for future seasons, something that's especially appreciable when you're rewatching the show. But there's still quite a few below-average episodes here, and while I may be viewing the future seasons with rose-tinted glasses, I don't think there's as many bad episodes in future seasons as there are here, and many of those seasons reach greater heights than season 2 managed.

While all seasons of DS9 could be labelled transitional seasons is some sense, I think that season 2 qualifies for it more than the others. This is the season where they experimented with more political stories, where they chose to focus more of their time on established races than establishing new ones, and it was the season where they let the bad guys win some stories. Season 2 was DS9's puberty: things got darker, more complicated, and less whimsical, but it could also be awkward and extremely frustrating. But at least it's not shitting its pants or rubbing its sticky fingers over everything like it did back in season 1.

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Old January 19 2012, 07:11 PM   #695
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Great review (and excellent video, too!). I agree with you that Season Two was a big transition period for the show. It was the beginning of a maturation process that, at least IMO, would continue through Season Three before culminating in the greatness that was Seasons Four, Five, and Six (and Seven, but to a lesser extent).
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Old January 19 2012, 08:02 PM   #696
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Peter Allan Fields leaves the show with a score of 7.571 out of seven episodes, which will be very difficult to beat. He'll write one more episode in season 5 (For the Uniform), but that's unlikely to change his score much.
Also the stories for "In the Pale Moonlight" and "The Dogs of War".
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Old January 20 2012, 03:53 AM   #697
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Love the video, review and graphs! Thank you and welcome back
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Old January 20 2012, 07:31 AM   #698
Admiral Shran
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

But.... but.... but.... I was all set to review the next Golden Girls episode - Break-In.

Just kidding, I'll save that for the next time there's a lull in the re-watch.

It is true that Season Two is very much a transitional season for the show. It went from something that was sadly just a knock-off of TNG to something unique among the Trek franchise. With Ron Moore joining the crew in the upcoming season, I think we're in for an even better ride this one.
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Old January 20 2012, 01:37 PM   #699
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Yay! Your back TheGodBen! What made you change your mind on protesting about SOPA?

Anyway you were right when you said you realized that season 2 was not one of the best seasons. I would also say DS9's 'puberty' started in season 3 when the real story arcs got set down. Season 2 still had that directionless quality about it, but season 3 gave the show a clear direction.

I still maintain that on average season 2 was better than season 1, but season 2 had no episodes that really stood out (with the possible exception of The Wire) whereas season 1 had two such episodes (Duet and In the Hands of the Prophets). But I will say this for season 2: it did at the start experiment with story arcs, and had a slightly more coherent structure to it than season 1.

Even so season 3 has a few shockingly bad episodes, but I can safely say that when TheGodBen comes round to tallying up its average score, season 3 should have a better score than season 2.

Finally, it's good to have you back TheGodBen!
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Old January 20 2012, 03:45 PM   #700
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Welcome back TGB!

Yay, time for Season 3! S3 is when DS9 starts to get good.
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Old January 20 2012, 05:43 PM   #701
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Season 2 is very underrated, it is the season when the show gets good and it's better than season 3, but so many people just lump it with season 1 as "bad early seasons" because it was before the Dominion (although it actually introduced the Dominion). It has some really great episodes, but the show doesn't get consistently good before season 4, both seasons 2 and 3 have great episodes regularly interspersed with clunkers.

Your ratings are really harsh. I think Necessary Evil deserves a 5. It is one of the best episodes of the show IMO. I'm a sucker for occupation stories, and this one was really well-done and might be the first successful (and non-parodic) Trek noir episode. (Terok Nor = Trek Noir, clever!).

This reminds me this forum's great pitch from a few years ago (damn, time flies fast!) for an HBO or Showtime series "Terok Nor".
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Old January 20 2012, 09:41 PM   #702
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Season 2 Review

Blah blah blah...
I said 80s sitcoms, dammit!

Actually I was very happy when I loaded the lappy up today, it perked up my crappy day at work. Glad to see you (and your charts) back Benny.

I really like season two, as it has a lot of good episodes in the mix. Sure, there's a lot of fluff in there too, but you can look past it all adds up to something greater.

I agree with DevilEyes - the season isn't fondly remembered by a lot of people, which is a real shame. I agree that the consistency won't be there until the Klingons show up, but there is so much good to be found along the way.

And I said it before back when you reviewed it, but Necessary Evil is one of the most essential DS9 episodes evah!
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Old January 20 2012, 10:15 PM   #703
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
Also the stories for "In the Pale Moonlight" and "The Dogs of War".
But he gets no points for those because of my arbitrary rules on who gets points for which episode.

Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
But.... but.... but.... I was all set to review the next Golden Girls episode - Break-In.

Just kidding, I'll save that for the next time there's a lull in the re-watch.
Can you at least review 80s sitcoms that I've watched, like Cheers or... hmm, it appears that I've only seen Cheers.

Ln X wrote: View Post
Yay! Your back TheGodBen! What made you change your mind on protesting about SOPA?
Well, SOPA's gone now, isn't it? Me stopping this thread was clearly the straw that broke the camel's back. My review threads are very popular among members of the American congress.

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Your ratings are really harsh.
Sometimes I fear they're not harsh enough. I worry that crazed Voyager fans will show up one day and accuse me of the dreaded double standard.


The Search, Part 1 (***½)

There's lots of new additions to DS9 in this episode; the Defiant, the wardroom, Eddington, Odo's belt, and a couple of other things. But here's a thing, all of those are introduced within the first 10 minutes or so, leaving the rest of the episode to feel a bit pedestrian. This episode is like the aftermath of Christmas, by which I mean you get lots of cool new things to play with, but then you enter into January and you still have the cool things but they're not exciting or new anymore. Does that analogy make any sense? Probably not, but I'm a bit rusty and that's the best I could do.

The introduction of the Defiant is a bit disappointing. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Defiant as much as a man can love a fictional kickass warship, but right now it only has two sets and both of them are a step down from the other permanent sets on the show. Ops and the promenade have a grandeur about them, they're bustling hubs of activity with multiple levels and intriguing alien architecture. The two sets seen in this episode, the bridge and the crew quarters, are both compact and flat. I understand that that's the way it should be what with the Defiant being a scaled-back warship with little to no creature comforts, but it's still a little boring going from such interesting sets to such basic ones. It doesn't help that the Defiant gets the crap beaten out of it at the end of the episode, the first of many times that's going to happen.

There's a sub-plot about Odo and how he's considering resigning because Starfleet is trying to force him out. This is actually a nice little nod back to the end of season two and the Maquis-related security breaches such as the kidnapping of Gul Dukat. Well, that's the way I choose to see it at any rate. This sub-plot is a little too convenient given how Odo is about to find his homeworld, but it works well enough. It's a bit weird that Odo suddenly has an urge to go to the Omarion nebula considering he's been in the GQ a few times and never had that urge before, but I suppose it's possible that he never saw it on a map during those previous trips and that triggered something in his magical Changeling DNA.

So, a strong start to this episode but the rest of it is pretty average.
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Old January 20 2012, 10:53 PM   #704
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Bah I just had a big reply written out and hit refresh. KHAN!

The biggest thing I noticed in the episode when I first saw it, was how bad Dax's hair was. Sure, a small thing in the long run, and a particularly shallow criticism, but what were they thinking? Perhaps that was one new shiny thing too far?

I welcomed Odo finding out about his people. It was a good hook to have had him not knowing anything for 2 years, but he was ready to take the next step on the character development ladder. If there is such a thing?

I sort of enjoyed the Defiant when I first saw it; eventually I grew to love it. At the time though, I was worried that the show would lose its focus and become more like TNG. I was glad that I was proved wrong in the end.

And that cloaking device was much ado about nothing. Sure it seemed like a big deal at the time, but wasn't this the first time the Romulans popped up on DS9? No big storyline ever came from having it, so it just seemed shoehorned in to make things seem more ominous. Look! The Federation and the Romulans are working together! The Dominion must be mean!

Of course they would come together in war, and The Dominion did turn out to be mean, but it was all done so much better later on.
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Old January 21 2012, 01:11 PM   #705
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Can you at least review 80s sitcoms that I've watched, like Cheers or... hmm, it appears that I've only seen Cheers.
I could do The Dukes of Hazzard.

Seven of Five wrote: View Post
And that cloaking device was much ado about nothing. Sure it seemed like a big deal at the time, but wasn't this the first time the Romulans popped up on DS9? No big storyline ever came from having it, so it just seemed shoehorned in to make things seem more ominous. Look! The Federation and the Romulans are working together! The Dominion must be mean!

Of course they would come together in war, and The Dominion did turn out to be mean, but it was all done so much better later on.
I got to disagree, though not on Dax's hair - WTF were they thinking with that.

I genuinely liked T'Rul and wish they would have kept her on as another recurring character. And, the Federation-Romulan connection here wasn't just abandoned, it does have bearing on episodes before Season Six.
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