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

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Old October 14 2012, 03:49 PM   #1531
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Yeah, Call to Arms is one of those where the good just so far outweighs the bad. An abosolute classic episode. I missed the episode the first time round and just went straight into season 6, which kinda took the shine off things for me a little. Subsequent rewatches have put everything right though.

The sense of dark forboding is very strong; nothing will be the same. It's just all so much better than the majority of Star Trek cliffhangers.
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Old October 14 2012, 08:35 PM   #1532
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I agree as well; A Call to Arms is one of those cases in which you shrug off the problems because the episode as a whole is just so rewarding.

I also agree that this is the best cliff-hanger episode. Most of Trek's cliff-hangers - meaning the dilemma itself - are quite good; the problem is the structure of the two-piece episode. The first half will set up a problem and then the second half resolves it, which often makes for a weaker second half, because said half has to chart a journey from "event that has the potential to change everything" back into "status quo", and it just becomes an exercise in undoing everything exciting about the first half. Here, though, the cliff-hanger leads into a new status quo, because DS9 has finally built up enough plot threads and character arcs that the show had to go places rather than seek the shortest route back to the familiar and comfortable.

I suppose that's why I disagree with the idea that DS9 is the show about "boldly going nowhere"
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Old October 14 2012, 08:44 PM   #1533
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
This episode is, in my opinion, one of DS9's finest hours, and the best season finale in all of Star Trek.
Here, here! Truly an episode where no episode has gone before!
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Old October 14 2012, 09:00 PM   #1534
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

And a great closing scene of the combined Federation-Klingon task force, the first time we had seen that many ships in Star Trek.
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Old October 16 2012, 07:55 PM   #1535
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I love Call to Arms. I think it's pretty rare that a show like this can do something that is genuinely exciting, and remains so even years later, when I rewatch the episode. Also, even though it's a defeat for the Federation, it feels like a triumph because there are so many awesome little moments, like Kira sabotaging the station and Martok de-cloaking to protect the Defiant.

I love the scene where Dukat discovers that Sisko left the baseball behind. And then the final shot of the Federation fleet, of course. Great stuff.

Considered purely as a single episode, it's actually a bit uneven. But... as the culmination of several seasons worth of build-up, it's awesome. I think this episode and the occupation arc at the beginning of season 6 together make up my favorite stretch of Star Trek episodes.
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Old October 16 2012, 08:37 PM   #1536
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I know I say this after Call To Arms in nearly every Watch Thread, but now you should properly experience the wait for S6, hold off on watching A Time To Stand for 3 months like we all had to first run.

Oh wait, you already have long abscenses these days. Never mind.
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Old October 16 2012, 10:11 PM   #1537
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine



Back in the day three months would be some sort of Chinese torture. These days I've lost several months with the birth of my nephew, starting a new full-time job, and moving to a new place with my partner. If I can even remember I was watching something three months ago these days it's a miracle. Bloody grown-up life, I tells ya.

I was just remembering the scene where Kira blows up the station. Such a wonderful moment, as it was great paybaclk to the Cardassians being as they left it in a similar state for Starfleet. And of course, Kira coldly welcoming her new overlords was a chilling moment.
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Old October 16 2012, 10:32 PM   #1538
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

flemm wrote: View Post
I love the scene where Dukat discovers that Sisko left the baseball behind. And then the final shot of the Federation fleet, of course. Great stuff.
Things like the baseball being left behind were great wee scenes that just helped make the whole thing seem big, yet very personal to all the cast we got to know over the time.

Its up there with the best of the best of Star Trek, its a classic that just makes you scream out for more, loved every second of it.

From watching through again recently, its the beginning of some great ST TV, the final 3 seasons of DS9 were brilliant, and had me glued to it the whole way.
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Old October 17 2012, 11:14 PM   #1539
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Sykonee wrote: View Post
I know I say this after Call To Arms in nearly every Watch Thread, but now you should properly experience the wait for S6, hold off on watching A Time To Stand for 3 months like we all had to first run.

Oh wait, you already have long abscenses these days. Never mind.
You're lucky I don't take another year-long gap like I did with Crusade.


Season 5 Review

I know you've been waiting on these graphs, so here's your reward for being patient:



The average score for this season is 6.808, yet another record-breaking score for a season of Star Trek, but it still doesn't beat the score I gave for season 4 of Babylon 5. The reason why is plain to see, two stalactites of suckiness that are Let He Who Is Without Sin... and Ferengi Love Songs. Without those episodes this would have been the highest average score I ever gave to any season, Ira Behr's love of comedy episodes seems to have scuppered DS9's last, best hope for beating Babylon 5's record. (On the plus side, DS9's overall average is now 6.221, which puts it ahead of Babylon 5's overall average for the first time.)

The trendline is pretty level, so this was a very consistent season.



As you can see from this graph, the two aforementioned bad episodes were anomalies in an otherwise excellent season. Almost all the episodes were rated above average, with a record six episodes given a rating as series classics, and this is only the second season where I rated two episodes with a score of 10 (the other being Enterprise's third season).

I rated two episodes this season below average, two were average, and twenty-two were above average.
Best episode: Call to Arms
Worst episode: Let He Who Is Without Sin...


The Writers

There's two new writers this season, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, but all their teleplay credits are together so they'll be rated as one. I'm very interested to see how they'll do in the rankings because they went on to work on Battlestar Galactica and wrote many great episodes of that show.



Ron Moore returns to the top-spot this season with an incredible score of 7.833, but Rene Echevarria isn't far behind on 7.8. That's a really strong showing for those two, they're the highest average scores achieved by any writers for a season since Jeri Taylor got 8.5 for in Voyager's first season, and she was only credited with two episodes that year. Next up is Wolfe who gets of score of 6.75 for his final season as a staff writer, although he writes one more episode as a freelancer in season 7. Thompson and Weddle are next with a score of 6.5. Ira Behr's score is 5.875 while Hans Beimler's is 5.25. Peter Allan Fields writes his final episode of DS9 which got a score of 5, which is disappointing for him.



Something unexpected happened this season with Moore actually overtaking Field's lead, which I had previously thought was insurmountable. They both have an amazing score of 7.25, but Moore is credited with more episodes so he gets a technical lead. With Fields final score now set, Moore will have to maintain this level of quality in the final two seasons to stay ahead. Echevarria is in third place with a score of 6.769, while Thompson and Weddle's debut score of 6.5 puts them in fourth. Wolfe is up next with a score of 6.187, then Behr with 5.844, then Beimler with 5.667. Piller remains in last place with an average of 5.5.


Statistics


Runabouts Lost: 7 (+3)
Form of... : 31 (+3)
Wormhole in Peril: 7 (+3)
Sykonee's Counter: 34 (+15)
Stupid French Things: 4 (+1)

Season 1 Average: 5.211
Season 2 Average: 6.231
Season 3 Average: 6.192
Season 4 Average: 6.4
Season 5 Average: 6.808

Overall Average: 6.221

Voyager Average After 5 Seasons: 4.915
Enterprise Overall Average: 5.206
Babylon 5 Overall Average: 6.121


In Summation

There's still much debate today about what the best season of DS9 is, but most people place season five as either their favourite or second favourite season of the show. It's easy to see why. Ignoring all the story arcs and epic plot twists season five brought, at it's core it is a very solid collection of episodes, and arguably the most consistent season of Star Trek ever. There are some weak spots, and Let He Who Is Without Sin... is a contender for the position as one of the worst episodes of the series, but that's an exception. This season is the work of a group of writers at or near the top of their game, and that's why it might just be DS9's best, and one of Star Trek's best.

That being said, this season also makes noticeable one of DS9's biggest flaws: the fact that it's stuck between being an episodic show and a serialised one. Important storylines and character arcs rear their heads, then disappear only to surface again at a later date. By Inferno's Light, an episode that dramatically redefined DS9's political landscape gets followed up by an episode about Bashir's hidden genetic engineering, which also suddenly disappears the following week. I understand why the show is like this, but when you compare DS9 with other serialised shows, especially the ones we get today, it comes off looking amateurish. And while some will blame the studio or Berman for these problems, I think that the writers still could have done a little more to make the show just a little less schizophrenic.

Thankfully, one thing that the show can rely on right now is the characters, at this point in the series they are all well defined and have good chemistry with one another. That's a backbone that the show needs now more than ever as they head in a new uncertain direction with the Dominion war and the loss of the station. Which character stood out the most this season? I think that Sisko gets the edge here once again, the character is the centre of the show in a way he wasn't in the early seasons. Of the extended cast, Nog has grown a lot this season and has become more interesting than some of the main cast, while the new additions to the extended cast, Martok and Weyoun, have made a strong impression. DS9 isn't content with having a cast of great characters, they insist on adding and fleshing out even more.

Now, onwards to season 6...
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Old October 18 2012, 12:07 AM   #1540
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Onwards indeed! Still the best review threads on the board, TGB.
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Old October 19 2012, 08:57 AM   #1541
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

OhGodBen wrote: View Post
You're lucky I don't take another year-long gap like I did with Crusade.
I'm sure even the most ardent Fiver would understand not wanting to finish that one off.

Interesting you have B5's S4 ahead of DS9's S5. I recall DS9S5 beat out B5S4 in my thread. Mind, DS9S5 didn't face off against the end of B5S4, so maybe that's why. On the other hand, the end of B5S4 did go up against the beginning of DS9S6 (the Occupation Arc). It'd be interesting to see those two compared according to your numerical values.



(random stumbles into thread, wonders what's up with all the license plate numbers)
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Old October 19 2012, 04:31 PM   #1542
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

It's interesting, but I did seem to rate B5S4 higher than most people, so that might explain it. I actually rated DS9S5 with more 9s and 10s than B5S4, and B5S4 only had one episodes rated as 4 with none below that. It really was just Let He Who Is Without Sin... and Ferengi Love Songs that held DS9S5 back, but overall I think they're both comparably strong seasons.


A Time to Stand (****½)

I think it was Jammer who said in his review of this episode that A Time to Stand is like TNG's Yesterday's Enterprise, except all of this is really happening to the characters and there's no easy reset button. That's part of the reason why this episode works so well, it's almost exciting to see these characters so downbeat with victory far off on the horizon, it's an unusual direction for Trek to go down. The episode starts with a fantastic six-minute teaser that has the characters depressingly contemplating their deaths and the destruction of their civilisation, and it gets Sisko so upset that he shatters a sheet of transparent aluminium. It's a powerful sequence that sets a tone for this arc. If Star Trek is a franchise about what it means to be human, then DS9 is finally going to address what it means to be human when our backs are against the wall, and that's the signal of intent that we get from this episode.

The main plot of this episode isn't anything special, the high score is all about the tone of the episode and how the characters react to the current situation. In truth, telling a smaller story in this episode helps to reinforce that this is the new normal and that the show's not in a hurry to get Sisko and co back to the station. Instead of Sisko pleading for resources to take the station back, he and his crew go where they're told, and in this case that means using a captured Dominion ship to blow up a ketracel-white storage facility real good. They fly the ship right-side up, they shoot at a centaur, then they blow themselves up. Good stuff.

But the real treat of this episode is all the delicious scenes between Dukat and Weyoun as the tensions between Cardassia and the Dominion begin to show. Dukat is such an egotistical bastard that watching him get cut down by a smarmy little worm like Weyoun is delightful, but it's also fascinating to watch the wheels of Dukat's mind turn as he rewrites the present in his own mind to better suit his image of himself. It's a pity that Dukat goes whacko at the end of this arc, I would have loved to have seen him and Weyoun tear each other apart as the proverbial hits the fan. But I guess we get the Damar/Weyoun conflict instead which is a worthy substitute.
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Old October 19 2012, 05:00 PM   #1543
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

I really love A Time to Stand too. But the thing I love most about it is Dukat recording the Captain's log.
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Old October 19 2012, 05:27 PM   #1544
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

A Time to Stand is a brilliantly dark start to the season. It just wasn't what I wa expecting at all when I first saw it, as it played against all of he established Trek stereotypes. I remember excitedly renting the first video of the season that had the first two episodes on. I couldn't believe how the storyline carryed on.
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Old October 21 2012, 01:14 PM   #1545
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Rocks and Shoals (*****)

If A Time to Stand was a statement of intent to bring DS9 to a darker place, Rocks and Shoals is the proof that they're not messing around. Betrayal, suicide, and a dozen pointless deaths on a lifeless rock. But perhaps even darker is the realisation that Kira has sleepwalked her way into becoming a collaborator. She's the last person you would expect that would happen to, but in her attempts to keep Bajor out of the fighting she has been working with the Cardassians, defending the arrival of Dominion officials on Bajor, and even attempted to prevent a peaceful protest. What's great about this storyline is that you understand why she's doing what she has been doing, and you're almost on her side as she argues with Jake and Vedek Yassim and makes them look naive. But it takes the shock of Yassim's dramatic suicide to jolt Kira awake again, to make her realise that she has become the sort of person she used to detest. This is great material, a hugely important moment for Kira's character, and one of the best stories crafted for a character that has already had a lot of great stories in the past. Kira is a character that just keeps on giving, Berman and Piller had a good day when they came up with her.

Meanwhile, Sisko and co coincidentally crash-land on a planet within only a few kilometers of a Dominion ship that crashed a few days earlier. I know that all of you are aware of just how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big space is, and how unlikely is is for this to happen, but it leads to a great story so I can't be bothered to give a damn. Part of what's so great about this episode is that it humanises the Jem'Hadar in a way that past episodes focusing on them failed to do. It did so not by having the Jem'Hadar rebel, as in Hippocratic Oath or To the Death, but by having them strictly adhere to the order of things. They die not because they dared to believe in freedom, but because they dared not to. They rejected the choice to have a choice, and consequently marched stoically toward their own suicide. Just like the Kira story, there's some really meaty material here to chew over, and this is probably the best Jem'Hadar episode of the entire series.

The stories are great, but that's not all, this episode works on all levels. The writing is great, there's some really good dialogue here and a lot of memorable lines. The cinematography is great, there's a lot of fantastic shots and some great editing, this is one of the best-looking Trek episodes ever produced. The musical score is also great, there's a slow brood to it that perfectly matches both stories. David Bell was the composer for this episode, and I know that he goes on to score Sacrifice of Angels and In the Pale Moonlight, so his musical style best represents the Dominion war for me.

O'BRIEN: There are rules, Garak, even in a war!
GARAK: Correction. Humans have rules in war. Rules that make victory a little harder to achieve, in my opinion.
That line takes on a new meaning when rewatching the show.
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