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Old August 16 2012, 05:24 PM   #1
Use of Time
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Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

I want to preface this by saying that this is a tongue-in-cheek observation I had while watching "Civil Defense" and "Meridian" last night. I don't want this to end up like that "Case Against Scotty" thread which I think was lost on some people.

1. In "Civil Defense" when Sisko, O'Brien and Jake are stuck in the ore processing area, they trip an old Cardassian station defense mechanism and the room begins to fill with deadly gas. Jake is able to crawl up a vent and pop open an access hatch. I couldn't help but notice that CDR Sisko made sure he got in the hatch first. I'll bet O'Brien was probably thinking "typical officers."

2. As the crawl space begins to fill with flames, O'Brien hits his head and appears to be renedered unconscious. Sisko looks back and gives this look that says "sucks to be him" and keeps on trucking. He then tries calling O'Brien with his comm badge. Uhh, he can't answer becasue he just got KO'd and is burning alive where you left him. Jake saves the day. Hilarity ensues. At this point I can only assume O'Brien is thinking "WTF SIR!"

3. This one comes from the episode "Meridian." Sisko's opening logs say that he convinced Starfleet that despite the impending threat of the Dominion, exploration of the Gamma Quadrant MUST GO ON! What better ship to explore and chart the unknown than the USS Defiant...you know, the ship with no "science labs" that is "armed to the teeth" as Sisko dramatically worded it in "The Search." Why not send a Galaxy Class starship that can actually do the exploring and somewhat defend itself?

Thoughts?
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Old August 16 2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

I guess it wouldn't really have helped anybody if Sisko stopped to give mouth-to-mouth to O'Brien, as at best this would merely have meant the station blowing up with O'Brien conscious rather than unconscious...

As for Sisko's speech about "continuing exploration", well, we can assume he had to say something like that when setting out for yet another sortie of what his ship does best: armed reconnaissance. Better than a Galaxy, really, thanks to the cloak and the ability to break out of tough situations offensively rather than defensively.

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Old August 16 2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Use of Time wrote: View Post
I want to preface this by saying that this is a tongue-in-cheek observation I had while watching "Civil Defense" and "Meridian" last night. I don't want this to end up like that "Case Against Scotty" thread which I think was lost on some people.

1. In "Civil Defense" when Sisko, O'Brien and Jake are stuck in the ore processing area, they trip an old Cardassian station defense mechanism and the room begins to fill with deadly gas. Jake is able to crawl up a vent and pop open an access hatch. I couldn't help but notice that CDR Sisko made sure he got in the hatch first. I'll bet O'Brien was probably thinking "typical officers."

2. As the crawl space begins to fill with flames, O'Brien hits his head and appears to be renedered unconscious. Sisko looks back and gives this look that says "sucks to be him" and keeps on trucking. He then tries calling O'Brien with his comm badge. Uhh, he can't answer becasue he just got KO'd and is burning alive where you left him. Jake saves the day. Hilarity ensues. At this point I can only assume O'Brien is thinking "WTF SIR!"

3. This one comes from the episode "Meridian." Sisko's opening logs say that he convinced Starfleet that despite the impending threat of the Dominion, exploration of the Gamma Quadrant MUST GO ON! What better ship to explore and chart the unknown than the USS Defiant...you know, the ship with no "science labs" that is "armed to the teeth" as Sisko dramatically worded it in "The Search." Why not send a Galaxy Class starship that can actually do the exploring and somewhat defend itself?

Thoughts?
1. Sisko was taking point in case of unexpected threats.

2. The station was about to explode, so O'Brien's life was expendable at that point.

3. The Galaxy-class Odyssey didn't fare well against the Dominion, so why send another one?
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Old August 16 2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Yes Timo, the people of Meridian were actually the Founders themselves. The real Dominion war is about to rage.
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Old August 17 2012, 03:18 AM   #5
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

1. Sisko may have been attempting to help his son, who had entered the crawlspace ahead of him. It's also possible that he thought he would be able to help O'Brien if the latter needed a boost to reach the crawlspace entrance.

2. Sisko and O'Brien agreed that they would enter the conduit together, so that if one of them were injured, the other would be able to continue towards the control junction. The station was in danger of being destroyed, which would have killed thousands of people. O'Brien's life was expendable in the face of such a significant loss.

3. The Defiant underwent a significant refit during the course of the third season, as the science lab and sickbay facilities were drastically improved (this is never explicitly stated, but the more "finished" appearance of the bridge indicates the addition of new systems). It's likely that Sisko saw the mission to the Gamma Quadrant as a chance to put these systems to good use.

I don't have a problem with a Defiant-class vessel participating in exploratory missions, as Starfleet exists specifically for that purpose. Given their proximity to the Gamma Quadrant via the wormhole, the crew of DS9 was the logical choice to undertake missions such as those seen in "Meridian."
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Old August 17 2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Given their proximity to the Gamma Quadrant via the wormhole, the crew of DS9 was the logical choice to undertake missions such as those seen in "Meridian."
Interestingly, such exploration was never part of the job of our heroes in the pre-Defiant seasons. They were just gatekeepers, and any foray into Gamma was either out of pressing reasons or for frivolous ones (PR tour in "Battle Lines", a weekend off in "Jem'Hadar").

Back then, Starfleet apparently sent "regular" starships to Gamma. But "Jem'Hadar" revealed that such ships were also regularly lost, and even a Galaxy was nonsurvivable. Starfleet's response was to send the Defiant to "explore", that is, to find out facts about the Dominion. Even though the first mission was a failure of sorts, there were several others - all of them serving a greater tactical purpose, because Starfleet really knew virtually nothing of Gamma or the Founders.

A mission to Meridian would definitely qualify as armed recce, too. Sisko couldn't know what awaited him there until he got there... But once he learned about it, he didn't launch an elaborate survey or fire up the laboratories or anything. He just deployed a probe to find out if anything could be done to (literally) secure a new ally in Gamma. And when he learned that the answer was yes, he tried it out, failed, and moved on to the next target.

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Old August 17 2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

1) Yeah, I gotta agree with Adm Sisko, I always got the impression our character was rushing in to get to his son on that one.

2) This is a weak case to make against him. If the station was about to blow up and Sisko was the one hurt, I'm sure he'd want O'brien to press on.

3) It's possible the Defiant was upgraded as mentioned, then there is DS9's proximity and if it goes bad like with the Odyssey, only 50 people are dead as opposed to a 1000.
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Old August 17 2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Remember tongue-in-cheek people but I'll play along.

1. Jake was in no real danger at that time, in fact he was the only safe one at the moment.

2. I know, I know but it still might seem to O'Brien that things are snowballing at this point.

3. Come on, the bridge looks a little more polished so we can just assume they threw in science labs? That's kind of throwing shit at the wall if you ask me. Also, no, the crew of DEEP SPACE NINE is not the logical choice to go exploring the Gamma Quadrant. What, is running DS9 not keeping them busy enough? No wonder Kira seemed so swamped with work in the next episode "Defiant." Oh yeah, Sisko also had his starship stolen by the Maquis after Meridian.

Starfleet is asking a lot of a guy wearing Commander's pips. Run the most important station in the quadrant. Oh by the way, could you also be a starship Captain and go and explore and gather intel and test the waters with the Dominion? Thanks.
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Old August 17 2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Use of Time wrote: View Post
Remember tongue-in-cheek people but I'll play along.

1. Jake was in no real danger at that time, in fact he was the only safe one at the moment.

2. I know, I know but it still might seem to O'Brien that things are snowballing at this point.

3. Come on, the bridge looks a little more polished so we can just assume they threw in science labs? That's kind of throwing shit at the wall if you ask me. Also, no, the crew of DEEP SPACE NINE is not the logical choice to go exploring the Gamma Quadrant. What, is running DS9 not keeping them busy enough? No wonder Kira seemed so swamped with work in the next episode "Defiant." Oh yeah, Sisko also had his starship stolen by the Maquis after Meridian.

Starfleet is asking a lot of a guy wearing Commander's pips. Run the most important station in the quadrant. Oh by the way, could you also be a starship Captain and go and explore and gather intel and test the waters with the Dominion? Thanks.
Given Starfleet's reluctance to allow any Federation ships into the Gamma Quadrant, it's unlikely that they would have diverted any other ships from their missions in order to enter an area of space that was in close proximity to the Dominion. The Defiant may not have been the ideal choice, but she was the only choice they could have made at the time.

I don't get the impression that Starfleet was asking anything of Sisko where exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was concerned. Sisko's own log entry states that it was he who convinced Starfleet that exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was still a worthwhile endeavor.

Sisko did seem to be taking on more responsibility than most other officers of equivalent rank, but given that he was promoted to captain by season's end, it's likely that such a promotion was already being considered for him by Starfleet. Perhaps both sides saw his taking on additional assignments as a way to ensure him of a captaincy, while continuing to gather information on a region of space largely unexplored by the Federation- a "win-win."
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Old August 17 2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

You object to the Siskos attempts to destroy Obrien? Bah!
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Old August 17 2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
Use of Time wrote: View Post
Remember tongue-in-cheek people but I'll play along.

1. Jake was in no real danger at that time, in fact he was the only safe one at the moment.

2. I know, I know but it still might seem to O'Brien that things are snowballing at this point.

3. Come on, the bridge looks a little more polished so we can just assume they threw in science labs? That's kind of throwing shit at the wall if you ask me. Also, no, the crew of DEEP SPACE NINE is not the logical choice to go exploring the Gamma Quadrant. What, is running DS9 not keeping them busy enough? No wonder Kira seemed so swamped with work in the next episode "Defiant." Oh yeah, Sisko also had his starship stolen by the Maquis after Meridian.

Starfleet is asking a lot of a guy wearing Commander's pips. Run the most important station in the quadrant. Oh by the way, could you also be a starship Captain and go and explore and gather intel and test the waters with the Dominion? Thanks.
Given Starfleet's reluctance to allow any Federation ships into the Gamma Quadrant, it's unlikely that they would have diverted any other ships from their missions in order to enter an area of space that was in close proximity to the Dominion. The Defiant may not have been the ideal choice, but she was the only choice they could have made at the time.

I don't get the impression that Starfleet was asking anything of Sisko where exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was concerned. Sisko's own log entry states that it was he who convinced Starfleet that exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was still a worthwhile endeavor.

Sisko did seem to be taking on more responsibility than most other officers of equivalent rank, but given that he was promoted to captain by season's end, it's likely that such a promotion was already being considered for him by Starfleet. Perhaps both sides saw his taking on additional assignments as a way to ensure him of a captaincy, while continuing to gather information on a region of space largely unexplored by the Federation- a "win-win."
The most realistic Starfleet response would have been "Hey there CDR why don't you just worry about the station and the wormhole right now and let us worry about the Dominion and when it is time to explore the Gamma Quadrant. That is what Admirals 'get paid' to do. Don't they have planning cells that focus on strategic operations and exploratory operations?
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Old August 17 2012, 10:39 PM   #12
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Use of Time wrote: View Post
Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
Use of Time wrote: View Post
Remember tongue-in-cheek people but I'll play along.

1. Jake was in no real danger at that time, in fact he was the only safe one at the moment.

2. I know, I know but it still might seem to O'Brien that things are snowballing at this point.

3. Come on, the bridge looks a little more polished so we can just assume they threw in science labs? That's kind of throwing shit at the wall if you ask me. Also, no, the crew of DEEP SPACE NINE is not the logical choice to go exploring the Gamma Quadrant. What, is running DS9 not keeping them busy enough? No wonder Kira seemed so swamped with work in the next episode "Defiant." Oh yeah, Sisko also had his starship stolen by the Maquis after Meridian.

Starfleet is asking a lot of a guy wearing Commander's pips. Run the most important station in the quadrant. Oh by the way, could you also be a starship Captain and go and explore and gather intel and test the waters with the Dominion? Thanks.
Given Starfleet's reluctance to allow any Federation ships into the Gamma Quadrant, it's unlikely that they would have diverted any other ships from their missions in order to enter an area of space that was in close proximity to the Dominion. The Defiant may not have been the ideal choice, but she was the only choice they could have made at the time.

I don't get the impression that Starfleet was asking anything of Sisko where exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was concerned. Sisko's own log entry states that it was he who convinced Starfleet that exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was still a worthwhile endeavor.

Sisko did seem to be taking on more responsibility than most other officers of equivalent rank, but given that he was promoted to captain by season's end, it's likely that such a promotion was already being considered for him by Starfleet. Perhaps both sides saw his taking on additional assignments as a way to ensure him of a captaincy, while continuing to gather information on a region of space largely unexplored by the Federation- a "win-win."
The most realistic Starfleet response would have been "Hey there CDR why don't you just worry about the station and the wormhole right now and let us worry about the Dominion and when it is time to explore the Gamma Quadrant. That is what Admirals 'get paid' to do. Don't they have planning cells that focus on strategic operations and exploratory operations?
Although we're not privy to the exact details of the conversations that Sisko had with Starfleet Command, it seems that their initial response to his inquiries was similar to what you've posted, and that he had to convince them of the usefulness of his crew undertaking missions in the Gamma Quadrant. Their ultimate response- permission for Sisko to enter the Gamma Quadrant with the Defiant- may not have been realistic, but it is what they ultimately decided.
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Old August 17 2012, 10:56 PM   #13
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Well they did concede obviously or else we wouldn't have had that gem of an episode. To me this episode got far away from what DS9 was intended to be. (Focused on Bajor and their new wormhole.) This was just such a random episode that didn't contribute anything to the DS9 show. This show could have been an episode on any series. Not a terrible premise but I wonder how it got the green light when they had so much they could have done relevant to DS9. I guess it could be considered a "Dax" character building show but I don't think they were able to get the audience to emotionally invest themselves with Dax's fling the way they wanted to.
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Old August 17 2012, 11:12 PM   #14
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Use of Time wrote: View Post
Well they did concede obviously or else we wouldn't have had that gem of an episode. To me this episode got far away from what DS9 was intended to be. (Focused on Bajor and their new wormhole.) This was just such a random episode that didn't contribute anything to the DS9 show. This show could have been an episode on any series. Not a terrible premise but I wonder how it got the green light when they had so much they could have done relevant to DS9. I guess it could be considered a "Dax" character building show but I don't think they were able to get the audience to emotionally invest themselves with Dax's fling the way they wanted to.
I'm not sure that the writers ever knew the direction in which to take Jadzia's character, which made it all the more difficult to write episodes centered around her. "Meridian" is no exception, as she falls prey to the same "alien of the week" nonsense that was so commonplace for Kirk during The Original Series. I don't mean to take anything away from Terry Farrell, whom I thought played the character extremely well, but I have long believed that Dax was at her best when she acted as a "foil" or "counterpoint" for another character, as opposed to standing on her own.

Getting back to the matter at hand, I agree that "Meridian" seemed an awkward fit for Deep Space 9, but I don't necessarily believe that has any bearing on how Sisko's capabilities as a lead character should be evaluated. The Defiant's exploration of the Gamma Quadrant in a "stand-alone" episode may not have been necessary from a strategic point of view, but Starfleet didn't exist solely for that purpose. As a commanding officer, it was within Sisko's mandate to suggest mission opportunities for his crew. Starfleet obviously didn't have a problem with this particular mission, nor did they object to Sisko's leading it.

Taking this thread in a slightly different direction, I think that if one wishes to evaluate Sisko's leadership qualities, then one should consider his behavior in episodes such as "Defiant," "Past Tense," "The Die is Cast," and "The Adversary," in which he receives promotion to captain.
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Old August 17 2012, 11:24 PM   #15
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Re: Musings on Season 3 - Sisko's Leadership

Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
Use of Time wrote: View Post
Well they did concede obviously or else we wouldn't have had that gem of an episode. To me this episode got far away from what DS9 was intended to be. (Focused on Bajor and their new wormhole.) This was just such a random episode that didn't contribute anything to the DS9 show. This show could have been an episode on any series. Not a terrible premise but I wonder how it got the green light when they had so much they could have done relevant to DS9. I guess it could be considered a "Dax" character building show but I don't think they were able to get the audience to emotionally invest themselves with Dax's fling the way they wanted to.
I'm not sure that the writers ever knew the direction in which to take Jadzia's character, which made it all the more difficult to write episodes centered around her. "Meridian" is no exception, as she falls prey to the same "alien of the week" nonsense that was so commonplace for Kirk during The Original Series. I don't mean to take anything away from Terry Farrell, whom I thought played the character extremely well, but I have long believed that Dax was at her best when she acted as a "foil" or "counterpoint" for another character, as opposed to standing on her own.

Getting back to the matter at hand, I agree that "Meridian" seemed an awkward fit for Deep Space 9, but I don't necessarily believe that has any bearing on how Sisko's capabilities as a lead character should be evaluated. The Defiant's exploration of the Gamma Quadrant in a "stand-alone" episode may not have been necessary from a strategic point of view, but Starfleet didn't exist solely for that purpose. As a commanding officer, it was within Sisko's mandate to suggest mission opportunities for his crew. Starfleet obviously didn't have a problem with this particular mission, nor did they object to Sisko's leading it.

Taking this thread in a slightly different direction, I think that if one wishes to evaluate Sisko's leadership qualities, then one should consider his behavior in episodes such as "Defiant," "Past Tense," "The Die is Cast," and "The Adversary," in which he receives promotion to captain.
Yeah, I couldn't agree more with regards to Dax. I enjoyed the Dax related episodes and I find the Trill in general to be a fascinating species but this was just one of those episodes that didn't do anything for her if you ask me. You might be onto something about her serving better as a foil. In just about everyone else's character building shows she usually serves a purpose.

Just to be clear, I'm not seriously questioning Sisko's leadership ability as I find his character to be an example of strong leadership. I'm just nitpicking for the sake of discussion. I'm a big fan of Sisko and it looks like you are too.
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