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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

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

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Old February 19 2015, 07:31 PM   #1
Dobian
Lieutenant
 
Location: San Francisco
Far Beyond the Stars

Cruising through Season 6 now on my odyssey that began last August. This was one of those episodes that I came into thinking it would just be some fun diversion, and ended up blowing me away. Seeing all of these characters out of makeup, and not even recognizing some of them at first (I especially got a kick out of Nog looking like one of the Little Rascals!). The total personality transformations of many of them, especially Worf as a smarmy baseball star, his deep baritone and stiff demeanor replaced by an oily smooth-talker who speaks in velvet tones. Great acting all around, fearless use of racist words and dialogue, and a serious examination of racism in 1950s America, a few short years before the original idea for Star Trek was born. A perfect study of the realities of an era dovetailed into the Rodenberry vision of a utopian future. "I am a Human being, dammit! You can deny me all you want but you cannot deny Ben Sisko. He exists. That future, that space station, all those people, they exist in here, in my mind." That's the Star Trek vision. Powerful episode, one of my favorite ever from any Star Trek show.
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Old February 20 2015, 09:53 PM   #2
sonak
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Location: in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Dobian wrote: View Post
Cruising through Season 6 now on my odyssey that began last August. This was one of those episodes that I came into thinking it would just be some fun diversion, and ended up blowing me away. Seeing all of these characters out of makeup, and not even recognizing some of them at first (I especially got a kick out of Nog looking like one of the Little Rascals!). The total personality transformations of many of them, especially Worf as a smarmy baseball star, his deep baritone and stiff demeanor replaced by an oily smooth-talker who speaks in velvet tones. Great acting all around, fearless use of racist words and dialogue, and a serious examination of racism in 1950s America, a few short years before the original idea for Star Trek was born. A perfect study of the realities of an era dovetailed into the Rodenberry vision of a utopian future. "I am a Human being, dammit! You can deny me all you want but you cannot deny Ben Sisko. He exists. That future, that space station, all those people, they exist in here, in my mind." That's the Star Trek vision. Powerful episode, one of my favorite ever from any Star Trek show.

I like this episode a lot, but it is also too self-congratulatory for doing a show about racism in the late 1990s. However, it's got good performances(other than Brooks at parts) and while I'm not a fan of how the "Prophets" were used late in DS9, this episode makes good use of them.
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Old February 21 2015, 12:08 AM   #3
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

I often wish that FBTS were the pilot to a series about an African American pulp writer trying to imagine a positive future. It's a great episode, but there should be more story to tell.
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Old February 21 2015, 12:28 AM   #4
kirkfan
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

I like that we get to see most of the cast without make up. And also the general tone of the episode. I am not sure I was particularly impressed by the moralistic message. It's a bit too preachy and also a bit too little too late. I mean these were the 90s not the 60s or even the 70s. As Sisko himself said: "It's easy to be a saint in paradise."
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Old February 21 2015, 12:28 AM   #5
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

This is one of my two most favorite DS9 episodes, the other being "Trials and Tribble-ations".
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Old February 21 2015, 09:17 AM   #6
MikeS
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

kirkfan wrote: View Post
It's a bit too preachy and also a bit too little too late. I mean these were the 90s not the 60s or even the 70s. As Sisko himself said: "It's easy to be a saint in paradise."
Then take it as a warning. Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat the mistakes. The far-right is on the march again in Europe, freedoms are being curbed in the U.S, Russia is on the rise, North Korea has hundreds of Aushwitz's and there is a World War brewing in the Middle East. Take a stand - don't lose the hard won freedoms of our forebears.

"It's easy to be a saint in paradise." Will you stand up against evil in all its forms if paradise disappears?
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Old February 21 2015, 11:03 AM   #7
Tosk
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Since when were the '90s too late to preach against racism? It's still here.
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Old February 21 2015, 04:25 PM   #8
kirkfan
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Tosk wrote: View Post
Since when were the '90s too late to preach against racism? It's still here.
What I mean is that it was far from being as courageous as it would have been in the 60s or even in the 70s. It's like ENT's aids metaphor episode, far too late to be of any value.
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Old February 21 2015, 05:37 PM   #9
kkt
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

The racist aspects didn't require as much courage in the 1990s as they would have in the 1960s, but they still have value. Way too many people don't realize how bad it was in the 1940s and 1950s.
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Old February 21 2015, 08:00 PM   #10
kirkfan
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

kkt wrote: View Post
The racist aspects didn't require as much courage in the 1990s as they would have in the 1960s, but they still have value. Way too many people don't realize how bad it was in the 1940s and 1950s.
I am not denying that but I don't like the way they play it safe by choosing battles that they can't possibly lose. Putting a gay character in the 90s, while not being extremist, not by a long shot, would have been far more admirable than a pamphlet against 1950s' racism. And THAT they never did.
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Old February 21 2015, 10:06 PM   #11
sonak
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Tosk wrote: View Post
Since when were the '90s too late to preach against racism? It's still here.

It was too late to preach against the particular KIND of racism seen in the episode. The issue of blacks being barred from specific kinds of jobs, or the sort of overt Jim Crow South police brutality against them was no longer the way that racism worked at that point. It had become more subtle, used for political grievances and wedge issues, and showed in more subtle ways in the criminal justice system.
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Old February 21 2015, 10:14 PM   #12
kirkfan
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

sonak wrote: View Post
Tosk wrote: View Post
Since when were the '90s too late to preach against racism? It's still here.

It was too late to preach against the particular KIND of racism seen in the episode. The issue of blacks being barred from specific kinds of jobs, or the sort of overt Jim Crow South police brutality against them was no longer the way that racism worked at that point. It had become more subtle, used for political grievances and wedge issues, and showed in more subtle ways in the criminal justice system.
IOW, too little too late.
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Old February 22 2015, 03:42 AM   #13
Tosk
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Yeah, I never thought they should have remade 12 Years A Slave either. I mean, what's the point at this late stage?
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Old February 22 2015, 04:41 AM   #14
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Tosk wrote: View Post
Yeah, I never thought they should have remade 12 Years A Slave either. I mean, what's the point at this late stage?
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Old February 22 2015, 06:00 AM   #15
kirkfan
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Re: Far Beyond the Stars

Bad Thoughts wrote: View Post
Tosk wrote: View Post
Yeah, I never thought they should have remade 12 Years A Slave either. I mean, what's the point at this late stage?
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