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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 January 23 2015, 06:11 PM   #1
EnriqueH
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Emmisary

So I'm watching the franchise from start to finish, I just finished TNG's Chain of Command II and I just saw Emmisary (I plan to watch the rest of the franchise in chronological order).

I've already seen Seasons 1-3 and some of 4 and got sidetracked some years ago.

I remember when Emmisary premiered and I remember liking the characters of Sisko, Quark and Odo, but at 17, I don't think I was appreciating the concept very much. I also like Kai Opaka.

After a few years, I said DS9 was my LEAST favorite of the 4 Trek shows.

But how wrong I was.

LOVED Emmisary. It's very Star Trek.

My favorite moment: when Sisko explains linear existence to the prophets, an idealized version life, but the prophets challenged him: "If what you say is true, why do you live here?" taking him back to Jennifer's death.

Wow, what a punch to the stomach. What a dose of reality.
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Old January 23 2015, 06:16 PM   #2
doubleohfive
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Re: Emmisary

That really is a great scene. "Emissary" is a really strong pilot also. (Certainly better than "Farpoint...")

I read a great essay years ago, that basically made the point that Deep Space Nine wasn't Star Trek, at it's core, but more than any of the other series it was able to truly show what Star Trek was supposed to be about and did so by not being Star Trek. I wish I could find it; that essay explains it much more eloquently.
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Old Yesterday, 02:45 PM   #3
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Emmisary

doubleohfive wrote: View Post
That really is a great scene. "Emissary" is a really strong pilot also. (Certainly better than "Farpoint...")

I read a great essay years ago, that basically made the point that Deep Space Nine wasn't Star Trek, at it's core, but more than any of the other series it was able to truly show what Star Trek was supposed to be about and did so by not being Star Trek. I wish I could find it; that essay explains it much more eloquently.
I believe that several people have made this argument in various ways. I like how Christopher Jones says that DS9 is much closer in spirit to TOS than TNG, which I think makes sense. The original series was not simply a reflection of Roddenberry's idealism: it was also a dialogue with pragmatism.
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Old Yesterday, 09:22 PM   #4
Kobayshi Maru
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Re: Emmisary

When I watch this episode for the umpteenth time, I am amazed at how much the concept of "prophets/wormhole aliens" has evolved throughout the series, I mean they began as these strange beings barely able to get the concept of time to the all powerful beings in season seven that hold the future of Bajor and even the quadrant in their hands. From barely knowing what made Sisko tick to being the planners of his conception and the meaning of his existence. Plus how many times did they have to get rid of the Kosst Amojan? It's like it keeps reappearing throughout the series with a different purpose each time... Well not exactly purpose but definitely between its possession of Jake and Keiko for example it managed to get rid of the red eyes and the spooky voice.
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Old Today, 04:02 AM   #5
mswood
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Re: Emmisary

I really, like Emissary. It's easily the biggest character piece for an opening episode that Trek has ever done. It also gets to benefit from a spectacular opening, hitting one of (if not the) defining points of Trek to that point.

Really my only dislikes in this episode are:
1. That by having Sisko be so forceful in his hatred of Picard it made some in my family seriously dislike Sisko. Something that lasted with some of them up to the episode Explorers. Because the Trek audience (as opposed to any new audience) as had 5 and a half seasons with Picard, who was at that point very possibly the most explored character in tv trek.

2. Kira's hair. Luckily that changed with the very next episode.

3. Odo's makeup. It might have been my reception at the time, but I wanted Odo to look a little more alien. A very minor quibble.

Surprisingly I didn't mind the changes to the Trill either in makeup or in what the symbiote and host are.

Solid casting choices, each actor had enough material to have a moment. Production values for an above any Trek episode to date.

Immediately I was fond of Odo/ Quark, Kira, and Bashir, I already like O'Brien. Loved seeing a family man on Trek, especially nice seeing Trek not cast a caucasian male.

Though frankly I was always so surprised the media never seem to bring up either racial makeup of the commander when they talked about Lack of diversity in TV roles. Or how DS9 rarely was mentioned as a show that discussed religious issues on tv.
4 out of 5 stars.
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Old Today, 05:12 AM   #6
Lance
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Re: Emmisary

I remember reading that Piller went back and used "Farpoint" as a guide to how to write Emissary. He came away from it with a few ideas that he thought strengthed the story, including the idea of holding back the introduction of several characters until later, so it wasn't so much of a deluge of characters in the first half (this manifested itself nicely, with Part 1 introducing the setting, Sisko, Kira, O'Brien, Odo and Quark; and then Part 2 adds Dax and Bashir to the mix in a very organic way; it doesn't feel forced).

This is a structure that it shares with "Farpoint".

One of the things that I think works so well about "Emissary" is that it seems to have been approached more like a movie than a pilot episode. The other NextTrek pilots all feel like, well, pilots for a series. "Emissary" could have stood on it's own and still held it's head proud. David Carson did a terrific job of realising that, and in some ways season one itself feels like a come-down after "Emissary"... but it doesn't stay that way for long.
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Old Today, 06:42 AM   #7
Kobayshi Maru
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Re: Emmisary

Emmisary is an above average episode (vis a vis the series) in a rather dismal first season.
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Old Today, 06:50 AM   #8
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Re: Emmisary

Yeah season starts out exceptionally well, and then it takes the last two episodes of the season to match that atoll quality. I know Duet gets a lot of love (and its a great show), but I also really love In the Hands of the Prophet, which I think is very nearly as good as Duet. And its certainly a more important part of DS9 growth.
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Old Today, 07:31 AM   #9
Kobayshi Maru
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Re: Emmisary

mswood wrote: View Post
Yeah season starts out exceptionally well, and then it takes the last two episodes of the season to match that atoll quality. I know Duet gets a lot of love (and its a great show), but I also really love In the Hands of the Prophet, which I think is very nearly as good as Duet. And its certainly a more important part of DS9 growth.
Yes, I agree that ITHOTP is a fairly good episode. I certainly didn't say the season was all bad.
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Old Today, 10:42 AM   #10
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Re: Emmisary

No I was absolutely agreeing with you ( I might not use the term dismal), but season 1 outside of a few solid shows (like Captive Pursuits, Nagus, Past Prologue & Progess) doesn't have much to be positive about between Emissary at the very beginning and the final two episode of the season.

Thankfully (and unlike TNG) season two is for the most part a really strong season of Trek.
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Old Today, 11:46 AM   #11
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Re: Emmisary

I did not like how DS9 started with the introduction of new gods, just like TOS, TNG and Voyager did. Out of those, I did like it when TOS did it – it was so creepy it was good, but after that I would have preferred a simple start such as the one of Enterprise.

That being said, having beings living inside a wormhole is actually interesting. It is one of the cases where Trek has tried to come up with a cool concept for a being, but unlike creatures from subspace, this is from an object that is semi-compatible with our actual physical reality. So in a way, that would be similar to a being inhabiting a neutron star whose biology is based on nuclear reactions, or a similar being inhabiting a star. Both would be as weird as a gaseous lifeform that has evolved on a gas giant. And the exotic properties of wormholes make them exotic and substantially weirder.

However, I don't think the episode did it justice. The Gods and religious angle was somewhat off-putting to me – though it shouldn't have, because it was put to good use... eventually. And it felt as patchy as Encounter at Farpoint and VOY: The Caretaker. Perhaps the thing that actually bothered me was that Sisko's time spent inside the world of the aliens felt holodeckesque. At least to me. One small change and I would have probably loved it – have Sisko communicate with the beings through the runabout's comm system.
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