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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 December 25 2008, 06:08 AM   #1
GeorgeKirk
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Something I noticed about Favor The Bold/Sacrifice of Angels

I re-watched most of the sixth-season-opening arc this past week (I skipped Sons and Daughters and Behind the Lines) and when I got to "Favor The Bold" and "Sacrifice of Angels" I noticed that the characters kept explaining the situation about the minefield and the Dominion reinforcements again and again. Fully half of those episodes' airtime was devoted to scenes like this:

WEYOUN: Dukat, when are you going to get off your ass and take down the minefield at the entrance to the wormhole which blocks the path of our reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant?

DUKAT: Hey, I'm working on it. Any day now, we'll take down the minefield, allowing Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant to come through the wormhole.
And this:

SISKO: Oh no! The Dominion has figured out how to take down the minefield at the entrance to the wormhole!

ADM. ROSS: Holy shit! If that happens, then nothing will be able to stop Dominion reinforcements from coming through the wormhole, and we'll be royally frakked!

SISKO: I know! I'll take a big-ass fleet to Deep Space Nine to prevent the Dominion from taking down the minefield, and thus thwart their plan to bring reinforcements in from the Gamma Quadrant!
Now, since this was the first-ever six-parter in the history of Star Trek, I can certainly understand that the writers and producers were concerned with making the story accessible to the people who might have missed an episode or two. But having the characters repeatedly recite transparently expository dialogue to each other really interfered with the whole suspension of disbelief. Heck, if you played an Expository Dialogue Drinking Game with just those two episodes, you'd probably need a liver transplant by the time Dukat gives Sisko back his baseball.

Am I nuts, or has anyone else noticed this?
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Old December 25 2008, 04:43 PM   #2
David Payne
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Re: Something I noticed about Favor The Bold/Sacrifice of Angels

No, I've noticed it as well. Not just in these two episodes but in all the Behr era DS9, the exposition goes overboard. I've been watching repeats recently and I'm noticing it all over again. As soon as you hit season 4 they start assuming the audience is so dumb that they need everything explaining in great detail. The one that gets on my nerves is "Rejoined" where we have a huge exposition scene at the beginning where the characters talk about Trill laws and basically go through everything that's going to happen in the episode. It's so badly done that it feels like a scene from a soap opera! I watched Soldiers of the Empire recently and there was a similar scene at the beginning. DS9 could really talk down to it's audeince sometimes.
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Old December 25 2008, 11:23 PM   #3
Navaros
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Re: Something I noticed about Favor The Bold/Sacrifice of Angels

I disagree with the OP.

This arc, IMO deliberately shows Dukat goofing off and not taking the minefield problem seriously. They repeat this multiple times on purpose to show that as time has passed, Dukat still is revelling in his over-confidence. Instead of dealing with the problem, like he should have been doing.

This, in part, is why Dukat lost the Station.

Had Dukat taken the minefield problem seriously from the start, then chances are very good that he would have got the reinforcements through in-time, never would have lost the station, and would have taken over the entire AQ.

I must digress from the OP and say it is brilliant how the writers wove the story together with Dukat's meglomaniacal tendencies; thereby causing the downfall of his occupation.

I'd say this is in fact, the best-written aspect of the occupation storyline. Whereas the 'wormhole aliens erase the problem, for free, with magic' was extremely lame and poorly-written; on the other hand they had Dukat reaping what he sowed with logical consequences for having chosen to goof off all the time.
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Old December 26 2008, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: Something I noticed about Favor The Bold/Sacrifice of Angels

Navaros wrote: View Post
This arc, IMO deliberately shows Dukat goofing off and not taking the minefield problem seriously. They repeat this multiple times on purpose to show that as time has passed, Dukat still is revelling in his over-confidence. Instead of dealing with the problem, like he should have been doing.
Dukat was stalling for time. He knew that the longer the Dominion reinforcements remained trapped in the Gamma Quadrant, the more important Cardassia would be to the Dominion. His hope was to strengthen Cardassia enough that it wouldn't become just another conquered Dominion world when the minefield finally did fall. True, Dukat was definitely a megalomaniac (witness his speech to Weyoun about how there aren't any statues of him on Bajor), but his continual procrastination concerning the minefield was part of a very deliberate game he was playing.

Furthermore, the constant explanation of the wormhole and the minefield and the Dominion reinforcements wasn't limited to Dukat and Weyoun. Other characters discussed it, too. Every single time the subject of the minefield was brought up, the characters had to remind each other why it was important, which detracted from believability because real people woudn't do that. I understand why the writers did it, but it seriously hurts the rewatchability of those episodes for me.

I must digress from the OP and say it is brilliant how the writers wove the story together with Dukat's meglomaniacal tendencies; thereby causing the downfall of his occupation.
I quite agree. Dukat becomes more and more erratic as the arc progresses, and when defeat finally comes, he completely loses his shit. It's a very believable progression for that character.

. . .the 'wormhole aliens erase the problem, for free, with magic' was extremely lame and poorly-written
But they didn't erase the problem "for free". They told Sisko that a penance would be extracted, and that he was "of Bajor, but would find no rest there", which set up the seventh-season revelation that he was half-Prophet, and his eventual destiny. Whether you like or dislike the "Sisko as Prophet" storyline is a matter of personal taste, but the fact remains that the writers were setting up a future storyline, and not simply pulling a deus es machina ending out of their asses.
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Old December 26 2008, 10:01 PM   #5
Sheep
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Re: Something I noticed about Favor The Bold/Sacrifice of Angels

David Payne wrote: View Post
No, I've noticed it as well. Not just in these two episodes but in all the Behr era DS9, the exposition goes overboard. I've been watching repeats recently and I'm noticing it all over again. As soon as you hit season 4 they start assuming the audience is so dumb that they need everything explaining in great detail.
I'm going to venture a wild guess that it wasn't Behr and company who wanted the excessive exposition, but rather the suits at Paramount wanting people to just be able to "jump in" at any point because DS9 went far more serial than any Trek series before or after it.

In any case, while I did notice it in a few places, it wasn't enough to bother me at all.
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Old December 26 2008, 10:11 PM   #6
Damask
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Re: Something I noticed about Favor The Bold/Sacrifice of Angels

GeorgeKirk wrote: View Post
but the fact remains that the writers were setting up a future storyline, and not simply pulling a deus es machina ending out of their asses.
Of course not. Indeed it's callback to the first episode when Sisko asks the Propehets to leave the wormhole open after they decide to close it. While Sisko doesn't tell them to close the wormhole in SoA that's pretty much what they do and something that's been in DS9 since the start.
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