Deep Space Nine Revisited: A New Perspective

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Danger Ace, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    [LEFT]Just last week I decided to start rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993 - 1999) via video streaming through Netflix. Eight episodes in and loving it more than I thought. My recollection was that this series' started off slowly - the impatience of youth. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of DS9 and was terribly sad upon its wrap. It's just that in retrospect I didn't think it really get compelling until Sisko became a captain, got The Defiant and swapped the hair on his scalp for a goatee. An older, hopefully wiser, me now sees it somewhat differently.[/LEFT]


    [LEFT]I am picking up on nuances that perhaps I overlooked before. These first episodes have generally done an excellent job in bluntly defining this series' as a bold new direction from previous Treks, and foundationally introducing the recurring characters in ways that foreshadows future events. There have been, in my view, some missteps (such as Jadzia Dax's refusal to aid in her own defense when charged with capital crimes in "Dax" - made no sense to me even when her reasons were revealed). Also, "Dax" was not far off from The Next Generation episode, "The Measure of a Man" in that they both used series' regulars to explore the resplendent diversity and nature of alternate lifeforms as well as their implications. I also enjoyed the episode "Q-Less" far more this time than last. As I recall when this episode orignally aired I was pretty much tired of John De Lancie's "Q," however, after this major interval of time I could fully enjoy both the overall story and De Lancie's stylized performance. Good stuff.[/LEFT]


    [LEFT]Anyway, hopefully more to come as this odyssey continues. :)[/LEFT]
     
  2. garaks the best

    garaks the best Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
    Location:
    England
    I'm on a rewatch as well (im on s2) and like you i find the early episodes much better this time around.
     
  3. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Season one is definitely improved a lot by knowing what is to come.

    There are a lot of little details that the writers remembered and used later, some of them taken from episodes that aren't very good, in and of themselves.

    It's also extremely interesting to go back to the beginning to see where all the characters started, given how much many of them grow and change.
     
  4. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    On an Andorian Atlire-class escort cruisers, the
    I am at the end of my rewatch in season 7 and I love this show so much, every time it just gets better.
     
  5. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    I just finished a re-watch about a month ago. Then read two DS9 novels back to back and now I'm re-watching random episodes to the events related in those novels.
     
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    Yeah I've been on a bit of a DS9 kick recently as well (having not watched any of it in probably 10 years), and it's amazing how much I had completely forgotten about. Like the whole "Odo becoming human" arc, or the Romulans teaming up with the Cardassians that one time, or all the little ins and outs of the Dominion War.

    Particularly after watching the rather cheesy and simplistic first two seasons of TNG on blu-ray again, the writing on DS9 now seems more impressive than ever.

    And I had forgotten just how good Avery Brooks was as well. Considering what a complete space case he is now, it's amazing to see again just how alert and focused he was on the show. He was commanding, he was charming, and he could be really subtle and interesting when he needed to be as well. And it's always fun just watching him blow up and yell at people too.
     
  7. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    On an Andorian Atlire-class escort cruisers, the
    I completely agree with you on Brooks, his work in, In the Hands of the Prophets is spot on.
     
  8. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    And I agree with both of you. regarding Avery Brooks acting, one thing that struck more this time around than last was where his character was at emotionally when the series began. Unlike the other Trek series, Sisko wasn't looking for a command re-assignment. After the loss of his wife at Wolf-359 he appeared to turn inward by focusing on his son. IOW, his was the most complex of the Trek commanders as well as the most nuanced performance. In my view.
     
  9. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    On an Andorian Atlire-class escort cruisers, the
    I could not agree with you more. From the beginning, Sisko as a character has a depth that none of the other captains have, he has real pain and real wounds that give him an incredible arc of development from episode one
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    I'd still give Stewart the edge in terms of performance (his strong and authoritative presence is what really made that show work, and gave it the weight that it had), but yeah in terms of characters I'd agree Sisko's was the most complex and interesting.

    Which makes it kind of amazing then that he basically got pushed into the background for awhile after the pilot, because the writers didn't know what the heck to do with him. Lol
     
  11. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Patrick Stewart, as an actor, equals "great." Captain Picard, on the other hand, was often a victim of uneven writing that sometimes undercut the quality of Stewart's performance. I would be the first to say however that Patrick Stewart elevated TNG. Of course that's just my opinion. :)

    Well, to be fair, a common weakness of all the modern-era Treks early on has been the sort of shotgun appraoch to its writing wherein they tried to focus on everyone and see who audiences gravitated towards. This was especially true of the first half of the first season.

    My theory for this was because modern Trek didn't seem to go through the normal developement process of write the pilot, re-evaluate, make the pilot, test it, re-evalute, then go into full production. They always seemed to go straight into full production with the plan of re-evaluating and ironing things out on-the-fly. On the plus side, it gives fan reaction more weight. Bad side, the writing tends to be generally softer. Again just a theory of mine.
    :beer:
     
  12. donners22

    donners22 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    I'm watching s2 for the first time (having already seen from s3 onwards), and it's much better than I expected. Aside from Melora, there's hardly been a drop in the high quality I associate with DS9.
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
    I actually prefer seasons 1 and 2 to seasons 6 and 7. "old-school" DS9 was pretty cool, back when they were doing the Bajoran politics stuff with the premise, and before it became the war show.
     
  14. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 1999
    Location:
    Switzerland
    True. I like the war show but it's in the beginning that Deep Space Nine was a genuinely groundbreaking Star Trek show.
     
  15. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Season 6 is excellent and has at least 2 of my fave Trek episodes but I'd agree Season 7 dropped the ball a lot. I'd certainly take Season 2 over it.
     
  16. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    On an Andorian Atlire-class escort cruisers, the
    I have to say that I believe seasons 5-7 to be the pinnacle of Star Trek story-telling. I loved the mythology they created and how the show left me satisfied and wanting more all at the same time.
     
  17. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    I tend to agree. I think the writers really embraced their exile and decided to push things as far as they could. And they didn't push just to shock & unsettle. It was always in noble service of the long established tenets of fine drama. It was always justified. It was always motivated and with purpose.

    One thing I am also appreciating more this time around is Nog's arc. I kind of took that character for granted in the beginning, but the Jake-Nog friendship was much more special and important than originally gave it credit for.
     
  18. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Location:
    California
    I can understand both sides (S-1&2 vs S-6&7). There is a very definite difference in tone and timbre between early and late DS9. For me, it is what makes Deep Space Nine such a grand symphony. Sure, both phases hit a few clunker notes here & there, however, all-things-considered, still highly enjoyable from start-to-finish.

    One of the things I am curious about this time around is whether the shift is as abrupt as I remember. My recollection, as it stands now, is that it was a pretty sharp turn.

    I am also fighting the temptation to jump to my favorite late-series episodes like "Far Beyond The Stars" and "In The Pale Moonlight." I am, however, also dreading "Take Me Out to the Holosuite." ;)
     
  19. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    On an Andorian Atlire-class escort cruisers, the
    This show is just full of friendships; it's something that we talk about on The Orb all the time. Every time we talk about one of the characters we are quickly talking about them and their relationships. I really love the characters and their interaction with each other. I have always had a personal soft spot for Nog and Jake as well
     
  20. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    Something I really loved about DS9 in the beginning is that sense of isolation... I mean, it had that right through to the end, but it always seemed more pronounced at the start. That these were Starfleet officers who were genuinely situated on "the final frontier", far away from reinforcements. Sisko and co always had to shoot from the hip a bit more because they couldn't always rely on the fleet to come and help out.