DS9 Versus: A viewing experient

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Sykonee, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 7: (Ending 11.07.94)
    B5 - Points Of Departure (Airdate 11.02.94)
    DS9 - Civil Defense (Airdate 11.07.94)

    Huh. So Minbari souls in humans then. That's why they stopped the war. I guess that explains that.

    Y'know, for a mystery that had carried on throughout B5's S1 and tied directly into Sinclair's character-arc, the Big Reveal here sure didn't seem to have the kind of impact the lead-up suggested. Sure, it's quite a revelation, but treated almost as an afterthought; and this is due to two reasons:

    1. No Sinclair. Without him there, this story-arc suddenly seems inconsequential. We cared about this mystery because he cared about this mystery, and to finally have the payoff without the primary character doing the discovering with us makes the revelation anti-climatic.

    2. Having to introduce us to Sheriden. When you're giving us a new lead in a TV show, you have quite the task ahead of you. You need to establish what kind of person he is, how he'll react to dilemmas, etc, etc. The Trigati plot is certainly a fine vehicle to do so, but poor Boxleitner is forced to spew out mass quantities of monologue and exposition to get everything moving along. That can't be easy to do when you're the new guy on the job, and it's quite apparent when you see him alongside the others who are already comfortable in their roles. To say nothing of the Battle Of The Line mystery getting shuffled off to the side in the process.

    In contrast, Civil Defense manages to give us an hour of thrilling (if at times needlessly technobabbly) TV, sticking familiar characters in a precarious situation that doesn't come off as terribly forced. Each new problem they have to deal with makes as good of sense as any kind of Disaster Movie dilemma can, and you gotta love the "Whoa, that shit actually worked?" reaction from Sisko at the very end. Well, that's my personal highlight of the episode anyway.:techman:

    Both episodes were good in their own ways, but DS9 wins here through sheer entertainment value.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - Meridian
    B5 - Revelations
     
  2. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I had the same reaction. I absolutely love this episode, in fact it's one of my very favourite episodes of any kind of Star Trek. For me, Season 3 is the point at which DS9 made good on all the steps forward it made in Season 2 and became a really great show. In fact, it was probably The Jem'Hadar that was the turning point. Likewise, Chrysalis, which is even better than The Jem'Hadar, had a similar effect on B5. "Nothing's the same any more."
     
  3. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I can't say much for the B5 episode, having never watched the series, but unless it's terribly bad, I think B5 has a win here.
     
  4. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    ^Yeah, this is one of the very few cases were I would give Babylon 5 the win.
     
  5. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whoops, I mistook Equilibrium for Meridian last week. :alienblush: Sorry for calling your credibility into question, it's my fault for not paying attention.
     
  6. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Revelations is my favorite episode of the second season, which some might find to be an oddball pick, given the presence of the Hugo-winning The Coming of Shadows. But I think it balances all of the threads (and gives Sheridan a more proper introduction that was lacking in the previous, messier season premiere) in a very fine way.

    Meridian is, by comparison, uh... Well, let's just say that it would be stronger if the competition was Infection. Alas, no chance for DS9 that week.
     
  7. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So I admit that I put this off for a bit. Meridian is just one of those episodes I never want to watch again. Ever. Plus, it's not like this was going to much of a contest. Even if you've never seen a B5 episode, you just know it couldn't be worse than Meridian.

    Still, I felt committed to honoring this system of watching the shows head-to-head as they aired, so I eventually prepared to subject myself to the torture of it.

    ...Only to have my computer buggered up due to a Windows service pack. A temporary respite, or a prolonging of my impending damnation? Whichever the case, one weekend and over $100 in repairs later, I finally sat down to do this week's shows. And...

    Week 8: (Ending 11.14.94)
    B5 - Revelations (Airdate 11.09.94)
    DS9 - Meridian (Airdate 11.14.94)

    I still couldn't do it.

    Oh, I watched Revelations just fine. A good episode, I must say, despite the relative downer it ends on. Even though Our Heroes managed to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the events of Chrysalis, nothing is solved -instead, they are promptly buried again, leaving everyone just as in the dark as they were before. Oh, and Delenn now has hair! (Poor Boxleitner is still given tough monologues though -imagine if Patrick Stewart had to do some of his scenes from Family in just the second episode)

    Meridian though... no. That episode's mediocre wretchedness is so ingrained into my brain that I cannot stand to subject myself to it again. There is no comparison needed here. Everyone who's seen DS9's offering this week knows the score. B5 in a blowout landslide. A thirty-second knockout. If we are to use this match from the WWF Survivor Series of 1998 as an analogy, Revelations is The Rock, and Meridian is The Big Bossman. Even if you were to give B5 a spiteful zero (the only reason I can think of why anyone would give it a zero), it would still beat DS9 this week.

    I promise this will be the only time I skip an episode.

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Defiant
    B5 - The Geometry Of Shadows
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  8. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    No, not good enough. Watch it.
     
  9. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Didn't I mention I had one Get Out Of Watching A Crappy Episode Free card when I started this? How remiss of me.:p

    Week 9: (Ending 11.21.94)
    B5 - The Geometry Of Shadows (Airdate 11.16.94)
    DS9 - Defiant (Airdate 11.21.94)

    Wow. B5 suddenly took a huge leap in production quality. It's actually starting to resemble a well-oiled, long-running series. The plot pacing was great, especially the way all these little stories somehow intertwine together. Even the Drazi B (C? D?) plot, while ridiculous, at least knew it was ridiculous and actually had fun with the premise. Who is this Michael Vejar guy, and will we see more of him? (:techman:) And geez, gotta love a solid guest actor in Ansara.

    DS9 though, coming through in showing its got some new tricks up its sleeve. What (again) seems to start off as a run-of-the-mill cutesy character episode turns into something far more higher in stake. Hey, it's that Tom Riker fella' too. Nice to see they followed up on that. Ooh! More space battles! Political intrigue!! And... what is this? Dukat... in a... sympathetic role?

    Oh man, really close call here. In the end, though, Defiant squeaks by on the basis of it being more of an Event Episode, whereas Geometry Of Shadows, while compelling in its own right, was much more subdued.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    In other news, former Versus Competitor and Champion TNG made its big debut with Generations in the Movie Leagues this week. The result was... um, well... :cardie:

    Hey, it's not like DS9 was pummeling the competition in its rookie season either.:shifty:

    Next:
    DS9 - Fascination
    B5 - A Distant Star
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  10. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would've definitely given that one to B5; as good as Defiant was, Geometry Of Shadows was a masterful episode on so many levels.
     
  11. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I agree with the winner for this one. I thought Defiant was a much better episode, while originally Geometry of Shadows was just ok. I think I need to watch it again though, at one point.
     
  12. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I also rewatched Defiant a few days ago. It is so weird - in a good way - to see Dukat and Sisko talking about their sons and kind of bonding over fatherhood.

    And it was, I think, the second episode in which Dukat turned out not be involved in the Cardassian wrongdoing of the week and ended up being an ally, as someone else was the Cardassian villain of the week (in "The Maquis", the Central Command, this time it was the Obsidian Order).
     
  13. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't really care for Defiant, in fact it was one of the season 3 episodes I liked the least. Can't really explain why, it just didn't do it for me. That said, I thought the Obsidian Order lady was cool and I appreciate how the events of this episode tie into some of what happens later in the season. I'll give this one to B5 - The Geometry of Shadows was fun and spooky. And you've made me look at which episodes Michael Vejar directed and yes, he's very good.
     
  14. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 10: (Ending 11.28.94)
    B5 - A Distant Star (Airdate 11.23.94)
    DS9 - Fascination (Airdate 11.28.94)

    Have I mentioned I like Fascination?

    I like Fascination. It's goofy. I enjoy watching these characters in a goofy setting. From a directing standpoint, there are some lovely looking tracking shots. Plus, the women look great in this episode!:drool:

    Does it beat out B5 though? Well, no, not really. A Distant Star has its share of problems (the Cortez becoming damaged seemed WAY out of nowhere; totally fabricated plot device) but the overall story was solid enough, with comedy bits that are quite amusing (B5's really getting better at the comedy, even in episodes with a generally serious tone). And even though he's featured in the opening credits, I honestly thought Keffer was doomed. Gotta give props for keeping me guessing on his fate.

    Well, this has been an odd fall season for these shows. Lots of trading shots and dodging around. DS9 goes into winter re-runs for now though, with B5 getting a little solo time into December. Come January, however, things look to really pick up, as a new competitor is primed to fill in the hole left by TNG's departing.

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    B5 - The Long Dark
     
  15. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I have already described a few times on this forum just how much I despise "Fascination"... It's one of the worst DS9 episodes IMO. A space-diseases-of-the week scenario can work if the purpose is to reveal something deep and important about the characters' true personalities (as in TOS "The Naked Time"), but not when it's just an excuse for everyone to act silly and out of character and to have them make out and hit on each other in completely random pairings, that will be completely forgotten and never mentioned again (which renders Bashir's statement about 'latent attraction' meaningless - yeah right, so it's that latent that we never see any of these 'attractions' in any other episode, before or since? :rolleyes:). This is one of those episodes that made me cringe so much while I first watched it that I never want to rewatch it.

    Anyway, something occured to me just now, thinking about the order of the episodes: it's funny that, in back to back episodes, Kira 1) flirted with (and got smooched by) Tom Riker, and 2) sucked face with Bashir as a result of a space-disease-of-the-weak (which looked hilariously awkward, just as it should have - since those two characters were so difficult to imagine together, despite the fact that the actors were involved and later married in real life!), all the while being in a serious relationship with Bareil! Just a couple of episodes earlier, Dukat's interest in Kira was first explicitly mentioned - and, if I remember it well, wasn't Odo's unrequited love for Kira explicitly established in season 3, around the time of "Fascination", or maybe in the episode itself? That's a far cry from season 1, when Kira had no current or potential love/lust interests (being an object of desire seemed to be Dax's role), unless you count Zek and Quark's ogling :lol:... I wonder if the writers had in the meantime realized that Kira was hot, so from apparently giving little thought to her love life, by the time of season 3 and 4 they went a bit overboard with it! :rommie:
     
  16. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, I know Fascination gets ragged on a lot, quite a bit of it well deserved. Even some of the actors despised it. I frankly can't explain why I don't have a problem with it. I just... find it funny.:whistle:
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Fascination isn't the series' finest hour, but it entertains. A Distant Star isn't anythign special, really. I think I rated it a C+ when I watched through the whole series last time. Hard to choose.
     
  18. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    I probably prefer Meridian to Fascination.
     
  19. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    Fascination is one of my guilty pleasures. I like it and don't see anything wrong with it. It's how Trek comedy is done well, with Past Tense coming up, I think a comedic show was needed, and if they'd just fallen back on Ferengi to make a comedic show every time they needed one, which was the case for a lot of the series, I would have probably not liked DS9 as much as I do. Ferengi could do some good stuff (The Magnificent Ferengi) but mostly it was horrible, boring farce (Profit and Lace). Episodes like Fascination probably saved DS9 from becoming totally depressing.

    Then again, judging from people's reactions on this board, its one of those episodes you either love or hate.
     
  20. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    God, I love Fascination! It's just ridiculously fun and the scene where Mrs Troi spins Odo around is brilliant. A Distant Star was also a good episode and the big spaceship was very cool, although I did find it a little hard to get over the fact that its captain was Dr Jacoby from Twin Peaks! Not relevant to this episode, but did anyone else miss original Na'Toth? Season 2 was definitely better than Season 1, but I do wish Caitlin Brown had been in it. This one's almost too close to call, but because Fascination was so entertaining and most people hate it I'm going to give it the prize.