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 17: (Ending 01.29.95)
    VOY - Parralax (Airdate 01.23.95)
    B5 - A Race Through Dark Places (Airdate 01.25.95)

    Way back in ye' olden days of the previous decade, there were some highly heated debates between fans of Trek and fans of B5. Of the many arguments engaged, one that often cropped up was regarding inter-crew relationships, specifically how well they'd get along. "B5 is so much more realistic," the Fivers would cry, "Not like Trek where everyone gets along all the time." Yet... that's not entirely accurate.

    We've already seen in DS9 that everyone didn't like everyone right off the bat. Heck, the very second episode -Past Prologue- had Sisko threatening to have Kira's "head on a platter"! And now we have the same thing in VOY's second episode, Parralax. Okay, so Janeway doesn't make quite the same threat to Chakotay here, but they definitely butt heads, and in as realistic a manner as you'd expect from two disparate crews forced to work together in order to survive. In contrast, you hardly ever saw that in B5 -the Earth Force characters got along just fine for the most part (well, unless Franklin went and broke the rules again). So hey, you gotta give props to VOY for that.

    Shame the sci-fi plot makes my head hurt as much as this poor guy's: :brickwall: Ugh... Even TNG never got this convoluted with the technobabble. As good as the character stuff is, stuffing your second episode with so much 'quantum singularity gobbledygook' isn't the best way to keep your new audience. Hope this doesn't become a trend. (:shifty:)

    B5 has Chekov aga

    The Bester character really blossomed with this episode; if folks weren't sure about Koenig's range before, he definitely brought the acting goods here. I mean, that... stare. It's like he's almost dead inside. A Race... is merely okay, though. It's more a look at just how E-V-I-L PsiCorps is behind the scenes, which is interesting (and with some other strong guest bits too), but not exactly riveting. Still, the side-plots were amusing enough.

    These are fairly evenly matched episodes. The nod, however, goes to B5. The character stuff may not have been quite as good as VOY's, but dammit, at least the dilemma made Sense. Things look to heat up even more now, as DS9 re-enters the fray. Geez, VOY's barely even had a chance to warm-up, and is already getting thrust into Triple-Threat competition.

    Weekly Winner:
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Life Support
    B5 - The Coming Of Shadows
    VOY - Time And Again
     
  2. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I think I know whose going to win the next one. Two not so great Trek episodes (Even though I actually do like Time And Again) against the episode that ended up winning a Hugo.
     
  3. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've been skipping your B5 reviews in this thread, since I have only seen "The Gathering" (OK) and "Midnight on the Firing Line" (really liked it) recently, and did not have the time to continue with the series.

    But since I am going to have more time on my hands now, I am going to do something I've been planning, since you've inspired me with this thread: start a DS9 complete rewatch combined with a first-time viewing of the entire run of Babylon 5 - in chronological order based on airdates. I'll start my own thread about it, but there will be no Voyager (which I've been watching on TV - I am in season 3 now), TNG or anything else, and I won't be choosing weekly winners, just comparing the two. I may add little reminders of what were world news that week, to try to put myself back in the time when those episodes first aired (times that I remember well, but I first saw DS9 years later) and see if the plots of the shows reflect or can be seen as reflecting any of the real-world events of the time.
     
  4. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    Sounds like it could be B5 winning if it won a Hugo, but it could be quite close. Life Support is very moving, and sad at the end, and Time and Again was the episode that really started me liking Voyager.
     
  5. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I guess it's true: imitation is the best form of flattery. :p You stand a good chance of lapping me on this if you just stick to DS9/B5, especially since I tend to only view one week on a given day that I can watch them. It makes finding time for the Triple-Viewings difficult.
     
  6. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 18: (Ending 02.05.95)
    DS9 - Life Support (Airdate 01.30.95)
    VOY - Time And Again (Airdate 01.30.95)
    B5 - The Coming Of Shadows (Airdate 02.01.95)

    Two competitors enter the ring, one a three-year veteran, the other a wide-eyed rookie, both quite confident.

    "This will be my victory," the veteran says on the house mic to the audience, "as no one will be able to withstand my heart, my soul, my gut-wrenching drama. In fact, I'm willing to cynically sacrifice an established character for the good of the show."

    "Bah," the rookie counters, "who wants to watch a total downer when they can be razzle-dazzled by my deft dexterity with temporal mechanics and sci-fi ra-ra-ra? I have that, my friends, and plenty of it!"

    "Oh please," the vet scoffs. "Your whole show is about being on the other side of the galaxy, and in your third episode, you end up around a bunch of hippie aliens that are exactly like humans, precocious kids, and an ending that ranks right up there with 'it was just a dream' in cop-outs. I, on the other hand, didn't pull any punches."

    "Nor any tears either," says the rookie. "'Oh, look how daring we were, hideously killing off a character we've hardly seen or cared about for nearly a year'. Please, and that Jake/Nog stuff was soooo S1."

    "Hey, at least we managed to keep the Bajoran/Cardassian arc moving forward. Oh you've done is get stuck in time-loops. I'll bet your whole series will-"

    "ENOUGH!!!" a roar is heard, then the lights suddenly go dark.

    Moments later, as the lights come on, the third competitor appears, already in the ring. The vet and rookie are laid out on the floor, apparently the victims of a brutal beatdown by this fighter known simply as B5. He addresses the audience.

    "Friends, I know I've had a somewhat shaky season thus far, but with this display of powerful storytelling, tragic irony, cut-rate special-effects, and series-altering events, I'm sure you can see that I have much, much more to offer than these two. DS9 would have its bitter enemies make peace; I say let's have my bitter enemies finally declare all out war on each other. VOY would have a nonsensical time-loop plot with dull filler; I say keep the plot ever growing, with each new act offering an ever-more shocking revelation and tragedy.

    "I cannot promise that I will so handily defeat my competitors all the time -to be honest, I can't help but wonder if they simply threw in the towel this week. But rest assured, this is a week that will have B5 remembered for years to come. Until next week."

    And with that, B5 leaves the ring, DS9 and VOY still crumpled heaps on the mat. There will be revenge, oh yes...

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Heart Of Stone
    B5 - GROPOS
    VOY - Phage
     
  7. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    I'd easily give this victory to Life Support, even though I didn't care much for Bareil before this episode.
     
  8. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    I probably would have given it to Life Support as well..., but then having never seen B5, what do I know?
    Next week has a rather rare occurence, a Voyager episode that is better than the DS9 episode. It'll be between Phage or the B5 episode, Heart of Stone is a low point in Season 3.
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    It's hard to beat The Coming of Shadows. There's a reason that episode is the title of the second season.

    That said, I remember liking Life Support, which doesn't give us an easy ending.
     
  10. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    I had to look up who it was who died in Life Support. Turns out it was someone I didn't care in the least about.
     
  11. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And right there you hit the nail on the head as to why Coming Of Shadows easily trumps Life Support. Bareil, though an effective and even intriguing character during the initial Bajoran-political arcs, unfortunately had lost his way after The Collaborator. Unless you were really a huge fan of the Bajoran religious material (and let's face it, not many folks were), having him killed off doesn't have that much dramatic impact. They just never invested enough time into him, nor his relationship with Kira (the writers seemed far more interested in the Kira/Odo dynamic at this point).

    Compare that to the Emperor's death. We only just meet the guy in this episode, he's barely on screen for but a few scenes, yet we feel his demise far more, like an emotional gut-punch. Granted, Bey put in quite the wonderful performance here, but there are other factors that play into this too. For instance, it puts Londo on a hastily-chosen and tragic path that would not have occurred otherwise, sending things in the B5 politico-world further down a dark road. The Emperor's death resonates more because you have the sense that, were he still alive, the ensuing shit-storm could have been averted, or at least been less severe in the short term (that is, regarding the events of this episode).

    I never got that sense from Bareil's death. The way the episode played out, it seemed the negotiations and treaty would eventually be agreed upon, though perhaps delayed in light of Winn's incompetence (plus, I find it hard to believe that Bareil wouldn't have some sort of aid himself to help in something as important as this), so having him continuously taking drugs and implants to keep the talks going in the short term seemed like overly-forced macabre drama for no reason other than to have it (and perhaps make a broad statement about the ethical dilemma that surrounds artificial death-prevention). Put another way, what would have happened if Bareil had remained dead the first time? Would the talks seriously have completely dissolved, with no hope of reparations in the future? I doubt it.

    Plus, poor Bareil never got to utter a line quite as moving as this one from the Emperor::techman:
    "The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us ...and our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast, terrible in-between."
     
  12. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 19: (Ending 02.12.95)
    DS9 - Heart Of Stone (Airdate 02.06.95)
    VOY - Phage (Airdate 02.06.95)
    B5 - GROPOS (Airdate 02.08.95)

    DS9 still seems to be out for the count after the previous week's beatdown. Oh, there's some heart to this episode, but the execution is just too pedestrian, dull, and, well, silly. The last thing you want to be doing during a dramatic moment is snickering over how silly a rock-prop looks.

    VOY, on the other hand, finally realized it was going to have to step up its game if it wanted to be taken seriously. Annoying Neelix moments aside (boy, did they ever ruin this character quickly), Phage is quite... hmm, I'm not even sure what it is, but it definetly holds your attention. After what seems to initially be a retread of Life Support (doctor saves life in technobabble miracle-cure shocker!) instead turns into a chase, a better moral dilemma, a proper gross-out moment when first encountering the Vidiians, and even an intriguing backstory to their race, which goes a long way in setting the DQ up as quite a different place than the AQ.

    Does B5, still feeling hot after such a strong high from Coming Of Shadows, manage to stand toe-to-toe here? Not really, no. If anything, GROPOS is something of a let-down as a follow-up. Franklin backstory? Eh... okay. Jarhead cliches? Meh, been done better. Tragic ending? Didn't see that coming:rolleyes:. After going to such lengths to set up the renewed Centuari-Narn hostilities, we really could have used more than a few token lines of dialog going into detail of what's occurred since the last episode.

    So hey! VOY does manage to get a win here. Maybe the show won't do quite as badly as some predicted after all.:techman:

    Weekly Winner
    VOY

    Next:
    DS9 - Destiny
    VOY - The Cloud
    B5 - All Alone In The Night
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  13. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A Spider in the Web - pretty much as you say
    Soul Mates - Ooh, this one was great! I loved Timov and the Delenn stuff was amusing.
    Past Tense - Very good. I Agree that Sisko really started to come into his own here, and I'd say the same for Bashir. I thought Season 3 was going off the boil at this stage, but this episode sorted things out.
    A Race Through Dark Places - Good episode - although maybe they shouldn't have had so many Psi-Corps episodes so close together.
    Life Support - Decent, I think this continued the growth of Bashir into a more interesting character, but it can't compare to
    The Coming of Shadows - Best episode of Season 2 and only Chrysalis can rival it among the previous episodes of B5. One of those big, fast-moving event episodes that B5 is so good at.
    Heart of Stone - Urgh, no! What was the point of this episode? It seems to advance the Odo/Kira arc, but ultimately doesn't. And the rock prop was terrible.
    GROPOS - perhaps inevitably not as good as what preceded it, but still a good episode. Hey, Lt. Keffer actually gets to do something! And I felt for poor Mr Garibaldi, the guy just can't catch a break, can he? This beats Heart of Stone at least.
     
  14. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wha..? No VOY love?:vulcan:

    Week 20: (Ending 02.19.95)
    DS9 - Destiny (Airdate 02.13.95)
    VOY - The Cloud (Airdate 02.13.95)
    B5 - All Alone In The Night (Airdate 02.15.95)

    Short answer: Destiny.

    Long answer: it has a consistent plot.

    Longer answer:
    B5 has some big arc moments this week, but they seem tacked onto an X-Files episode, bearing little to what this apparent A-Story is about. And dammit, still no proper follow-up to the Centauri/Narn conflict? Oh well, at least we finally have some follow-up to Delenn's change -after Revelations, she's had very little to do.

    Even worse, VOY's plot jumps all over the place, with absolutely no relation to each other. Half of it seems like a 'Day In The Life' episode, which is okay but this early in the series? Then we have the Anomaly/Alien Of The Week story, where our intrepid crew find themselves at the mercy of the plots of TOS' The Immunity Syndrome and TNG's Galaxy's Child. It's watchable, but not really gripping. (not to mention an overwhelming urge to really get my stab on with Neelix in this episode)

    So, in comparison, DS9 does everything right: it establishes its plot early, carries it out efficiently, introduces some fresh theological discussions to Trek lore (are you paying attention VOY? This is how you be unique), and develops its main character, Sisko, further (and let's face it, he's been in serious need of character development). Heck, even the sub-plot with O'Brien is quaintly handled. Yep, I definitely reckon Destiny takes the week.

    Weekly Winner:
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - Prophet Motive
    VOY - Eye Of The Needle
    B5 - Acts Of Sacrifice
     
  15. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ha, well I certainly do like B5 and DS9 a lot more than Voyager, but the real reason I'm not commenting on it is that it's been so long since I saw those early seasons that I can't really remember the episodes very well, so it wouldn't be fair to compare them to episodes of B5 and DS9 that I've seen much more recently.

    All Alone in the Night was a weird one. There's some important stuff in the "abducted by aliens" plot, but it didn't sit that well with the rest of the episode. That said, I did like the Delenn stuff (poor Delenn :(), and very much appreciated the presence of the always excellent Neroon. And of course, once Sheridan gets back the episode takes a hard left turn in terms of mood and gives us an ending that's better than the episode as a whole. I guess overall it works in spite of itself, but Destiny is probably better as a whole, even if it doesn't quite equal AAitN's best moments. It was good to finally confront Sisko with the Emissary stuff and to explore Kira's feelings about it.
     
  16. apenpaap

    apenpaap Commodore Commodore

    Next week will be tough between Prophet Motive and Eye of the Needle.
     
  17. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 21: (Ending 02.26.95)
    DS9 - Prophet Motive (Airdate 02.20.95)
    VOY - Eye Of The Needle (Airdate 02.20.95)
    B5 - Acts Of Sacrifice (Airdate 02.22.95)

    Oh, how I vividly recall this week from waaayy back. It was the first time I actually sat down to not only watch a full episode of B5, but also VOY. Yep, even though I'd watched the pilot, I hadn't bothered with "that new Trek show" for over a month. Then, for whatever reason, I decided to finally properly see what that Babylon 5 show I kept hearing about (and occasionally glancing at while flipping through channels). Plus, it marked the point where my sporadic interest in DS9 faltered once again.

    It was like: "Well, DS9's been iffy, but Destiny was really good, so maybe this show'll still be worth checking out af-
    "Oh, god. This episode's lame. I really don't care about all this Ferengi stuff, and they have to throw in Wormhole Aliens too? What a waste..."

    Then I saw the preview for Eye Of The Needle and thought: "Hey, that looks interesting. A way home already, plus a Romulan? Cool."

    Okay, so few thought they'd get home that quickly, which makes dropping the issue early in the episode smart. Instead, it becomes a matter of what they can do with what they have, and that's interesting. In fact, there was absolutely no need for the 'use transporter to get home' plot -it felt needlessly tacked on to fill up the episode.

    I really don't know what compelled me to finally check out B5 on this particular week; boredom, perhaps? Whatever the reason, I remember finding it both fascinating ("Wow, there sure does seem to be a lot going on in this show!") and ridiculous ("What... was with that dance? Is the show always like this??"). It certainly made an impression, to say the least.

    I dunno. DS9's definitely out, so it's between VOY and B5. The G'Kar and Londo, as always, was great, but the rest was just... bleh. For whatever reason, I find Eye Of The Needle a better overall episode; there's something about the tragi-twist I find more compelling, and the "Shortcut Home Plot" was still a fresh idea, whereas Acts Of Sacrifice felt like an episode that didn't amount to much of consequence -which, of course, makes G'Kar's plight that much more tragic, considering what he had to go through, but it's not enough to lift the rest of the episode.

    Oh, alright. I just really, really hate that "shabaloo" thing. Results will probably vary.

    Weekly Winner:
    VOY

    Next:
    DS9 - Visionary
    VOY - Ex Post Facto
    B5 - Hunter, Prey
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  18. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can't remember much about the Voyager episode, but Acts of Sacrifice (AKA The Other One With Na'Toth) easily beats Prophet Motive. I actually think AoS is one of the best episodes of Season 2, which may have something to do with the greatness that is G'Kar. I really appreciated Katsulas's work in the Narn-Centauri War plotline, G'Kar's pain and desperation came over really well. Prophet Motive wasn't exactly bad, but it's a nothing episode - I liked the other two Ferengi episodes in Season 3, but this one just felt like filler (and not the cool kind like Fascination).
     
  19. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    Voyager's win was well deserved this week, especially over DS9. Prophet Motive was quite good, but it wasn't the best way to reintroduce the Prophets to the series, and it was a bit too Ferengi (although some of the Revised Rules were funny). The House of Quark was the Ferengi episode this season, while Family Business was average just like this one. Eye of the Needle, however, is one of the best gems in Voyager's pretty consistent 1st season.
     
  20. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 22: (Ending 03.05.95)
    DS9 - Visionary (Airdate 02.27.95)
    VOY - Ex Post Facto (Airdate 02.27.95)
    B5 - Hunter, Prey (Airdate 03.01.95)

    W'elp, looks like DS9 and VOY did a switcheroo here, with VOY being the totally skipable episode this time. I didn't have high hopes for Facto when the plot begins with a Kim backstory narration, and it sure didn't disappoint in the, um, disappointment. It was about as generic of a murder-mystery as it gets (with Scrappy-Do to the rescue!), with little in the way of character development to make it compelling.

    So, DS9 and B5 then. G'ah, another close call here. Visionary is quite entertaining, in that it keeps piling O'Brien's problems on, and even manages to tie it into the main plot. Throw in a great red herring to the mystery (and you thought the Klingons were the source of all your problems...!), plus plenty of little character moments that add to the episode, and you have a strong outing. Besides, it's not everyday we get to see the station blowed up real good!

    B5, too, has a strong plot that ties into its overall arc, with plenty of wonderful little character moments (this is probably one of Garabaldi's best outings this season!). My gripe? Aside from Steedman, the guest actors weren't that good; it really dragged this episode down for me. And I wasn't all that fussed with the 'kidnapping' sub-sub-plot.

    Meh, B5 has done that a lot this season, hasn't it? It's got some great ideas and ambitious storytelling, but there's (almost) always something that keeps it from properly hitting its stride. Trek, on the other hand, remains finely polished, even if its stories aren't always terribly riveting.

    In this regard, DS9 takes this week. That extra amount of polish helps otherwise-equally matched combatants stand just that little bit taller.

    Weekly Winner:
    DS9

    Feb Sweeps are done. Time for the shows to go into repeats ...except for VOY. That show finally gets some solo time to build up some momentum. How shall she do?

    Next:
    VOY - Emanations