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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    It was mostly in the ENT forum that those debates went on. A lot of "Why can't ENT be like nu-BSG?" type of topics, as I recall.
     
  2. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really liked Through the Looking Glass. Maybe it's not quite as good as Crossover, but still a really strong episode. And I'd forgotten how attractive Jennifer was, yeesh!

    I have my suspicions about which episode will win in your next review, but there's something about B5's next outing that fills me with childish glee, so let's see...
     
  3. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The DS9 MU episodes have subsequently grown on me. I didn't like how they somewhat changed the premise at first (weak humans rather than evil humans - come on, benevolent Cardassians having been pushed out of Bajor by an expansionist Empire would have been interesting!), but the first one is a solid enough story and the rest delve rapidly into absurd but rather amusing campy extravagances. It only gets sillier from here on out, but what the hell, fun ride.

    It was established as the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance in "Crossover" solely as an excuse to have a Michael Dorn guest star moment, which of course didn't transpire, though in retrospect was useful for some reason or other... ;)

    With the inevitable 'Ron Moore should do Star Trek!' comments. Yeah, the guy who did Star Trek for a decade and a half should come back! Naturally!
     
  4. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 27: (Ending 04.30.95)
    DS9 - Improbable Cause (Airdate 04.24.95)
    VOY - Heroes And Demons (Airdate 04.24.95)
    B5 - There All The Honor Lies (Airdate 04.26.95)

    It's "You blew up your own shop!" versus "Beauty... in the dark." The reason I highlight these two scenes is because they tend to be the ones everyone remembers from these episodes.

    (sorry, as much heart as there is in seeing the Doc experience stuff outside his office for the first time, the rest of VOY's episode is ridiculously technobabbly and frightfully dull -VOY is soundly knocked out of this round)

    In honesty, Improbable Cause is a better overall episode. It keeps its plot focused and ever evolving, with new mysteries building upon the old ones. Then, just when you figure everything is going to be nicely wrapped up, it throws one heck of a curveball, sending us into "To be continued..." land. Throw in some stellar acting and character studies, and you have DS9's best episode this season!

    B5 just doesn't quite have that. The Minbari conspiracy plot just isn't quite as interesting as the mystery surrounding Garak. The side-plots are amicable though, and the episode shows a degree of polish that had been missing for a while (again, it's the Vejar touch!), but overall doesn't quite elevate it above DS9 this week.

    Which is why I bring up those two memorable scenes. Heck, even though I hardly watched B5 first-run (I think this was the last episode I watched for nearly a year), "Beauty... in the dark" made an immediate, lasting impression. It got me thinking, "y'know, maybe this show might be worth keeping an eye on after all", though life tended to distract me from television viewing at that time. That said, it sort of exists outside the episode itself. Sure, you can say it somewhat ties into Sheriden's trials, but Kosh's lesson could have taken place at several other time too.

    Not so with "You blew up your own shop!" This scene exists only in this episode, and its impact is very dependent on the context that leads up to it. It seemingly comes out of nowhere, yet makes perfect sense when you actually think about it. You're then struck with the realization that there's something very complex and fascinating going on here, and you're left on the edge of your seat to see what new twist will emerge from there.

    On its own, "Beauty... in the dark" is a more memorable scene, but we're comparing episodes, and Improbable Cause beats out There All The Honor Lies. Considering how big of a set-up DS9 has given us here, it's got its work cut out for a follow-up. And VOY and B5 have even more work ahead of them if they're going to have a chance to stand toe-to-toe in the next round.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - The Die Is Cast
    VOY - Cathexis
    B5 - And Now For A Word
     
  5. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    Improbable Cause and The Die Is Cast are my favourite episodes of DS9. These are often episodes I show people who are undecided on the series and they invariably go "wow".

    I recently watched Heroes & Demons, and well....it was pretty stupid but for some reason difficult to dislike. This is possibly because the Doctor calling himself "Schweitzer" was too lovable to ignore and I found the vikings quite amusing.
     
  6. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Improbable Cause is the better episode - this two-parter is probably the best thing in Season 3 apart from Second Skin. However, There All the Honor Lies features the line "This isn't some deep space franchise, this place is about something!". I know, I know, it's not big and it's not clever, but it is funny... (and for the record, if DS9 had taken a shot at B5 in this manner I'd have loved that too)
     
  7. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 28: (Ending 05.07.95)
    DS9 - The Die Is Cast (Airdate 05.01.95)
    VOY - Cathexis (Airdate 05.01.95)
    B5 - And Now For A Word (Airdate 05.03.95)

    Funny you should say that, as B5's episode this week is pretty much the same: the 'one' that most fans of the show tend to show curious folks first. ;)

    In this case, however, And Now For A Word serves more as a noobie-friendly primer to the series at whole, as there definitely are better episodes of B5; whereas The Die Is Cast is a smashing conclusion to an incredible set-up. Seriously, Trek hadn't managed a solid wrap-up for a two-parter for years, and this one's arguably the best since, er, Best Of Both Worlds. Go on, name me another. Ah ha, I knew you couldn't. Even Redemption feels somewhat hollow compared to this one.

    B5 gave strong competition this week though. It's one of the most unique episodes the series ever did. Plus, the main plot would have been strong even if they didn't go with the News Broadcast twist. DS9 still wins this week on the basis of being an Event Episode (and one that properly delivers no less!), but B5 certainly made this a photo finish.

    Huh, VOY? Yes, because a retread of TNG's Lonely Among Us and watered-down paranoia a la The Thing would really give competition here.:rolleyes:

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - Explorers
    VOY - Faces
    B5 - In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum
     
  8. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

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    And Now for a Word is one of the best B5 episodes.

    Next Week
    - Ben and Jake take a replica of an ancient Bajoran sailship into the Denorius Belt...
    - the Vidiians appear again, (Torres x2)
    - Sheridan confronts Mr Morden...
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I can't stand And Now for a Word or any of the episodes where they included segments meant to be part of a newscast. They invariably rang false to me, and were often overwritten so JMS could editorialize about the media. His point is not one in which I heavily disagree with, but I would have preferred more...subtlety. And, to be honest, JMS' style that makes use of considerable monologue doesn’t suggest that the best monologues (in the guise of ‘interviews’) in the episode (Franklin’s stands out in my mind) couldn’t have been included in the series in a more conventional capacity. Unlike, say, Final Cut on BSG, although that episode also struggles to make the documentary format ring true.

    Star Trek: Voyager finally puts up a bit of competition next week, although so does Babylon 5 and (to a lesser extent) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
     
  10. happydave

    happydave Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Or more importantly.... Sisko grows a beard.:p
     
  11. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    And we discover fireworks (fire)work in space...
     
  12. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

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    Sisko's Beard + Space fireworks = event episode?

    When all is said and done though, I have a lot of love for that episode. :)
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "It's hammock time!" "Yo"

    Is that the episode where they do some sort of newscast about Babylon 5? If so, that was indeed the episode my sister chose to show me as a teenager in the hope it would get me interested in the show, but I have to admit that it did very little for me.
     
  14. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh dear, oh dear. The Die is Cast vs And Now for a Word, what a choice to have to make. DS9 does everything right this week, and I'm very glad they decided to do a story like this at this point in the series. It turns the Dominion theme into a really big interstellar issue and basically elevates the show. However, if I'm going to be honest, I enjoyed And Now for a Word more. I never knew that I wanted to see a news crew chase after Kosh trying to get an interview, but it turns out that I did!
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 29: (Ending 05.14.95)
    DS9 - Explorers (Airdate 05.08.95)
    VOY - Faces (Airdate 05.08.95)
    B5 - In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum (Airdate 05.11.95)

    And the winner for Best Opening Sequence this season goes to VOY. It's pretty!

    So Explorers stands in stark contrast compared to VOY and B5 this week. Here's an episode that seems quite content to be a simple, amiable father-son story, and little else. It works wonderfully as such too -it's seldom you ever see anything like this in Trek. And hey, it even works in giving Sisko more character as an enthusiastic builder (er, and a goatee). Nice Bashir b-plot too. It's always fun to watch characters gleefully drunk!

    Faces... damn, if you ever want a creep-out episode, just go with Vidiians. Seriously, seeing their wretched faces is bad enough, but then grafting Ensign Deadmeat's face too? Just... yikes. Oh, I guess the B'Elanna stuff was good too. I have to give VOY credit for tackling deep character stuff in only its first season -most shows, especially during this time of TV, don't do this until their third or fourth, if at all. Still, it feels mighty contrived that they were able to easily merge her Klingon half back (okay, so not exactly in this episode, but the feeling was there by the end anyway). And did they find a cure or not? It seemed like they were on the right track, but we're never told if it worked out. In fact, the issue is promptly dropped once we get to the B'Elanna Character Study stuff. Huh.

    B5 sort of has that "Reset Button/Unresolved Issue" feeling going on too. Aside from Sheriden finally getting the low-down on what's really going on with Morden, little is solved. I suppose that's the intentional point here though. That, for the greater good, he was going to have to let his obsession over finding detailed answers about what happened to the Icarus and, specifically, his wife go. Wait another day. Unfortunately, the moment of his Big Decision felt anti-climatic. By that point, you could reasonably guess he was going to do The Right Thing (hey, it's our lead after all). Thus, things carry on as normal.

    Hmnn... tough call here. By doing such a simple, pleasant show, DS9 slouches a bit behind VOY and B5, what with their tougher tackling of issues and all. Between VOY and B5, then? Ergh... B5, and just barely so, for two reasons: Franklin's "seeing God" monologue (it may not have been all that important to the episode, but it's a powerful monologue regardless), and B5's Reset doesn't carry quite the same bitter taste as VOY's Reset. At least with B5, you feel like it's with purpose, rather than doing so because the demands of the Next Episode require things to be mostly the same at the beginning from show to show.

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Family Business
    VOY - Jetrel
    B5 - Knives
     
  16. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    B5. ItSoZHD wasn't perfect, but it was a strong episode and due to the importance of what Sheridan finds out here it has to get the nod over Explorers, however much I like that episode. DS9 was fun this week though, and I flat out love the Bashir/O'Brien scene. I had my doubts about whether an Irishman would sing Jerusalem, but Memory Alpha says Colm Meaney chose the song himself, so there you go.
     
  17. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 30: (Ending 05.21.95)
    DS9 - Family Business (Airdate 05.15.95)
    VOY - Jetrel (Airdate 05.15.95)
    B5 - Knives (Airdate 05.18.95)

    Wow. Who'd have ever predicted it, huh? VOY, promptly trouncing both DS9 and B5 during a week in May Sweeps. Okay, so maybe you might have predicted it, but with a Neelix episode? No bloody way!

    Not that DS9 and B5 were outright bad in any way, they were just kind of... there. DS9 seems to be going through another one of its 'treading water' periods again (geez, that's happened a lot this season), and B5 is much ado about nothing. Even Londo's Big Lesson seems to have little impact, and the sacrifice of his friend isn't nearly as meaningful to us as it hopes to be since we've only just met the guy.

    Okay, so maybe the Hiroshima metaphor was incredibly obvious, but so what. Excellent performances by Sloyan and Phillips really raise Jetrel to a level far out of reach of its competitors this week. It may not be quite Duet level, but certainly up there. VOY with the easy win. How will its Season Finale stack up next week, tho'?

    Weekly Winner
    VOY

    Next:
    DS9 - Shakaar
    VOY - Learning Curve
    B5 - Confessions And Lamentations
     
  18. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    I'm very surprised by how well Voyager's doing here. People usually seem to treat it as the black sheep of Trek.
     
  19. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's certainly not the first nor the last time Trek had an incredibly obvious metaphor... "The Undiscovered Country" may be the most noted example. The only thing missing was a big smudge-like mark on the top of Chancellor Gorkon's head. :rommie:

    I really liked "Jetrel", it was one of my favorite VOY episodes... not that this is saying much :p but it was a really good episode. However, I must disagree with you on the performances - I thought Sloyan was great, as always, but I was not impressed by Phillips. I see that quite a few people seem to appreciate his acting, but I found it to be very 'meh' and to me the biggest weakness of the episode was that all of Neelix's serious and emotional scenes fell flat and did not really move me, which they should have by all accounts. That's the biggest difference between this episode and "Duet".
     
  20. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    DS9 was better than B5 this time, although neither episode is exactly brilliant. Good points: getting to see Ferenginar; Londo and Vir singing Centauri opera. Voyager probably wins, though I'm not sure if I've seen the episode.