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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    I guess it gets neglected because it came after a really dull stretch from DS9, so it's possible many just missed it.

    Week 16: (Ending 04.25.93)
    DS9: Battle Lines (Airdate 04.25.93)

    Once again, DS9 scores a strong dark outing on its own, this time managing to really differ itself from TNG with quite the downer of an ending. I suppose some may have thought Sisko came off a little weak as a negotiator, especially compared to Picard, but then this wasn't that kind of episode, was it? I dunno. All I know is when I watched this way back when, Battle Lines managed to (briefly) recapture my interest in DS9, as it was an episode of Trek that I never thought I'd see.

    All in all, DS9 managed to make better use of its third solo outing than the last time, but TNG's coming back next week, so we'll see which show's gonna come out on top during May Sweeps.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next Week:
    TNG - The Chase
    DS9 - The Storyteller
     
  2. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    'Battle Lines' is another underrated episode.
     
  3. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 17: (Ending 05.02.93)
    TNG: The Chase (Airdate 04.26.93)
    DS9: The Storyteller (Airdate 05.02.93)

    In a very special episode of TNG, the crew set out on a mission that will have drastic implication on the very nature of our existence, plus undoubtedly annoy Creationists and Evolutionists equally.:p

    Was this episode really necessary? I mean, sure, it has some nice moments in it, and it does shoot for a postive message regarding unity and somesuch, but I don't think folks were clamoring for a reason why aliens in Trek all look like humans with make-up (hint: it's the same reason aliens in b&w sci-fi movies look like humans). The annoying thing about The Chase is that, even in a fictional universe like Trek, discovering something like that would be profound, yet is treated as a kind of quaint "well, that explains that" sentiment, and promptly dropped even before the credits run. Um, hello, discovering all humanoid aliens are the product of a Master Race is GALACTIC SHATTERING NEWS!!!!!

    Meanwhile, while the crew of the Enterprise-D are making one of the biggest discoveries ever -short of finding the God, I guess- O'Brien is having some silly hijinx on Bajor while Sisko is trying to deal with a headstrong young Bajoran leader and who cares about this stuff when it's just been discovered that all humanoid aliens are the product of a Master Race!!!!! Geez, I know DS9's backwoods and all, but surely they would have heard of this GALACTIC SHATTERING NEWS by now. You'd think someone was trying to keep that profound discovery secret or something. Hmm....

    Which was the better episode? Well, The Storyteller's cute, but that's about it; it's hardly must-see, with nothing lost if you missed it. Meanwhile, The Chase is intriguing, but pulls such a doozy of an explanation for something that needn't be explained (seriously, we're perfectly fine with humanoid aliens on a TV budget!), and opens such a huge can of worms (which seems to be promptly shut again) that whether it was good or not is irrelevant.

    In a nutshell, The Chase does something that The Storyteller does not: it sparks discussion. Success either way.


    Weekly Winner
    TNG

    Next Week:
    TNG - Frame Of Mind
    DS9 - Progress
     
  4. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    'The Chase,' while it fumbles the otherwise interesting premise in some areas, does easily beat 'The Storyteller' in my book too; 'The Storyteller' ain't bad, but it ain't great either.
     
  5. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My hockey team's out of the playoffs. Finally got seeing the new Trek flick out of the way. Guess it's time to get back to Versus!

    Week 18
    : (Ending 05.09.93)
    TNG: Frame Of Mind (Airdate 05.03.93)
    DS9: Progress (Airdate 05.09.93)

    It's a battle of the Number Ones this week!

    Riker's put quite through the psychological wringer here, and the episode does a great job of ratcheting up the tension with bizarre twists, constantly keeping you guessing how it all pans out. Heck, even after all these years, I'm still left guessing what comes next. Remarkably, the plot and pacing never falls off the rails (er, even if Riker's means of escape seemed rather... convienient). While not a 'classic' episode, it's definitely a strong thriller.

    Progress, on the other hand, at first seems like 'Another Bajoran Episode'. It's definitely a quiet one -you wouldn't think it would rate as highly as Frame Of Mind from the first couple of acts. Yet, the drama surrounding Kira's dilema is incredibly compelling, because it's a situation we all can relate to, and would have a hard time resolving if we were put into a similar circumstance. The Jake/Nog stuff is lightweight fluff in comparison, but amusing nonetheless.

    Man, really tough call here. Both are good episodes -in fact, I think this is the first case of two strong episodes going head-to-head! However, I give the edge to TNG this week. It may not carry the same dramatic resonance as Progress, but it grabs your attention much quicker and doesn't let go.

    Weekly Winner
    TNG

    Next Week:
    TNG - Suspicions
    DS9 - If Wishes Were Horses
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree - "Frame of Mind" and "Progress" are both pretty good, but for different reasons. I might have given the edge to "Progress" if only because "Frame of Mind" is a bit gimmicky. Even if "Progress" is another Bajoran episode.
     
  7. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 19: (Ending 05.16.93)
    TNG: Suspicions (Airdate 05.10.93)
    DS9: If Wishes Were Horses (Airdate 05.16.93)

    Well, at least Crusher got something do this week. Meh, I dunno what it is, but Suspicions is just so incredibly dull. I never get into the Murder Mystery because, well, I just never get interested in the metawhas'it shielding or the people involved in it. Maybe Crusher wasn't the best choice to be a focal point for the story, but whatever.

    Does this mean IWWH is the better episode? Ugh, as much as it pains me to say it, but I can at least say I was entertained by portions of it, and it ended with a very pro-Trek idealistic exchange between Sisko and Bokai. Unfortunately, station-jeopardy plot was overdone -does anyone really believe it was in danger when it has escaped immanent destruction twice this season already? I'd rather have more goofy imagination shenanigans like Submissive Dax (:drool:) than people on fire. (and you have to wonder if ANYONE figured that baseball would go on to become such a signifcant prop!)

    So, it looks like in another battle of the Meh Episodes, DS9 wins again. It seems to have better Meh Episodes.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next Week:
    TNG - Rightful Heir
    DS9 - The Forsaken
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know, I liked "Suspicions" if only because there was a mystery element. I always thought "IWWH" was a little silly.
     
  9. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, it could go either way, to be honest. Unfortunately, the murder mystery does nothing for me. And let's face it: Crusher delivering a spinning kick is about as silly as 'gunji jackdaws'.;)

    Week 20: (Ending 05.23.93)
    TNG: Rightful Heir (Airdate 05.17.93)
    DS9: The Forsaken (Airdate 05.23.93)

    It's another TNG Event Episode, where something occurs that has massive repercussions! ...or at least you'd think would have, but I'm not judging these episodes with future hindsight.

    Yeah, the whole Kahless-klone seems like a waste after the fact, but at the time, this appeared to be a major deal. Ultimately though, it's a show about faith of belief, which is treated admirably considering Trek often skirted the topic up to that point in favor of sci-fi stuff.

    An episode featuring Lwaxana Troi can't compare, even if it was one of her better outings. Nice Odo moments, but The Forsaken's small scope makes it feel inconsiquential. It's just not an Event episode, unlike Rightful Heir. Dang, maybe that's been DS9's problem throughout S1: a major derth of Event Episodes compared to TNG's S6.

    Weekly Winner
    TNG

    Next Week:
    TNG - Second Chances
    DS9 - Dramatis Personae
     
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have to agree. Although I like Lwaxana, and in particular the way Odo reacted to her, I always felt her introduction to DS9 felt a little forced.
     
  11. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The first one wasn't that off - a handful of ambassadors are on the station, even if there's no particular reason for there to be a Betazoid ambassador. It's her next two appearances that seem odd - 'Fascination' and 'Muse' are real stretches, Muse especially - wouldn't Picard have made a better choice? I mean he's done the whole 'save Lwaxana from a suitor' before, he has experience.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Agreed.
     
  13. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 21: (Ending 05.30.93)
    TNG: Second Chances (Airdate 05.24.93)
    DS9: Dramatis Personae (Airdate 05.30.93)

    You have to hand it to TNG this week: they didn't take the easy way out. It would have been so simple to let Tom Riker be killed in a moment of heroism or whatnot, and return everything back to status quo. I have to admit it really irks me that Tom didn't seem that mentally unstable for a person alone for 8 years. Not only does he have his wits about him, but he also is able to handle the fact he was duplicated and having to deal with Troi in the process (with mixed results). Granted, this episode isn't about psychological trauma (and we only just had an episode about such); rather what-ifs. I think they did a reasonable job of it here. (and, unlike the bigger bombshell of an Emperor Kahless from last week, we'd get to see Tom Riker again)

    Dramatis Personae is kind of goofy in comparison. I didn't buy the mutiny angle, and once it's revealed everyone's Under Alien Influence, it became less of an issue. Still, everyone involved seemed to be enjoying themselves, with some wonderfully acted scenes -Brooks and Visitor especially looked like they were having fun hamming it up and chewing scenery.

    TNG had the meatier episode, though, so they take this week. How will the shows fare as we head into the final stretch of the season? Well, taking a quick glance ahead, it looks like DS9 will make a mad dash for glory.

    Weekly Winner
    TNG

    Next Week:
    DS9 - Duet
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was a pretty easy victory for TNG. I never cared for "Dramatis Personae" (even if the clock was pretty cool) and "Second Chances" was a pretty good TNG episode.
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 22: (Ending 06.13.93)
    DS9: Duet (Airdate 06.13.93)

    I happen to know that the repeat TNG aired for this week was Rascals, so obviously TNG wins th- ah, heh...

    Okay, I couldn't seriously write that whole thing. Really, I'm kind of disappointed TNG didn't send in any competition against DS9 this week. Their scouting report must have went something like this:

    "Geez, have you seen that Duet that's coming out? Man, what a tour de force that episode is. It's gonna establish DS9 as a real legitimate heavy-weight. No more dinkering around with warm-up skirmashes like The Passenger or The Storyteller. We'd better toss this round, but hey, at least we'll then get the season finale week all to ourselves! Let's see how their season finale matches up with our second-to-last episode!"

    Well, maybe not.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next Week:
    TNG - Timescape
    DS9 - In The Hands Of The Prophets
     
  16. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 23: (Ending 06.20.93)
    TNG: Timescape (Airdate 06.14.93)
    DS9: In The Hands Of The Prophets (Airdate 06.20.93)

    Two good episodes here. One's an entertaining -if implausible- mystery; the other brings the religion-science debate to the forefront of a Trek episode, and (somewhat surprisingly for Trek up to that point) doesn't utterly dismiss the merits of religion in the process.

    Yes, both are good, but DS9 gets the edge here, in that it's more of an Event Episode, so it carries stronger emotional resonance. Also, although Timescape executes the solving of the mystery skillfully, the direction in Prophets is some of the best Trek had seen. You've got all these minor, seemingly inconsequential events occurring at the beginning, yet as the episode progresses, everything comes together in quite the climax (yes, I admit I like the overly cliche "NOOOOOO!" scene -it's the music cue, dammit!). Plus, to end the entire season on one of the most understated-yet-poignant denuemants the franchise had seen (what, no cliff-hanger!?) was a very bold choice indeed.

    I suppose I should still do TNG's season finale for the next week, then I'll do a season tally before moving onto S2.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next Week:
    TNG - Decent Part 1
     
  17. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been rewatching DS9 too, but am near the end of the second season (last watched Collaborators). I've got to say, I thought If Wishes Were Horses is the worst of the first season - much worse than Move Along Home. The initial hook with Rumplestiltskin is okay, but it badly goes downhill with all that stuff about spinning verterons or whatever. It's painful. Move Along Home has the cop-out "it's only a game!" ending, but there's some quite nice stuff with Quark and Odo along the way. It's still pretty poor though.

    Though I should say I skipped The Storyteller, as I remembered it being one of the most stupefying episodes of all time.

    I loved Dramatis Personae. The mutiny starts of believable at first, but later on the factionalism is quite telling - Sisko is not yet totally committed to the job, O'Brien is completely loyal to Sisko, Bashir revels in the secrecy and plotting, Kira is impatient and not totally behind Starfleet, Jadzia is still coming to terms with being joined. Odo walks the line between the factions, looking for the solution.

    In The Hands Of The Prophets is a superb bookend to the first season, and sets up the themes of the second. I never had much time for Bareil originally, as I couldn't understand why Kira was really attracted to him, but I've come to appreciate him more this time around. It's a good introduction for him opposite the brilliant Vedek Winn, the second great villain DS9 introduced. The creationism debate is interesting and well discussed, and seems as relevant now as it ever did.

    I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the Circle trilogy.
     
  18. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 24: (Ending 06.27.93)
    TNG: Descent (Airdate 06.21.93)

    You know, even way back, I couldn't help but think TNG tried to do too much with this season-ender. It's like, "Hmm, we know we kind of fumbled that whole Time's Arrow thing, so how can we do a proper cliffhanger everyone will be glued to? Borg! Yes, of course, but we've done already done a Borg cliffhanger -we need something more... another villain. No, not the Duras Sisters, we did that alre- LORE!! We haven't heard from him for a while, let's throw Lore in there too!" On paper, it sounds good, but something about the odds against Our Heroes in Descent strikes me as too much. "How ever will they get out of this one?", and all that rot. It seemed like it was going to be a really awesome Event Episode in the first half with a compelling character story on the side, but once the Data Chase starts, it loses steam. Oh well. With so many hanging threads, it's still an effective, if overwrought, cliffhanger.


    Weekly Winner
    TNG

    Next:
    S1 Tally
     
  19. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    S1 Tally:

    This is how the Tally works:

    -Since the shows didn't (and won't) always go head-to-head each week, a solo outing will win a week by default. This is tallied in a Solo column.

    -In another column is where I tallied the Against weeks, where direct comparison between the episodes occur; whichever show won the match-up in that particular week gets a point.

    Thus, out of 24 weeks...

    Solo Weeks:
    DS9: 9
    TNG: 5

    Against Weeks:
    TNG: 5
    DS9: 4
    B5: 1

    DS9 having more solo weeks isn't much of a surprise since they started airing episodes in January, which is typically mid-season; so, there'd be fewer weeks for re-runs, despite two episodes shy of a regular season. It's actually somewhat surprising, then, that TNG had as many solo weeks as they did. Season finale aside (plus everything before DS9 premiered, which I didn't count), that's a full month of episodes TNG got to strut its stuff on its own.

    Going up against TNG, however, DS9 didn't really stand much of a chance. Almost all of its best episodes were aired during solo weeks (er, along with a couple of its worst too); in fact, there were only two instances where you had DS9's best going up against TNG's best, which came with split results; and only one instance of a DS9 episode clearly beating out a TNG one (Captive Pursuit against Ship In A Bottle). Half of DS9's score could have gone the other way too, as those were victories decided on 'meh' episodes. Bottom line is TNG clearly had a stronger season compared to DS9, which sadly couldn't have done DS9 any favors in the short term. Watching a spin-off series wouldn't have been too appealing to a general audience if the Main Series was clearly the supierior.

    As for the lone B5 victory, well, that was just a one-off pilot movie, and not worth delving into here; its impact on DS9's first season is negligable. Still, I wonder if my perspective is less than pure considering I have the redone version of The Gathering, not the one that originally aired.

    So, in conclusion of S1, you had a few good rounds in ya', DS9, but TNG was The Champ going in, and is leaving the ring for this season still The Champ. Don't sweat it though, kid; you didn't do too bad for a rookie. There's always next season.:evil:

    Season Winner
    TNG

    Next:
    Season Premiers
    TNG - Descent Part II
    DS9 - The Homecoming
     
  20. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here we go again, starting with S2 for DS9. TNG, still the King of the castle, is entering its 7th and final season. On the horizon is B5's first season, though not until January. Also, there was the debut of another show trying to get a piece of Star Trek's success; however, instead of trekking in stars, this one was about questing in the sea. (sorry, not going to do a Versus with this one ;) ) All in all, television sci-fi was looking to be a lucrative business going into the fall of '93. Let's see how Trek's two shows fared against each other with their season premiers...

    S2
    Week 1: (Ending 09.26.93)
    TNG: Decent Part II (Airdate 09.20.93)
    DS9: The Homecoming (Airdate 09.26.93)

    The Borg were useless and a total waste. Could have been generic goons hired by Lore, or perhaps mini-androids he constructed. Oh, the idea of Lore 'helping' Hugh's bunch had some potential, but the meat of this episode centred around Data and Lore's relationship -that was good stuff- not these Borg. They didn't even seem to be that much of a threat; even their big ugly ship was outwitted by a modified version of the Kurn Maneouver (see Redemption Part II); it's destruction was anti-climatic given how much of a big deal it was set up to be in the first part. Was this second part a let down though? Eh, not really. As soon as Lore was revealed at the end of the first part, it became quite obvious this would be about him and Data, and it's a fitting, satisfying conclusion to their story, with one loose end (the emotion chip) hinting at potential future stories.

    DS9's premiere is definitely more bold (in a quiet way), in that it's primarily a set-up episode for the Circle Trilogy (did anyone know this was to be a trilogy at the time? I can't recall). Still, it has a good self-contained story surrounding Li Nalas' return to Bajor, plus the revelation that not only he feels he's a fraud, but Sisko points out that he is still needed as a symbol. The Homecoming is quite understated for a season premiere, with the highs coming off of well-acted drama and enjoyable little character moments (like nearly every scene Quark ended up in).

    Man, tough one here. Well, actually, I already know which one's the winner, and although it's close I also know it's going to be a contraversial choice. However, in terms of episode-against-episode, I feel TNG had the better one, for the sole reason of the Data-Lore storyline. It carries more emotional resonance with the viewer because these are characters the audience is far more invested into, whereas we've only just met Li Nalas. I do have to give much respect to Richard Beymer though; he did a remarkable job in making Nalas a sympathetic character in just a half-episode.

    Weekly Winner:
    TNG

    Next:
    TNG - Liaisons
    DS9 - The Circle
     

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