DS9 Versus: A viewing experient

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

  1. Eyes

    Eyes Commodore Commodore

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    The thing I remember most about Mortal Coil was Chakotay talking to Neelix on the transporter before he tried to commit suicide. That was the best part of the episode. The rest was good, I guess, kind of a bit atheistically preachy, but interesting ideas to explore and a good message at the end. I don't particularly like the way it presented the idea, but, anyway.

    The Magnificent Ferengi is pure comedy. I really liked it, with all the Ferengi characters and the Dominion, where the Ferengi are borderline serious for once.

    I would probably give the win to TMF this week, but that's more because I love TMF, not as much because I don't like some aspects of Mortal Coil.
     
  2. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's an example of a Ferengi comedy that works, mostly because it's the Ferengi interacting with the Vorta/Jem'Hadar and not another cliché-ridden satire of capitalism.

    I don't have clear enough memory of the Voyager ep to make a comparison, though.
     
  3. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oooh, this is a toughy. I like Mortal Coil, it's a good Neelix episode that does exactly what Star Trek is supposed to; it uses sci-fi to create an interesting dilemma for one of the characters, and losing one's faith in the afterlife is certainly an interesting position to base an episode around.

    On the other hand, The Magnificent Ferengi is my favourite Ferengi comedy episode, and it contains one of my favourite lines from the show; "You couldn't ambush a Bolian if he was blindfolded and tied to a tree!"

    If I had to make the choice then I'd give the win to Voyager for doing something original and being a good character vehicle for a character that is often misused. But if I had to choose between watching either of the two episodes I'd go with TMF.
     
  4. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Statistical Probabilities is a pretty strong episode. I don't think the genetic engineering thing particularly improved Bashir as a character, but this is a good use of it. I like how it ties into the big picture of the Dominion War.

    The Deconstruction of Falling Stars... well, it's OK, but I'm not a huge fan of it. The three previous season finales were fantastic, so this one pales in comparison. DS9 wins this one.

    The Magnificent Ferengi is certainly one of the best Ferengi episodes and seeing Iggy Pop as a Vorta made me very happy. Maybe the next Ferengi episode will be as good as this?

    This is where I make an embarrassing admission: I haven't seen the TV films (except the pilot).
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  5. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 15: (Ending 01.04.98)
    B5 - In The Beginning (Airdate 01.04.98)

    So when TNT picked up B5 for a fifth season, they also requested a couple TV movies to create interest in the channel's regular audience. You might ask why I'm including these TV movies if they're not really a part of the official TV seasons, but as far as I'm concerned, these are no different than either a pilot movie or a Sweeps two-hour episode. If it aired during the regular TV season, it's included.

    Anyhow, ItB is probably the best representation of what B5 as a whole encapsulates. You've got some intriguing characters, stilted exposition, nifty space-battles, dull stretches...

    And then that one moment that totally floors you. Yes, folks who've seen this know what I'm talking about.

    Look, I'm a fairly typical guy-guy when it comes to TV and movies. I may get lumps in the throat or misty-eyed here and there, but moments that bring uncontrollable tears? I can count the number of 'em on my hand. This is one of them.

    (For the record, Grave Of The Fireflies, Rudy (shaddap!), 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and, erm, King Kong Lives are the other ones, and I have the excuse of being just a kid with the latter two.)

    If The Magnificent Ferengi did compete this week, it'd have been trounced. Instead, DS9 gets to have a week all to itself next. Or... wait. Memory Alpha has Waltz being this week- Ah, screw it. I'm going with the DVDs this time, er, next week, I mean, um...

    B5 wins this week.

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Waltz
     
  6. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I'd give Mortal Coil the win too, even though The Magnificent Ferengi is a blast and is probably the best Ferengi episode. I love that VOY makes good Neelix episodes, inspite of his other horrific scenes in other episodes.

    In The Beginning is easily the best B5 film. It's not perfect, but it weaves the B5 tapestry established over the past four years into a riviting story, and I love that Londo narrates.

    I wish the convoluted story with Sheridan, G'Kar and Franklin's 'first' mission together would vanish, but alas. :D

    Wait. I thought you were reporting your reviews through time. I feel used. :eek:
     
  7. Kai Winn

    Kai Winn Captain Captain

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    sykonee might want to consider to jettison b5 and compare ds9/voy with stargate sg1 instead. the 5th season is dreadful, and the feature length movies become increasingly weird. this way, you could go on comparing beyond ds9's finale, the last seasons of voy, and the whole of enterprise.
     
  8. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nope, the first half was pretty weak, albeit with a few good episodes, but the second half was pretty damn good. B5 took a dip in quality overall in the last season, but I'd say it was still better than Voyager (and some seasons of DS9). Plus, if we're not going to do Sleeping in Light, what's the point, really?
     
  9. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll consider this if you do an X-Files Versus against Seaquest and Space: Above & Beyond. The Outer Limits, too.

    Week 16: (Ending 01.11.98)
    DS9 - Waltz (Airdate 01.08.98)

    Looks like DS9's got a new airday for the New Year: Thursdays.

    Poor Dukat. With a little goading from Sisko, his already traumatized mind gets stuck in a hate-filled feedback loop towards the Bajoran people. Now the only way he can find peace is to make sure there are no more Bajoran people to stick their crooked, prideful noses up at him. What arrogant religious pricks. They definitely deserve a slapping for that. Slap happy, Dukat!

    Oh, wait, this isn't the premier of Star Trek: Dukat's Legacy? Er, um...

    Yeah, he's a very bad man, that Cardassian.

    For as wicked-awesome as it is seeing big space battles and all that, it's just as gripping to simply watch to compelling characters sit in a room and talk. Well, so long as you have capable actors to pull it off anyway.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    VOY - Waking Moments
     
  10. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Waltz is an underappreciated gem, probably because the direction taken with Dukat's character from here on is unpopular. Brooks and Alaimo both give excellent performances, and Moore's script is the most probing examination of the psychology surrounding the Cardassian occupation of Bajor since Duet, to which Waltz is consciously a sort of sequel or follow-up. One can debate the merits of using Kira, Weyoun and Co. to express the various facets of Dukat's fragile psyche, but I think the device works to good dramatic effect. It especially helps to have Kira around mocking Dukat, which is his worst nightmare in a sense: he fears her contempt as much as he desires her approval, and that of all his victims.

    Often in the later seasons of DS9, you can hear the writers talking and arguing with themselves. For whatever reason, probably a result of the creative struggles that DS9 faced in its quest to deconstruct and escape from a legacy of trek clichés, the scripts in the later seasons tend to break with suspension of disbelief and provide us with a window into the creative process. In Waltz, there's Sisko's line: "Do you really want to do this? Alright, let's do it!" (or words to that effect), which is like a fragment of the discussion/argument that produced this episode: do we really want to go there with Dukat and take a serious look at the psychology behind his patronizing attitude toward the Bajorans?

    The answer is "yes, let's do it", and the results are pretty satisfying, especially the lines about the Bajorans wearing their pride like a badge of honor and Dukat hating them for it. The first half of that statement is a perfect description of Kira in particular, and explains Dukat's fascination with her, which is sinister and sincere at the same time. These parts of the script probe quite deeply into the latent racism and hatred that drive the colonialist mindset and that fuel Dukat's obsession with winning the Bajorans' approval and even worship. He needs them to "recognize his greatness," as he says in Sacrifice of Angels.

    The overwrought ending and Sisko's final line, which feels like an unnecessary attempt to tell the viewer what to think, only slightly undermine a powerful episode.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  11. As an episode, Waltz is pretty damn good imo. It gets some heat though I think more because of where Dukat goes after this episode - mainly into the realm of one-dimensional villain. They really overcompensated and made Dukat mostly boring after this, except for when he was pretending to be Bajoran and seducing Kai Winn... that was actually pretty interesting. But the Pah Wraiths stuff = garbage. But like I said that's all later. Dukat's scenes with the Greek chorus are pretty interesting.
     
  12. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A perfect review, and ITA. Though I really liked the use of Dukat's phantoms, especially his Head Kira. It seems like a precursor to what Ron Moore would do in BSG with the head people - though, frankly, the behavior of those characters in BSG always made a lot more sense if one saw them as expressions of the psyche of the people who saw them (like Dukat's imaginary friends/enemies were) than the explanation Moore & co. opted for in the end.
    I'm pretty sure that the 'angel' angle never entered their mind till halfway through season 2 and that they never considered making it the definite explanation until season 4 when they felt forced to wrap things up, and had already written themselves into the corner with too many mysteries and prophecies they never knew how to resolve. (Though they still opted to make some of the head people - like Head Elosha - nothing but 'imaginary friends', and never explained the nature of Head Leoben and Head Kara's Dad.)
     
  13. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Watching BSG can be pretty funny as a DS9 fan because there are a lot of ideas that carry over from one show to the other, though they are repackaged and usually appear in a more unbridled form on BSG (not always a good thing). I also prefer the psychological explanation for the head people.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The situation in Waltz is fairly contrived, but it doesn't matter because it did one of the things that DS9 is great at; it put two people that don't like one another into a room together and it let the characters drive the story. It's a pity about that final scene though, it argues against one of DS9's other great qualities, that all the characters are shades of grey. And for those that hate Dukat's direction towards the end of the show, here is where it really began.
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 17: (Ending 01.18.98)
    VOY - Waking Moments (Airdate 01.14.98)

    It's tough to tell what kind of momentum VOY has at this moment. It's had a series of solid enough episodes so far, but very little that leaps out as 5-star; fortunately, there also very little that's been dreadfully poor. The show's been basically treading above average this season, which is good for itself but still making it difficult to stand out against DS9 and B5. This week's episode doesn't really do much to do away with this assessment.

    We've seen VOY do this episode before. It's another Saturday Morning Villain type of plot, where we have a very clever Plan A expertly executed by sinister aliens, yet absolutely no Plan B to fall back on once someone manages to beat it. It's your standard adventure plot, though I liked the little twists Chakotay was forced to navigate throughout to beat da bad guys. (Pro Tip: if ever you should realize you're in a lucid dream - say, you can't turn a light switch on or off - try falling backwards flat on your back, and see how long you keep falling ;) )

    Waking Moments was alright, but VOY is in desperate need of something big again to stand toe-to-toe with the other shows. With DS9 sort of up and down after its Occupation Arc and B5 set to enter unknown territory with a 'bonus season' now that its main arc is finished, this would be prime opportunity for VOY to get some attention.

    Weekly Winner
    VOY

    Next:
    VOY - Message In A Bottle
    B5 - No Compromises
     
  16. Kai Winn

    Kai Winn Captain Captain

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    waltz is one of two star trek epsiodes i did not have the patience to watch until the end, the other one contributed tos with charlie x. i like intimate plays with a small cast, would list sleuth amongst my 3 favourite movies, but you need the very best actors to do it believably. neither mr.brooks nor mr.alaimo belong to them. in what way the epsiode moved the story arc of ds9 along escaped me too, that dukat is a bad guy because he committed lots of deeds which had bad consequences for other people i knew all along. to show he had also evil thoughts was unnecessary.
     
  17. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 18: (Ending 01.25.98)
    VOY - Message In A Bottle (Airdate 01.21.98)
    B5 - No Compromises (Airdate 01.21.98)

    This is a typical B5 season premiere. Lots of setting up new characters, potential plot arcs, circumstances, and an episodic dilemma to deal with thrown in. In this case, we get some rogue telepaths, a new station C/O, and a would-be Booth goes after Sheridan's presidential inauguration. The assassination plot's pretty routine stuff, but, as seems to be the case with many a B5 episode, there's always a few bits and surprises along the way that makes it worth while. (so that's what's underneath that mask! Whoa, the kid dies! "Fine, done. Let's eat." :lol: )

    Nah, VOY easily takes this week. This one's got it all: action, humor, stakes, and *gasp* relevance! Sure, VOY's had its share of Event Episodes before, but Message In A Bottle finally makes the bold step in establishing contact with Earth. While they're still a long way from home, and might not be able to reestablish contact again any time soon, this development at least presents itself as a turning point, where a wealth of new story possibilities can arise. No more, "Will they?" type episodes; rather, "What news?", eh? Well, maybe.

    As an aside, does the Prometheus strike anyone else as the ultimate 24th Century kitbash starship? It's got Defiant offensive capabilities, Galaxy separation capabilities, Stargazer quadruple nacelles, Sovereign-style nacelles, Voyager 'arrowhead' saucer... Am I missing anything?

    Weekly Winner
    VOY

    Next:
    B5 - The Very Long Night Of Londo Mollari
     
  18. Tulaberry whine

    Tulaberry whine Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Back to Waltz for a sec ...

    I kinda wish they stuck with the 'talking heads' in Dukat's mind like they did on Battlestar. I think they were one of the most memorable and effective devices used on Battlestar and to think they originated on an otherwise solid DS9 episode that's somewhat tainted in the mind of fans by what came afterwards is a little disappointing.

    Yeah, it would of been outside of the box for Trek, but that's what DS9 was all about, right? Plus it could've given Dukat some much needed shades of grey in the last two seasons.
     
  19. Damask

    Damask Commander Red Shirt

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    Honestly I thought the talking heads were Pagh Wraiths and fitted in perfectly with everything that happened afterwards.

    I really do like the scene where Head Kira is laughing at Dukat. One of my faves.
     
  20. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 19: (Ending 02.01.98)
    B5 - The Very Long Night Of Londo Mollari (Airdate 01.28.98)

    With no major arcs going on right now, B5 finally has an opportunity to do a meaty Character Episode. Strange though, that it would involve Zach All

    This is one of those episodes that I'm sure everyone has been wanting since at least late S2, a serious character study of the show's two principle antagonists. Of course, Waltz isn't without its faults, such as th

    What a bitter-sweet cake for all the Delenn/Lennier shippers out there. Was the scene involving the partial frontal nudity really necessary though?

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Who Mourns For Morn?
    B5 - The Paragon Of Animals