DS9 Versus: A viewing experient

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

  1. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Waltz. It does have a few nice scenes, but those aren't part of the main Sisko and Dukat in a cave scenario. This situation really does have loads of potential and I'm certainly an admirer of the talents of Brooks and Alaimo, but it just doesn't work for me here, even ignoring how this episode affected Dukat's character arc.

    No Compromises does contain some good things, but I'm not really a big fan of it. It's certainly nowhere near as good as the opening episodes of the last couple of seasons. I must say Byron strikes me as a bit of a pretentious git, to be honest! That said, I rather like Captain Lochley - Claudia Christian's departure certainly left a hole in the show, but Tracy Scoggins did a creditable job in the time she had.

    The Very Long Night... is much better - indeed I'd say it's the best episode of the first half of Season 5. I loved how Londo's dream sequences were presented and the examination of his previous actions (or inaction) was nicely done. The sub-plot about Lennier was very well-executed as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    "No Compromises" is easily the worst season opener of the series, though it is closely followed by "Points of Departure." But the season does get better.
     
  3. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Welp, that's two more mid-terms down!

    Week 20: (Ending 02.08.98)
    DS9 - Who Mourns For Morn? (Airdate 02.04.98)
    B5 - The Paragon Of Animals (Airdate 02.04.98)

    Huh. What's with everyone airing on the same day now? And in the middle of the week no less?

    Paragon's an odd episode. It has whole bunch of things we've come to enjoy about B5 (G'Kar speech, politics, mysticism, Vejar behind the camera, Drazi being hard-headed) but it seems there's a few unfortunate items that have crept in from other sci-fi shows at the same time. For instance, a badly acted Alien Of The Week. Now where have we seen that before? And what's with those telepaths? They have an almost... gothy, supernatural vibe about 'em. Oh dear... B5 isn't trying to introduce its own version of vampires, are they!?

    Still, it's a decent enough effort all around. DS9 is just fluff this week. Yeah, there's a fair bit of humor to this, but we just had a comedy episode two shows ago (or, erm, a month and a half ago). Meh, DS9 usually goes lighthearted upon entering Feb Sweeps anyway, but with a flippin' WAR going on, you'd think we'd get something more significant than a 'backstory' for Morn, featuring Quark. Oh well.

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Far Beyond The Stars
    VOY - Hunters
    B5 - A View From The Gallery
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think I prefer the comedic fluff of the Morn episode to Byron's aggravating speech after speech. But I'll admit that, with the exception of the standalone episodes, much of the first half of season five blends together, so it's possible the worst scenes aren't even in this episode.

    Next week, "Hunters," which I rather like (but I enjoyed the Hirogen mini-arc quite a bit) and "Far Beyond the Stars," which is one of the best episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (the best, in my estimation). Oh, and "A View from the Gallery," but even a Harlan Ellison story credit can't save it from being fluff.
     
  5. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Who Mourns for Morn? is basically one long inside joke. I can't say I'm unhappy they did it, though it's a tad self-indulgent.

    DS9 does its share of navel-gazing, which can make it a rewarding show to get to know in detail, but a bit frustrating at times, the classic example being Vic Fontaine, which was basically a personal whim of Ira Behr as I understand it. I remember just thinking, WTF?!?! at first, though I admit I've warmed to the whole idea since then.
     
  6. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    His arguments in that episode were alright. He psychoanalyzed Garibaldi to a t', and made a convincing case towards Lyta to not be such a 'doting telepath' - heck, even I was in agreement there. Still...

    Week 21: (Ending 02.15.98)
    DS9 - Far Beyond The Stars (Airdate:02.11.98)
    VOY - Hunters (Airdate 02.11.98)
    B5 - A View From The Gallery (Airdate 02.11.98)

    What order should I talk about these? Usually I try to go in Airdate order, but they're all on the same day now! Do I go by Airtime then? Oh, hell if I can find that one out these days.

    It's the first episode in AGES that isn't written exclusively by JMS, but actually as a co-author credit with Creative Consultant and sci-fi luminary Harlan Ellison. Erm, then why does this episode feel like some kind of fanfiction? Seriously, someone came up with their own OCs (Bo and Not Joe Pesci), and have them interact with the cast of B5, making fourth-wall jokes as an Alien Of The Week creates a Crisis Of The Week. The OCs then become flies on the wall to everything going on, with a little interaction with the main cast here and there before moving on to the next 'random chance' encounter with the current B5 cast (most of whom are doing their typical stuff whenever a crisis does emerge). It's a cute enough episode but... yeah, still fanfiction in the end, which is just weird since this is the actual writer of the show doing it.

    B5's out, now we get the Treks, and... Hey, what more is there to be said about DS9 this week, huh? I thought it was great! It's a sci-fi allegory about a contemporary issue (because racism/classism never goes away), it's a Character Episode for Sisko, it's a fun 'fourth-wall' breaker, and it even keeps things in context within the show's current major arc, that of course being the continuing battle with the Dominion and the stress it's putting on Sisko. BOOM, Far Beyond...'s got it all.

    Huh? That scene? What about it? You didn't buy it? Hm, shame. I sure did. Why? Let's just say, although I've never gone over the edge like ol' Benny did, I have come ever so close to the tipping point - like, 'dangling a foot while taking a longing gaze down' close. I needn't get into it here, but I can definitely see myself having reacted similarly had I let the stress in my life at the time finally break me.

    VOY was good this week too. Not as good as DS9, mind, but definitely better than B5. It's awesome that the relay station thing was followed up on, and even more awesome that, despite the great news that they managed to get some letters, not all the news they got was good news. It treated the situation credibly and honestly, with poignant character moments for all those who did get their letters. Oh, there was something about aliens abducting Tuvok and Seven as well, which was pretty routine plotting, but at least gave us an intriguing new alien (Hirogen, is it? How did they know they were called that?). I look forward to seeing them again!

    But yeah, DS9's week all the way. I mean, can you imagine the parodies we'll be seeing uploaded on our 56K modems for the next week? Classics always get parodies!

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - One Little Ship
    VOY - Prey
    B5 - Learning Curve
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  7. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know about B5, but this will be another one of those weeks where VOY has a better episode than DS9.
     
  8. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You mean it's a Neelix episode? Those seem to inexplicably win all the time.:p

    Week 22: (Ending 02.22.98)
    DS9 - One Little Ship (Airdate 02.18.98)
    VOY - Prey (Airdate 02.18.98)
    B5 - Learning Curve (Airdate 02.18.98)

    They manage to move the Lochley plot along a little more, yet keep holding back a bunch too. JMS seems really intent on holding her backstory close to the chest, especially with an ending like that. Feels kind of soap opera-ish though, dragging it out this way. I s'pose we'll find out next episode though. Oh, and there was something about Minbari Rangers learning about terror and stuff, but that seemed like a totally different episode that has nothing to do with anything. Hey, at least we got a n'grath namedrop out of it! I miss the old praying mantis puppet...

    DS9 and VOY switched this week. Sisko and co. get to go through a fun action-adventure episode with ludicrous circumstances and hijinx against the Jem'Hadar. Highly implausible, but quite fun if you run with the premise.

    VOY, on the other hand, has character conflict, a great guest star (Tony Todd, yes!), significant moral quandary, and quite the downer of an ending. Well, I guess it's a happy ending if you're the Hirogen. And Seven, sort of. Okay, so the only one who probably felt shafted was 8472 and Janeway. While I do feel sorry for 8472 (again, it's remarkable when you end up feeling sorry for the 'bad guy'), I didn't so much with Janeway. This seemed to be a bit of S1/2 Janeway here, where it's all about holding onto her principles even if they don't provide the best course of action. She's had Tuvok point that out, Chakotay, now her adopted 'daughter' Seven... you'd think she'd clue into that fault of her's at some point, huh?

    Yeah, this is VOY's week, no doubt. I guess episodes featuring 8472 is the show's other trump card. Hopefully we'll see more of 'em in the future!

    Weekly Winner
    VOY

    Next:
    DS9 - Honor Among Thieves
    VOY - Retrospect
    B5 - Strange Relations
     
  9. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't say that again... :(
     
  10. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Week 23: (Ending 03.01.98)
    DS9 - Honor Among Thieves (Airdate 02.25.98)
    VOY - Retrospective (Airdate 02.25.98)
    B5 - Strange Relations (Airdate 02.25.98)

    Ah, so that's what's been bugging me about Byron and his telepaths. It's not that they seem to be gothy, supernatural types - I could handle that (hey, I kind of liked Anne Rice's early books!). It's that they're something far, far worse. Something far, far more detestable. I'm surprised I didn't see it before, but now it all makes sense. They're characters in a harlequin romance novel! Byron looks straight out of one of the covers, and fits the 'lead male' role to a t': compassionate, intelligent, well-spoken, perfect hair, etc., etc. And Lyta is playing the role of the 'common gal' who infatuates him, who provides his... *shudder*... "willow". Y'know, I'd rather see Bester just take him away rather than- OH GOD!! And a choir-leader too!??? END IT NOW, PLEASE!!!

    We also get to find out what the deal with Lochley is, which is anti-climatic given all this mystery leading up to something so trivial. I suspect JMS intended it as such, but that simply makes all that time devoted to it seem meaningless. Oh, and some other stuff involving Franklin, Londo, and G'Kar, which I guess will pan out later.

    O'Brien gets put through the wringer again, which is always good fun. It's a simple tale, of the undercover guy sympathizing with the crook, but Meany and Tate put in a good performance, such that you feel sorry for Bilby in the end. Again, always great when a story can credibly turn your perspective on the bad guy.

    VOY attempts this too, but... y'know, I didn't really care if Kovin was innocent or guilty - he just annoyed me. I kept waiting for some sort of twist to play out, since Retrospective's plot was so routine. All we get is a "Oops, Seven got her memories mixed up." Huh. Nice to see a proper remorseful coda to that mistake, but it isn't enough to make up for the plodding pace of this episode.

    Despite treading familiar territory, DS9 takes this week. Hey, it's an O'Brien Episode in Feb Sweeps. Those always win!:techman:

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - Change Of Heart
    VOY - The Killing Game
    B5 - Secrets Of The Soul
     
  11. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Honor Among Thieves marks the beginning of a really solid stretch of episodes in season 6, after a pretty high percentage of silliness mid-season. I like everything from here through The Reckoning to a greater or lesser extent. Basically it's DS9 going back to its bread and butter, which is probing, moody, at times revelatory character pieces such as this O'Brien episode, Change of Heart, Wrongs, ItPM, Inquisition, etc.

    On the other hand, from there to the season finale might be the stretch of episodes I enjoy the least going all the way back to season one's Q-Less to The Nagus desert of mediocrity. I see what the writers were doing with Valiant, and it is not a bad episode strictly speaking, but I confess I just don't enjoy watching it at all. In retrospect it is pretty funny as an in-advance parody of Trek '09, though. Then Profit and Lace, a low point for the series :barf:, Time's Orphan, which should have been a better torture O'Brien episode than it is (though I'm not sure another one was necessary this season), followed by The Sound of Her Voice... Here again I get what the writers had in mind, but it just doesn't produce anything memorable. The season finale is good, though. ;)

    Season 6 is the roller-coaster season of DS9. High highs and low lows.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  12. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Paragon of Animals has some decent elements - I like Lyta and John and Delenn are very cute, but the non-aligned worlds don't interest me that much and, yes, one of those alien guest stars provides probably the worst acting in the whole series.
    Who Mourns for Morn is fluff, but I enjoyed it more, so score one for DS9.

    A View from the Gallery is kind of divisive, but I actually like it a fair bit. It's no Far Beyond the Stars, though.

    Learning Curve, I liked well enough. It's low on importance, but it was an OK story. I liked Delenn freaking Lochley out. It probably beats One Little Ship, which, a couple of funny scenes notwithstanding, largely bored me. Worst use of the Jem'Hadar ever, by the way.

    Strange Relations is very, well... strange. It moves along at a fair old pace, a lot happens, Bester shows up - which is always good - and I must say I liked the singing scene at the end. However, I don't like the Sheridan-Lochley backstory one bit. For one thing, I don't buy the idea they could have kept it a secret - come on, these guys are career officers, they'll have friends still in the service who know! Byron is still annoying, as well.
    Honor Among Thieves is a good episode, despite the slightly bizarre idea of Starfleet sending O'Brien undercover. I liked seeing a grittier side of the Trek universe and Colm Meaney brings a lot to an episode that otherwise might have been forgettable - the guy's a class act. DS9 wins.

    We're clearly in B5's worst period here. To his credit, JMS kept the show watchable, but I think there are a number of misguided story ideas in early Season 5 and a low number of really good episodes. DS9's gone off the boil somewhat as well, but not to the same extent.
     
  13. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry for the double post, but I forgot about this when I posted the above.

    I finally got round to seeing In the Beginning.

    Overall, this was pretty damn good. I hadn't watched B5 for several months before seeing this, so it was really enjoyable to get some new and good material with these characters and universe. A TV film about the Minbari War was a cool idea and I thought it was well handled and nicely paced (pacing, I think, is one of this show's strengths), and yes, there is at least one sequence in there that truly ranks among B5's very best. As far as exposition goes, I actually think it's got some of B5's best, largely because Peter Jurasik rules! It was a good experience and it inspired me to go back and re-watch a couple of episodes from the series, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    There are a few continuity issues I could grumble about, but they didn't bother me much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  14. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I finally caught up! Yay, I can have an opinion on a triple versus round, at long last! :D

    Strange Relations is okay but has some problems and doesn't stand out much. Retrospect is good but it's a bit slow. Honour Among Thieves has a weird premise; sending the chief engineer from a strategically vital outpost to infiltrate a criminal gang in the middle of a war... wtf? :wtf: No wonder the Dominion are winning the war if this is the best Starfleet Intelligence can manage. But the episode is done so well that you're willing to forgive that weirdness, and Meaney turns in his standard quality performance. DS9 wins this one, just about.
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Man, this took me a long time to get around to. Not enough that it's been a busy week work/college-wise, but also I've been quite distracted by another writing project lately. However, this week's a four hour watch-a-thon! Pretty hard to find time to fit that all in given any circumstance, so, erm, I cheated and split the days apart to finally get it out of the way. That's my tardy excuse, and I'm stickin' to it.

    Week 24: (Ending 03.08.98)
    DS9 - Change Of Heart (Airdate 03.04.98)
    VOY - The Killing Game, Part I & II (Airdate 03.04.98)
    B5 - Secrets Of The Soul (Airdate 03.04.98)

    DS9 and B5 managed to do something I didn't think was possible this week: it actually made me care! Uh, wait, that didn't come out right. Let me explain.

    The whole Dax/Worf relationship has mostly been something that's just there. While I don't mind the couple, nor have I been terribly interested in it either. This episode, though, totally sold me on it, in such a way that, yes, I found it heartbreaking to watch them separate like that. The fact Moore treated their relationship with sincere emotion rather than the typical 'odd couple giggles' dynamic we're used to seeing is the clincher.

    And Byron, when did he suddenly become interesting? Hm, I think it was about the moment when he was served up a big piece of humble pie. That for all his smug superiority over "mundanes" and self-sacrificing actions for the sake of other telepaths, it still isn't enough. His followers may believe in his goals, but not all of them are willing to walk the same path to get there. Oh, and then just when you think he may feel some comfort in Lyta's soft, supple... er, embrace, he gets dealt the blow that, "Hey, guess what, your abilities aren't all that special after all. Haw haw!" Yeah, Byron be pissed off now. This... could get interesting. (oh, and Franklin discovers a Dark Secret of an Alien Of The Week that really isn't an Alien Of The Week since we've seen the Hyach over the years, just never actually hear them say anything. Hm, I wonder if we'll get to know more about that armadillo alien race next?)

    So that just leaves the two-parter The Killing Game, which aired side-by-side this day. Well, it's a ludicrous scenario, and there was a fair deal of tedious gunfighting towards the end of it. Still, I can't help but be entertained by all the mayhem. The Hirogen get some interesting backstory out of it, the main cast get to play other roles for a while, Doc gets a number of great one-liners ("Tally-ho."), Harry seems to have developed a backbone, Ryan gets to wear a respectable outfit, and Nazis are slaughtered by Klingons. What's not to love? Well, that all-too tidy end to the whole thing, but whatever.

    VOY gets this week, simply for sheer audacity. B5 now gets a little solo-time.

    Weekly Winner
    VOY

    Next:
    B5 - Day Of The Dead
     
  16. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Space Nazis + wacky holodeck adventures. Two of my all time least favorite Trek cliches. :scream:

    Kind of funny that people complain so much about corny cringeworthy Gothic romance lines & scenes in "Sub Rosa", for instance, yet this episode is suffocating in cringeworthy cliches from WW2 movies - the kind that were parodied in 'Allo 'Allo - but that is apparently OK.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  17. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've never been able to bring myself to watch all of Voyager, but I have seen The Killing Game.

    Never let it be said that you don't have a generous streak, Sykonee, because you just proved otherwise ;)
     
  18. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm, what a stange selection of episodes this week. I could see how VOY would win, but you really have to check your brain at the door before you start watching it.

    B5 is still trying to get back into the groove at this point in season 5, so is still hit and miss.

    DS9 probably wins for me, even though it's not one of the strongest episodes. One regret I had for the episode was that it wasn't used as a way to write Jadzia off the show. It would have been much more poignant than her 'showdown' with Dukat.
     
  19. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ah, Secrets of the Soul, AKA The One with Telepath Sex and no Sheridan (unless I'm mistaken, but I'm pretty sure he's not in it). The stuff about the Vorlons was nice, but really, it sort of felt kind of like two B-plots welded together.

    Change of Heart is marred by too much filler, but the story at the centre of it is good. I'm another one who found this was the only time I really cared about the Worf/Jadzia relationship. Alas, I think this is the episode that introduced the extremely annoying "Quark and Julian are in love with Jadzia again" 'sub-plot', something that I hated. Bring back Natima Lang, I say and give Quark a real relationship!

    Still, DS9 has the better episode this week. And thankfully, B5's now over the worst of its rough patch.
     
  20. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with what has been said above in that Change of Heart does allow me to feel the connection between Worf and Jadzia in way that none of their earlier episodes ever did, while at the same time falling short of being a great episode due to clumsy plotting or filler or whatever you want to call it.

    Still, the basic idea that Worf chooses love over duty is a powerful one for the character (he already did in TNG, though in a less decisive way). Also, while there are no severe immediate consequences, there is no reset-button either. Note that Kira takes command of the Defiant in the season finale instead of Worf, whereas Worf had been first officer of the Defiant in previous seasons.

    Also, Worf will end up following his "Klingon heart" more often from this point forward: "what I say now I say as a member of the house of Martok, not a Starfleet officer" (Tacking into the Wind), and of course he ends up becoming Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire (whereas he has limited prospects for advancement as a command officer).

    The TNG movies reset this, obviously, but I can't blame DS9 for that.

    Love > All is a bit of a recurring DS9 theme, in addition to this episode there is Children of Time and of course Chimera, all the way up to Odo's final link with the FC at the end of the Dominion War. Even Sisko's "Maybe in a year, maybe yesterday... but I will be back" can be read this way.

    I can see where you're coming from on this, but I don't think I really agree in the sense that Worf letting Jadzia die to fulfill his duty strikes me as a less meaningful choice for the character than the opposite.

    Also I don't mind Jadzia getting killed by Dukat, but that may be due to my interpretation of the Pagh Wraith and the Wormhole Aliens in general. I certainly have no trouble understanding why you might find her death unsatisfying/underwhelming/whatever.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010

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