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

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Between the candle and the star
    This episode truly did look like it was going to be pretty weak - oh great, Sisko, Jake, Quark and Nog go off to some planet, I wonder what wacky adventures will ensue? But then...
    The series had been teasing the viewer about the Dominion for a while now, but to have them suddenly show up in such an explosive way was really effective. They really pulled off an "everything's different now" moment and it was a defining point in the evolution of the show.
     
  2. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Season 2 Tally

    I'm going to do things a little different here, with four categories this time: Solo, Trek Versus, B5 Versus, and Triple-Threat Versus. The first and last categories are obvious, but a Trek Versus is where both Trek shows would be airing the same week, and B5 was not; B5 Versus is where B5 would be airing against only one of the Trek shows. A single point will be tallied to whichever show won for that week. Here are the results.

    Solo
    TNG - 4
    DS9 - 4
    B5 - 1

    Trek Versus
    TNG - 3
    DS9 - 8

    B5 Versus
    TNG - 1
    DS9 - 1
    B5 - 3

    Triple-Threat Versus
    TNG - 2
    DS9 - 4
    B5 - 2

    Some interesting observations:
    -B5 really had its work cut out for it, as it was in competition with Trek for nearly the entire time (tho' it would get the summer to itself). Considering it had to get past its early growing pains, the rookie did surprisingly well against the far-more polished Trek
    -in fact, it's really remarkable that, for the most part, B5 managed to beat TNG. The elder Trek only solidly won with Lower Decks and All Good Things, arguably amongst the best shows it had to offer for the season (Thine Own Self could have gone to DS9's Shadowplay instead, such a dull week that was)
    -similarly, DS9 managed to give quite the trouncing to TNG; chalk that up to strong bookends to DS9's season

    Man, what a bizarre season of TV sci-fi this was. There were some brilliant early highlights from the two fledging shows and a few last moments of excellence from the veteran. But God, were there ever some dismal moments from all three shows as well. Easily the worst from both B5 (understandable for a new show) and TNG (inexcusable, even if you are winding down), and a few dreary moments from DS9 (what are we even about again?).

    All said and done, despite the mid-season drag, DS9 managed to have the strongest season here. It came out guns blazing against TNG in the fall and firmly established itself as a show worth keeping an eye on in the spring. For all its early gusto, B5 sort of floundered for a while as it tried to find its legs in the kind of episodes it wanted to do; TNG just seemed content to do a victory lap before the race was even done.

    Winner
    DS9

    Well, I'm going on a little vacation for a couple weeks now, so there won't be any updates for the start of DS9's S3 until I get back. I guess it'll just be like a real summer television break.:evil: Thanks for the continued support and readership of this thread, it's always comforting to know one's efforts aren't in vain. :techman:
     
  3. mattyhugh

    mattyhugh Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    If you really cared you'd take your DVDs on Vaca with you ;)
     
  4. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Between the candle and the star
    You're probably right about the seasons up to this point, but B5 season 1 hasn't finished yet and it got stronger towards the end! It's odd how TNG managed to combine some of the very best episodes it ever did (Parallels, Lower Decks, Pre-emptive Strike) with such poor episodes as Interface and Masks. Apart from Necessary Evil I don't think DS9 really came up with anything quite so good (ie basically perfect) this season, but it didn't have any real stinkers either. Plus it gets ambition points for the Circle trilogy and the season finale. Looking back at the first 14 B5 episodes I think the quality was quite good, with Mind War being the best and Infection the worst. However, most of my favourite season 1 episodes are from the latter half of the season. In retrospect Signs and Portents was the beginning of an upward trend.
     
  5. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    But there's no electricity out in the woods.:borg:
    Off season training. ;)
     
  6. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    *Whew*

    Quite a trip. Nothing like music festivals in the middle of the wilderness. I'd go into details but... eh, this isn't the place for it. ;)

    So I've been stewing over it, and decided before heading into Season 3 of DS9, I'll do a quick mini-recap of B5's summer run. Frankly, it's highly unusual for most shows to air half its season in July and August, but I suppose B5 was in an unusual spot in the first place, having premiered in January. Perhaps they figured, with Trek off air during the summer, they might be able to gain some solo-time momentum heading into the season proper -or maybe the network didn't have much faith in the show yet, so shunted it into the time of the year folks seldom watch TV, heh.

    Anyhow, let's see how B5 did.

    July 6, 1994: Grail
    With special guest star David Warner as... um, David Warner, I guess. Not much to mention here, as this is a rather dry, dull episode. Still, if you're starving for fresh sci-fi in the summer, this will do.

    July 13, 1994: Eyes
    Might be alright if you've just discovered B5 and needed a recap of what's happened, but nothing to get excited about here. Seriously, it's summer, what are you doing inside right now?

    July 20, 1994: Legacies
    Better, and hey, it's some of the supporting characters again! If you happened to be inside while this was on, it'd probably have sparked some interest in these Minbari people.

    July 27, 1994: A Voice In The Wilderness, Part 1
    If you're suffering from sunstroke, or can't afford to go on vacation, worry not. B5 is here to do away with any of your summer dumps with an actual two part episode! Okay, so the plot's a little slow getting going, and the cliffhanger is weird (yes, I know it was meant to be a TV movie), but if you've stuck with the show through the summer, things definitely appear to be picking up.

    August 3, 1994: A Voice In The Wilderness, Part 2
    Out enjoying the sun? Tsk, too bad, sci-fi fans, as the conclusion to this two-parter certainly delivers! Thrills, spills, and chills give us one of the most exciting episodes of TV sci-fi since, um, well, The Jem'Hadar, I guess. Okay, so TV sci-fi has had some great moments already this year, but B5's proving it has plenty to offer. Now if only folks would watch it during the summer...

    August 10, 1994: Babylon Squared
    Hey, have you heard of this show, B5? It's starting to get really good. No, like really good! You should have seen this episode, man. Awesome sci-fi, with a twist ending that's just... oh man, I didn't see it coming at all. What do you mean playing frisbee outside is more fun? Dude, you just don't get it. Maybe they'll show it in repeats soon, then you'll see how sweet this show is!

    August 17, 1994: The Quality Of Mercy
    Hm, kind of an afterthought, this episode. It's fine for what it is, and the Londo-Lenier stuff is comedic gold, but it isn't nearly as strong as the last few weeks. Oh, and apparently there's a doctor on this station -been a while since he had anything of significance to do, hasn't it. :shifty:

    So all-in-all, B5 had a fairly good summer. Will all that off-season training pay off once DS9 comes back to take the lead as the Main Sci-Fi Show in the fall? We'll have to wait and see, as B5 doesn't come back until late October, giving DS9 a month to build up it's own momentum. Stay tuned...

    Next:
    DS9 - The Search, Part 1
     
  7. PKTrekGirl

    PKTrekGirl Arrogant Niner Thug Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    ^ And you haven't even gotten to B5's good part yet. :)

    Glad you are enjoying it, though.

    I still don't understand your grading system (what the hell is a 'triple threat versus'?). :lol: But so far, I think I agree with the results, anyway.

    I think.
     
  8. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Between the candle and the star
    I actually really liked Grail. C'mon... David Warner! Apart from the finale, A Voice in the Wilderness was probably my favourite episode/s of season 1. In fact I like pretty much all of these, but for some reason Babylon Squared didn't quite do it for me. Yes, I know it's important, but I dunno. Did B5 really take two months between the penultimate episode of the season and the finale? How odd.
     
  9. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    You know, like a Triple Threat Title match? Three competitors facing each other? Wrestling? :sigh:
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Some people... ;) :p

    Seriously, though, love the thread. Glad you're going forward with it. It's interesting to read since I didn't see Babylon 5 first run, and still wasn't in the double digits yet when Star Trek The Next Generation and Star Trek Deep Space Nine were airing first run episodes side by side.
     
  11. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Season 3

    Week 1: (Ending 09.25.94)
    DS9 - The Search, Part 1 (Airdate 09.25.94)

    Well, DS9 certainly had its work cut out for it here, didn't it? First off, it had the daunting task of getting folks to check the show out without riding the back of TNG anymore. This is it. This is all the Trek that's on right now. Perhaps that's simple enough, though, as fans of the franchise will finally be curious (and craving) enough to see what "that other Trek show" is all about. But how do you properly hook them in? It's not like DS9 ended S2 with a nail-biting cliffhanger that TNG practically made a trademark. Heck, some may have never even seen it since it aired after All Good Things....

    Okay, that's unfair. There was still plenty of interest in DS9 -especially so because it was the only Trek on- so the show did everything in its power to catch that audience and hold onto them. This includes a number of new things to the show, such as:

    -New ship!
    -New characters! (even if one of them was here just for this two-parter)
    -New uniform! (for Odo anyway)
    -New hair! (but... why?)
    -New shaky-cam! (Or at least, the shakiest I've ever seen the camera in Trek up to that point)
    -New combadge! (I didn't even realize that until now -thank you, Memory Alpha!)
    -Plus, the Big Reveal! Odo finally found his way home. Well, that was... quick.:wtf:

    Definitely a lot to chew on in this episode, but if you're looking for a strong way to open up a season, The Search, Part 1 definitely is that.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - The Search, Part 2
     
  12. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Thank god they got rid of Dax's new do at the end of this two-parter, it was very... nineties.
     
  13. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Week 2: (Ending 10.03.94)
    DS9 - The Search, Part 2 (Airdate 10.03.94)

    :wtf:
    :wtf:
    :confused:
    :mad:
    :censored:
    :brickwall:
    :sigh:

    NOT the resolution we needed. They build up all this tension and excitement and intrigue looking for The Founders in Part 1, then throw that plot all out the window. Instead, we get to watch Sisko and co. run around in an advanced version of Second Life. That might have been fine if the show did a better job in keeping the screen up, but the fact there was time devoted to showing Kira trying to contact Sisko spoils it.

    It makes absolutely no sense to show Kira trying to contact Sisko if the audience believes he's back on the station, as it renders her actions utterly futile, and thus would have made her scenes redundant time-filler; therefore, Kira's scenes becomes a huge clue that something must be amiss with Sisko and co., even before things start to get really wonky in the simulation. Or at least, that was my impression.

    The twist involving Odo's people is still money tho'.

    Unfortunately, this wasn't the best way to carry forward. Oh, there's just so much more I could rant on here (the convolution of coincidence and tidiness in the ending), but ultimately DS9 still wins the week since there's nothing else on. Sadly, a lot of the show's initial momentum grinds to a halt here, and a trailer featuring an episode dealing with Quark doesn't bode well, does it.:klingon:

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - The House Of Quark
     
  14. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    basking in the warmth of the Fire Caves
    If you had told me "Next: a Ferengi/Klingon episode", I'd think: "Oh, no! My two least favorite themes in the show. I already hate the Klingon episodes and the Ferengi episodes by themselves... how much is this going to suck?" :scream:

    And ironically, it turns out to be one the best episodes of the season. :techman:
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Week 3: (Ending 10.10.94)
    DS9 - The House Of Quark (Airdate 10.10.94)

    Indeed!

    This is actually a somewhat unique episode for Trek at this point. Seldom has the franchise gone the comedy route following the season premiers (whether that premiere was just one episode or up to three ;) ). It works though, because House Of Quark really is quite enjoyable. It throws a fresh spin on a Klingon-centric episode, playing their convoluted Honor System for laughs, and it portrays Quark in a rare positive light. Plus, unlike S2's Profit & Loss, his heroic deeds aren't ham-fisted into a clunky Casablanca homage, but in a story that stands on its own as a part of Trek lore. By george, I think ol' Moore's gonna do alright on the show.:bolian:

    This probably fared well for DS9, having come off the stumble that was The Search, Part 2. Might have won the week even if any of the other sci-fi shows were on right now (what you say? that SeaQuest thing is still on?).

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - Equilibrium
     
  16. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Week 4: (Ending 10.17.94)
    DS9 - Equilibrium (Airdate 10.17.94)

    Uh oh. A Dax character episode. She's had, like, what... one great show so far? *sigh* Shame there's nothing else...

    Hey, y'know, this ain't too bad after all. Ol' Echevarria always seems able to turn in agreeable character episodes. Not great or anything, but certainly interesting enough to keep watching.

    Still, DS9's been a bit sluggish with its solo time, casually cruising along without much care. The show could use some competition soon, lest it grow complacent with all this shadow boxing.

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - Second Skin
     
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    I'll say to you what has been said to me a dozen times; with that review you have lost all credibility. :p
     
  18. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Bah. I had the same thing said when I wrote this.:techman: Er... non-EDM followers probably won't understand why.:alienblush:

    Week 5: (Ending 10.24.94)
    DS9 - Second Skin

    Perhaps the show realized that its main competitor is coming back soon, as we finally get back to something with substance. Throwing Garak into the mix is always beneficial (The Search, Part 2 doesn't count, as that wasn't Garak), but Sierra and especially Pressman bring great performances too.

    Even after all the times I've watched Second Skin, I still end up wondering "what if this isn't Kira we've known after all?" by the Mirror Scene. Can you imagine just how powerful that would have been the first time? I sure can, as I remember watching that first-run and thinking, "Damn... DS9 has gotten really good all of a sudden." Silly me, the quality was always there, just frustratingly hobbled for the most part since the season premiere. Fortunately, it came correct just in time, as B5, after all that summer training, is ready to tango again.

    And the scouts are reporting that B5 isn't going to hold back...

    Weekly Winner
    DS9

    Next:
    DS9 - The Abandoned
    B5 - Chrysalis
     
  19. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Week 6: (Ending 10.31.94)
    B5 - Chrysalis (Airdate 10.26.94)
    DS9 - The Abandoned (Airdate 10.31.94)

    No competition. One episode basically turns its universe on its head, boldly paving the way for new stories and events. The other is essentially a character episode, with some backstory regarding the Jem'Hadar.

    Actually, credit must be given to The Abandoned for two reasons. First, it pulls quite the one-eighty in the type of episode it is. For the first little while, it looks like we're in for another Shadowplay type of show, with small, quaint things going on; the sci-fi angle looks to deal with some kind of Alien-Of-The-Week thing. Once it's revealed that they're dealing with a Jem'Hadar, however, it gives us the opportunity understand exactly what type of species they are, plus goes a long way to develop Odo's character further. Second, by giving us the Total Downer ending, it helps to establish further just how difficult and uncomprimising a nemesis The Dominion will be. They tried the traditional TNG Get-To-Know-An-Alien-Better method with the boy (which seemed to work so well with the Romulans and even the Borg!), and it totally blows up in their face. Good job there. (and... oh-my-cleavage! :drool:)

    But yeah, that can't compare with all that goes down in Chrysalis. A very black day indeed...

    Weekly Winner
    B5

    Next:
    DS9 - Civil Defense
    B5 - Points Of Departure
     
  20. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    *NOTE!*

    From here on out, there will be massive spoilers with regards to B5. Yes, I've given out a few things during the course of B5's S1, but a lot of that has been general knowledge, much of which has also been brought up many times in discussions in the DS9 forum. Plus, it seems many folks who tried to give the show a chance gave up along the way in S1, so some things they've already seen.

    Chrysalis changes all this, because it's such a series-altering episode.

    I've tried my best to at least be cautious for those who may not have watched the show all the way through, but I simply cannot discuss further B5 episodes without major spoilers regarding the show's story arcs. If you've been putting off your first B5 run-through and don't want to be spoiled, you may want to skip the rest of this thread for the time being.

    Thou hast been warned.:evil:
     

Share This Page