Essential DS9 Episodes

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by d'Anconia, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. d'Anconia

    d'Anconia Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I am planning on watching Deep Space 9 again, however, I want to do it within the next 2 months, 1 episode a day. What are the most essential/important episodes I should watch?

    I found a thread that had a list of the Dominion War Episodes: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=124492 , I will be watching these episodes, however, I also want to watch many other episodes which are very good, such as 'Past Tense', 'The Visitor', and 'The Sound of her Voice'.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    "Duet" should definatly be on the list.
     
  3. GameOn

    GameOn Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    1x19 - Duet
    1x20 - In the Hands of Prophets
    2x14 - Whispers
    2x19 - Blood Oath
    2x22 - The Wire
    2x23 - Crossover
    3x09 - Defiant
    3x11 - Past Tense Part 1
    3x21 - Past Tense Part 2
    3x17 - Visionary
    3x19 - Through the Looking Glass
    3x22 - Explorers
    4x03 - The Visitor
    4x06 - Rejoined
    4x08 - Little Green Men
    4x17 - Accession
    4x19 - Hard Time
    4x20 - Shattered Mirror
    4x24 - The Quickening
    5x04 - Nor the Battle to the Strong
    5x06 - Trials of Tribble-ations
    5x12 - The Begotten
    5x16 - Doctor Bashir, I Presume
    5x22 - Children of Time
    6x09 - Statistical Probabilities
    6x13 - Far Beyond the Stars
    6x18 - Inquisition
    6x25 - The Sound of Her Voice
    7x15 - Badda-Bing Badda-Bang
    7x16 - Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
     
  4. Vulcan Logician

    Vulcan Logician Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't forget Way of the Warrior
     
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Shangri-La
    If you've seen the whole series, you don't need us to make a list for you. Stick in season 1, disc 1 and choose an episode you feel like watching. If you don't skip over it then on to disc 2 and so forth.
     
  6. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Trimming DS9 down to 61 nights, eh? Challenge accepted! (Though I actually really do like R. Star's approach.)

    For funsies, my final list is at the end; my interim lists come first, so you can see which episodes were easy to delete. ;)

    Well, this got rid of most of the duds and a few episodes that I like, but that just aren't quite relevant to the rest of the series. I've left in the gaps where I deleted stuff to make it a bit more readable.

    Season 1:
    “Emissary”
    “A Man Alone”
    “Past Prologue”
    “Babel”
    “Captive Pursuit”

    “Dax”


    “The Nagus”
    “Vortex”
    “Battle Lines”

    “Progress”
    “If Wishes Were Horses”

    “Dramatis Personae”
    “Duet”
    “In the Hands of the Prophets”

    Season 2:
    “The Homecoming”
    “The Circle”
    “The Siege”

    “Cardassians”

    “Rules of Acquisition”
    “Necessary Evil”

    “Sanctuary”


    “Armageddon Game”
    “Whispers”
    “Paradise”


    “Profit and Loss”
    “Blood Oath”
    “The Maquis, Part I”
    “The Maquis, Part II”
    “The Wire”
    “Crossover”
    “The Collaborator”
    “Tribunal”
    “The Jem’Hadar”

    Season 3:
    “The Search, Part I”
    “The Search, Part II”
    “The House of Quark”
    “Equilibrium”
    “Second Skin”
    “The Abandoned”
    “Civil Defense”

    “Defiant”
    “Fascination”
    “Past Tense, Part I”
    “Past Tense, Part II”
    “Life Support”
    “Heart of Stone”
    “Destiny”
    “Prophet Motive”
    “Visionary”
    “Distant Voices”
    “Through the Looking Glass”
    “Improbable Cause”
    “The Die Is Cast”
    “Explorers”
    “Family Business”
    “Shakaar”
    “Facets”
    “The Adversary”

    Season 4:
    “The Way of the Warrior”
    “The Visitor”
    “Hippocratic Oath”
    “Indiscretion”
    “Rejoined”

    “Little Green Men”
    “The Sword of Kahless”
    “Our Man Bashir”
    “Homefront”
    “Paradise Lost”
    “Crossfire”
    “Return to Grace”
    “Sons of Mogh”
    “The Bar Association”
    “Accession”
    “Rules of Engagement”
    “Hard Time”
    “Shattered Mirror”

    “For the Cause”
    “The Quickening”
    “To the Death”
    “Body Parts”
    “Broken Link”

    Season 5:
    “Apocalypse Rising”
    “The Ship”
    “Looking For par’Mach in All the Wrong Places”
    “...Nor the Battle to the Strong”

    “Trials and Tribble-ations”
    “Let He Who Is Without Sin...”
    “Things Past”
    “The Ascent”
    “Rapture”
    “The Darkness and the Light”
    “The Begotten”
    “For the Uniform”
    “In Purgatory’s Shadow”
    “By Inferno’s Light”
    “Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”
    “A Simple Investigation”
    “Business as Usual”
    “Ties of Blood and Water”
    “Ferengi Love Songs”

    “Children of Time”
    “Blaze of Glory”
    “Empok Nor”
    “In the Cards”
    “Call to Arms”

    Season 6:
    “A Time to Stand”
    “Rocks and Shoals”
    “Sons and Daughters”
    “Behind the Lines”
    “Favor the Bold”
    “The Sacrifice of Angels”
    “You Are Cordially Invited...”

    “Statistical Probabilities”
    “The Magnificent Ferengi”
    “Waltz”
    “Who Mourns for Morn”
    “Far Beyond the Stars”
    “One Little Ship”
    “Honor Among Thieves”
    “Change of Heart”
    “Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night”
    “Inquisition”
    “In the Pale Moonlight”
    “His Way”
    “The Reckoning”
    “Valiant”


    “The Sound of Her Voice”
    “Tears of the Prophets”

    Season 7:
    “Image in the Sand”
    “Shadows and Symbols”
    “Afterimage”
    “Take Me Out to the Holosuite”
    “Chrysalis”
    “Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”
    “Once More Unto the Breach”
    “The Siege of AR-558”
    “Covenant”
    “It’s Only a Paper Moon”

    “The Emperor’s New Cloak”
    “Field of Fire”
    “Chimera”
    “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang”
    “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”
    “Penumbra”
    “Til Death Do Us Part”
    “Strange Bedfellows”
    “The Changing Face of Evil”
    “When It Rains...”
    “Tacking Into the Wind”
    “Extreme Measures”
    “The Dogs of War”
    “What You Leave Behind”

    Well, that got it down to 153... let's try again.

    This time, I went in the other direction; I chose all the episodes that definitely have to be included:

    “Emissary”
    “Duet”
    “In the Hands of the Prophets”
    “The Jem’Hadar”
    “The Search, Part I”
    “The Search, Part II”
    “Improbable Cause”
    “The Die Is Cast”
    “The Adversary”
    “The Way of the Warrior”
    “The Visitor”
    “Broken Link”
    “Apocalypse Rising”
    “The Ship”
    “Trials and Tribble-ations”
    “In Purgatory’s Shadow”
    “By Inferno’s Light”
    “Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”
    “Call to Arms”
    “A Time to Stand”
    “Rocks and Shoals”
    “Sons and Daughters”
    “Behind the Lines”
    “Favor the Bold”
    “The Sacrifice of Angels”
    “Far Beyond the Stars”
    “Inquisition”
    “In the Pale Moonlight”
    “Tears of the Prophets”
    “Image in the Sand”
    “Shadows and Symbols”
    “The Siege of AR-558”
    “Penumbra”
    “Til Death Do Us Part”
    “Strange Bedfellows”
    “The Changing Face of Evil”
    “When It Rains...”
    “Tacking Into the Wind”
    “Extreme Measures”
    “The Dogs of War”
    “What You Leave Behind”

    Alright, so that's 41 of the 61 I'm allotting... get to pick 20 more!

    *some time later*

    Well, here we are. This was an interesting exercise and I'm not really happy with the results, to be honest. On the one hand, I think I might be able to come up with a better list if I devoted a lot more time to it. On the other hand, I'm not sure I could really come up with a satisfactory "Abridged DS9" episode list in 60-ish episodes. I do like the results of my first culling– but if you're gonna watch 150 episodes, you might as well watch all 173.

    The final list's episodes fall into three categories:

    1) The Big Ones: The major events, the big plot advances. Almost all of the two-parters are in here. I omitted Past Tense even though I think it's really good because it has few repercussions and there are just too many other really good episodes that tie into the larger arc more explicitly. (I do think Past Tense fits into the thematic arc of DS9 very well, and is a key episode in Bashir's development, but still.) I omitted The Maquis for similar reasons. In fact, as I did with the Mirror Universe arc, I omitted the entire Maquis and Eddington arc, simply because there wasn't enough space.

    2) The Masterpieces: Duet, The Wire, The Visitor, Far Beyond the Stars, In The Pale Moonlight... hours of television that really approach art.

    3) The Little Guys: These choices reflect my personal preferences much more than the rest of the list. These are kinda the "best of everyday DS9"; these episodes aren't major turning points within the narrative of the show, nor are they extraordinary hours of television, they're just great DS9, representative of most of the rest of the series.

    The list is very skewed towards the Dominion War, in a way that's not representative of the series as a whole. It also is less representative of the lighter episodes of DS9, some of the only instances of Star Trek doing comedy effectively. As I said, it lacks the Maquis/Eddington Arc, the Mirror Universe arc, as well as the Trill Arc, such as it is, and all of the Ezri episodes in season 7. It's also biased against Klingon episodes, since I personally think that several of them ("Blood Oath," "The Sword of Kahless," and "Once More Unto The Breach") are relatively weak, so it's better to remove the whole arc from the list. Lastly, it is very much biased towards later seasons and against the first two (much to my chagrin; I really wanted to include "Past Prologue," or "Babel," or "If Wishes Were Horses," or "Cardassians," or "Progress"...).

    Anyway, here it is:

    “Emissary”
    “Duet”
    “In the Hands of the Prophets”
    “The Homecoming”
    “The Circle”
    “The Siege”
    “The Wire”
    “The Jem’Hadar”
    “The Search, Part I”
    “The Search, Part II”
    “Improbable Cause”
    “The Die Is Cast”
    “Explorers”
    “The Adversary”
    “The Way of the Warrior”
    “The Visitor”
    “Little Green Men”
    “Homefront”
    “Paradise Lost”
    “The Quickening”
    “Broken Link”
    “Apocalypse Rising”
    “The Ship”
    “...Nor the Battle to the Strong”
    “Trials and Tribble-ations”
    “In Purgatory’s Shadow”
    “By Inferno’s Light”
    “Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”
    “Business as Usual”
    “In the Cards”
    “Call to Arms”
    “A Time to Stand”
    “Rocks and Shoals”
    “Sons and Daughters”
    “Behind the Lines”
    “Favor the Bold”
    “The Sacrifice of Angels”
    “You Are Cordially Invited...”
    “Statistical Probabilities”
    “Who Mourns for Morn?”
    “Far Beyond the Stars”
    “Honor Among Thieves”
    “Inquisition”
    “In the Pale Moonlight”
    “The Sound of Her Voice”
    “Tears of the Prophets”
    “Image in the Sand”
    “Shadows and Symbols”
    “Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”
    “The Siege of AR-558”
    “It’s Only a Paper Moon”
    “Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang”
    “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”
    “Penumbra”
    “Til Death Do Us Part”
    “Strange Bedfellows”
    “The Changing Face of Evil”
    “When It Rains...”
    “Tacking Into the Wind”
    “Extreme Measures”
    “The Dogs of War”
    “What You Leave Behind”

    Actually, though, this was kinda fun; I think I might develop extensive arc lists; the Dominion War seems pretty well covered, but I'd love to create a Bashir's Arc list, or a Odo's Arc list. Maybe later this summer...
     
  7. LiLiKitty

    LiLiKitty Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    I'd love to see those character arc lists as well, Paper Moon!
     
  8. d'Anconia

    d'Anconia Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Wow, thanks for doing that much work. I will definitely be sticking to the episodes in the final list. Whenever I have time to watch more than a single episode a day, I will throw in the episodes from the first list.

    And yeah, character arcs sound awesome, especially Bashir. A Dukat arc would also seem plausible.
     
  9. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    I'm working on those arc lists; takes time, and I wanna do it right!

    Looking back at my list, though, I'm really, really surprised that I didn't include "Necessary Evil." If you have to switch one out, I suppose I'd recommend ditching "Honor Among Thieves" in favor of "Necessary Evil," but then you lose what I believe to be the only O'Brien-episode on the list. So I say you should just add it in anyway. :)

    I'm also surprised I didn't include "Waltz," or "The Collaborator," or "Things Past," though I think I decided early on to leave that category of episodes to be represented by "In The Pale Moonlight" and "Duet," and, to a lesser extent, "Honor Among Thieves" (killing three birds with one stone on that last one, being an Ambiguous episode, an O'Brien episode and a Little Guy).

    This guy made up a list of all DS9 and TNG episodes with summaries and an assessment of each episode's essentiality to the show: http://www.reddit.com/r/DaystromInstitute/wiki/algernoneplists

    I'm pretty sure the number of his "essential" episodes far exceeds the 60-ish you had allotted, but it's still interesting. I don't agree with all of his assessments (for example, he's in the "'Nor The Battle To The Strong"-is-meh" camp) but it's pretty good overall. Actually, I just noticed that he feels that "Far Beyond The Stars" is not essential; just lost a lotta points with me, buddy. Bleh, I just read his review of "FBTS," and, boy, has it left a bad taste in my mouth...
     
  10. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    Emissary
    Duet
    In The Hands of the Prophets
    Way of the Warrior
    The Visitor
    Nor the Battle to the Strong
    Trials and Tribble-ations
    Far Beyond the Stars
    In The Pale Moonlight
    Inquisition
    The Siege of AR-558
    Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

    Essential DS9, IMO