Jadzia Dax Appreciation

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by DalekJim, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Throughout Trek fandom, one character I see repeatedly shit on is Jadzia Dax. Apparently she's boring and Terry Farrell is an incapable performer that can't act for toffee. Not only do I disagree (And find the comments about Farrell's acting baffling!), but behind Kira Nerys she's probably the second best female character in all of Star Trek. If we're all honest, the women in TOS and TNG were dull window dressing and calling them characters seems like an insult to the concept. Later shows have no real competition either apart from Seven of Nine, who isn't quite as well developed, nor are her interactions with the rest of the cast as interesting to watch.

    After my recently rewatch, I'm a very big fan of the character. The concept of the Trill and the Jadzia character in particular allowed the show to explore matters of identity/consciousness in relation to memory which is always a good sci-fi avenue. Unlike Troi's pointless telepathy, Jadzia's past lives and the effect this had on the character were very well explored. Episodes like Rejoined and Facets let DS9 delve in to a territory of more conceptual science-fiction, something the show would otherwise have severely lacked. It's my favourite Trek series but DS9 is much more about the human condition, characterisation and politics than the science and speculation. The character of Dax bought that on board and was one of DS9's few successes in that regard. Usually the more traditionally Star Trek "concept" episodes tended to fall flat, with the notable exception of The Visitor.

    Also, Farrell's performance is quite strong. She delivers the technobabble in a more convincing way than the majority of Trek performers and manages to balance the mature intelligence and fun-loving part of the character very well. Hell, I'd say she's more convincing than Avery Brooks in the early seasons, who didn't really hit a consistent characterisation in his performance until Season 4 when he became amazing. Farrell's performance strikes me as a lot more confident, directional and assured.

    While we're on the subject, I also recently listened to The Orb podcast's Jadzia Dax episode which I thought articulated pretty well the success of the character.

    Sure, I have some issues with the character's journey. She was given too many Klingon related plotlines, romance of the week episodes and her death was a fucking insult.. but otherwise she's a terrific character. The fact I see her get more hate than Uhura, Troi and Dr. Crusher strikes me as highly absurd, so surely there must be other fans of this unconventional, layered experiment in Star Trek characterisation out there?
     
  2. Dal Rassak

    Dal Rassak Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Abso-bloody-lutely! Please can I be vice-chairman of the Jadzia Appreciation Society...

    I agree that Farrell is a solid actress - the fact that the writers gave her some duff episodes (such as "Meridian") doesn't alter this. I think she makes the "old soul in a young body" element of her character very credible with that certain quirky irony she has. Many people have seen that quality as arrogance which I've never understood - to me it merely conveyed the kind of amused detachment and indulgence which an individual with the experience of several lifetimes behind her would necessarily feel towards the comparative "children" surrounding her.

    I also like her friendship with Sisko; it's real, it works well, and it's refreshing to see a friendship between a male and a female character that doesn't automatically and inevitably turn into a romance (even if they did start the friendship as both males - which adds another quirky and interesting perspective to the mix as she'll sometimes talk to Sisko "man-to-man").
    She's courageous, she's sassy, she's initelligent. Plus she is drop-dead gorgeous.
    What else could one possibly want in a woman? Maybe all the detractors are just jealous that they don't look like her (if female) or will never get to sleep with anyone who does (if male).

    I agree her death was a shame and a bit rushed - she deserved to go out fighting.
    However as I understand it the actress was ready to leave the show, she had other engagements and didn't want to do another year, so they had to find a way to write her out.

    As for the Klingon storylines - well there were a few but I must admit those were usually my favourite Jadzia episodes. It makes sense with Curzon's very involved past history with them, and I've always seen Jadzia as possessing a good deal of the Klingon "let's go and kick arse" attitude. I particularly like "Blood Oath" where she insists on following three old friends along on their vengeance mission.
     
  3. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really like her interactions with all the cast. While Jadzia was certainly a very chilled out, enlightened character she was never smug about it like some TNG characters and always sought to enrich the lives of those around her.

    I actually really like Ezri so I dunno if I'd have kept Jadzia on for S7 but she definitely deserved a better death than by the hand of some random pah-wraith. I do think there is something to be said about giving characters pointless deaths as most people in real life die pointless deaths with no greater significance or sacrifice, but I wish she'd had a more interesting exit. The character was awesome and deserved a lot more.
     
  4. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always loved her smile. Her calm was a good contrast to Kira's irritability.
     
  5. LiLiKitty

    LiLiKitty Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I like Jadzia, too. She's strong, beautiful, good humored, smart, and warm-hearted. I love Sisko calling her "old man." The depth of their friendship really came through.

    I wish they didn't kill her character. They didn't have to. She's a Starfleet officer and could have just been transfered off the station to another posting. That happens to people in armed forces all the time. While I do like Ezri, I like Jadzia more.
     
  6. Dover

    Dover Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I like her, too. It does seem like the writers didn't usually know what to do with her, and I think Farrell succeeded very well in some episodes but not as much in others. But I really liked her as a character.

    I thought her scenes with Kira brought out the best in the character, and in Farrell's performance. Their scenes in "The Siege" are really wonderful. Jadzia was adorably grumpy without being bitchy, played the "Old Man" card without it feeling forced, displayed her competence as a Starfleet officer as well as her lighthearted feminine side ("what do you think of the nose?"). I wish more episodes managed to make her personality shine so much.
     
  7. Sigokat

    Sigokat Commander Red Shirt

    Jadzia is probably my favorite female character in all of Trek. All her qualities that were already mentioned above made her a very likable and believable character.

    I think she was the best female character on DS9. I know so many people really love Kira, but I just couldn't stand her. My friend told me I was being too harsh on her since she did have to live with the Cardassian occupation, but to me she always came off as whiny and annoying and I couldn't get past that.

    That's why I love Jadzia and even though I knew she would die (a friend accidently spoiled it when we were talking about DS9 and I said I really liked Dax and he's like "which one?") but I think everything about her, except that BS death she got was fantastic.
     
  8. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I prefer Kira but Jadzia is still a firm favourite and a brilliant character in a very different way to Kira. She's the type of character you could only get in science-fiction but is also a very well developed character as a person.

    Uhura in the reboot films is defined by her ability to take her top off or pull gooey faces whenever Spock is around whereas Jadzia, Kira and Ezri were very strong women not defined by their men.

    I ordered the Lives of Dax novel off Amazon for a penny. Excited for it to arrive.
     
  9. garaks the best

    garaks the best Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I love jadzia and didn't like her replacement as much but yes her death was rubbish.
    Kira is amazing:wtf: she is one of if not the best thing about deep space nine.
     
  10. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wanna make it clear I'm talking about the regulars. Ro Laren is a great character and better than any of the regular TOS/TNG women. Though I do like Pulaski and much prefer her to Crusher.

    I'd task any Jadzia hater to name a better regular female character in any other Trek show. It just aint cricket.
     
  11. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I liked Jadzia a lot, even though my opinion on her has kind of softened over the years. If there was one thing I liked about the Orb episode was that Chris and Matt pointed out how subtle Jadzia had to be, as I think the point of the character wasn't necessarily to spotlight Jadzia, but just Dax as a whole. If you look at it from that perspective, what Farrell brought to the character was pretty creative, and it also makes what DeBoar did in the seventh season with Dax that much more meaningful.
     
  12. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This all boils down to taste. There are many great regular female characters in Star Trek and which one is better is personal opinion.
     
  13. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with Teacake, different opinions and all that. I do think that some people go over the top in their personal attacks against Farrell for leaving the show.
     
  14. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I personally think it was daft leaving one of the best TV shows ever to go to some bland, mediocre sitcom but that's show business and these things happen. These people don't owe us anything and are just doing their jobs.
     
  15. garaks the best

    garaks the best Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I wonder why terry farrell doesn't do much acting work anymore?
     
  16. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    She either doesn't need to or want to. Or she acts in smaller productions that don't get any media attention. Actors, especially television actors, come and go quite frequently. And after working six years on a show like DS9, I could see why someone would want to take a substantial leave from acting.

    I always thought Dax was a great character. Jadzia was the perfect balance between being professional and having fun. I liked Ezri because she was just cute as a button, but Jadzia really had more substance. Granted she also had six seasons to grow instead of one.
     
  17. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really like Ezri, people hate that she gets more focus than anybody in S7 but uh.... there were much worse storylines. She takes focus away from that dumb as rocks Emissary/Dukat/pah-wraith storyline so I'll take her.

    Still prefer Jadzia though as she stood out more from the rest due to her lack of neurosis. A calm, beautiful, mature scientist.

    A forum I visit had a thread about the worst Star Trek characters and I was sad to see Jadzia and Winn get so many votes. Two of my absolute favourites. No need for them to be lumped in with Zek, Ishka and Harry Kim.
     
  18. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I saw Terry Farrel in January. Seemed very keen to get back into acting, I got the impression she's not getting a lot of calls. She's been taking time off to be at home with her son.
     
  19. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Show business is a tough game. People will still treasure DS9 decades from now as an excellent show so at least she made a mark with her career.
     
  20. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    At the time I'm not sure you could make that assertion. Becker wasn't that bad, at least the first couple of seasons.