TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    That's pretty much it right there. ;)
     
  2. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I especially like the Bajoran woman that walks up to Bajoran guy (top left) without noticing that there's a guy dying on the floor, and the guy's all like "Oh, hey".
     
  3. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Clearly she was so traumatized by Cardassians previously that her brain no longer registers the sight of them.
     
  4. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's because that shot was an homage to DaVinci's The Last Supper. Twelve disciples--twelve people in the shot plus Marritza. Very clever.

    But I don't know what the lady who walks up and starts a conversation is supposed to represent.
     
  5. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Presumably the group of people who say "There's a crowd of people here. Ooh! Dead body! Can I poke it with a stick or would that break the mood?"
     
  6. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the Hands of the Prophets (****½)

    I love politics, it's my sport. To me, watching a man screw up an election by saying the word "envelope" gives me the same feeling I imagine many people get when someone scores a winning point at some sort of ball-related game. Politics is about winning over hearts and minds by using words, being able to convince people that your point of view is the correct one. And that's what's at the core of this episode, strip away the conspiracy angle and it's about Sisko, Winn, and Bareil attempting to win over the Bajoran public to their point of view. Sisko is under the most pressure, he's an outsider attempting to preach tolerance to an alien race while struggling to maintain it in himself. Not to mention the fact that his job is on the line, as well as one of his central goals in life, to bring the Federation and the Bajorans together in a relationship of mutual respect and understanding. Winn's job is easier, all she really wants is power and she's willing to say and do anything to get it, which is why she's so effective at first. Bareil, too, wants power, but he's willing to stand up for his principles if he really needs to.

    The episode works so well in part because it introduces characters and concepts that would go on to be important parts of the show, and they're dealing with an issue that truly applies to Bajor. In fact, I'm surprised something like this didn't come up sooner, but I suppose The Storyteller and The Passenger seemed more important at the time. :p Winn is a great villain, and I couldn't help but think during her first meeting with Sisko about their last meeting together in the finale. Those two sure do go on quite a ride. This episode also brings back the Sisko as Emissary concept from the first episode that went MIA for the rest of the season. Once again, that's something that should have been addressed ages ago, but at least it's not been forgotten about altogether. This episode also does a good job of tying together the A and B plots in the end. Neela was the obvious suspect for the murder as she only showed up last week, but how that murder tied into the main plot was pretty well constructed.

    I also liked that this episode didn't finish on a cliffhanger. Ever since BOBW, TNG ended all its seasons with cliffhangers, and while I do enjoy them sometimes, their overuse made them tiresome. This was smarter, and it wraps up season 1 in a way that makes the whole feeling greater than the sum of its parts. When Kira tells Sisko that she no longer sees him or Starfleet as the enemy, it reminds you of the good episodes, which mostly focused on Kira's growth, and makes you forget about that time she danced along to Allameraine. And when you think back to this episode now, just think of how different the galaxy would have been had Winn succeeded. Without Bareil's help, the Circle would have taken control of Bajor and forced the Federation out, allowing the Cardassians to seize control of the wormhole. They would have been the ones that made first contact with the Dominion. That would not have gone well.
     
  8. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, now you're getting into DS9 proper! Congrats for slogging thru all the bad S1 eps. You won't have to suffer like that again until the first half of S7, and even then, by then the plotline and characters are so richly developed, it's not boring so much as disappointing.
     
  9. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    This isn't a first-time watch thread. TheGodBen knows what's coming.

    Well, that sounded foreboding. :ouch:
     
  10. JoeD80

    JoeD80 Captain Captain

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    Never forget!
     
  11. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Now I can begin season 2, as I waiting for him to catch up :)
     
  12. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Myriad Universes covers what would have happened if the Cardassians found the Dominion first, FWIW. Creepy read that somewhat begs for a follow-up.
     
  13. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I love In The Hands Of The Prophets. It was a good story, and it set up so much. Winn becomes a brilliant villain. :devil:
     
  14. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    Glad to see that In the Hands of the Prophets managed such a high score. With this strong closing, and a relatively strong opening, we might just have an above average season on our hands. :techman: And if Season One can pull that off, the rest of the series is really looking good.

    I give the writers a lot of credit for introducing her early, even if it is just one episode beforehand, instead of having the killer be a nameless newcomer.

    At least she didn't pass out drunk on a table the other main characters were eating at. ;) :p

    In the Hands of the Prophets is definitely a great way to end the season. I love that it introduces Winn, who's an amazing character. I also love that it shows that not all people of faith are like her. Yes, there are some corrupt religious people out there. But there are also people like Bareil, who, while seeking power, still has principles and is a genuinely decent person who cares for others. And, there's people like Kira, whose faith is something they use to better themselves.

    My only problems with the episode are 1.) Keiko comes off as just as much a fanatic as Winn, and 2.) the scene where Jake references Galileo so woefully misrepresents what actually happened in that case (but I'm very forgiving of that because it gave us the best scene in the episode - when Sisko says that Jake should be careful not to be a fanatic on the other extreme).
     
  15. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I read in the Background Information on Memory Alpha that the killer was originally supposed to be Anara (a similar character who appeared in "The Forsaken"), but for some reason they dropped that idea and created Neela for that purpose instead.
     
  16. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    It's a shame that Neela turned out to be a bit botched in the end. She was used well in ITHOTP, but her lack of decent setup left the character lacked significance. You can give them credit though, because at least they were planning

    Perhaps the only time I'll give the VOY writers credit over DS9 is the way they set up Seska in season one. She'd had a few appearances, and she'd already gained this reputation of someone who would happily do things her own way to suit her needs. By the time the episode came along ad we realise who she really was, it was totally believeable, and a shock as well.

    However, seeing as Michael Piller helped to create that show, he'd learnt enough with Neela?
     
  17. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sisko was not as tolerant earlier in the episode, seeing as he himself was unwilling to compromise. At least he didn't talk to Jake that way.

    I am at least glad we saw Bareil talking about a Bajor that once saw conflict between science and religion as a false dichotomy and was respected for both. We should have seen a bit more compromise--but just as in real life with the media, the writers wanted DRAMA! so they went for extremes.
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Drama writers wanting drama? Shocker.
     
  19. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    You can still have drama without cliches.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season 1 Review

    Yay, it's over! :D Okay, that's not fair, season one isn't awful, as you can see from this graph.

    [​IMG]

    I picked the colour to look kind of like a Cardassian ship as the station is Cardassian. I know you were all wondering about that.

    The average score for this season is 5.211, slightly above average. It's not a great score, but when it comes to first seasons that I've reviewed, this one only comes second to Voyager. The trendline indicates a slight increase in quality as the season progressed, in part because of the strong finish, but also because of a weak patch of episodes between Q-less and The Nagus.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the season's histogram (I'm really hoping I used the right word there). As you can see, it's rather flat. In fact, it's the flattest histogram of all the seasons I've reviewed. What that basically means is that the quality of episodes this season was all over the place, it wasn't predominantly average, like Voyager tended to be, even though the season scored roughly average. This isn't a distribution curve, it's a distribution plateau. If this were a waveform, it wouldn't be a sine wave it would be a square wave. (The mathematicians reading this are laughing their asses off right now, I assure you.)

    I rated nine episodes this season below average, two were average, and eight were above average.
    Best episode: Duet
    Worst episode: The Storyteller


    The Writers

    Yes, it's the return of everyone's favourite graph-based staff-writer judgement game! After taking a break from my B5 thread owing to that fact that JMS was almost the only writer on that show, this completely unfair and shallow assessment of the Trek writers returns! These scores are only awarded for either "written by" or "teleplay by" credits, not "story by", because that's how I roll. A writer must have a minimum of 5 episodes over the whole show to qualify, which leaves us with these four:

    [​IMG]

    Peter Allan Fields, wins this season by quite some margin, which isn't unexpected for the guy credited with Duet. Out of the three episodes he was involved with writing this season, Fields scored 7.333, which is pretty damned good. The rest of the staff didn't do so well. Michael Piller's six episodes earned him a score of 4.833, which I'd argue is low because he helped shepherd some TNG scripts over to DS9, which didn't work out so good. Robert Hewitt Wolfe's three episodes scored him 4.333, but In the Hands of the Prophets may just be a sign of good things to come from him. Surprisingly, taking up the rear is Ira Steven Behr, whose two episodes scored only 2.5. This is largely because of how much I disliked The Storyteller, but it's still a weak start for the guy that I and many other fans credit for making DS9 the epic show it was.

    On the off-chance that any of the writers are reading this (it's more likely than you'd expect), please don't hurt me.


    Statistics

    Runabouts Lost: 1
    Form of... : 6
    Wormhole in Peril: 1
    Sykonee's Counter: 9

    Season 1 Average: 5.211

    Voyager Average After 1 Season: 5.866
    Enterprise Average After 1 Season: 5.16
    Babylon 5 Average After 1 Season: 5.043


    In Summation

    Season 1 of DS9 is a tale of two seasons. One of those seasons is pretty good, it's focuses on Bajor, the Gamma Quadrant, the characters and their stories. The other season isn't so good, it focuses on recooked TNG stories that just don't work. Some people say that the first season of DS9 is about par with one of the good seasons of TNG and the only reason it's maligned is because what came later was so much better. I disagree, what's wrong with this season isn't that it contained TNG-style episodes, it's that it contained bad TNG-style episodes, episodes that seemed to be scraping the bottom of the TNG fan-script barrel. The Storyteller is the biggest example of this, it was originally rejected back in TNG's first season, how bad must an episode be to be rejected from the stinking pile of waste that was TNG season 1?

    But when this show focused on Bajor properly, it turned out some pretty strong material. Past Prologue, Progress, and Duet are all examples of the kind of storytelling that DS9 should have been doing all season, but instead we get episodes like Q-less so that casual TNG fans wont immediately switch over while channel-surfing (although most probably switched over after five minutes once they realised how poor the episode was). It was a waste, but at least it was something that the writers learned from. Next season will be better, and later seasons better still. The writers will make more mistakes along the way, but the mistakes of season 1 have been mostly learned.

    The characters are doing okay, they're interacting much better than any of the other shows in their first seasons, and their scenes can sometimes save an episode from being completely worthless. Sisko is more lively in the first season than I remember him, the difference between early Sisko and badass Sisko from later in the show isn't as noticeable as I thought it would be. The most notable character this season was Kira, episodes centred around her tended to be winners, how some fans of the show don't like her I'll never understand.


    The Experiment

    Okay, here's something new, and I'm not entirely sure yet if I'm going to do it for each season, but I put together a little video tribute to season 1. (By which I mean the good episodes of season 1. ;))

    See, I made one for BSG back when that show was ending and I thought it came out quite well, and I kind of wanted to do one for DS9 too but it never managed to make it onto my agenda. But I'd hear songs and get ideas, which made the concept ever more remote as I could never settle on which song to use. So I eventually came upon the idea of doing one video for each season, and I could use this thread as the basis for it. So that's what I've done.

    I'm still unsure about the concept, the choice of music for this season was a struggle because large parts of season 1 would be better suited to Yakkity Sax. In fact, this isn't even one song, it's two versions of the same song, a quiet version and a loud one, because neither worked on their own. So let me know what you think so that I can know if this is worth doing for future seasons.

    [yt]v=9Kp15kfDXMk[/yt]

    Oh, sorry German people, you can't see it. Are you guys even allowed to listen to music there at all?