Abridged DS9 Viewing List

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by CRM-114, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

    Feb 8, 2014
    North Hills, CA
    I started a thread back in 2019 when I was watching DS9 for the first time and giving my thoughts on each episode. That thread can be seen here but is no longer active: https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/i-am-watching-ds9-for-the-first-time-some-observations.299822/

    Part of the problem was that I hit a stretch of episodes in late Season 2 that I was having some trouble getting through, particularly "Crossover". I just cannot get into the Mirror Universe. So for that and a few other reasons, I just stopped watching for a couple of years.

    Finally, a couple of months ago, someone in a Star Trek Facebook group posted a list of 107 episodes that in one way or another tied into the Dominion War arch. It streamlines the series to its most important threads from beginning to end, leaving the viewer the opportunity to watch the most meaningful stories while filtering out the extraneous. The categories were by the original author; the episodes are grouped by general themes, and are in their airdate order, but categories may span over multiple seasons.

    Giving proper credit to the original poster, David O'Neill, who may or may not even be a member here (I honestly don't know), these are the episodes and their categories:

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    The Dominion Arc

    Prelude: Introduction, Politics, and Religion
    01. Emissary
    02. Past Prologue
    03. A Man Alone
    04. The Nagus
    05. Battle Lines
    06. If Wishes Were Horses
    07. Duet
    08. In the Hands of the Prophets
    09. The Homecoming
    10. The Circle
    11. The Siege
    12. Cardassians

    Part 1: A Stir in the Night
    13. Rules of Acquisition
    14. Sanctuary
    15. The Alternate
    16. Shadowplay
    17. The Maquis
    18. The Maquis, Part 2
    19. The Wire
    20. The Collaborator
    21. The Jem'Hadar

    Part 2: Revelations
    22. The Search
    23. The Search, Part 2
    24. The House of Quark
    25. The Abandoned
    26. Civil Defense
    27. Defiant
    28. Life Support
    29. Heart of Stone
    30. Prophet Motive
    31. Visionary
    32. Improbable Cause
    33. The Die is Cast
    34. Explorers
    35. Shakaar
    36. Family Business
    37. The Adversary

    Part 3: Conflicts
    38. The Way of the Warrior
    39. Hippocratic Oath
    40. Indiscretion
    41. Starship Down
    42. Little Green Men
    43. Homefront
    44. Paradise Lost
    45. Crossfire
    46. Return to Grace
    47. Bar Association
    48. Accession
    49. For the Cause
    50. To the Death
    51. The Quickening
    52. Body Parts
    53. Broken Link

    Part 4: Battle Stations
    54. Apocalypse Rising
    55. The Ship
    56. ...Nor the Battle to the Strong
    57. The Assignment
    58. The Ascent
    59. Rapture
    60. The Begotten
    61. In Purgatory's Shadow
    62. By Inferno's Light
    63. Doctor Bashir, I Presume?
    64. Ties of Blood & Water
    65. Ferengi Love Songs
    66. Children of Time
    67. Blaze of Glory
    68. In the Cards
    69. A Call to Arms

    Part 5: Into the Darkness
    70. A Time to Stand
    71. Rocks and Shoals
    72. Sons and Daughters
    73. Behind the Lines
    74. Favor the Bold
    75. Sacrifice of Angels
    76. You Are Cordially Invited...
    77. Statistical Probabilities
    78. The Magnificent Ferengi
    79. Waltz
    80. One Little Ship
    81. Change of Heart
    82. Inquisition
    83. In the Pale Moonlight
    84. His Way
    85. The Reckoning
    86. Valiant
    87. Tears of the Prophets

    Part 6: The Cost of War
    88. Image in the Sand
    89. Shadows and Symbols
    90. Afterimage
    91. Chrysalis
    92. Treachery, Faith and the Great River
    93. Once More Unto the Breach
    94. The Siege of AR-588
    95. Covenant
    96. It's Only a Paper Moon
    97. Chimera
    98. Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges

    Part 7: Final Conflict
    99. Penumbra
    100. 'Til Death Do Us Part
    101. Strange Bedfellows
    102. The Changing Face of Evil
    103. When It Rains...
    104. Tacking into the Wind
    105. Extreme Measures
    106. The Dogs of War
    107. What You Leave Behind

    I may use this thread to start up giving my thoughts again as I watch. What does anyone think of this list? Anything left out that should be included or should anything be omitted?
  2. DS9forever

    DS9forever Commodore Commodore

    Oct 3, 2007
    United Kingdom
    It's an okay list but it shows the fallacy of such lists. The Visitor and Far Beyond the Stars are omitted and they are in the top 20 ST episodes of all time.
  3. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

    Nov 14, 2014
    It's probably fine but you're missing a lot of good episodes, like The Visitor, FBTS, Necessary Evil, Thing's Past. And on the other hand some of the episodes in the list, like Sanctuary or Shadowplay have the barest of links to the major arcs. And you can't get into "Crossover"?! I love the second half of Season 2.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2023 at 1:45 PM
    vulcancicada likes this.
  4. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 19, 2013
    Bad Thoughts
    I'd argue that anyone could skip Rules of Acquisition and Sanctuary and still fully appreciate the Dominion story. Conversely, episodes, like Far Beyond the Stars, get to the heart of Sisko, the hero, whose story is central to all DS9 arcs.

    ETA: I think the problem is that one can't both abridge the series but be guided by FOMO when selecting individual episodes. Some stories not only are peripheral, but also lack quality. Sons and Daughters and Valiant, for instance, merely use the Dominion as background, but are not specifically necessary for the story. Any adversary would suffice as the important stuff is the character drama.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2023 at 1:49 PM
    somebuddyX likes this.
  5. Captain pl1ngpl0ng

    Captain pl1ngpl0ng Commodore Commodore

    Oct 10, 2017
    Deep Space
    This is probably a silly answer to you, but if you've never seen the last 5 seasons...
    Yeah... i just cant imagine anything else than you would be happy if you watched them all...
    (and probably also a little bit in love with DS9.)
  6. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

    Feb 8, 2014
    North Hills, CA
    I think Rules of Acquisition was included for the same reason Sanctuary was included; they have the earliest references to the Dominion.
  7. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

    Feb 8, 2014
    North Hills, CA
    I'm sorry, but I've always found the Mirror Universe to be a very hokey concept.

    I see the list as a guide rather than a series of hard-and-fast rules. I like it because it's motivated me to keep watching while also giving me the key points, but with the built-in freedom to watch anything that the list skips. Hence, why I asked if there were any omissions.
    somebuddyX likes this.
  8. vulcancicada

    vulcancicada Lieutenant Newbie

    Mar 14, 2023
    I love the mirror universe episodes as their own arc. It's nice to have the 'moral goodness' removed from everyone's characters. If you start in ENT, then go to TOS, DS9 - it's a fun little series about a topsy-turvy world. The mirror episodes from DS9 are my favourite.
    gweeps likes this.
  9. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

    Feb 8, 2014
    North Hills, CA
    I'd like to stress the point that the list does not generally concerned with quality, although some notoriously bad episodes are skipped (Move Along Home, Profit and Lace). Since the list is largely built around themes, are there any episodes that are omitted that I should watch? For example, should I watch the Past Tense two parter?
    somebuddyX likes this.
  10. kkt

    kkt Commodore Commodore

    Aug 3, 2014
    Top episodes of ANY television show.

    (Okay, I haven't watched every TV show ever, but at least tops among those that I've seen which includes many very good ones.)
    DS9forever likes this.
  11. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

    Nov 14, 2014
    No that's fair. I'm not fond of how the other MU episodes went but that one I always enjoyed.
    In regards to Past Tense, I think it's a good issue episode about homelessness and mental health but it doesn't impact anything if you miss it.
    CRM-114 likes this.
  12. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

    Feb 8, 2014
    North Hills, CA
    To stress how the list has motivated me to keep watching, when I started following it, I had left off (for a couple of years!) at "Crossover". Since I started using it, I am now as far as "Indiscretion".
    somebuddyX likes this.
  13. gweeps

    gweeps Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 30, 2022
    Ontario, Canada
    Watch the whole series. We're not talking about The Twilight Zone here.
    kkt likes this.