My DS9 Rewatch Odyssey

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by ananta, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Well, Data sometimes misstates things, like he said once that a fish was an amphibian...
     
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  2. Trekker09

    Trekker09 Captain Captain

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    Just adding a quick note for Ananta-- after reading some posts from earlier this year, so sorry to learn about the illness. Hope the treatments are helping. Wishing you the best.
     
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  3. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    @ananta: So do I. I hope you'll get better Ananta!!
     
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  4. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    Aww, thank you guys. I appreciate that. I will know more when I get my next scan results in a week or two but I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed. In the meantime, I’m trying to shift a chest infection that isn’t responding to antibiotics. I really wish the doctors would hurry up and develop 24th century medical technology! Where can I get me a biobed :rommie:
     
  5. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    “THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR”

    [​IMG]
    “We’ve got a letter from the producers. What does it say?”

    [​IMG]
    “Dear DS9 cast, the ratings are in, and they suck.”

    [​IMG]
    “Do they indeed?!”

    [​IMG]
    “As a result, we’re adding one of TNG’s cast to the show.”

    [​IMG]
    “Are they indeed?!”

    [​IMG]
    “Hi, I’m Michael Dorn. You mind remember me from such shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation...”

    [​IMG]
    “Why, hello...!”


    I approached this episode with both excitement and trepidation when it first came out on video in the UK, back in early 1996 (my, what a different and simpler world it was back then). It was clear there had been behind the scenes concerns about DS9’s lack of success in the ratings (only years later I did I learn that DS9 actually okay in the ratings, just nowhere near the level of its juggernaut sister series, TNG). Although season three featured an obvious re-tooling with the introduction of the Dominion and the Defiant and a shift of focus away from Bajor, this evidently hadn’t been enough to sway viewers.

    Therefore, in an even more blatant ratings grab, the powers that be decided to add a popular TNG character to the cast and begin the fourth season with what pretty much amounted to a second pilot episode. I was initially concerned, having already fallen in love with the show and its characters, and having found the latter end of the third season particularly strong. I also admit that I was never a huge fan of TNG-era Klingons and wasn’t an enormous fan of Mister Worf either (particularly following the sixth season’s “Birthright, Part II”, an episode I loathed with every fibre of my being and saw as doing irreparable damage to the character).

    Yet, concerns aside, I was still thirsty for more DS9 and fortunately the producers really REALLY pulled through with this. As I began watching “The Way of the Warrior”, it immediately became clear that, reshuffle or not, DS9 has lost none of its unique voice and identity and the script goes to pains to let all the regulars shine, allaying my fears that Worf’s arrival would result in one or more of the DS9 cast being shunted to the background. Yeah, this two-hour episode is designed to bring in new viewers with its stunt casting and action-packed spectacle, but it’s nevertheless very well thought out and marvellously executed.

    Again, I’m not a huge fan of the Klingons and I had reservations about the shifting of focus away from the Dominion, who were shaping up to be a phenomenal villain, but this...works. It helps that “The Die is Cast” foreshadowed the conflict with a single line from the Lovok-Founder, who implied that the Dominion had plans to neutralise the threat posed by the Federation and Klingon Empire. Heck, it’s that age old foreign policy of defeat your enemies by fostering conflict between them; getting them to destroy each other so you can then claim victory without firing a shot. I appreciate that the threat of the Dominion still very much underpins the episode, even if we don’t and won’t get to see all that much of them for the next season or so. High points also for demonstrating the paranoia and unease sweeping through the Alpha Quadrant following the unnerving revelation in “The Adversary” that the Changelings were “everywhere”.

    The early part of the episode has a great sense of tension and foreboding. What really stands out are the character scenes, which give everyone a chance in the spotlight. Ira Behr and Robert Wolfe have a penchant for sharp characterisation and witty dialogue, and it’s much on evidence throughout the episode. In spite of the ominous happenings, it seems the writers are determined to prove that DS9 is NOT the dark, dour and depressing show a lot of critics painted it as—and that, in actual fact, the characters are fun and have a tremendous chemistry and sense of family.

    If anything, they perhaps go just a little overboard, with the Kira/Dax holosuite scenes seeming a little out of place (although it provide some serious guy candy with those hunky Trill masseurs). The way Kira is presented as uncharacteristically awkward and goofy when meeting Worf sadly foreshadows the rather strange direction they take the character this season as part of a seemingly conscious choice to “soften” her (in spite of the fact she was arguably the show’s greatest character). This also makes the last episode before they give her a new catsuit, five inch heels and bleach her hair into a Princess Diana ‘do, but that’s a discussion for another time. Overall, I think the writers are simply going out of their way to prove that “our” cast aren’t going to be sidelined. It’s also great to see Penny Johnson back as Kasidy Yates, and I find the Ben/Kasidy relationship one of my favourites in the entire franchise thanks to the actors’ wonderful chemistry.

    Speaking of Sisko—he looks fantastic with his shaved head and it’s amazing just how much more comfortable Brooks seems in the role. He commands the screen in every scene he’s in, delivering a strong, engaging and...well, thoroughly badass performance. I had a friend who gave up on DS9 early on and cited Brooks’ performance as one of the things that put him off the series. I showed him “The Way of the Warrior” and loved it and genuinely thought it was a different actor in the part of Sisko. While I personally loved Brooks all along, it’s undeniable that whereas in the past, due largely to limitations in the way the part was written, he sometimes felt like a disengaged hotel administrator. Here his passion and fire light up the screen and it’s marvellous to behold—particularly in the scene where he persuades Gowron to back down. Great performance.

    It’s also a great episode for Jadzia, who gets to be smart and savvy in helping Sisko deal with the Klingons, sexy, fun-loving and, in the climatic action scenes, a force to be reckoned with. Terry Farrell is clearly having the time of her life and it’s great to see just how much she has matured and relaxed into the role. Andrew Robinson, as always, sparkles as the scene-stealing Garak, delivering a number of witty barbs courtesy of the sharp scripting. Marc Alaimo is also fun as the ever, um, politically versatile Dukat. This episode also marks the first appearance of J.G. Hertzler as General Martok and I absolutely love him in the part—in fact, he may well be my favourite Klingon character since Kor. Upon rewatching, if anything I was more excited by Martok’s first appearance than I was by Worf’s. Whereas Robert O’Reilly goes ridiculously over the top as a notably unhinged Gowron, Hertzler keeps it real as the grounded and genuinely menacing Martok. I find it hard to believe it’ll be another whole season before we see the character again.

    Quark also gets some wonderful lines in the episode, my particularly highlights being his sarcastic reaction to Worf’s arrival (“great, just what the station needs!), the scene with the missing gun (“I thought you were the ship’s cook?” “I was, and everyone on that ship thought he was a food critic!”) and last but certainly not least, the iconic scene between he and Garak in the bar; one utterly dripping with ironic subtext as the two discuss their unique take on the Federation.

    I haven’t mentioned much about Worf! As I said, Worf has never been my favourite character, but he’s fine here and fits in remarkably well. It helps that the writing is strong, and his arc in this episode deliberately parallels Sisko’s in the pilot episode, although I did find it perhaps the least compelling aspect of the episode. I felt the pace began to lag when Worf arrives and begins his investigation, and I don’t know whether that’s just my genuine distaste for too much Klingon (the scene where his drunken acquaintance sings a ‘rousing’ Klingon song has always grated on my nerves). Worf’s dilemma does make for decent drama, although I still didn’t think it was anything particularly new or special, particularly as we’d already seen much the same thing happen during the “discommendation” arc during TNG’s middle years. As always, Michael Dorn inhabits the role well (as you’d expect, having played Worf for nearly a decade by that point), although he is by no means a standout actor, particularly in a cast this good. He gets the job done, but his performance is far from dynamic and he seemed particularly dwarfed when playing opposite Avery Brooks, who really commanded the screen here. I do, however, like the mentoring relationship established here between the two characters, and Dorn integrates into the cast well, and actually has some unexpected chemistry with his new co-stars.

    The episode’s second hour is definitely tighter, with an exciting rescue of the new Cardassian civilian government—and it’s wonderful seeing the station in action for the very first time. The climatic battle scenes are unlike anything I’d seen before on Trek and they make for heart-pounding entertainment. The special effects guys really went ALL OUT in a way we’d never quite seen before and the result is just spectacular. James Conway’s directing is superb and the hand to hand combat sequences are particularly well executed. Quite how our Ops crew managed to defeat an onslaught of ferocious Klingon warriors is something best not dwelled upon too long—nor why the Klingons didn’t send wave after wave of soldiers given the enormous number of ships surrounding the station. Another annoying nitpick while I’m at it: what’s with the use of Klingon language throughout this episode? Why is the Universal Translator suddenly incapable of translating certain Klingon words, necessitating either Worf or Jadzia to provide a translation? I know it’s a case of dramatic license probably, but it really does make a mockery of the whole concept of the Universal Translator.

    Complaints aside, it’s still a thrilling episode and one that boldly shakes up the entire dynamic of the Trek universe. Even if the pace slackened somewhat during the episode’s midway point, the high octane final acts more than compensate and, overall, it’s an excellent season premiere. More than anything, I think the writers set out to prove that DS9 is a great show in its own right and I’d like to think it was around about this point that general viewers and Trek fans gave the show more of the respect it deserved. The episode’s closing line from Sisko basically affirms that the show is “here to stay”. And so it was; going from strength to strength, too. Rating: 9
     
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  6. Trekker09

    Trekker09 Captain Captain

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    Wow, the intro pics with captions are too funny! Outstanding review of “Way of the Warrior” -- an exciting 2 parter - I agree that it felt like a second pilot.
    Worf returning to Starfleet, after his studies on Boreth.… reminiscent of Spock’s return to the Enterprise in TMP, after immersing himself in spiritual discipline. And, Sisko’s speech about trying to run from the pain of losing his wife was effective.
    Kira and Dax enacting a King Arthur scene on the holodeck-- Pretty costumes but unlikely.
    Witty bar scene with Garak and Quark making fun of the Federation…saying it’s like root beer, cloying, bubbly but you get used to it!
    Sisko’s shaved head, so much more natural. Poor Kasidy…. Seems like romantic dinners are interrupted 99% of the time, on any Trek show.
    Loved the way Sisko arranged for Garak to be the one informing Dukat about the Klingons’ plan to attack.
    Klingons easily beaten in hand-to-hand combat on the bridge -? strange they’d use batleths in that situation, thought they were more for ceremonial rituals.
    DS9 truly found its voice, its strength as a multicultural series, at this point.
    -------
    Hope that chest infection clears up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  7. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good review, although I do disagree with this segment. Obviously, the Wolfe and Behr seem to go out of their way to prove that Dorn isn't taking over the show, as you state, and everyone has something to do. However, I think that the episode actually does well with Kira. Her character is well summed up in the episode. She is right next to Sisko as he hunts down infiltrators. She is right there when Martok explains his purpose, slitting her hand like the men (lot of good that test did). She expresses Bajoran viewpoints with regard to both the Cardassians and the Klingons. She is strongly differentiated from Sisko and Dax. The discussion about her imagination is actually dramatically striking. That one line about dreaming the Cardassians would leave when she was a child drilled down to the core of the character with surprising efficiency and potency. Visitor also creates one of the best physical performances of the franchise in the fight. She is a fit, but slight, woman, but she looks more like she is fighting than her co-stars. Her performance does the most to convey the sense that the station is in real danger.

    Perhaps it doesn't seem like Kira is pushing the story much, but the episode gives her a lot of texture, and Visitor's performance shows complete commintment to the part.
     
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  8. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Concerning the Universal Translator: I don't think it is necessarily correct to assume that it is a passive I/O device, taking in words in one language and spewing them out in another. As we see in a future episode, the translator is an implant. I don't think it is too much to say that it can interpret the linguistic intentions from the patterns of firing neurons, whether the speaking is choosing to do so deliberately or unconsciously. Even when it is a non-implanted device, an advanced AI probably will be able to distinguish between a usage that is meant to be specific in meaning to native speakers and that a direct one-to-one translation wouldn't provide sufficient texture or context. Certainly, Sisko needed Dax to interpret Martok when he dropped Kaybock's dagger on Sisko's desk. "Today is a good day to die" might seem obvious because of how it has been (over)used, but it is possible that said with a particular urgency or affect that it's purpose might require the hearer to be more deliberative comprehending the speaker.
     
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  9. Trekker09

    Trekker09 Captain Captain

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    Liked all the comments on Kira.

    I thought the introduction of Worf was handled well -- he had a home and a family on TNG for 7 years, then it was destroyed (in Generations).

    From The Fifty Year Mission:

    Michael Dorn says “The tension that I wanted to insert is the same tension that Worf felt when he first came on the Enterprise -a fish out of water. These are brand new people (except O’Brien) and alot of them he did not like. He definitely let these characters know how he felt. That’s the beauty of Worf. All of these things he’s not used to seeing, you never know how he’s going to react. Just let me look at you with that glare. He’s always pissed……Before, Worf had his comrades around him on the best ship in the galaxy, he had the opportunity to fight and be honorable. But DS9 is like a station in Alaska or something. He didn’t consider it a punishment, but it wasn’t the choicest assignment, either. I think he brought a lot of different things we definitely hadn’t seen before. It was very exciting.”
     
  10. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Prune juice, a warrior's drink. Because nothing helps a warrior to disembowel an enemy like a good bowel movement!:lol:
     
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  11. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I found myself thinking that in a way it's a shame TNG wasn't still around during this time period, as DS9 introduced something here that Our Heroes on "the other show" wouldn't have simply been able to ignore, and it might have been interesting to see what the Enterprise (in whatever form) had to deal with as a result of the events in this episode.
     
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  12. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who would want to depend on the Wolowitz zero-gravity waste disposal system in the middle of battle?
     
  13. Sarxus

    Sarxus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah, we approach those episodes from the show I'm more familiar with.

    I once heard or read the statement that the point where Sisko got his goatee and became bald is where DS9 actually begins, hence with this two-parter. I wouldn't fully agree on that since the first three seasons had already quite an amount of excellent episodes, but watching "The Way of the Warrior" makes you understand why someone would see it that way.

    The conflictual situation with the Klingons is highly interesting in political terms. It also gives an insight in how the Dominion might gain from that potential escalation, as Sisko puts it, facing two weakened fractions. "Divide et impera", as the latin saying goes.

    Worf's arrival at the station and his joining to the crew surely changed a lot for the show, establishing a strong connection to TNG. I particularly like the scenes where Word and O'Brian talk about the old times, and the nod to "Star Trek: Generations" (which is, as I have written in another thread the other day, my favorite ST movie of all) through mentioning the destruction of the Enterprise. Worf's personal conflict and the very well written dialogues with Sisko about that fit perfectly into the sense of ST, conveying a strong message about facing your conflicts instead of trying to escape them.

    The final battle sequence is enormously stunning both in terms of the fighting scenes outside the station with Deep Space Nine against the Klingon fleet and inside with all those phaser- and close-combat-moments. The whole crew is engaged in here, even Dr. Bashir, and all those scenes are gripping and exciting. For me, having been a child of only a couple of years in the later 90s, it's amazing to see what was technically already possible at that time.

    All in all, "The Way of the Warrior" almost feels like a showcase presenting everything you'd expect from a great ST episode. The only problem I have with it: As exciting and thrilling it is in the first place, once you have watched it three or four times (which is about how often I've seen it already), you notice that it lacks a bit of tension and tempo now and then. Here I agree with you concerning the pacing. It feels a bit too long overall, I'm not sure if a two-parter was really a good idea. But then again, a single episode would have been way too short to play out everything which makes this episode so very good. I don't know, maybe 60 up to 70 minutes would have been a perfect length, but episodes like this don't exist in the show of course and I understand that they didn't want to come up with something like that.

    From me, it's also 9/10. I've heard it being mentioned in rankings about the best ST episodes several times and I wouldn't be sure about that, but nevertheless it's really superb all in all.
     
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  14. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Excellent review!

    Making this a two-parter event was the best decision they could have done, because there is so much going on here. It would have been impossible to fit it into a single episode.

    I have to agree that in a lot of ways this is a second pilot. Not only with all they introduce, but just how different Avery Brooks is here. This is the Ben Sisko we should have gotten a while ago. (Granted, it made perfect sense that we needed to see him grow past the pain of his wife's death, and even gstting past something like that still takes time, so I don't really hold it against the writers or Avery.)

    I'm actually going to disagree about one thing... this gets a 10. The writing, the dialogue, the story, every character getting some meat to work with... all while introducing a NEW CAST MEMBER! I think I will call this THE best season premiere in the franchise. Everything just worked together like magic.
     
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  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But if we give this episode a 10, what would we give "The Visitor"? ;)
     
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  16. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was definitely an 11, but then elder Jake reset the time line, and the subsequent events turned out only to be a 7.
     
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  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, a 7-11?
     
  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "THE VISITOR" is still a 10, but for different reasons.

    That one-two punch of perfect 10 episodes at the very beginning of the season let you know what kind of golden age you were about to step into.

    (And strictly speaking, THREE episodes since "THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR" is two episodes in one, production-wise.)
     
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  19. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, DS9 definitely hit the ground running for S4. :)
     
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  20. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    My preferred Klingon episode "Once More Unto The Breach" is still a very long way off...
     
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