Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Jayson1, Mar 21, 2017.
Oh yeah early season Kira a massive chip on her shoulder. It was incredibly grating.
A secular, yet still reasonable leader would have been a great dynamic. I always thought a Bajoran whose family had been from a very low caste prior to the Occupation and who really challenged the nostalgia for the planet's old cultures could have very much shaken up the monotony of their depiction. Doubly so if they occasionally push for alliances outside the Federation (like the Maquis negotiation idea I mentioned a few pages back), but isn't vilified because he'/she's simply trying to ensure Bajor's never a victim of another power again.
Its easy to imagine how much a character like that creates a very different kind of relationship with Sisko.
Leader: You have to understand something Captain. As an officer in Starfleet you're a man I think any Bajoran would be right to admire. As the Emissary, you're everything I want my people to get away from.
Sisko: I'm not entirely comfortable with this role believe me, but I don't think its one that's harmed Bajor.
Leader: Indeed. I wonder how many of the Vedeks who told my family the D'jarra was the will of the Prophets thought the same thing?
But Sisko's more than a religious leader. He's a god. And before he realized that, he was a prophet, who spoke to Bajor's gods directly.
And I could be wrong, but isn't Sisko the only Emissary? Like, in history?
Its not so much specifically what Sisko is, but what he represents to the Bajorans; a fallible religious figure of enormous power (that Ben rarely uses admittedly) this Bajoran sees as a detriment long term. That Sisko spoke to supposed Prophets in the Celestial Temple would be as meaningless to this hypothetical leader as the wormhole aliens themselves because he/she would not see them as divine. Heck if they had even cursory knowledge of the powerful entities the Federation had encountered they'd ask if these other seeming gods should be worshiped along side the Prophets.
I do like the idea of a pah-wraith cult, certainly there would be Bajorans who felt the prophets had abandoned them during the occupation? They could claim the pagh wraiths actually cared about Bajor and were willing to fight for it or something.
As for the D'Jarra thing that is interesting yet DS9 didn't go a much darker route-what if the prophets approved? What if say human sacrifice or other cruel practices they demanded as well? How would Sisko handle that? The Federation?
The problem for me was always that DS9 started shoving a sort of generic culture at us right away, requiring viewers to love these Bajorans, and be willing to spend a lot of screen time with them. They loaded us down with lots of Bajor, but with Bajorans basically being like us. It was like a generic culture-of-the-week from Next Gen, only they never went away.
I like this aspect now, but I had to go through years of DS9 before I could give a damn about Bajor or its politics. The show and characters had to develop. I think they needed to win us over to Bajor gradually, not dump them on us right away and expect us to be fascinated. All the internal politics could have waited a little while.
I recommend new viewers start around season 3 or 4, finish, then back up to the start, treating s1 and 2 as prequels.
Sisko was obviously not a god. He had a sort of connection to beings who were somewhat like gods.
Ira S. Behr: "To the audience, captains are heroes. They're like gods. So I made Sisko to actually be a literal god"
I honestly think that's insulting to the audience-the idea we can't or won't criticize the main protagonist or parts of the audience might not like the main protagonist.
Great. That explains all the supernatural stuff I've been trying like hell to explain away somehow as science fiction.
If he said this, and if its true, then the my fellow TV viewers must be a lot more gullible than me...
Agreed! This is almost exactly how I have hooked DS9-resistant Trek fans in the past (I recommend starting with "The Maquis" -- that's a really strong run of episodes that close out season 2).
I think the character that could have done best, though no secularist, would have been Vedek Yassim. Lilyan Chauvin's performance was towering, especially given how few lines she had.
Although I watched and enjoyed seasons 1 and 2 first, I have to agree that The Maquis onward run of episodes is SO strong and really marks the moment you realise DS9 is going to be amazing. Although, Duet came so early but that episode does get to the heart of what is so interesting about the Bajorans and their relationship with the Cardassians.
The Bajorans can be so unlikable but in a way that's their charm I think. It mirrors the Federation's moments of frustration and it makes them not a perfect, generic civilisation but a real and flawed people.
You know which Bajorans I would have liked to see more as reacurring characters would be either Tahonna Loss the terrorist who wanted to destroy the wormhole. I think the idea they presented of their still being Bajorans out there fighting the Carddisians was intresting.
The other would be Sito from "TNG." I think having her have to deal with being captured by the Carddisians would make for good drama and also I always wanted to see a Bajoran starfleet officer on the show. See what they feel about with the Provesonal government and also how would other Bajorans feel about them since they joined Starfleet instead of being a freedom fighter to free Bajor.
The two were not mutually exclusive
I love that, it would have been really interesting to see another perspective like that. All too often, Bajorans were presented as monoculturally religious, only differing on what the gods want of them, or how to get it. Although the events of Emissary certainly gave them a boost most religions never get (your gods are actually real), it is strange we never saw a real secular movement on Bajor or any suggestion that the theocracy that was being quietly re-established following the occupation was a bad thing. It's also interesting that Starfleet never had anything to say on the topic given that they expect Federation membership to be the endgame. The most they stretched to was feeling uncomfortable about a Starfleet officer becoming a religious figure, never whether the reestablishment of religious power in general was a positive thing. It is made pretty clear that this was oppressive in the past, and as a general rule there aren't many liberal and 'Federation esque' theocracies.
I never liked the Pah Wraiths as presented. While another religious faction is not a bad idea, the Pah Wraiths were far too generically 'evil' from the beginning, you might as well have had Dukat shouting "You don't know the power of the dark side!". It would have been much more interesting if there was some ambiguity there - perhaps the mainstream Prophet believers violently suppress the Pah Wraith cult leading Sisko to question whether there is any religious freedom on this brave new world he's helping to build.
Completely agree. DS9 took two years to get up to speed, and while those two seasons have merit, they are far better enjoyed after you are already sold on the show. Emissary is a lovely episode of Trek, in retrospect, but it's a slow and ponderous pilot to a new show.
The hopscotch episode, with the Wodi, was a bit flat as an episode (it's technically by the numbers, even if there are a couple of robust plot twists), but I did yearn to know more about their culture other than "Hi there, shall we play a game? Not thermonuclear war, okay then, we just happened to bring along something anyway." But it could also be seen as the Prophets manipulating to teach Quark a lesson, if "Move Along Home" is a DS9 clunker, regardless of how it is perceived, it's still far better than any other Trek's clunkers. Especially given how luxurious the Wodi outfits look (wouldn't they look far better on blu-ray? )
I recall reading somewhere that the Prophets were more or less dropped from DS9 after season 1 but were given a renewed emphasis and presence in seasons 4 onward. Which I liked since some of the best episodes involve or allude to the Prophets, directly or even not mentioned (the viewer can decide the Prophets are doing something and don't need to be told in script. Case in point, the Wodi...)
Like you said, it may have helped ratings. But the freshness of the use of the Prophets in seasons 4 onward (I don't remember too much from seasons 1-3, time for a revisit) makes it better if it's true they were put to the side for a while. They're a core part of DS9's premise as Sisko is for being The Emissary.
I hate everything about them! Their superstitions and their cries for sympathy, their treachery and their lies, their smug superiority and their stiff necked obstinacy, their earrings and their broken wrinkled noses.
They had potential, and I didn't hate them, but it never seemed the writers did anything sufficiently interesting with them. And with all the great recurring characters - Ferengi, Cardassians, etc. - where were the great Bajoran characters?
The failure to decide on backstory, or properly describe it anyway, was also irritating. They seemed to think it was edgy and cool to constantly describe Kira as a terrorist, but any time there was a flashback or more detailed description they showed a guerrilla fighter. Indeed, it isn't clear that the Bajorans ever had the capability to strike at civilian Cardassian targets, and when she was helping Damar it was all military targets again (with the argument being whether to strike targets guarded by Cardassian instead of Jem Hadar forces).
The great Bajoran characters like Winn and Kira?
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