The producers of Star Trek took a huge risk when in
1993 they decided to set their new Trek series on a
Cardassian space station orbiting Bajor. This time around
there would be no 'going where no one had gone before', no
travelling through space in pursuit of 'strange new worlds.'
Now the aliens would come to them. An ambitious, and somewhat
risky gamble. But, one that paid off...
one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine starts with arguably
the finest opening of any of the Star Trek series to
date. Emissary begins with a flashback to the huge
space battle between the Federation and the Borg. It is during
this battle that Captain Sisko's wife is killed after his
ship is destroyed by a Borg attack ship - one controlled by
the assimilated Captain Picard. Two years later Sisko meets
Picard again as Chief O'Brien transfers from the Enterprise
to his new position aboard Sisko's space station at the farthest
reaches of the galaxy.
on screen relationships of all the principle characters gels
from the start - much better than the beginnings of TNG,
Voyager or Enterprise ever managed to achieve.
There is something believable about Quark and Odo's constant
bickering; about Julian's general dullness and his infatuation
with anything with breasts (do you remember how in your face
that was at the beginning?); O'Brien and Bashir's friendship
that gradually grew; and Quark's desperate attempts to make
easy money. Though over the course of the seven year run all
of these characters changed dramatically.
O'Brien and his wife were not the only member of Star Trek:
Deep Space Nine who progressed from The Next Generation.
Lwaxana Troi (played by Majel Barret) also makes the odd guest
appearance, as does Picard's nemesis Q.
episodes from season one include Babel, in which O'Brien
suddenly starts to talk gibberish and then everyone else starts
to contract this disease; Q-Less in which Vash and
Q appear; The Nagus which sees Grand Nagus Zek make
his first appearance; The Storyteller - Bashir and
O'Brien depart on an away mission - a not too appealing trip
for O'Brien; If
Wishes Were Horses which sees the inexplicable appearance
of a number fictional and historical characters aboard DS9.
by far the most memorable episode is Duet. This is
a Kira episode which sees the Bajoran believing that a dying,
elderly Cardassian was the mass butcher at a Bajoran forced-labour
camp during the Cardassian occupation. This episode is incredibly
moving and is still as strong today as it was when it was
first broadcast. It was this episode that made me appreciate
that this series was committed to focussing on relationships
and solid story telling.
season has fewer episodes than usual (20 instead of the usual
26) and so more extras have been slung on the final disc.
extras are impressive - with much more than was available
with the Next Generation box sets. These include:
A Bold New Beginning; Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys: Michael Westmore's
Aliens: Season One; Secrets of Quark's Bar; Alien Artefacts:
Season One; Deep Space Nine Sketchbook; 10 hidden Easter
Eggs of Section 31 Hidden Files; Photo gallery and Original
Deep Space Nine preview. Although sadly a couple of
future seasons storylines are given away in a number of the
second season sees the series start to settle down as the
writers and actors begin to fine tune the main cast dynamics.
O'Brien and Bashir's friendship starts to bloom, Kira's arrogant
manner settles down somewhat, Bashir becomes less annoying
and Quark and Odo's rivalry becomes more humorous.
these episodes again made me recall some of the things we
joked about when I originally reviewed the video releases
for DreamWatch. For example: Is O'Brien the World's
unluckiest man or what? There are three episode in season
two (Armageddon Game, Whispers and Tribunal).
Now I don't know about you, but if I'd been almost killed
by a deadly disease, replaced by a robot and put on trial
by Cardassians in just one year then I would certainly be
thinking of early retirement. And things get worse for the
chief of operations in later seasons.
season builds on the character driven storylines that were
at the forefront of the success of DS9. And, in addition,
to spice things up a bit the writers introduced an alien threat
from the Gamma Quadrant and the Dominion was born - a plot
device that wasn't fully explored until the third season.
story arc's, which are built on in subsequent seasons, started
early for DS9. The start of season two has a three-part
story which, incidentally, sees the start of the Kira/Bareil
ongoing relationship. Garek also becomes more of a semi-regular
character. The Wire is a particularly gripping episode.
of the best episodes include: Marquis, a two parter
which sees Sisko discovering that an old friend is involved
in things he shouldn't be; Crossover,
the first alternate universe story; Blood Oath, which
sees Dax team up with a group of Klingons from the original
Trek (Kor, Koloth and Kang) and embark on a dangerous
season two include: New Frontiers: The
Story Of Deep Space Nine; Michael Westmore's Aliens:
Season Two; Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: Season Two;
Crew Dossier: Jadzia Dax; New Station, New Ships; Quark's
Story and Section 31 Hidden Files.
season three of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine began fans
had already waved a tearful goodbye to The Next Generation
and plans for Voyager were in full swing. This season,
more than any in its seven year run, set Deep Space Nine
apart from what had come before in the Star Trek Universe.
Setting a darker
tone, this season saw Sisko acting more as a human being rather
than a sycophantic Starfleet Officer. In this season we see
him struggling with his conscience on a number of occasions
(Something first witnessed in season two's The Marquis
the previous two seasons had mainly been home to single episode
storylines (with a few exceptions), season three gave fans
a taste of the story arcs to come.
season also sees the introduction of the Defiant, DS9's
battleship which also housed a cloaking device (about time
Starfleet got around to sorting that out). Other
changes this season include Sisko being promoted to captain,
Nog showing a serious interest in applying to Starfleet Academy
and Odo discovering his origins. Jonathan
Frakes also makes a guest appearance in the episode Defiant.
of my personal favourite episodes of DS9 are in season
three: Life Support and Heart of Stone. Life
Support is one of the very few really moving episodes
(others being the season four episode The Visitor and
season one's episode Duet), of DS9's seven year
run. And Heart of Stone is memorable for the way Odo
spills his guts and then (like we've all experienced after
one too many Babychams) comes to regret it in the morning.
memorable episodes include Visionary (O'Brien witnesses
events that happen in the near future and there seems to be
no way to avoid them); Past Tense (a two-parter that
sees the crew of DS9 stranded in the past) and Through
the Looking Glass (the second alternate universe story).
this season also has one of the worst episodes, Distant
Voices, in which Bashir suddenly starts to age rapidly
and... er that's it really. But worry not, because there are
two great Ferengi
episodes, Prophet Motive and Family Business,
to set this season back on the right track.
three also sees the arrival of both Leeta (Chase Masterson)
and Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson, who can now be seen in 24)
as semi regular characters. And Garak fans will be glad to
see that everyone's favourite Cardassian tailor gets a lot
more to do this season.
for season three include: The Birth Of The Dominion And
Beyond; Michael Westmore's Aliens - Season Three; Time
Travel Files - Past Tense; Crew Dossier: Odo; Sailing
Through The Stars; and Future Shop.
the start of season four it was obvious that the producers
had decided to step up the story arc element considerably.
The opening two-parter The Way of the Warrior brings
in Klingon officer Worf in order to handle a growing potential
problem with the Klingon/Federation joint force against the
Dominion. And woven in and out of this season is the resulting
relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
season bring the Dominion into closer focus, as well as dragging
the Klingons back into Star Trek - a move that pays
dividends as the series progresses. There is no time for the
viewer to get tired, as threaded between the ongoing story
arc are some of DS9's finest comedy episodes - including the
fantastic Bond spoof Our Man Bashir and the Roswell
story Little Green Men.
also features the incredibly moving The Visitor which
sees Jake as an old man recounting the story of his life and
how the quest to find his lost father (who was sucked into
a time thingy or something and has remained trapped never
ageing) stopped him from following his career as a writer
to concentrate on discovering a way to free his father.
Also rather moving, in an old sentimental way, is The Sword
of Kahless. While this episode is fairly hit and miss
the ending is rather touching.
the shows famous "lesbian kiss" episode is also
an incredibly well conceived and directed episode. Avery Brooks
takes the director's chair for this story about love and the
complications of the Trill way of life.
season also sees one of the best O'Brien stories (poor bugger
must be the unluckiest guy alive) this time he is tried and
convicted of a crime while on an alien planet. The punishment
- incarceration for many years in isolation. However, the
sentence is fed directly into his mind so that while he never
did the time his memories of it are very real. But why is
his old cellmate still haunting him? A well directed and acted
are numerous other great episodes in this season including
the very funny Ferengi episode, Body Parts, and another
alternate universe story, Shattered Mirror.
for season four include: Crew Dossier: Lt Worf; Michael Westmore's
Aliens - Season Four. Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John
Eaves; 10 Section 31 files; Bob Blackman's Designs Of The
Future; Jim Martin Sketchbook; Deep Space Nine Chronicles;
and a photo gallery. CD-ROM content include: Virtual Space
Station; screensaver and real time messaging.
five shifted the focus away from the Federation and Klingon
Empire disputes and back towards the threat of the Dominion.
It was also the year that Star Trek celebrated its
30th Anniversary and what a treat the producers had in store
for the original fans. The episode Trials and Tribble-ations
is regarded by fans as one of the best episodes of DS9's
seven year run.
season also cemented the Worf/Jadzia love story in the episode
Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places. Nog,
Kassidy Yates, and Martok are all brought back into the show
in various episodes and we discover that Julian is not what
classic episodes this season include the aforementioned Trials
and Tribble-ations; Things Past, where we learn more of
Odo's dark past when he served onboard Terok Nor' during
the Cardassian occupation of Bajor; The Begotten sees
Odo's mentor Dr. Mora arrive on DS9 again. This episode
is as close as Trek comes to a misunderstood father/son
relationship and it does it well; A Simple Investigation
is a rather moving episode which sees Odo fall in love with
a woman with a mysterious past; Likewise, Ties of Blood
and Water is another moving episode with Legate Ghemor
making a return appearance. He arrives at DS9 so that he can
die with the only family he has left - Kira, who he sees as
the closest thing he has to family; Children of Time,
where the crew of DS9 come face to face with their
descendants. But in order for these people to survive Sisko
and his team must allow themselves to be hurled into the past
and stranded on a remote planet.
are far more hits than misses in season five of DS9,
but there are a few below par episodes. The most noticeable
being The Ascent which sees Odo and Quark trapped together
on a frozen planet. Too clichéd, too long and too dull.
Berkoff turns in a pretty good appearance (even if he is simply
doing a "Michael Caine" and playing himself) in
Business as Usual, a Ferengi episode. Light
relief comes in the form of another Ferengi episode: Ferengi
Love Songs. This episode sees the Grand Negus fall for
Quark's mother. Not only that, but she is helping the Negus
with his finances - an illegal activity on the Ferengi homeworld.
season it is hard not to notice that Sisko is taking more
and more of a back seat - almost as thought the writers have
started to see him as a dull character who is there to push
along the Dominion/Federation problem. When it comes to the
more character driven episodes It seems that Odo is taking
for season five include the featurettes Trials and Tribble-ations:
Uniting Two Legends and Trials and Tribble-ations:
A Historic Endeavour; Crew Dossier: Miles O'Brien; Inside
DS9; Michael Westmore's Aliens - Season Five; The Ferengi
Culture; Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John Eaves; and
the usual not very well hidden Easter eggs.
six kicks off with a six episode story arc - one that apparently
was originally planned to run for an entire season until the
producers decided that this may alienate viewers who only
watched the show occasionally.
season also saw a few changes in the dynamics between the
main cast. There is a marriage,
love blossoms for another couple, and two characters die -
one a prominent crew member of DS9 and the other a recurring
And we get another semi-regular member of the cast in holographic
lounge singer Vic Fontaine.
also get to see that, after last seasons revelation that Doctor
Bashir is not all he seems, Starfleet acknowledge him for
what he is. The episode Statistical Probabilities illustrates
why genetically enhanced individuals had previously been banned
from Starfleet. While they are all super intelligent, the
majority are social misfits, prone to violent outbursts.
main focus for this season is the escalating Dominion threat
- a focus that ended up giving the majority of the episodes
an almost militaristic feel to them. But while the majority
of episodes progress this theme, there are plenty of light
hearted stories. There are a number of Ferengi based episodes
(always good for a laugh) including The Magnificent Ferengi
and Profit and Lace. The later is more amusing, with
Quark enduring a sex change operation to become one of Zek's
female financial advisors (don't ask how or why, just sit
back and enjoy it).
season also sees the first, and only, episode devoted to Morn
- who sadly doesn't appear in any great capacity. But it's
great to get more of an insight into Quark's favourite barfly.
One nitpick though! Why do the Ferengi at the end of the episode
complain about "worthless gold"? According to Quark
it is only valuable if it is gold pressed latinium. However,
in countless episodes the Ferengi have traded with gold. In
The Next Generation episode The Last Outpost
the Ferengi take the Starfleet pins because they contain "precious
gold". Or am I just being sad?
also get another mirror universe story (Resurrection)
and the start of what could have been a great ongoing theme
in Far Beyond the Stars. This episode sees Sisko as
a 20th Century writer living in Manhattan. And it appears
that the events on DS9 are merely figments of his imagination.
This episode is intriguing as it gives viewers a glimpse at
what some of the actors look like who are usually covered
in prosthetic makeup. Sadly, apart from brief references,
this storyline was never really followed up again.
notable episodes include Waltz, which sees Sisko and
Dukat stranded on a planet after Dukat saves Sisko; Honor
Among Thieves, in which O'Brien infiltrates the Orion
Syndicate and then has to choose between the mission and his
new friend; Wrongs Darker than Death or Night, which
sees Kira travelling back in time to discover the truth about
her mother who died when Kira was three years old. Dukat claim
that he was her lover - a ridiculous notion in Kira's eyes,
but one that is eating away at her; Inquisition, which
sees the introduction of Section 31; and His Way, which
introduces regular guest character Vic Fontaine and shows
the birth of the romantic relationship between Kira and Odo.
it is the season ending that is intriguing. No "Oh my
Gawd!" cliff-hanger as in previous years, but it ends
on such a downer. Sisko is dejected the prophets have vanished
and one of the main cast is dead.
for season six include: Mission Inquiry: Far Beyond The Stars;
24th Century Wedding (10 mins); Crew Dossier: Bashir (14 mins);
Crew Dossier: Quark (15 mins); DS9 Sketchbook: John Eaves
(9 mins); One Little Ship Gary Hutzel featurette (4
mins); Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition: The Beginning (4 mins);
Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition: The Sequel (7 mins); Photo gallery;
and Section 31 (Hidden files).
seven sees the Dominion war builds to a crescendo. Although,
thankfully the writers don't over play this and there are
still plenty of wonderful character based episodes. By
the conclusion everything is wrapped up neatly - no storyline
is left unfinished. And there are more than a few surprises
in the closing episodes. The death count, when it comes to
supporting characters, has to be one of the highest in a sci-fi
the start of this season Benjamin Sisko is on a quest to determine
his true purpose. Is he just a Starfleet captain? Or do the
prophets have a far greater purpose mapped out for him?
is also the matter of replacing one of the principal cast
members with a new actress, due to the fact that the shows
creators had to introduce a new Dax host in the form of Ezri.
As this was to be the final season for DS9, her introduction
could have been a disaster. The writers could have focussed
on her too much in a bid to ensure that the fans warmed to
her quickly, or they could have ignored her altogether and
used her in the background to help move other storylines along.
In the end, the balance the writers struck is spot on. She
is given just the right amount of exposure to ensure that
fans warm to her, but not at the expense of the other characters.
would a season of DS9 be without a parallel universe story?
Fear not, The Emperor's New Cloak keeps up the tradition
of the annually thrilling alternative DS9 and all the horrors
that come with it.
episode which returns to familiar characters is Chrysalis.
This episode sees Bashir believe he has met the love of his
life, Sarina, who was the catatonic fourth genetically enhanced
misfit (along with Jack, Patrick and Lauren) that appeared
in last seasons Statistical Probabilities.
Mummy (Lost in Space and Babylon 5) makes a
guest appearance in The Siege of AR-558. This episode
examines the indiscriminate nature of war, it also sees Nog
badly injured and his inability to adjust to his situation.
The following episode, It's Only a Paper Moon, gives
actor Aron Eisenberg (Nog) the chance to move into unfamiliar
territory. Most Ferengi based episodes are used as light relief,
but this episode sees Nog depressed and frightened of facing
the real world.
season also sees Dukat and Kai Winn jumping into bed together
to seize power. This story arc is interesting, because it
shows the true Winn in all her hypocrisy. These episodes are
made even more powerful by the fact that Dukat appears as
a Bajoran - so Winn has no idea that she is in league with
the Devil. But
fear not, as they get their comeuppance in the final episode,
the 2-parter What You Leave Behind.
for season seven include: Ending An Era; Crew Dossier: Benjamin
Sisko; Crew Dossier: Jake Sisko; The Last Goodbye; Photo gallery;
Special Crew Dossier: Ezri Dax; Morn Speaks; and DS9
Sketchbook: John Eaves. There are also a number of hidden
(but not very well) files which take brief looks at a number
of regular guest characters (including Nog, Rom, Dukat, Vic
Fontaine, Kai Winn, Gowron and Martok. The extras on this
collection seem to be a little more polished than in previous
box sets, although for some reason in the Ezri Dax Crew Dossier
there is a clip of Worf and Ezri kissing which is repeat for
some unknown reason - maybe the Editor was asleep that day.
not the best season of Deep Space Nine's seven year
run, it is certainly the most moving. The conclusion, to my
mind, is the best Trek has offered so far. The poor
episodes, over the show's entire run, were few and far between.
DS9 is by far the best written, acted and produced
in the franchise so far.
fact that you can now buy the entire seven seasons in one
collection for just under £450 is even more of a reason
to raid your piggy bank. Originally the total you would have
paid, if you had bought each season individually, would have
been just under £600. Not only that, but only 1000 of
these box sets have been produced.
is the best opportunity to buy the finest Star Trek
series that has ever been produced.
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