Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Season 1b)

<--Season1a -- More on "Prophets"-->

Well, looking back at TNG it is clear that the first season of these shows can be a bit of drudgery. Maybe that holds some hope out for “Deep Space Nine” going forward. This show is reputed to be a lot meatier in the philosophy and religious topic exploration. Maybe that is the problem. The stories this season have seemed to be a bit on the preachy side. They are less entertaining and heavier handed trying to get their message across. Science Fiction is strongest when it does exactly the opposite. It should entertain and be downright subversive and sneaky with its commentary. Towards the end of the season things do begin to improve a bit, maybe even enough to make this first season better than TNG’s:

Episode 11: “The Nagus” 

This episode is pretty good. It is comedic enough to entertain while it does explore some important issues like power, politics and loyalties.

Episode 12: “Vortex” 

Odo drops off the map a bit here in the middle of the season. When they do focus on him, as in this episode, it is misdirection in a way. They are simply teasing us with his background and origins for now.

Episode 13: “Battle Lines” 

This is one of those heavy handed episodes. We get it. War is bad, hate is worse, and fear of death can be a limiting factor. Real hatred, however, has no apparent limit.

Episode 14: “The Storyteller” 

A “Dueling Banjoes” of silliness. One struggles to decide which storyline is more annoyingly ridiculous: the adolescent infatuation or the too on-the-nose critique of religion.

Episode 15: “Progress” 

Once again we pair the annoying adolescents with a melodramatic storyline that can only go one way. Where is the tension in any of this?

Episode 16: “If Wishes Were Horses”

One of those, “aliens wanting to study humanoids” storylines that are too frequently employed in Trek. Here there is a near interesting look at imagination. Episode 17: “The Forsaken” This episode is more a mixture of character moments than a real plot driven story, but it is a good one.

Episode 18: “Dramatis Personae” 

There is real tension in the conspiracy forced upon the characters in this episode, but since the source is not really explored it almost seems like a pointless exercise.

Episode 19: “Duet” 

This is one of the most talked about episodes of DS9. The parallels to WWII and Nazi Germany are not subtle. It is a good episode, and worthy of the praise it gets. However, it is an extreme case of the problem this season has, it is very preachy. That last scene is almost too much. They might should have gone ahead and had the characters break the fourth wall and deliver that last line right to the audience.

Episode 20 : “In the Hands of the Prophets” 

With the final episode we get a good balance. There is a real story here with intrigue, mystery and suspense. However, it also explores real world issues in a smart way. The conversation between Sisko and Jake about Galileo and faith is well written and balanced. (More on this episode later.)

It will be exciting to see if DS9 carries some of these issues forward into later seasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment

NonModernBlog written content is the copyrighted property of Jason Dietz. Header photos and photos in posts where indicated are the copyrighted property of Jason and Cheryl Dietz.
Promotional photos such as screenshots or posters and links to the trailers of reviewed content are the property of the companies that produced the original content and no copyright infringement is intended.
It is believed that the use of a limited number of such material for critical commentary and discussion qualifies as fair use under copyright law.

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP