The Star Trek celebration continues, as we switch from a usual starship to a space station, and a full scale galactic civil war, with Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
10. Far Beyond The Stars (Season 6) – In this (sort-of) time travel episode, Sisko has a full sensory vision of himself as an under-appreciated science fiction magazine writer in 1950s America. This is possibly the most political episode of Star Trek, drawing attention to just how recently racism was considered acceptable at that time. It doesn’t shy away from using the language of the times either, this of course added to the impact of the story. It was great to see the cast playing somewhat different roles. And the ending, while it doesn’t really go anywhere, it was still a nice touch.
9. Valiant (Season 6) – While traveling to Ferenginar, Jake and Nog are attacked by the Jem’Hadar (expect to hear that phrase alot!). They’re quickly saved by the Defiant, only to find out it’s actually not the Defiant, but a ship of the same class, the Valiant, a training vessel lead by Red Squadron, an elite group of cadets on mission to investigate a possible Dominion battle cruiser, or are they on suicide mission because of a zealous cadet playing captain? The story doesn’t pull alot of punches at first but once it reaches the climax, it doesn’t hold back. I won’t spoil what happens but it’s pretty somber.
8. Q-Less (Season 1) – In Q’s only appearance in DS9, Q visit the station, mainly because an old companion from the Gamma Quadrant comes by, and they used to be aquaintances, but she decided to ditch him. While not the best Q episode, it still had some very enjoyable moments, one of which being Sisko punching Q, in a game of fisticuffs. The one problem with the episode is that, it was written for people who have seen TNG, so this doesn’t really give Q a proper introduction for new viewers. Despite that I still thought it was alright.
7. One Little Ship (Season 6) – In one of the more outlandish episodes of the series, Dax, Bashir, and O’Brien examine a spacial distortion that causes objects to shrink, once they enter they shrink, and as Sisko and the others try to find their friends, they’re attacked by the Jem’Hadar. So it’s up to the microscopic crew to save the Defiant. This was very silly, so silly in fact, that Kira couldn’t keep a straight face! When I first rewatched this episode, I thought Nana Visitor was breaking character, she wasn’t, it was written in! The only downside to all of this is, we never got to hear the rest of Worf’s poem.
6. It’s Only A Paper Moon (Season 7) – After losing his leg during a battle in the episode “Siege of AR 558”, Nog (a Ferengi, and the first to join Starfleet) returns to DS9 and after receiving a prosthetic leg, decided to take refuge in a holosuite listening and bonding with hologram, Vic Fontaine. But Everyone’s getting concerned that he’s spending to much time in the holosuite, and after getting into a fight with Jake, Ezri Dax (Jadzia’s replacement) to try and get him back to the real world. It’s a good character piece for Nog, and was very excellent take on PTSD. Ezri was very enjoyable in the episode, using her counseling skills to coax Vic into getting Nog out of the fantasy world. And finally, James Darren, the guy stole the show, not only did he help Nog out of his slump, but he started to become sentient just like that other hologram, I’ll talk about next month. I knew if I was going to include any episode involving Vic (minor or not) it was going to be this one.
5. Way of the Warrior (Season 4) – This episode introduces Worf to the station, after the destruction of the Enterprise-D in Generations, and I assume to boost ratings. When Klingons arrive on the station to attack Cardasia, Sisko asks the Federation to find someone to help mediate the situation, and who do they send, none other than Worf. This was a great way to start Season Four, Michael Dorn was a welcome addition to the cast, the continuity nod between with DS9 and Generations was very nifty, and the episode marks the last time practical effects would be used extensively for the remainder of the series, and it’s following shows.
4. Waltz (Season 6) – While escorting Cardassian leader Gul Dukat to stand trial for war crimes, the ship they’re traveling on is attacked by the Cardassian warships, he and Sisko are marooned together on a deserted planet, and Sisko must rely on Dukat (who’s begining to loose his mind) for his survival. This is probably one of the most gripping bottle episodes in the series. Mainly because it’s just Sisko and Dukat sitting in a cave talking to either each other or the hallucinations. Linkara mentioned how he’d love to see someone make this episode into stage play, I would too, that would be very interesting.
3. What You Leave Behind (Season 7) – In the epic series finale, the Federation Alliance prepares a final invasion of Cardassia. Meanwhile on Bajor, Kai Winn releases the Pah-wraiths from the Fire Caves which threatens the safety of not only Bajor, but the entire Alpha Quadrant. While All Good Things was a great finale for Next Generation, I’d say What You Leave Behind kinda rivals Next Generation in terms of great endings. The scale, the battles, the epilogue, everything about this episode was perfect. However the villains, Dukat and Weyoun (imagine Breetai and Exedore from Robotech, but without the humor and heel-face turn), were kind of a disappointment. James Darren makes one last cameo in this, and he as usual he’s awesome, but when watching that scene keep a look out for cameos of the actors without their makeup and prosthetics. But, I digress the episode is great, and an outstanding way to end the show.
2. In The Pale Moonlight (Season 6) – Sick of the losses the Federation is taking in the war, Sisko enlists Garak’s help in getting the Romulans to join the Federation against the Dominion. Sisko soon learns that in order to save the Federation, he must violate the values for which it stands. The show is sinisterly intriguing. The very first shot of the episode alone sets the tone, with Sisko telling the viewer (in the form of a Captain’s Log) what he’s done and what he’s been through. I’d tell you more, but it’s an episode of twists and turns you’ll have to see to believe. This episode will keep you at the edge of your seat.
1. Trials and Tribble-ations (Season 5) – What better way to celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary, than to go back to the beginning. Sisko and the crew get sent back to The Original Series era, where they have to save Kirk from an assassination attempt from a Klingon using a fake Tribble. Everyone did an amazing job on this everyone, their attention to detail is outstanding, they rebuilt a couple of the old sets (which would later be used much later), they even got Walter Koenig to serve as a consultant for filming on the TOS sets. They also made a bunch of great mythology gags, including a joke about the switch between Gold and Red for the Command Division, and a question that plagued people since 1979, why do TOS-era Klingons not have forehead ridges, while TMP-era (and beyond) Klingons do? The Answer: There isn’t one, not for a while, and it isn’t even a good one. This also marks the first official reference to the Enterprise-E, which would make it’s official debut two weeks after the airing in Star Trek First Contact. There’s nothing else I can about this episode say except, Happy Anniversary Star Trek!
Emissary (Season 1)
Our Man Bashir (Season 4)
Looking For par’Mach In All The Wrong Places (Season 5)
Take Me Out To The Holosuite (Season 7)
Homefront/Paradise Lost (Season 4)
The Siege of AR-558 (Season 7)
Duet (Season 1)
Next time, we go back to Girl Meets World, and it’s a real doozy of an episode.