Deep Space Nine (DS9) Season 6 Guest Reviews
Far Beyond the Stars
Stardate not given: Experiencing a vision from the Prophets, Sisko sees himself as Benny Russell, a science-fiction writer in the 1950s, who struggles with civil rights and inequality when he writes the story of Captain Benjamin Sisko, a black commander of a futuristic space station.
This episode will stick (to pardon the pun) IN MAH MIIIND for as long as I remember DS9. Hell, the actual STORY isn't even that great (I'd rate it as average) but seeing all the regulars in their normal get-ups is quite fun. They really fell into their roles well (with maybe the exception of Kasidy Yates because she didn't change all that much. And O'Brien because his character was annoying) and I believed every word of it. Michael Dorn obviously had fun, and the rivalry between Armin Shimerman and Rene Auberjonois was a funny contrast. Weyoun and Dukat as racist cops was well done.
The whole "Brother Benny" thing didn't catch me. Blah blah, get out of the way old man. In the end, this episode had no mark on the actual series. He had an amusing vision, that's about it. Until "Shadows and Symbols" there seems to be no real purpose to it.
All in all, a very enjoyable episode.
Remarkable facts: Galaxy was a real science fiction magazine from 1950 to 1995. The Galaxy magazine cover was actually a painting used in TOS: "Court Martial", slightly edited. Despite the fact he made a total of 282 Star Trek appearances, this is the only time that Michael Dorn appears on Star Trek as a Human.
Remarkable quote: "I'm a human being, damnit! You can deny me all you want, but you cannot deny Ben Sisko. He exists! That future, that space station, all those people, they exist in here (points to head), in my mind! I created it! And everyone of you know it, you READ it! It's here, you hear what I'm telling you!? You can pulp a story, but you cannot destroy an idea! Don't you understand, that's ancient knowledge. YOU CANNOT DESTROY AN IDEA. That future, I created it, and IT'S REAL! Don't you understand?! IT IS REAL! I CREATED IT, AND IT'S REAL! It's reaal..." - Benny Russell
Rating: 9 (Hon. David Kulessa)
In the Pale Moonlight
Stardate 51721.3: Captain Sisko plots with Garak to forge Dominion plan's to invade Romulus, in order to bring the Romulans into the Dominion War on the Federation's side.
In past episodes we had seen that there were dark sides to the seemingly perfect Federation but never had we seen to dark sides of the main characters that we love. In this episode we see Sisko plotting with a spy to fool an Empire into joining the Federation's war effort. In short he is willing to have the Romulans sacrifice their soldiers lives to lessen the Federation casualties. Avery Brooks and Andrew Robinson pull off an absolutely amazing acting performance together which is especially impressive when you consider that the two didn't appear on screen together much besides this episode.
In one of the most powerful scenes in Trek history Sisko confronts (and beats up) Garak after learning the Romulan ambassador's shuttle was destroyed. In the scene Garak explains his method on how it will bring Romulus into the war and all it took was the life of one Romulan ambassador. Sisko tries to respond before he realizes he can't argue with Garak's results because he agrees with him.
Remarkable scenes: Jadzia and Bashir discussing the names they recognized on the casualties list. Jadzia imitating a Romulan with Sisko. The closing scene where Sisko finishes up and deletes the log.
Remarkable quotes: "I can live with it." (Benjamin Sisko), "It's a FAKE!" (Ambassador Vreenak)
Rating: 10 (Tim Roberts)
In the Pale Moonlight
Stardate 51731.3: After getting tired of the numerous casualty reports, Sisko wants to bring the Romulans in the war on the side of Starfleet and the Klingons. Together with Garak, the only man on the station who would have the resources to pull off something like that with 'proof', they fabricate a forged datarod with secret plans of a Dominion invasion of Romulus. Senator Vreenak of the Romulan Senate visits the station, discovers it's a fake, and goes away. However, his ship mysteriously explodes (with a little help from Garak), which brings the Romulans in the war after all.
There are a few episodes of all the Star Trek series which give me goosebumps, and this is one of them. Not because it's packed with battlescenes and action, because it's not. But because it's full of ethic and moral struggles. What would we do if we were in Ben Sisko's place? This is the main question I asked myself during this episode. And that's what I think Star Trek is all about. Making you think. The Original Series were full of episodes which made you think about topics like racism and war; albeit a little unsubtle. This Deep Space 9 episode is a lot subtler. What lengths do you have to go through to bring an ally into the war? Does saving billions of lives justify murdering one or two persons? It reminds me somewhat of the quote made by Spock and repeated in some episodes later in other series: "The good of many outweighs the good of the one, or the few". Is that really so? I myself think it is. And like Ben Sisko, I think I could live with it.
Remarkable filming: This episode was not shot chronologically, which is rare in Star Trek episodes. Also, the scenes with Sisko recording his log were, in my opinion, very powerful.
Remarkable quotes: "People are dying out there, every day. Entire worlds are struggling for their freedom, and here I am, still worrying about the finer points of morality!" (Benjamin Sisko), "I was the one who had to look Senator Vreenak in his eye, and convince him that that a lie... was the truth." (Benjamin Sisko)
Remarkable dialogues: "Welcome aboard, Senator. I'm captain Benjamin Sisko." (Benjamin Sisko) - "So, you're the commander of Deep Space 9. And the Emissary to the Prophets, decorated combat officer, widower, father, mentor and... oh yes! The man who started the war with the Dominion." (Senator Vreenak), "Oh, and one other thing. Vreenak believes he's on the winning side, so until you can prove otherwise, you may have to put up with a certain... usurpic attitude." (Garak) - "Uhm, Mr. Garak, after having spent a week with you, I have developed a very, very thick skin." (Benjamin Sisko)
Nitpicking: Apparently, the Romulans are not as secretive as I was led to believe in earlier episodes. Garak seems to know a lot of details about how the Romulans, and even their equivalent of the Obsidian Order, the Tal Shi'ar, operates. I find that highly unlikely.
Rating: 10 (Alex Bouwmeester)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main DS9 listing
Part of me likes this episode because it's original, and simple. The bits I do like is the search for the Dominion battleship, and the fact it's a straightforward episode with no B-comedy plot, or some relationship fiasco. The fight and the effects are worth it and the battle is well crafted, all I like to see in a sci-fi episode. No gimmicks, no pseudo-philosophy. A battle fought and done. Heck, it's nice to see another Defiant class at work.
That said there is a lot I do not like about "Valiant". For a start, it's crewed by kids, and fanatical ones to boot. That is not a bad thing, and in typical Star Trek fashion unfamiliars are toast. However, I got a feeling that this was done to show that kids are no match to adults, especially when there is no elder in charge to guide them - a sort of anti-youth message set up by writer Ronald D Moore - or as I call him, Moore Ron!
This results in the literal whipping of the Valiant crew and the ship. If it was an experienced crew who died in this then it would be more sad and noble but I just had this feeling that its so anti-youth orientated. In addition, had this been crewed by Sisko and co, that battleship would have been wasted, plain and simple because as my mum once said - "they need them for next week!"
A good idea badly executed, but I would make time to see it just to watch the battle and the Valiant get toasted.
Remarkable fact : Valiant was the intended original name of the Defiant - however, Moore was not allowed to use any name beginning with V, because it clashed with Voyager at the time. It was in honour of the SS Valiant from TOS "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
Remarkable scene: The battle, the destruction of the Valiant, and the obliterations of the escape pods.
Remarkable WTF moment: the targeting software of the Valiant - and the quote "we found a flaw" like Bernd said - too much like Star Wars IV - A New Hope. Whoops!
Rating: 8 (Chris S)
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