Deep Space Nine (DS9) Season 6 Guest Reviews

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Far Beyond the Stars

Synopsis

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.

Commentary

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.

Annotations

Rating: 9 (Hon. David Kulessa)

 

In the Pale Moonlight

Synopsis

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.

Commentary

There have been 702 episodes of Star Trek spanning 5 series. Looking at that it would probably seem difficult to choose the number one episode ever. However when matched up against all others "In The Pale Moonlight" is definitely the front runner for best ever.

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.

Annotations

Rating: 10 (Tim Roberts)

 

In the Pale Moonlight

Synopsis

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.

Commentary

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.

Annotations

Rating: 10 (Alex Bouwmeester)

 

Valiant

Synopsis

Stardate not given: Synopsis in main DS9 listing

Commentary

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.

Annotations

Rating: 8 (Chris S)

 


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