Review for Star Trek - Deep Space Nine - Series 5 (Slimline Edition)
Deep Space Nine was ever the odd step-child of the Star Trek franchise. It was the show where they didn’t boldly go exploring; instead they mostly stayed home and let the galaxy boldly come to them. It did the serialisation thing as well, which to that point had been unheard of, with characters actually developing over its run, changing and growing from their experiences. With Season 5, it became clear that it was going to do something that no Trek had ever done before. It was going to be a war epic. Sure, war made a big part of Trek’s back-story, but it very rarely happened on screen. The last time there was a war it was a Klingon civil war, and it mostly happened in the space of two episodes of The Next Generation. Season 5 of Deep Space Nine actually begins with a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, and there’s some serious attrition. But that’s just an appetiser for the conflict that is yet to come. But most of Season 5 is a prelude to that, with a wide variety of episodes, and the small matter of Star Trek’s 30th Anniversary to celebrate.
At the edge of the final frontier there’s... politics. The planet Bajor has finally been returned to its population after decades of occupation, oppression, and exploitation by the Cardassian Empire. The wrecked world needs help getting back on its feet, and the provisional government has called in the Federation and Starfleet to administer the space station the Cardassians left behind, now dubbed Deep Space Nine, in the hope that it will become a hub for trade and commerce in the sector. To that end, and to move the Bajorans toward eventual Federation membership, Captain Benjamin Sisko has been assigned to DS9, while the Bajorans has assigned Major Kira Nerys of Bajoran militia as his second in command. But the discovery of a stable wormhole in the nearby Denorius Belt, offering a shortcut to the Gamma Quadrant, turns a galactic backwater into the strategic centre of the galaxy. What starts off as a gateway to exploration turns a lot more sinister when they encounter the dominant power in the Gamma Quadrant, the Dominion led by the shapeshifting Founders, Changelings who can only see the Federation, and all other ‘solids’ as a threat.
In Season 4, the balance of power in the quadrant shifted, when the Klingons used the Dominion threat as an excuse to go back to their old ways of invasion and conquest, first targeting the Cardassian Empire, and then butting heads with the Federation in increasingly fractious encounters. It’s just what the Dominion wanted, and they nudged the political situation in the Alpha Quadrant further towards breakdown through infiltration and intrigue. At the end of the season, Odo’s killing of another Changeling had to be punished, and when returned to the Great Link, the punishment turned out to be life as a ‘solid’. But in the Link, Odo learned of the degree of Changeling infiltration in the Klingon Empire, which coincided with Chancellor Gowron effectively declaring war on the Federation. 26 episodes of Deep Space Nine Season 5 are presented across 7 discs.
1. Apocalypse Rising
Gowron, leader of the Klingon Empire is a Changeling. That’s the impression that Odo got from the Great Link, and it might go a long way in explaining just why Gowron has led the Klingon Empire to a war with its former allies, the Federation. Starfleet takes Odo’s suspicions very seriously, and they order Sisko to do something about it. That means going in undercover, to the heart of the Klingon Empire, and unmasking Gowron’s true identity. That doesn’t sound like an easy mission to return from, even with the help of Gul Dukat and his stolen Klingon Bird of Prey.
2. The Ship
It was supposed to be a simple mining survey in the Gamma Quadrant, light years away from Dominion territory, but then a Jem’Hadar warship crashes on the planet, surviving mostly intact, although killing the crew. It’s a prime chance for Starfleet to get its hands on Dominion technology, and Sisko orders his team to salvage the craft. But then another Jem’Hadar ship shows up wanting its property back, destroying the runabout in orbit, and leaving the landing party besieged in the crashed ship, waiting for rescue from the Defiant. And for some odd reason, the Jem’Hadar don’t just simply kill them.
3. Looking for Par’mach in All the Wrong Places
Worf has his head turned when an elegant Klingon woman comes to the station, but he’s more than peeved to learn that Grilka is actually Quark’s ex-wife, and she’s come to see him. What really annoys Worf, even more than the rebuttal is Grilka’s major-domo telling him that as he was raised by humans, he knows nothing about Klingon women. So when Quark comes to Dax, looking for advice on how to court Grilka, Worf sees his chance to prove that he does.
4. ...Nor the Battle to the Strong
Jake Sisko has his first writing assignment as a professional, doing a profile on Dr Bashir. Coming back from a medical seminar in a runabout, and hearing about his latest paper doesn’t inspire him to write a literary gem, but a distress call from a colony world, under attack by Klingons that have broken the fragile ceasefire offers him some hope. After all, writing about a doctor having to work while under fire in battle conditions sounds a lot more glamorous. But Jake has no idea what being under fire actually means.
5. The Assignment
O’Brien’s looking forward to a little family reunion in time for his birthday, as Keiko is returning from Bajor after visiting the Fire Caves. Only she comes back a changed woman, literally. An entity has taken control of her body and is holding her hostage. It wants O’Brien to reconfigure DS9’s systems in a certain way, or else it will kill Keiko. And it knows everything Keiko knows, so he can’t ask for help, or try to tell anyone. O’Brien has only a few hours to meet its demands, and try and figure out what happened to Keiko and reverse it, and the only clue he has is a Bajoran legend about Pah-Wraiths.
6. Trials and Tribbleations
Captain Sisko has some explaining to do when Dulmer and Lucsly of the Department of Temporal Investigations pay a visit to the station. They’d recently taken the Defiant to Cardassia to repatriate an Orb of the Prophets, when they also took aboard a human trader who had got stuck behind enemy lines when the Klingons invaded. On the way back, there was a flash of light, and the Defiant wound up almost a hundred years in the past, 200 light years away, face to face with the original Starship Enterprise in orbit around station K7, itself about to go toe to toe with the Klingons over agricultural development rights, quadrotriticale, and Tribbles. Only someone wants to change history...
7. Let He Who is Without Sin...
A romantic getaway to the hedonistic pleasure planet of Risa is just what Dax needs. What Worf wants is to ‘talk’, which seems less of a pleasure and more of a headache. And while they have issues to work out, Bashir and dabo girl Leeta invite themselves along, and of course then Quark shows up as well. Worf doesn’t take all this immorality and hedonism well, but when the New Essentialist activist group shows up, campaigning about returning the Federation to older, more puritan values, Worf has found his cause. So much for the romantic getaway!
8. Things Past
Sisko, Dax, Odo and Garak are returning from a Bajoran conference on the Cardassian occupation, and Garak is aggrieved at not finding an audience for his Cardassian perspective. Less understandable is Odo’s discomfiture, as he was lauded as the one man who remained interested solely in justice during the occupation, refusing to choose sides. When the runabout returns to the station, it’s been damaged in a plasma storm, its occupants sent into comas. Meanwhile, the four awake in the past, during the occupation, but inhabiting the lives of four Bajoran workers, four workers soon to be executed for attempting to assassinate then Governor Dukat.
9. The Ascent
Odo’s finally got his man. The Federation Grand Jury wants Quark, and Odo gets to take him to justice. That the two have to share a runabout for a week is a small price to pay for Odo, but not so much for Quark, who doesn’t even know the charges against him. It turns out that someone doesn’t want them to reach their destination, and a bomb on the runabout cripples the ship, forcing it to crash. There’s no food, it’s freezing cold, and the only chance they have of rescue is to work together to get a crippled distress beacon high enough for its signal to get out. That’s if they don’t kill each other first.
The day has finally come, that Bajor will be admitted into the Federation. The hero of the hour is Benjamin Sisko, whose efforts on Bajor’s behalf have led to this momentous day. And Sisko is absent, having found a new obsession, the Bajoran ruins of B’Hala. But an accident in a holosuite alters his brain chemistry, and suddenly the Emissary to the Prophets is having visions, visions of the past and the future, and Sisko is determined to see where they lead. But these visions could quite very well kill him.
11. The Darkness and the Light
Members of the Shakaar resistance cell, of which Kira was a member during the occupation, are being targeted and murdered, and it quickly becomes clear that someone is sending her a chilling message. Normally she’d be quick off the mark to avenge her comrades, but she has to think of the child she’s carrying. She defers to Odo and the station crew to run the investigation, but when her friends Furel and Lupaza become victims, she has no choice but to hunt the killer down herself.
12. The Begotten
The Founders may have punished Odo by taking away his shape-shifting abilities, but he gets the chance to reconnect with his people in a small way, when he comes across a baby changeling, sent out into the universe unaware, the same way he was. He has a chance to be a parent, to raise this changeling, teach it how to change shape. What’s more he’ll do it the right way, not the way he was taught by Dr. Mora, as an ‘unknown’ sample in a laboratory. But when Starfleet Intelligence wants communication established as quickly as possible, Mora turns up to help.
13. For the Uniform
Michael Eddington was a loyal Starfleet Officer, DS9’s Chief of Starfleet Security for 18 months, before he revealed his true colours as a Maquis, stole precious cargo, and more significantly betrayed Sisko. During the last eight months Sisko has tried to capture Eddington to no avail, the last attempt leaving the Defiant crippled. Starfleet thinks that Sisko has gotten too personal for the mission, and reassign it to another starship. But Starfleet has been underestimating the Maquis, and even that ship falls afoul of them. Sisko has no choice but to ignore his orders, and take up the chase once more.
14. In Purgatory’s Shadow
15. By Inferno’s Light
A Cardassian distress call from the Gamma Quadrant raises interesting questions, but the answer from DS9’s resident Cardassian tailor is dispiriting. It’s merely an old planetary survey report. But not every survey report inspires that tailor to try and steal a runabout and rush off to the Gamma Quadrant. It’s actually a distress call from former Obsidian Order head, Enabran Tain, and that’s enough for Sisko to authorise a mission, sending both Garak and Worf. They try to sneak towards the source of the transmission, but instead run into a massive Jem’Hadar Fleet. They manage to briefly contact the station before they are captured and transferred to an internment camp, where they find the terminally ill Tain, General Martok of the Klingon Empire, and one man who shouldn’t be there at all, having just seen him on Deep Space Nine. The station has a changeling infiltrator, which given that they are now preparing for a Jem’Hadar invasion is a recipe for disaster. And in the face of the invasion, Gul Dukat is a little too determined to take his daughter Ziyal from the station back to Cardassia. It’s as if he knows something.
16. Dr Bashir, I Presume
Dr Lewis Zimmerman is aboard the station, looking to improve on his Emergency Medical Hologram program with a Long-term Medical Hologram for isolated mission profiles, and he’s selected Julian Bashir as the template. He’ll need to do some in-depth psychological profiling of the doctor, interview his friends, and get an idea of his history, his personality. The problems begin when Zimmerman decides to interview Julian’s parents, as it turns out that Julian Bashir has a dark secret in his past.
17. A Simple Investigation
Odo’s always been a man alone, a stern demeanour to deter miscreants and project an aura of authority, but also as an outsider, a sole shapeshifter among a station of humanoids. That’s meant a dearth of romance in his life, but that changes when a woman named Arissa comes to the station to meet with an Idanian, but who shows a romantic interest in Odo. When the Idanian is murdered, she becomes the focus of his investigation, but his own growing feelings for her conflict with his sense of duty.
18. Business as Usual
Quark is broke. The Ferengi stock market dealt him a lethal blow, leaving him in debt, with his bar up as collateral. He thinks he’s lost it all, but then his cousin Gaila comes up with an offer, and this time Quark’s too far in debt to allow his principles to get in the way of arms dealing. Besides, when there are no actual weapons involved, merely holographic recreations in his holosuite to demonstrate to clients, what could be the harm? Only Quark finds the price of going into business with his cousin far outweighs the profit, especially when he meets Hagath, Gaila’s partner.
19. Ties of Blood and Water
When Cardassian dissident Tekeny Ghemor comes to the station, Kira is understandably excited. Not only did they form an unlikely surrogate father daughter relationship when Kira was abducted and surgically altered to look like his real daughter in an attempt by the Obsidian Order to get him to implicate himself, but now that Dukat has taken Cardassia into the Dominion, Ghemor is the perfect candidate to oppose him. Only Ghemor is coming to the station to die. He’s terminally ill, and he wants Kira to be a daughter to him one more time and stay with him until the end.
20. Ferengi Love Songs
Quark is depressed. The business in his bar is slacking off, the lack of a Ferengi Business License is crippling, and on top of all that, Rom and Leeta have announced that they are getting married. That’s enough to send Quark home to his mother for some comfort. Except that he finds that his mother is in love with Grand Nagus Zek. That’s one way to get his business license back, if not from Zek directly, then from Brunt of the FCA. Meanwhile, Rom’s decided that he and Leeta need a pre-nup.
21. Soldiers of the Empire
General Martok of the Klingon Empire was held captive by the Jem’Hadar for two years, and since his rescue has been the Klingon liaison to DS9. But he hasn’t been in battle since. That’s about to change when he gets a mission to find a missing battlecruiser, apparently lost in Dominion territory near the Cardassian border. He gets assigned a bird of prey, the Rotarran, and he takes Worf along as his first officer, Dax as science officer. After six straight months of defeats, morale on the Rotarran is rock bottom, but two years of Jem’Hadar captivity have had a worse effect on Martok.
22. Children of Time
Returning from a reconnaissance mission in the Gamma Quadrant, the Defiant comes across a strange planet from which emanates a mysterious energy field. Crossing the field to take a closer look they detect a colony on the planet, a thriving, happy and prosperous colony of humans. Making contact, they are shocked to learn that the colony is descended from the crew of the Defiant, that in attempting to cross back, they’ll be thrown back in time 200 years.
23. Blaze of Glory
When Cardassia joined the Dominion to reclaim territory lost to the Klingons, the Maquis terrorists were considered all but wiped out. Only now, a message from the Maquis survivors has been intercepted, detailing the launch of several missiles towards Cardassia, several cloaked missiles with potentially catastrophic warheads. That would pull the Federation into a war with the Dominion that no one wants. Cloaked missiles are hard to find, but fortunately Sisko knows someone who might know how, traitor to Starfleet and Maquis leader, Michael Eddington.
24. Empok Nor
It was bound to happen, fatigue to the station’s components that just couldn’t be repaired, and it turns out that the parts can’t simply be replicated either. With the current situation, it isn’t a simple matter of asking the Cardassians for spare parts, but there is a solution. The Cardassians abandoned DS9’s sister station Empok Nor some time ago, and it should be a simple matter of salvaging the parts they need. It should be, except for the Cardassian habit of booby trapping abandoned materiel. Fortunately O’Brien’s team has Garak on it to unbooby the traps. Unfortunately, there are more than mere traps left behind on Empok Nor.
25. In the Cards
Deep Space Nine is one depressed station. The growing Dominion influence has everyone on edge, especially when Federation ships are ‘vanishing’ near the Cardassian border. And then Weyoun and his Jem’Hadar shows up to try and forge a treaty with Bajor and woo it and the wormhole away from the Federation. All Jake wants to do is to cheer his dad up, and he gets that chance when an auction takes place in Quarks, and a 1951, mint, Willie Mays baseball card comes up for sale. Jake’s outbid, but he perseveres. His efforts to get the card have unexpected consequences for the command crew of the station.
26. Call to Arms
Things come to a head with the Dominion. They keep on sending convoys of warships through the wormhole to Cardassia, and the military build-up can mean only one thing. Sisko has no choice but to mine the entrance to the wormhole to prevent Dominion reinforcements, but that’s just the provocation that the Dominion and Cardassia need. Dukat issues an ultimatum, remove the mines or he’ll take the station and remove them himself. Sisko convinces Bajor to sign a treaty with the Dominion that will keep them out of the fight, but it’s time for Starfleet and the Federation to abandon the station and Bajor. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to leave when the attack comes...
Deep Space Nine gets a 4:3 regular transfer that is just about passable on an SD screen, and you have to be a little more forgiving to watch it on an HD panel. Just like for The Next Generation DVDs before it, the show may have been shot on film, but its special effects and final editing were completed on videotape. Even on 480 NTSC, the show will look soft, and it’s a tad softer on PAL DVD with its 576 line resolution. The clarity never approaches that which a DVD can offer, and detail levels are low, colour somewhat faded. Having said that, the latter half of the show improves on the first, offering a smidge more clarity and definition; you can certainly see more detail in Quark’s lavish costumes, and colours are a tad crisper too.
Incidentally, watching Trials and Tribble-ations on this DVD, scaled up to my HD panel, looks better than the Trials and Tribble-ations on the Original Series Blu-ray, which suffers more for interlacing artefacts.
You have the choice between DD 5.1 English and German, DD 2.0 Surround, French, Italian and Spanish, with subtitles in these languages, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish. I opted for the English track quite naturally, and found that the dialogue was clear, the show’s music and effects came across well, and the surround soundstage was put to decent use in conveying the action sequences, establishing the show’s ambience. It’s a pretty decent surround presentation for a 90s TV show.
This slimline budget release of Deep Space Nine collects the seven discs of the clamshell box release, and repackages them into four thinpak cases, with one disc getting a case of its own, and the other six sharing three cases, held on opposing inner faces. They’re all held in a sturdy card slipcase, with the art not season specific.
The discs take their time in loading up, insisting on sending The Defiant through the wormhole before letting us see the main menu screens. The episode discs merely list the episodes, selecting one will allow you access to language options, scene select, play episode, and navigate back to the main menu.
All of the extras are on disc 7.
Trials and Tribble-ations: Uniting Two Legends (16:51), and Trials and Tribble-ations: An Historic Endeavour (16:30) were recycled for the Original Series Blu-ray release, which devoted an entire disc to the Tribbles episodes. They were originally presented on this release offering interviews with the cast and the crew on Deep Space Nine’s 30th Anniversary episode.
Crew Dossier: Miles O’Brien lasts 11:21, as Colm Meaney is interviewed, as well as the creators of the character that the writers love to torment.
The Ferengi Culture lasts 5:29, and looks at how Deep Space Nine rehabilitated the alien race that TNG introduced as comic foils.
Inside DS9 with Mike Okuda lasts 7:10 and he takes us on a tour of the sets, revealing a few secrets and in jokes that the camera usually didn’t pick up.
Michael Westmore’s Aliens lasts 7:12, but for Season 5 he looks more at some conventional aliens, Klingons, Cardassians, Jem’Hadar and Trill.
Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John Eaves lasts 11:32, and we get to see some of the Season 5 drawings and illustrations that eventually became props and sets on the show.
Finally there is the Photo Gallery of production stills to flick through.
That isn’t exactly final, as there are still the Easter Eggs, the 10 Section 31 files running between 2 and 4 minutes in length, with several of the actors commenting on selected episodes or aspects of their characters, as well as one piece from writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe on his departure from the show.
Deep Space Nine just kept on getting better and better through its run, but Season 5 is the point in the series where if you aren’t already a fan of the show, you might as well give up. All of the other Star Trek shows (with the exception of Season 3 of Enterprise) were episodic affairs, but with Deep Space Nine’s static setting and larger regular cast, there was always the prospect for serialisation. Season 5 is where the serialisation pays off in dividends, where the character development really takes precedence over the stories, and where even in the most stand-alone of episodes, there will be an element that you’ll need for the bigger picture. Besides, when one of your main characters, whose defining characteristic is the ability to change shape, is a human for the first 12 episodes of the season, then it’s blindingly apparent that this is no longer a show that you can just dip in and out of at random. Whereas Season 4 might have had 6 or 10 episodes you could have treated as thus, Season 5 has just 2 or 4.
Season 5 begins with the end of one war, and ends with the start of another, cementing Deep Space Nine’s visual reputation for massive fleet action, which when you consider the vastness of space, and its three-dimensional freedom of movement is pretty daft, but by Jove it looks spectacular on the screen! It’s also a season where character development occurs over several episodes, for instance, episode 4 introduces Jake as writing for a news service, the show will apparently forget about it thereafter, until the final episode of the season where it pays off. It’s the same with Rom and Leeta’s relationship, which we dip in and out of over the season, a slow, intermittent build that once again pays off in the final episode. The same is true for the other characters.
The episodic nature of Star Trek does tell in some aspects of the run, so that a heavy episode might be followed by something a lot lighter, and you wonder at the consequences of the previous story being misplaced. That does tell with the arc of the Klingon conflict in the first half of the season, which after a strong opening episode, and episode 4, tends to fade into the background until the midpoint where it’s resolved, and it does seem odd that in between the characters have the time for a romantic comedy, and a vacation. But I have to say that Season 5 does a better job than the previous seasons of maintaining a consistency of tone. Even when the main arc isn’t prevalent, elements of an episode will still remind us of what’s happening in the bigger picture.
I did mention in my review of Season 4 that Deep Space Nine, while improving in quality, did begin to make some significant missteps on its way to the end of the show. With Season 4 it was the studio mandated adoption of Worf as a regular character, and the whole Klingon war arc, which distracted from the Dominion arc. Deep Space Nine had a habit of taking these cards and making them work, so Worf really fit in as a member of the crew, while the Klingon arc introduced the character of General Martok, which would quickly become a fan favourite (despite the fact that he was apparently killed off in the first episode of the season). This season’s misstep involved Dr Bashir, who was suddenly ret-conned from the callow and eager young space cadet, in desperate need of seasoning and experience, to a genetically engineered superman, in the Dr Bashir, I Presume episode. It was ill-placed as an episode, coming just one episode after a changeling masquerading as Bashir was unmasked on the station. It was also a missed opportunity. It could have been a far better episode looking at Federation prejudice if Bashir had been genetically engineered to be ‘normal’, by parents wanting him to have an equal opportunity, but by making him genetically enhanced, it became about the character, and I have to admit that it negatively affects my opinion of some of the earlier episodes with the character, which don’t quite work in light of the ret-con. Still, Deep Space Nine managed to salvage a little something, and even make things more interesting in the subsequent seasons with the introduction of the Section 31 organisation, a direct consequence.
With Season 5, even more so that before, it’s quicker to list those episodes that fell flat than those which excelled. Let He Who is Without Sin has something to say about the pursuit of selfish pleasure versus working for the common good, puritanical values versus hedonism, but it’s uncertain of its message and fails to entertain as well. I usually enjoy the Ferengi episodes, as with DS9’s interpretation of the acquisitive race, they become something of a mirror to our own society, but Ferengi Love Songs is a little weak, at times feeling more like a farce than wry comedy. And that’s pretty much it for the episodes that leave me feeling deflated. One of the good points of Season 5 is that it avoids the Mirror Universe episodes, ever a distraction for me.
There are plenty of high points, but the highest of them all has to be the 30th Anniversary cross-over episode, Trials and Tribble-ations. This year saw two such episodes, this and Voyager’s Flashback, and comparing the two is a telling experience. Flashback was a self-indulgent piece of nonsense, which saw Captain Janeway revisiting the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It involved ret-conning the movie so that Tuvok was a junior bridge officer on the Excelsior under Sulu, and took place wholly in his mind, his memories already distorted by a telepathic illness, thanks to a mind-meld. All of this meant that continuity was thrown out of the window, events that took a brief stretch of time in the movie, took weeks in the episode, and one character died in the episode that was patently alive at the end of the film. It was a mess of an episode.
And then there was Deep Space Nine’s Trials and Tribble-ations, a perfect hour of television, entertaining, and a joyous tribute to the original series, revisiting one of the best-loved comic episodes of Star Trek, The Trouble With Tribbles. Thanks to good old fashioned time travel, the crew of the Defiant wound up in the past, and through the use of judicious Forrest Gump technology, found themselves involved in the events that took place in the original series episode. It’s just delightful, funny, and one of my favourite episodes in 50 years of Star Trek.
Other highpoints for me include the season opener, Apocalypse Rising, which followed on from the revelation at the end of the previous season. Things Past takes a great look at Odo’s time as Security Chief under the Cardassians, when even the Bajorans saw him as fair and trustworthy, but the episode reveals that you can’t be part of a corrupt and tyrannical system without being tainted in some way. Rapture is a fantastic episode, which once again reminds us of Sisko’s status as Emissary to the Prophets, and where he was initially reluctant to assume the role, and then slowly began to grudgingly accept it, it’s here that he embraces that role, revealing that he has more faith in someone else’s religion than anything he’s believed in previously. It also sets up the season finale in an interesting way.
With so much going on Deep Space Nine, the writers had to let go of some arcs, and in this season the Maquis storyline came to a close when the Cardassians joined the Dominion, and started kicking the butts of all who had previously annoyed them. For the Uniform was the sequel to Michael Eddington’s story, with Sisko finally hunting down and capturing the one officer that had betrayed him. It’s a great episode, almost a feature film compressed into half the time, and given that the Maquis are a sympathetic group in the Star Trek universe, it leaves you feeling ambiguous about Sisko’s actions. How much of what he does is playing Eddington’s game, and how much of it is genuine obsession? Even more than Dukat, Eddington is a foe that challenges Sisko on an equal footing. Which makes the Blaze of Glory episode a little bittersweet, as it’s the coda to Eddington’s arc. But it’s a great adventure story, and the two actors spark off each other in this episode.
Of course the Dominion episodes are key to the Deep Space Nine story, so it’s no surprise that I rate the two parter in the middle of the season. It’s the game-changer episodes where the Dominion finally make a move on the Alpha Quadrant, again setting up the season finale. And just before the proverbial hits the fan, we get a delightful comedy episode, In the Cards, where all Jake wants to do is get his father a gift, but in the process unleashes an unexpected chain of events. It has the fantastic Dr Giger, pursued for his heretical research by the soulless minions of orthodoxy. It also has the brilliant Weyoun, the scene stealing Vorta created by Jeffrey Combs, who met a quick end in his sole appearance in Season 4, but thanks to the wonders of cloning, would be a permanent fixture (fixtures?) for the rest of the show.
There’s so much more that I could write about the show, but the bottom line is that Deep Space Nine just gets better and better through its run. Sandwiched between the Klingon Conflict and the Dominion War, this season does at times feel like the eye of the hurricane, and despite the build up to the end of the season, the gradual growing sense of ominous foreboding, and the increased emphasis on character, narrative continuity and serialisation, this might just be the last time that Deep Space Nine offers the Star Trek that fans of the other series might recognise. For at the end of the season, the Dominion War begins, and nothing in the show will ever be the same again!