21 December 2015 | Bolesroor
Space, Baby. Deep Space.
Well we're midway through the first season of Deep Space Nine and I figure this is as good an episode as any to take a look at the series as a whole so far. I've been a huge fan of the original Star Trek series, the films, and the Next Generation, but I've only recently decided to work my way through DS9... I had heard mostly good things from Trek fans. I'm only ten episodes in, but here's my take on what works and what doesn't.
The Good: Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko. I already like the actor and the character he plays: he's got a quiet, introspective presence which works very well. It's also a nice change to see a Star Trek captain who isn't trying too hard to be authoritative or iron-willed: Sisko seems perfectly comfortable as head of the space station and Brooks is engaging and leaves me wanting more.
The Setting. What I thought would be detrimental to a Trek franchise- a stationery headquarters as opposed to a propulsive ship boldy going where no man has gone before- has actually turned out to be a positive: there's a stability to the DS9 station that I actually find comforting, especially with the ambient outer-space white noise in the background.
Quark. Boy was I ready to hate this character. In the few episodes I saw during DS9's original run I got the impression that Quark was an over-the-top greedy goofball, an alien bartender/host who was as much of a Gremlin as he was a Ferengi. I've been pleasantly surprised so far by the understatement of the character and Armin Shimerman's performance. If you've ever witnessed the neurotic nightmare Neelix on Voyager you thank the prophets for Quark's quiet dignity.
Odo. My favorite character so far. We don't know much about him yet but he has an air of mystery and steely determination that you don't usually find in a shapeshifter. I hope we get more episodes and backstory on him as the series continues.
The Not-So-Good: Nana Visitor as Major Kira. So far she's been bland and forgettable. Definitely room for the character to grow. Also who names their kid Nana? Chief O'Brien & Keiko. It's great to see Colm Meany from TNG, but so far he's offered little in terms of character or performance, and Keiko is the dramatic equivalent of a Styrofoam peanut. My favorite was the episode where she smiled and nodded.
The Ugly: Alexander Siddig as Dr. Bashir. Vaguely-British, vaguely good-looking and thus far almost entirely useless. He's like a department store mannequin modeling a mock turtleneck. Bashir seems to have two emotional settings: Mildly Surprised and Daydreaming About Donuts.
Terry Farrell as Dax. This is a joke, right? Good one. Now bring out the REAL actress. Farrell is not only corpse-like and comatose in facial expression and flat, stilted vocals, she's physically stiff as a plank when her character is required to move. In this episode she has to play hopscotch and follow a little girl's steps. Farrell looks like a newborn calf whose legs are not yet connected to her brain pan. There are not enough stool softeners in the world to cure her dead eyes and bland symmetrical forehead freckles. Seriously, the woman has been a crime against acting, and as we all know Star Trek is not Shakespeare. The only thing worse than Bashir & Dax is Bashir & Dax TOGETHER, sharing a chemistry-free flirtation and failing to connect as performers on any level. These two can only get better from here on out, because they surely can't get any worse.
But back to the episode: "Move Along Home" is a familiar but fun Trek expedition as the crew of DS9 are forced to play as pawns in an alien culture's game after Quark is caught cheating. I like what I see from Deep Space Nine... it's a chill, mellow Trek, a subtle fine wine in comparison to TOS' whiskey on the rocks and TNG's vodka martini. I'll keep checking in as I get farther in... so far it's worth the trip.
The series so far: B+