Archive for October, 2012

Trekathon Season Review: Deep Space Nine, Season 6

October 19th, 2012

While Voyager has been getting better, Deep Space 9 has had its worst year so far.

Only 3 episodes made it to ‘very good’ or better (Honor Among Thieves, In the Pale Moonlight, Waltz), compared to nine that were overall bad (with the egregious Profit and Lace leading the way, followed by The Magnificent Ferengi and His Way).

They tried something big and ambitious at the start of the year, with the six-part ‘occupation’ sequence. Some bits of it worked, but not enough. Deep Space 9 is at its best when it’s telling stories based on the universe that has been built up around Bajor and the station – but only when it’s well planned. The six-parter had little planning, it felt like the writers didn’t know where they were going.

Overall this one is going to sit just under DS9 Season 3 in the ‘not good’ category. It’s just ahead of Voyager Season 3 in terms of quality. It’s a real shame, given the quality that Season 5 had gotten back to.

The very best of Trek:

  • TNG Season 6
  • DS9 Season 2

Strong performers:

  • DS9 Season 5
  • TNG Season 3
  • TNG Season 5
  • TOS Season 2
  • TNG Season 4
  • VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

  • TOS Season 1
  • DS9 Season 2
  • DS9 Season 1
  • VOY Season 1
  • TNG Season 7

Not good:

  • DS9 Season 3
  • VOY Season 3
  • TNG Season 2
  • TAS Season 1
  • VOY Season 2
  • TOS Season 3
  • TAS Season 2
  • TNG Season 1

That’s 532 watched, 23,746 minutes, and 72.82% complete. 82,537 words written. 205 to go. Next we have the last year with two series on the air, and a movie too. The end of Deep Space 9 is nigh.


Trekathon 532: Tears of the Prophets (1) (DS9)

October 19th, 2012

Sisko leads an attack on the Dominion.

Some TV shows are very very bad at writing characters out. It’s done very badly here. Jadzia dies for no reason beyond being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and her death serves no broader purpose other than ‘Dukat is a bad dude’. We don’t get very much of an emotional connection to the death. What if her death had been a consequence of Sisko’s deal with the devil to bring the Romulans in? Or even that mission Worf and she took a few episodes ago.

The rest of the episode is equally weak. Dukat’s attack is puzzlingly vague. The action sequence with the Dominion-Star Fleet battle isn’t very exciting. And then it ends with the classic ‘pack up your bags and go home’ cliffhanger with Sisko’s crisis of conscience. Dull.

532 down, 205 to go.


Trekathon 531: The Sound of Her Voice (DS9)

October 18th, 2012

The Defiant heads off to rescue a downed starship.

Dull, with an ending that was honestly a big dose of ‘huh?’ – what was the point of that? To underline that their efforts were completely pointless? The time anomaly thing seemed to serve absolutely no purpose.

So, at no point during this episode did someone say ‘and then in 2372’? Or ‘on stardate 50870’? Or anything that would make the Captain go ‘Hey, that’s in the future’? Or no one looked up the database and said ‘hey, why did your 8 year mission take 11 years’? It stretched plausibility beyond the breaking point for me.

And the B-plot – hey, let’s just completely undermine Odo’s fundamental character and beliefs. Because that’s what love does to you. Idiotic.

531 down, 206 to go.


Trekathon 530: Hope And Fear (VOY)

October 17th, 2012

Voyager finally decrypts the message from Star Fleet, and may have found a way home.

It’s been a while since the last ‘false hope return to the Alpha quadrant’ episode. I liked the fake out in this one, as I was expecting things to go wrong in an entirely different way. As alien revenge plots go this one seemed over-elaborate, and implausibly resource intensive. But the ethical point – ‘who are you to make these decisions’ – is one it would’ve been nice to have seen more on before this.

This episode also underlines an important change in Voyager – Seven of Nine is not just a new character, in many ways she’s become the single most important story telling element on board. The best bits of this episode revolve around her continuing search for place.

530 down, 207 to go.


Trekathon Season Review: Voyager, Season 4

October 17th, 2012

Sometimes retooling works.

This season sees some big changes in the setup of the show. Kes was replaced by Seven of Nine. And then Seven of Nine got a lot of screen time – she was the main plot driver in 7 episodes, had the B-plot in another handful, and played a significant role in the plot of another seven. That’s well ahead of anyone else on the ship except Janeway.

So that was pretty high risk – it’s a fundamentally new factor being added into the show’s equation. It paid off. Seven is an interesting character, and the performance is good. She’s supported several interesting stories. But I do have a concern – she keeps getting character development, then she drops back to where she was for the start of the next episode.

There were still a handful of bad episodes (Mortal Coil, Hunters, Retrospect, Unforgettable). But these were handily matched by the very good (Nemesis, Message in a Bottle, One) and excellent (Year of Hell (well, part 2 at least), The Killing Game, Living Witness). Overall this is definitely in the ‘Strong Performers’ bracket, just behind TNG Season 4.

So the overall rankings are now:

The very best of Trek:

  • TNG Season 6
  • DS9 Season 2

Strong performers:

  • DS9 Season 5
  • TNG Season 3
  • TNG Season 5
  • TOS Season 2
  • TNG Season 4
  • VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

  • TOS Season 1
  • DS9 Season 2
  • DS9 Season 1
  • VOY Season 1
  • TNG Season 7

Not good:

  • DS9 Season 3
  • VOY Season 3
  • TNG Season 2
  • TAS Season 1
  • VOY Season 2
  • TOS Season 3
  • TAS Season 2
  • TNG Season 1

Trekathon 529: Time’s Orphan (DS9)

October 16th, 2012

Chief O’Brien’s daughter goes through a time thingie and ends up spending 10 years in the wilderness.

So, I was bored with this until about halfway through. Then, as it became clearer that it wasn’t going to be a miracle cure it became a little more interesting. But finally we end up with a pretty weak reset switch (with Back to the Future level time mechanics), and overall an episode that didn’t know what it was doing. Oh, and a terrible b-plot involving Worf as a parent.

I did wonder though – would the younger Molly have to face charges for the violence the older Molly committed? They were clear the charges were going ahead. And she’s the same person by any reasonable definition. They might have a hard time getting her away from that one.

529 down, 208 to go.