Trekathon Season Review: Deep Space Nine, Season 7

December 11th, 2012

Farewell Deep Space 9. You never quite lived up to your promise, but you came closer than most shows ever do. But not this year.

As for this season? Not good. Not good at all. There isn’t a lot of awful, just Take Me Out to the Holosuite and The Emperor’s New Cloak. But two more Vic Fontaine heavy episodes (Badda-bing, Badda-Bang and It’s Only a Paper Moon) were not a great way to spend some time. And most of the rest was distinctly average, apart from the first six episodes of the finale. And not a single episode that you could fairly call ‘great’.

The finale was a big experiment. The longest linked story that Star Trek has ever done. And for the first six episodes it was really working. There was a good buildup, things were happening, there was a lot of plot development and an exciting story. But then part 7 has us wandering around the mind of a character we don’t care about, part 8 is obsessed with Ferengi politics, and parts 9 and 10 are undeveloped, over-padded, and generally just an unworthy end to both that attempted story, and to the whole series.

Some things did work well this season. Kira had a good arc, both in terms of her relationship with Odo and in her own development. Ezri Dax was a good addition, and probably surpassed Jadzia as a character by the end of the season. But almost everyone else was trapped in stasis, most notably Sisko. He gets a lot of foreshadowing, but the days of development of his character appear to be long past.

Overall this season lands in the ‘Awful’ category. Season 6 of DS9 had more bad episodes, but had a couple of great ones so it gets the edge. Ditto Voyager Season 3 and TNG Season 2, and even TAS Season 1. Overall it comes in just above Voyager Season 2, mainly on the strength of the opening 60% of the finale.

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 4
  • DS9 Season 1
  • VOY Season 5
  • VOY Season 1
  • TNG Season 7

Not good:

  • DS9 Season 3
  • DS9 Season 6
  • VOY Season 3
  • TNG Season 2
  • TAS Season 1

Really just awful:

  • DS9 Season 7
  • VOY Season 2
  • TOS Season 3
  • TAS Season 2
  • TNG Season 1

How about the whole series? It’s honestly a pretty close tie with TNG. DS9 has slightly fewer bad or awful episodes, TNG slightly more excellent episodes. If it weren’t for TNG Season 1 I’d have to give it to TNG, but I think in a close decision I’d say that DS9 is (just) the better series overall.

Series league table:

  • Deep Space 9
  • The Next Generation
  • The Original Series
  • The Animated Series

That’s 532 watched, 26,125 minutes, and 80.12% complete. 91,560 words written. 152 to go. This was peak Star Trek – two series and a movie. From here, it’s all downhill (in terms of minutes per year that is).