Review: Deep Space Nine Complete First Season

Today marks Star Trek’s 39th birthday. And with its present non-existent and its future looking frankly abysmal, let’s concentrate on the good times we once had, shall we.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Complete First Season

Cast

Starring
Avery Brooks as Commander Benjamin Sisko
Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
Terry Farrell as Lt. Jadzia Dax
Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O’Brien
Armin Shimmerman as Quark
Alexander Siddig as Dr. Julian Bashir
Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys

Full IMDB Listing

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DVD Details

  • Encoding:
    Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries.
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Box set, Dolby
  • Audio Encoding: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
  • Rated: NR
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 908
  • DVD Features:
    • Available subtitles: English
    • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Broadcast episodes of the entire first season (1993)
    • 20 episodes on 6 DVDs: Emissary Part I, Emissary Part II, Past Prologue, A Man Alone, Babel, Captive Pursuit, Q-Less, Dax, The Passenger, Move Along Home, The Nagus, Vortex, Battle Lines, The Storyteller, Progress, If Wishes Were Horses, The Forsaken, Dramatis Personae, Duet, In the Hands of the Prophets
    • Deep Space Nine: A Bold New Beginning (includes interviews, behind-the-scenes footage from filming of the pilot, the space station model, and other visual effects)
    • Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys (interviews with Nana Visitor, Ira Steven Behr, and others)
    • Michael Westmore’s Aliens: Season One (an in-depth look at the aliens, including Bajorans, Cardassians, and Ferengis)
    • Secrets of Quark’s Bar (Penny Juday reveals the secrets behind the props)
    • Deep Space Nine Sketchbook (illustrator Rick Sternbach reveals how the space station developed)
    • Alien Artifacts: Season One (propmaster Joe Longo explains the props)
    • Section 31 Hidden Files
    • Original Deep Space Nine preview
    • Number of discs: 6

Summary

Set aboard a run-down Cardassian space station, Cmdr. Sisko and his crew must deal with the newly discovered wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, a provisional government on Bajor, cardassian spies, and each other.

Review

God I miss this show. I really do. Rather than Roddenbury’s squeaky clean version of the future, we’re treated to the Federation’s frontier. Rules are blurred, the equipment is sub-par, and the living quarters are not posh. This is how we see humanity at its best (and worst). Heck, the crew doesn’t even get along that well.

I remember back when Enterprise was starting out and people would say “Well, the first seasons of TNG, DS9, and Voyager weren’t very good either…” I’ll agree with 2/3 of that statement. DS9 hit the ground running with some spectacular episodes from the very beginning.

I’ll finish with this: All the hype about darker sci-fi (Firefly, Battlestar Galactica) really should give a nod to DS9 for breaking the Trek mold and going out on its own.

High Point

While “Emissary” was a great pilot, the first season boasted some great episodes from “A Man Apart” to “In the Hands of the Prophets.”

Low Point

$100! Good freaking lord! Also having to wander around the menu to find the Section 31 hidden files was a royal pain. And lastly, why aren’t the opening credits their own chapter? I, of all people, really love the theme music, but I can’t just skip it without missing a section of the actual episode.

The Scores

Originality: You whine JMS and B5 till you’re blue in the face. DS9 was first, lasted longer, and was much better. 5

Effects: Most hold up over time, save for Odo’s shape-changing. Looks really bad now.
4

Story: Great stories that don’t always wrap up with the “happy ending.” 5

Acting: I remember worrying in 1993 that Avery “Hawk” Brooks wouldn’t be up to snuff. How I was wrong. So very wrong. 6

Emotional Response: This show ranged all over from very serious, to down-right silly. And it usually worked. 5

Production: I have to admit, I didn’t like the station at first, but it grows on you over time. It has a dark cathedral look that awes you with its intricacy. 6

Overall: Best. Star Trek. Series. Ever. 6

Total: 37 out of 42

11 replies on “Review: Deep Space Nine Complete First Season”

  1. babasyzygy says:

    No Nod Deserved
    First, let me say that I was a fan of DS9. That said…

    Much has been written about this elsewhere, but Babylon 5 was pitched to Paramount before
    they decided to extend their own Deep Space Franchise.

    The viability of darker TV SF owes a nod to someone, but more to JMS’ struggle
    to produce Babylon 5 than Paramount’s cynical greenlighting of DS9.

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: No Nod Deserved
      From your link:
      Note also that J. Michael Straczynski has stated that he firmly believes that Rick Berman and Michael Piller, the writers who created Deep Space 9 and became its producers, never saw the Babylon 5 material. “They’re honorable men and wouldn’t do that,” he said.

      Most of the griping comes from fans, not JMS or any real legal action.

      • Boglin says:

        Re: No Nod Deserved

        Rick Berman and Michael Piller … honorable men

        “And Brutus is an honorable man.” -Marc Anthony (Act 3, Scene 2).

        Et tu?

    • NorthWest says:

      Re: No Nod Deserved

      Deep Space Franchise.

      Excellent Ivanova quote! :-)

  2. Babbster says:

    Great Series Indeed
    I remember being somewhat nonplussed by DS9 when it debuted. It just didn’t seem “right” somehow. Around season 4 I got into it again and loved it until the end. Now that I’ve seen the entire series recently on Spike, I realize that my initial reaction way back when was entirely about the fact that it was so different from ST and, even more so, ST:TNG. I’d become so comfortable with the “sterility” of TNG that I didn’t know how to react to the “grubbiness” of DS9. While the first few episodes were indeed weaker than the rest of the series, it was a function of the traditional difficulties trying to introduce a new setting and a new slate of characters and I really should have stuck with it a bit longer back in “the day.”

    All that being said, I won’t buy any of the Star Trek boxed sets until someone at Paramount figures out that only the most hardcore are willing to pay those ridiculous prices. When you can get a full season of shows like Lost, Buffy, Angel, etc. for less than $40, it’s just about impossible to shell out twice that much (or more) for one season of anything. The only series I’ve relented on in terms of price so far has been Homicide, and that’s only because it doesn’t have the same mass-market appeal of other TV shows (though it should!). The Star Trek franchise has no such excuse.

  3. J_W_W says:

    Blasphemy!!
    DS9 was first, lasted longer, and was much better.

    Blasphemy!! While I liked DS9 and watched it, I don’t think I’ll be putting up the $100 for these DVDs. But I have all of B5s.

    DS9 had some great elements and great stories, and I have to admit it didn’t bother me to watch two shows about space stations each week.

    But Babylon 5 was the best ever, DS9 was just good.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Blasphemy!!

      But Babylon 5 was the best ever, DS9 was just good.

      I would say that it depends on what you’re using to evaluate. DS9 obviously had a bigger budget and better effects, but also, IMHO, more interesting characters and (generally) better acting. B5 had better underlying concepts, more original aliens, and (generally) better writing. DS9 allowed for easier casual watching; B5 could only be appreciated with regular viewing.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Blasphemy!!

        But Babylon 5 was the best ever, DS9 was just good.

        I would say that it depends on what you’re using to evaluate. DS9 obviously had a bigger budget and better effects, but also, IMHO, more interesting characters and (generally) better acting. B5 had better underlying concepts, more original aliens, and (generally) better writing. DS9 allowed for easier casual watching; B5 could only be appreciated with regular viewing.

        I think you got it pretty much right there. DS9 was casually appealing. Babylon 5 was addictive.

  4. grundil says:

    re: originality
    > Originality: You whine JMS and B5 till you’re blue in the
    > face. DS9 was first, lasted longer, and was much better. 5

    I don’t know when ideas were pitched, but I do know that the Pilot movie for B5 came out Feb 22/93. The Season Premiere for DS9 was right around Aug 9/93, so DS9 first? I don’t think it was and you won’t convince me otherwise so don’t bother trying ;)

    • Sprydle says:

      Re: re: originality

      I don’t know when ideas were pitched, but I do know that the Pilot movie for B5 came out Feb 22/93. The Season Premiere for DS9 was right around Aug 9/93, so DS9 first? I don’t think it was and you won’t convince me otherwise so don’t bother trying ;)

      I saw JMS posting on the net in the very early days about the show. That was one of the major plusses for B5 as we got inside the mind of the creator as it was playing out, minus the spoilers and such he wouldn’t reveal until after episodes aired. The episode that won me over was the one where the doctor operated on the kid against his parents’ wishes. DS9 never really went that dark until much, much later.

      What clinched it for me was how the DS9 factions were ragging on B5 for using CG instead of models and how inferior that was (the first B5 season did look a little weak, though). Surprise, surprise, you’d think they invented it when Paramount announced they were moving to CG for their effects…

      All of the ST shows started getting stale around that time. You knew they wouldn’t lose a major cast member unless it was the end of the season, and that the 95% of the plots would resolve themselves by the end of the episode. B5 kept you guessing, because you knew JMS was out to break the rules.

      I actually lost interest in DS9 during the middle-end years, but since then, I’ve caught up on the DS9 abridged episodes on Spike. To me, they just don’t hold up as well over the years. Pa-Wraiths Pa-Wraiths, Pa-Wraiths, ENOUGH with the damn Pa-Wraiths already. “I’ve got my eye on you, Quark” was a phrase that jumped the shark, Day One, but it was funny to see it referred to on Family Guy, recently (they even got Rene A. to do Odo’s voice).

      The main problem with this, and ALL of the ST shows is that Paramount has the fans by the short and curlies. $100 is highway robbery, but Paramount knows that all the fanboys will buy ’em, because they know how rabid the fans actually are. In fact, they’re probably expecting that fanboys will buy 2-3 sets – one to watch, one to keep under wraps, and maybe one for, you know, just in case.

  5. y42 says:

    You are dead to me
    Best Star Trek ever? Beginning of the end is more like it…

    The was one good ep in that first year, it was called “Tosk”, and it could have been a Next Gen episode, in fact, I felt like it was a leftover from Next Generation.

    Like you said, “Rather than Roddenbury’s squeeky clean version of the future”. Meaning: This isn’t Star Trek. It’s something else, wearing it’s clothes.

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