Author Topic: A Trekkie Summons  (Read 2245 times)

Magus Prime

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A Trekkie Summons
« on: July 29, 2015, 05:55:09 AM »
Hi, all. 

Looking for someone to talk me into watching DS9.  I'm a big fan of TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise.  I've always felt DS9 was a late bloomer and it was always trying to find where it fit in in the grand scheme of things. I think I may have watched up to two seasons when it was on the air and I remember what it was I didn't like about it. 

1. The cast chemistry never felt like the other shows.
2.  First, it focused too much on diplomacy and later it overcompensated with the Dominion War.
3.  Benjamin Siskos was too optimistic and it felt like he was about to burst into song with every soliloquy.

Despite the Abrams movies, I'm going through another bout of Trek withdrawal.  I've watched all my fave episodes again and again and now I call on everyone who's still here to sing the praises of DS9.  Will it deliver the fix I so desperately need?  Is it the perfect balance of ethical quandaries, space battles, optimism and inspiration the other shows/ movies were?  Talk me onto the ledge so that I may make the plunge. 

As a side note, what's everyone's thoughts on Star Trek Uncharted?  I'm all in and chomping at the bit.  Please weigh in!!!!

Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 06:18:52 AM »
Voyager didn't have chemistry, it just had the Doctor.

Enterprise had a lot of potential, but it never really seemed to settle into a good groove.  And the last episode makes me angry.

I didn't like DS9 at first.  It didn't feel like Trek.  They weren't trekking anywhere, they were in a stationary... station.  I snubbed it for the first season or two in its original run.  Then I started catching it and liking it.  Now I've seen the whole run two or three times, and I certainly like it more than Enterprise and Voyager.  The only thing I don't like about DS9 is that they did too many mirror universe episodes.

Now, what's this Uncharted thing?
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Magus Prime

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2015, 06:39:19 AM »
I heard about Uncharted through an article featured about a month ago.  The headline read that Paramount would be meeting with a writer about his proposed ideas on a new series.  The writer in question is really just a fan with no real show business experience, but his ideas are promising and it looks like his handle on narrative is pretty formidable.  The premise is simple.  A variation of the Enterprise, presumably post TNG, is tasked with exploring the Andromeda Galaxy.  The dynamic is slightly different in that its cast has two alpha roles.  An expedition leader as well as a Starfleet captian.  The pitch to Paramount is about a week or two away and I have my fingers crossed!

Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 02:07:21 PM »
I'll give any new Trek series a chance.  The premise sounds promising, but there's usually a dual alpha sort of dueling wills thing going on between the Captain and the chief medical officer.  This expedition leader sounds like a glorified away team leader. 

Curious about what they'll do in a new galaxy without all the old standby aliens to fall back on.  And hopeful that it means not ever running into the Borg.
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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 05:10:27 PM »
New galaxy without the standard support-aliens will allow the franchise to break new ground.

I'd be up for that. 
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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 06:01:44 PM »
In the same way that TNG neede a year or two to get its bearings, DS9 also needs to be given a chance to get started. They needed some time to get the feel of writing for a station, rather than a moving, exploring ship. It really finds its footing once they make contact with the Dominion (in the second-season finale, "The Jem'Hadar"), and DS9 becomes the Starfleet outpost on the invasion route.
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Eoraptor

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 06:42:14 PM »
The thing you have to remember with DS9 is that it is... different. all of the other Trek Series happen in the setting of a largely human space ship, and humans in Roddenberry's vision have largely achieved their utopia.

DS9 however takes place on the fringe of Federation space in what is a hotly contested warzone; with species who have not yet found their happy place. Therefore it explores a lot of dark and psychological themes that TOS and TNG never really touched on. I think that for 5 of its 7 seasons it does that pretty well. bashir in particular serves as sort of the audience proxy in this... He is coming from a squeaky clean upper crust human world, and expecting to find romance and adventure on the frontier, and instead finds hardship and gritty realism.

The first season or two kind of meander as Firebug says, the series trying to find its legs, but once Worf comes on board and the show is no longer beholden to running concurrent to TNG it begins to pick up its own tone.

Sadly Season 7 kind of went off the rails for a number of reasons... first and foremost they had too many story lines to try to wrap in too few episodes... then of course they lost key cast member terri farrel to CBS and had to replace her, which pancaked the cast dynamic, and several of the staff moved over to Voyager and to the TNG movies. This meant that the writing and pacing went down hill dramatically and old and dynamic stories were reduced to one note settings in the interest of getting the show done. (it didn't help that this was about the time that all of star trek switched from using physical models to CGI props and settings, which was a huge shift in production)

Just go into it knowing that it's intended to be a different kind of trek and you should be happy in viewing most of it.

I still mourn for Season 4 of Enterprise... it was finally turning into the show that the fans deserved, after three years drifting on bad non-canonical writing and constant network meddling to insert more sex and action, but the fans never came back and with the UPN/WB merger it just around the corner it couldn't survive. A shame, the arcs with Brent Spiner and Peter Weller were both great stories.
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Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2015, 09:33:10 AM »
I just want to chime in on the Enterprise front to say that I enjoyed just about every episode with Jeffrey Combs' Andorian character.

Of course, I think I've enjoyed most, if not all, of his characters...

The one part of DS9 I didn't really care for was Keiko.
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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2015, 09:30:01 PM »
Enterprise latched onto a time war which if you don't have a well thought out plan ahead of time, is asking for trouble.

DS9 became good but between the "what? a Star Trek without a ship" and "it's ripping off B5!" it started with a lot baggage.  Plus you had the whole Bajorans = Palestinians/Cardassians = Israeli heavy handedness implied in the first few seasons was a bit of a put off.

Voyager was a good concept but poorly delivered.  I liked the notion of foes needing to work together to get home plus the lack of support from the Federation but they gave up on all the limited supply business too soon.  There were a few good story arcs but the "we will never compromise our UFP creed" a tad too heavy handed at times.

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Super Firebug

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2015, 10:47:48 PM »
Voyager was a good concept but poorly delivered.  I liked the notion of foes needing to work together to get home plus the lack of support from the Federation but they gave up on all the limited supply business too soon.  There were a few good story arcs but the "we will never compromise our UFP creed" a tad too heavy handed at times.

To the last point, I recall Janeway saying, in the pilot episode, that it didn't matter how far from Federation space they were, Voyager was a Starfleet ship, and would be run as such. But there was also the scene where she told Paris and Kim that she didn't care to be called "sir", regardless of what regulations said.

Regarding the limited-supplies point: they were supposed to be on a dangerous trip home, through unfamiliar territory where no one had heard of the Federation - lots of potential for a suspenseful show. But, episode after episode, they'd get into fights and danger, only to have the next episode start with the ship sailing serenely through space, undamaged; Janeway and Chakotay involved in a philosophical discussion on the bridge; Torres chewing out some hapless engineer; the Doctor either being coached to humanness by Kes, or coaching Seven to humanness; Neelix getting on Tuvok's nerves; and Paris and Kim on their way to, or from, the holodeck. Episode after episode. No matter what trouble they got into, you knew the next episode would start the same way. When they announced the "Year of Hell" event (I'll admit that I might not have paid close attention to the commercials), I thought they'd be breaking that pattern: an entire year's episodes of trouble, danger and battles, with the ship becoming more and more damaged, the crew suffering losses, and hope of getting home fading. I was terribly disappointed when it turned out to be just a two-part episode - and with a stinkin' RESET BUTTON at the end. They wasted a lot of new-ground potential with this show.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 12:22:37 AM by Super Firebug »
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Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 06:14:11 AM »
I seem to recall being annoyed at the number of times Voyager did something towards the end of an episode that made the entire episode pointless.  I think I went looking for a list, but didn't immediately find one and lost interest.  "None of that actually happened, LOL" is fun every now and then, but do it too much and you're just trolling the audience.
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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 11:49:00 AM »
Yeah, the played the time travel reset card way too often.

The thing that really ticked me off about Janeway was her unwillingness of playing a Fae Queen in their holodeck fantasy.  Where was the harm in that.  Not like the actress hadn't played one before.



But no, had to confess to the holograph characters about their true nature.  Couldn't let the fantasy play out.
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Eoraptor

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 05:40:31 PM »
I think, if you look at the official trek wiki "Memory Alpha" that several of the characters at the end of the series are actually either time-travel clones or alternate-universe duplicates of their original selves because of that god awful reset  button trope. I know that Harry Kim and the annoying horn-faced little girl are two examples of this, which is at least one too many for serious drama.
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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 03:28:56 AM »
Spoilers! Read the entirety of this review; not only will it make you want to watch DS9, it has a lot of interesting stuff to say in general: http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/2008/02/back-through-wormhole-table-of-contents.html <- spoilers!
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Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 01:13:14 PM »
That's a good breakdown of the series.  Spoiler warnings for any who haven't seen it yet, though.
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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2015, 04:49:25 AM »
*raises hand, speaks like Randy Quaid in ID4*

I like Trek.  I'm a Trekkie.

---

And of all the series and movies... DS9 as a series is my favorite of them all. 

It can be debated on characters, premise, location, etc, ad nauseum. And all that's fine, but what it boils down to is this:  The development of the characters on this series is vaired and grand.  Seasons are spent making characters who they are, and the arcs are huge.  The development of the Klingons in DS9 is greater than in any other series, the Cardassians are made into more than just adversaries, as are the Ferengi, and even the Founders and the Dominion.  The Bajorans grow as a people right before your eyes from the downtrodden to the strong... and so many other little details show up in this series.  It's amazing the amount of detail that went into that series, keeping it all somewhat amazingly together.  For a 'Star Stay' as my dad called it, it was better at being Trek than anyone could have thought when it came out.

Then again, I'm easily amused, I think, and am ready to overlook any flaws because, to me, DS9 is just like a good book... once I get started I won't put it down.

The first and second seasons are all setup and exploratory.  The third season is where it really hits it's stride. 

I recommend you start it from beginning to end (and yes, there'll be groaner episodes, but what series doesn't have those), and at the end of it... I think you'll be glad you did.

And Garak's my favorite character, btw.  He's just so deliciously evil, but for the good guys... mostly. :)  Andrew Robinson was wonderful in his role. 

And then, after you get done with the series, go read the 'Season 8' books and the book by Andrew Robinson that chronicles Garak's life after DS9.

I hope you enjoy, Magus!

Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2015, 12:00:45 PM »
Garak was awesome.  On my last viewing, however, I was impressed by Nog's character (and the Ferengi supporting cast in general) for some reason.
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doc7924

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2015, 11:55:56 PM »
DS9 isn't just a great Star Trek show - its a great show, period.

What makes it my favorite Trek show is that they have to face the consequences. They don't bang off at the end of very episode and leave.
Everyone knows where to find them.

Plus the nature of the show makes for a ton of recurring guest characters, all of which were fantastic.
And the arcs - I mean the Dominion War was some of the best television I have ever seen.
And that one episode where Sisko and Garak plot to get the Romulans on their side. No other Trek show would even imagine doing something like that.

Voyager missed the boat on this - they had the setup where the Starfleet guys and the Maquis got zapped to the other side of the galaxy, And one episode in they are all buddy buddy and pals and all Starfleet again. They could have ran with more conflict for a few more episodes at least.
 

Plus they were the ones to go back to the Mirror Universe not once but about 4 or 5 times. And those are classic as well.
They fleshed out the Klingons a lot more, the Ferengi as well.

The only thing that really bothered me was Avery Brook's instance on doing racial type episodes. I mean the ones where they go out of their way to show how badly white people treated black people in the past.

To me it didn't fit because in the Trek future, there is no racism or bigotry. So why would Sisko be so worried and concerned with something that happened 100's of years ago and has absolutely no place in his present time. We never saw Geordi worry about any of that.

Anyway - watch DS9 - as people said - its a bit slow the first year or so - but by season 3 picks up big time and never stops.


 

Tenzhi

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2015, 12:18:34 AM »
Yeah, Sisko's hang up seemed particularly out of place to me when he was showing aversion to visiting Vic's place on the holodeck.  I think someone actually called him out on how silly he was being.  Was that the episode where they robbed the casino?
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doc7924

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Re: A Trekkie Summons
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2015, 02:48:37 AM »
Yeah, Sisko's hang up seemed particularly out of place to me when he was showing aversion to visiting Vic's place on the holodeck.  I think someone actually called him out on how silly he was being.  Was that the episode where they robbed the casino?

Yeah.

I also forgot to mention the whole Vic hologram and casino in my post. That was brilliant as well.

The casino one was just dumb. He won't help Vic because they didn't let black people in casino's in the 1960's. I rolled my eyes on that one. For a person from the enlighted and racism free 24th Century - that just made no sense.

But the blatant one is when he thinks he is a black sci fi writer in the 1950's, and Sikso and DS9 is a dream. That was just like being hit with a hammer on the head for 45 minutes on how badly blacks were treated back then.