Star Trek DS9: I can’t believe I watched the whole thing!
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Seven seasons. 25 episodes per season. Not like modern shows where a “season” is only 13 episodes. How do I even start to write a review of a s how spanning 176 episodes?
Overall, a better series than Star Trek: The Next Generation. Nine episodes into the third season of TNG, I couldn’t take any more of that. But DS9 still is not as good as more modern television. To compensate for the high quantity of episodes compared to modern shows, the quality just isn’t there.
My favorite minor character in DS9 is Vic Fontaine, a Sinatra-like lounge singer in a 1962 Las Vegas holosuite program. Unfortunately, he wasn’t introduced until the sixth season, but most of the best episodes from the final two seasons featured Vic. My favorite Vic episode is the one where Nog moves into the holosuite and lives with Vic.
Vic appears to be self-aware, and knows that he’s a hologram. And that makes you wonder why the artificial intelligence that exists in the holosuite isn’t used for more practical purposes such as operating spaceships, or for making androids that can replace all human labor. Why do so many people have to die in battle when the technology seems to be there to build a starship operated by artificial intelligence?
DS9 has a lot of Ferengi episodes. The episode of TNG when the Ferengi are first introduced has to be the worst episode ever. In DS9, they decided to use the Ferengi as comic relief. The most hilarious episode of the entire series is when Quark’s mother is held captive by the Dominion, and Quark assembles a commando team of Ferengi to rescue her. Nevertheless, I don’t think the Ferengi fit in with the overall tone of Star Trek which was supposed to be a show you can take seriously, but nothing about the Ferengi can you take very seriously as they are an over-the-top parody of the worst stereotypes of greedy Republican-voting businessmen.
It’s also hard to take the Klingons seriously. I have to say that I like the Klingons of the original series better. The original Klingons may have seemed like simple stand-ins for the Soviet Union (the enemy of the United States in the 1960s), but at least they were believable as a militaristic empire. By trying to deepen the Klingons and give them more of a culture, they really turned them into a bunch of buffoons who, in a real universe, could never organize into an economy capable of producing space ships because they’d be too busy fighting with each other and refusing to do any work that didn’t involve physical combat.
I didn’t like the preachiness of the final two seasons during which the Federation is at war with the Dominion. For example, in one episode, Doctor Bashir (played by half-Sudanese actor Alexander Siddig) is outraged when he discovers that a secretive Federation spy agency “Section 31,” created a virus to kill all of the Founders, the shape-shifting aliens who control the Dominion they are at war with. Given that the Dominion wants to conquer the Federation and they care nothing about the life of humanoids, killing the Founders sounds like common sense to me. I mean, it was a live or die situation. But Bashir is all outraged about “genocide.”
The war ended with a huge cop-out, replaying the myth of World War II in which even the losers of the war are better off being conquered. Throughout the war, the Cardassians were the enemy, but by the final episode, what really happened is that the Federation liberated them from the Dominion. And the Founders benefited from losing the war, because they got the cure to the virus which otherwise would have killed them all. Vice Admiral Ross even quotes General MacArthur.