Deep Space Nine: a thread for (re)watching this awesome series

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We've had a couple of DS9 threads before, but they were mostly about specific characters, so I think the the series deserves one of its own. And since it's been recently added to Netflix outside the US too, I think it'd be nice to discuss it with people who are watching it for the first time, or rewatching it like I'm doing at the moment.

And since this thread should be friendly to new viewers, let's try avoid spoilers if possible, and mark any posts with spoiler with an appropriate warning. I think it's okay to mention names like the Dominion or Pah-Wraiths, but please don't discuss any twists and revelations about them without a spoiler warning.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 11:19 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm in the middle of rewatching the first season, and since I remembered it being as poor in quality as the first TNG season, I've been a bit surprised that there are actually several episodes that are quite good or even classic (besides "Duet", who's classicness is widely accepted). "Past Prologue", the second episode (third episode in Netflix, since they use the production order rather than the airing order) is already very good and touches several of the themes that will become unique to DS9.

OTOH, you also have eps like "Babel", which are okay but feel more like rewritten TNG scripts... Maybe that's why the first season feels so spotty, because it has more TNG-style, continuity-free episodes than the later seasons, where the big plot arcs start to roll.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 11:27 (one year ago) Permalink

The "weird space phenomenon of the week" type of plots work in TNG, but I don't think DS9 finds its own flavour until it de-emphasizes those in favour of galactic politics and intrigue.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 11:33 (one year ago) Permalink

I do not accept the classicness of "Duet"!

Pean-Juc Leeecard (Leee), Monday, 14 November 2016 15:18 (one year ago) Permalink

Like, maybe I'm showing my ignorance of WWII history, but I can't imagine that


an accomplice to genocide would be so wracked by guilt that he'd go to such radical lengths to force a war-crimes reckoning -- seemed like precisely the moral corrective that victims of genocide / retrospective capital-H History would fantasize about.


Pean-Juc Leeecard (Leee), Monday, 14 November 2016 15:25 (one year ago) Permalink

If that episode was in a realistic WWII series, I would tend to agree, but this is Star Trek! It's an allegory, a moral fable, and I think it works very well as such.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 17:02 (one year ago) Permalink

I mean, one of the main themes of the entire franchise is that our better nature can in the end overcome all the horrible things we've done. I wouldn't want a ST that's cynical in that regard, that's for some other sci-fi series to do.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 17:06 (one year ago) Permalink

I love watch Jake grow up over the first few seasons. He's so young at the start! Brooks has discussed it before, but he had a real bond with Cirroc Lofton and it really shows as their relationship develops.

Jeff, Monday, 14 November 2016 17:08 (one year ago) Permalink

I wouldn't want a ST that's cynical in that regard, that's for some other sci-fi series to do.

That's what DS9 turns into in the 6th and 7th seasons though, no?

Pean-Juc Leeecard (Leee), Monday, 14 November 2016 17:39 (one year ago) Permalink

Maybe for some stretches, but in the end not really, because...
...the whole series ends with the rather optimistic and Star Trekkian idea that the Dominion can be reasoned with, that they can learn to understand solids and eventually change their oppressive ways.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 21:29 (one year ago) Permalink

I just rewatched the 1st season episode "Battle Lines", and I hadn't realised before that Jonathan Banks (aka Mike from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) has a major role in it! He plays the leader of the Ennis, one of the two warring factions the protagonists come across. And he conveys a similar cynical and bitter amusement as he does with Mike, I guess that's really his forte. Perfect casting!

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 21:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Watching the pilot. Sisko explaining the dictionary to dimwitted transcendental beings is hard going.

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Monday, 14 November 2016 22:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, I always found that bit tedious too, and it didn't feel very credible either: if the wormhole aliens don't understand certain concepts because of their non-linear existence, how is explaining them with different words gonna help?

That said, the payoff to that scene ("then why do you exist here?) is still pretty great and moving.

Tuomas, Monday, 14 November 2016 22:33 (one year ago) Permalink

idk because language is multivalent and certain words/phrases might get routed differently through the universal translator

mh ๐Ÿ˜, Monday, 14 November 2016 22:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Goddamn it I still have to finish my TNG rewatch don't start this thread now :)

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 14 November 2016 23:04 (one year ago) Permalink

idk because language is multivalent and certain words/phrases might get routed differently through the universal translator

To me that scene felt like the wormhole aliens were communicating to Sisko directly via telepathy, so the universal translator wasn't involved. Presumably the aliens' language is so different from humanoid ones that the UT can't even process it.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 15 November 2016 12:46 (one year ago) Permalink

oh yeah, I forgot all their interactions take place in mental dream time

mh ๐Ÿ˜, Tuesday, 15 November 2016 14:54 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah. Also, for some inexplicable reason the aliens only want to talk to Sisko, while they immediately send Dax away from the wormhole. I guess they're afraid of cooties?

Tuomas, Wednesday, 16 November 2016 07:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Just a couple of episodes in but to my surprise I am enjoying not hating the low budget soap opera feel.

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Wednesday, 16 November 2016 09:04 (one year ago) Permalink

I think DS9 actually had a reasonably large budget for its era, with the virtue of being a Star Trek show. Certainly most the effects still look pretty good, especially when you compare them to a lower-budget show like Babylon 5, whose CGI would nowadays look crappy even in a budget video game.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 16 November 2016 10:47 (one year ago) Permalink

The big exception I guess is Odo's morphing, which does look silly, but I think those effects were state-of-the-art back then. And you can see budget cuts the show took later on from the fact that in later seasons Odo often doesn't morph even when it would make sense him to do so, or he morphs offscreen.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 16 November 2016 10:49 (one year ago) Permalink

Ok low stakes rather than low budget - Keiko becoming a schoolteacher is hardly JR getting shot. I know, there's plenty of high stakes galactic political intrigue to come.

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Wednesday, 16 November 2016 13:25 (one year ago) Permalink

Ok, I get what you mean, and I myself like these low stakes stories too. DS9 has a great ensemble cast, and I like how they, unlike TNG, often build the drama on personal interaction and avoid the Weird Space Threat of the Week altogether. Plus the lower stakes make sense considering the stable setting. With the Enterprise, they can sorta justify meeting things that endanger the ship or some random planet every week, because they're constantly on the move, but it'd feel ridiculous if Bajor was constantly under some new, previously unheard of cosmic threat.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 16 November 2016 13:43 (one year ago) Permalink

The low-stakes stories don't happen till much later in the series IMO, because nearly every episode in the first couple season strike me as having an existential threat shoe-horned into it (see that one where Dax is hazing a Trill would-be initiate and accidentally breaks space-time).

Meighton Leeester (Leee), Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:54 (one year ago) Permalink

I just rewatched "Progress", which is an excellent example of a first season episode with low stakes. (Okay, if Mullibok stays on the moon he will die, but it's obvious they'll beam him up against his will before letting that happen, so the whole point of the episode is really just the moral dilemma his stubborness causes Kira to face.) But you're right that they do become more prominent in later seasons, when the writers are more comfortable in not following the narrative traditions of earlier ST series.

Tuomas, Thursday, 17 November 2016 08:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Trying to do this properly and not skip any but I'm in the middle of the first season slump and things are only going to get worse:

Deep Space Nine is put in jeopardy when the crew's thoughts manifest themselves, and such figures as Rumpelstiltskin appear.

The Federation ambassador from Betazed, Lwaxana Troi, visits the station, and develops an affection for Odo.

Can't I skip them? Pleeease?

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Monday, 21 November 2016 20:26 (one year ago) Permalink

It's all part of a rich tapestry, ledge

You cld comfortably skip ahead to the first episode w/ the Jem'Hadar, tbh

Darcy Sarto (Ward Fowler), Monday, 21 November 2016 20:38 (one year ago) Permalink

you can skip the rest of the first season except for Progress and Duet imo

i wouldn't skip much in season 2, there's some fun throwaway episodes there

ciderpress, Monday, 21 November 2016 20:46 (one year ago) Permalink

Those are both good episodes! You do have to have a taste for camp, though.

Meighton Leeester (Leee), Monday, 21 November 2016 21:16 (one year ago) Permalink

The Rumpelstiltskin episode is skippable (it's pretty much a TNG style "weird space phenomenon of the week" story with no larger importance), but I wouldn't skip the Lwaxana episode. It ends up subverting our expectations of the character, and Majel Barrett is wonderful while doing that. Plus it has some important character revelations about Odo. The Lwaxana eps in DS9 (there's a couple of more to follow) in general are better than her TNG episodes, because they treat her less like a joke.

And you definitely shouldn't skip to the first Jem'Hadar episode! In the second season the quality of writing gets better, and the opening three-parter has some very important plot development w/r/t Bajoran politics that will resonate right until the end of the series.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 22 November 2016 08:17 (one year ago) Permalink

I wouldn't skip the Lwaxana episode


Progress was ok, critical character development for Kira, that guy was a dick though.

The Storyteller prob the worst I've seen so far. Fatuous group psychology + ludicrous deus ex machina.

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Tuesday, 22 November 2016 13:12 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, The Storyteller's A plot is probably the worst in the entire series, except for "Profit and Lace".

Tuomas, Tuesday, 22 November 2016 15:25 (one year ago) Permalink

I love how "Progress" subverts the viewer's expectation of what sort of a story it's gonna be, i.e. your typical "the underdog is always right" tale where were supposed to root for this one stubborn guy and forgot about the utilitarian alternative, and instead it turns into a lesson for Kira that sometimes siding with The Man is the right thing to do.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 22 November 2016 15:35 (one year ago) Permalink

I love how Quark's life is saved when he bends over to pick up a nickel.

schwantz, Wednesday, 23 November 2016 04:20 (one year ago) Permalink

I do not accept the classicness of "Duet"!

I second that emotion!

quis gropes ipsos gropiuses? (ledge), Monday, 28 November 2016 08:59 (one year ago) Permalink

Can you elaborate?

Tuomas, Monday, 28 November 2016 10:15 (one year ago) Permalink

i like Duet but agree that it is pretty contrived

ciderpress, Monday, 28 November 2016 12:17 (one year ago) Permalink

I like Duet, too. It may be contrived, but it's far and away one of the strongest episodes of the first couple seasons.

I actually had to think about which episode it was, since I always confuse it with Waltz. (Mentally filed under "heavy episodes where two characters square off moralizing against each other.")

Millsner, Monday, 28 November 2016 12:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Contrived and hammy. I liked the camp survivors standing round all dressed in rags to elicit maximum sympathy.

the year of diving languorously (ledge), Monday, 28 November 2016 12:59 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Kira and Dax notwithstanding this show is being hella sexist right now. Sisko and O'Brien land on a planet and find some earth people marooned there for ten years. One guy says 'I used to be an engineer!', another guy says 'who won the soccer?', a woman steps forward and says 'what are the latest fashions?' smdh. And don't get me started on the Ferengi, a bit of light comic relief from a species who oppress their women in the most contemptible fashion.

That episode with the marooned dude was pretty good though, until the final insulting two minutes.

the year of diving languorously (ledge), Wednesday, 14 December 2016 13:34 (one year ago) Permalink


the year of diving languorously (ledge), Wednesday, 14 December 2016 13:34 (one year ago) Permalink

trek gotta trek

i enjoyed the 3-parter opening season 2. that evil religious lady is a good villain!

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 14 December 2016 14:47 (one year ago) Permalink

I think the Lwaxana episodes are good curatives to the usual Trek sexism, IIRC.

Bianca Smell BO (Leee), Thursday, 15 December 2016 01:11 (one year ago) Permalink

on the recommendation of the ILE tastemaking consensus and because I am into day five of being sick as a goddamn dog, I've now set my sights on climbing this mountain of a show. Damn but it is a lot of episodes. I'm about 8 deep into S1 and it strikes me as mostly ok trek, if a little boring. I barely remember watching it during it's orginal run, and couldn't have stuck with it for more than part of S1 and a few into S2 or 3. I find it the kind of show I can watch with my eyes closed. As long as I have the dialogue I can fill in the rest. So far I'm liking Quark mostly because he gets picked on way too much. Kira yells 100% of her dialogue and Dax is to date perhaps the most boring trek character ever created. I'm sure I'll see things change. Anyway, I'm in.

great Canadian prog-psych debut from 1969 (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 16 December 2016 01:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Lwaxana episodes are getting better and better, carrying over from TNG (outside that ghastly drowning kid one). it quite enjoyed seeing her paired with Odo, it's kind of a perfect match, and their little adventure together was very endearing and sweet.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 16 December 2016 14:49 (one year ago) Permalink

i recall one bad lwaxana episode that was one of the worst of the series but the other couple she's in are fine

ciderpress, Friday, 16 December 2016 14:51 (one year ago) Permalink

11/28/1994. Fascination โ€” A mysterious virus causes the DS9 characters to begin falling in love with each other on sight.

this was the bad one iirc

ciderpress, Friday, 16 December 2016 14:53 (one year ago) Permalink

good god that's going to be a terrible episode on any version of Trek, save the TOS, where it would be hilarious

great Canadian prog-psych debut from 1969 (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 16 December 2016 15:43 (one year ago) Permalink

Kinda surprised if it wasn't used in TOS already, TNG had "The Naked Now" right?

Nhex, Friday, 16 December 2016 18:09 (one year ago) Permalink

I've just seen 'the captain (commander) falls in love with a ghost', that was pretty bad

the year of diving languorously (ledge), Friday, 16 December 2016 20:00 (one year ago) Permalink

Canโ€™t get behind the Vic hate. Probably one of the best holographic characters in ST history.

Jeff, Friday, 1 December 2017 18:39 (seven months ago) Permalink

low bar

mookieproof, Friday, 1 December 2017 18:43 (seven months ago) Permalink

yeah i loathed vic fontaine except for the episode with nog, which is one of the best episodes of the series

scoff walker (diamonddave85), Friday, 1 December 2017 18:46 (seven months ago) Permalink

ooof just imagining joe piscopo trying to cheer up nog by replicating himself into a million jerry lewises.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 1 December 2017 18:50 (seven months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Hey this is pretty good

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 18 December 2017 02:26 (six months ago) Permalink

I watched the S2 3 part opener and it felt to me like the BSG season that opened in the prison camp--a serious impressive arc that gets kinda haplessly left behind for more episodic stuff as the season proceeds.

Bashir is fuckin annoying

Dax is a better idea than she is character

Odo's a fuckin fascist

I'm super into the colonizer/colonized storylines that I feel like deal with morally tangled stuff well but man could I do without seeing more than a few minutes of quark ever again.

Wasn't that impressed by the introduction of the rebel colonists that everybody says is great

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 18 December 2017 02:52 (six months ago) Permalink

Been sick all weekend so I just tore through all of season 2

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 18 December 2017 02:53 (six months ago) Permalink

This series would have been even better if Roddenberry's original vision of the Ferengi as big-dicked sex villains had lived on.

louise ck (milo z), Monday, 18 December 2017 02:57 (six months ago) Permalink

Did it not

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 18 December 2017 03:08 (six months ago) Permalink

Ugh nog is the most annoying

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 18 December 2017 05:37 (six months ago) Permalink

Get ready for people to quote those words back to you when it's season six and Nog is great :)

Millsner, Monday, 18 December 2017 15:53 (six months ago) Permalink

The fact that DS9 has an entire Ferengi family drama embedded in it isn't immediately evident (and all of the stuff with Quark's mom and the Ferengi leadership is ridiculous) but Quark/Rom/Nog have as many scenes about family as the Siskos by the end

mh, Monday, 18 December 2017 16:01 (six months ago) Permalink

its really just the ferengi squeal noise that i hate and nog is the most high pitched of all

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 18 December 2017 16:06 (six months ago) Permalink

get ready for one of those squeals to make you cry later on in the series

scoff walker (diamonddave85), Monday, 18 December 2017 16:40 (six months ago) Permalink

okay i'm now halfway through the third season and i still don't get it

quark just hacked into the personnel files to create a kira sex holosuite program and lol we're gonna let that slide too

lwaxanna's 'condition' just made everyone try to bite each others' chins (wtf stop 'kissing' like that)

the t. riker show had (vague) promise but turned out lame. so far the only a+ episode is secret android chief o'brien imo

mookieproof, Thursday, 28 December 2017 06:09 (six months ago) Permalink

Secret Android Chief O'Brien was awesome

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 28 December 2017 18:16 (six months ago) Permalink

first show aired 25 years ago today

mookieproof, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 22:02 (six months ago) Permalink

that statement seems completely unreal to me

mh, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 22:03 (six months ago) Permalink


BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 4 January 2018 16:15 (six months ago) Permalink

very happy to read that but wtf with that blue beard

Nhex, Thursday, 4 January 2018 20:12 (six months ago) Permalink

and no avery brooks again :(

Nhex, Thursday, 4 January 2018 20:14 (six months ago) Permalink

Sisko Stu doesn't advertise.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 5 January 2018 22:17 (six months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

good article

Nhex, Monday, 22 January 2018 21:08 (five months ago) Permalink

Wow, agreed. The Sisko & Son relationship is palpably affectionate, and the actors' chemistry is obvious. I didn't know that Brooks became a father figure to Cirroc Lofton, but in retrospect it's definitely there.

Kirk Cobain (Leee), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 01:22 (five months ago) Permalink

Heโ€™s said as much at cons. They are still close. You could tell on screen, it was genuine.

Jeff, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 01:24 (five months ago) Permalink

Yeah. And I love all the little flourishes they inject into their scenes, like Ben passing a dish behind his back to Jake when they were sitting down for dinner.

Joanna NEU!some (Leee), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 01:31 (five months ago) Permalink

just watched the ben-and-jake-fly-ancient-bajoran-replica-to-cardassia ep last night -- first appearance of sisko's goatee! -- and yeah totally

i'm definitely settling into things here late in s03 and looking forward to more! still have to zing the stupid stuff (like the space fireworks at the end of the aforementioned episode) tho

mookieproof, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 02:25 (five months ago) Permalink

Head shaved, goatee on, ready to go.

Jeff, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 02:29 (five months ago) Permalink


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 03:37 (five months ago) Permalink

The reason Paramount made Brooks grow out his hair and shave his goatee is so sad and stupid.

Joanna NEU!some (Leee), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:07 (five months ago) Permalink

where does that appear

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:18 (five months ago) Permalink

wasn't it because they thought it made him look too similar to his character in Spencer for Hire?

Nhex, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:19 (five months ago) Permalink

I read it in the Trek oral history, and yeah, they didn't want DS9 viewers to confuse him with Spencer For Hire.

Joanna NEU!some (Leee), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 22:32 (five months ago) Permalink

I'm watching DS9 for the first time. I gave up on season 1 a few episodes in and just watched the episodes considered the best. Now I'm into season 3. I'll say that the end of season 2 from "The Maquis" onwards was excellent.

adam the (abanana), Thursday, 1 February 2018 08:14 (five months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Got a little emotional when Worf was accepted into the House of Martok. Could not give a shit about 8000 people ceasing to exist due to timey-wimey shit. Acceptable reaction y/n?

lana del boy (ledge), Thursday, 15 February 2018 20:20 (five months ago) Permalink


That was a largely stupid episode IMO, save for Sisko squeeing over a babby.

Chard Michaels (Leee), Friday, 16 February 2018 01:01 (five months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

That's it, I've reached my limit, I finally have to say something. "Warrior" is three syllables, not two, and the first one isn't "war".

lana del boy (ledge), Friday, 6 April 2018 07:53 (three months ago) Permalink


ok, I'm still guessing, what's the three-syllable version without war as the first? wah-ree-yor?

alvin noto (mh), Friday, 6 April 2018 14:31 (three months ago) Permalink

Ah the minefield of explaining pronunciation on the internet. I guess depending on where you're from and how you say them they might rhyme, for me the first vowel sound in warrior is shorter than war, rhymes with dot not door.

From I think it's more ษ’ than a ษ” or o. Clicking around there is hilarious btw...

war-yer is general martok's preferred and oft-repeated version.

lana del boy (ledge), Friday, 6 April 2018 15:07 (three months ago) Permalink

klingons learned english from americans is what I feel

alvin noto (mh), Friday, 6 April 2018 15:30 (three months ago) Permalink

Then they have no honorrrrrr.

lana del boy (ledge), Friday, 6 April 2018 17:34 (three months ago) Permalink

shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang

i am the war-yer

clouds, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 17:13 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm near the end of season 4. the one where they wipe worf's brother's memory is shit -- everyone acting like assisted suicide has never been done on trek before.

adam the (abanana), Tuesday, 10 April 2018 17:32 (three months ago) Permalink


mookieproof, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 19:22 (three months ago) Permalink

h8 u 2 >=(

Meme Imfurst (Leee), Tuesday, 10 April 2018 20:34 (three months ago) Permalink

season 4 is where it starts to get really good tbh.

ian, Tuesday, 10 April 2018 20:40 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

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