Posts Tagged ‘DS9’

Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Relationships

So, I believe it was last week when I mentioned I’d gone back to watching DS9. I’m a few episodes into Season 5 (watched two this morning, both of which I think I’ve somehow never seen before) and I was again struck by something that has been very noticeable this time around, and that’s the relationship between Captain Sisko and his son, Jake.

I think, as a kid and then later a college student, that I just lumped this in with the rest of the (admittedly, usually excellent) relationships which are, I would argue, really what makes DS9 work. But as a parent myself, rewatching these episodes (especially the tear-jerking season 4 episode “The Visitor”, which you should watch whether you’ve watched any other DS9 or not) have really resonated this time through. And they do a great job–any episode that has focused on Sisko and Jake has tended to be very strong. Kudos to everyone who wrote or acted or was related to them, because I do think it’s one of the best parent/child relationships I’ve seen portrayed on television.

DS9 tends to be people’s favorite or least favorite of the Trek series, probably because it’s so different. But because they have a “home base,” so to speak, it allowed them to do things differently, including a lot more focus on characters and relationships. I love the original series and Next Generation, but they’re more adventure of the week stories. Data and Spock are really the only characters whose background/feelings/growth are explored, and that’s because they’re the Other. DS9 does that to some extent with Odo, but almost every character–even side ones, like Rom or Nog–gets a character arc at some point.

And it explores family more too. There’s actually a lot of single father examples. Besides Sisko and Jake, there’s Rom and Nog and also Worf and Alexander at points. The O’Briens are a complete family unit with small children. They go into sibling relationships with Quark and Rom. And unlike Next Gen, where at times it’s not really clear where the children go during emergencies (or how they deal with the aftermath), these family relationships can be central in an emergency instead of being glossed over.

And I think, as an adult, I can appreciate this all more, both as good television and good writing skills. I stopped watching as a kid (I must have been 12 or 13) because of something silly which, in retrospect, was an opportunity for them to explore what happened when someone was isolated from their own type, even if they’d never really been home in the first place. To adapt to change. To live as something different but common, instead of being what you were and alone.

Anyway, if you want excellent ensemble television, with the occasional explosion or time travel romp, I highly recommend DS9. You do kind of have to watch it in order, though, to understand the multiseason Dominion War arc (and its predecessor wars with the Cardassians and the Klingons).

Fan of DS9, Squiders? Like Trek in general? Why or why not? Which series is your favorite?

Rewatching Favorite Scifi Shows

First off, I want to apologize for being so hung-up on science fiction lately. I can’t help it. I have a bit of an addictive personality, so I get fixated on things and it’s hard to break away to other things. Rest assured, I shall probably get sick of it soon, and then we can do all fantasy all the time instead for a while.

(If it helps, I am reading a fantasy anthology at the moment called Fantasy Gone Wrong. The quality of the stories varies wildly, like all anthologies, unfortunately.)

I’ve been rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine lately. (Hereafter known as DS9.) It’s not really my fault. Literally all my friends are watching it right now, and it’s one of my very favorite TV shows, so I thought I’d watch it too. I’m a few episodes into season 3, so we’re starting to get episodes dedicated to the overall arcing Dominion plot mixed in with the occasional very strange character-based episodes.

(You know, I feel Sisko is a bit forgotten in the whole land of character-based episodes. Hm.)

Anyway.

It’s always interesting re-watching a show. When the show is new to you, everything is a surprise. (Well, hopefully, anyway.) You don’t know where things are going to go, what character twists are going to happen, whether those two characters you ship are ever going to get together.

When you re-watch, you may not remember everything that happened, but there’ll be episodes where you know the ending before you get there, where you know what the twist will be at the end because you know how the overall plot goes, even if you don’t remember the specifics. You anticipate new characters and plot points because you know they’re coming.

The mystery is lost, but it’s sort of like coming home to an old friend.

I admit I’m not much of a re-watcher. There’s so many series I hope to get to eventually. And something like DS9 is a big time commitment. But it is interesting to watch a show go from its inevitably awkward beginning to a well-oiled machine, to remember how subplots unraveled and foreshadowing was mixed in.

Any favorite shows you’re watching at the moment, Squiders? Any that you like to go back to again and again? Or do you prefer to move ever forward, leaving old shows in your dust?