Fri
Aug 8 2014 2:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “A Time to Stand”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand“A Time to Stand”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 6, Episode 1
Production number 40510-525
Original air date: September 29, 1997
Stardate: unknown

Station log: We get a summary of “Call to Arms,” and then pick up with a huge convoy of Starfleet and Klingon ships that have gotten their asses well and truly kicked. The three months since they abandoned DS9 have been spent in a constant state of defeat—attack, get their asses kicked, regroup. To make matters worse, the Seventh Fleet was massacred at the Tyra system, losing all but 14 of the 112 ships in the fleet to the Dominion. Tensions are high, and morale is in the toilet.

On Terok Nor, Dukat is happy as a pig in poop, as the war is going well for his side. Weyoun is also happy because Bajorans are returning to the station. Dukat and Damar wish to up security because they don’t trust the Bajorans, but Kira wants Odo’s security force reinstated to maintain order on the Promenade—basically the same arrangement they had with the Federation, which is what Weyoun promised. But Dukat refuses to trust the Bajorans, and Weyoun decides to let it rest for now, and they can revisit it later. Kira says she’ll remember he said that.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Once Kira leaves, Weyoun upbraids Dukat, making sure to kick Damar out of the room first. Weyoun isn’t happy that the minefield hasn’t been taken down yet. They need reinforcements and fresh supplies of ketracel-white. Dukat insists he'll get the minefield down and he has everything under control. Weyoun is dubious.

Kira and Odo meet up in Quark’s. They need to bide their time and keep Bajor out of the war. But Kira is worried about the Federation losing, and she doesn’t trust Dukat. She doesn’t trust Weyoun, either, but at least he’s interested in keeping good relations with Bajor. Quark also points out that, as occupations go, this one isn’t so bad: no labor camps, no dying and miserable Bajorans.

Jake tries to get an interview with Weyoun. But Weyoun refuses because he’s read Jake’s other articles—and withheld their transmission to the Federation, to Jake’s annoyance. But Jake promises to try to be more balanced—like by not referring to the Dominion’s control of Terok Nor as an “occupation”—and Weyoun promises to reconsider the interview at a future date.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

The Defiant reports to Starbase 375, where Admiral Ross provides Sisko with a new assignment: to take the Jem’Hadar attack ship they captured and use it to penetrate Dominion space and wipe out the one and only white facility they have in the Alpha Quadrant. They spend the next two weeks learning how the ship operates. It has no chairs, no viewscreen, no food replicators (one wonders what the Vorta eat), and no infirmary (they’re using Bashir’s quarters for a sickbay). The mission includes Sisko, Dax, O’Brien, Nog, Bashir, and Garak, the latter for his knowledge of Cardassian territory—and, as they soon learn, for his ability to use the Dominion headsets, which give Sisko a migraine.

Dukat summons Kira to his office, wondering why in three months they haven’t spent any time together. Kira has no interest in flattering Dukat, but Dukat desperately wants Kira’s approval. He even tries to get her to think they have an intimate relationship—which revolts Kira to no end.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

The U.S.S. Centaur discovers the Jem’Hadar ship and fires on them—taking out the communications systems, so they can’t tell Sisko’s old friend Captain Charlie Reynolds that they’re the good guys. Sisko hopes that Reynolds won’t cross the border, but he does, forcing Sisko to drop out of warp and fire back. But the Centaur retreats to Federation space when three more Jem’Hadar ships show up. They have to leave the Centaur to fend for itself while they continue on their mission.

Kira, fed up with Dukat’s gloating, bitches to Odo, who bitches right back that he’s a useless figurehead. He has no security force, no authority—but Kira convinces him to ask for that. Dukat won’t go for it, but he can go over his head to Weyoun, who views Odo as a god. Sure enough, when Odo asks for it, Weyoun gives it unequivocally, and the Vorta shuts Dukat’s objection down. In exchange, Weyoun asks Odo to be part of the ruling council along with him and Dukat. Dukat hates the idea, and Kira isn’t thrilled either, as it validates the Dominion’s occupation. But Odo will have a voice in station policy, and he’ll have Kira backstopping him.

Sisko’s team observes the procedure at the white facility: request fresh supplies, force field goes down, go into position over station, beam down empty canisters, receive full canisters in return, force field goes down again, leave. O’Brien has rigged one of their “empty” canisters with an explosive. They go through the process—but the Dominion won't lower the force field, so the ship can’t leave, which means they’ll be caught in the explosion. They come up with a way to blow up the shield generator, but before they can implement it, their bomb goes off prematurely. They manage to get away, but the ship is very badly damaged—including no warp drive. Which means it’ll take 17 years to get back to Federation space...

The Sisko is of Bajor: Sisko waits three months to contact his father and tell him that Jake chose to stay behind on the station. Joseph is, to say the least, not pleased about that, nor is he happy to learn that the war is actually going worse than the news service says it is. Sisko says Joseph didn’t raise him to be a liar, and Joseph retorts that he raised him to be a chef, for all the good that did.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Don’t ask my opinion next time: Kira is miserable on Terok Nor, having to take orders from Dukat, try to work with Weyoun, and convince Odo to use his power over Weyoun to their advantage. Even when they get what they want, it doesn’t feel like a victory.

The slug in your belly: Dax’s nifty piloting skills get them away from the station in one piece, albeit a very badly damaged piece.

Preservation of mass and energy is for wimps: Odo doesn't wish to use his natural authority over Weyoun to his advantage because he’s incredibly uncomfortable with being considered a god, but Kira talks him into it. This restores the Bajoran security force on the station but also puts Odo on the station’s ruling council.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Rules of Acquisition: Quark is pleased because profits are up in the bar, though his attempts to engage the Jem’Hadar in conversation prove problematic, and rather one-sided.

For Cardassia! Dukat almost pleadingly explains to Kira that joining the Dominion was the only way to save Cardassia, which had been reduced to a third-rate power.

Plain, simple: Garak proves invaluable for his knowledge of Cardassia, and his ability to use the headsets without getting a headache. He also takes several opportunities to engage in McCoy-like snark at Bashir’s newly Spock-like tendencies, since the doctor is no longer hiding that he’s genetically enhanced.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Worf and Dax see each other for the first time in five weeks. Dax jumps into Worf’s arms. Worf, at Martok’s urging (because he apparently hasn’t shut up about it for days), registers a complaint about the order of events at the forthcoming wedding. They’re so cute...

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Victory is life: Weyoun still has to constantly remind Dukat who’s in charge. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Notably, though, when Dukat tries to object to Odo’s request, Weyoun slaps Dukat down so fast his head spins.

Keep your ears open: “First we shed blood, then we feast.”

“As it should be.”

Dax and Worf, planning their wedding.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Welcome aboard: Because apparently there aren’t enough recurring characters on the show, this episode gives us another one in Barry Jenner’s Ross. We also get the triumphant return of Brock Peters as Joseph, plus the usual suspects—Marc Alaimo as Dukat, Casey Biggs as Damar, Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun, Aron Eisenberg as Nog, J.G. Hertzler as Martok, and Andrew J. Robinson as Garak.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

Trivial matters: This episode was dedicated to the memory of Brandon Tartikoff, the former Chairman of Paramount Pictures, who died shortly before the episode aired. Tartikoff was at least partially responsible for DS9’s existence, as he was the one who went to Rick Berman to see about doing a second Trek show.

This episode marked the beginning of a six-episode arc that officially commenced the Dominion War. It’s the first six-part story in Trek history, and one of only two multipart stories of its type (the other being the final arc of the series).

The Jem’Hadar vessel was captured in “The Ship.”

This entire arc resulted in an interesting four-book novel series from Pocket Books. Books 1 and 3 were billed as TNG, entitled Behind Enemy Lines and Tunnel Through the Stars; written by John Vornholt, they told an original tale of the Enterprise-E that was parallel to this six-episode arc. Meanwhile the TV arc itself was novelized in Books 2 and 4, entitled Call to Arms and Sacrifice of Angels and written by Diane Carey. Book 2 opened with the very end of “Call to Arms,” with the rest of it adapting this episode, “Rocks and Shoals,” and “Sons and Daughters.” The novels develop the character of Charlie Reynolds, as well.

Your humble rewatcher’s Starfleet Corps of Engineers tale War Stories included a portion that took place on the Lexington, which was established as one of the fourteen ships from the seventh fleet that survived the massacre at the Tyra system. The story told of the ship’s next battle after Tyra, and focused on the character of Dr. Elizabeth Lense, a regular in the S.C.E. series, who was introduced in the episode “Explorers.”

Martok’s coming aboard the Defiant for medical care because of the inadequacy of Klingon doctors will be explored in your humble rewatcher’s various bits of Klingon fiction, as Martok supports the efforts of a Klingon doctor named B’Oraq, who is trying to improve the state of Klingon medicine.

Walk with the Prophets: “You’re not genetically engineered, you’re a Vulcan.” This is a good table-setter for the six-episode arc, putting all the pieces in place. We have the Starfleet crew, plus Garak, working to try to turn the tide back toward the Alpha Quadrant’s favor. The teaser nicely sets up the low morale and depression of everyone over the constant losses without actually showing us our heroes regularly losing. But the sense of failure is palpable, so Ross sending Sisko and the others on a covert mission that actually succeeds proves a nice palliative. The opening puts our heroes at their lowest ebb, so they have a way to move up from that. The mission itself is fairly standard and hits all the beats, and mostly works due to some excellent dialogue—like the exchange about chairs, sandwiches, and viewscreens while they’re training on the ship’s systems—and the actors’ charms, especially Aron Eisenberg, whose Nog is wonderfully nervous and desperately competent.

Mention must also be made of the return of Brock Peters. The conversation between Sisko pere et fils is a triumph, a moment of humanity amidst the insanity of war that reminds everyone what, exactly, they’re fighting for.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: A Time to Stand

The real meat of the episode, though, is back on the station. Jake is trying to be a wartime reporter and not entirely succeeding, Quark has his bar humming along nicely, and Kira and Odo are trying to find a way to reconcile their need to keep Bajor safe with their utter revulsion at both the Dominion and Cardassia. Having Dukat back on the station is Kira’s worst nightmare, made worse when he gets her in his office to lord his power over her. Dukat has always been skeevy, but never more so than when he cups Kira’s cheek in his hand and declares that they have an intimate relationship, and you just want to run right to the shower.

The difficult moral choices Kira and Odo have to make will be put into stark relief in the next episode. For now, though, the awkwardness and unpleasantness bodes ill.

This six-episode arc is one of DS9’s high points, and this episode starts the ball rolling very well.

 

Warp factor rating: 8


Keith R.A. DeCandido was born about ten thousand years ago and he knows just about all there is to know.

70 comments
DougL
1. DougL
This was a good episode and sets the stage for my favourite group of Trek episodes ever.
DougL
2. Russell H
One of the recurring criticisms I’d heard over the years from some people about the Star Trek shows had been the lack of “action;” that is, not enough “military” episodes with lots of exciting combat and shoot-em-up scenes. What this episode, and the ensuing story-arc showed, was just how ugly and demoralizing and violent that kind of “space-war” can really be, not to mention—particularly in this episode—the kinds of moral and ethical compromises and rationalizations that people living under enemy occupation may have to make in order to survive.
David Levinson
3. DemetriosX
One of the things done so well here is Dukat's desperate search for Kira's approval. It's a subtle development from everything that has gone before between these two characters, but it fits perfectly. Coupled with his skeevey attitudes towards Kira has always been a certain respect, maybe because she's always been ready to spit in his eye. And deep down he has to be wondering if he's really done the best thing for Cardassia. If Kira will just approve of him and what he's done, then he can shift his worries and any negative consequences off his shoulders and onto her.
DougL
4. DG1
Star Trek was interesting because it showed a utopian society.DS9 was interesting because it showed a utopian society at war. The only comparable is the Culture books.
DougL
5. TBGH
Great episode. Dukat is in the conversation for best Star Trek villain ever along with Q, the Borg, and Khan (downgraded because of last movie).
DougL
6. Mr. Magic
As with the season finale, it's interesting to compare this to VOY's Season 4 premiere.

Both shows picked up the next season with their crews in the middle of a galactic war with the fate of the UFP hanging in the balance. To quoth Kirk, the odds are against them and the situation is grim.

But here's where the path diverges. DS9 wisely didn't hit the reset button and they didn't get the station back for some time. And even when they do, the War is far from over. This was a good move.

VOY, by contrast, screwed the pooch by not only wrapping up the Borg-8472 conflict in their premiere, but by getting them out of Collective space by the next episode.

That was, with 17 years of retrospection, a BAD move.

For me, it's one of the defining examples of what I've never understood: VOY's almost psychotic need to bash the reset button every single episode.

I mean, I know a lot of that was UPN, but I wish they'd understood how much more viewer payoff they'd have gotten if they'd done more ongoing stories ala DS9 (alas, if only the Kazon arc hadn't fizzled out).
DougL
7. lvsxy808
I always bristle when people call this a six-parter. I really don't think it is. It's six episodes set in a new paradigm that is different to the old paradigm, yes. But the episodes are not one large story just chopped up into six pieces, which is what the phrase 'six-parter' implies.

The first four episodes comprise four almost completely separate stories (the attack on the KW facility, the land battle against the JH, Worf's problems with Alexander, Kira's attempts to form a resistance) with the final two being one story over two eps (the mission to retake the station). It's four single episodes and a two-parter, not a six-parter.

Rant over.
DougL
8. Ashcom
"Quark is pleased because profits are up in the bar, though his attempts to engage the Jem’Hadar in conversation prove problematic, and rather one-sided."

In an otherwise excellent episode, this was the one bit that kind of annoyed me. It was already established in To The Death that the Jem'Hadar despise all forms of recreation and relaxation because they feel it makes them weak. So what are they doing sitting in a bar? Admittedly they don't have drinks and are not so much relaxing as just sitting there not speaking, But the reasoon they are so fearsome in the first place is because they don't need sleep, eat, mate, or do anything other than being the ultimate fighting machines. Even in this episode, that idea is reinforced by the fact that they have no chairs or other facilities on their spacecraft. So the idea of "off duty" Jem'Hadar kind of breaks into that for no apparent reason other than to give Quark a jokey scene.

Aside from that though, a great start to the season. I particularly love the marked difference between Wayoun the snake-oil salesman when he is talking to Kira or Jake, and then how dismissively he behaves around Dukat and the other Cardassians, which then plays directly into Dukat trying to bolster his own ego in the scene with Kira.
Stefan Raets
9. Stefan
Thanks to the blessing of Netflix and the curse of insomnia, I have managed to catch up to this re-watch in about 8 weeks!

One thing that struck me in this episode (and the final one of last season) is the gorgeous design of the Jem'Hadar ships. I always feel that some of the Starfleet ships are a bit pedestrian (don't shoot me) and the other species' fleets never stood out to me, but these Jem'Hadar ones look sleek and threatening and very "alien".

Also, agreed on the scene in Sisko's office between Dukat and Kira - incredibly uncomfortable and skeevy.

I'm happy I'll be able to watch along "in real time" from now on.
DougL
10. Bobby Nash
And the Federation goes to war. I remember being pleasantly surprised at the end of last season that they lost the station. I was even more surprised that Starfleet did not quickly or easily reclaim the station. At that point I was convinced that anything could happen. And boy did it.

There's more good stuff ahead.

Bobby
DougL
11. Cybersnark
@8

Maybe Weyoun ordered the Jem'Hadar to spend time at Quark's to try to "sell" the occupation as. . . whatever he's selling it as. Neighbours coming over for tea, or something.

It seems like something the Vorta would do, ordering their genengineered killers to "look friendly."

Alternately, we know from later sources that the Jem'Hadar do have a sense of curiosity. They probably don't spend much time around non-Dominion citizens. Maybe some of them simply decided to visit the bar to see what the fuss was about.
DougL
12. Mr. Magic
One thing I always liked about Diane Carey's novelization is a bit she sadded expanding on Dukat's slow attempts to dismantled the minefield.

Her take was that Dukat knew that once the War was won, the Dominion would have no more use for Cardassia. So, he was stalling to give the Cardassian war machine time to rebuild.

It would've been interesting to see on-screen and to show that even Dukat realized the honeymoon would only last so long.

Damar, of course, will have to learn this the hard way..,
Robert Dickinson
13. ChocolateRob
Saying that the covert mission succeeded is a bit misleading. Yes they destroyed the facility but it never actually pays off (as best as I remember). The war goes on for two more seasons but the Dominion never does run out of White, it may get mentioned every now and again how much they need it but it never actually has any effect.
I call it false drama that they have this essential plot point on the boil all the time to add tension but all the victories and losses are quite meaningless when the consequences are never bothered with.
DougL
14. Mr. Magic
Good point about the White.

This is why I wish Insurrection had been more closely tied to the Dominion War.

With the exposition about the Son'a producing Ketracrel White, they should have had the UFP giving Ba'ku to the Son'a a condition of ceasing production for the Dominion.

And it'd have provided a great moral dilemma for Picard: Save 500 people or allow a key ally of the Dominion to keep on helping them.
DougL
15. Ward3
I agree that the only thing I have a real problem with is the lack of followup on the lack of White. OK, the wormhole is closed, and the mention of the Sona comes much later on, but it would have been useful to have that stated sooner. Otherwise, I adore this episode and cringe every time I see Dukat dare to touch Kira.
Christopher Bennett
16. ChristopherLBennett
This is one of those episodes where I wish someone had pointed out to Dukat that he was a fool to think joining the Dominion would make Cardassia strong, because it was the Dominion that orchestrated the Klingon invasion in the first place (through the Changeling Martok) with the specific intention of weakening Cardassia enough that it would be receptive to the Dominion's overtures. Dukat let himself be the Dominion's puppet, so all his talk about making Cardassia strong again is either rank idiocy or base hypocrisy. And somebody should've called him on it, damn it.

I hated the way they treated Bashir's intelligence here. Just because he's no longer hiding his smarts doesn't mean he'd suddenly feel a compulsion to recite numbers to the nth decimal place. That was something that annoyed me enough when Spock did it. Reciting probabilities as exact numbers with decimal points is quite silly, because a real probability figure acknowledges the sources of uncertainty in the estimate. There should be some error bars in there, some plus-or-minus wiggle room. Precision is not the same thing as accuracy.

I also found it really contrived the way they managed to shoehorn Garak into the story by making him the only one who could use the VR headset.
Scientist, Father
17. Silvertip
@6:

In terms of the enjoyment of the shows as drama, I agree; but because of its premise, Voyager was almost stuck with an episodic format, rather than ongoing conflicts with other cultures. What the ship was trying to do was blast through territory at as close to top speed as they could, avoiding conflict and leaving everything behind on their way home. Within that premise, the show actually in some ways tried too hard for multiepisode arcs; Voyager kept running into the same Kazon ship for most of the first season, which -- unless the Kazon had a very fast ship and happened to be heading somewhere in the same direction in three dimensions as Voyager at their own top speed -- was simply stupid. The contrast to Deep Space 9, which is set on a static space station with characters whose purpose is to further relationships with neighboring cultures such as Bajor, couldn't be stronger. Of *course* they keep running into Bareil, and Winn, and Dukat, and all the rest ... it makes sense in-story in a way that similar events on Voyager simply wouldn't have.

The only real way to do multiepisode arcs on Voyager would have been to develop conflicts and changing relationships among the ship's complement themselves, which makes the abandonment of the Maquis vs. Starfleet thread that much more of a missed opportunity.

Of course, this is coming from a relatively rare person who enjoyed early DS9 much more than the last few seasons, simply because "action" episodes with lots of laser blasts and explosions leave me cold. I'll take good character-driven stories like "Progress" or "Duet" any day. In "Emissary" or another very early episode, as I recall, Sisko leans a bit toward the fourth wall and lectures somebody about the importance of shades of gray, obviously telegraphing a theme of the series for the audience, and specifying Quark as an example; at some point later in the run (I forget the episode), the premise of shades of gray was explicitly rejected as the Dominion War ramped up. That, for me, symbolized the end of most of the really interesting things about DS9 as a series.

S
Christopher Bennett
18. ChristopherLBennett
@17: Actually it was mostly in the second season (after just one episode in the first) where Maje Culluh of the Kazon appeared as an ongoing villain, and that was justifiable because he was actively pursuing Voyager in hopes of obtaining its technology, with help from the spy Seska. So they weren't random encounters.

But you're right -- I think it was Jeri Taylor who said after season 2 that their mistake with the Kazon arc that season was in trying to create an arc that was driven by plot threads from outside the ship rather than character threads from within. The only real ongoing arcs we had in VGR after that were character threads like the Tom-B'Elanna romance and the continuing evolution of the Doctor and Seven of Nine.

And I'm no fan of space battles and gunfights myself, but I can't see how you could possibly say that DS9 rejected shades of gray during the Dominion War. If anything, it embraced them all the more wholeheartedly in episodes like "In the Pale Moonlight" and the Section 31 stuff.
Keith DeCandido
19. krad
Ashcom: Who says they're off duty? That's probably their way of keeping an eye on things at Quark's.

Christopher: Who would call him on it? Why would Dukat even consider listening to that person? The only people he'd even listen to are Weyoun and Damar -- Weyoun would never be foolish enough to explain that to Dukat, and Damar's head is so far up Dukat's ass his nose is sticking out through Dukat's belly-button.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Scientist, Father
20. Silvertip
@18 Thanks for the insights. I'll stand corrected on the Kazon stuff. And I certainly take your point about the moral complexities woven into the Dominion War arc, and agree, and I'm looking forward to polishing my understanding as the rewatch proceeds since I haven't seen most of these in a long time -- but am I just misremembering the existence of a conversation in which a couple of major characters agree on something like "sometimes you really do have to think in terms of black and white"? On first run, not knowing what was coming, that was a real uh-oh moment for me, and although I agree that the writers kept incorporating interesting elements (to a much larger extent than, say, a recent franchise reboot by a director I shall not name ...) and even individual quieter episodes, indeed the larger structure of the last couple of seasons was much more good guys and bad guys shooting at each other than was the case in the early seasons. I'm not remembering (although I'll cheerfully wait to be proven wrong) anything of the sheer quality of "Duet".

I'll give you "In the Pale Moonlight" though, that was an impressive piece of work by any standard.

S
Keith DeCandido
21. krad
Silvertip: I'm with Christopher, if you think DS9 abandoned shades of gray during the final two seasons, then you really weren't paying attention to the final two seasons at all.....

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Keith DeCandido
22. krad
Silvertip: I think what you're thinking of is the early-fourth-season conversation in "Hippocratic Oath" between Worf and Sisko after Worf blows an undercover operation of Odo's, and Sisko tells him that it's not as black and white on DS9 as it is on a starship, that there are shades of gray, and Quark is one of those shades of gray.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Christopher Bennett
23. ChristopherLBennett
@19: It's not so much about my wanting someone to call Dukat on it, I guess, as wanting the writers to acknowledge that this is what happened. It felt to me as if they forgot that the Dominion had set up Cardassia's fall in the first place, because they never had anybody mention the fact and point out the contradiction in Dukat's views, whether to him or to anyone else.

Besides, if anyone would call Dukat on this, Kira would. She knows how the Changeling Martok engineered the Klingon invasion that started this whole thing, so she must know that Dukat was either the galaxy's biggest dupe or its biggest hypocrite, and I can't believe she wouldn't tell him as much. Heck, I can't believe that she or Sisko didn't remind him of it the moment he announced the alliance with the Dominion, just in case he was ignorant of it. There was a time, after all, when even Kira believed that Dukat sincerely cared about the good of Cardassia. If he had been duped, unaware of the Dominion's culpability for Cardassia's suffering in the first place, then it would've made sense to tell him. If he'd ignored it afterward, then that would prove he was a self-serving hypocrite all along, but at the time it just made no sense that the characters didn't try to point that out to him. Which makes it feel like a continuity error to me, and you know how I feel about those.
DougL
24. Mr. Magic
Going by on-sceen canon, Dukat (and to a lesser extent, Damar) was drunk on power at this point. Basically, he was Firelord Ozai at the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I think Dukat was egotistical enough to think that not only would they win the War, but that he could manipulate his Dominion bosses like he had with the Detapa Council or Central Command.

Weyoun yanking his leash in the Season 5 finale should've been a warning flag that Cardassia's relationship with the Dominion wasn't going to end well.

Damar missed it too and it took him a while to realize the Union was screwed no matter who won the War.
Mike R
25. Redlander
Yes, I think DS9 was consistent with its "shades of gray." In the latter sesaons, besides Sisko and Dukat, we have that wonderful character arc for Damar. I won't say more in the odd chance readers here haven't watched this series to the end, but because of it he became one of my favorite side players in the whole war saga.
DougL
26. raaj
@13 During World War II the Allies did something similar at oil fields in Ploesti assuming the lack of oil would end the war. The Fields were put out of action but the Germans increased synthetic oil production and were able to contunue functioning, but at a reduced capacity. However, since it didn't end the war immediately all the emphasis was on the cost of the attack, which included major casualties. So while logistics is extemely important in modern war, and in fact many experts consider the US's greatest weapons of world II to be the jeep, the deuce and a half, and the DC 3, they don't make it onto the front page or the movies. Which would be a reason why the troops and admirals at the front (tactical) wouldn't be doing a lot of commenting on strategic issues.
Scientist, Father
27. Silvertip
@22 could be ... I was thinking that was earlier in the run, but that just tells you how long it's been since I've watched most of these. It would make sense for it to be in Worf's early days. Now to track down the later conversation that was, justified or not, my "uh-oh" moment. And one of the reasons I'm enjoying this rewatch is indeed that I wasn't paying close attention in the later seasons, life kind of happened. So I'm fully prepared --and hoping! -- to see deeper than the military stuff that I remembered and that isn't my thing.

S
Mike Kelmachter
28. MikeKelm
I thought starting the season off after several low months was a good choice- we had never seen Starfleet in an extended conflict or for that matter getting their butts handed to them. Take an enemy ship in hostile territory is a pretty desperate move

Random thought- kudos to whomever designed Starbase 375. I love how it looked visually- older and spindly.

As far as Garak able to use the headpiece. I sort of figured that the dominion had programmed it for cardassian physiology, figuring that their allies would be on the ships, whereas they were never designed for humans. For Sisko and company it was like looking through someone else's glasses.

The stuff on the station was possible by all of the seasons before which established the tensions and the nuances in the relationships. Where Voyager went wrong with its reset button mashing is the interpersonal conflicts. Why did voyager not have anyone question the captain- what was she going to do on the other side of the galaxy. What would Janeway do to a rabble rouser- shoot them? Maroon them? Why didn't someone demand they settle on the next class m world and the hell with earth

This is what DS9 excels at. It has great depth of characters (as evidenced by the fact that it basically has a cast in the teens) and great emotional depth. You can tell how conflicted Kira is, how frustrated she is, even without exposition
DougL
29. Random22
@28
Why didn't someone demand they settle on the next class m world and the hell with earth
Yeah. There was an episode in S1/S2 called the "37's" (it gets shifted between the two on repeats for some reason) where they met a transplanted Earth human society. It was, essentially, the Federation in minaiture. We're told (but not shown because they'd blown the episode budget on the Voyager landing sequence) that they have these beautiful cities, wonderful enlightened culture, that it is to all intents and purposes a Utopia and are willing to have anyone who wants to get off the voyage of the damned that is the USS Voyager stay there. We even have a whole scene of Janeway wangsting about the crew who'll no doubt vote to stay. Then everyone chooses to stay on Voyager with Space Captain-Bligh and Neelix.

Still I suppose if no one on the crew was willing to throw Janeway or Neelix onto the transporter set on maximum dispersal then they were too whipped to get off the ship.
Christopher Bennett
30. ChristopherLBennett
@28: "Random thought- kudos to whomever designed Starbase 375. I love how it looked visually- older and spindly."

Starbase 375 was a stripped-down version of the Regula 1 station from The Wrath of Khan, which was in turn an inverted, stripped-down version of the orbital office complex designed by Andrew Probert for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (Probert would later design the Enterprise-D and other vessels for TNG's first season.)

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/articles/orbital-office.htm

And yes, the in-story reasons for needing Garak to use the virtual display are clear enough. But however you justify it, it's still an obviously contrived way to shoehorn Andrew Robinson into the story. Couldn't they have found a nonhuman Starfleet officer who could handle the interface?

@29: "The 37s" was filmed to be Voyager's first-season finale, but UPN decided to delay the last four episodes of season 1 ("Projections," "Elogium," "Twisted," and "The 37s") to the start of season 2 so that they could begin the season early and get a jump on the competition. Thus, they're first-season episodes by production but second-season episodes by broadcast. "The 37s" became the second-season premiere and the other three were interspersed among the next few episodes.

And I agree, I never found it plausible that nobody chose to remain behind on the planet.
alastair chadwin
31. a-j
A mild niggle. Why haven't the Dominion/Cardassia interned or taken as hostage young Jake Sisko. After all, he is a citizen of the UFP, with which they are at war. If he were on Bajor, he would be on neutral territory and so safe, but DS9/Terek Nor is now a Dominion possession and so they have the authority to do so. Or am I missing something?
DougL
32. Diona the Lurker
@27: the comment on life sometimes being black and white comes from the six season episode Waltz, spoken by Sisko:

"Sometimes life seems so complicated, nothing is truly good or truly evil. Everything seems to be a shade of grey. And then you spend some time with a man like Dukat, and you realise that there is such a thing as truly evil."

According to the Memory Alpha entry on the episode, the show's creators were disturbed that some fans were actually supporting Dukat's actions during the Bajoran occupation, and wrote Waltz to show the true evil of Dukat (although the episode apparently did little to change those people's opinions.)
DougL
33. ad
Wayoun the snake-oil salesman when he is talking to Kira or Jake, and then how dismissively he behaves around Dukat and the other Cardassians
@8 Of course, this is bad politics on Weyouns part. He should still be trying to get the Cardassians loyal to the Dominion, and not risk making it clear he doesn't care about them. But what can you expect from Weyoun, whose first iteration was shot dead by his own soldiers?
DougL
34. Mr. Magic
@32, They should've just written Dukat out of the show after the end of the initital War arc in "Sacrifice of Angels".

Where Dukat ends up five episodes from now was the perfect conclusion to his arc and they should've just stopped there instead trying desperately to keep him involved in the plot.

There comes a point where you can only get so much mileage out of a recurring villain before you run the risk of running them into the ground.

It's better to retire them in high style or on an appropriately karmic comeuppance. Stargate Atlantis did with it Michael. Voyager did it with Seska.

And DS9 should've done it with Dukat, but oh well...
DougL
35. Mr. Magic
@33, That's a little touch about Weyoun's character (and Dominion policy) that's so much more important on the second viewing.

It's little incidents like that or the yanking Dukat's leash in the Season 5 finale that all collectively kick off Cardassia's role in the series endgame two seasons later.

And it all could've been avoided if the Dominion hadn't been so mired in the "Know your place" bulls***.
Dante Hopkins
36. DanteHopkins
I liked how our heroes don't immediately get the station back, but have to plan it strategically; Sisko and the Starfleet team on their end, Kira, Odo, and the others from theirs. It all comes together nicely as we''ll see, but getting there in the meantime is even better.

And I agree that should have ended Dukat's arc at "Sacrifice of Angels", but I'll say more on that when we get there. Quite a ride in the meantime.
DougL
37. Random22
@31. Yeah, they have the power to do it, but do they actually have a real reason beyond his citizenry?He's completely neutralized (or so they think) as a UFP pawn, but he is potentially useful for Dominion propoganda if he can be shmoozed into the role. He's also the son of the Emissary, so for politics it is best to keep him in comfort. As long as he follows the rules for the Dominion then he's fine to live his own life.

That last bit is why the Dominion made a perfect villain for this series. The Dominion is the evil version of the Federation. Do what you are told and the Dominion doesn't care how you live your life. Just like the UFP, they are hands off if you are a good little minion/citizen. Acknowledge the Dominion overlordship and your culture itself needs not change-just if a Founder or a Vorta rolls into town you obey them. In many ways every day life is pretty much the same whether you are under the Federation or Dominion. The difference is what happens when you rebel...
Brian Dolan
38. BrianDolan
This is a great episode, and of course it sets up my favorite "unhappy" episode of the series, "Rocks and Shoals".

About the Jem'Hadar in Quark's: What I love about the Jem'Hadar is that they are never presented as a solved problem. On paper they seem simple: incredible fighters who obey every order to the letter. Over and over, however, we see them break that characterization. They shoot Vorta, they rebel against the Founders, they spontaneously invent honor. So, why are these Jem'Hadar in the bar? It could be anything from orders to curiosity to the prelude to a mass awakening that sweeps across the Gamma Quadrant. Also, it gives Quark some lines, which is good.

TV-show-wise, I really respect how they shoehorn Garak into this run of episodes. He's not a main character, and so presumably there is an effect on the bottom line every time they have to pay Andrew Robinson's salary. The showrunners recognize that the show is better for having him (and Nog) around, and so they pay the money. I don't know exactly what that means in TV-land, but it has to be a good thing.
Christopher Bennett
39. ChristopherLBennett
@38: Sure, no problem having Garak in the story, I just wish it hadn't been such an obvious bit of "How do we make an excuse for Garak to be in the story?" plot mechanics.
Keith DeCandido
40. krad
a-j: As Random22 said, and as Jake himself said when he stayed behind in "Call to Arms," he's the son of the Emissary. If they take him hostage, the Bajorans will not be pleased, and Weyoun is obviously trying very hard to please the Bajorans to maintain the illusion that they're benevolent and keep their word.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Raymond Seavey
41. RaySea
In regard to the Jem'Hadar in Quarks: I may be imagining it, but I seem to recall a remark at some point over the arc that Weyoun had ordered them to spend time in the station's social areas as part of his "we're all friends here" initiative. Even if that wasn't outright said, though, I'd call it a potential explanation.
Scientist, Father
42. Silvertip
Thanks for all the responses, folks. I'll hold any further fire about the last two seasons until we actually rewatch them. @32, that sounds very much like what I was thinking of, although I had no idea of the fandom-level backstory at that point ... it sounded more to me like the writers were trying to undo Sisko's comments to Worf that krad id'd for me @22 (and which had symbolized what I loved about the show), and combined with the level of military stories and "action," which simply aren't my personal cup of tea, that may have set me up to give up on these final arcs prematurely. I'll take the rewatch as an excuse to give them another go. (Which is why I love this stuff!).

CLB, I agree that the headset as a reason to have Garak onscreen felt contrived, obviously because writers and viewers alike loved the character and Andrew Robertson's work and wanted to see more of it -- but on the other hand, human-interface barriers on the level of "darn this thing gives me a migraine" actually come up all the time when dealing with experimental technology in real life (I could tell you stories ...) but much more rarely in SF, so from that point of view, and if you overlook the convenience of having Garak be the one who could overcome it, having that interface be a big problem for wetware reasons is actually a bit of a touch of realism. I can't argue with your point about the gears showing in terms of putting the character in place, though.

S
DougL
43. Eduardo Jencarelli
This was definitely a challenge to put together, and if there's an episode that works in this opening arc, it's this one and Rocks and Shoals. This is where plot and character flow well. A Time to Stand really manages to convey something I waited for the writers to do for a long time: to put an end to the reset button.

And it's a good thing too. If it weren't for this opening arc, the writers would never have been able to pull off DS9's final ten hours in season 7. They needed the practice badly. Aside from the previous seasons, and the occasional bit of serialized storytelling, all six of them had zero experience writing back-to-back stories with direct consequences on the following episodes, while still being able to give each of them a proper beginning, middle and end.

There is one minor flaw, though. Was the Jem'Hadar ship always compatible with Cardassian physiology? It seems that way, because if they ended up converting the systems after the Dominion/Cardassian alliance, then this particular ship couldn't work with Garak's eyes, since it was captured by the Feds long before the alliance took place. Nevertheless, I'm willing to forgive such an obvious plot device, if it gives Garak the chance to play alongside the crew.

Great character moments, great sense of desperation, and a very nice plot for once.
DougL
44. Eduardo Jencarelli
This was also a rare case where I actually read the Diane Carey novelizations before watching the actual episodes. I wasn't at all surprised when the episode chose not to feature Charlie Reynolds. That was a character that never really fit my view of a Starfleet captain, and always came across all wrong.
DougL
45. Random22
43. Personally I think there is a fairly simple reason as to why the Jemhadar systems were more compatible with Cardassian biology than humans. Cardassians and the Jemhadar are both reptilian-evolved humanoids. That's as good an explanation as I need.


Random theory: Those headsets probably do cause the Vorta pain too, just another petty part of the Founder's divide and conquer. Hard to get to sympathetic with the troops if you are always on the brink of a migraine after all.
Christopher Bennett
46. ChristopherLBennett
@44: It's not so much that the episodes "chose" not to feature Carey's version of the character, because she presumably developed that character entirely on her own after getting the scripts to the episodes. She did an interesting but odd thing with her novelization, adding her own subplots that tied them together into a more integrated narrative with a central arc for Sisko, although that required reinterpreting or even mildly contradicting what was onscreen. (For instance, in one episode -- "Behind the Lines"? -- Sisko is frustrated and feeling useless behind a desk while everyone else is carrying the action, but in the novel duology, Sisko's the active mastermind of his own campaign going on behind the scenes.)


@45: I've never bought the conceit that the Cardassians are "reptilian." Okay, they have scaly skin and like to bask in the heat, but they have hair, the women have breasts, and they can procreate with Bajorans without advanced medical intervention. They're clearly mammalian despite the odd superficial variance.

As for the Jem'Hadar, Westmore based their makeup as much on rhino hide as dinosaur hide. So they're ambiguous too.
Mike R
47. Redlander
@46: Yes, I was surprised years after watching DS9 seeing some fans and othere writers refer to Cardassians as "reptilian." Never occured to me what they were. I simply took them for some weird mashup of Earth creatures.

One big difference between Cardassians and the Jem'Hadar I noticed: the former love the sound of their own voices. And the latter, well, can never be accused of being loquacious. Loose lips sink ships, I guess.
Christopher Bennett
48. ChristopherLBennett
@47: Well, realistically, there's no reason to expect life on other planets to break down into mammal/reptile/bird/amphibian/fish/etc. the same way Earthly life has, any more than there's reason to expect them to have the same continents and rivers and mountains, or the same historical events. There are a lot of random factors and different environmental contexts shaping the development of those things, so naturally they'd go differently on different worlds.

Except that in Trek, there's clearly parallel evolution taking place on worlds throughout the galaxy, not just in humanoids but in various animals (like the various alien dogs and horses and birds and such that we've seen or heard mentioned -- and presumably lots of other planets have grape and barley analogues, given how many have wine or brandy or ale). So in the Trek context, there should be close parallels to taxonomic categories like mammal and reptile and so forth. Which may be why it's relatively unusual for humanoids to have superficially reptilian or avian features.
Mike R
49. Redlander
@48 It would be nice if mainstream sci-fi would explore those varieties and parallells and differences more. Why does that alien look that way? Well, there might be a story in there somewhere. No Trek episodes immediately come to mind (other than "The Chase").
DougL
50. McKay B
I didn't really mind the Garak/headset convenience. It was worth it to show how Garak fit into this part of the story arc, and for the realistic frustration with alien technology.

I also didn't really like Bashir acting like a computer. Not all super-geniuses (natural or artificial) are so calculatively analytical. It was cute when Data would give many decimal points of precision (or be ordered to round to sensible precision by Picard or Geordi), because there was a reason for it in that case. It's even tolerable for Spock, because it's part of his personal overcompensation for being half-human. But Bashir ... it's just not his personality. (I did like the calculation of when they'd have to fly towards the supply depot's shields. But not any of the other calculations.)

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea that Dukat was deliberately delaying shutting down the mines in order to prevent more Dominion flooding in. I mean, that's certainly what the Cardassians *should* have been doing ... but I think Dukat is too deep in denial at this stage of his development to have that kind of presence and foresight.

Dukat declaring that he and Kira "already" have an "intimate" relationship is brilliantly creepy.

Good point about how much the scene between the Sisko father/son added humanity to the episode. That really is a great touch.

But it's only one of many. Like the way Dax has to nag Sisko to call his dad in the first place. Nog's eager nervousness. Martok's utter frustration, in spite of true friendship, with Worf's constant blathering about wedding details. Weyoun changing his position on Bajoran security SO abruptly, with such blatant brown-nosing, like a true fanatic, when Odo asks him. Quark's sincere and realistic confusion about WHAT he should be feeling. (He's trying so hard to look on the bright side as a neutral, mercenary merchant should do, and he of course succeeds more than Kira and Odo ... but for *him* to admit that he wants the Federation back is incredibly telling. It's really a great follow-up to the root beer conversation exactly two seasons earlier.)

There is a lot going on here, but if blowing up the Dominion supply depot is the "A-plot," it's interesting how the main characters' plans go pretty horribly wrong. And interesting how we never really find out why, and the "countdown timer" tension doesn't take over the episode like it usually does on other Trek series. And how the consequence is the main characters being forced to deal with "space is big," in a way we usually take for granted in this universe.

In fact, the more I think about it ... the more I think this episode almost deserves a 10. It just did SO many things SO right. And yet ... it is missing that "wow" factor that A Call to Arms or Way of the Warrior had.

Still ... it wasn't trying to be the end-all; it was trying to set up for an arc of episodes. And it deserves MAJOR kudos for being willing to let the whole quadrant change, and letting DS9 stay in enemy hands for more than one episode with no "reset button."

Overall, I think I'd be hard-pressed not to give it a 9.
DougL
51. Eoin8472
The older I get, the more disgusted I get by some Trek fans' need to put Voyager down agan and again and again. It was a show that I had no major problems with. Once you get past the objection of the "reset button" its an ok Trek show. So it sorta ran away from its premise of a ship stranded in deep space and didn't become Battlestar Trek. So what.
DougL
52. Rancho Unicorno
Like others, I enjoyed the episode.

I'm glad, for my own strange reasons, we didn't get communication with Reynolds (my brain thought, "Charlies and Cal begin with a C. Charlie is going to be Bernie Casey in a different role. Please no!"....yeah, I know it makes no sense).

The JH at Quark's makes more sense after reading earlier comments. They certainly didn't look comfortable and I suppose they would have rejected a safety-off holosuite training program as not having real opponents. Still I'm surprised that Quark suggested lust over violence to them.

On the Defiant, I found the Garak VR thread clunky but not as bad as others have found it. The one redeeming factor is that we haven't seen anybody else from the AQ other than Cardassians wear it, so it works well enough. I didn't mind Bashir's calculation for the escape (where precision and accuracy were important) or for the trip home (he acnowledges some degree of error, I believe). But his survival calculation was bothersome for the reasons noted earlier.

As for VGR, is isn't just the continual personality reset button. It's the fact that the ship never seems to be in danger of running low on crew. That like Fanty and Mingo complain about Mal, Janeway fights when she should run and runs when she should fight. Only she does so with less charisma. I'm only about 25% of the way through Season 3 (just finished Future's End), but I can't make sense of her personality or decision making. It's as if she simply does whatever the plot tells her to do. It's the painful interaction between the actors. TNG and DS9 had some getting smooth, but I see no signs of it here. I still try to find excuses not to watch it (which is why, even though it isn't happening, I may need a krad rewatch to force me through to the end of the series). Last (for now), but not least, they are all annoying. Janeway, Neelix, Paris, Chakotay, Torres. The only thing that has really changed for me is that now I'd knock Neelix out before putting him in an airlock, instead of leaving him conscious. I'm not sure how far along the crew is in their path towards the AQ, but it feels like they've only gone a few miles. The only redemption to being stuck with them on this trip is The Doctor. Frankly, I wouldn't mind spending the remaining 4 and 3/4 seasons in sick bay (because I expect he's going to lose that mobile emitter in the next episode or two - unless they've already forgotten about it).
Kit Case
53. wiredog
Joseph retorts that he raised him to be a chef, for all the good that did.
"We named the dog Indiana."
Christopher Bennett
54. ChristopherLBennett
@52: I didn't say I found the VR thing bad -- "clunky" is pretty much the word for it. It's just a place where you can see the writers pulling the strings to justify including a character, and that's always annoying.

Not to mention that those VR shoulder-piece thingies were just so badly designed. Why would they be that large and cumbersome?

And don't expect the Doctor's mobile emitter to go away. They introduced it specifically so that Picardo, their breakout star, wouldn't be stuck in sickbay and the holodeck for the remainder of the series.
DougL
55. Mr. Magic
Funny enough, I never had a problem with the mobile emitter. I think we were all expecting a solution to his limited mobility sooner or later and especially once, as you pointed out, Picardo became the breakout character.

@51, We all have our favorite incarnations of the franchise. I am nostalgic towards VOY since I grew up with the 24th Century era.

But...it's my least favorite of the TNG-era shows.

Now, I don't spend my every waking moment bashing it. But, at my age, I'm no longer willing to ignore or defend the many flaws in its execution.
DougL
56. Rancho Unicorno
@CLB - I wasn't saying that you called it bad, and that was a poor choice of word for my part. The feeling I got was that folks (and I thought others agreed with you) found it to be a bad way to cram in more Garak. Not that more Garak is a bad thing.

As for the mobile emitter, @Mr Magic, I didn't find it bothersome. Rather, much like Garak (who I wouldn't have minded seeing as a main title character), I look forward to seeing more of him. I just expected they would find a way to go back to the status quo. Either it sacrificed when it breaks/gets destroyed/disrupts the ship's systems or they just forget about it. Keeping it thrills me to no end (especially if it means less of the others).

Also, I've learned a new lesson. When writing a long post, log in or actually look at the preview before captchaing. That wall of text in 52 needs some paragraphs.
DougL
57. Ashcom
I don't think Voyager was a terrible show, but I think it suffered because of the two shows that followed TNG, DS9 raised the bar while Voyager lowered it and so it seems so much worse by comparison.

I never quite got the Neelix hate though. As a character he could be a little inconsistant, but some of the show's strongest moments revolved around him, particularly the episodes Jetrel and Mortal Coil, and the best episodes such as these two, Year of Hell, Scorpion, Latent Image, are as good as anything in the Star Trek canon. Unfortunately the worst ones like Threshold, Tuvix and any episode focussed on Harry Kim, tended to be horribly cringeworthy.
DougL
58. Eoin8472
@55

Let me clarify my last point. I have no problems with Trek fans bashing Voyager per say, as long as they are equally consistent in bashing the other Trek shows. I find a lot of fans generally don't do this. It seems as if there is one rule for Voyager and one for TNG/Ds9.

"Why didn't the crew question the captain more"
Hey Sisko, you DID poison an entire world to get at your Maquis enemy. Maybe someone should have pulled a Chakotay and actually refused to follow that order. That would have been nice.

"Why didn't they settle on the first M class planet they came across that was nice. That was not realistic"
Maybe someone should have told the Ds9 crew that it is not realistic to let multiple convoys of enemy warships through the gaping open wormhole. Or waited years to at least attempt to close it in the first place. Instead of just scratching their asses and effectivetly letting the Dominion War happen. But hey, thats the premise. Same as Voyager not settling on some habitable planet.


"infinite shuttles etc"
I'll give you that one, Voy did run away from its premise after the first few episodes. Ds9 did a bit as well on Bajor. A multi-faceted political situation involving the possible entry of Bajor into the Federation got dicthed in favour of Dukat versus Sisko. At least Voy got home in teh series. Bajor had to wait until the books came around to get into the Federation. But ya, infinite shuttles. I found the insta-replacement of the DEfiant pretty silly, but its not the same thing.

Its long been my suspicion that there is an element of sexism in the Voyager bashing, especially with regards to Janeway. Not all certainly, because Voyager did have problems. But I think its there.
Christopher Bennett
59. ChristopherLBennett
@58: I've never understood why people have a problem with Voyager's ability to build new shuttles. They have replicators! All they need are raw materials and an energy source and they can fabricate anything they need in seconds. And raw materials can be obtained from any asteroid field and energy from any star. So there's no reason a warp-capable starship should ever run out of anything, except antimatter (since even dilithium can be recrystallized in the 24th century). And we were shown outright in "Extreme Risk" how they build new shuttles, so although it took a while, it's not as if it was never addressed.

The one case of instant repairs on VGR that genuinely doesn't work for me is between "Investigations" and "Deadlock." At the end of the former episode, they're stranded at sublight with crippled warp coils, and the only source of verterium and cortenum to make new ones is in enemy hands. Yet by the very next episode, their warp drive is completely repaired without explanation. That's always aggravated me.
DougL
60. Random22
Problem with the replicating shuttles idea on VOY, is that they make a big thing about having to ration the replicator uses. That's why they have Neelix (because apprently "entire crew of masochists" wasn't realistic); he's there as a cook because they can no longer use the replicators for every meal like before. I know that becomes less so over time, but the time where they blow through shuttles like no tomorrow is the same time period as they were making a big thing about not using replicators. Even towards the end of the run they are still using Neelix as a cook though.
Christopher Bennett
61. ChristopherLBennett
@60: Yes, at first they ration replicator use for essential purposes only, because their power systems aren't fully repaired. Not only would replacing shuttles count as essential purposes, but the energy rationing ceases to be an issue after the first season or two, presumably because they were able to repair their power systems.

"but the time where they blow through shuttles like no tomorrow is the same time period as they were making a big thing about not using replicators."

This is incorrect. I find in a search of chakoteya.net's transcripts that nearly all mentions of replicator rations are in the first two seasons. Aside from one anomalous mention of replicator rations in season 5, the only later references to energy rationing are in situations of atypical resource scarcity ("Night," "The Void"). As for shuttle losses:

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/inconsistencies-voy.htm

The first actual destruction of a shuttle doesn't occur until the start of the second season. They lost no more than three shuttles in season 2, no more than two in season 3. The biggest spate of shuttle losses is in seasons 4-5, in which six shuttles were definitely lost and four more probably lost; and they lost at most one shuttle in season 6 and one in season 7.

So there's actually very little overlap between the period when energy was rationed and the period when shuttles were being readily replaced. Season 2 is the only time when it's an issue, and they only lost two or three shuttles in that season.

As for Neelix's cooking, that had become a tradition by later seasons, and we often saw that the crew could freely choose between Neelix's food and replicated food. It was an option by then, not a necessity.
DougL
62. Mr. Magic
@58, Fair enough.

If it helps, I've got quibbles with every one of the shows and DS9's not perfect.

It's my favorite incarnation, but I'll be the first to acknowledge it made mistakes that drive me crazy (such as the aforementioned getting away with poisoning an entire world).
DougL
63. McKay B
@52 Rancho: Voyager certainly has some annoying flaws, but IMO you should still finish it out. It does get better.

Well, not Janeway. She never starts being consistent and making sense. And not the "stinker" episodes -- they never go away (but then, that's true for all 5 Trek series). But the "good" Voyager episodes get a lot better in later seasons, and maybe even become a little more common.

Chakotay was seldom annoying for me, and often was awesome, so I guess that's just a difference between our tastes.

Neelix ... well, he's annoying, yet often so loveable too, right? Not being a dog person, he often reminds me of a very devoted doggie. And my mixed feelings toward him can be frustrating, but I can also see why the crew loves him.

But B'Elanna and Tom Paris are the two that I would urge you to emotionally "give another chance" to, every half-season or so. They're the ones I think you could see real improvements in. Paris, in particular, is right up at the top of Trek's character development success stories with Kira Nerys.

(The Doctor's ego sometimes bothered me, too. I guess Kes might be the only Voyager crew that never made me want to throw her out an airlock. But then, most characters in the other series have their frustrating moments too.)
DougL
64. Mr. Magic
Yeah, Tom and B'Elanna's development was the main highlight for me after the Doctor.

"Lineage" is one of my favorite episodes because it finally got to the root of B'Elanna's personal problems. It explained why she had trouble forming relationships and why she despised her Klingon heritage.

And it also showed how much Tom had matured in the seven years. He could've ended his marriage with B'Elanna, but chose not to.
DougL
65. Eduardo Jencarelli
But the "good" Voyager episodes get a lot better in later seasons, and maybe even become a little more common.

@63

And that's why a lot of the Brannon Braga hate on the internet can be unwarranted. It was his increased creative input that helped to make Voyager a more bearable show in its later years. Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor had good ideas, but given the execution of the early seasons, they were visibly burned out (particularly Piller, after running Trek for nearly 7 years without a break; and unsurprisingly, Taylor retired).
DougL
66. Chris K2
I'd argue that from "In the Hands of the Prophets" through season 2's "The Homecoming," "The Circle" and "The Seige" constitute another multi-part story arc. Certainly the latter three were intended to work that way.
It may not have entirely worked, but as others here have noted, this one didn't entirely end up as a cohesive whole either.
Christopher Bennett
67. ChristopherLBennett
@66: True, I've always seen those four that same way myself. But they were nominally presented as a one-parter and a three-parter, and three-parters, while not as routine as two-parters, have been around in TV since the late '40s. A six-part arc in an hourlong TV drama was something rather new.
DougL
68. JGBW
I'm fond of this episode but like A Call to Arms so much of it is set up. That's fine though as the season premiere and I was glad that Starfleet didn't get the station back straight away. At the time I thought it was jarring that it was suddenly three months later but in retrospect that was exactly what was needed. I especially love that they showed life in the station and if anything I kinda wish we could go back and have a mini series set just in the station during the Dominion administration. It would've served as a nice counterpoint to series one with the Bajorans having to become uneasy allies with the Dominion and their from oppressors. Also I really like the idea of seeing how the "story of the week" format could have been subverted with it featuring such antagonistic characters, I love the idea of Weyoun, Dukat and Demar being given the runaround by "Pup" which gets back in to the station controls after Sisko fried them!

My only real criticism of this episode is that the blowing up on the White didn't really have any long term impact, other than occassional mentions that it was running low the Jem'Hadar lasted another two years with no ill effects so obviously it can't have been that much of a blow,
Christopher Bennett
69. ChristopherLBennett
@68: "At the time I thought it was jarring that it was suddenly three months later..."

Actually that was following the precedent of what a lot of other shows at the time were doing, and still do today: Having the series take place in approximately real time, so that there's an in-story time jump matching every summer or midseason hiatus. Buffy usually did that, with the first few seasons covering the span from the start to the end of the school year and then skipping over the summer months; plenty of other school-based shows do the same thing. More recently, Arrow's first season had a 6-week jump in the story corresponding with the midseason hiatus, and the second season picked up months after the first ended.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
70. Lisamarie
It's going to take me awhile to catch up! There probably isn't much for me to add at this point, but I was also impressed/interested by the fact that they don't seem close to recovering the station at this point.

Dukat is a total creeper, but we already that (although he does seem oddly obsessed with Kira's approval). The scene was awesome though.

I have a few vague memories of this show from when my mom would watch it growing up. I am pretty sure they are from this season because I defintiely remember scenes with Kira, Odo and Weyoun on the station. So I had kind of a prickly deja vu feeling while watching it.

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