Aug 9, 2012

[TV] Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 5

As I go through the old Star Trek episodes, I find myself severely missing having a Trek series on the air. There's something about having the continued adventures of brave explorers in the far-flung future accessible on a regular basis. But going through their existing body of work isn't a bad thing either.

I never managed to get around to watching the entire series run of Deep Space Nine for one reason or another and thus another reason that I'm working through the various episodes season after season. It's quite the fun return to a familiar friend in terms of the crew of this station, even though their adventures are often less than happy given the rather complex situation that they're involved in with the Dominion.

And this fifth season of the series certainly helps up the ante as we find ourselves faced with the Alpha Quadrant descending into war with the Founders and their Jem'Hadar soldiers. And naturally there's a lot of potential intrigue when it comes to a race of shapeshifters.

Synopsis: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller. And this is the third live-action Star Trek series to be broadcast.

Things certainly stated with a bang with the episode Apocalypse Rising, which has Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) venturing into the heart of the Klingon Empire in order to determine if Chancellor Gowron (Robert O'Reilly) has in fact been replaced by a Changeling. And this sort of sets the tone for the rest of the series given the increasing involvement of the Klingons in DS9 storylines and how they act as a natural foil against the Jem'Hadar, in a manner of speaking.

And also on the Klingon front, we also have the continued development of the relationship between Worf (Michael Dorn) and Dax (Terry Farrell) including a little vacation to Risa in Let He Who Is Without Sin... and even serve together on a Klingon vessel together in Soldiers of the Empire. At first it felt like too much of a cheap shot to put the two together, but even I have to admit that they make a rather compelling pair as their chemistry has grown over time.

The season, like the series in general, had more and more stories involving the Ferengi beyond the random one-off piece that we've seen in prior season. We have Qwark (Armin Shimerman) and Odo (Rene Auberjonois) surviving a crash together in The Ascent and with Qwark's mother Moogie (Cecily Adams) taking on a most interesting suitor in Ferengi Love Songs.

The key focus on the season is the two-part episode In Purgatory's Shadow / By Inferno's Light that has the Cardassians becoming full allies of the Dominion. I don't think that deserves a spoiler warning anymore since we all saw it coming given their nature and how the Cardassians always seem to be the perfect enemy for the Bajorans as a people. But what is most interesting is how they become allies and that makes for some excellent storytelling. And it help set the stage for the eventual fulfillment of that entire conflict and ultimately the resolution of the series.

What I appreciate the most about Deep Space Nine as a whole, as evidenced by this season, is how tight the overall storytelling has been and the focus on the meta-plot that ties many of the episodes together. The two prior series had been a lot more episodic in nature with the crews of the Enterprise involved in different adventures every week, this time around we have a very focused story that has a rich assortment of political intrigue, high-stakes military conflict and of course a lot of good character-driven stories.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 5 was a fulfilling addition to the overall story and a good blending of the stories of the Bajorans, Cardassians, Klingons and the Dominion into a single complex tapestry. And how the intrepid crew of this station with their little ship the Defiant manage to survive the increasingly dark times does make for a great science fiction adventure. Thus the season gets a richly deserved 4 instances of Nog (Aron Eisenberg) being increasingly impressive out of 5.

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