Aug 16, 2012

[TV] Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 6

Well, I'm standing on the precipice now when it comes to the adventures of Deep Space Nine and its varied residents. And I don't think I could have fully predicted how the fifth season had panned out in such a manner to set up a potentially interesting sixth venture.

Although despite the rather dramatic build-up of the fifth season, this season started with a bit of a whimper. Yes, this season pretty much captures the heart of the Federation-Dominion war and yet it didn't quite feel that way.

To be fair, Star Trek has never been a series of high action and adventure like we've seen with Star Wars. It has has its share of battles, but it has been more about wars of ideals and how differeint philosophies and perspectives come into clash with one another and eventually get resolved. The solutions aren't always peaceful ones, but they are typically quite complicated.

And that's what this season certainly demonstrated - just how complicated and grueling a war can be and the very hard decisions that even the "good" guys end up making just to attain victory in the end.

Synopsis: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series and the third live-action venture set within the Star Trek universe. It was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller and this sixth season also marked Ronald D. Moore becoming one of the executive producers for the show after being one of its writer-producers since the third season.

The fifth season established a somewhat surprising new status quo for the show - the Cardassians allied with the Dominion and once again in control of Deep Space Nine. The only saving grace was the fact that Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) and his team with the help of Rom (Max Grodénchik) were able to mine the entrance of the wormhole with cloaked, self-replicating mines in the fifth season final Call to Arms. Thus three months into the war, we return to find Sisko and the Defiant running various missions in the on-going war as alternated with scenes of life on Cardassian-controlled Deep Space Nine.

The first few episodes in the season were a bit of a let-down for me since they weren't at all that exciting considering we're supposed to be in a war. Sure, the first mission in A Time to Stand was decently exciting enough, but we end up watching them stuck on a planet in Rocks and Shoals and they decide that it was a good idea to bring back Worf's (Michael Dorn) son Alexander (Marc Worden) in Sons and Daughters and you can see that even Sisko is getting bored by the time of the fourth episode, Behind the Lines, where he stages a very risky mission to disable a new Dominion sensor array.

For me, the season truly begins with the two-part episode Favor the Bold / Sacrifice of Angels when Sisko leads 600 Federation ships in a daring battle to retake Deep Space Nine before the Cardassians can finally disable the mine field. And the true fun here isn't the massive space battle or even the maneuverings on Deep Space Nine by Kira (Nana Visitor) and her secret resistance movement but more the surprise way the entire thing ends and the rather lasting effects of the war.

This doesn't mean that the war is over, but it does give everyone a bit of a breather as Deep Space Nine finally becomes the center of the action. Case in point, Dax (Terry Farrell) and Worf finally the time to get married in You Are Cordially Invited... and the writers start to bash Bashier (Alexander Siddig) regarding his being genetically engineered to be better in Statistical Probabilities.

Guilty pleasure episodes include The Magnificent Ferengi and Who Mourns for Morn? both of which turned out to be surprisingly good Qwark-centric episodes. I really liked how the Ferengi angle in things has gotten more and more interesting this time around culminating with the fight for female Ferengi rights in Profit and Lace.

And I don't really know what to say about One Little Ship. Even Kira had to laugh at that one.

On the whole, I think this season did a pretty good job of really exploring some of the nuances of the series, brought the characters into new realms of growth and ultimately progressed the entire show forward in a way that no other Star Trek series has experienced. I guess it has more to do with the fact that the series finally had a tight and rather coherent storyline that linked several episodes together and even various seasons together into one narrative tapestry. And it was quite a glorious one indeed.

This sixth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is definitely one of its best and it's quite the fun adventure to watch and re-watch. Thus I rate it a very solid 4 recurring Ferengi characters in the series out of a possible 5.

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