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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

A standout episode for me, I would go 3.5 stars here. I'd had this plot line spoiled in a series 2 comment so knew it was coming at some point, but nonetheless it was still immensely satisfying and clever, weaving in strands from old ST episodes going way back.

Being British it was great hearing a familiar accent more, though from time to time with the estuary english of the father and argument scenes I felt like I was watching the long running British soap opera, "Eastenders"! Bit of a heart string puller with the Father. I can forgive the Rom storyline, mainly due to getting the fantastic Robert Picardo for an episode. Combined with the darts ending, I don't remember laughing so much with a DS9 episode in a long time. Brilliant!
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

@Adam

Nah I've seen that mentioned online many times, its the most hilarious bit of knock-offery to the point where it makes you wonder if its deliberate
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

Brilliant! Obviously the 'A' Crew working this week!
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

From Jesus to Saddam Hussein in three episodes? At this point I am certain there were two completely separate writing teams with polar-opposite directions for the show. I've noticed a hit / miss / hit / miss pattern developing, but more than that, a real sense of being in a different reality which I mentioned before, a sense of being weirded out. Bajor must not enter the Federation or it will be destroyed, but its fine to make a maquis colony uninhabitable with chemical weapons. It really seems like separate groups of people were simply not talking to each other or watching what was going on between episodes.

Besides that, great episode and further down the rabbit hole of darkness. I only wish Dax hadn't been so chipper and at least made a show of holding Sisko's feet to the fire, or someone had resisted just a bit on the fire order. If the bridge crew had been any other race, I feel certain the story would have been about a brave mutineer.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

@Peter G

My biggest problem with the episode was with the religion aspect of it. I agree, the wormhole aliens are real, and contact with them does grant insight, but the building of a religion around them seems a construction of the Bajorans. In TNG, characters who show up with godlike powers are always deconstructed, and Picard shows a refusal to worship any of them because "special powers" are almost always some facet of physics or technology.

The Bajorans on the other hand have vedeks, they use religion as a means of guilting and political control (especially Kai Winn) and of using "the will of the prophets" as a means to justify questionable actions. That the episode seems to feel like a recruitment drive for the Bajoran faith feels like a deparature from the "respect but don't join" attitude the Federation has always taken, choosing instead to engage with godlike beings on their own terms, without intermediaries, rites and so on that place expectations and controls on a population.

How do the Bajorans know it is in their own best interest to do what Kai Winn says on a daily basis, given her proclivity for self promotion and even acts of totalitarianism when given power? Do the wormhole aliens really care if the Bajorans worship them, or pray, or wear an earring? In general they seem to be oblivious to the fact.

Thats my major issue - the wormhole aliens exist separately from the Bajoran faith, which is a construct useful to a small cross section of Bajoran society to impose its will on another cross section. Coming from TNG it feels wrong for Sisko to become its messiah.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 4:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

@Top Hat

The spoilers I am talking about are for several episodes down the line from this one, or even the very end of the series. Its like discussing plot points from All Good Things in the comments for "Measure of a Man". At least put a spoiler warning for something you are about to ruin 5 seasons away.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

Thanks, first commenters from 2009 on this review for yet again spoiling the rest of the damn season / series. Could you seriously not just restrain yourselves or at least put a bloody spoiler warning? Honestly, after such a great episode to have such a huge spoiler within the first few comments. I am restraining swear words at this point.

To the episode, wonderful again. It seems to be the Odo episodes that bring a tear to the eye more often than not. Combining that so deftly with Kira's sense of loss was genius, and a second wave of eye-dabbing I did not see coming.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

@Chrome

Thanks for the reply and its interesting to hear your take on it from a religious perspective.

In some ways I think it would have been easier to follow Sisko through this if he had been just a little uncomfortable with his position and abilities, say in a similar way to neo in the matrix. Neo does not see himself as "the one", but understands that people need him to at least play that role.

Judging from what you said, there is something of a reset button after this point anyway. I am glad, as I don't think I want to see Friar Sisko again soon!
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

@Paul C

Agreed - I felt the same. So often "solution discussions" would become mired in "here's why it won't work", always followed by the fact of it working just fine. Such a discussion was utterly out of place here, and Sisko just didn't have the patience. In many ways I think its the writers saying "enough of the old tropes" and making a point of dispensing with them. Its also jarring enough as to add a real sense of urgency to the already wonderfully tense plot.

I am forever a Ronald D Moore fan!
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Following a bit of a TNG Series 7 hit / miss / hit / miss format so far in DS9 season 5 (What happened around this time of production? New writers and directors, or someone left?), however this one was incredible.

Nana Visitor is probably one of the strongest actors on the show, and from the scene where Odo listened to her story and told her of the suspect list, she was riveting. The tears rolling onto the biobed, the cold switch to Major Kira, resistance fighter, the Data style precision of stealing the information. Wonderful.

Veering ever more into darker territory, for sure this is no longer Roddenberrian star trek, but its compulsive viewing and I am glad every time we revisit the Cardassian occupation. Its correlates with modern war and the horrors of the holocaust are all too obvious and eminently relatable to people who grew up with war films and the likes of "Schindler's List". I am still getting tingles as I write. More!
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

.. and, no one's gonna mention the new uniforms?

Nope.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

When I was a kid, I loved The Real Ghostbusters. Like to-my-core loved it. Had the comics, the toys, watched all the cartoons. I knew those guys inside out. One year I went on holiday with my family, and we found this little gift shop which for some reason on top of gemstones and lighthouse garden decorations, had some real ghostbusters nick nacks.... except not really. They were knockoffs, with the 'busters fighting ghosts I'd never seen, with their proton streams behaving more like garden hoses, and the uniform colours just slightly off. Being naive to the idea of copyright infringing imports and unscrupulous gift shop owners, it weirded me the hell out, so much so that I remember it 30 years later.

I got that same feeling with this episode. Right from the off, Quark, during the banners and root beer segment, felt like knock-off Quark, doing sort of Quarkey things, but in a hokey, overplayed way, like it was a different actor trying to emulate the old one and not quite getting it.

Then we get the admiral guy, whose acting was so poor it made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. If you have netflix, go to the timestamp with 17:59 remaining. Bashir says "nothing's going to change their minds". The admiral walks towards the camera, whilst looking into it, then does the absolute fakest "oh look there he is" turn, presumably as someone on set waved a stick at him. His body is stock still, not a grain of expression anywhere to be found. I start feeling like I am in an alternate reality.

Then we have Kasidy Yates, who is remarkably nonchalant and chipper for someone who just got out of prison, there due mainly due to the man she is dating. No resentment, no lingering change, just "whoo where's that jambalaya". Then when we get the scene where Sisko tells a guy "you don't belong here, go home", and the guy's emotional reaction has all the resonance of "oh you're right, I left the gas on didn't I". Was there an extras strike that week?

The clincher for the weird-out was the conversation about religion and faith in ops, which made me feel the same as when someone on the high street tries to get me to join a cult. DS9 always framed Kai Winn and the Bajoran religion as something odd that was accepted out of necessity, but this episode is saying "its all real". First, Worf's 'Sermon on the Platform' about a captain's faith being strong felt like a religious lecture, and then amplifying the weirdout was Kira's creepy turn to camera and faraway expression, stating "you're wrong, its everything" to Dax's "not much to bet your life on". Dax and O'Brien look about as disturbed, yet trying to be polite, as I would.

Sisko's visions reminded me of the ENT episode when Archer is being mind controlled by the alien offspring pheromones, and Malcolm relieves him of duty, except no one had the sense to do it to Sisko. This felt like "The Religion Episode" the bosses had been resisting all season. Surprisingly, the only character who felt right was Kai Winn, as at least she just played her usual manipulative, psychopathic self, if coming around to the idea of the episode, that we too are meant to accept, that Sisko is genuinely some messiah figure.

I don't know if being religious makes this episode more enjoyable, perhaps it chimes with a sense of faith if you have it, but for someone with none it just gave me that sense of "get me the hell out of here" dolly zoom effect I get when someone asks me if I have had my orgones measured lately outside the library.

In the end I never got any of the weirdo ghostbusters toys. They stayed on the shelf, in all their weirdness, next to a mint fudge and humbug selection.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Fri, Jul 19, 2019, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Things Past

I should add - Dax could have just made it up, but the Cardassians have records on everyone and that device Garak used that will identify them. So Dax was either taking a huge risk, or somehow knew what her name was.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Fri, Jul 19, 2019, 9:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Things Past

When Dukat mentioned the young, attractive Bajoran girl's name, the one that Dax inhabited, he called her "Leeta". I knew I recognised the name, its the same one as the young, attractive Bajoran dabo girl that works in Quarks. Its never expressly addressed, but I now cant help but wonder if they are the same person. Maybe its a name as common as Sheila or Barbara, I don't know, but its an interesting side note.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Fri, Jul 12, 2019, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Assignment

I have a rule from my TNG days to always skip "invasion of the bodysnatchers" plots, and for a good reason: They are usually the most frustrating, by-the-numbers efforts in any ST season. Watching the first 5 minutes and reading the summary here then is enough to let me know that a) its still a good rule even in DS9 and b) I didn't miss much important. That it's Keiko, and not a more interesting or central character, is kind of the cherry on the dead bonsai tree.

The show seems to be going through an inconsistent phase lately, though I have read frequently that season 5 has some amazing dominion episodes. Hopefully I will get onto them soon, after skipping "Let he who is without sin" of course....
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

Oh and here is the quote from the bible to which the title refers:

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all"
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

I only wished someone would have just said to Jake "you're a civilian. You cannot be expected to respond like a soldier when under fire". Training takes one regular human being and gives them just enough controlled exposure to terror so they can at least function. Jake did exactly what I would expect anyone to do when missiles capable of ripping arms and legs off are landing around you.

All that said I really liked the episode. DS9 is very much the dark sibling of trek and I like how it handles the issues in this one. I thought the acting was just fine.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Wed, Jul 10, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Peter G

Thanks for the reply, and you make some good points. I think you are correct that's what the writers were going for. Maybe I would not be a friend to Worf if I were on DS9 because I would want him to stay like TNG Worf! I guess we understand why he got "denied" so often ....

Its a little like a scene in The Orville, when two of the characters are discussing whether the Moclans can really remain members of the Union given how opposed their values are. With the Klingons, I appreciate they are not Federation members, but Worf is, and I can't help but agree with his season-introduction sentiment that he is poorly suited as a Starfleet officer and should consider an alternate career. Sisko obviously talked him out of it, but its turning out to be a mistake I think. Picard would have had him thrown in the brig for the Morn stunt, without a doubt.

I know I am taking it way too seriously as its meant as a light hearted episode, but I just feel like Worf is turning into a bully, and possibly riding Federation tolerance as far as is possible.

I guess that's the point and this is all leading to something!
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Wed, Jul 10, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

Am I meant to seriously dislike Worf at this point? Because I really do. I just want to see Sisko demote him and put him on Targ manure shipment guard duty. What an enormous turd he's turning into, especially with the move on Morn.

I know its meant to be "comedy cos that's how klingons do things", but we spent the whole of TNG watching Worf restrain that side (hell, WESLEY had to drag it out of him about the pain sticks ritual), but jeez. And the whole jealousy thing and lusting after Grillka? He acts like one of the annoying aliens of the week from TNG - the lusty old blowhard Klingon in the bar who gets knocked out headbutting Data or something. Please, please can we have old Worf back? This one is broken.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Wed, Jul 10, 2019, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

So if I ship some exotic pets via FedEx and they fail to tell me I need an import licence, then they also decide to ship 3 tons of heroin in the same shipping container as my pets, I can be prosecuted for the pets AND the heroin? Or did they just make this pants-on-head daft law in the 24th century?

That was the scene that started the irritation with this episode. Then, with the most elite fighting force in the gamma quadrant bearing down on everyone, they all stand in the open having a bit of a chat about what to do and not looking at the enemy, but the Jem Hadar seem inacapable of capitalising on their inattention, unless its a redshirt wot has top bants with the chief?

Then everyone being a jerk for the sake of it, with O'Brien and Worf kicking off before the understandably nerve shattering bombardment began (this was after all a PTSD inducing WW1 tactic). I don't really get why Worf is being written as such a massive pen15 so far, perhaps they need to get daddy Jean Luc to come have a word?

The Jem Hadar not only offed themselves due to the dead founder, but let the Federation take their ship to reverse engineer, even though by that stage there was nothing to protect. Its like the Secret Service letting the president get shot then just handing over the plans to the F35 as well because they failed.

One thing I did like is the continuing representation of the manipulativeness and guile of the Vorta and Founders, and their intelligence gathering capabilities. I quite liked the representation of the female Vorta, who was effective enough to make me feel Sisko was being unreasonable with his mistrust.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Tue, Jul 9, 2019, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

So they disguised Worf as .... a Klingon, and he looked exactly like Worf wearing klingon armour. No one recognised him.

OK, fiiiiiiiiiiine.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Tue, Jul 9, 2019, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Body Parts

It was better than I thought it would be, and though annoying for the first half, gained some momentum as the reality of Quark's situation overtook the silliness. I have to ask though, even if the DS9 guys gave him some furniture, the FCA have banned him from trading. So how does that work? Brunt can just come back and confiscate it again surely, or throw Quark in jail, should such an expensive institution even exist on Ferenginar?
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Mon, Jul 8, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

Wonderful episode, though at the end I couldn't help but see Sisko's response to Bashir as a little cold. Its clear Bashir is completely haunted by the experience and struggling to let go, and Sisko's "oh well the kids are fine" type response seemed a little lacking in empathy. Certainly in TNG I think Picard would have had some choice words of support for his officer, perhaps even a suggestion that further studies might begin at some Federation Institute, but then Sisko is a very different kettle of fish.

I still feel from time to time that Siddig's acting chops could use some work, occasionally coming off hammy and overplayed, but nonetheless I could feel the pain of Bashir in this episode quite strongly and that is a credit to Siddig.

Bashir has a teddy. That's cute.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 7, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Dark Space Nine. Darker than an espresso served in an onyx mug on the far side of the moon as a Black Sabbath concert plays on a stage painted in vantablack.

With the lights off.
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Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 7, 2019, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

I never really got why we were all cool with Eddington after he sabotaged the Defiant. Sure, give him some slack to finish that one mission, but thereafter, why is he central to DS9 security? It kind of felt like a huge own goal and I was just waiting for him to do something again.

It feels a little like DS9 is sputtering right now, with a few clunker episodes in succession. I really hope there is a pickup soon, and some more meat is hung on the bones of the Dominion war.

On another note, wow this show really is as dark as people say, and becoming more so. I quite like it, as the transition from happy happy joy joy of TNG Federation has been gradual but certain and feels organic. Can the ideals of the Federation really survive extended contact with the reality of the broader Milky Way?
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