Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dramatis Personae   Rewatch 
June 22, 2015 12:48 AM - Season 1, Episode 18 - Subscribe

The telepathic memories of the internecine feud of a dead but now no longer forgotten species infect the crew of DS9.
posted by Solomon (12 comments total)
 
This one is just great. It's the kind of episode you'd expect to see a few seasons in, once a show has really gelled. But the creators of this show had the confidence in their characters and their cast to just have everybody go nuts in this great, over-the-top, nearly Shakespearean story.

Avery Brooks is terrific as Sisko, but when the show let him play somebody crazy and evil he could really go to town. ("It's a CLOCK.") I saw the James Bond episode in reruns a few years ago, and Brooks was so perfect as the villain it seemed cosmically unfair he never got to be a Bond villain for real. (Come of think of it, why the hell don't we see him more these days? Looking at his IMDB page, it's like the man pretty much retired after this show!)

The one criticism I have of this episode, and it's a relatively minor one, is that they could have come up with a more interesting character for Dax to manifest. She's just kind of forgetful and sleepy. In these early days the character could be rather passive and vague already, and it would have been fun for her to become somebody really extreme. But everybody else is chewing up the scenery and spitting it out, so maybe they felt like they had enough going on without yet another psycho in the mix.

Also, that is a seriously bitchen' clock.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:23 AM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sisko's line about the clock was the most Sisko of lines. Everyone in this episode seemed to be more "themselves". Kira was more hostile and aggressive, Dax was derpier than usual, O'Brien was more of the captain's man, etc.

I'm a little confused about Klingon transported technology. The beam was sent and then the ship exploded, so where was the energy powering the beam coming from?
posted by Solomon at 2:50 PM on June 22, 2015


Very enjoyable episode.

Looking at his IMDB page, it's like the man pretty much retired after this show!)

It looks like he went back to doing primarily theater, and teaching drama at Rutgers? If he saved and invested the 7 years of DS9 paychecks, he probably doesn't need to deal with any Hollywood nonsense anymore, and can afford to just do passion projects rather than trying to play the lottery of landing a pilot and not knowing if you've just locked yourself into something that's never going to air or is going to run for years, and whether those years will be a good or bad work experience.

I'm a little confused about Klingon transported technology. The beam was sent and then the ship exploded, so where was the energy powering the beam coming from?

I think the receiving transporter powers the re-materialization when it's a transporter-to-transporter beam. When the plot demands it, anyway.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:08 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I started rewatching a few months before this Fanfare rewatch started (mid-Season Six now), and one of the things that I find really odd is how many episodes there are like this one, where the cast is basically playing different characters from their normal selves. It seems like at least a couple per season--usually a Mirror Universe episode and at least one other. Maybe the binge-watching makes it seem more noticeable.

It's fun, but it's kind of surprising to me because I was under the impression that despite allowing a greater degree of serialization, the network was still concerned about making the show accessible to casual viewers back in the day. I mean, weren't the network suits worried that people would turn on the TV in the middle of this episode, watch all the scenery-chewing, and decide that this was a show with terrible acting, and tune out? Or that they'd tune in the middle of the episode and decide that they really liked Clock Guy and be disappointed when he didn't reappear?
posted by creepygirl at 8:18 PM on June 22, 2015


I'm not sure about the chronology, but I believe DS9 was one of the first genre shows to really embrace serialization. Buffy gets a lot of credit for popularizing it, but I think DS9 had already blazed that trail. The station was a set location every week, so they couldn't just deal with a problem and then fly away trusting that everything was good now. It made sense to bring characters back and follow stories over time.

IIRC, they did get trouble from the network about the increasing serialization. DS9 was a famously embattled, under-loved show during its run. Trek fans crabbed about it being too dark and slow, ratings weren't great. It's amazing the show itself works so well, with all that turmoil going on.

As for the cast playing a lot of alt versions of the characters, I think it was a combination of the show's creators knowing they had a first-rate cast who could handle all kinds of challenges, and wanting to take the story in weird, unpredictable directions. So we had mirror universes and clones and alien possessions and all sorts of stuff.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:35 PM on June 22, 2015


I'm not sure about the chronology, but I believe DS9 was one of the first genre shows to really embrace serialization. Buffy gets a lot of credit for popularizing it, but I think DS9 had already blazed that trail.

For trailblazing genre serialization, I credit Babylon 5 over DS9.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:41 AM on June 23, 2015


I do like this one a lot better than some of the mirror universe episodes. I get that it was bold to do an episode like this is the first season, but I'd rather have another character development episode. At this point we still don't know much about Bashir or Dax, and as someone who never watched TNG I don't know much about O'Brien.

Great Odo episode, though.
posted by chaiminda at 1:14 PM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


For trailblazing genre serialization, I credit Babylon 5 over DS9.

Well, DS9 did premiere first, and...

Actually, we should perhaps declare a moratorium on all references to B5 in these DS9 posts. I've known of people who lost years of their lives to arguing about DS9 vs B5!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:52 PM on June 23, 2015


Yeah, it's like the Ray Wars. The 90's are over, let there be peace.
posted by chaiminda at 2:17 PM on June 23, 2015


I enjoyed this episode. The telepathic .... thing heightened the already existing tensions instead of making everyone act out of character.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:40 PM on June 23, 2015


So, a few years ago I saw a DS9 panel at a con, and someone asked Avery Brooks whether the clock in this episode was an actual working clock, or just a prop. Which is a yes-or-no question.

The response was five minutes of nonsense Beat poetry on the nature of Time, while Armin Shimerman and René Auberjonois both made 'welp, there goes Avery again' faces.

It was GREAT, and if you ever get the chance to see Avery Brooks speak I highly recommend you do so.
posted by nonasuch at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was GREAT, and if you ever get the chance to see Avery Brooks speak I highly recommend you do so.

Years ago the whole DS9 cast was on Larry King's show, and Brooks was so eccentric I wondered if he was on some amazing drugs. "Nonsense Beat poetry" is a pretty good way to describe it. He was super intense and punctuated every other sentence by asking, "YEAH?" at random, like Larry King's show was a smoky beat club in 1958. Is Brooks always like that? If so, that's kind of awesome but I can see how his co-stars might find it kind of exhausting when they were trying to finish a damn scene full of technobabble at 10 PM. I mean, that Sisko cat's way out there, like from outer space, dig?

(Actually, "technobabble" totally sounds like a word out of beat poetry, doesn't it?)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:29 AM on June 26, 2015


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