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"Far Beyond The Stars" And DS9 In General


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"Far Beyond The Stars" And DS9 In General

Beginning with Glenn St-Germain's comments in the

2/13/98 column

Scott Newton of New Brunswick, NJ: I don't have much time, but I'd like to add some comments on the DS9/Voyager debate.
For me, the most problematic difference between DS9 and the two series

that proceeded it is that in TOS and TNG you were dealing with a unified

crew. Yes, they had disagreements among themselves (didn't Spock and

McCoy have some classic ones?), but the characters were always unified

under the Federation banner. When the Captain spoke that was it --

usually. But in DS9, you have Bajorans, Federation people, Quark, Odo,

Garrik (sp?) all representing different points of view, and none bound

by the Federation. Instead of the challenges coming from outside

sources, the challenges come from within. And while the characters on

TOS and TNG were larger than life, able to overcome their differences to

work for a common goal, and thus, admirable (even -- dare I say --

heroic?), the DS9 characters are so flawed that they are much less

worthy of our attention. It's like "Seinfeld" without the humor. (Yes,

the TOS and TNG characters were developed execllently, and were quite

human, but they also had a larger than life quality that the DS9 and

Voyager characters lack.) And, yes, characters who are not larger than

life may be more realistic, but that doesn't inspire me to watch them!

Along comes Voyager, and we get the same "disunified crew theory" with

the Feds, the Maquis, and Neelix and Kes. But everyone seemed to unite

fairly quickly, and that was fine with me! But the characters still

seemed to lack that larger than life quality (except the Doctor, who's

an absolute scream). I've tried really hard to be open minded with 7 of

9, but she's only exacerbated this problem. She makes Janeway look weak,

and diverts attention from the others so that she can trot out the fancy

"Swiss Army Knife" Borg technology week after week. And her attitude

doesn't help; in fact, I find her less likeable every week.

Another problem with Voyager is the very nature of the series -- stuck

on the other side of the galaxy. The connection with the Federation (and

thus with humans in the future) is lost. Instead, we just get "Alien of

the Week," with no encounter having any particular consequences for the

future, or opportunity for future development. And before you say that

TOS and TNG had a lot of "Planet/Alien of the Week" too, remember that

in those series the Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Borg, and

so on were still in the same neighborhood as our favorite starship, and

there was always the possibility that they would have to be dealt with

Did I say I'dd be quick? Well, I could go on all day, but I'll sign off

for now.
Phil: There *is* something to be said for the "Unified Crew Theory." It embodied a basic understand that we could overcome our differences, grow up and learn to fight for a righteous cause. I do agree that the DS9 characters tend to be merely lighter and darker shades of gray
Terry Hulett: Just read your latest Ask The Chief and noticed another comment about

the Federation going through the wormhole after the Dominion tells them

not to. Well, I don't think this is worthy of a nit.
Picture this. You are the explorer Captaii Cook and one of the

islanders you meet tells you they own all the other islands in the

direction you are going. So, you turn around and go home? No. You

don't recognize the validity of their claim; even if you do you can

still sail the ocean!

I believe it was *already* established that the wormhole did not open up

into Dominion space when they met the Dominion! (Remember, they had to

search out the Dominion, right?) This makes the Dominion telling the

Federation to not go through the wormhole similar to China telling the

US not to send any ships through the Suez canal.

I do agree with the nits about not going in force and the main

charactors casually abandoning the station where their responsibilites

Phil: Um, if I recall correctly, the extent of Dominion territory was not known when the Jem'Hadar guy told Starfleet to stay out. This was one of my problems with the continued trips to the Gamma Quadrant. I believe the first time we hear of Dominion territory boundaries is a passing reference in "Hippocratic Oath"--and the creators slipped it in as if it had already been established . . . which it hadn't. (Or at least, they never told us that it had and if the Dominion boundary *were* known for some time, then I would argue that the creators had an obligation from a story-telling viewpoint to let us know that that crucial piece of information had been established! ;-)
As for Captain Cook, he was operating under an imperial mind-set. I thought in the 24th century we had out-grown the idea that we can go where ever we want because we have a "manifest destiny" to do so! (Wink, wink.)
Ashley Flanagan: And am I the only person who *liked* the last few seasons

of TNG??
Phil: I liked the last few season. I just felt like there were more shows without an edge. More shows that were just done for the sake of filling the next slot.

Amos Painter: DS9 and TNG Era TREK, a.k.a. everybody hates DS9 except me

After reading the comments on DS9 and how everyone hates it, I feel that

I have to share my opinion.
DS9 is the best of the TNG Era Shows, it has everything a viewer could =


1. 3-D dimensional characters (no 'yessir' crew members here even

the ensigns are bucky)

2. Good Writing. (DS9 has Moore and Behr (and formerly


3. A Continuing Plot ( No Plant-of-the-Week)

4. NO Kazon (and yes I know the Kazon are gone, I done watch the


5. Beautiful Visual Effects (no Anomaly-of-the-Week)

6. Reoccurring Characters (on Voyagers side for once the show's

Formula prevent this so I guess VOY gets a Handicap)
Final Score DS9: 6, VOY: 1 (with a handicap)
Andrew Corcoran: Putting "Star Trek" before the title "Deep Space Nine" is almost definitely

to show us that this station is linked in with the Enterprise and Voyager

adventures. What I have found myself doing during DS9 is saying "Stardate

51034.5? Hey, Voyager are saving a penguin around now 75,000 light years

away (or something)!" Because I watch both series religiously, I have found

myself not there purely for the entertainment, but for the history produced

by each episode. Just think, the battle of Wolf 359 is always remembered,

and I was there to watch it on its UK debut. In fact, that was the first

TNG episode I watched all the way through! Picard is scarred by the Borg -

I watched as the Borg stretched and twisted him (mentally) during his

assimilation. Although, I must admit, it didn't seem that dramatic at the

time, we saw the effect it had had on him during episodes such as "Family,"

"I, Borg" and the film "First Contact."
We have all been there. The characters make a reference to a past episode,

linking it in. Only those who watch every episode will understand the nice

touch added in. I am sure there are some nitpickers out there who don't

fully understand how the wormhole came about, or how Voyager got to the

Delta Quadrant.

Many nitpickers are right. Star Trek has changed from being an one-episode

adventure a week to long story arcs and character threads - although they

provide entertainment. Don't forget (if you can even remember it) Murder

One tried one story spanning a whole season. Did Americans like it? It

didn't look like it. Did the British like that? Well, let's just say BBC2

got A LOT of complaints when they stopped Murder One three episodes from

the end to show the Atlanta Olympics, which persuaded them to have an

unofficial "Murder One Night" to finish of the series. The second season

was shown within a couple of months (two or three episodes a week!) so that

BBC2 wouldn't get any more complaints because of the breaks within this

continuity. The end of the first season appeared in papers nationwide - the

jury decides - in a fictitious TV program!

I know I am ranting (as many people do). Maybe I should get to the point.

For the sake of the US fans of Star Trek, maybe the creators should think

whether it is worth continuing excruciatingly long story arcs or whether

they should set about attracting back those Trekkers who stopped watching

due to continuity - but hey! It makes good nitpicking!
And the title of Star Trek..... What was it going to be? Wagon-Way to the

Stars, or something? WTTS: Deep Space Nine. You see, Star Trek means

"Adventures in exploring the stars." Deep Space Nine is about a station, a

war, the families, the characters, and the Gamma Quadrant. It is a whole

lot more than TOS, so does it still deserve the original title? TOS

involved a week-by-week search of new life forms and planets. DS9 searches

out what is in each character and how it is affected by the world around

it, and the present situations on the station. It shows us *life* in the

24th century, not necessarily adventures. Maybe - just maybe - it is time

to give these series and movies a chance to be a bit more independent.

I find I am so un-opinionated! Here I am talking about possibly

separating the series, when at the start I was talking about how I like the

way they are linked! I am definitely making some sort of point, I'm just

not sure what it is! Can you decipher the meaning behind it? These are just

my thoughts on the whole Star Trek series as a whole.

Oh, and I agree that the TV series (both) should be put to rest - no new

ones yet - and let the movies continue on. Star Trek DEFINITELY needs a

rest! The universe is being shook apart, because the creators are doing

everything they can to keep the ratings up! (There, could that be the point

I am making?)

Shane Tourtellotte: The whole fourth season of "Babylon 5" was compacted, not just the end

of the Shadow War. Mr. Straczynski had conceived B5 as a five-season

arc, but it was plain by season four that the show might not last that

long. He therefore condensed story lines that should have lasted two

seasons (Shadow War, Minbari civil war, Telepath genocide plot, fall of

President Clark) into one season. In one sense he was right -- B5 lost

its syndication contract, and could have left its stories hanging

forever unresolved -- and in sense another wrong -- TNT picked up the

show, but *after* he had finished the condensed arc. In short(I know,

too late :-)), the Shadow War did end abruptly, but not because it was

originally planned that way. (Note from Phil: Um . . . wait a minute: I believe the Shadow War ended in the middle of the *third* season! I remember thinking, "Okay, now he has a year and a half to fill!" And I don't believe there was any talk of rushing to cancel B5 at the end of the third season so I would be inclined to conclude that the end of the Shadow War happened as JMS had planned all along!)
As to why Scott McClenny thinks it could still be Willie Mays in "Far

Beyond The Stars":

Scott's first point, that this is a parallel universe and Mays's number

and service record could be different, is sadly too plausible. The

creators have shown, especially on "Voyager", that their universe sprang

from ours only when it suits the writers. I like to think that their

present is our future, but that would require too much continuity from

them, and it seems sometimes they can't be bothered. (sigh) As for the

"It's all in Sisko's mind" theory, remember that Sisko is a big baseball

fan, and knowledgable of the game's distant past(distant as in 20th

century). It's entirely possible that he *should* know Mays's number

and active playing years. Again, though, maybe doesn't mean definitely.

I guess there's enough wiggle room for a lot of explanations of that

Wells P. Martin: I would like to 2nd the motion on comments from Omer Belsky, Israel

about the Duet episode. It has always been a stand-out for me, alonf with Battlelines

and Captive Pursuit.

Phil: I too agree that Duet was a great episode!

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