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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
DS9 Season Four - A season fit for a warrior!24 Aug. 2003
- Published on Amazon.com
DS9's fourth season can arguably be titled the series best season! As the first three seasons easily proved that they could reach the entire range of emotions and touchstones from the various episodes; the fourth season proved that they could take an excellent series and make it even better. Between the third and fourth seasons Paramount prompted the producers to "shake up the series" but didn't tell them how they wanted them to do it. This initially left them shaking their heads until they touched upon a quote from "The Die is Cast" in which a Changeling stated that in the future all they had to worry about was the Klingons and the Federation and that wouldn't be for much longer. As time would prove, this quote set them on the path to an outstanding story arc that would carry the series all the way through to the final episode of the seventh season. The addition of Michael Dorn and his character Worf was pure brilliance. Of all of the STNG characters, his was the most beloved by a majority of the fans and despite the character feeling that he didn't fit in too well with those around him on the space station, he fit in perfectly! One extremely important change is Sisko's promotion to Captain which should've happened previously. Also shaking up the series was the addition of a much more powerful defensive system on DS9 itself as the Klingons would soon find out in the season opener. We're also introduced to Martok, played brilliantly by J.G. Hertzler, which was unknown at the time but his character turned into to one of the most popular recurring characters of the series. A brief synopsis of the more outstanding episodes, (Every episode of the season was outstanding but unfortunately there's a 1k word cutoff): Way of the Warrior - In this extraordinarily exciting season opener the Klingons have decided that the Cardassian government has been taken over by Changelings and stage an invasion fleet at DS9. In order to help deal with the issue, Sisko sends for Worf, after all, who better to deal with Klingons than a Klingon. This episode was but the first of many huge space battles involving countless ships that the series produced so beautifully. The Visitor - In this emotionally charged episode that is one of DS9's most popular episodes, Tony Todd guest stars as an older Jake Sisko that witnessed the death of his father! Captain Sisko would periodically show up for a few minutes leaving Jake to try and figure out how to get his father back! Rejoined - Dubbed one of the series and Star Trek's most controversial episodes, this episode highlights what one would think would be a prominent thing among Trill, two symbionts who were previously married when they were with two different hosts. Directed admirably by Avery Brooks, this episode highlights what Star Trek is all about! Little Green Men - In this hilarious Ferengi episode Quark's cousin Gaila has given him a shuttle and he decides to use it to take Nog to Starfleet Academy on Earth. Unbeknownst to him, the shuttle isn't exactly in the best working condition and an accident occurs. Quark, Rom and Nog wake up to find themselves in Roswell, New Mexico in the 1940's being interrogated by the military. Our Man Bashir - This is the first of the exceptionally entertaining episodes where we visit Bashir in the holosuite as he's playing out his fantasy of being a 1960's spy for her majesty's government! Unfortunately for the rest of the crew, there's been an accident on a runabout and they've been integrated into the running program. Along for the fun is the real spy, Garak. Homefront & Paradise Lost - Originally set to be the season three cliffhanger and season four opener, these pivotal episodes show exactly how much chaos the Founders can create when they blow up a conference on Earth, prompting a recall to Earth of Captain Sisko. We meet his father who had previously been intimated to have died. Sons of Mogh - Tony Todd makes a return as Kurn, Worf's brother! Due to Worf's disgrace in the Empire, Kurn requests that Worf kill him which would make his death an honorable one. Hard Time - This is a superb O'Brien episode as we see him deal with the after effect of being convicted of a crime on another planet and sentenced to twenty years in prison. He was hooked up to a machine and did these twenty years in his head in a relatively short period of time. The Quickening - This is an extraordinary episode in which Bashir finds himself on a planet in the Gamma Quadrant that had defied the Dominion. As punishment, they've been suffering the "blight" for nearly two centuries. Bashir does everything he can to come up with a cure. Broken Link - In this pivotal episode, Odo becomes sick and must be taken to Founders who seem to be the only ones who can save him. Upon arrival in Dominion space, the Founder leader shows up and tells him that his sickness was no accident and that he must come to their new homeworld to be judged for his crime of being the first Changeling to ever harm another. The conclusion of the episode is astonishing to say the least and sets up the fifth season beautifully as we learn that Chancellor Gowron has been replaced by a Changeling. Special Features: Charting New Territory: DS9 Season Four Crew Dossier: Worf Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season Four DS9 Sketchbook: John Eaves Photo Gallery Ten "hidden" Section 31 files Episode list: The Way of the Warrior The Visitor Hippocratic Oath Indiscretion Rejoined Starship Down Little Green Men The Sword of Kahless Our Man Bashir Homefront Paradise Lost Crossfire Return to Grace Sons of Mogh Bar Association Accession Rules of Engagement Hard Time Shattered Mirror The Muse For the Cause Tot the Death The Quickening Body Parts Broken Link
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
One of the best seasons12 Jun. 2003
- Published on Amazon.com
While I wouldn't go so far as to call season 4 the best of DS9, it certainly is in the running. With the introduction of Worf into the mix, things suddenly got bumpy as the Klingons were introduced more and more regularly. There's a number of twists and turns regarding Eddington and the regulars that allowed DS9 to surpass NextGen as the best Trek show ever. In The Way of the Warrior the Federation/Klingon alliance splinters. Hippocratic Oath deals with an unusual casualty of war--the slaves forced to fight it. Bashir tries to cure the Jem'Hadar of their addiction to "the white" against the wishes of fellow prisoner O'Brien. The Visitor is one of the most touching and emotionally powerful episodes written. Michael Taylor's story uses a convention that Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaugterhouse Five; Sisko becomes "unstuck in time". The only constant in is his reappearences is Jake. It's a beautifully realized script with nuanced performances from Tony Todd (who had auditioned for the role of Sisko)and Avery Brooks. Dukat is further softened up as we discover he has a half Bajoran daughter he intends to rescue in Indescretion. He enlists a reluctant Kira to help. Though Dukat's edgy character is blunted somewhat, it adds further depth to a villan that was characteristic of DS9. The marvelous Marc Alaimo continues to amaze in this well designed episode. He's one of the most underappreciated character actors. In many respects, Indiscretion was clearly inspired by John Ford's classic western The Seachers. Rejoined allows DS9 to dip its toe in the sexuality of Trills. Dax meets a former lover and has a hard time resisting her attraction to this person. Well directed by Avery Brooks, Rejoined does what classic Trek does best--deal with difficult issues and emotions in a 45 minute episode of television. There are a number of other delightful, well written, directed and acted episodes included here. Little Green Men was a bit too cute for me at first, but I've grown to like it over time. We finally find out the truth about Roswell and it ain't what you expect. Quark makes an early appearence on Earth and the script by Ira Steven Behr and writing partner Robert Hewitt Wolfe delightfully skewers America in 1947. While I'm not a huge fan of the "holosuite" adventures of the crew (their a bit too common and done a bit too often for my taste), Our Man Bashir is still a standout. It's a marvelous confection that tips its hat to Our Man Flint, the Bond films and Matt Helm. Ron Moore's script is on target and we discover that Avery Brooks would make a wonderful Bond villan. Are you listening MGM? Finally, Homefront demonstrates what DS9 and writer Behr & Wolfe always did best--create an atmosphere of paranoia and darkness in Roddenberry's optimistic future world. The shapeshifters are on Earth and they're quite busy undermining security. Or are they? Robert Foxworth (another great character actor)does a terrific turn as an Admiral that will use any excuse to seize power whether or not it really is in the Federation's best interest or not. I can't comment on the discs because the set hasn't been released yet as of this writing. The DS9 sets have been improving with each set and, while the extras are nice, there's nothing like having the original episodes. My only complaint is that, again, no one was contacted to do any episodic commentary. There's no booklet to give an overview of the series episodes. I personally like the way B5 has included the previews for each episode from the original promos. These allow you to get an idea as to what each episode is about. In the absence of a booklet, these would do quite nicely as well although I doubt that Paramount will change the sets at this late date. While many B5 fans complain that DS9 ripped off B5 (and I'm a B5 fan), it's not the actual concept of the series that matters. What matters is the quality of the acting, writing and directing of each individual episode and season. DS9, like B5, was an outstanding series even when compared to other mainstream television programs.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
"THE VISITOR" BEST DS9 Episode Ever..26 May 2003
- Published on Amazon.com
The Fourth season was far and away the creative peak of DS9 overall. Though the decision to make the Klingons an enemy again was good-intentioned it was utlimately one of the few true storytelling mishaps of the series -- luckily it didn't take a hugely prominent role in the 4th year (the Dominion stepped up to the plate here). While the third season served as a mostly introductory period to the Dominion, the fourth much more deeply explores this mysterious and terrifying new threat. IN between, some of the best Star Trek episodes ever made are produced -- highlighted by "The Visitor", which ranks with "The Inner Light" and "City on the Edge of Forever" as Trek's most moving episodes ever made. Most of DS9's all-time best episodes are in the 4th YEAR, including... The Way of the Warrior, The Visitor, Rejoined, Little Green Men, Our Man Bashir, Homefront, Paradise Lost, Sons of Mogh, Rules of Engagement, Shattered Mirror, For the Cause, Broken Link.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Incredibly Strong Season13 Mar. 2003
- Published on Amazon.com
Season 4 of Deep Space Nine was a pivotal one in the show for many reasons. The Dominion takes a far more prominent role in the storytelling, which becomes far more sophisticated in this season. There is great character development across the board, including the addition of fan favorite Worf, which once again alters the show's dynamic. The season has it all: human drama, great space opera, and wonderful continuing storylines. Put simply, this is a complete season that just begins to show the show's full potential. Worf's welcome to the show in "The Way of the Warrior" introduced the static between the Klingons and Federation that would last for a little more than a season. Several other klingon characters, including General Martok, were introduced here who, although they didn't factor in much here, would eventually become prominent players later on. The episode is one of the show's most action-packed, and it also carries on the tradition of the show having strong first episodes to start out the season. After this episode comes the emotionally-packed "The Visitor," which is, without a doubt, the most poignant episode of the show, perhaps of any show ever. Jake Sisko spends his whole life trying to find a way to bring his father back to life after Benjamin is killed in an engine room accident. Brilliant and provocative acting from Tony Todd as old Jake. After this strong start the show kicked into high gear. "Hippocratic Oath" explores the nature of the Jem'Hadar, "Starship Down" is a tribute to submarine movies, "Little Green Men" is the show's most tongue-in-cheek episode, which is as funny as it is provocative. The episode has Quark, Rom and Nog being stranded in Roswell circa 1947 after a time-travel accident. It is the most funny Star Trek experience since the fourth feature film. "Our Man Bashir" is a combination good, whimsical spy story and people-working-against-time-to-save-people story with some precious lines from Garak, a real spy. After he sees the opulent life of spies in 20th-century Earth, he comments, "All these years I've been working for the wrong government." Good stuff. There is a magnificent two-part episode, "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", which explores the intricacies of Federation Politics, the Starfleet/Federation situation, and civil liberties. The episode features some powerful dialogue, as well as some intense fight scenes. "Bar Association" has Rom standing up to his brother and creating a union, "Rules of Engagement" makes Worf face his deep-seeded resentment against his race. Yet another trip to the mirror universe in "Shattered Mirror", Michael Eddington's defection in "For the Cause", and more encounters with the Dominion in "To The Death" and "Broken Link" round out this season with a final development that shows just how sophisticated the plot structure became. As can be plainly seen, the season is replete with highlights. In fact, substandard episodes are few and far between. "Rejoined" is one such episode. An interesting concept foiled by improbable characterization, predictable plotting, and wholly unsatisfying storytelling. The show must have been filmed during sweeps, because the inevitable lesbian kiss is performed without any passion. Come on, people, Dax just isn't the impulsive, driven by hormones type. With all that wisdom she should have an evolved view on romance. Alas. "The Muse" also is hardly stellar, with trite plotting and yet another visit from Lwaxana Troi, who had already overstayed her welcome. Although not perfect, one can see that the sub-standard episodes were becoming fewer and farther between by this time, and there was a much greater proportion of hits than misses than before. This season is an incredible dramatic accomplishment and sets up the extremely prodigious later seasons. This is a must-buy for all fans of dramatic achievement or science fiction.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Ahead -- Maximum Worf!6 Jan. 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
Season four saw a lot of changes on Deep Space Nine, both in front of and behind the camera. The show underwent its first major cast change in the addition of Michael Dorn's Worf to the lineup, and the storyline accommodated this accordingly. The twists and turns delighted me, and I raced through this season quickly, eager to find out exactly what was going to happen next. After the Dominion-related adventures of seasons two and three, one would expect season four to continue building up those storylines. But the writers and producers neatly subverted expectations by throwing the emphasis in other directions. While there certainly are some stories which keep hyping the threat of the Dominion, the bulk of the uber-story is focused upon what effect the Dominion has had on the Alpha Quadrant. We therefore see huge changes for the Cardassians, the Klingons and the Federation. The Dominion, the Jem'Hadar and the Founders do pop up from time to time, but they're kept to the shadows -- a menacing presence quietly trying to manipulate events for their own agenda. Adding Worf to the cast was an interesting and successful evolution. I think what I enjoyed the most about it was the fact that after being thrown into the middle of this ongoing storyline at the beginning of the season, Worf doesn't immediately find himself at home. Given that this is Star Trek we're talking about, I was half expecting Worf to become "part of the family" within a couple of weeks. But he doesn't. In fact, he is continually irritated by this new crew, and is nostalgic for the calm ordered structure that existed on the Enterprise. By the middle of the season, he's become so fed up that he moves his living quarters onto the normally empty USS Defiant. It was great to see a new face on board the station, and it was satisfying to see the creators not violate the individual characters to ease the transition. Although reviews of Deep Space Nine seasons will tend to talk about what big galaxy-shattering events were going on in that year, I would be neglectful if I didn't also praise the standout standalone episodes. Of particular note is "The Visitor", a story rightly hailed as one of the best of all Star Trek series. And "Little Green Men" is a hilarious romp concerning the real story behind Area 51; it was the Ferengi. The extras on this DVD are focused towards the events of this season, and most of it concerns itself with how the addition of Worf to the cast affected things behind the scenes. The writing/producing crew explain how it changed the dynamics among the characters. Michael Dorn appears in a handful of interviews (taken from various points during the filming of the series and beyond) talking about how he enjoyed playing the character and what directions he wanted to go in. The producers also mention the freedom they had with Star Trek: The Next Generation being off the air, and Voyager set in a distant corner of the galaxy. Now the Federation, the Klingons and the Cardassians were theirs alone to play with. Also included among the extras is the requisite look at the special effects and the alien makeup featured during this year. I feel like I'm getting into a rut describing these Deep Space Nine season box sets, but yet again we are left with a year that takes the show in bold new directions while also dropping plotlines to be developed later. I had gradually faded away from the show around this season when the episodes were originally airing, but I'm very glad that I have finally decided to get back into the show now through its release on DVD.