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4.0 out of 5 stars The first season of the best Trek show out there, 29 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Comp First [DVD] [1993] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a very interesting beginning. We discovered in the first episode that we would be staying in one place, exploring a little but dealing much more with the Bajoran people and how they are recovering from years of occupation, along with their grooming to be new members of the United Federation of Planets. Past Trek shows have been on a ship, but this show would take place on a space station. One thing this means is that they can't run away from their problems. If something comes up, they have to deal with it, and the consequences of the problem could very well come back and haunt the crew later on. Recurring characters (Garak and Dukat are introduced in the first season, along with Keiko O'Brien coming over from Next Generation) abound, and relationships are allowed to grow and change. These characters are not static like the Next Generation characters generally were. I can't see much of a difference between William Riker in season 1 and William Riker in season 7 of Next Generation. Kira Nerys, on the other hand, has changed greatly just within season 1 of Deep Space Nine
I was really glad when all seven seasons came out in DVD boxed sets. The presentation is wonderful, with four episodes per disc (except the first one, which includes the 2-hour premiere). The menus are great, with the Deep Space Nine theme projecting majestically from the speakers. It's always been my favourite of all the themes anyway. After you choose an episode, you then can either play it, press "set up" (where you set up your audio and subtitle options), "chapter log" (where you can go to any scene), or return to the main menu.
There are six discs in the set, with the first five containing the episodes and then the sixth being a bunch of specials. There is a documentary on the first season, called "A Bold Beginning." There's a crew dossier on Kira Nerys, the secrets of Quark's bar, a sketchbook of production sketches and a little bit about alien props. There are also a bunch of easter eggs on this disc, with other crew dossiers and little interesting tidbits about the actors and their roles. We hear about how they got their part and what their feelings are about their characters. Some of the interviews are from the first season, when the actors didn't know where their characters were going. Others are from after the show, or during the last season. They're par for the course for actors' interviews, so if you're naturally bored by them, you won't find much of interest here. If you like the show, though, they're intriguing.
All in all, this is a wonderful collection of episodes. The picture quality is wonderful, with the exception of one episode, but I'm sure that's just on my edition. "The Storyteller" made my DVD player have conniptions, and I had already had so much hassle with Columbia House that I wasn't going to try and deal with them to get a better copy. It's just one episode, though. The packaging is interesting and sturdy, with two fold-out covers revealing the plastic disc trays. The overall quality of these discs is quite high. Only the quality of some of the episodes themselves brings the rating of the boxed set down to 4 stars. They had a rough patch in the middle of the season.
As for the episodes themselves, they are like many first seasons of shows gone by, with some standout episodes, some strong ones with weaknesses, and quite a few misses as they try to find their legs. The best two actually end the season, as "Duet" (the story of a Cardassian war criminal coming back to Bajor which is not necessarily what it appears) and "In the Hands of the Prophets" (dealing with the mixture of religion and schools, but also showcasing just how far Federation/Bajor relations have come, and how far they have to go). There are definitely some strong ones near the beginning, too, but there is a string of misses in the middle of the season that just makes you wonder. If it hadn't been for the strong opening, I may have really despaired.
This is a wonderful beginning to the Deep Space Nine odyssey, in my opinion the best Trek series out there.
David Roy
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