Deep Space Nine finds itself unexpectedly in sitcom territory this week, as the Nagus (Wallace Shawn) arrives on the station with a complicated scheme to expose the incompetence of his Large Adult Son Krax (a young Eric Trump in his first television role). Meanwhile, Commander Sisko discovers something delightful and heartwarming about his small teenage son Jake, who unwittingly teaches him a Valuable Lesson about kindness and trust.
This week, Kira moves a few steps forward on her long and problematic journey from terrorist to bureaucrat as she struggles with a decision to evict Brian Keith from a hastily re-dressed Standard Cave Set 1. In the meantime, Jake and Nog do some adorable capitalism, foreshadowing just how much we’re going to grow to love them by the end of the show.
You know how it is: it’s your first spinoff — a cast of delightfully high-concept characters set against a colourful backdrop, with story possibilities around every corner. But then you find yourself limping towards the end of your first season. You’ve done the plague one, the weird alien fugitive one, the buddy comedy one with the CGI shaving cream, and the terrible boardgame one that everyone will have such fond memories of. So what’s left? How about a story where all of your beloved regulars play people no one cares about, embroiled in a conflict that no one has any interest in? We can do that, can’t we?
In this week’s episode of Family Ties, when Quark (Michael J Fox) lies about his involvement in the death of a belligerent Klingon customer, he finds himself threatened, hauled off to Qo’nos, forcibly married, and required to defend the honour of his house before the High Council with a combination of Excel spreadsheets and extreme physical cowardice. Will he learn a Very Important lesson about the dangers of greed? (Spoilers: no.)
Stardate 46519.1: Surgically altered to appear Romulan, Marina Sirtis wakes up on board the Romulan Warbird Khazara looking as fabulous as she has ever looked and starts threatening an increasingly cowed Carolyn Seymour. The result — one hell of an enjoyable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Eighteen months later: Surgically altered to appear Cardassian, Nana Visitor wakes up on Cardassia Prime looking incredibly striking, but her rich backstory, the show’s increasingly involved premise, and her willingness to just go for it as an actor — all of these combine to make one hell of an enjoyable and satisfying episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
This week, on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Quark wants Grilka, Dax wants Worf, Nerys wants Miles, Worf wants Grilka, Miles wants Nerys, Worf wants Dax, Odo wants Nerys (probably), and Julian wants not to know any details about any of this. Meanwhile, Joe wants more of this sort of thing, while Nathan just wants some special effects and reflective surfaces, but will settle for a turbolift that goes up and down without jerking.
First broadcast on Monday, 10 February 1997
and Monday, 17 February 1997
It’s a soap-opera extravaganza on Deep Space Nine this week, as Garak reconciles with his long-lost father, Dukat abandons his long-lost daughter, and Julian discovers a scheming lookalike that he never knew he had. Meanwhile, there is a shift in the balance of power in the Quadrant, as the show rewrites its own premise in the way that we have come to admire and enjoy.
Previously, on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Tired of being a supporting character in a thankless role, Michael Eddington leaves DS9 to star heroically in a TV show which we never see and which exists entirely in his own imagination. After most of the cast and crew are killed by Cardassians — which can happen — and he himself is imprisoned for treason, he is recruited by Sisko for one final mission — to stop a deadly attack on Cardassia that is also entirely imaginary. Hero, traitor, or just some asshole with bad hair and a penchant for lavish Broadway musicals? Let’s find out.
Star Trek goes outside this week, for a top-tier episode in which Sisko and Kira are both confronted by radical integrity and self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming opposition. Solid and memorable.