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.
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.)
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.
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.
This week, we discuss one of Star Trek’s most sacred texts — a forty-five minute Ben Sisko soliloquy, in which he saves the galaxy in a trolley problem of Garak’s devising, killing in the process a Romulan Senator, an obnoxious blue guy and at least one really hot Romulan bodyguard. Is this a great episode, a truly great episode, or something else altogether?
First broadcast on Wednesday, 30 September 1998
and Wednesday, 7 October 1998
It’s an epic start to Deep Space Nine’s final season. Miles, Julian and Quark join Worf on a mission to honour Jadzia by blowing up a cartoon shipyard. Ben and Jake meet a (completly adorable) new Dax, drag Brock Peters through the desert for some reason, and then dig up a box. And Kira sits in a tiny spaceship waiting steadfastly for something to come along and resolve her part of the plot. And all the time, Joe and Nathan are cheering from the sidelines, enjoying a solid 90 minutes of getting to know these people again, and watching them set things up for a glorious final year.
When passive-aggressive Vulcan racist Captain Solok arrives on Deep Space Nine and challenges Sisko to some kind of sportsball game, a series of hilarious training montages ensues, followed by a Very Important Lesson about how utterly adorable Rom is. Bless.
When the Lounge is taken over by violent mobsters, Vic Fontaine (James Darren) has no choice but to call in his fictional friends from the twenty-fourth century to help him out. A stylish and entertaining heist ensues, the good guys win, and we’re reminded (again) about how much we love these people.