Eruditorum Press

Less concerned with who’s first up against the wall than with how to decorate it

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

6 Comments

  1. David Faggiani
    October 23, 2015 @ 2:57 am

    I'm loving your readings on this.

    Like many people watching this during their youth, I had a massive crush on Jadzia. I now realise that I also had a perhaps more intellectual crush on Dax, and the idea of the Trill.

    I got into DS9 when I was about 10, and later Doctor Who when I was about 20. I think it's clear to me now there's a through-line of interest there for me, in regenerative, near-immortal characters, always different-but-always-the-same, 'containing multitudes'. An interesting comparison, the Trill and the Time Lords, apologies if you've made it before!

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  2. K. Jones
    October 23, 2015 @ 9:55 am

    Solid, solid, solid.

    The two main takeaways I had on my rewatch were interrelated. One, the well-planted, well-tended seed of Keiko's resolution here and thinking in advance of the incredible (and incredibly relevant today) pay-off at the end of the season.

    Two is just what they are able to do with the large "public space" setting of the Promenade deck. In this episode and the next, and the last a little bit, we see something we've never been able to see on the Enterprise because of each deck and cabin being segmented. And that's different story paths criss-crossing.

    We get things like Dax and Sisko walking down the corridor, then we cut back to what they just walked by, and it's the kids pranking at the Replimat, and then we cut from them getting hauled off by a Bajoran Deputy to Keiko watching the whole thing and having an epiphany.

    We see a bit of it in Quark's bar as well, as the multiple levels work to give us a similar shared space intrigue that allows for some superb stage direction and narrative play in the staging, as we can follow Quark & Odo's conversation up to the O'Briens, across to Sisko and Dax, back to the O'Briens, and back down to the bar.

    Eye lines! Try spotting some long distance interactivity from the Main Bridge to Ten-Forward! It can't be done!

    The new space has afforded them somewhere for directors and script writers to really show off the goods, and not just showcase that they've finally after six years got this Star Trek thing down pat, but that they've finally been afforded the opportunity to stretch their fingers a little and show off an expanded scope of film-storytelling techniques.

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  3. K. Jones
    October 23, 2015 @ 9:58 am

    Oh, and all the while we see something that jogged my memory of some talks back in the Original Series discussions – a strong focus competency. The plot can't come together unless everyone can do their jobs well, and even without an engineering problem to solve, O'Brien's considerable experience comes into play as he coolly heads off the riot.

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  4. elvwood
    October 27, 2015 @ 5:17 am

    OK, I'd like to get some negatives out of the way first. I've been watching these in broadcast order, and my first comment applies to this and Past Prologue (which I watched immediately before): the boob fetishism. The very worst of it is in that episode rather than this, but there's still some of it here and my reaction carries over. It's bad enough with the cutaway costuming of the Klingons, but at least they have faces and (very slight, but existent) characterisaton – the way the women in the promenade are costumed and shot is treating them as pieces of meat for the camera, pure and simple. It's awful. And in light of this attitude to women Keiko's subplot here feels somewhat sour. She's a scientist with no teacher training, so the fact that she starts a school – which is presented as an empowering move for her, and in other circumstances it could have been – feels more like "oh, let's shove a female character (the one we forgot to include in our cast dynamics plan) into a traditionally female role, and because it's a traditionally female role let's assume you don't need any training for it. After all, those who can't do, teach, right?". Which rather took away from my happiness at Keiko getting screen time.

    Having said that, this was another strong episode. I didn't mind the SF nature of the mystery at all, and it gave us more opportunity to see those dynamics I mentioned in action (I don't remember, but I'm guessing Quark defending Odo would have been an "oh, it's that sort of relationship" moment on first watch). And I'd completely forgotten how well the Bashir/Dax/Sisko trio was handled!

    So, still very definitely thumbs up, but with a caveat. I kind of wished I'd watched this one before Past Prologue, now!

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  5. Josh Marsfelder
    October 27, 2015 @ 10:53 am

    In regards to Lursa and B'Etor (who, just to reaffirm, are not in this episode), I think unfortunately they're going to carry sour implications anywhere by virtue of their less-than-noble origins. They're damaged characters from the get-go.

    Keiko becoming a schoolteacher has never sat especially well with me, to be honest, with the caveat "In The Hands of the Prophets" is brilliant. I didn't want to complain about that at length here though, especially with so much other interesting stuff going on elsewhere.

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  6. Daru
    December 20, 2015 @ 12:10 am

    "To be blunt, Julian now seems to be angling for a polyamourous relationship between him, Ben and Jadzia and seems to be testing the waters to see what his boss thinks of the idea."

    Great reading. I missed it at the time, but can see it now and it's really refreshing to see.

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