Eruditorum Press

We stared into the untempered schism and all we saw was this dodgy CSO effect

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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.

4 Comments

  1. Froborr
    February 3, 2016 @ 6:41 am

    I have a feeling we are going to disagree A LOT about the quality, value, and function of DS9 seasons 3-6, and what's going on there in a "quasi-sentient metafiction" sense.

    Reply

  2. Dustin
    February 19, 2016 @ 5:48 am

    I love that scene where Jadzia enters Ops, strides down the stairs, meets Kira, squeezes her arm and smiles, whereupon Kira turns to Sisko's office, where he smiles, then nods. Nobody says anything. But it's clear that this is now a tightly-knit crew, a family. And it feels all the more intimate for having been earned, after months of suspicion and discomfort. Sisko and Dax have overcome the social awkwardness of her transition and are now as close as they've ever been. Sisko and Kira have stopped distrusting each other's motives and now have a hard-won friendship, working together for Bajor's future. Kira and Dax have had just enough moments together (here, in "Progress" and especially in "Duet") to signal to us a closeness past words.

    And, of course, Odo and Quark, Quark and Odo, whom I adore together.

    I'm beginning to feel that the solidarity and intimacy this crew have achieved is really unmatched in the rest of Trek. And, as I said above, it feels truer for having been earned, for having triumphed over the Dread Conflict. That's the value of dramatic conflict. Not grimdark, not pointless bickering, not the lazy substitution of moral ambiguity and cynicism in place of the audacity of hope (#sorrynotsorry for that phrase). Dramatic conflict, which I've come to see was probably done better in the early years of this show than the whole franchise has ever managed it, isn't opposed to utopianism, to hope. It's a striving. We begin with people we care about, and who can't see how much they could mean to each other, and we watch them figure it out. And fail. And figure it out.

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  3. Josh Marsfelder
    February 19, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    "I'm beginning to feel that the solidarity and intimacy this crew have achieved is really unmatched in the rest of Trek. And, as I said above, it feels truer for having been earned, for having triumphed over the Dread Conflict. That's the value of dramatic conflict. Not grimdark, not pointless bickering, not the lazy substitution of moral ambiguity and cynicism in place of the audacity of hope (#sorrynotsorry for that phrase). Dramatic conflict, which I've come to see was probably done better in the early years of this show than the whole franchise has ever managed it, isn't opposed to utopianism, to hope. It's a striving. We begin with people we care about, and who can't see how much they could mean to each other, and we watch them figure it out. And fail. And figure it out."

    Bravo. I couldn't have put it better myself.

    Reply

  4. Daru
    February 29, 2016 @ 11:50 pm

    This is an absolutely brilliant episode, and I do really adore the idea at the end that a myth, the story of Li is more important than he is himself. That moment has always stood out for me since watching it.

    Such a shame that the tone did change and the grimdark 90's took over. I look back now with some humour at how hooked I was into some of the quirks and dark artefacts of that time, as in retrospect they seem a little childish to me. Not childlike which I love, but fitting the exact description of grimdark as egoism tied into consumerism that you described in the Descent post.

    I am though really looking forwards to the journey through this time ahead with you to see what you have to say.

    Reply

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