Saturday, 30 November 2013

Our Weekend Viewing

And why not a little something for a Saturday and inspired by the title of a recent novel we're going to be reviewing in The Fall novel series.

Of course, there's no surprise as to the ending of any Cardassian novel - but then the Repetitive Epic is the most elegant form of literature available. Why Bashir didn't like The Never-Ending Sacrifice is beyond us....

Friday, 29 November 2013

Standing in History's Shadow

Now I will open up by stating I am a Star Trek fan certainly not at the level of my colleagues here on Some Kind of Star Trek as my reading is normally limited to Tom Clancy novels or anything based about nuclear subs.

So From History's Shadow by Dayton Ward would not be something I would usually pick up to read. However I have indeed found it an interesting and riveting read.

I very much enjoyed how the book continues from The Original Series episode Assignment: Earth, taking that storyline and really adding depth of detail to the events in the show. I also enjoyed how the book flicked back and forth from Kirk's timeline in 2268, then with Earth in 1947 taking in and linking to real events in Earth's history such as Project Bluebook, the Majestic 12 and the Roswell incident.

I love the touch on how the author develops the Roswell link to introduce the Ferengi as the possible aliens on that downed UFO and how a number of aliens residing with us on Earth adapted our limited technology at the time to develop their own technological requirements. All I can say is Earth was not only limited to just humans in the late 1940's it seems!

One of my all time favorite Star Trek movies is First Contact along with Enterprise being among my favorite Star Trek franchises. I really liked how the book took the basis of what was the known and agreed fact of Earth's first contact with the Vulcans as well as the "conjectural" events in the Enterprise episode Carbon Creek wherein T'Pol tells the story of how Vulcans came to Earth many years before the accepted official first contact event. At the end of that episode Archer and Trip are left wondering if it was indeed an actual event or just a tall tale - now here the book uses the character Mestral (a Vulcan who's choice it was to remain on Earth to continue his studies of the Humans) to further confirm the Carbon Creek incident did indeed take place and therefore unofficially rewrites Earth's history.

There are other links throughout the book referencing other Star Trek -Voyager's Futures End two part story and Deep Space Nine's Little Green Men to name but two and I can say that there are others for both the casual reader and true fan to discover along the way.

The main characters in this novel are James T Kirk, Spock, Security Officer Giotto in 2268 joined by a smattering of the usual USS Enterprise crew. Mestral and Gejalik (a Certoss) cross the timeline throughout the book, as does Roberta Lincoln, Gary Seven's protegee from Assignment: Earth. In 1947 on Earth the main character is Captain James Wainwright of Little Green Men fame - Deep Space Nine who is working on Project Bluebook and Majestic 12 along with a number of personal from the USAF. I am agreeable with the book characters remaining true to their screen characters in personality and traits as this make the book flow in line with the references to the referrals to the many links to the TV shows.  All the main characters in the book have been developed well and interact in a good solid manor that adds to the readability of the book.

The story focuses on the Temporal Cold War featured heavily in Enterprise and the effects of Gejalik sending a message to her home world in 2268 with a 300 year old dated signature and how this message could impact the various pacts in place with differing planets. How the Certoss in 2268 are a peaceful race but it seems 300 years ago this was not the case and they had a part to play in that very Temporal Cold War.  The Certoss are, it seems, a race very much like the Vulcan's whom whilst are peaceful now further back in history seem to hold a warlike mantle. In fact Gelalik mission was without giving too much away to facilitate the destruction of Earth - You'll need to read the book to find out why!

I will not ruin the read by giving away too much of the plot but it is a great book on that really does become a hard to put down read. I enjoyed it so much I even went out of my way to obtain an ebook version for my iPad to have it on my holiday reading list as I felt it was a gripping yet easy read for those that have seen the episodes that set out the pretext for where the book picks up from. I would however on that note, perhaps recommend watching at least Assignment: Earth and Carbon Creek before reading as it would help set the pace for the book to continue on the story. I indeed look forward to reading other titles by Dayton Ward and do recommend this book as a Star Trek fan due to the quality links to the various series and it really does in my opinion complete the Assignment Earth program that did leave the viewer with a few questions.

From History's Shadow is available now from Simon and Schuster ISBN 9781476719009 priced £6.99

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Just Some Updates...

And in other news...

A few bits have crossed the desk at Some Kind of Star Trek this week worth at least making a note of on our PADDs.

First up, our friends over at Jacobs Brown Media have informed us that These are the Voyages is now being offered in a limited run of signed copies. This hard-cover first edition is autographed by both Marc Cushman and Sue Osbourne and is certainly going to warp out of probably before this note hits the internet.

If you want to see if you can grab one, head over to the site now to bag yourself a reduced price, signed bargain! I won't bore everyone again but yes, it's a bit good.

Second up it's our other friends at Eaglemoss who slipped a couple of additions onto the issues line and we've only just noticed - maybe we're just a bit slower than usual on the uptake but hey, we can't be everywhere (just yet).

From top to bottom, left to right we have the Valdore from Nemesis, the Deep Space Nine Runabout, the Hideki Cardassian fighter, the Surok Class Vulcan ship from Enterprise and the Klingon Bird of Prey also from Enterprise.  For me, I'll be waiting for the Runabout being a fan of that show in particular.

Third up we can show the box art for the new Select action figure - Captain Jean-Luc Picard. We featured this one a while back but our contacts at Diamond Select Toys have now provided some extra shots of Picard and a bit of extra info on the figure:
"Dynamically sculpted by Patrick Pigott, Art Asylum’s lead Star Trek figure sculptor since 2003, Picard’s default stance is firing a phaser at an unseen foe, but seven points of articulation in his upper body allow him a wide range of expressive poses. Also, his hands and legs are interchangeable with other figures in the Select line, which means you’ll be able to give him Mr. Spock’s classic Tricorder and Phaser. He stands atop a base representing the interior of a Borg cube, and the torso and arm of an exploded Borg rests at his feet. The parts are also removable from the base, so you can take them back to the Enterprise for study when the figure hits stores in late December."

When all that's out of the way and you want to settle down for an hour of your favourite episode, why not chill that prune juice with some ice made in your The Next Generation silicon tray? Just saying....

And Finally...

It looks like due to my ineptitude to check my schedule we'll be pushing back the relaunch date by a week or so. Nothing major but we want to ensure that everything is ready, set and perfect to take us through into 2014. We will update you as soon as we confirm a more definite day!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

These Are the Voyages...To the UK!

Here at Some Kind of Star Trek you know we love a good reference book and in particular that one from Marc Cushman that was released a few months ago...what was it called again...?

Our friends over at Jacobs Brown Press have told us that the superlative These are the Voyages, The Original Series, Season One, by Marc Cushman, is now available in the UK and other parts of Europe via Amazon. Fans of Star Trek: The Original Series in the UK can purchase the book at; in France at; and in Germany at

The extra bonus is that this edition not only sports a rather nice new cover (left) but also has some updated material thanks to, among others, some guy called Leonard Nimoy. Yep; straight up.

Add to that (it gets better!) the great news that These are the Voyages, The Original Series, Season Two, documenting the production of Star Trek’s second season, is scheduled for an early 2014 release and this can only be a good day all round. Seriously, we can't wait to get our hands on the second book after the phenomenal read that was Book One. Truly one of the best reference books if not the only reference book you will ever need for The Original Series.

If you have any sense and any cash I would recommend hitting the UK link on the Amazon tab here and getting that book on order now. Need some further reasons? Here's an entire article full of them so there's absolutely no excuse...and did we mention this review is quoted on the book's website? Not that we're name dropping or anything (but they are also really nice people to deal with).

As an extra little treat and incentive to buy the book, we've dropped in one or two images here just to tempt you....

Monday, 18 November 2013

Rediscovering Deep Space Nine's First Season (Part 2)

Following on from last time, we look back at the first season of Deep Space Nine...

The feeling that this show had a mixed bag screams out from the start. The pilot is excellent - the best opener of them all - but then the path to season two winds and skews like nothing before. The Next Generation's first year was less than perfect but here the show doesn't know what it is. It tries a lot; ethics, comedy, action, horror (to a degree), religion, politics, family...but there seems to be no direction and the quality overall is average on more occasions than not when it should be spectacular.

What's Recurring?

Reviewing a full season after two decades does give you a totally new perspective on the show. Back in 1993 I found Progress, Move Along Home and The Forsaken to be pretty poor for Star Trek. My opinion has somewhat altered and (cough, cough) I might even admit that the return of Lwaxana Troi is one of the stronger episodes of the year. Majel Barrett is never better than here as Mrs Troi and there's certainly a great level of chemistry between her and Auberjonois especially trapped in the turbolift. Actually that part of the story defines one of the strongest things about Deep Space Nine that is also featured in Progress and the highlight of the year, Duet; one to ones.

If you look across the show's seven year history there are some great stories which rely on two characters going head to head in some way. Immediately I can think of Waltz (Sisko and Dukat) and In the Pale Moonlight (Sisko and Garak) as a further two examples and that was certainly a strength that came out in this season. The differences was Deep Space Nine's trump card. It could be conflicting, it could be a bit edgier and it could, to some degree take a few risks. 

Plumping Move Along Home or If Wishes Were Horses in The Next Generation would not have worked but in these early days of the station it's a case of see what happens and what gets a reaction. Both of these are quite enjoyable episodes but certainly not classics that would end up in a top ten of the series. Move Along Home is saved from obscurity by a great performance from Armin Shimerman as Quark and his role definitely has a major impact on the first year.

Quark becomes a social commentator in Deep Space Nine and once the "stern" character of the pilot is massaged, there is a lot more to the character and the relationship with Odo which plays the "cop" against the "robber". I actually think Quark is very underdeveloped across the year but that might be because the character is so well crafted from the beginning. Whatever happened to that Community Leader role Sisko so grandly offers to him?! By two or three episodes down the line it's all but forgotten. Not something that really affects the overall run of the show but regardless it was significant in Emissary.

Gritty; Unique

Ok, but the big issue with season one is that it just can't make its mind up whether it wants to be totally unique, gritty and the bad boy of the Star Trek universe or of it fancies itself as a stationary version of The Next Generation as if someone had parked up the Enterprise and was refusing to move her. The latter seems to be the choice for the first year with Alien/Incident of the Week, some kids banter between Jake and Nog about the school or self-sealing stem bolts and frankly not a lot else. It was bland to say the least but there was great potential. The shame of it was that the noose of The Next Generation kept looming up in the background. After just the pilot (which in itself featured Captain Picard) we have Lursa and B'Etor turn up in Past Prologue

The Next Generation should have showed that reflecting back on your origins so soon is not a good move as that's where that show chose to meander with The Naked Now. They really didn't need to do it again in Deep Space Nine but they went and did it anyway - and more than just the once that they could have got away with.

On the whole though season one is a lot better than I remember it. Babel is a really neat idea and a twist on the killer virus angle that's been paced many a time in Star Trek. At the core it's nothing new and feels like an average space filler with hindsight. It's the next episode where things start to get a bit more meaty. Tosk's flight in Captive Pursuit is still one of the best moments of the year. The arrival of that first alien from "the other side" was much anticipated and luckily the creators chose to get it over with early on. 

They're certainly an interesting bunch (that we never see again) and I remember the trailers looking great. It's the first sense that things around the station are going to be different to Picard's experiences on the Enterprise.  The tragedy is then we hit a run of very, very average episodes almost to the end of the season. There's nothing exceptional and it's all run of the mill which might be why this batch is such a disappointment in comparison to the rest of the series. 

The characters are great, the location is awesome and there's barrels of potential yet nothing really happens and there are no consequences for any actions; no-one comes back. Bashir certainly develops from the stuttering graduate of Emissary and evolves into a more confident officer by the end of the year. O'Brien is a totally different person with the more evident presence of his family which does change the dynamic of the role. 

Over in security Odo puts on a gruff, no-nonsense front but behind it all there is a heart (or is there...I mean, he is a shapeshifter) and we get to see it a couple of times in Vortex and The Forsaken. Auberjonois' character is the most enigmatic but the true strength of Odo lies in his verbal bouts with Quark. Oddly I also found his encounter with Lwaxana Troi easier to stomach this time round and brougght another angle of vulnerability to the role. At the start the Ferengi was a more serious role but, as the season rolls on, the part softens and acts as the human observer alongside Odo as well as comic relief. 

Fortunately he never descends into the farcical part that would befall Neelix in the later Star Trek: Voyager. Season one is fairly Ferengi-light save for The Nagus which does at least bring us the eponymous financial leader. It's not quite a comedy romp but does start laying the seed for recurring characters and themes (maybe without knowing it). Of course earlier in the year we had also met Garak albeit briefly in Past Prologue and like Zek we would have to wait for season two for a second appearance. This was also true of Vedeks Winn and Bareil. following on from their initial spots in In the Hands of the Prophets.

How Do We Solve a Problem Like Sisko?

The issue from the start in the way of characters though is Sisko. As the main character you want him to have some balls, step up to the plate (add your own cliche here) but for most of the season he's adrift on a sea of tranquility taking it all very easy. Given that he's one of the most important Starfleet officers in the galaxy thanks to the wormhole you would think he'd be a bit more concerned but Sisko comes across here as a very logical, thinking man. He talks in almost a whisper at times but there is the occasional moment where you can see the bald, goatee-ed Sisko of the Future in his actions be it laying out Q or in combat during Battle Lines. However, in this first year his character remains very static, we would have to wait until The Maquis in season two for any real development of the role. The trouble is at times he does look uncomfortable in the role - Move Along Home for instance...

Brooks actually plays Sisko with a lot of emotion be it cold to Picard in the pilot or more strongly when faced with some serious religious conflicts in the season finale. It is a difficult line to walk and perhaps these first episodes really show how narrow that path was for Commander Sisko; not that it got any better, he just grew into the position more as time went by!

One issue that didn't need solving but really needed taking out of those super-shoulder pads was the Bajoran first/liaison officer Major Kira Nerys. Major Kira is the strongest character of the year and of the whole series. Nana Visitor did a masterful job and sets out her stall from the first lines she utters in Emissary as she meets Sisko and he takes the office. 

Now Progress, which is a Kira-focused story is an episode that the mature me appreciates more than back in 1993 but there's one even more impressive later down the line, nay one of the best episodes the show ever produced; stick Kira and a Cardassian in a room and we have Duet. The dialogue here absolutely crackles and even 20 years on it's still a wonder to watch even if you know what revelations occur towards the end of the story. Harris Yulin is awesome here as Marritza, giving the performance of the year. This is where Deep Space Nine excels - the conflict, the turmoil of the characters as wounds are opened. The air crackles everytime these two are together and there seems to have been some real moves forward, only to be pulled away again in the final moments.

The issue of war crimes was close; it's not something that will ever leave the station given its proximity to Bajor and over the course of the show the troubles and occupation would be returned to on many occasions and take many different forms and not just in the present.

Barrel Scraping

We can talk for hours on how good the final pairing of stories were here but there were also some great turkeys lying around. Vortex is woeful at best. The alien character toying with Odo is weak and I didn't care what happened to him by the end. It teases lots of Odo development and then gives precisely nothing by the conclusion. I find Q-Less hard to stomach as well. I've never been one for Q. There have been some good and great Q episodes over the duration of The Next Generation and Voyager but this isn't one for the family album. Adding Vash into the story only emphasises how much Deep Space Nine was tugging at the hearts and memories of The Next Generation's ready-made audience.

Dramatis Personae is another weak link here. I can see that it's an attempt to do what The Naked Now did for The Next Generation and show the characters out of character but it's just dull and unnecessary. I'd probably say even against the two episodes I cite below it's my least favourite due to that. It's one redeeming feature perhaps? Sisko makes the clock that would adorn his office for the remainder of the show.

But the real drop outs of the season? Whether I think they are better than when I first saw them I'd still plump If Wishes Were Horses and Move Along Home at the bottom of the pile. Alright is as much praise as I can lavish on two poorly conceived stories which almost make a farce of the Deep Space Nine concept. There's no character exploration, weak explanations and Avery Brooks performing the most excruciating and uncomfortable dance ever. I know theses are below par but now I would watch one of these two in preference to Dramatis Personae which leaves me stone cold in every department; the level of drama is just below nursery school Christmas Nativity.

With In the Hands of the Prophets however, the season closes with a ton of prospects ready to be tackled in the next year. Cleverly - and something Deep Space Nine did regularly is ending the season on a not-a-cliffhanger-but-is-a-cliffhanger moment. Everything isn't as well as we thought with the Bajorans and that would come true in the opening three-parter of season two. A storming conclusion to the year where we see that Sisko and Kira have actually started seeing eye to eye. The rebellious Bajoran technician adds a great, if obvious twist to the tale but Louise Fletcher's Winn is the star and would only get better and more devious with the passage of time and seven years. However much she makes me squirm, Winn is a marvellous addition to the show...unlike Bareil but I'm not going there. Playing all angles while still managing to have her own agenda I didn't expect her to last the course or play such a big role in the future but then season one didn't give anything away did it?

So that's where we're at.The station is starting to become the Starfleet commander's home even though there are some challenges brewing at home and soon beyond the wormhole. It's been a year of bedding in, treating those settling in niggles and getting used to the environment both in front of and behind the camera. 

Bring on The Homecoming please. I can't get enough.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Second Dose of Klingons: Eaglemoss and the K'T'Inga Class


Never named onscreen but probably one of the most recognisable Star Trek starships from the last six decades is the Klingon Battle Cruiser that first appeared in The Motion Picture. It's essentially an upgraded version of the D-7 from The Original Series with go-faster detailing but I like it. 

SKoST archive
Cost-wise there's certainly less model for your money this time as the cruiser is fairly spindly. This is more The Motion Picture than The Undiscovered Country as we're told a few times through the magazine but this is therefore the ship we're more familiar with in clipped footage from Saavik's Kobayashi Maru test at the beginning of The Wrath of Khan. It's also the model basis of every single K'T'Inga class ship you've ever seen since there was only ever one filming miniature. Even Gorkon's Kronos One in Star Trek VI was just a redressing of the original from around 13 years previous.

Eaglemoss have done a decent job in the reproduction here. The model is light and the engine grill is back in the red that had raised a few concerns on some earlier released versions. I'm surprised the only perspex pieces here are the red impulse engines and the warp engines are solid plastic. 

SKoST archive
I can gladly note two things though; that the photon launcher is recessed into the command module as per the "real" thing and that the Klingon cruiser sits very nicely on its stand. This is probably due to the majority of the engineering hull being metal. The neck, warp engines and command hull are all rendered in plastic. 

While the raised detail marks this model out against the smooth body of the D-7 which we will see later down the line it's not the most exciting piece of plastic you'll see. So, minor point - I would have preferred to see this as Kronos One as I would have liked the Excelsior to be toting its NX registry number from The Search for Spock. But then that's really nitpicky.

The completists will be happy it's in the range as will the Klingon fans but it's not the most impressive or inspirational ship yet. Sadly I have to say that so far the models that have disappointed have both been from the movies - the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 refit and this cruiser. PS - in the magazine the underside of the ship has the Klingon symbol on it over the gold circle...guess what's missing from the model....

Certainly it does give you a great history of the franchise and how the details became more significant on later models and then highly intricate as CGI took hold in Voyager, Deep Space Nine and beyond. The movie ships certainly have been plain however we have not yet seen anything from the 1960's model department. The first of those creations looks set to be the Romulan Bird of Prey which is provisionally lined up for issue 34 (that's about a year from now!).

Let's move over to the printed word and the accompanying magazine. The history is fairly basic but it's good to see that the K'T'Inga's appearances in the movies, The Next Generation and latterly in Deep Space Nine and even Voyager (remember Flashback?) are included and really help to give a more all-encompassing story to the Klingon vessel class. 

The one thing you come to realise again is that this entire class and virtually every onscreen appearance was thanks to a single model that was created in the late 1970's and stayed in use until 1996. That's a good lifetime for a model considering that most would have lasted one or two episodes or maybe seven seasons at the most. 

Previously we've berated Eaglemoss for producing some very, very short and surface-skimming backgrounds but here there isn't a great deal to expand on. We've only been on board a handful of the K'T'Inga class and then it's two movies that give us the most in that respect. After Voyager's aeroshuttle in Issue Six though, the master systems display does seem like a real crash down to Earth and I can imagine this time's special feature proving to be a head-scratcher of a moment when the magazine was planned out. Nice illustrations but content-wise it's a little weak.

Once again though it is the design and filming sections (this is getting to be a bit of a theme) which champion this series. In fact I would go as far as saying it's a great selling point and also makes the magazine seem like it's not just tagged onto the model to make it look like you're getting a decent amount for your money. 

Again, you appreciate the different time in which this craft was designed and how hard it was to film in comparison to the techniques employed on the later shows - have to say the photo showing the arm which would have held the model in place during filming is great - and rare - to see especially in regards to this subject. The conversion of the model for the various incarnations of the franchise is fascinating reading and I personally didn't know that the model from The Motion Picture is the same one that would feature as the Klingon chancellor's ship in The Undiscovered Country with some slight modifications. 

It's fair to say that the K'T'Inga class has gone through a fair number of changes and developments since it's arrival into the Star Trek universe as a "replacement" for the D-7 of The Original Series and Eaglemoss have done as good a job as possible to bring this to readers and collectors in this issue. That concern over the "one episode" ships in the line still rears its head however considering the mixed bag we've had here - I'm intrigued as to how the three appearances of the Excelsior will be handled in two weeks.

Also don't forget to ask your newsagent to stock up on the first of the specials which will be out on the same day featuring that floating bicycle wheel Deep Space Nine in 3D technicolour glory with a larger than usual magazine into the bargain. If you've already purchased Issue Seven you'll have noticed the handy flyer that was inserted and we've also pictured here (right).

For those of you who might have missed them, Eaglemoss also added a couple of new shots of their upcoming issues and models recently. We've dropped them on below for reference. Can't wait to see both of them for real!

Magazine images from Eaglemoss

Issue Seven of The Official Starships Collection is available now at newsagents. You can also order and subscribe by visiting the Eaglemoss official website.

Don't forget that Some Kind of Star Trek is now on Facebook - you can like us there right now and follow our site content - and some other behind the scenes and extra bits too! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Some Kind of Star Trek: Into 2014

Unusually let's step outside the realms of the show and talk about us. 

When I say us I mean Some Kind of Star Trek. On 5th December 2013 we'll have reached our first anniversary (yep, we might just make it!) and it's been an eventful year. We've made some amazing connections out there in the World of Star Trek but it's time to take it to the next level (or The Next Phase) and build on what we've learnt and the successes we've had.

While there may not be world-affecting changes going on, for Some Kind of Star Trek we do hope it's the beginning of a new and exciting era. There will be some great new talent, opinions and (we intend) some new ways of bringing Star Trek to you besides the written word. 

We're aware that there's been a lot of focus on The Next Generation, Star Trek Into Darkness and lately Deep Space Nine and the Eaglemoss Official Starships Collection - but we want to bring you a lot more than that; hence why we're going to be making some changes!

As we get nearer to our first anniversary we will be revealing some of the changes coming your way from 5th December and into 2014. Not only that but a superb, diverse team will be helping move us into unexplored territory with coverage of everything from The Original Series through to the worlds of Star Trek Online and then some. You know we might even talk about Voyager and Enterprise a bit more.

We would without question welcome input from our readers, supporters and fans as to what you would like to see going forward. Drop your comments below and we will DEFINITELY take them into consideration!

To those of you who have supported and promoted us so far, our thanks go out to you - you've made a MASSIVE difference and made every post, picture and word worth it.

Coming up in the next few weeks we have...

  • Deep Space Nine season one review (part two)
  • Flashback to some of AMT's kits
  • Reviews of The Fall novel series
  • Eaglemoss info and hopefully some exclusives!

Clive and the SKoST team

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Rediscovering Deep Space Nine's First Season (Part 1)

Ahhhhhhhhh, season one of Deep Space Nine. In it's day it was OK. It wasn't up to the standard perhaps that The Next Generation was showing as it ran through season six but it was still lightyears from where that show had kicked off in 1987.

I even thought of walking away during those initial 20 episodes but stuck with it and was princely rewarded. When I rewatched the 1993 season recently though I found there was so much I hadn't appreciated until this full viewing or had missed when I saw it the first time.

This made me think - what do I appreciate about the show's first year now that I didn't back then? What bits have I noticed with the benefit of two decades of hindsight? Was it really as bad as I imagined when I was in my teens? 

Apparently I've wizened up in my old age and there's a lot more than meets the eye. It might be misguided in places and muddled in others but on the whole it does show signs of making a different stand and being the odd child of the Star Trek universe. 

So here's my take on Year One - after 20 years what did I spot or appreciate a little more especially with the knowledge of what happened over the course of the series. Well....

1. Starfleet Doesn't Trust Odo

Who can blame them at this point? This guy can turn himself into almost anything he wants and he was previously employed by the Cardassians. What's not to be suspicious of?! 

For just two episodes however he's accompanied by James Lashly as Lieutenant George Primmin in The Passenger and Move Along Home. For me this character just doesn't work and he seems like a glorified extra. He was then never seen again or even mentioned and nor did we even hear that he was reassigned. Gone in a second.

Almost two years later though, Eddington turned up to so the same job and we all remember how that ended. Odo was certainly the outsider from the start and having a Starfleet overseer, even for a brief time, only emphasised that more. Noticably there is an inconsistency as this concern comes and goes where necessary. Once Eddington was out of the way Starfleet seemed to be a lot happier with the Constable - even odder when by this time they knew his people were the Founders.

From memory there's conversations much later in the show around the trust that Sisko instills in his chief of security but here he's a mysterious unknown element - hey, it's made quite clear from Emissary that even his origins are a total blank. Clearly his story was going to be told but I would wager it had zero to do with the Dominion when they wrote the script.

2. The Bajoran Religious Focus

Considering how much airtime this would receive later and just how pivotal to the overall arc the Bajoran religion was it's odd that it only takes centre stage in three of the first season episodes; Emissary, The Storyteller, and In the Hands of the Prophets. In fact Vedeks Winn and Bareil only turn up in the season closer. That final story, perhaps unknowingly at the time,  does kick off a lot of things including the election of a new religious leader since the Kai herself got killed off before half the year was out in Battle Lines

Now that was a shocker, but it does also indicate how much set up there was in the first year of the show. It wasn't until the dying 45 minutes of the year that the religious aspects of the series were highlighted and then the spark was really ignited as we moved into season two and the opening three-part story. 

The pagh aspect of the Bajoran religion fades over time too. It's prominent in the bookend episodes of season one but beyond that there's not much in the way of reference to the act. From here on in the show focused more on the relationship of the Emissary to the Prophets than anything else.

3. Plain, Simple Garak (and Others) nothing like the character he would become and only appears in one episode right at the start of the season (Past Prologue). Yes, there's the sneakiness and the fact that there is a lot more to this character than we are seeing. His motivations aren't clear and nor do we have any idea why he's on the station. There are a lot of questions thrown up in conversations Bashir has during the episode but then we don;t see him again until season two and Cardassians. Oddly he isn't featured in Duet where his input would no doubt have been more than helpful. 

Gul Dukat, the former Prefect of Bajor turns up just twice in season one; Emissary and then in the genius that is Duet. As with Garak earlier it's odd to think how integral Dukat would become to the overall story arc by What You Leave Behind and how many changes the character would go through. The relationship with Garak for example would itself only come out in the second season story Cardassians and only then in passing. Personality-wise Alaimo nails Dukat from the pilot and the way he carries the character changes very little. The swagger and arrogance start from the second those office doors open and he arrives back on the station.

His appearance in Duet is subdued as it's merely on a screen giving information and doesn't add anything to the character. It could have easily been Anon Cardassian sitting there giving information rather than Dukat. As with a lot of these points it's only later in the run that you realise how much season one is an anomaly of sorts, missing the boat on so many key points.

I'm also including Rom, Nog and Jake in here for a few reasons. In regards to Quark's brother and nephew, their characters went through a lot of development. In The Nagus Rom is just, if not more conniving than Quark - a characteristic that was erased fairly quickly and replaced by his more bumbling traits. Nog is fairly bland for the first season, keeping to Ferengi values and maturing in time. 

Jake is a character out of place for a good while and his inconsistent appearances seem to betray a notion that the writers didn't really know what to do with him he too would get a decent fleshing out in the future. The "brat" image they created him with never seemed to ring true if you ask me. It's only really seen when he and Nog are hanging out on the Promenade. Other than that Jake spends a lot of time in school or working out what a self-sealing stem bolt is.

4. Bashir is Annoying. Very.

My god Siddig El Fadil (as was) created a great character here. From the off he's naive, arrogant and annoying in every respect. For the first time there was a character who made you just a little uncomfortable for most of the first year. Heck, O'Brien couldn't stand being around him until Armageddon Game and then it's only because he's been infected with Harvesters. For most of the first season Bashir is throwing puppy-dog eyes in Dax's direction and stumbling around with not much of a clue with all the enthusiasm of an unleashed jack-in-the-box. He virtually falls into the station in want for a date with Dax in Emissary which comes to a head later in If Wishes Were Horses with the faux Jadzia. 

Maybe this shows just how good an actor Siddig actually was and he does get a lot to do, even having a body-possession incident (The Passenger). For one, I look back now and think that the doctor was the most developed character from the show's run. Here he's got that bucket of arrogance and brilliance that seems to come from youth and inexperience however hindsight turns this in a different light after Doctor Bashir, I Presume.

5. Mining The Next Generation

Deep Space Nine was created at the best of times and the worst of times. It was a different Star Trek, brave and unique but it came when The Next Generation was riding high in its sixth season. Deep Space Nine sort of hung off its tails a bit in 1993, bringing back not one, not two, but three recurring The Next Generation guests with the Duras sisters, Mrs Troi and Q. 

I'm not a fan of Q Less and luckily it's the only time Q turns up on the station as with Lursa and B'Etor. Lwaxana came back again in season three but it's almost as if there's a fear of stepping away from the origins of The Next Generation. These installments, I personally felt, actually detracted from the facets of the story, station and its personnel. We didn't need to be reminded of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine would easily stamp its mark on the Star Trek universe. 

A couple of guests would drop by but on the series' terms and not their own (Klingons, Tom Riker...). From season two this would stop being the Enterprise in a fixed location and a story in its own right with its own alien races and issues to deal with rather than moping up Picard's problems.

6. Quark and Odo Made-Up

Probably one of the biggest makeup overhauls aside from Worf's transformation during The Next Generation would go to Odo who starts and ends the season looking very very different. He looks quite haggard and unfinished in Emissary but by In the Hands of the Prophets the change is very noticable. The hair is flatter, the nose and eye sockets more arched. You can see some of Auberjonois' face clearly though the latex in the Emissary makeup and even by the season end there's still some more improvements to be made. The more refined, smooth finish would come in season two and last until What You Leave Behind.

One thing that is announced at the start and was clearly something the producers were looking forward to exploring was Odo's origin story. The mystery of Odo is present from about 45 minutes into the pilot and plays a part in his mini-arc through to The Search in season three.  He's quite gruff here those edges would get some smoothing out - just like the makeup.

Quark is the other piece I hadn't noticed - his nose isn't his nose in Emissary. Honestly. Take a look. I could never quite put my finger on the difference but here's a way to compare...

That nose in Emissary makes him look a lot more sinister and serious than the more familiar one Shimerman would sport for the rest of the show. It really does make a difference to the nature of the character!

7. Monster of the Week

The Next Generation not only has to answer for recurring characters turning up on the station but also for the standalone stories that pervade the first year of the show. It's all about moving on to the next adventure which is, ironically, the one thing that the station physically can't do. People come to visit, the station deals with it, roll credits and wait for next week.

This could have become very repetitive - alien comes through and panic ensues etc but fortunately the static nature of the station forced the hand of the show's producers. Could it actually be that this first season sets up the pieces that season two would then develop before season three brought it all to fruition?

Saying that, season one has no repercussions. It takes until the final episode for any kind of arc to emerge and that would only be fully realised in the following year. The twenty shows here focus on building the characters but nothing follows on, no-one deals with anything further down the line. There's a lot of trial and error going on here leaving you pondering what year two would bring about. Luckily the mentions of the Dominion started to appear from The Rules of Acquisition onwards and the rest is history...

8. The First Visitors

Captive Pursuit marked the first visit from the Other Side of the wormhole. Looking back it's funny to think that we never, ever even hear of this race ever again. Period. The skirmishes here are a welcome break to some of the more mundane elements of the first batch of episodes and Michael Westmore got to stretch his creative might designing two new races for the encounter. Just a note that the guy playing the leader of the Hunters would return in season two as the "other" Q...

9. The School

Do you remember how much focus there was on the school in season one? Neither did I until this rerun. It's mentioned almost every episode and then plays a pivotal role in the season finale when it gets bombed. The funny thing is that as time moves on the school, which was so prominent here and of such significance with the roles of Jake and Nog in particular, just vanishes. It gave Keiko something to do for the first couple of years but after that botany took over and things got back to normal. 

In retrospect the school was a great device to provide conflict between the Federation and the Bajorans over Mrs O'Brien's teachings. It also acts as (although we didn't know it at the time) a springboard which would eventually lead to Nog entering Starfleet - consider the fact that at one point in this season Jake is teachning him to read.

10. What was it before it was Deep Space Nine?

Yep. We all know now that it was called Terok Nor and that it was a Cardassian mining platform. It's made clear from early on in the series what the station was used for and who was in charge. There's a lot made in Emissary about the former occupants laying waste to anything useful before their departure but at no point in season one do we find out what the place was called before it was Deep Space Nine. Alongside this it's actually interesting to note that we find out very little about the characters background beyond Sisko (mainly from Emissary and some visions) and Dax in Dax. Kira, to be fair, probably gets the most exposition however with background info popping up all over the place. 

Scene setting takes precedent here and finding out what has driven our crew to this point in their lives is left unsaid in the case of everyone else. I actually thought examining the history of the station might have been a bigger part of not only the first year but the show as a whole. The only time we really get to see any unusual parts of the station is in Civil Defense from season three. For the record, the first time that Terok Nor is mentioned is in season two's Cardassians....

Next time we'll take a look in more detail at the first season and it's impact on the Star Trek franchise in 1993....