HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Series
HTS Overall Score:75
“Star Trek” has been a staple for any sci-fi geek’s formative years for the last 40-50 years, but the pinnacle of the series ends with “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (in my humble opinion). It was one of the most bold and innovative shows, while still keeping the feel of the series that came before it. I grew up in the 80s and 90s for my teenage years, so I was FULLY aware of the gloriousness that was Patrick Stewart and “The Next Generation”. My brothers would watch re-runs of the original series, but I never really acquired a taste for it since my introduction came from the much later and much more technically advanced “The Next Generation”. However, when “TNG” was ending, we had a sparkle of hope that it would continue when “Deep Space Nine” was announced I was ecstatic, only to be slightly worried when it was revealed that the show would no longer be about exploring brave new worlds, but instead would be confined to the space station Deep Space Nine. With that kind of limitation imposed upon the show I wondered how fresh it would remain considering that one of the largest appeals of “Star Trek” is the fact that we get to visit new civilizations and to boldly go where no man had gone before. Thankfully all fears were laid to rest within the first two seasons as “Deep Space Nine” focused on intricate character development and soon started creating a serialized arc that would continue to get deeper and more complex as the series went on.
One of the best aspects of “Deep Space Nine” is that it continues right where “The Next Generation” left off. In fact, the two shows overlapped for the better part of a season (season one started part way through the seventh season of “TNG”) and characters would flow from one show to the other. Picard even makes a one episode appearance for the premier, and we get to have Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) and Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) transfer over to the show and actually be fleshed out into two of the best characters on the series. Well, that’s kind of hard to say, as there really are SO MANY great characters that get some major development during the seven seasons that it becomes hard to tell which ones are the best. Armin Shimerman absolutely crushes it as the Ferengi Quark, and Terry Farrell becomes a fan favorite as the beautiful and intelligent Jadzia Dax, a hybrid symbiote creature with the ability to shift from host to host (and returns as Ezri Dax in the final two seasons). Dr. Bashir, Major Kira, the shapeshifter Odo (who plays an ENORMOUS role in the overarching story of the Dominion War) and countless others. Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko actually used to rank as my least favorite captain in the Trek verse, but over time, and multiple viewings, his soft-spoken manners and odd ways of doing things have grown on me to where I consider him up there with Picard and Kirk.
As I said, the show starts off pretty much right as “The Next Generation” is wrapping up. The Bajoran world has been finally freed from the Cardassian rulers that have usurped their homeworld for far too long (if you remember, the Bajorans make up a good portion of the rebel group The Maquis, that show up in both “TNG” and “Voyager” as well). With the Cardassian’s on the run, the Federation is adamant about having the Bajoran people join their ranks, and offer to come in and help the Bajorans pick up the pieces of their fractured society by standing guard over them. Naturally not everyone is going to want Federation influence in the Bajoran politics, so it is agreed they use the abandoned Cardassian space station orbiting the planet as a neutral meeting ground. There the Federation can guard the planet, while the rest of Bajor is free to get their life back together and anyone can use the space station as a place of meeting.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=91162[/img]You really have to be ignorant of Star Trek lore in general if you think that the Cardassian’s are going to let things lie. The old commandant of Deep Space Nine, one Gul Dukat (Mark Alaimo) is more than willing to poke and jab around the edges in hopes of finding some sort of weakness that he can exploit, while rogue Ferengi, members of Section 31 (a black ops section of the Federation), romantic liaisons between multiple species, and all sorts of curveballs are enough to make anyone crazy, but Captain Sisko has a mission (and a destiny) ahead of him that will define the entire Alpha quadrant.
One of the best and most fantastic elements of “Deep Space Nine” is the serialized nature of the show. Sure there are PLENTY of filler and one off episodes that you can watch without having to worry about a continuing story, but many of the season episodes are all about two things. Captain Sisko and the famous Bajoran prophecy, and his role in the upcoming Dominion war, which will pit the Federation up against an alien race from another quadrant of the galaxy. Seasons 1-3 tend to be fairly episodic, but by the beginning of season 4 the show had really hit its stride. Characters were forming long lasting bonds that made up the backbone of the first few years, but now adapting them to overarching themes that involve Odo’s home planet and some friendships that could never have been explored so intimately in other Trek settings. The show also has the distinction of expanding the trek universe MUCH larger than you would expect from being confined on a Space Station. The final two seasons create a massive war that actually had the biggest Trek Budget to date with epic space battles and hand to combat battles that employed a TON of special effects and CGI.
Now, I really REALLY would love to have seen this show remastered like “The Original Series” and “The Next Genration”, but that really isn’t happening. Sadly, the show is probably never going to see a Blu-ray release thanks to the lackluster sales of “The Next Generation” on Blu-ray. Multiple sources have confirmed (as best they can) that CBS has no interest in remastering the show as the continued releases of “The Next Generation” netted fewer and fewer sales as the series progressed, and the enormous budget needed to restore “Deep Space Nine” just isn’t worth the cost if sales are replicating “TNG” numbers. Is it a frustration? Yes, most definitely. I would love to see “Voyager” and “Deep Space Nine” get the royal treatment as the DVDs are pretty crummy, but with that taken off the table this massive 47 disc boxset will have to do for us fans.
Sadly “Deep Space Nine” doesn’t look all that good on DVD. Back in the day it was acceptable due to poor source elements and crummy TVs. Nowadays the DVDs pretty sub par when compared to remastered sets like “The Next Generation” or even “Enterprise”. Haloing rears its ugly head every once in a while, while interlacing and shimmering of the image abound. Colors are the best part of the encode, with solid primary representation and solid background colors. Fine detail is hazy and rather smeary, with crushed blacks and washed out levels in certain scenes. Now while I’m saddened by the state of affairs that “Deep Space Nine” is left in, I have to accept that this is the best it’s going to look, according to all sources, unless something drastic happens for CBS to remaster the whole series (maybe for cable television for syndication).
While the video is the weakest link, the audio takes a solid step up with the original 2.0 audio from the TV broadcasts as well as a remixed 5.1 Dolby Digital track (both of which were available on the original season box sets from 10+ years ago). The 2.0 is smooth and clean, but the 5.1 mix is a slight improvement. The 5.1 isn’t a hugely encompassing track, but it is certainly acceptable considering the source never was recorded, or intended, to be listened to in that manner. Vocals are crisp and clean, with no sounds of distortion of misplaced dialog. The center channel takes the brunt of the weight, but some of the more aggressive space battles and encounters that the crew run into light up the mains with some decent shifting of directions. LFE is supplementary to the track, never really given a whole lot to do, but it fills out some crashes and bangs as well as the epic orchestral theme song.
• Deep Space Nine: A Bold Begining
• Secrets of Quark's Bar
• New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine.
• New Station, New Ships
• The Birth of The Dominion and Beyond
• Sailing Through the Stars: A Special Look at "Explorers"
• Trials and Tribble-Actions: Uniting Two Legends
• 24th Century Wedding
• Ending An Era
• The Last Goodbyes
• .....And Many More
“Deep Space Nine” is probably my favorite of ALL the Treks, but only JUST barely above “The Next Generation” (the show I cut my teeth on), due to the fantastic character arcs and serialized seasons that changed “Star Trek” forever. Personally, I would nearly DIE for a remastered set with new special effects and a glorious Blu-ray presentation, but the pragmatist in me realizes that the chance of that happening are exceptionally slim at this point and we have to be happy with what we get. Now, if you have the original 2005 individual season sets, then this new boxset will be no different except for space savings. It’s the same 47 discs that were included in those season sets, but just packaged together in Paramount’s famous “mega cases” and housed in an attractive slip box for a pretty big space saver. For those who HAVEN’T got the seasons yet (and probably spent over $700 on the whole series), then $20.50 per season is a KILLER deal to get one of the best Star Trek shows ever made. Highly recommended.
Starring: Avery Brooks, Michael Dorn, Terry Farrell, Alexander Siddig
Created by: Rick Berman, Michael Piller
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Mpeg2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 7986 Minutes
DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Buy Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Series On DVD at Amazon
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
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