Tuesday, April 2, 2013

100 Greatest Moments: Deep Space Nine Edition

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the Star Trek magazine special's greatest moments from the franchise as they reflect each of the series:

8) Sisko takes his son solar sailing ("Explorers")
In an entire series that remains my favorite, it's sometimes hard for me to say what my favorite moments are, but this one has always been among them, so it's nice that the magazine agrees. (#92)

7) Sisko and Garak conspire ("In the Pale Moonlight") 
Like "Amok Time," "In the Pale Moonlight" has a few key moments that endure.  The whole episode is about Sisko's willingness to get his hands dirty during the Dominion War that defined the latter half of the series.  It figures that "plain, simple" Garak would factor into these events. (#87)

6) Worf's bachelor party ("You Are Cordially Invited") 
The franchise became increasingly interested in Klingon culture, which might be said to reach its culmination in this moment. (#77)

5) Worf battles the Jem'Hadar ("By Inferno's Light") 
Worf gets a lot of moments on the list, and surprisingly two of them are in his second series.  Here he battles the foot soldiers of the Dominion while being held as a captive (some fun facts about his fellow prisoners: we learn that Bashir is one of them, and that the one that's been featured in the past few episodes was in fact a changeling; and this also features the debut of the real Martok, who was also previously running around as a changeling doppelganger, which more or less makes Deep Space Nine far more a precursor to Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica than fans perhaps currently appreciate). (#76)

4) Quark serves root beer ("The Way of the Warrior") 
Quark could be many things, but he was also an unlikely observer of the human condition, a classic trope in Star Trek.  That's the whole deal with the root beer, which he compares to the Federation during the Klingon war that led directly to the Dominion one. (#71)

3) Nog seeks treatment in the holosuite ("It's Only a Paper Moon")
Since it more or less came to define the whole series, it's not surprising that the Dominion War keeps popping up in the moments selected to represent it.  In this instance, Quark's nephew Nog, the first Ferengi to serve in Starfleet, has lost a leg thanks to the conflict, and is only able to get over it thanks to virtual lounge singer Vic Fontaine.  Hey pally, it only makes sense! (#54)

2) Sisko deletes the log ("In the Pale Moonlight")
"In the Pale Moonlight" is told from the perspective of a personal log, one of the rare instances of this happening in the franchise ("Whispers" from the second season is another, while Voyager's "Thirty Days" is another).  It's Sisko's attempt to make peace with what he's done.  So the decision in the selected moment is a significant one. (#37)

1) Benny Russell ("Far Beyond the Stars")
Being the first black man to helm a series in franchise history, Sisko was always in a unique position, yet it's this episode that finally puts it in perspective, which may actually, as the magazine suggests, end by deciding that it's Benny Russell, frustrated 1950s pulp fiction writer, who's real, and not Sisko.  Like the Kirk-Uhura kiss, it's a cultural moment rather than a franchise moment, and it proves that Star Trek is so much more than mere science fiction, just as it proves the series was always more than the sum of its dark parts.  Like its brethren, Deep Space Nine was ultimately hopeful. (#7)

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