Musings on Star Trek …

So, recently I re-watched the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m also right now re-watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (I’m currently on season 6). And I’ve watched the original Star Trek a number of times. And one thing that has struck me is how different my reaction to the various series are. When I watch TOS, I am always struck by just how good the series and episodes actually were. This run-through of DS9, at least in the early seasons, I felt the same way. But for TNG I didn’t feel that. Instead, I was struck by a feeling that the episodes weren’t as bad as I thought they were, which isn’t quite the same thing. I did enjoy watching TNG — even some of the first season — but again my main reaction was that I seemed to remember the episodes being worse and there being more episodes that were bad than I noticed this time around. That says something, to me, about the overall quality of the various series.

Also, this time around I’m definitely feeling that the later seasons of DS9 aren’t as interesting as the earlier ones, even though they’re still good. The reason for that, I think, is that the earlier seasons are much more focused on character, while the later ones build into the Dominion War and so are focused much more on plot. But I think that character-focused works stand up better to rewatchings than plot-focused ones do, because once you know the plot there isn’t really anything there to surprise you, and if you’ve forgotten the details of the plot you won’t notice the little details that build into the plot points that you’ve forgotten about. For characters, though, little things that you never really noticed about them come out, and come out even more when you remember details of their character progression. For example, when Doctor Bashir is told that he’s been nominated for the prestigious Carrington Award, he comes across as absolutely panicked … a fact that I had never noticed before, and one that becomes all the more important when it is revealed that he is genetically engineered and spent a lot of effort on making sure that he flew somewhat under the radar to ensure that no one ever found out. Suddenly being thrust into the spotlight had to make him feel the panic of potentially having failed at that and now being very much at risk for being found out.

Deep Space 9 was always one of my favourite of the Star Trek series, so that I’m enjoying it more than TNG is not a surprise. But TNG getting “It’s not as bad as I remember” is. If I ever watched Voyager or Enterprise, I wonder how my reactions would change to those over time …

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3 Responses to “Musings on Star Trek …”

  1. natewinchester Says:

    It’s really impressive because it’s pretty clear that Bashir’s “condition” was never planned from the start but was a late addition, and yet they pulled it off to SUCH perfection it’s like the standard by which all retcons should be judged.

    For example, in his recent look at Garak, SFDebris mentioned that maybe Garak sought out Bashir because he knew about the secret and could use it blackmail the officer if needed. Probably not what the writers’ thought at the time (I think back then they were just looking for any way to make Bashir interesting) yet it fits so perfectly looking back. 🙂

    • verbosestoic Says:

      Yeah, I meant to mention that that almost certainly wasn’t planned, but it fits so very, very well. There was a lot of depth to the characters in DS9, which then does allow you to look back on the things they added later and find new interpretations of the scenes.

      One that I just thought of was the seemingly out of character rant by Sisko in “Badda-Bing-Badda-Band” where he doesn’t like Vic’s because of the racial undertones of that time, which doesn’t really make sense (as Cassidy points out). However, him having gone through that racism in “Far Beyond the Stars” might explain his sensitivity to it, and make him feel that he himself had mostly forgotten it until forcibly reminded of it, and so Vic’s would remind him of how he, himself, had ignored it in light of where things ended up.

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