Plot: What’s it about?
As Star Trek: The Next Generation was ending the end of its run, another “new frontier” was just getting started. After “TNG” went off the air, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine took the reigns and, at first, Trek fans really didn’t know what to make of the show. The familiar name and ship of “Enterprise” was gone and, except for a few familiar faces, the rest of the show was new to us as well. Though fans of the Next Generation will undoubtely recognize Miles O’Brian (Colm Meany) from the Enterprise, he was re-assigned to Deep Space Nine (and, a few years later, Lt. Worf of the old cast found his way into another Star Trek series). While the Next Generation’s (and the generation before that) main mission was “…to boldly go where no man had gone before.” the crew of the Deep Space Nine was almost exactly the opposite. You see, Deep Space Nine is a space station that was recently relieved of control of the Cardassians and is now in the hands of the Federation.
The show started off a bit slow, those used to seeing Picard and his crew battle the Borg or other life forms found this to be a somewhat slow change of pace. However, without the action, this left a bit more room for dialogue and perhaps a bit more room to focus on the deeper plot. The first episode, notably, does feature Picard perhaps in an effort to “jump start” the series by using the Star Trek name (it is in the title). But the general plot is relatively simple. This go around, the man in charge is Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), a man who has lost his wife in a battle with the Borg (and therefore a connection with Picard). A multi-faceted crew includes an alien shape-shifter, a Ferengi (for comic relief) and many others. Sisko’s son, Jake, appears to fill the role that Wesly Crusher had on the “Enterprise”. Though a definite change of pace from the typical Star Trek arena, Deep Space Nine found its audience and the first season is now available on DVD.
Video: How does it look?
Just as with the Next Generation DVD’s, Deep Space Nine is presented in a full-frame ratio exactly as the show appeared during it’s broadcast run. The colors are a bit bolder, naturally the show is newer than its counterpart and there are a few instances in which it really comes across. The look of the show is also a bit different, gone is the yellowish-brownish look of the Enterprise as the set of Deep Space Nine opts for a very sleek, more modern look to it. Some artifacts come and go, but they’re so few and far between, it’s almost hard to spot. While not the best-looking TV transfers out there, these are far above average and a welcome for almost any fan of the show.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and just like Next Generation, the audio is fairly complete here, surrounds kick in at the right times and though it’s not the greatest soundtrack in the world (keep in mind, these were made for TV and not movies), the track is robust enough to get you into the show a little more. Dialogue, especially with a Ferengi on board, is very clean and natural. While the majority of the action being located in the front channels, it’s hard to say that this is a “strong” track, but for what its intended to be, the audio here sounds very good.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I hate to keep comparing this to the recent Star Trek: The Next Generation set, but this is the closest comparison that I can think of. We have the complete first season here and in addition, we have some featurettes (six in all) that round out the supplements. First up is “Deep Space Nine: A New Beginning”. This focuses on, you guessed it, getting the show made and created. Some new interviews are also included. Next up is “Michael Westmore’s Aliens: Season One”. Westmore, making the transition from TNG to Deep Space Nine seems to be at home and talks of creating some of the aliens seen in the first season. Next up is “Secrets of Quark’s Bar”, Quark the Ferengi barkeep runs the bar in the station and some rather interesting secrets are shown here. “Deep Space Nine Sketchbook” focuses on the space station from it’s beginnings to the finished product. Interesting, but rather brief. Some props are also shown from the first season with Joe Longo as a photo gallery is also included. Last, but not least, a “Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys” is included. Nana Visitor shares some growth to the Kira character and her real-life relationship with a co-star. All in all, fans who loved Star Trek: The Next Generation will be more than delighted to see what Paramount has offered up for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.