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Old 06-26-2013, 04:54 AM   #151
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I'm knee deep in DS9 now with the start of season 4. I've seen a ton of Voyager and TNG episodes in syndication, but DS9's been kind of a blind spot so while I'm not watching all 175 (!) episodes, I'm being sure to hit the most important and well-rated ones. This usually means 15-17 out of 25 a season.

So, obviously sci-fi shows are historically only good at cleaning up the technical Emmys/Oscars, and I've usually thought that's basically a consolation prize because no one in those award organizations wants to take the shows seriously. Sure, let's give a Sound Editing award to The Dark Knight. But DS9 is killing it in those categories. Maybe it's because it's the right time in the mid-90s for model/CGI special effects, or the franchise was old enough that the show had enough money to spare, but the set design, special effects and makeup really stand out to me. Thinking about it a little more, maybe one of the ways a show like TNG can get a touch stale near the end of the run is because there's literally only so many ways to film scenes on stages like the bridge. After long enough you could just swap stock footage and FX shots, and dub over the dialogue track and get most episodes.

The DS9 Promenade and Ops are just really well designed by first finally giving the directors a chance to do otherwise bog-standard things like framing one person in the foreground and one in the background; or being more flexible and mixing movements up so we'll ultimately see all 360 degrees of the set.

Mildly technical stuff said, Patrick Stewart has a brief cameo in the pilot and shows why he's so great. After realizing that Sisko is pissed at him about Wolf 359, Picard makes a small but important shift from casual authority to a defensive impassive shell. I cheated my advice to the newbie a bit and watched the Voyager episode Counterpoint, which is actually a very solid episode, and serves as both reinforcement of my set design appreciation (really like the Voyager bridge!), and serves as kind of a showcase for Kate Mulgrew switching between those same modes of casual authority and stony reserve. Voyager got it right picking an actor who could follow Stewart; it's a shame the writers never gave Janeway as good scripts as Mulgrew deserved.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:51 AM   #152
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Part of me wants to go back to ds9 cos I loved it as a kid, but the rest of me keeps saying "no, you tried that, the acting was unbearably bad, do not taint the positive childhood memories!" I'm not normally one to care too much, particularly in a sci fi show, about wooden, cheesy acting...but i found the first couple episodes were almost unwatchable because of it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:41 PM   #153
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I thought Avery Brooks wasn't very good for the first season....or, if we're being charitable, he was "still finding the character". Dour seriousness mixed with weird smiles. By season 2 though I thought he'd figured out a good role in the show, and he's been pretty great since then.

Terry Ferrell (Jadzia) is the other weak link that stuck out at me for not having much of a screen presence. But Andrew Robinson, Colm Meany, and Rene Auberjonois were all really notably good IMO, and Michael Dorn joins the cast in S4.
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