I was watching an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine on Netflix. It has a great intro where the music plays while the camera pans across the space station. So I got to wondering if the space station is a model and where is that model is today? It turns out it was a six foot model, and was bought by a private collector.
When I rewatched Star Trek Deep Space Nine recently, I skipped over a great many episodes. One reason is that my memory of seeing these shows from 20 to 25 years ago is still pretty good, and the other is that there is an overall story arc
and this was what I was primarily interested in. Most of the episodes don't touch upon the main story. but instead focus on a side story.
So I started watching the episodes I skipped, and I am surprised at how good they are. This is the kind of show that has a comfortable familiarity to it. It is relaxing to watch just an episode per night on Netflix streaming.
After 20 years what prompted me to watch this show again is that I remembered how much I enjoyed it. This style of program is a bit outdated, but the writing and acting is top notch. What made the show wonderful is that it had a wide assortment of great characters, many of which in the story end up being outcasts in one way or another.
I remember somewhat fondly the four different Star Trek Series that aired from 1987 to 2005, but especially Star Trek Deep Space Nine for its really interesting and vast assortment of colorful characters. It was the second most popular Star Trek Series of that era, behind Star Trek The Next Generation. It aired from 1993 to 1999.
Star Trek The Next Generation spent a couple of years setting up Star Trek Deep Space Nine as a spin off series. It introduced two new alien races, the Cardassians who were the oppressors of the Bajorans. When Star Trek Deep Space Nine started, Cardassia had ended its occupation of Bajor, and The Federation was helping the new Bajoran provisional government get started.
In the 90's I really loved this show. So much so I still remember most of the individual episodes. I found myself feeling nostalgic for the show, missing how much I enjoyed watching it. So I made an attempt to watch it again on Netflix Streaming.
The problem with watching this show again is that nobody cares about Bajor anymore. We were only introduced to Bajor as a plot device for this series. We will probably never hear of Bajor again, because it is not part of the current Star Trek universe in films and TV shows. Most of the shows are episodic where they don't deal with a grand story arc, but instead focus on some sort of political strife on Bajor. I chose to not rewatch many of these episodes because they don't seem as interesting as they were when the show was new.
Instead I chose to mostly rewatch the episodes that dealt with a larger story arc, which was introduced at the end of the first season. A new enemy is introduced, The Dominion, which is run by The Founders, who are intent on conquest. We get a big surprise when we learn that The Founders are the same alien race as one of the main characters on Deep Space Nine. The bad news is that the next four seasons would only barely touch this grand story arc, just three or four times per season. However, in the last couple of seasons the show hit high gear with an all out war between The Federation and The Dominion.
What makes the show great is the characters. It has a variety of alien humanoids who are interesting and endearing. Many of the main characters are in one way or another outcasts from their respective societies. They develop relationships and mutual dependencies with the other characters, making the show very much a space opera, and a good one at that.
After rewatching the series, I am impressed with the way it ended, and overall I am very pleased with the show because it has many layers in its storytelling. It weaves together many complex storylines over its seven year period.
I find it interesting that four of the cast members were German/Austrian/French Jews who escaped Europe during the war, such as Werner Klemperer, John Banner and Robert Clary that we see in this video. The first two agreed to play their parts just so they could make fun of the Nazis. Another was Leon Askin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Askin
The only cast member still alive is Robert Clary. His 92nd birthday is March 1st.
I did a google search for the chess term "Zugzwang", and the search results on the right of the screen showed a photo of Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which is one of my favorite shows. The photo is from an episode of Criminal Minds called "Zugzwang", which the actress played in.
Despite all the whiners over the new Star Trek Discovery, the third episode blew me away with is Alienesque scenes and convoluted story. Unlike Star Trek The Next Generation, where pretty much everybody got along and felt like family, Star Trek Discovery seems to thrive on conflict between its main characters.
The Orville feels awkward and silly, but I think that it is suppose to feel that way as part of being a Star Trek parody. It doesn't know if it wants to be a serious science fiction or a comedy, and it doesn't excel at being either. The characters are somewhat interesting, but except for the captain, they are not particularly likeable, which is not a good sign. Despite these things, the pilot was good enough and barely funny enough to hold my attention. That puts it on thin ice because it doesn't have a lot to hang its hat on going forward.
Seth MacFarlane as the captain is inherently likeable, which is a good thing, because that is the only thing that makes the show watchable.
Everything about this imitates Star Trek so much that I am surprised that they aren't getting sued. Maybe nobody expects it to last.
The Expanse looks promising as a "hard sci-fi", but the first season seemed to drag out without advancing the story that much. The show has a ton of characters, so none of them stand out.
RIP Dark Matter. It was brilliant.
Stargate Atlantis was the best of the 3 Stargate series. It was consistently good. Stargate SG-1 that preceded it was uneven, and a little rough in the first season, but it turned out to be a great series. Stargate Universe got off to a very weak start, but by the second (and last) season it was really wonderful.
Babylon 5 in the 1990's was science fiction on the cheap. They used workstation computers to generate their special effects to save money. The first season was not that great. But it had an extremely rich storyline. The show improved in the second season and it turned into a wonderful TV series.
Star Trek Enterprise was my favorite of all the Star Trek series.
As far as "space" shows go, I don't think anything beats Battlestar Galactica.
LOST is more fantasy than science fiction, although it had a few science fiction elements. It is mostly a drama series that blew everyone away at how great it is. It is also more complicated and harder to follow than most shows.