#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 25, “Body Parts”

March 13, 2017 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

There are some episodes that are basically forgettable, but sometimes these serve to solve a show-runner’s behind-the-scenes quandary or produce nice moments for specific characters. “Body Parts” manages to do both those functions. It’s not bad or anything, but I can’t see anyone ever sitting around a table and fondly recalling this episode the way they might with “The Visitor” or “Duet”. “Body Parts” isn’t terrible, it just vanishes into the rest of Deep Space Nine’s fourth season.

So the first mission is solving an off-camera issue. Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys) became pregnant at some point, with co-star Alexander Siddig’s child. It’s all very sweet, but I imagine this kind of thing can cause chaos for character development, so the producers and writers came up with a solution. They’d write in an accident in which Keiko O’Brien is injured, and her unborn child would be transferred to Kira, to serve as the surrogate mother.

And that happens in this episode, and there’s explanations and such.

If it sounds like I’m not terribly interested, it’s because I’m not. I like Miles O’Brien, and I like the fact that Deep Space Nine gives screen time to your classic nuclear family (of sorts), but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of the O’Brien’s on-screen family…I couldn’t care less. I’m sorry, I just don’t watch a show featuring aliens, Machiavellian maneuvering and interstellar phenomena for tertiary items like that. Ditto with the Siskos. A little of this stuff goes a long way. Since the whole B plot is about the O’Brien’s baby, I just sort of tune it out.

The A plot is a little more interesting, if only for the bind it sees Quark put in. Convinced he’s dying of a terrible and rare Ferengi-specific ailment, Quark puts his entire body up for auction. The high bidder ends up being Brunt, Quark’s nemesis. Brunt hates Quark for being everything a Ferengi isn’t supposed to be.

Quark chooses his life over the contract on his own flesh, which represents a breached contract and the end of his Ferengi merchant’s certificate. Or something like that. I don’t know.

What’s more important is that Quark is ruined, but then finds out in the episode’s best moment that he really isn’t. It’s the only part in this “Body” that really sticks. Again, not a terrible episode, but it says something that I’m struggling to remember more.

Rating: 2.5/5

See the rest of the review series here.


"Beacon" Part IA young couple’s miracle at the last star left in the Universe will lead to a specter from the past returning to confront mankind…and the end will become the beginning. Try Part I of the Beacon Saga Serial, for your choice of ebook platforms.

#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 24, “The Quickening”

February 28, 2017 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Accidental allusions to sword-wielding immortals aside, “The Quickening” is a welcome episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In a series that has seemed at times too content to flesh out its key adversarial faction, the Dominion, from a distance, here one of our protagonists is thrust headlong into a civilization living with the consequences of defying the Founders’ overtures.

Kira and Dax are on a survey mission in the Gamma Quadrant along with forever-friendzoned Dr. Bashir. After following up on a distress signal (I guess distress signals are universal across species? Who knew?) they find a devastated planet and its people, who live within spitting distance of the Dominion itself. Seems these folks once told the Dominion they’d remain independent and free. In response, the Dominion attacked their world and infected the entire population with a 100%-communicable disease that strikes from birth and eventually claims its sufferer’s life, though on a completely random timetable.

The “Blight”, as it is called, is bad news, clearly, and Bashir volunteers to stay behind and do what he can. Kira is going to go hang out in a conveniently-located Nebula for a while. This is one of those aspects of Star Trek that annoys me: Why would anyone send a bunch of senior officers just dripping with valuable information into the backyard of a known threat, and arm them only with a Runabout? Egads.

Things are so bad on the planet that the “hospital” is actually more like a hotel for last hurrahs, but Bashir is optimistic about his chances of solving the Blight, and his determination is something I found very sympathetic. But I was worried that the Typical Trek Formula would thus follow, in which Bashir encounters skeptical locals and races against time, but ultimately succeeds, even saving the life of the pregnant Ekoria (Ellen Wheeler, in an excellent guest role) in the process.

Luckily, that’s not quite the case. And though I don’t want to spoil the ending here, let me just say it’s much less triumphant than expected. It gives us one of those that moments where DS9 is at its absolute best, when it allows its characters to stumble. Bashir, who’s always been keen to see the bright side in every situation, gets taken down a peg, and has to deal with the fact that he’s not going to be a miracle worker. How he will have to settle for less than perfect results, and carry on in the face of near-crippling disappointment makes this episode a pleasant surprise. This is deep, deep stuff. “The Quickening” is a credit to the series.

Damaged goods are good, I always say.

———-

I should point out that, by this episode, my darling wife had announced her disinterest in continuing the show, so they’ll be no more of her take from this point onward.

Rating: 4/5

See the rest of the review series here.


"Beacon" Part IA young couple’s miracle at the last star left in the Universe will lead to a specter from the past returning to confront mankind…and the end will become the beginning. Try Part I of the Beacon Saga Serial, for your choice of ebook platforms.

The Beacon Saga Serial will soon only be available on Kindle

August 5, 2016 in General Topics, Other Stuff

thecompletebeacon_300pxThe Beacon Saga Serial started as a stand-alone tale. I realized the universe deserved more than that, and was just too compelling to leave alone. So, that single story quickly grew into an eight parts, most of which were sequentially longer than those that came before. I then published an Omnibus (that includes bonus content).
Read the rest of this entry →

Two new books released, but so much more than that…

July 2, 2016 in General Topics, Slideshow Topic

REVENANT MAN, Book One of THE TYRANT STRATEGY

REVENANT MAN, Book One of THE TYRANT STRATEGY

SHATTERED SON, Book Two of THE TYRANT STRATEGY

SHATTERED SON, Book Two of THE TYRANT STRATEGY

I have very, very big news. Launching today I give you not one, but two full-length novels: REVENANT MAN and SHATTERED SON. This is books one and two of THE TYRANT STRATEGY, my new science fiction series.

“What are they about?” It’s the most common and yet open-ended question an author can get. Okay, here goes.
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Review: Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

March 17, 2016 in General Topics

Cover, <i>Cloud Atlas</i>

Yes, I read the version branded with the film’s poster as the cover.

No one would ever accuse Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, of being a lightweight novel. Weighing in at nearly one hundred and sixty four thousand words, and spanning six distinct genres and storylines, the book asks a lot of its readers. Mitchell’s approach to the stories, which are all connected by a broader plot and theme, ranges from revelation to mere allusion.

All this means Cloud Atlas is an incredible gamble on Mitchell’s part, and a difficult book to recommend to most readers. A rare soul embraces all the genres present, and as such they’re being expected to slog through long tracts of the novel they might find evoke ennui. It’s almost like someone recruited six different authors, gave them some ground rules, then published an anthology of the results. Read the rest of this entry →