Episodes: Apocalypse Rising, The Ship, Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places, ...Nor the Battle to the Strong, The Assignment, Trials and Tribble-ations, Let He Who Is Without Sin..., Things Past, The Ascent, Raptur... more »e, The Darkness and the Light, The Begotten, For the Uniform, In Purgatory's Shadow, By Inferno's Light, Doctor Bashir I Presume?, A Simple Investigation, Business as Usual, Ties of Blood and Water, Ferengi Love Songs, Soldiers of the Empire, Children of Time, Blaze of Glory, Empok Nor, In the Cards, Call to Arms.« less
"Deep Space Nine's fifth season was the best to date. A lot of things happened in this season: the war with the Dominion began, the endgame with the Maquis ended, we got a visit from a fan favorite from another Trek series, a visit to the original Starship Enterprise, another Deep Space Nine, an end to the Klingon-Federation conflict, and a truly incredible twist at the end. This season must be counted as one of the show's best.It is difficult to give highlights when nearly every episode is a highlight, but I will try. The season begins with "Apocalypse Rising", which has Sisko, Worf & co. masquerading as Klingons to expose the changeling in the Klingon High Council. After this episode comes the tense "The Ship", which is a sort of mystery story where everything is not as it seems. Next comes "Looking for par'mach..." a fun (and funny) episode which culminates in Quark dueling another Klingon with Batleths! The best episode of the season is perhaps "Trials and Tribble-ations" which has the DS9 crew going back in time to the classic Trek "Trouble with Tribbles" episode. Everything about this episode works: plenty of humor, nostalgia, and trek trivia. The season moved along to a great two parter which dealt with changeling infiltrators (In Purgatory's shadow, By Inferno's Light) as well as "Rapture", which showed the increasing responsibility that Sisko felt in his role as Bajoran Emissary. "Business as Usual" has Quark finally getting into the arms-dealing business, and eventually developing a conscience. The Maquis are dealt with in the satisfying "For the Uniform" and Eddington says good-bye in "Blaze of Glory". "Empok Nor" has the feel of a classic slasher movie, with Garak going just a bit insane. "In the Cards" is a final light episode centering on Jake and Nog's attempt to cheer up Jake's father, then the season ends with "A Call to Arms", one of the show's best episodes and perhaps the best cliffhanger ever. So much great drama in this episode: The Dominion actually takes over Deep Space Nine, Kira has to work with Gul Dukat, Sisko leaves his baseball behind. This episode leaves fans craving more, and those cravings would be fulfilled in the sixth season.Season 5 broke the mold with its bold storytelling and paved the way for the incredible final two seasons. There are many great moments here, and it is a solid season all around."
Adam Dukovich | 10/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Truly a risky season for all involved, Deep Space Nine's fifth year had the show churning out some of its best hours of television and taking the show back onto its original course. Following the gloominess of season 4, Deep Space Nine featured not only more comic relief, but less of the heavy-handed devastating drama that so frequently reared its head in its predecessor. As a result, this season is much more balanced and also happens to give layers of complexity to new and previous characters. All in all, this season was the great beginning of a fantastic end.That said, this season is close, but not nearly, the show's best. Deep Space Nine was refined in this year, but it wouldn't be until the following year that the show hit its creative and emotional peak. Another problem with this season is the occasional appearance of story flotsam (Let He Who is Without Sin, Ferengi Love Songs) that either just shouldn't have been made (the former) or were poorly executed (the latter). However, aside from some minor faults, the season does mostly contain some thrilling, fascinating, and emotional episodes that brought the series forward.It seemed like every major (and most minor) characters had at least one episode to shine here. Captain Sisko got to finally begin to mature in his role as Emissary by receiving visions from the Prophets (Rapture) and truly feel the futility of war (The Ship), as did Jake (...Nor the Battle to the Strong), who also got to undergo machinations to get a treasured Willie Mays card (In the Cards). Kira was pregnant for most of the season, which prompted inside jokes (Apocalypse Rising) and was a central plot device when her friends began dying off (The Darkness and the Light). She also got another episode with her Cardassian father-who's-not-her-father, Legate Ghemor (Ties with Blood and Water), which exposed some of her shortcomings and resulted in some really nice scenes. Worf got to prove his mettle to the Jem'Hadar (By Inferno's Light) and become a Fletcher Christian to save his crew (Soldiers of the Empire). But of course the season was notable for putting him together with Dax (Looking for Par'mach...). Odo found a brother (The Begotten) and had a relationship with a humanoid woman (A Simple Investigation), but ultimately confessed to Kira that he loved her (Children of Time). Quark got into the arms business (Business as Usual) and developed a conscience as a result. He also ended up courting Grilka once again (Looking for Par'mach...). O'Brien was tormented again, this time by a Pah-Wraith (The Assignment), and got to revert to his old soldier roots (Empok Nor). We began to see some characters more and more, such as Jeffrey Combs' delightful Weyoun (Ties of Blood..., In the Cards, Call to Arms), Glinn Damar (Apocalypse Rising, Ties of Blood..., Call to Arms), Kai Winn (Rapture, Ties of Blood...,In the Cards). Others dropped in sporadically, such as Kassidy (Rapture) and Michael Eddington (For the Uniform, Blaze of Glory).Along with all of this character development, we got some truly fantastic stories. "Apocalypse Rising" is yet another great season opener, combining suspense, political machinations and some wry humor. "The Ship" has got suspense, but also some moving dialogue at the end, dealing with meaninglessly lost lives. "Looking for Par'mach..." is a very funny episode, a Cyrano de Bergerac parallel that culminates in Quark dueling another Klingon with Bat'leths! "The Assignment" finally introduces the Pah-Wraiths, setting up the series finale. But, of course, the stunner of the season is "Trials and Tribble-ations." Technically stunning and filled with nostalgia, this episode is a winner. "Things Past" was a dark examination of Odo's psyche, and "The Ascent" allowed Quark and Odo to confess to some friendship, "For the Uniform" was a fantastic episode that brought the struggle between Sisko and the Eddington-led Maquis to a point. The Dominion two-parter (In Purgatory's Shadow, By Inferno's Light) brought forth most of the story threads that would propel the series into its final years. "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" is a dramedy looking at Bashir's sordid past. It also features Robert Picardo as a guest star, a.k.a. the EMH. "Children of Time" is an interesting science-fiction episode dealing with time-travel and the crew meeting their future descendants. "Empok Nor" captures the feel of a great slasher movie, and Garak is a very convincing psychotic killer. Credit actor Andy Robinson (Scorpio from Dirty Harry) who had problems about playing the same type of character that got him typecast. The season concludes with the stirring "Call to Arms", the show's best cliffhanger. All in all, the episodic offerings here are great.In short, one needs only think of the difference that this season made in the run of the series to realize how important it was. This season features great contributions from plenty of people, and it is a must for fans."
Prelude to war
D. O'Neill | La Verne, CA: Planet Earth | 11/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Klingon conflict continues as season five begins. But after spending a fourth year doing that, the writers and producers began to return to the Dominion story line. While some saw this tonal shift proof the series was in trouble, for the writers and producers, it was what they needed to bring the Dominion arc back to center stage."Apocalypse Rising" brought about an end to the Klingon "problem" and opened the door for the return of the Changelings. Season five also had other things going for it. Star Trek was celebrating its 30 anniversary that year, and both DS9 and Voyager were going to do special episodes to commemorate that fact. Voyager brought back George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney as Sulu and Rand in a so-so tale adventure that brought Janeway to the bridge of the Excelsior during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. DS9 would go the distance and bring everyone back from TOS. Of sorts, anyway. Thanks to the breakthrough technology used in the Oscar winning film Forest Gump, the crew of DS9 travels back into the events of TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles." In the humorous and slightly goofy "Trials and Tribble-ations", Sisko and his crew have to stop a plot to kill Kirk before all of time is destroyed. The writers worked a miracle, by placing the crew into a 30 year-old episode.The 100th episode, "The Ship" also aired, along with "Looking for Par'Mach in all the Wrong Places", "Nor Battle to the Strong" (a special episode for Cirroc Lofton, a birthday present for the actor from the producers, as he was now 18 and no longer had to have a teacher on the set), "Things Past", "The Ascent", "Rapture", "The Darkness and the Light", "The Begotten" (where Odo gets his shapeshifting abilities returned),"For the Uniform", the two-part "In Purgatory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light", "Doctor Bashir, I Persume?"(which featured a performance from Voyager's Robert Picardo as the real Dr. Zimmerman), Business as Usual", "Ties of Blood and Water" (a sequel of sorts to season three's "Second Skin"), "Ferengi Love Songs", the brilliant "Children of Time", the darkly humorous "In the Cards" and the shattering finale "A Call to Arms".As I've mentioned before, there are always stinkers (the less said about "A Simple Investigation" the better), but overall, the series was in its stride. The fifth season would also see a magnificent visual effect of all of Starfleet heading towards DS9 -now overtaken by the Dominion and the Cardassians. It was an awe inspiring, jaw dropping effect.And as the ships head towards DS9, Gul Dukat -now back in his office -discovers a message that Sisko left him. A baseball. Dukat, as he holds the ball, tells a puzzled Weyoun that Sisko intends to return.And the war begins..."
Now with added shouting
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 03/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The fifth season of Deep Space Nine is a strong entry in the Star Trek line-up. The influence of Babylon 5 was growing, with even more elaborate on-going storylines cropping up. This may have made things confusing when the series originally aired (if you happened to not be home during an important episode, you'd come back the next week to a different galactic power-balance), but since the show is now out on DVD, there's no real danger of missing something and getting lost. The previous season had seen the introduction of Worf, and his entry onto the station opened up a large potential for Klingon stories. Season four had devoted a fair amount of time to tales of the Klingon Empire. That trend continued through to the fifth year culminating in "Soldiers of the Empire" which takes place almost entirely on board a Klingon Bird Of Prey with Dax as the only character not buried underneath heavy prosthetics. To my surprise, I really enjoyed this gradual inclination towards more episodes dealing with loud actors shouting at each other about honor. I had been fairly bored during The Next Generation's attempts at building up the Klingons, so I was very happy that the Deep Space Nine people managed to not only hold my interest, but kept me wanting to see more.My enthusiasm for this season is caught between a desire to talk about the various ongoing plot stands and the need to highlight the great standalone episodes. Deep Space Nine did an almost perfect job of balancing the two, making my job even more difficult. The Star Trek universe underwent many changes during this year with all sorts of allegiances forming and/or falling apart. On a more personal level, a few characters had to face demons from their past, but those stories were generally better than one might expect (in Star Trek, "demons from the past" usually involve someone's parent showing up unexpectedly and a Large Argument From Childhood finally being cleared up -- thankfully the show mostly steered away from this). Sisko's role as Emissary of Bajor was given more than just a cursory examination, while Quark and Odo continued to develop their snide arguments.The extras in this release revolve around the fifth season (surprise, surprise). This means that there's not one but two mini-documentaries focused on the "Trials and Tribble-ations" episode (where Sisko and company go back in time and interact with the original 60s Star Trek episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles"). And, to be fair, there's a lot of stuff from and about that episode worthy of discussion. The first documentary involves a lot of talking heads discussing how the premise developed and what kinds of difficulties the production crew encountered getting it to the screen. The second documentary (and the one I found the most interesting, geek that I am) is more about the technical side of the episode -- how they managed to actually get the modern day actors and actresses to appear as if they were standing alongside their TOS counterparts. The "Forrest Gump" technology is expounded upon at length as well as the troubles that the model designers had in recreating the old ships and starbase models.We also have a mini-documentary featuring the character of Miles O'Brien, one of the series' more entertaining and realistic characters. Also, Mike Okuda gives a guided tour of the space-station sets, pointing out little in-jokes that were too small to be seen on-camera. Michael Westmore (as he has in previous seasons) takes a look back at the various alien baddies and their makeup.There were a few clunkers this year ("Let He Who Is Without Sin" - argh! Run away! Run away!), but overall I found this to be an excellent season of television. The storyline continually gets beefed up until one can't figure out exactly how they are going to keep outdoing themselves. The season ender is a great bit of storytelling and gives one a great sense of anticipation for the following year."
Great season form popular series
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 10/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"War isn't hell after all but it is profitable.We've seen that with in the real world and the producers/writers of Deep Space Nine found it to be true in fiction as well. With season five Deep Space Nine hit its stride. No longer dependent on The Next Generation, the series had begun to carve out its own niche during seasons three and four. The introduction of Next Gen character Worf and the conflict with the Klingon Empire during season four had distracted producer Steven Ira Behr from venturing further into the trenches of the war between the Federation and The Dominion. Now with season five they were back on course. Behr had also introduced new blood in both the writing and directing department that had not been affiliated with Trek before. This again allowed the show to achieve its own distinctive dramatic presence. DS9 also boasted the strongest writing staff of any show of the Star Trek franchise. The characters didn't always get along (a minor flaw of The Next Gen) and the show frequently examined the ethical boundaries of war (something that didn't trouble Captain Kirk too much despite his allegiance to the Prime Directive).The story arcs during season five focused on much more on action than before. Behr also broke out a Trek stable that had been missing during many of the early season stand-alone episodes-humor. Apocalypse Rising , Trials and Tribble-ations, Things Past, For The Uniform and Rapture were all highlights for season five. Trials and Tribble-ations integrated a classic old episode of Star Trek into a new DS9 one. Sisko and his crew must go back in time to prevent the murder of James Kirk. Set in the whimsical Trouble with Tribbles episode from 1967, the big challenge was integrating the crewmembers from the current series into shots from an episode shot nearly 30 years ago. What's surprising is that both episode and the effects work are seamlessly interwoven into the Tribbles episode. Another strong episode is the time travel story Children of Time. While on a mission investigating a strange energy field, the Defiant is struck by a tendril from the field. Every one survives the encounter but there's been a change; the Crew is hailed by someone on the uninhabited planet. An unidentified man and woman call the crewmembers by name and invite them to visit the planet. Once on the planet's surface the two people identify themselves as descendants of the crew. Evidently the ship has been thrown into the future and when they try and leave orbit in two days time they'll be flung into the past again, crash land and be unable to escape or get off a distress signal. What's most interesting about the episode is the examination of the concept of fate. If Sisko and his crew do attempt to get home and try and circumvent the accident, they'll cause an entire population of people to cease to exist. If they elect to let fate deal them a hand, they'll never see their loved ones at Deep Space Nine again. It's an interesting episode and the climax is all the more stunning for the revelations we discover. For the Uniform brought back guest star Kenneth Marshall as Michael Eddington a Star Fleet officer who had betrayed Commander Sisko during the previous season. Sisko had vowed to hunt Eddington down and make him face a court martial. Eddington was working for the Marque a group of colonist living in an area given back to the Federation's former enemy. All the colonist were ordered to leave the planets turned over to the Cardassians an alien species that have become new allies of the Federation. The colonist refused christened themselves the Maque and proceeded to fight both sides. It's a tense episode that deals with a number of intriguing ethical issues.With the last episode of season 5 the production crew pulled out many of the stops. Call to Arms watches the Federation lose the battle but not the war against the shape shifter led Dominion. Sisko and his crew must retreat from Deep Space Nine and give up the space station. It's a bittersweet moment during the series run given all the obstacles that the characters faced when they first took over the space station on DS9.
The image is quite good although there is some noticeable edge enhancement in some episodes as well as other digital compression artifacts. The picture is surprisingly clear and sharp. Still, compared to The Next Generation boxed sets, DS9 is a considerable improvement.. The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is used very well. Expanding both the scope and depth of the original sound. There's a number of feaurettes worth watching. There's two on the creation of the episode Trials and Tribble-ations that are quite interesting. The first looks at the origin of the episode and the second focuses on the unusual technical challenges of joining two episodes separated by 30 years. There's also the usual featurette on the aliens created for season five. Also, there's a special featurette that tours the main set of Deep Space Nine and looks at inside jokes. The Section 31 Hidden Files are fairly easy to find and access and do provide interesting background on the characters.This is a good boxed set with some minor compression flaws and well worth picking up. The original series was always darker looking than Next Generation and, as such, is a bit of a challenge for DVD. The limitations of the format mean there are quite a few compression artifacts but, again, these were unavoidable given the amount of information encoded on each disc. For neophytes I'd recommend picking up season 3 and 4 prior to this boxed set to have a better understanding the series as a whole."