DS9 Pilot Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Pilot

Deep Space Nine is a spin-off of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It made its debut in the States in mid January after a major P.R. blast. Video tapes winged their way across the Pacific and invitations were issued for a premiere screening.

Watch ... and be amazed as they blow 1.3 million dollars on sets, uniforms and lots of special effects.

Thrill ... to the sight of new, weird aliens that look like fish people.

Wonder ... where you can buy the official Deep Space Nine plastic lunch box with matching thermos flask ...

Well that's what the invitations read anyway. So 20% of Progressive Systems Ltd's workforce (i.e. 4 people) and a few friends were at Yvonne Harrison's place to watch the two hour premiere.

So what's it like then? The simple answer is that it is damn good. If the series is true to the pilot then we should get good stories, good characters, good actions and lots of great special effects. The series is set in a space station in a strategic and sensitive location. There are lots of alien species about - not all of them friendly. The series will centre about the Star Fleet crew and others who inhabit this station.

This series is darker than ST:TNG and aimed at a somewhat different audience. There is more action (violence) than you will see in TNG - even the language is stronger. Expect it to play in a later timeslot. Characterisation is going to be important - the pilot does a good job of setting up the players and the relationships between them. It is unlikely that they will be such a cosy crew as on board the Enterprise - at least that is the early indication, we can but hope that the writers don't "wimp out".

One interesting point - minorities rule on this station. The station commander is black (and a solo parent), his second in command is a woman and the operations chief is Irish (married to an asian). You will recognise the last of these - Chief O'Brien of the Enterprise makes the transition away from the transporter controls to a larger role.

Nothing is perfect, and this pilot does show some of the weaknesses of the parent series, but overall it is a very impressive beginning. Far more impressive in fact than TNG was when it started. If you are in any way, shape or form a Star Trek fan, go and see this pilot - you should be impressed. And if you are not, you can always amuse yourself by trying to guess which actor takes the longest to apply their latex makeup.