Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998) – Far Beyond the Stars, and One Little Ship

Station log: stardate unknown

Avery Brooks directs this exemplary episode from a script by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler from a story by Marc Scott Zircee. It first aired on 11 February, 1998.

The episode sees Benjamin Sisko (Brooks) being given a full sensory vision by The Prophets that allows him to become Benny Russell, an author on Earth in the 1950s. He finds himself an under-appreciated writer for a science fiction magazine, and struggling with social injustice, civil liberties and inequality, even while he works on a fantastic tale about the captain of a far distant space station, himself.

This is a fantastic episode, tackling both the early days of pulp science fiction stories, as well as the lack of social justice, and civil liberties. The fear of things like women and black writers. It’s a really great episode, and told beautifully. Brooks is exemplary in front of and behind the camera.

The rest of his crew are incorporated into his vision and it gives the actors to play a different type of role on the show. It must have been a bit of a relief for Michael Dorn, Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman to not have to settle in to the makeup chair for their usual prosthetics for most of this episode.

Brock Peters returns as Sisko’s father, as he comes to visit Benjamin on the station, even though the captain has a lot on the go on the Dominion front, as does Penny Johnson Jerald.

This is nothing short of a beautiful, layered, fantastic episode, and may in fact be my new favorite. Just wow.

Far Beyond the Stars

Station log; stardate 51474.2

Bradley Thompson and David Weddle pen this fun little episode that first aired on 18 February, 1998.

This seems to be Trek’s version of The Incredible Shrinking Man, InnerSpace and Fantastic Voyage. The runabout Rubicon carrying Dax (Terry Farrell), Bashir (Alexander Siddig) and O’Brien (Colm Meaney), is exploring a spatial anomaly that causes them to reduce in size the closer they get to the accretion disc.

To keep them safe, the Defiant, under Sisko’s command is tethering them with a tractor beam. but that beam is lost when the Defiant is attacked by the Dominion!

It’s up to the miniaturized crew to save their fellows on the Defiant, and consequently, it’s a romp of an episode that joyously entertains.

The concept is silly, the show realizes that, and then buckles up for a fun adventure and a lot of humor, and honestly, it’s always fun when Trek gets the funny episodes right.

Next week the journey through the sixth season continues as I explore Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Complete Series on DVD from Paramount Pictures. The Human Adventure continues…

Boldly go.



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