Saturday, February 6, 2010

Deep Space Nine--"Q-Less"

Deep Space Nine made several attempts to attract viewers of The Next Generation For my money, the only worthwhile effort was featuring Picard in the pilot. It made dramatic sense because having Picard’s assimilation into Locutus be the catalyst for Sisko’s life falling apart made sense. Plus it was the first time there was any realistic view given of the consequences of Picard’s knowledge having been added to the Borg Collective. Up until that point, we were supposed to be sympathetic to him while paying no mind to the 11,000 people he killed.

I already wrote about Lursa and B’Etor’s useless appearance in “Past Prologue.” “Q-Less’ has much the same problem of adding two TNG characters we do not really care about seeing, but with the worst twist of giving them center stage. He rest of the DS9 cast are almost guest stars for The Q and Vash Show. That is not a good thing.

If you were around for my TNG reviews, then you already know I am not a fan of Q. his personality changed so often, from omnipotent god to imp to Q Continuum errand boy and back again, that I felt the qriters never quite knew what to do with him. if they cannot decide on who he is, why should I care?

I have a different rationale for Vash, but reaching the same conclusion. She is just annoying. She was supposed to be part of a “sex and guns” story for picard, but in “Captain’s Holiday,” she was acatty mercenary with nowhere near the sex appeal she supposedly had. Her second appearance in “Q-Pid” was not an improvement. In fact, the attention paid to her by the skirt chasing Riker then and Bashir in "Q-Less” serves only to demean the characters. They will go after anything.

Bashir is still an incredibly annoying character here. Now that I think about it, he is not going to improve much at all until the middle of thesecondseason.

Vash shows up on Ds9 trapped in a shuttle arriving from the Gamma Quadrant. For whatever reason, o’Brien has to jury rig a way out of the locked ship for the passengers instead of just beamed them out. Do not ask me why. Whileshedoes not tell anyone, sheand q had been roaming the quadrant when she ditched him to head home with an stolen artifact she plas tosell.

Q comes looking for her. They bicker a bit hereand there. Q acts likea jealous boyfriend the entire time, which is his worst incarnation. It is doubly worse when he becomes jealous of bashir. Q pops in to aggrevate the main characters briefy, but it adds nothing to the story. He I there to convince Vash to return with him, nothing more. Evidently, he just toys with thecrew because that is what fans expect.

There is a runnigproblem that Ds0 is being pulled into the wormhole where itwill be broken apart. Q is blamed for that throughout, but it is not even remotely convincing. Everyne watching has already figured out the artifact is the culprit since it has been the key plot point from the beginning.

Quark and vash enter into a business relationship after vash rubs hisears, which appears to be the Ferengi equivalent of hand job. I am just sayin’. the command staff discovers the artifact is causing the station to hurtle to its doom and, even though no one else on DS9 seems too alarmed, beam it into space in the nick of time. The artifact turns into a Cqi manta ray which is not much of an improvement over the giant jellyfish from “Encounter at Farpoint” six years earlier. the station is aaved and q andvash go their separate ways.

This is the weakest episode of the first season. It is not just because I dislike Q and Vash. The main characters got little screentimeand came across asflat when they did appear. Bashir was nothing but a skirt chaser, Odo growls at Quark, Kira and Dax have twenty lines between them and all are about station operations, O;Brien is the grumpy mechanic--only Sisko and quark geta few good moents. Sisko establishes himself as more in the kirk vein ofleader by socking q in the jaw. Considering the quality of the Q episodes, he deserved it. Quark’s con man ways are fun to watch. Thereare not may episodes he does not enhance by appearing in them.

Because of Sisko and Quark--and that I have already decided which is the qorst episode of the series--I am goig to give this one two stars. A couple of fun moments highlight, but overall, it is a dud. If they were trying to introduce TNG fans to Ds9, this was not the way to go. Featuring two irregular TNG characters so much the main cast of DS9 have no room to shine is unwise. A crossover evnt, perhaps part one and Tng and part two on DS9, was a terribly obvious idea. Why did that never happen in favor of fluff like “Q-Less?”

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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