Star Trek
Deep Space Nine
Season 1
(Slimline Packaging)

Starring: Avery Brooks
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £34.99

Certificate: PG
Available 30 April 2007

The producers of Star Trek took a huge risk when in 1993 they decided to set their new Trek series on a Cardassian space station orbiting Bajor. This time around there would be no 'going where no one had gone before', no travelling through space in pursuit of 'strange new worlds.' Now the aliens would come to them. An ambitious, and somewhat risky gamble. But, one that paid off...

Season One of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine starts with arguably the finest opening of any of the Star Trek series to date. Emissary begins with a flashback to the huge space battle between the Federation and the Borg. It is during this battle that Captain Sisko's wife is killed after his ship is destroyed by a Borg attack ship - one controlled by the assimilated Captain Picard. Two years later Sisko meets Picard again as Chief O'Brien transfers from the Enterprise to his new position aboard Sisko's space station at the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

The on screen relationships of all the principle characters gels from the start - much better than the beginnings of TNG, Voyager or Enterprise ever managed to achieve. There is something believable about Quark and Odo's constant bickering; about Julian's general dullness and his infatuation with anything with breasts (do you remember how in your face that was at the beginning?); O'Brien and Bashir's friendship that gradually grew; and Quark's desperate attempts to make easy money. Though over the course of the seven year run all of these characters changed dramatically.

Chief O'Brien and his wife were not the only members of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine who progressed from The Next Generation. Lwaxana Troi (played by Majel Barret) also makes the odd guest appearance, as does Picard's nemesis Q.

Memorable episodes from Season One include Babel, in which O'Brien suddenly starts to talk gibberish and then everyone else starts to contract this disease; Q-Less in which Vash and Q appear; The Nagus which sees Grand Nagus Zek make his first appearance; The Storyteller - Bashir and O'Brien depart on an away mission - a not too appealing trip for O'Brien; and If Wishes Were Horses which sees the inexplicable appearance of a number of fictional and historical characters aboard DS9.

But by far the most memorable episode is Duet. This is a Kira episode which sees the Bajoran believing that a dying, elderly Cardassian was the mass butcher at a Bajoran forced-labour camp during the Cardassian occupation. This episode is incredibly moving and is still as strong today as it was when it was first broadcast. It was this episode that made me appreciate that this series was committed to focussing on relationships and solid story telling.

This season has fewer episodes than usual (20 instead of the usual 26) and so more extras have been slung on the final disc. The extras are impressive - with much more than was available with the Next Generation box sets. These include: Deep Space Nine: A Bold New Beginning; Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys; Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season One; Secrets of Quark's Bar; Alien Artefacts: Season One; Deep Space Nine Sketchbook; 10 hidden Easter Eggs of Section 31 Hidden Files; Photo Gallery and Original Deep Space Nine Preview. Although sadly a couple of future seasons storylines are given away in a number of the documentaries.

Now this is what I call an impressive DVD collection and now that Paramount has reissued them in slimline packaging at the bargain price of £34.99 you really have no excuse for not adding these DVDs to your collection.

Darren Rea

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