Star Trek
Deep Space Nine
Season 4
(Slimline Packaging)

Starring: Avery Brooks
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £34.99

Certificate: 15
Available 30 April 2007

From the start of Season Four of Deep Space Nine it was obvious that the producers had decided to step up the story arc element considerably. The opening two-parter The Way of the Warrior brings in Klingon officer Worf in order to handle a growing potential problem with the Klingon/Federation joint force against the Dominion. And woven in and out of this season is the resulting relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

This season bring the Dominion into closer focus, as well as dragging the Klingons back into Star Trek - a move that pays dividends as the series progresses. There is no time for the viewer to get tired, as threaded between the ongoing story arc are some of DS9's finest comedy episodes - including the fantastic Bond spoof Our Man Bashir and the Roswell story Little Green Men.

It also features the incredibly moving The Visitor, which sees Jake as an old man recounting the story of his life and how the quest to find his lost father (who was sucked into a time thingy, or something, and has remained trapped never ageing) stopped him from following his career as a writer, so that he concentrate on discovering a way to free his father.

Also rather moving, in an old sentimental way, is The Sword of Kahless. While this episode is fairly hit and miss the ending is rather touching.

Rejoined, the show's famous "lesbian kiss" episode is also an incredibly well conceived and directed episode. Avery Brooks takes the director's chair for this story about love and the complications of the Trill way of life.

This season also sees one of the best O'Brien stories (poor bugger still seems to be the unluckiest guy alive). This time he is tried and convicted of a crime while on an alien planet. The punishment - incarceration for many years in isolation. However, the sentence is fed directly into his mind, so that while he never actually did the time, his memories of it are very real. But why is his old cellmate still haunting him? A well directed and acted episode.

There are numerous other great episodes in this season including the very funny Ferengi episode, Body Parts, and another alternate universe story, Shattered Mirror.

Extras on the disc include: Crew Dossier: Lt Worf; Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season Four; Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John Eaves; 10 Section 31 Files; Bob Blackman's Designs Of The Future; Jim Martin Sketchbook; Deep Space Nine Chronicles; and a Photo Gallery. CD-ROM content include: Virtual Space Station; screensaver and real time messaging.

Arguably the best season of Deep Space Nine.

Darren Rea

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