Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season Seven

Starring: Avery Brooks
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £84.99

Certificate: PG
Available now

Season seven of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine sees the Dominion war builds to a crescendo. Although, thankfully the writers don't over play this and there are still plenty of wonderful character based episodes.
By the conclusion everything is wrapped up neatly - no storyline is left unfinished. And there are more than a few surprises in the closing episodes. The death count, when it comes to supporting characters, has to be one of the highest in a sci-fi series.

From the start of this season Benjamin Sisko is on a quest to determine his true purpose. Is he just a Starfleet captain? Or do the prophets have a far greater purpose mapped out for him?

There is also the matter of replacing one of the principal cast members with a new actress, due to the fact that the shows creators had to introduce a new Dax host in the form of Ezri. As this was to be the final season for DS9, her introduction could have been a disaster. The writers could have focussed on her too much in a bid to ensure that the fans warmed to her quickly, or they could have ignored her altogether and used her in the background to help move other storylines along. In the end, the balance the writers struck is spot on. She is given just the right amount of exposure to ensure that fans warm to her, but not at the expense of the other characters.

What would a season of DS9 be without a parallel universe story? Fear not, The Emperor's New Cloak keeps up the tradition of the annually thrilling alternative DS9 and all the horrors that come with it.

Another episode which returns to familiar characters is Chrysalis. This episode sees Bashir believe he has met the love of his life, Sarina, who was the catatonic fourth genetically enhanced misfit (along with Jack, Patrick and Lauren) that appeared in last seasons Statistical Probabilities.

Bill Mummy (Lost in Space and Babylon 5) makes a guest appearance in The Siege of AR-558. This episode examines the indiscriminate nature of war, it also sees Nog badly injured and his inability to adjust to his situation. The following episode, It's Only a Paper Moon, gives actor Aron Eisenberg (Nog) the chance to move into unfamiliar territory. Most Ferengi based episodes are used as light relief, but this episode sees Nog depressed and frightened of facing the real world.

This season also sees Dukat and Kai Winn jumping into bed together to seize power. This story arc is interesting, because it shows the true Winn in all her hypocrisy. These episodes are made even more powerful by the fact that Dukat appears as a Bajoran - so Winn has no idea that she is in league with the Devil. But fear not, as they get their comeuppance in the final episode, the 2-parter What You Leave Behind.

Extras include: Ending An Era; Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko; Crew Dossier: Jake Sisko; The Last Goodbye; Photo gallery; Special Crew Dossier: Ezri Dax; Morn Speaks; and DS9 Sketchbook: John Eaves. There are also a number of hidden (but not very well) files which take brief looks at a number of regular guest characters (including Nog, Rom, Dukat, Vic Fontaine, Kai Winn, Gowron and Martok. The extras on this collection seem to be a little more polished than in previous box sets, although for some reason in the Ezri Dax Crew Dossier there is a clip of Worf and Ezri kissing which is repeat for some unknown reason - maybe the Editor was asleep that day.

While not the best season of Deep Space Nine's seven year run, it is certainly the most moving. The conclusion, to my mind, is the best Trek has offered so far. The poor episodes, over the show's entire run, were few and far between. DS9 is by far the best written, acted and produced in the franchise so far.

Darren Rea

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