The “Worst” Episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

On 3rd January this year, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. We finished watching the show at the end of last year. My impression, in general, is that pre-Discovery it was the most divisive Star Trek television series (it might still be; do many people actually think that Discovery is good?) and I’m keen, once we finish watching Voyager and (I guess) Enterprise to get into some of the writing about it (and other Star Treks). Thus far (midway through season 3 of Voyager), it’s certainly my favourite Star Trek – but then again, I was never much of a Star Trek fan. The long-running narrative of broken people trying to come to terms with their pasts as the future looks increasingly bleak? That’s much more my television-style.

I meant to write something to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary, but I never got around to it. I’ve been delaying reading this Variety article on the show for a couple of months, too, but I finally got around to that today as well. I’ve only watched the show once; I don’t really have a favourite episode about which I could write anything more insightful than I’ve read from other people. But back in October 2017 I wrote about the worst episode of DS9 – at least according to IMDb.[1] In (belated) celebration of the show’s twenty-fifth anniversary, here is what I thought of that:

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Words for Ursula K. Le Guin

This Monday, Ursula K. Le Guin died. The news broke yesterday. I don’t know what to say, but I’ve written so much about Le Guin since I started reading her work in 2009 that I thought I would just go through it and post whatever seemed appropriate here from my own notes and the quotations I’ve taken from her work. I hope that it can be taken in some way as being in honour of her. There was no one else quite like her.

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Top Ten Books 2017

Twenty Seventeen was a strange year. After the political turmoil of 2016, we started facing the repercussions of those choices, which were largely – but not exclusively – terrible. From my perspective as a citizen of the UK (albeit one who lives in Canada), the political highlight came just after 5pm EST on Thursday 8th June when, after a dispiriting build up the exit poll from the General Election revealed a hung parliament with Labour gains in extraordinary places. Nevertheless, this was not a victory (depending on how you define victory, that is); it was, however, a salient reminder that we must not give up hope, and that fighting towards a better future is always a good idea.

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Return of the Jedi and The End of History

“Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong.” – Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Return of the Jedi is my favourite Star Wars film. Kind of. Sort of. I know it has flaws, that it’s long been hated, that it doesn’t even include many of the aspects I myself think define what makes a Star Wars film great. And I stress that when I say “my favourite” I certainly don’t mean “the best”. But every single one of the original trilogy has been my favourite Star Wars film at some point and, since re-watching all six previous films after the release of The Force Awakens, it has been Return of the Jedi in my top spot. The thing is, it’s not the quality of the film that makes it my (current) favourite. It’s what it represents as part of the series as a whole.

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A Nobel Laureate of the Floating World

Last year, when Bob Dylan was named winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, I was surprised. I had never really noticed the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature before, although several of my friends had been involved in scientific or political projects that had been recognized by their respective committees. An even bigger surprise came last week, when Kazuo Ishiguro was named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature this year. It seemed that, in recognizing Dylan and then Ishiguro, the Nobel Prize committee had finally decided that instead of getting me to read the works of Laureate’s past they should just award the prize to whomever I happened to be reading or listening to in the mid-’00s.

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