Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Forsaking The Dry Spell With "The Forsaken" On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

The Good: Moments of Humor, Excellent Character development, Plot
The Bad: Predictable, Over-the-top acting, tries too hard
The Basics: Part of the essential Deep Space Nine, "The Forsaken" is entertaining and character-building, but occasionally silly.

"The Forsaken" represents the final dud in the first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the end of the only streak of questionably disappointing episodes in the entire series. That is to say, despite the fact that there will be the occasional dud episode in the series, there will never be a stretch of so many close or clear disappointments again. It works out nice that way!

"The Forsaken" is an a-plot, b-plot, c-plot episode that, like its predecessor "If Wishes Were Horses", relies too much on Star Trek The Next Generation. In this case, it is not so much the plot - which is fairly original - but in the characters. Lwaxana Troi turns up on the station.

As part of an ambassadorial group in the charge of the flustered Dr. Bashir, Lwaxana Troi manages to be the only one not making his life difficult until her jewelry is stolen and Odo easily captures the culprit. This enamors him immediately to the lonely, flirtatious Troi and she immediately begins pursuing him romantically.

Meanwhile, Bashir is left with three other ambassadors who are all making his life miserable (one of the ambassadors, for those of you into soap operas, is played by Constance Towers, General Hospital's Helena!). Easily one of the funniest scenes in the series in Bashir complaining to Sisko about the ambassadors and how difficult they are. Siddig El Fadil's acting in the scene is completely over-the-top, but the scene still manages to be hilarious.

What makes everything difficult is the emergence of a probe that begins to wreak computer havoc on the station, shutting down the turbolifts (elevators) with Lwaxana and Odo trapped inside and exploding a conduit in the area of the ambassador's quarters, giving Bashir an attempt to be heroic.

This episode succeeds in very fully utilizing the full ensemble cast and it works on that level. While the plot is one of the more original Trek plots, it's not terribly involved and what saves the episode is the level of character. Odo and Bashir especially are drawn out as characters very well in this episode.

This episode makes it into the essential Deep Space Nine because it is followed up on twice and certain elements of Odo come out that are integral to future episodes.

[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the first season by clicking here!


For other Star Trek franchise reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2011, 2007, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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