Friday, November 4, 2022

Star Trek: Progress

Episode: "Progress"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1, Episode 15
Original Air Date: May 9, 1993

via Memory Alpha

Kira is put in a tricky spot.  One of the Bajoran moons is being converted into a massive power plant and one farmer, Mullibok, refuses to evacuate.  Kira goes down to convince him.  Unfortunately, she develops deep sympathy for him, complicating matters for both of them.

The Kira thread, maybe the best arc in DS9's early going, finally kicks into gear.  We already know that the former freedom fighter is having a difficult time adjusting to her new role, not to mention the new state of affairs on her own world.  The enemy she devoted her life to fighting, the Cardassians, are gone and her administrative duties on Deep Space 9 keep her pretty far away from any potential action anyway.  In "Battle Lines," we were able to see the spiritual side of her adjustment.  "Progress" tells of a more emotional struggle, and a test of her loyalties.  

The episode draws obvious comparisons with TNG's "The Ensigns of Command," being a similar story about evacuating a planet.  "Progress" is considerably superior, largely because it is a more personal story for both Kira than it could ever be for Data (built-in character limitation, I know, but most of the principals in DS9 are more interesting than Data - there, I said it).  For Data, the story was a chance to learn about human nature.  For Kira, it's a challenge to come to terms with herself.  That's a more compelling narrative anytime.

Acting Notes

via Wikipedia

Brian Keith (Mullibok) was born November 14, 1921 in Bayonne, New Jersey.  His parents were both actors: Robert Keith, who had a successful film career, and stage actress Helena Shipman.  After high school, Brian Keith joined the Marines, serving for three years during World War II.  He received an Air Medal.

Keith had a long, successful screen career.  Films included The Parent Trap, Johnny Shiloh and The Wind and the Lion.  Television was especially kind.  Keith had the lead in four different series: Family Affair, Hardcastle and McCormick, The Brian Keith Show and Heartland.  

Keith was married three times and had seven children, three of them adopted.  In 1997, at age 75, he committed suicide after years of struggling with lung disease, financial troubles and depression.  His youngest daughter Daisy, also an actress, had also committed suicide just two months before.

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