Friday, October 20, 2023

Star Trek: The Maquis, Part I

Episode: "The Maquis, Part I"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 2, Episode 20
Original Air Date: April 24, 1994

via Memory Alpha

A Cardassian freighter explodes immediately after leaving space dock.  Our heroes deduce that it was the result of a deliberate attack and what's more, Federation technology was used to do the job.  We soon learn there's a new player in the neighborhood.  Federation colonists in the Demilitarized Zone are initiating terrorist attacks against Cardassian targets and Lieutenant Commander Calvin Hudson, an old friend of Commander Sisko's, is one of their leaders.

The story introduces the Maquis, a group with a notable future in the franchise.  A new series was set to launch in January 1995 and the Maquis would have a role to play, especially in the early stages.  Otherwise, I feel this first part suffers from slow pacing.  I like Hudson (Bernie Casey) just fine and the basic premise is alright.  But the narrative drags.  

On the other hand, Gul Dukat gets excellent character development.  First, he breaks into the Sisko quarters, scaring the bejesus out of Ben when he arrives home, but still convinces the commander to join him in a deeper investigation of the freighter explosion.  Later, Ben softens when he learns Dukat is, himself, a father of seven.  Finally, as part of the double-pronged cliffhanger, Dukat is kidnapped by the Maquis and will obviously need to be rescued by Starfleet.  That's quite a lot of range granted to a secondary character in a single episode.

Dukat also gets the best line, an homage to George Orwell's 1984:  "Education is power.  Joy is vulnerability."

In the B plot, Quark makes a friend, a beautiful Vulcan named Sakonna who we eventually learn is a member of the Maquis.  Quark tries to seduce Sakonna as both lover and business partner, ultimately more successful in the latter than the former.  Quark serves her Vulcan port, the first mention or appearance of such a beverage.  It's a darker blue than Romulan ale, edging towards indigo.  Surprisingly (and a little disappointingly), the internet offers no recipes.

Acting Notes

via Wikipedia

Bernie Casey was born June 8, 1939 in Wyco, West Virginia.  He attended Bowling Green State University where he established himself as one of the premier college athletes in the country.  He was a small college All-American in football and a record-breaking high hurdler on the track, earning an invitation to the US Olympic Trials in 1960.  He played in the NFL for eight seasons - six years for the 49ers, two for the Rams - serving variously at flanker, halfback and tight end.  He made the Pro Bowl in 1967.

Casey made his acting debut in in Guns of the Magnificent Seven, a sequel to The Magnificent Seven.  Other films included Brian's Song, Never Say Never Again, Revenge of the Nerds and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  He was a popular choice for mid-'90s sci-fi television.  In addition to Trek, he made guest appearances on both SeaQuest 2032 and Babylon 5.

 Casey passed away in 2017 after a stroke.

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