Star Trek: Deep Space Nine-Complete Season 7 (1999)

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Released 5-May-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Star Trek Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Featurette-Ending An Era
Featurette-Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko
Featurette-Crew Dossier: Jake Sisko
Easter Egg-Section31, Hidden File 01 - Marc Alaimo Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 02 - Jeremy Combs Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 03 - Robert O'Reilly Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 04 - Louise Fletcher Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 05 - Penny Johnson Interview
Featurette-The Last Goodbyes, Morn Speaks
Featurette-DS9 Sketchbook: John Eaves
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 06 - Max Grodenchik Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 07 - J.G.Hertzler Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 08 - Aron Eisenberg Interview
Easter Egg-Section 31, Hidden File 09 - Ira Steven Behr Interview
Easter Egg-Special Crew Dossier: Ezri Dax
Gallery-Photo
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 1126:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (7)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Corey Allen
Rene Auberjonois
Reza Badiyi
Gabrielle Beaumont
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Avery Brooks
Rene Auberjonois
Nicole de Boer
Michael Dorn
Terry Farrell
Cirroc Lofton
Colm Meaney
Armin Shimerman
Alexander Siddig
Nana Visitor
Case ?
RPI ? Music Paul Baillargeon
David Bell
Jay Chattaway


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Swedish
Danish
Norwegian
Dutch
Italian
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The final season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is also one of the best final seasons of any TV series, in the sci-fi or any other genre. Rather than dredging up old ideas and rehashing old plotlines, the final season of Deep Space Nine was so crammed full of content that a season really wasn’t quite enough to finish the seven year arc, as the creators readily admit. As a result, the finale is a little rushed, but at least it is never dull.

    We finished off in Season 6 with the tragic death of a crew member that split the crew apart. Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) has returned to Earth with his son Jake (Cirroc Lofton), leaving the station in the capable hands of Colonel Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), Commander Worf (Michael Dorn), Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney), Doctor Bashir (Alexander Siddig), and Security Chief Odo (Rene Auberjonois) with no date set for his return. The wormhole has collapsed, the Bajoran Orbs are all dead, and the Dominion is rearming inside Cardassian space ready for a new onslaught.

    Spread across 26 episodes and 7 Discs, Deep Space Nine – Season 7 goes together as follows:

Disc 1

    1. Image In The Sand (43:15) – Sisko has lost his way and is working out of the old family restaurant in New Orleans with his father and son trying to find divine inspiration, and is finally gifted by the image of a woman’s face in the sand. But with the followers of the Par’Wraiths determined to usher in a new era, Sisko finds himself a hunted man. In the meantime, Colonel Kira finds herself confronted with the prospect of a Romulan garrison stationed in Bajoran space, and Worf seeks to find a way for Jadzia to enter Stovo’Kor by taking on a highly dangerous mission.

    2. Shadows And Symbols (43:18) – After learning the history of his origin, Sisko sets out with his father, Jake and the newly joined Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer) to find the key to unlocking the wormhole. Chief O’Brien, Doctor Bashir and Quark (Armin Shimerman) undertake to go with Worf on his mission out of love for Jadzia. And Kira finds herself in a standoff with half a dozen Romulan warbirds.

    3. Afterimage (43:16) – Worf struggles to come to terms with Dax’s new incarnation, just as Ezri struggles to come to terms with her new identity as a joined Trill. At the same time, Garak’s (Andrew J. Robinson) claustrophobia begins getting the best of him with disastrous results for Starfleet Intelligence.

    4. Take Me Out To The Holosuite (43:15) – Sisko’s old Vulcan rival from Starfleet Academy arrives on the station and challenges Sisko to a baseball match in one of Quark’s holosuites. But Sisko begins taking the challenge far too seriously when all the others just see the game as a chance to let off some steam.

Disc 2

    5. Chrysalis (43:14) – Those crazy genetically enhanced misfits are back on the station, this time to persuade Doctor Bashir to ‘cure’ Sarina (Faith C. Salie) of her autistic state. But when he does, Bashir finds himself falling for the girl he has created and putting his own interests before the interests of his patient.

    6. Treachery, Faith, And The Great River (43:18) – Odo comes to the aid of a Dominion defector who turns out to be none other than Weyoun (Jeffrey Combs) himself. However, Damar (Casey Biggs) and Weyoun’s new clone are determined to stop him from making it back to Federation space. Meanwhile, Chief O’Brien is struggling with requisitions and Nog (Aron Eisenberg) agrees to help him out with ‘the great material continuum’.

    7. Once More Unto The Breach (43:18) – Klingon Da’Har Master Kor (John Colicos) arrives on the station seeking Worf’s help with gaining a post again so he can die as a warrior. But there is bad blood between Kor and General Martok (J. G. Hertzler) that makes this a very difficult task. Moreover, Kor is beginning to suffer the effects of old age. But with a raid on Dominion space planned, Worf runs against Martok’s wishes and gives Kor the command of a vessel. Will he live to regret this decision?

    8. The Siege Of AR-558 (43:17) – The crew find themselves stranded on the frontlines defending a long range communications outpost against a Jem’Hadar strike force. Here they finally see the brutality of war in the trenches as the fatigued troops begin crumbling under the psychological strain.

Disc 3

    9. Covenant (43:16) -- Colonel Kira is abducted by followers of the Par’Wraiths and their spiritual leader Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo). But is Dukat simply playing mind games, or does he believe the madness that he preaches?

    10. It’s Only A Paper Moon (43:18) -- Nog returns from the Starfleet hospital but is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. As part of his therapy, he chooses to live in the holosuite with Vic Fontaine (James Darren) in a 1950s era Las Vegas casino.

    11. Prodigal Daughter (43:14) -- When Chief O’Brien goes missing, Ezri Dax returns home to New Sydney where the Chief’s trail runs dry and the corrupt police refuse to help. But Ezri’s family has its own problems, which may just have a connection to O’Brien’s situation.

    12. The Emperor’s New Cloak (43:18) -- Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn) is taken hostage in the alternate dimension by the Alliance and Quark and Rom (Max Grodenchik) must steal a cloaking device with the aid of an evil Ezri in order to free him and avoid capture by the Rebels.

Disc 4

    13. Field Of Fire (43:18) – With a spate of mysterious murders plaguing the station, Ezri invokes the spirit of the former Dax host Joran, a psychopathic murderer, in order to hunt down the killer. But will Joran talk Ezri into becoming a murderer herself?

    14. Chimera (43:15) – Odo happens upon one of the hundred shape-shifter children sent out into the cosmos who have no knowledge of the Founders or the Dominion. When he learns of this shape-shifter’s continuing quest for discovery he must choose between setting out into the cosmos to find the remaining changelings or continuing to fight the Dominion.

    15. Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang (43:16) – While the crew are enjoying a relaxing time at Vic’s, the holo-program suddenly evolves and Vic finds his casino overrun by mobsters. The crew decide that they owe it to their holographic friend to win his casino back and so they set out to conduct a casino heist.

    16. Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges (43:16) – Before setting off to a Romulan science conference, Doctor Bashir is contacted by Section 31 operative Agent Sloan (William Sadler) who has a mission for him. But Bashir soon begins to suspect that he is caught up in a conspiracy more complex than that professed by Sloan, and perhaps leading to the truth about Section 31 itself.

Disc 5

    17. Penumbra (43:13) – Thus starts the epic 10-part conclusion to Deep Space Nine. When Worf’s vessel is destroyed, Ezri sets out on her own to find him. But when she does, they are shot down on a planet and captured. Meanwhile, Sisko plans to wed his long time partner Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson) and settle on Bajor, but is warned by the Prophets that to do so will bring great pain. At the same time, Damar begins questioning the health of the Founders and Cardassia’s allegiance to the Dominion.

    18. ’Til Death Do Us Part (43:13) – Ezri and Worf uncover the secret alliance between the Breen and the Dominion but will they live to tell about it? Meanwhile, a surgically altered Dukat approaches Kai Winn on DS9 in order to coerce her into assisting him in his plans for the Par’Wraiths. And Sisko decides to forego the Prophets’ warning.

    19. Strange Bedfellows (43:14) – Ezri and Worf are handed over to the Dominion by the Breen as a sign of good faith in their new alliance. Meanwhile on Cardassia, Damar has an epiphany, as does Kai Winn aboard DS9, as small decisions threaten to cause significant impacts.

    20. The Changing Face Of Evil (43:19) – The Breen attack Earth, and the Federation flounders in the face of a new weapon. At the same time Dukat accompanies Winn to Bajor in order to use her to free the Par’Wraiths.

Disc 6

    21. When It Rains... (43:14) – Kira agrees to assist the formation and coordination of Cardassian resistance cells, but is met with opposition by the very Cardassians she wishes to help. At the same time, it is discovered that Odo has contracted a virus that has infected the Founders. And fearing that General Martok is becoming more popular than himself, Chancellor Gowron takes control of the Klingon forces with disastrous results.

    22. Tacking Into The Wind (43:18) – Kira finds herself at risk from within the Cardassian Resistance. At the same time, Bashir’s search into a cure for Odo’s illness is impeded by the highest levels of Starfleet. And Worf resolves to do something about Gowron’s abuse of power before the Federation is destroyed.

    23. Extreme Measures (43:15) – Bashir and O’Brien plot to bring an agent of Section 31 to DS9 in order to discover the cure for Odo’s illness. But when things go wrong, the pair find themselves trapped inside a dying mind.

    24. The Dogs Of War (43:17) – A replacement for the USS Defiant arrives to be the flagship for a full scale invasion as the relationship between Bashir and Ezri comes to a head on the eve of battle. Meanwhile, Kira, Garak and Damar find themselves stranded on Cardassia Prime when they are double crossed. And Quark, Rom and Brunt get exactly what is coming to them.

Disc 7

    25. & 26 What You Leave Behind Parts I & II (88:09) – Sisko convinces the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulans to undertake a full scale invasion of Cardassia to try and end the war. At the same time, Dukat and Kai Winn set off to the Fire Caves in order to free the Par’Wraiths. And civil resistance on Cardassia escalates in an attempt to topple the Dominion from within, drawing an horrific response from the Founders. Will the Dominion prevail? Will any of DS9’s intrepid crew survive the assault? Will Cardassia be laid to waste? Will the Par’Wraiths destroy the Celestial Temple and bring a new bloody reign upon Bajor?

    This truly is the end of an era, and when the final credits rolled past for Deep Space Nine, the audience was left begging for a big screen venture that sadly never happened.

    However, although it was the end, Deep Space Nine really went out with a bang, those final ten episodes cramming seven years worth of planning into an intense finale that, while flawed in some respects, nevertheless delivers on most levels and makes for fantastic and epic TV, the likes of which is rarely seen on the small screen.

    As for the episodes themselves, we have some of the finest writing here, though admittedly I find it hard to put anything up to rival my two absolute favourite DS9 episodes in terms of scripting – The Visitor from Season 4 and In The Pale Moonlight from Season 6 – although the creators come very close with episodes like The Siege of AR-558, and When It Rains... and Tacking Into The Wind.

    For those who have not yet seen Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, this season is not the place to start and would most likely leave you more confused than anything else. I tend to recommend Season 4 as a good starting point for someone new to the Star Trek world. While you will still have missed much, particularly in terms of character development, that is when the Dominion War really begins and where the rest of the series flows from. And you can always go backwards from there once you are addicted to this show. But Season 7 certainly has it all – excitement, adventure, rich characters and fantastic writing – and is the crowning jewel in seven years of a brilliant TV show.

    Deep Space Nine was and is a real Star Trek anomaly. While it is still about exploration, it is not about the exploration out there in the cosmos, as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager were. Rather, it is about the exploration inside us all, as individuals and as a species, and ultimately how we deal with out conflicts. This was daring television that asked hard questions: Is war a necessary part of who we are? Does conflict and adversity bring out character traits in us that are not ordinarily present? Or do we have these capacities in peace time as well? Furthermore, if nothing else, Deep Space Nine used the Star Trek world to illustrate the political complexities of conflict, the waste and futility of warfare, the self-defeating nature of conquest and domination. It might be science-fiction, but it speaks volumes if you read between the lines. Do yourself a favour and check this out one day – you will not be sorry.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Dear, oh dear, oh dear. After heaping praise upon the boys and girls at Paramount Home Entertainment for their video transfer of the superb Season 4, I must now retract those compliments and call into question their abilities once more.

    Let’s start with some good news first. Those issues of aliasing, moire effect and appalling cross-colouration that plagued earlier releases have been completely obliterated here. MPEG artefacts are non-existent. Furthermore, colour is outstanding with a radiance that glows off the screen. The image is also highly detailed, with textures and patterns clearly visible for the first time, despite the soft-filter that the show is filmed in.

    Now for the bad news: graininess is a serious problem here. Not just that mild film of graininess that tends to accompany this series because of the soft filter, but real ugly graininess that makes the image unwatchable. Indeed, the graininess fluctuates in intensity during low-light shots resulting in a contrast flicker.

    At first I thought this might be a fault with my player or my TV, but after examining Chapter 3 of the episode The Siege of AR-558 with a frame-by-frame analysis, I managed to determine that every fourth frame or so is marred with an intense graininess, a film of white or grey dots where there should be only black. When played at normal speed, this results in a ‘flickering’ effect that is very noticeable, highly distracting, and hurts the eyes after a time. Sadly, this fault is not limited to this episode and plagues the entire season.

    I returned to my VHS copies of these episodes and noticed a similar problem, although far less pronounced. Somehow, in transferring this series to DVD, this very mild flicker has been exacerbated into a very prevalent one. So, even though colour and image detail have been vastly improved, the gains have been countermanded by this loss.

    Shadow detail is also a problem, although there is an improvement on VHS here in that respect. Nevertheless, there is one outdoors night scene in Penumbra at 29:09 - 29:33 where Worf is talking to Ezri and the image is so grainy (again marked with the irritating ‘flickering’ effect mentioned above) and so dark that all you can see of Worf are the whites of his eyes. Even the free-to-air TV broadcasts were better than this.

    Dirt was no real problem here, but I noticed a missing frame during The Siege Of AR-558 at 4:08, although the audio is not interrupted.

    There is an extensive list of subtitle options here: English for the Hearing Impaired, regular English, Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish. They appear as white with a grey/black border and are easy to read. As with previous seasons, the exact dialogue is not conveyed word for word, but the essence of what is being said is conveyed.

    The dual-layer pause is in between the episodes, with two episodes per layer.

    Overall, I am very unhappy with this video transfer of Season 7 and only hope that Paramount Home Entertainment can remedy these faults for a re-release.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Where this release does excel is in the 5.1 Dolby Digital remix of the original English audio track.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, and is much better than my VHS versions. There is a crispness here that is just outstanding.

    The amazing music used in this final season is given the full treatment, particularly the haunting score on The Siege Of AR-558 and the stunning music done especially for What You Leave Behind. There is a full use of the surround field to bring this score to life and a deep range that is genuinely surprising.

    Use of surrounds is excellent, with far more made of the rears than earlier seasons. The scene at the end of the episode Shadows And Symbols really puts the surrounds through their paces during the destruction of a solar system, and some of the battle sequences from What You Leave Behind also heavily utilise directional cues to create a full 3D sound field.

    The subwoofer was used to good effect in the various battle sequences to flesh out explosions, photon torpedo blasts and phaser hits, not to mention the low-level ambient hum of the station and The Defiant as well as the score.

    As with previous seasons, audio is also available in German 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish, French and Italian in 2.0 Dolby Surround overdub. While above average, the dubbing process removes texture from the audio field, and so not even the 5.1 German track is any match for the English audio. The 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks are much thinner and I am surprised that I used to watch this show with such a limited audio field.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    As with previous seasons, we are provided with an extensive list of extras, all presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, with 2.0 Dolby Surround audio. Interviews are in 1.85:1, letterboxed within the 1.33:1 frame.

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The episode menus have an ambient 2.0 Dolby Stereo track and are static. All other sub-menus are static and silent.

Booklet

    Although Paramount Home Entertainment have not provided us with a copy of the booklet or packaging to review, as with previous seasons, this season too has its own booklet with episode summaries and other information.

Featurette – “Ending An Era” (15:11)

    A season overview focusing on ending DS9, including interviews with series creator Ira Steven Behr, writer and executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, writer Ronald D. Moore, supervising producer Peter Lauritson, visual effects coordinator Gary Hutzel, science supervisors Denise Okuda and Michael Okuda, visual effects supervisor Dan Curry, and actors Alexander Siddig, Nana Visitor, Colm Meaney and guest star Susanna Thompson.

Crew Dossier – Benjamin Sisko (12:51)

    An in-depth look at the character of Captain Benjamin Sisko, including interviews with Avery Brooks, Ira Steven Behr, and Penny Johnson

Crew Dossier – Jake Sisko (9:57)

    An in-depth look at the character of Jake Sisko, including interviews with Cirroc Lofton, Ira Steven Behr, Terry Farrell, Avery Brooks and Aron Eisenberg

Featurette – “The Last Goodbyes” (14:02)

    A look at the final two parter What You Leave Behind, with interviews with the principal cast and crew and their thoughts on how the show ended.

Featurette – “Morn Speaks” (7:23)

    An interview with Mark Allen Shepherd who plays the silent character of Morn who is always sitting in Quark’s bar or stumbling on the promenade.

Featurette - “Deep Space Nine Sketchbook: John Eaves” (6:35)

    A look at some more of the artistic design work of illustrator John Eaves.

Special Crew Dossier – Ezri Dax (9:36)

    A look at the character of Ezri Dax, including interviews with Nicole de Boer, Ronald D. Moore, Ira Steven Behr, Alexander Siddig, and Michael Dorn.

Photo Gallery

    A series of inset stills from the production of the season.

Hidden Files

    There are 9 Hidden Files here, which can be found by pressing your arrow keys until you highlight an auxiliary panel on the space station that forms the basis of the menu:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    From what I can tell, the R1 release lacks:

    The extras would appear to be identical.

    As with previous seasons, there is a marked difference in audio and subtitle options. The R1 offers only English 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby Surround and only English subtitles. The R4 release caters for more cultures.

    However, I have heard no reports that the R1 DVD release has any of the video transfer faults that render this R4 release painful to watch. Given that, I would recommend that those of you who have ‘region-free’ or ‘multi-zone’ players might want to consider purchasing a R1 release. The price may also provide an incentive.

Summary

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 7 was one of the finest finales and farewells to a Star Trek series I think I have seen. Much like the final series of Buffy, it was too late for anyone who was not a fan to try and integrate themselves into the show that late and get a lot out of it. This one is seriously only for the fans. But that does not stop you returning back to the start and introducing yourself to this series from the beginning so you can fully appreciate the mastery of this conclusion.

    Sadly, with Paramount and the video transfer of this series, it has often been a case of one step forward and two steps backwards. Unfortunately, this may be a case of three steps backwards. I am very unimpressed with this transfer and am keen to tell Paramount to try this one again.

    This 5.1 Dolby Digital remix is stunning, far surpassing even the mix on earlier seasons with aggressive use of rears and subwoofer.

    A whole host of interview-based extras makes for a valuable insight into the series.

    Overall, I cannot give this box set a good score simply because, for all the bonus materials, for all the excellent sound, and even with the fabulous plot, the video transfer is just painful, and when it comes down to it, audio and visual presentation is everything. Extras are just a bonus. Sorry Paramount Home Entertainment, but please try again.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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