Mixed Reception For DS9 Season OneBy Caillan
February 18, 2003 - 11:18 AM
The release of Deep Space Nine's first season on DVD has received a mixed reception from critics, who praised the overall product as similar in quality to the TNG sets, but noted that the show's freshman year was not its best.
- For IGN DVD's Jeremy Conrad, reviewing the DVD set was like revisiting an old friend. "I've been waiting for this release for a long time," he said. "While people can switch on TNN and catch The Next Generation every night, those of us in the SF Bay Area can't do that for DS9. I haven't seen many of these episodes in years, and it's great to finally have them on DVD to go back and watch, as this series gets so excellent starting with the third season."
Conrad rated Deep Space Nine's first season on a par with the TNG sets for video and audio quality with the exception of "minor compression issues." The special featurettes were also presented in a similar format as the TNG releases, with Conrad citing 'Deep Space Nine: A Bold New Beginning' as his favourite. In the full review, the set was awarded a score of 8 out of 10.
- At the opposite end of the spectrum was Ronald Epstein at the Home Theater Forum, who admitted he had never seen a DS9 episode. Epstein selected three episodes - 'Emissary,' 'Duet' and 'In the Hands of the Prophets' - for the purpose of his review. "I think the first episode, Emissary clearly
is an attention-grabber. It exhibits all the qualities of great storytelling that the Star Trek series is known for," he wrote, adding later, "I can't say, however, that I really fell in love with this series. It's a totally different Star Trek that doesn't beg to be immediately accepted."
Concerning image quality, Epstein noted that the the picture was a "tad too soft," and criticised the sound mix for being "very heavy across the front and not very distinguishable in the rear channels." Despite these problems - and his initial reluctance about reviewing the set - he came away with a positive impression of Deep Space Nine. "Though this will be my ONLY review of the entire series, I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to explore a brand new Star Trek universe." The complete Home Theater Forum review is available at this page.
- Although he liked the "concept" of Deep Space Nine, DVD Town's Yuan-da Eddie Feng thought the first season "lacked a clear sense of purpose." Here's an excerpt from his analysis:
While I understand that the show’s first year needed to establish its characters and its place in the Star Trek universe, did the whole year have to feel like a twenty-four-hour pilot? Still, while the execution was lacking in places, I appreciate the DS9 concept. It was darker and edgier than TNG, and the large roster of recurring characters meant that DS9 could develop big story arcs as well as a self-contained reality.
Overall, the set was given a score of 7 out of 10 in all four categories - video, audio, extras and entertainment value. The full review is available here at DVD Town.