"A Time to Stand"

Season Six, Episode 1
Written by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler 
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Main Cast:
Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko
Rene Auberjonois as Odo
Michael Dorn as Lt Cmdr Worf
Terry Farrell as Lt Cmdr Jadzia Dax
Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
Armin Shimerman as Quark
Alexander Siddig as Dr Julian Bashir
Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys

Guest Stars:
Marc Alaimo as Dukat
Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun
Casey Biggs as Damar
J.G. Hertzler as Martok
Aron Eisenberg as Nog
Brock Peters as Joseph Sisko
 

 
"There's something I just don't understand. You're always telling me that space is big; that it's an endless frontier, filled with infinite wonders...well, if that's the case, you'd think it would be more than enough room to allow people to leave each other alone..."
"It just doesn't work that way. It should, but it doesn't."
-- Joseph and Ben Sisko

Synopsis:

It's been three months since Sisko was forced to abandon DS9 to the Dominion and the war is not going well for the Federation. Sisko and his weary crew are relieved of their combat duty aboard the Defiant and are given another assignment -- to infiltrate Cardassian space using the Jem'Hadar warship recovered last year (in season five's The Ship). Their mission is to destroy a Ketracel-white depot (the drug used by the Founders to control the Jem'Hadar). Meanwhile, back on the station, Kira and Odo are still trying to adjust to life under Dominion rule. Kira's request that Bajorans be allowed to maintain order on the Promenade falls on deaf ears, but Odo takes advantage of Weyoun's belief that he is a Founder and has his request granted. One one condition -- that Odo joins the station's ruling council, alongside Weyoun and Dukat. Although he and Kira initially thought this was a victory, there is also a danger attached -- Odo's presence there could in some way validate the Dominion Occupation of the station. Back aboard the stolen Jem'Hadar warship, Sisko and crew narrowly avoid disaster when a Starfleet ship opens fire. But they successfully make it to the storage depot where they beam down the bomb alongside empty Ketracel-White containers. But the depot puts up its shield, possibly having detected the bomb, and although the ship manages to break free just before the bomb detonates, it is severely damaged in the explosion. Without warp drive, they are stranded in enemy space, defenceless and without any means of escaping...


Review: 
 
(NB: This review is taken from my Season Review . For my original review, see The Dominion War Arc)

An exceptional season premiere which does a great job picking up from the stunning fifth season finale and weaving the various plot threads into what promises to be a tantalising story arc. Plot-wise A Time to Stand is rather lightweight, but this isn't a problem; it transcends plot, and by focussing on character interaction and how the war is affecting the characters there's a very fluid feel to the episode. In spite of some clunky exposition (mainly involving the lapse of three months), everything flows. Instead of the characters being there to move the plot from A to B, it feels more like the plot is there to service the characters -- and I like that.

Speaking of the characters, much of the characterisation sparkles, particularly on the station (which actually proves more interesting than the "Front lines"). Jeffrey Combs is a delight as Weyoun, and the Dukat/Weyoun exchanges are superb. Quark comes across very well and the Kira/Odo interaction hasn't been as strong in years -- perhaps because Kira hasn't been as strong in years. The most memorable scene was the Kira/Dukat office exchange, which was worth its weight in latinum. Dukat has never been as menacing, although the fact he's got girlie hair (that is especially noticeable in that particular scene) kind of blunts the impact a wee bit! Another excellent scene was the Ben/Joseph Sisko vignette, which brought things across on a very human level. The little character pieces were impeccably performed, all the details were nicely incorporated and the build-up to the adrenaline-pumping final act was quite effective. A very strong start to the season.
 

Rating: 9


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