Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 7 Episode 8

The Siege of AR-558

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 18, 1998 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

out of 10
167 votes
  • Ground-based war story

    In the spirit of Zulu (1964), Platoon (1986) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), DS9 presents this ground-based battle story featuring Sisko, some of his people and several guest stars. Similar to "Nor the Battle to the Strong" (and, like that, taking place largely in the cave set), it's gritty, depressing, and sometimes doesn't make a lot of sense. In other words, it's a lot like war.

    Directed by Vietnam Veteran Winrich Kolbe, the story takes place on a small planet where a demoralized group is defending a MacGuffin. Sisko takes over as the military leader, often voicing his thoughts to Quark who has tagged along to please the Nagus (and because the writers want him there as a civilian surrogate). Nog, Bashir, and Dax are also included (also chosen by the writers because of their lack of battle experience) and as the story moves along, the regulars become entangled with the guest stars. Bill Mumy (who played Will Robinson on Lost in Space as a child and Lennier on Babylon 5 as an adult), guest stars as Kellin, a good natured crewman, while Patrick Kilpatrick plays Reese, a tough guy, and Raymond Cruz plays Vargas, an officer suffering deep psychological trauma. They're all one time appearances, but its clear these aren't people who will suddenly be okay at the end of the hour, and these aren't situations that will suddenly be forgotten next week. While DS9 will move on to tell other stories, the trauma of what is essential a mini war movie is something that lives on far past its screen time. It's the sort of Star Trek episode only Deep Space Nine could do, because of all the captains only Sisko would get his hands so dirty.

    Scored by Paul Baillargeon, the music serves the episode like Adagio for Strings serves Platoon, a melancholy overlay that enhances the action through its disconnection. It's a fitting choice, because the episode itself, like Adagio for Strings, is not intended to be enjoyable. In the end, the various elements come together to create what the writers are really shooting for: poignancy.
  • A rare look at the land battles of the dominion conflict very much a classic trek episode

    The chintoka system is under constant attack from the dominion.The defiant is on a resupply mission to asteriod ar-558.
    Sisko and crew decide to stay to help out the over whelmed and shell shocked troops.

    what follows is a graphic and gritty education in the true nature of warfare.
    Not only the daily reality that people die
    but that it changes the people who go off to fight it forever.
    The job of a soldier is to kill the enemy and bring his people home alive but harsh and immoral choices get made along the way

    this episode is as close to perfect as it can be.
    Unfortunately it does of course have sisko as one of it's main characters.Avery brooks was always to my mind the joint worst actor on the show (bashir )
    any episodes featuring him kinda get down graded slightly.

  • Star Trek shows us (for the first time) the real side of the Dominion War and that is a horrible thing to witness indeed.

    Before this episode aired all of the battles in Star Trek took place in space between ships. The only exceptions were the ground war with the Klingon seen in \"...Nor The Battle To The Strong\" and General Martok mentioning he would send groud forces to the planets in \"Tears Of The Prophets\".

    This episode sheds some light on the hardships of the Federation\'s grounforces. Well light, thier life is pretty dark and horrible if you ask me.

    I really liked the atmosphere in this episode whch is dark and moody and befitting the episode. It starts with Sisk looking at casualty list and commenting to Odo how he used to read every name to honor their sacrifices but after so long the names began to blur together.

    The reactions from the Federation troops in response to the Defiant crew really make sense given how demoralized and beaten they are.

    Sisko of course decides to help and in order to do so he sends out Nog along with 2 others on patrol. Quark responds that Nog is only a kid and that Sisko would never send Jake on patrol like that.

    When Nog is critically injured and loses a leg, Quark wants Nog to be taken to a hospital which Sisko is unable to honor earning him a scalding comment from Quak who feels Sisko does not care about Nog.

    Eventually Sisko managed to develop a plan to beat the Jem\'Hadar using their own mines. While the Defiant crew and ground troops wait, Bashir plays Vic\'s \"I\'ll Be Seeing You\" for them which is soon drowned out by the sounds of the mines. I was really impressed by that.

    Equally impressed was I by the following battle which was brutal and unforgiving. It eventually ends and the Defiant crew and surviving soldiers are replaced by a new crew.

    Back on Deep Space Nine, Sisko is at work when Kira brings him a new casualty list. The following conversation is among the best in Star Trek.

    Kira: Sir the latest casualty lists have been posted.
    Sisko: How many did we lose this time?
    Kira: 1730.
    Sisko: *mutters* 1730.
    Kira: That is a lot of names.
    Siso: They are not just names, it is important that we remember that. We have to remember.

    It illustrates that behind every name, every casualty in a war there is a story and it is important that we remember them. At times we tend to forget that and this episode reminds me that we should not.

    That is why I like this episode so much and why it is one of the best Star Trek episodes ever.
  • An Inspired Effort By the DS9 Creators

    What an incredible episode. Over the years, we\'ve never really seen the intimate, down and dirty side of hand to hand combat in the Star Trek universe. The climatic battle was expertly choreogrpahed and written. We truly get to see the horrors of war and post traumatic syndrome. Tremendous. Bravo.
  • This episode is our first real look at war in all of Star Trek.

    This is one of the best episodes of Deep Space Nine that I've seen. This episode really brings out the utter brutality of war like Star Trek has never done. No episode after this came close to matching the final battle scene in this episode. This episode takes the war to the crew of Deep Space Nine where they're not just fighting battles between starships. They're fighting with guns and in hand-to-hand combat. The battle is very serious and clearly deadly. I would swear that I wasn't breathing throughout the entire battle scene when I first saw this episode. The music during the battle scene is also very tragic. Something else that tells you that this is serious is that Quark actually kills someone. It's the second out of two times that Quark kills someone. I thought that the violence of the show was surprising for Star Trek. Bring it on. The audience really saw the brutality of war. Call it Star Trek's Saving Private Ryan. I thought that the violence was also necessary to really hammer home real war for the viewers. For those who did not like the violence, I can understand why they don't like it. But I found that the violence was able to really draw out the message of the episode. Definitely one of the best episodes of any Trek series. 10/10.
  • A prime Example of what made Deep Space Nine different and good!

    This episode is a perfect example of what made Deep Space Nine so different from the other Star Trek series. It dealt with pressure, terror, war, sacrifice and so many more themes that many of the other series only dealt with on occasion.

    Captain Sisko organizes a defense from a tattered group of Federation soldiers. There is no happy, or unhappy ending more of an ending. This episode also showed that the savage nature of humanity had not gone after a few centuries of paradice and peace.

    I suggest you want this episode if you can. It is well written and very good. One of my favorites.
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