Taking place mostly off the station (on the Defiant set, representing its sister ship, the Valiant), this Jake & Nog episode introduces us to a young, eager crew that lacks the experience we're used to seeing in Star Trek. (Interestingly, the idea of a cadet crew has a long history in Star Trek, being the original idea that developed for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Paramount's first idea for Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was also rumored to be the premise of Voyager, with some fans calling it Star Trek 90210, before the true details of the show were released. It later, of course became the backbone of Star Trek's 2009 reboot). It's a fun area of turf to explore for Ron Moore, who, like Nog, was an officer in his youth (in the Navy) before, like Jake, he decided he didn't want to be one and became a writer instead. The background allows him to effectively write both characters, using them to describe the opposing viewpoints of their situation. Unfortunately, Moore makes things a little too black and white, painting Red Squad (played by a capable guest cast) a little too harshly as arrogant fanatics as opposed to intelligent, capable cadets. Meanwhile, Jake, instead of presenting one of several compelling arguments why the Squad is headed down the wrong path, plays the "my Dad is Commander Sisko" card instead, a ploy doomed to fail. (Perhaps this is why Lofton mails in his performance while Eisenberg gives more of an It all leads to a predictable second half, with the episode's Lord of the Flies message about mindless ambition coming through a little too loudly before a convenient climax.
This episode tackles an intriguing concept - how do young adults, even those trained as soldiers, handle the stress of war? This episode answers that question, fairly or unfairly, in a grim fashion: without the wisdom and humility of experience, the arrogance and rawness of youth is doomed to failure.
The characters of Red Squad are generally unremarkable, though they do manage to convey the inevitable nervousness of brilliant youngsters in way over their heads. There is an exception for Nog and Jake's young friend. But in the end, it's Nog and Jake - still friends, but no longer children - who provide the emotional depth that carries this episode. It's their presence that turns the Valiant's demise into tragedy.
Another Dominion War off-shoot episode sees Jake and Nog rescued by the Defiant's sister ship - Valiant.
I guess the name is supposed to be a allusion to the crew who manned.
The plot is your basic account of a ship and her crew caught up into the daily struggles at the frontline. The twist is that it is shown from the viewpoint of children, even if they are members from the fabled Red Squad. Starfleet's elite trainee unit. There are two main area's of conflict which drive the drama in this episode. The first is the crew's mission to destroy a new Dominion Class Battleship. This provides the action. It really is one BMF ship! The other is Jake's conflict with the Captain and crew, and their conflicting points of view. This provide some emotional drama. There are other little points of intrigue dotted throughout, like the captain's use of stims. And other subjects are touched upon, such as bullying of the junior crewmen buy their arrogant superiors. While the blind following of orders demonstrates some aspect of fanaticism.
Locations were limited to the Defiant set, which is to be expected. Though the battle effects were a plus. In amongst decent screenplay and dialogue, I got the feeling that there were deeper issues being touched upon, in this episode. Perhaps, a slight nod towards the child soldiers fighting in third world countries?! Though it stays within the strict confines of ST threshold for being political.
Ultimately though, it communicates itself as somewhat patronising. The build up towards the final battle is palatable, even if the ending weak.
Intrigue is also built up through Jake's scrapes with the Captain, first officer and even Nog. Though it just never reaches the levels of other episodes, with the adult characters. Which is a shame. Perhaps that has something to do with the ages of the actors. (Or perhaps thats just me!)
Interesting idea. Hard to get away from the notion of kids playing as grown-ups! A decent enough story, but the execution should have been alot better.
A discredit to the Star Trek franchise. I'm sorely disappointed. I'm a big Star Trek fan, so I can usually find the good in any episode. But this bunch of amateurs make worse actors than their characters did a crew of a starship. How this one got past the producers is beyond me. Seriously, I've seen better fan fiction videos than this. The writing isn't the worst thing I've ever seen, but it's nothing to be proud of. Makes me kind of sad, because Mike Vejar has directed some great episodes of a lot of great series. But this simply isn't one of them.
This is another excellent episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
It begins with Jake and Nog being picked up by the U.S.S. Valiant after being attacked by the Jem\'Hadar only to find the ship crewed by Academy Red Squad cadets.
The cadets were on a training missing when all of the regular officers were killed and Tim Watters was given a field commision to Captain and promoted other Red Squad members as needed. He even took over the assignment that
However, their lack of actual experience prevents them from making the nessecary repairs to the ship. Nog helps them to get their ship running and the Valiant manages to find the Dominion Battle Cruiser they had to find.
But instead of being smart and going home, the crew finds and apparant weakness in the Cruiser\'s design and decides to exploit it using a risky plan involing modified torpedoes. Jake tried to offer his opinion on the matter but he is drowned out by Watter who appeals to the ego of the cadets buy saying that Red Squad can do anything. Even Nog will not listen to his former friend.
Soon the preparations are complete and the Valiant attacks the Dominion ship. Due to the inability to use torpedoes (since they are loaded with the special torpedoes) they take a beating before they even come into range of their target.
They eventually do and the Valiant launches its torpedoes which manage to hit their target. The ship is caught in a fiery explosion and the cadets cheer. But their celebration is short lived and too early as the Dominion ship has not been destroyed.
Unprepared for this outcome the Valiant is targeted by the Battle Cruiser in retaliation and destroyed. Only one escape pod containing Jake, Nog and Collins makes out alive and is rescued by the Defiant.
On the Defiant the trio discuss what happened and Jake decides to write a story about it. Nog feels that Watters was a bad captain and got a good ship with a good crew killed. Collins feels that Watters was a great captain and that Red Squad failed him. Nog feels that Jake should put both opinions in his story and let readers decide for themselves.
I really liked this episode as it shows just what overconfidence can do with people. These cadets think they can handle anything and as a result their arrogance blinds them to the truth.
I cannot help but see a similarity to Star Trek Voyager. Janeway often goes on similar missions (such as in Unimatrix Zero or Dark Frontier) but always manages to survive.
Of course I want the good guys to win but Voyager does it with so much ease that the whole show becomes rather unrealistic and boring to watch as you know it will all be just fine when the end credits roll over the screen.
At least Deep Space Nine (and Enterprise, for that matter) kept viewers surprised and that was a major asset. And so are episodes like Valiant.
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