Posted in Politics, Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 220: Progress

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:15 Progress (0215/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/2

Notable Guest Stars:

Brian Keith (Mullibok) – Brian Keith is a classic film actor most known for being the father in The Parent Trap (1961) and Family Affair. He has a long list of credits and there is probably a film for all tastes. He died in 1997.

Terrence Evans (Baltrim) – This is Evans first time on Star Trek, but far from his last. He also worked on Gunsmoke, one of the longest running TV series from the 60s. He died in 2015.

Annie O’Donnell (Keena) – More recently she’s been seen in Fresh off The Boat and The Big Bang Theory, but I know her best for a small role she had on Nightcourt along side Brent Spiner as the Wheelers.

Daniel Riordan (Guard) – Riordan is a Star Trek Alum, having played the character Rondon in an early episode of TNG,and will eventually play Duras (Another member of the Trouble House). He also has provided voices for many animated features.

Michael Bofshever (Toran) – Recently he has been seen on The Young and the Restless. He has also been on The Shield, Breaking Bed, The West Wing, CSI (the original), 24, and a future episode of TNG. His first role on Star Trek was in The Undiscovered Country.

Review:

This has Brian Freaking Keith, guys. Not only is this a Kira heavy episode, but we have an actual classic film star on set.

This episode has the traditional 2 story plot, with plot A being Kira’s adventures with the most stubborn Bajoran on the planet. Plot B is another adventure of Jake & Nog take on DS9: Profit edition.

When I was in my early years of college a meme came out with the premise X +X = Profit featuring Trollface. This episode made me think of that so much. In this episode, we see Nog take after his uncle Quark and spot a chance for profit and taking Jake for the ride. Its a hilarious backdrop to the more serious Plot A.

In the more serious plot, The Bajorans are attempting to reclaim their planet and need to use the geothermic energy in their moon to create energy to fuel the planet. The problem is that there have been people leaving on the moon. Most evacuate and move back to Bajor Proper, but there is one hold out: Mullibok and his two companions. He has been living on the moon for decades and refuses to move just to make people on the main planet happy.

Over the course of the episode Kira is forced to deal with quite a few issues that never really get resolved. She feels sympathy for the older man, and tries her best to get the man to leave willingly. In fact she stays with him long after she’s been told to return home. She risks her career. Mullibok plays with her emotions, comparing forcing him from his home to be akin to being a Cardassian. He tries to use her sympathy to get his way. And at first, it seems like it is working till Kira, quite unhappily, torches his home to force his removal from the moon.

It does bring up alot of complicated issues in political sphere in our own time. The force removal of people for “progress” has long held troubling racial issues. While this situation more resembles the removal of those living in the valley around the Hoover Dam in the 30s (towns which are now visable again due to the severe drought drying up Lake Mead, an artificial lake created by the dam), that is not the only situation this episode might bring to mind.

This episode is also the second in a short period of time forcing Kira to face her inner demons that were installed because of the war. Mullibok manipulates these issues to get his way, but it makes us wonder – do we have the right to force people to move from their homes?

As an example (and a less complicated situation then others), we have Centralia, Pennsylvania. Centralia sits on top of a continuously burning coal fire and has since the 1960s. The government tried various ways to get people to move away from the area as it was dangerous, but there are still hold outs. At the last article I read there was still a handful of people living there. No one can move into the area, but those who lived there at the time are allowed to live out their lives there. Obviously that ended differently then the episode – but it has some similarities. There is also the aforementioned Hoover Dam towns, and on a more sensitive topic – the continual moving of native people so their lands could be used by the government.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Peter Allan Fields
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • Peter Allan Fields meant for Mullibok to come off more manipulative but felt that it ended up coming off more sympathetic.
  • Wikipedia mentions that this episode resembles the film Wild River but I could not find any basis for that inspiring this particular episode. Its also been mentioned that this episode resembles in a way The Ensigns of Command where Data has to destroy the aqueduct to save the people.

Pros

  • Jake/Nog Friendship
  • Kira features
  • Brain Keith
  • See the one con.

Cons:

  • Could bring up a lot of sensitive topics – but perhaps that is a good thing. Its a topic that needs discussed.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

Author:

A thirty-something Graphic Designer and writer who likes to blog about books, movies and History.

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