This is the season that The Dominion is established. The Vorta and the Jem’Hadar are actually the servants of The Founders. The story of the Jem’Hadar actually ends up having some elements of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels in that they are kept under control by drugs. While The Founders greatly resemble they mysterious Shadows of Babylon 5.
To combat this potential invasion by the Jem’Hadar, Deep Space Nine gets some firepower in the form of the ship, Defiant. Originally designed to fight the Borg, the ship is in the forefront from the first episode of the third season, showing that this show will be going in a very different direction. The producers were finally allowed to take the show in a more serialized direction, probably due to the success of Babylon 5.
All the stories during the season do not revolve around the Jem’Hadar and The Dominions, however. The Ferengi, Quark manages to get himself in hot water with some Klingons and also cope with a Grand Nagus under the influence of the prophets of the Wormhole. The Trill, Dax must cope with painful memories uncovered from her past as well as how she stacks up against previous hosts during the Trill Rite of Closure. Jonathan Frakes makes an appearance as Tom Riker, the duplicate of Commander Riker created in a transporter mishap years before. The O’Briens explore the ins and outs of life as a married couple and Majel Barrett makes an appearance as the Betazed, Lwaxana Troi.
Following a transporter mishap (again? How were those things certified for use?), the crew also takes part in a significant piece of history in Earth’s past – an event known as the Bell Riots. Bajoran Kira Nerys must face the loss of someone she loves, while the Changeling, Odo reveals his true feelings for her. The mirror universe is visited once again, and the Obsidian Order of the Cardassian Empire is brought to the forefront. Certain Bajoran leaders take steps to alter their planet’s future to a path that serves their best interest, not caring who is hurt in the meanwhile.
By the end of the season, Sisko is promoted by Starfleet to Captain, and Odo brings an ominous warning that the Changelings have infiltrated the Federation more than originally believed.
Disc One contains the episodes The Search Part I, The Search Part II, The House of Quark, and Equilibrium.
Disc Two contains the episodes Second Skin, The Abandoned, Civil Defense, and Meridian.
Disc Three contains the episodes Defiant, Fascination, Past Tense Part I, and Past Tense Part II.
Disc Four contains the episodes Life Support, Heart of Stone, Destiny, and Prophet Motive.
Disc Five contains the episodes Visionary, Distant Voices, Through the Looking Glass, and Improbable Cause.
Disc Six contains the episodes The Die is Cast, Explorers, Family Business, and Shakaar.
Disc Seven contains the episodes Facets and The Adversary plus the Special Features.
The Birth of the Dominion and Beyond
Interviews with Ira Steven Behr (executive producer), Michael Piller (executive producer), and Scott Hewitt Wolfe (writer/story editor) about how the story arc involving The Dominion came about and was developed. Good information on the whole backstory given to The Dominion in that they weren’t expecting The Federation to enter their space for another 200 years and then the wormhole opened up, surprising them.
Michael Westmore’s Aliens
Westmore talks about the makeup challenges presented in the third season. Quite a bit involved changes to regular castmembers. One was Kira Nerys becoming a Cardassian. There was also the aging of Doctor Julian Bashir which was also done quite well. Westmore talks about the Ferengi and Odo’s make-up over the course of the series.
Time Travel Files “Paste Tense”
Scott Hewitt Wolfe, as well as Avery Brooks and Colm Meaney talk about the episode Past Tense where Bashir and Sisko end up in a homeless prison of Earth’s past.
Crew Dossier: Odo
His character was originally intended to be a Clint Eastwood-style Constable, and executive producer Ira Steven Behr had trouble seeing Rene Auberjonois in the role until he actually saw what he brought to the series, and it was better than anything he could have hoped for. Commends Auberjonois’ acting abilities as well as talking about the character of Odo.
Sailing Through the Stars
Production Designer Herbert Zimmerman and Illustrator Jim Martin talk about the design of the solar sailing ship used in the episode Explorers.
There are also the Hidden Files which were present on the last set. These can be found on the picture of the Deep Space Nine space station on which the menu for the Bonus Materials is displayed as plain green blocks. Most of these talk about aspects of various shows and characters throughout the season.
The same complaint I had about the last disc is present here as well. At the end of each piece of Bonus Material, there is 20 seconds or more of advertising for all of the Star Trek VHS and DVD releases. This isn’t too bad when I was watching a piece that was longer than 10-minutes. However, although I think about ten seconds was trimmed from the season two version of this, when I was watching short pieces that were sometimes only 2 minutes in length, it really bogged down my enjoyment of this material.
Overall, this is a terrific disc of a series that has become my favorite Star Trek series. Not afraid to show that the future isn’t quite as “perfect” as we’ve been led to believe in the past, the producers manage to make this show unique when compared to other Star Trek offerings. I highly recommend it.
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