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|Index||14 reviews in total|
I met Tony Todd at a horror film convention yesterday. On the way there
I decided that if he wasn't too busy I was going to tell him that of
all the good, great, or terrible things he's been in, this single
episode of Deep Space Nine is my most favorite. This episode made me
cry like a baby. I only saw it once, back when it originally aired, but
I still get choked up thinking about it twelve years later. I never
knew my father and this story made me feel how acutely that absence has
impacted my life. Silly, I know. But that's the true power of art; and
yes, sometimes television is art.
I didn't know if he would even remember being in it. I didn't know if it meant as much to him as it did to me. I didn't know if he would smirk at my trek-geekiness.
When I stepped up to select a picture for him to autograph, I noticed one of the pictures was from an episode of Voyager that I'd forgotten he was in. He asked if I liked Star Trek and I admitted that I did.
Then he said "Have you seen The Visitor?" I won't go into details because they're not mine to share, but as he explained his personal connection to the story, I realized that this episode may actually mean more to him than it does to me. And it means an awful lot to me.
If you watch only one episode of any Star Trek series ever, make it this one.
A heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, performance driven episode that will
not easily fade away from anyone's heart... Father-son relationship...
It's just so good. I can explain the story and how it unfolds, but it's
just not the same as viewing it. This episode is so wonderfully written
and has such poignant, moving details that it soars to new heights of
storytelling. Through this, we see many new things about Sisko and
Jake--about their lives and their relationship. Above all, this episode
stresses the bond between a father and a son, and contains family
issues that many people can relate to.
Michael Taylor has delivered one of the series' best stories, and David Livingston's direction is stunning, stellar execution. As I said before, the flashback elements are wonderfully done and the performances are about as perfect as they could be. The editing and music is all in place, causing scenes to flow terrifically together. Even if you're grabbing the tissues by the end of this episode (I was) there is no way you can call this story maudlin or melodramatic. It's completely absorbing from the first frame to the last; definitely one of DS9's finest moments. There is true magic working here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Love this show and am a big fan of both Avery Brooks and Tony Todd. Since Tony's introduction to Star Trek in Next Generation's 'Sins of The Father', I've loved his work. Sisko's relationship with his son was a truly brilliant piece of both acting and character development throughout the entire series. Never in watching Trek have I been moved to tears until watching this. Some of the scenes between Ben and Jake are truly heart wrenching. The time shifting was handled well and both leads are truly stunning. DS9 has rarely been this good. Tony's emulation of Cirroc Lofton's Jake in older guise is terrific. One episode to keep you glued to the screen from start to finish
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For those reviewers who are confused as to why this episode is beloved
by so many (myself included), it is because it touches us so deeply.
While several people point out that "future Jake" becomes so
out-of-character from the character depicted on the series, what you
are seeing is the effects of a Jake growing up without his father's
guidance, and immense guilt over his father's accident. Obviously that
experience, and him being part of it, changes the character in very
Ultimately, the story becomes one of loss and obsession. Once Jake realizes his father isn't dead and *may* be retrievable, he becomes a man obsessed to the point that everything else in his life falls apart: loves, friendships, career, etc. Jake's obsession basically destroys the promising life he had before him, and Tony Todd gives perhaps his best performance ever in depicting this. Although the ending resolves the conflict, this alternate timeline tells us so much more of the importance of Jake's relationship with his father than any other episode had to date. And ultimately, to see Ben's sadness at what his son's life had become because of the obsession...truly touching. The best stories in Star Trek are by far those that deal with relationships, and this is one of the top 5 in Trek cannon IMHO ("City on the Edge of Forever" from TOS being number one).
'The Visitor'~ Season four, episode two.
This episode explores the love and devotion between Jake Sisko and his father when an accident occurs which sees Ben Sisko being lost in time. As Jake, now all but orphaned, struggles to cope, Sisko re-appears and continues to do so through his son's life. Sisko remains unchanged but Jake grows up and enters adulthood, becoming an obsessive man who is unable to let his father go and is determined to bring him back whatever the cost.
This is a truly poignant episode that wonderfully depicts the bond between Ben and Jake Sisko, all the more touching because relationships between parent and child depicted in Trek are often shown to be turbulent and fractious (Picard, Riker, Bashir, Paris, Torres, Chakotay, Ezri Dax and Spock, to a degree, are such characters that this is a trend in). Cirroc Lofton and Tony Todd do an excellent job of portraying Jake through various points of his life, both as a grief-stricken teenage boy and as a single-minded, intense man who is unwilling to give up on his father. They interact well with Avery Brooks' Ben Sisko, as the father who is forced to watch Jake grow up without him and eventually realises just how far his son will go to save him. The very down-to-earth, human aspect to Jake is apparent in this episode and it is all the more clear why he always a Trek child who viewers could tolerate and identify with far more than the irritatingly perfect Wesley Crusher. 'The Visitor' is an episode which proves DS9 can do heavy emotional story lines with a flare often just associated with Patrick Stewart's Picard.
Tonight, reviewing the episode history of Deep Space Nine, I was drawn
to this episode because I remember it being the first time that a Deep
Space Nine episode left me breathless and totally gobsmacked by such a
perfect match of excellent performance and excellent writing.
I'm not surprised to find myself in agreement with the reviewers here who utterly loved the episode. Tony Todd was a crucial part of one of my all-time favorite Next Generation episodes, where his Klingon captain reveals his brotherhood to Worf and urges him to claim the family birthright, only to have politics force Worf into banishment. Here, watching Mr Todd, you can plainly see that the material IS HIS, it's a masterful, deep and touching, even stunning performance.
This Star Trek franchise has never gotten its due in my opinion. As a followup to the rightly successful Next Generation, it lived in the syndication shadows for most of its life, and unlike Next Generation which evolved from a mediocre start to an excellent middle and old age, Deep Space Nine was a non-stop victory lap for Star Trek IMO, even its least popular episodes were GOOD.
Over all five ST franchises, there are a dozen episodes that hit me in the gut, and six of them are DS9 episodes. I live near Mt Rushmore, where (last time I checked) Avery Brooks' voice narrates the nightly video shown during the lighting ceremony at dusk. I feel the need to head out there again.
Deep Space Nine, an excellent and powerful series in its own right, absolutely outdid itself in this episode. This is not only GREAT science fiction, it is astoundingly good visual storytelling and acting. If you only ever watch one episode of any season of Star Trek, watch this episode. It is positively masterful. The characters in the series I already love outdid themselves, and grew to something more personal and touching than I was ever aware could happen between myself and television. I have never been so moved and drawn into a tragedy, so tormented and enlightened, so joyous and amazed. What a wonderful, wonderful story.
I loved this episode and got tears as well. I have a great relationship
with my father and yet it still hit me as hard as those with father
I'm usually a hater of the "human interest" Star Trek episodes because they usually are just treading water until the producers can get enough budget for a good episode. THIS IS AN EXCEPTION.
I bought the season four DVD just so I could have this episode and share it with my own son.
Also, this would be a great episode to get your lady friend interested in the Star Trek franchise.
In my endeavor to re-watch the entirety of all three Start Trek series
(TNG, DS9 and VGR), this one episode stands out in its refinement,
sensitivity, emotional delivery, and substance. Philosophically it is
up there with "Tapestry" from TNG, but stylistically flows a lot
better. The storytelling, mood, and delivery are in the realm of art. I
was amazed this was television. Flawless and exceptional performances.
The story explores a parental bond that stands the tests of time; genuine and resonant. Brooks', Todd's, and Lofton's performance is so authentic and personable; it generates a lake of emotion that by induction we find our own inner world sway and careen in synchronicity with uncanny levels of fidelity. Rarely a story can deliver its message more accurately. It is probably what a Vulcan mind melt must feel like.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode is very different to other episodes of Deep Space Nine; it
opens with a young woman paying a visit to an old man living in
Louisiana, it turns out that he is an old Jake Sisko and she wants to
know why he stopped writing. We see flashbacks of his life, starting at
the day he lost his father in an accident in the Gamma Quadrant. He
isn't dead though, merely caught in subspace and every so often he
reappears in Jakes life for a few minutes, unlike everybody else
however he is always the same age he was at the time of the accident.
Jake can never really get over the loss and while he did write two
successful books his main purpose in life was trying to get his father
back. We learn that things soon changed on DS9, the Bajorans returned
home and formed an alliance with the Cardassians and the Klingons are
now running the station. Fifty years after the event that caused his
father to be lost Jake reassembles the old crew and they take the
Defiant through the worm hole to recreate the accident. Eventually Jake
realises that there is only one way he can save his father... he must
die while his father is with him so that he can return to the moment of
the accident and thus prevent it.
I thought this was a decent episode and Tony "Candyman" Todd did a good job as the adult Jake Sisko. The story was goods enough although I didn't find the regular cast, apart from Nog, convincing when they played themselves decades into the future. I was pleased with the way it was made clear that it was Captain Sisko's disappearance that led the later situation of DS9 so future episodes will not have to follow the future shown here.
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