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The Orb: A Star Trek Deep Space Nine Podcast

The Orb is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated entirely to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Not an episode review show, The Orb explores specific elements with hosts C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing. We dive deep into this unique chapter in the Star Trek story to examine how it tackles the shades of grey that we find in real life, and how it uses characters over technology to tell timeless stories that connect with the audience.

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The Orb 60: A Repetitive Cycle of Resistance

The Cardassian Underground. Throughout Deep Space Nine we see Cardassian government and society threatened by several different incarnations of resistance. From early dissidents such as Amin Marritza to later leaders like Tekeny Ghemor and Damar, something running deep inside Cardassians seems to cause dissident movements to continually spring up. In this episode of The Orb we discuss the unique elements of Cardassian society that lead to rebellion. Is it a feature of Cardassian politics or something buried deeper within their psyche? What are some of the characteristics and motivations of the leaders of these movements? How do their actions affect the broader world of DS9? It's a look at the repetitive epic so cherished by Cardassia.

57mins

4 Jun 2014

Rank #1

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The Orb 65: Song, Ritual, and Unbridled Passions

You Are Cordially Invited Commentary. From the very moment Worf and Jadzia met in Quark's, it was clear that there was a spark between them. Dax's history with Klingon culture made her a natural for a potential relationship with the new arrival, but that alone can only go so far. The onscreen chemistry between Michael Dorn and Terry Farrell helped lead Ronald D. Moore to revive a plotline he had tried to develop on TNG—the marriage of Worf. On The Next Generation the plan was for him to end up with Troi, but the relationship felt forced and didn't sit well with fans. The relationship between Worf and Jadzia, on the other hand, felt completely authentic and grew naturally over time. So when the Federation finally retook DS9 after the opening arc of the show's sixth season, it was time for a party. And what better way to party than to celebrate a wedding between friends and crewmates? In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing bring you a commentary for "You Are Cordially Invited." We discuss Martok's influence on Worf, Sisko's influence on Jadzia, and Sirella's influence on everyone. We also play with fire, crash a Klingon bachelor party, drool over a baked potato, and learn the latest dance craze, the Bolian Chest Bump.

1hr

10 Jul 2014

Rank #2

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The Orb 68: Doomed from the Beginning

Time's Orphan Rewrite. What happens when your reach the end of a season, need another episode, have little money, and dust of a thrice-rejected script? Nothing good, that's for sure. For all the wonderful writing in the sixth-season of Deep Space Nine, not all rises up to the standards of the show. The antepenultimate installment of Season Six is a story about an eight-year-old Molly O'Brien falling through a time portal and returning—almost instantly—at age eighteen. Considered by many to be the worst episode of DS9, the story was doomed from the beginning and salvaged only by the last-minute addition of a B-Story involving Worf and Jadzia. But could this have been a great episode? Are there ways to take the basic premise and turn it into something more fitting of Deep Space Nine? In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing rewrite "Time's Orphan" to make it better serve the characters and arc of the series. At its core the story attempts to address the struggle of feral children and the trauma they experience, the anguish of parents who can't help the child they love so dearly, and provides a glimpse of what could have been for might-be parents. It all sounds like DS9, yet it didn't come together on screen. So how do we make it work? Listen on and find out. Send us your feedback! Twitter: @trekfm Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact Chapters Initial Thoughts (2:49) You've Been Rejected Three Times Already… (7:15) Things We Like (12:23) Things We Dislike (17:24) Quick Fixes (26:00) Chris's Rewrite (28:26) Matthew's Rewrites (32:01) The One Critical Change (38:22) Final Thoughts (40:25) Closing (42:03)

49mins

14 Aug 2014

Rank #3

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The Orb 18: Quick, Nimble, and Armed to the Teeth

The Defiant. After the disastrous first encounter with the Jem’Hadar left the Galaxy-Class USS Odyssey in ruins, it became clear to Sisko that they would need something more than runabouts to protect the station and to venture into the Gamma Quadrant. So he returned to an old project he had worked on and asked Starfleet to pull a unique warship out of storage—the USS Defiant. It’s a little ship, as Riker would call it, but also one that—as Sisko pointed out—has teeth. In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing take a close look at the Defiant, the key role it played in both general storytelling and the Dominion War, and whether its introduction to the show was a natural evolution of the DS9 storyline or an admission that the stationary nature of the show wasn’t working. 

52mins

3 Jun 2013

Rank #4

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The Orb 52: But It's Captain Kirk!

Trials and Tribble-ations. When the 30th Anniversary of Star Trek rolled around in 1996, Deep Space Nine chose to pay homage to The Original Series with an ambitious episode that would push the computer technology of the time to the limit. Inspired by the revolutionary techniques of Forrest Gump, the DS9 writers set out to pen a story that would insert Sisko and his crew into the middle of one of the franchise’s most iconic episodes—“The Trouble with Tribbles.” The result was one of the most memorable moments in Star Trek history. In this episode of The Orb we join forces with the hosts of Trek.fm's TOS show, Standard Orbit, as Drew Stewart and Mike Schindler sit in with Chris and Matt to discuss "Trials and Tribble-ations" from a TOS perspective. We pick our favorite moments, debate the hot topics it raises (those are Klingons?!), and perhaps talk a bit too much about Dax. But can you blame us? After all, she lived in that time.

1hr 4mins

2 Apr 2014

Rank #5

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The Orb 45: Big City, Small Town Feel

Raising Children on the Station. The children we saw on The Next Generation were raised in a very controlled environment. Sure, flying around on a starship is dangerous, but you’re surrounded by Starfleet officers, people who have been brought together for a shared goal, and you have all the resources you need. On DS9, the situation was different. This was much more like the real world. Children on the station found themselves in a place that was part frontier town, part cosmopolitan city. There were a lot of opportunities to get into trouble on the station—the danger was more real—but the opportunity to grow into a well-rounded adult may have been greater, too. In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss the pros and cons of raising children on the station, compare and contrast life on the Enterprise and life on Deep Space 9, find out how Jake and Nog helped their parents grow, and how exposure to diversity differs between these controlled and uncontrolled environments.

56mins

29 Jan 2014

Rank #6

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The Orb 42: Unpredictable Variables

Implications of Genetic Enhancement. Ever since “Space Seed” the idea of genetic enhancement has been something that is viewed almost universally as a negative within the Star Trek universe. After the devastation wrought by Khan and his fellow enhanced humans in the Eugenics Wars, genetic enhancement was outlawed by the Federation. But then came Deep Space Nine and Julian Bashir to cast shades of grey on the subject. In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing follow up their commentary for “Doctor Bashir, I Presume” with a broader discussion of genetic enhancement and the implications of altering the natural course of evolution. Using the episode “Statistical Probabilities” as a basis for discussion, we delve into both the negative and positive aspects of genetic manipulation, the Asimov-inspired plot that gave us one possible solution to the Dominion War, and whether or not people like Julian Bashir are the likely future of mankind.

50mins

21 Dec 2013

Rank #7

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The Orb 39: The Puppet Masters

Dominion Invasion Tactics. When it comes to conquering other worlds, the bad guys in Star Trek use many methods. Some use brute force like the Borg. Others scheme like the Romulans. And some play a longer game to quietly suppress unless forced to use violence. In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss the invasion tactics of the Dominion, how the Founders use others to do their bidding as they pull the strings from the Great Link, the parallels to the Roman Empire, and what they sought to achieve through their abduction of Sisko and the Defiant crew in the “The Search.”

1hr

20 Nov 2013

Rank #8

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The Orb 26: Signing a Deal with the Devil

The Dominion War. By the second season it became clear that Deep Space Nine was going to be more about characters and real life than any previous Star Trek series. And the pursuit of this led DS9 across a line that no one had dared cross before. The introduction of the Dominion set up one of television’s greatest story arcs, but one that has been criticized by fans, by Majel Barrett Roddenberry, and even by Rick Berman himself. For many, open warfare has no place in Star Trek. But is that so? In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing take a first look at the Dominion War, focusing on the setup, how it changed our characters, how Cardassia paid the heaviest price of all, and why the Dominion War was good for the core mission of Star Trek.

58mins

5 Aug 2013

Rank #9

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108: Never Turn Your Back on Boushh

By Inferno’s Light. Beginning in season three with “The Die Is Cast,” it was revealed that the Founders were infiltrating the Alpha-Beta powers by replacing key figures. In the fifth season two-parter comprising “In Purgatory’s Shadow” and “By Inferno’s Light,” this is taken to a new level when a member of DS9’s own crew is replaced. The revelation that the Doctor Bashir with whom everyone had been interacting for a month was actually a Changeling was shocking to viewers, and it sent ripples backward on the timeline—to say nothing of what it meant for the present and future. In this episode of The Orb, hosts C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss the second half of this duology, focusing on the ever-changing nature of Garak, whether or not Changeling Bashir was acting on orders or just making things up as he went, Dukat’s motivations, and whether going to warp in a solar system is really a bad thing. We also discuss the similarities between the Jem’Hadar and the Klingons, why Ikat'ika decided to play his yield, and how movie night works on Cardassia Prime. Plus, just when you think the Khitomer Accords are history, your crazy uncle Gowron drops by! Chapters Intro (00:00:00) Jem’Hadar, Klingons, and the Yield (00:03:58) Martok and Worf: Building Respect (00:11:39) The Khitomer Accords (00:13:41) Dukat’s Motivations (00:22:58) The Ever-changing Garak (00:30:53) Bashir: Grand Plan or Lone Wolf? (00:39:07) Going to Warp in a Solar System? (00:47:03) Final Thoughts (00:49:36) Hosts C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing Production C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Ruth Ward (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Associate Producer) Ken Tripp (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

1hr 7mins

1 Jun 2016

Rank #10

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The Orb 56: The John McClane of Deep Space Nine

Great O'Brien Episodes. Miles O'Brien was always a likeable character even when he did little more than man a transporter room on the Enterprise-D. But when the Chief came over to DS9 he took center stage and Starfleet's everyman—and the brilliant acting talents of Colm Meaney—really began to shine. In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing pick some of their favorite episodes featuring the man who is second only to Michael Dorn for most appearances in Star Trek episodes. Find out if you agree with our picks or if there are other Miles Moments that top your own list. 

50mins

2 May 2014

Rank #11

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102: An Emotional Malaise

Worf’s Journey to DS9, Part 1: TNG and Generations. When it was announced that Michael Dorn would join the cast ofDS9 with the show’s fourth-season premier, fan reaction was mixed.Was this just a gimmick to win over the TNG crowd and boost theshow? Well, maybe. But as it turned out, DS9 was where Worf reallybelonged, and the character blossomed as part of the Station’sensemble. But how did he get there? In this episode of The Orb, hosts C Bryan Jones and MatthewRushing begin a new four-part series focused on Worf’s journey fromThe Next Generation to Deep Space Nine. Connecting the dots thatwere never actually meant to be connected, we find moments thatwere key to preparing Worf for his assignment to DS9. In Part 1, wediscuss stories from TNG’s final season as well as Worf’s role inGenerations. ChaptersWorf’s Background (00:02:44)TNG Season 7: Deanna (00:04:35)TNG Season 7: Alexander (00:11:17)TNG Season 7: Nikolai (00:17:48)Generations: Promotion (00:20:34)Generations: Starfleet Duty vs. Klingon Heritage (00:25:44)Generations: Homeless Worf (00:30:41)Generations: Other Worf Moments (00:35:34)Generations and DS9: Connections in Time (00:37:09)Generations: Final Thoughts (00:42:44) HostsC Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing ProductionC Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (ExecutiveProducer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt(Executive Producer) Ruth Ward (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen(Associate Producer) Ken Tripp (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez(Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

57mins

17 Feb 2016

Rank #12

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The Orb 98: We’re Gonna Do ALL the Consequences

Emissary, Part 1 of 2. When Deep Space Nine premiered, the idea of a show set on a space station didn’t sit well with all fans. But with a season and a half still to go on The Next Generation, the producers couldn’t simply fire off another show about a crew flying around on a starship. They had to do something different. But the stationary aspect of DS9 was far from the only thing unique about the show. “Emissary” set into motion a different form of storytelling and put many threads into place that would create the rich tapestry of Deep Space Nine. In this episode of The Orb, hosts C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing bring you the first or a two-part look at the DS9 pilot. While we go into some specific scenes, we also talk about the concepts that established the show. From the tension between Sisko and Picard to a bridge called Miles, Orb encounters to a sense of destiny, we break down “Emissary.” ChaptersSetting the Tone (00:04:55)Sisko vs. Picard (00:20:54)Introducing Religion into Star Trek (00:28:18)Orb Encounters (00:36:52)A Bridge Called Miles (00:42:12)Kira the Feisty (00:46:42)A New Take on Ferengi (00:49:18)Odo the Interesting? Odo the Gimmick? (00:52:50)The Old Man of Science (00:54:26)Unlike Any Doctor We've Experienced Before (00:59:16)A Sense of Destiny (01:02:21)The Villain Enters (01:04:36)Final Thoughts (01:01:17) HostsC Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing ProductionC Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Ruth Ward (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Associate Producer) Ken Tripp (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

1hr 19mins

12 Dec 2015

Rank #13

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The Orb 41: Leeta’s Assets, I Presume

Doctor Bashir, I Presume Commentary. What would a Star Trek cast be without a doctor? From Bones to Beverly to Bashir, the first three series brought us great human physicians. Then came Voyager and the concept of medicine in the hands of a hologram. The Holographic Doctor was yet another great character, but the EMH was never intended for extended use. Deep Space Nine picked up the concept and extended it to the logical next step—the LMH or Long-term Medical Hologram. The model? Why Julian Bashir, of course! In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing bring you a commentary for the fifth-season episode “Doctor Bashir, I Presume” and discuss Robert Picardo’s guest appearance, Zimmerman’s fascination with Leeta, Bashir’s friction with his family, his relationship with Miles, and of course the major course change for his character as we learn that he is genetically engineered.

58mins

11 Dec 2013

Rank #14

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The Orb 69: Gentleness Missed

Kai Opaka. Religion held a rare position of importance within Star Trek during the seven seasons of Deep Space Nine, and right from the outset Benjamin Sisko was ushered into the world of Bajoran spirituality. Rather than the contentious atmosphere of Kai Winn, however, Sisko was introduced to his role of Emissary by the kinder, gentler hand of Kai Opaka. And while we never truly got to know her, the role that Opaka played in setting up the series is irreplaceable—at least for the DS9 that we came to know. In this episode of The Orb, Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss Opaka, her background and her rise to the position of Kai, her "collaboration" with Cardassians during the final years of the Occupation, and we image a series both with Kai Opaka throughout and with her never existing. Send us your feedback! Twitter: @trekfm Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact Chapters Imagining "Emissary" without Opaka (2:44) Background and The Rise of Opaka (5:24) Collaborating with Cardassians (12:04) Setting Up "Emissary" with Winn or Bareil (16:51) The "Death" of Kai Opaka (24:59) A Deep Space Nine without Kai Opaka (24:59) A Deep Space Nine with Kai Opaka (29:05) Closing (33:32)

44mins

23 Aug 2014

Rank #15

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The Orb 53: Destroy the World to Win the Game

Our Man Bashir Commentary. From the moment he first encountered Garak, Julian Bashir had a fascination with the mysterious Cardassian. But why? Could it have been a secret fascination with James Bond and the spy games of 1960s Earth? During Deep Space Nine's fourth season, Ronald D. Moore and Bob Gillan brought us a delightful holodeck story with life or death stakes for the station's crew. And like almost all DS9 episodes, the laughs were mixed with some meaningful character development—especially between the resident doctor and tailor. In this episode of The Orb hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing bring you a commentary for "Our Man Bashir" and explore the background behind the episode, what it says about Jules, the brilliance of Avery Brooks, and why everyone wants a honey bear.

1hr 7mins

9 Apr 2014

Rank #16

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The Orb 71: They’re More Elite Than You Are

Red Squad. Cadet Training Squadron 47, as it is formally known, is an elite group at Starfleet Academy that receives special treatment, and thus is the object of desire for many Cadets. They played a pivotal role in Admiral Leyton's attempted coup on Earth in "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost," and they operated a Defiant-class starship behind enemy lines in "Valiant." Along the way they raised a number of questions about the wisdom of Starfleet Academy establishing and nurturing a group that saw itself as above the rules. In this episode of The Orb, hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss Red Squad, its role in education at the Academy, its seductive nature, the dangers it could pose to the stability of Starfleet, and how it was used in storytelling. Send us your feedback! Twitter: @trekfm Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact Chapters Cadet Training Squadron 47 (3:00) Is Red Squad Good for Starfleet? (7:14) Let's Go On a Joy Ride Around the Federation! (14:57) Premature Responsibility (19:00) The Seduction of Red Squad (25:05) The Arrogance and Ignorance of Office (32:07) A Great Idea for Storytelling (37:31) Closing and Feedback (39:47)

50mins

6 Sep 2014

Rank #17

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The Orb 72: It's a Trap!

The Battle of the Omarion Nebula. The build up to the Dominion War was a slow one, with hints about the Founders and skirmishes with the Jem'Hadar setting the stage. But it wasn't a one-sided affair. Fearful of the Dominion, the intelligence services of the Cardassian Union and the Romulan Empire—the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar—teamed up for a preemptive strike against the Founders' homeworld. It was a bold plan to annihilate the Changelings before they could invade the Alpha Quadrant. What they didn't know was that they were walking into a trap. In this episode of The Orb, hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss the first major battlefield engagement between the Dominion and the Alpha/Beta Powers, the state of cold war between the Dominion and the Federation, and the motivations on both sides of the conflict that led to the battle. Send us your feedback! Twitter: @trekfm Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact Chapters Setting the Scene (5:13) Preemptive Strike (8:41) Cold War Machinations (19:49) Playing Into the Bigger Battle (28:37) Closing (33:43)

41mins

14 Sep 2014

Rank #18

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The Orb 57: Keiko Fell Into a Lens Flare

Imagining an Abramsverse DS9. It's been five years since the reimagined J.J. Abrams Star Trek landed on the big screen. In that time we've only gotten two movies, but the alternate timeline has expanded greatly off-screen through IDW's Star Trek Ongoing comics. A visit by Q to the Abramsverse in The Q Gambit will send James T. Kirk on quest that will see the Enterprise joining forces with familiar faces from Star Trek lore, beginning with the crew of "a certain space station…" Could this mean DS9? And if so, how would that work? In this episode of The Orb we're joined by Drew Stewart of Standard Orbit and Daniel Proulx of Earl Grey to imagine what a J.J. reboot of Deep Space Nine might look like. How would the storylines change? How big would the station be? Who would play Captain Sisko? And what does Mall of America have to do with it? Join us for this debate that spans eras, timelines, and every part of the Star Trek franchise.

1hr 12mins

8 May 2014

Rank #19

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107: A Merit-Based System

In Purgatory’s Shadow. Beginning in season three with “The Die Is Cast,” it was revealed that the Founders were infiltrating the Alpha-Beta powers by replacing key figures. In the fifth season two-parter comprising “In Purgatory’s Shadow” and “By Inferno’s Light,” this is taken to a new level when a member of DS9’s own crew is replaced. The revelation that the Doctor Bashir with whom everyone had been interacting for a month was actually a Changeling was shocking to viewers, and it sent ripples backward on the timeline—to say nothing of what it meant for the present and future. In this episode of The Orb, hosts C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss the first half of this duology, focusing primarily on character stories. Does Dukat really care about the safety of Ziyal? Why does Ziyal love Garak? Why can’t Worf just download new copies of his operas from Qo'noS Music? And, of course, we delve deep into the motivations of the Dominion in aligning with Cardassia and the replacement of Doctor Bashir. Chapters Intro (00:00:00) Why the Cardassians? (00:03:27) Does Dukat Love Ziyal? (00:10:50) Why Does Ziyal Love Garak? (00:16:30) The Internment Camp (00:23:21) Garak, Worf, Jadzia … and Qo'noS Music (00:26:23) Replacing Bashir (00:32:24) Hosts C Bryan Jones and Matthew Rushing Production C Bryan Jones (Editor and Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Ruth Ward (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Associate Producer) Ken Tripp (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Will Nguyen (Content Manager)

46mins

26 May 2016

Rank #20