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Star Trek DS9 - Season 5 - Episode 21

Star Trek DS9 - 5x21 - Soldiers of the Empire

Originally Aired: 1997-4-28

Synopsis:
General Martok regains a ship, but his crew is dispirited. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.74

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 0 1 2 4 2 5 24 25 38 19

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This is the first episode to feature the Rotarran and Martok's command of the vessel. It's also the episode in which Worf joins the House of Martok.

Problems
None

Factoids
- According to the Klingon calendar, the date in this episode was the 53rd day of the year of Kahless 999.

Remarkable Scenes
- Martok ranting about his insight into the Jem'Hadar.
- Worf challenging Martok.
- The Klingons singing into battle.
- Bashir lamenting about the intelligence business.
- The revelation that Worf lost the fight on purpose so that Martok would regain his vigor.

My Review
A Klingon ship and her crew are the center of attention for the first time in a long while and never has it been done so well. This episode features many nice details, but some remarkable ones are the crew of the Rotarran herself; an eclectic and believable group of demoralized Klingons. Plus the Rotarran itself; we get many beautiful CG renderings of the breathtaking bird of prey. My only complaint is we don't get to see the Rotarran battle the Jem'Hadar, which would have been nice. Besides that, an excellent episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From John on 2010-03-16 at 11:49pm:
    I think their decision not to show the viewer the battle with the Jem'Hadar was a good one. It left that battle to the imagination of the viewer and saved time which could then be spent on things like character development. Yes, it could have been a cool battle, but subtracting a point because they used a perfectly valid storytelling device that happened to omit material you personally wanted to see is a little overboard IMHO.
  • From Kethinov on 2010-03-17 at 12:14am:
    I've always felt that it's sort of anticlimactic that they didn't show the battle. It's a legitimate payoff to the buildup to expect, I think. That's not to say this is a bad episode. It's certainly fantastic. I just think a more roaring climax would have served the story better.
  • From Harrison on 2013-02-23 at 1:34pm:
    One of the very best Klingon episodes, with lots of rich cultural detail.
  • From Bronn on 2013-07-17 at 3:14pm:
    Beautiful episode. Martok is the gold standard when it comes to Klingon characters. He's three dimensional, and he's well-rounded enough that it makes the Empire seem functional. Without seeing a character like Martok you'd wonder how the Empire ever held together-they have no patience to do things like basic maintenance on their ships, they get bored with administrative tasks, and they prefer to attack head-on rather than provide any consideration of strategy. But DS9 decided to find a way to make Klingons seem more balanced without ruining their previous characterization, and this episode is the highlight of Klingon story-telling.

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