Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deep Space Nine and Thieves

I’ve been watching a lot of Deep Space Nine on Netflix over the last month. Back when it premiered, sitting through the CGI intro wasn’t so bad - after all, it was only on screen for a few minutes once a week. Now though, when watching an episode every other day or back to back, having to wait for the music and opening credits to finish is painful. Or rather, it’s painfully obvious that the whole sequence is ridiculously overdramatic. The wormhole’s depiction begins to seem less like a triumph of computer special effects and more like a giant bowel movement, opening up as it does to drop a spaceship deuce from time to time. Consider that the Bajorans' prophets live inside the wormhole - apparently talking out of their ass.
How much edgier it could be with the proper soundtrack...

Aside from that initial unpleasantness, it’s sometimes fun to take a short nostalgic trip back and watch this show. DS9 is less of a hex-crawl, if you will, than the other Star Trek series. Supposedly it was more critically acclaimed than those other series too - I wonder how much this has to do with the ability to create more complex and interwoven plots due to the stationary setting. I keep making mental notes to use this or that element in a Traveller game I'll never actually play. One of my favorite episodes is when a priestess from a fundamentalist branch of the Bajorans’ religion has a fit because they’re teaching kids on the space station that the wormhole is host to aliens (rather than “prophets”). Then someone blows up the school with hilarious consequences.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that the Ferengi “Rules of Acquisition” could be converted fairly easily into a Thieves Guild’s (or a god of thieves’) Rules of Wisdom. Just change “latinum” to gold and “sale” to “theft” and you're halfway there...

Corrno’s Lesser Rules of Wisdom

1. Never allow family to stand in the way of theft.
2. A man is only worth the sum of his possessions.
3. Keep your ears open.
4. Greed is eternal.
5. Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.
6. A deal is a deal - until a better one comes along.
7. Nothing is more important than your health - except for your money.
8. There’s nothing more dangerous than an honest thief.
9. She can touch the family jewels, but never your gold.
10. Theft is its own reward.
11. Never trust a man wearing better clothes than you.
12. The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
13. Never ask when you can take.
14. A good set of tools is as good as gold.
15. Keep your lies consistent.
16. Home is where the heart is, but the road is made of gold.
17. Enough is never enough.
18. Nature decays, but gold lasts forever.
19. There is no honor in poverty.
20. Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.
21. Even a blind man can see the glow of gold.
22. There’s nothing wrong with charity, as long as it winds up in your pocket.
23. Let others keep their reputation - you keep their money.
24. Underlings are rungs on the ladder of success - do not hesitate to step on them.
25. Always know what you are stealing.
26. Gold lasts longer than lust.
27. More is good… All is better.
28. A wealthy man can afford anything but a conscience.
29. Never allow doubt to tarnish your love of gold.
30. When in doubt, lie.

Of possibly related interest.

9 comments:

christian said...

I always liked DS9. The early seasons were a bit sedate, but I enjoyed it just the same.

Jedediah said...

DS9 is my favourite of all the Trek shows. But the opening credits...*shudders* Luckily, I have DVDs, so I can just skip or go make myself a tea, feed the hamster and take a shower while they run.
Torchwood has the most brilliant opening credits ever in comparison: five seconds and you're done.

Tedankhamen said...

Sorry, never got DS9 (or Deep Space Mall, as I called it). Still, nice swipe of the Ferengi rules.

Trey said...

Nice! The Ferengi (of DS9) are basically an rpg race, anyway, o it's a natural fit.

Carter Soles said...

I'm a big DS9 fan and (is this pathetic?) I don't even mind the intro credits sequence. The Ferengi, esp. Quark, are a big part of what makes that show tick, and your adaptation of their Rules here is great!

ze bulette said...

@Tedankhamen: Ha! Definitely a mall.

@Carter: Well, it's not quite as bad as I make it out to be... only if you watch a lot of episodes in a row. And the Ferengi definitely steal the show.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I love Deep Space 9 reruns, one of the few older series that I can really get absorbed in.

purestrainhuman said...

Over the course of a couple of months, I watched the entire series, front to back. It was much better than I remembered, and has held up fairly well. That's likely due in no small measure to the influence of Roger Moore, who would go on to create the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. You can see many of the themes from BSG being taken for a test drive in DS9 - the interaction between realpolitik and faith, bad things being done in the name of good, that sort of stuff. Love the conversion of the Ferengi to the Thieves Guild!

Theodric the Obscure said...

Swiping and adapting the Rules of Acquisition for a Thieves' Guild: Brilliant!

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