Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season Three

While Deep Space Nine really didn't hit its stride until Sisko (Avery Brooks) shaved his head and rocked the goatee in season four, season three continues the momentum established from season two after the show's rocky debut. While still inexplicably considered the black sheep of the Trek universe, due to its static space station set, despite the introduction of a ship (the Defiant), a wormhole accessing another quadrant and other devices to allow the cast to roam free, DS9 remains The Next Generation's chief rival, in terms of quality. (Like anyone buys Bakula as a captain. Whatever, leap boy.) Despite having a number of one-off character-exploring episodes, like any good Trek series, and even some purely comedic ones (thanks to the Ferengi contingent), season three's greatest offering is that it's here where the Dominion (the anti-Federation) is firmly established as the Federation's real nemesis, setting up the main thread for the show's next four seasons. Season three starts off hot with a two-part series revealing the Founders (the shapeshifter Odo's people) as the leaders of the Dominion and stays strong throughout. Also, season three features two of DS9's most popular episodes, "Past Tense I and II," where (albeit preachy — it is Trek, after all), class division is tackled through one of those "going back in time, messing stuff up and fixing everything so we don't ruin the future" episodes, one of the best Quark episodes ("The House of Quark") and the foreboding season finale ("The Adversary"). As with the previous DS9 DVDs, the extras aren't light, but they're also not exactly staggering. Again absent is any episode commentary, replaced with featurettes giving us a brief overview of the Dominion, the aliens for season three, Odo, the "Past Tense" episodes and a little more, which while interesting, barely offers the staggering amount of geeky insider goodness that could be unleashed, especially from its writers and cast, which is merely touched upon here. Extras: featurettes. (Paramount)