Sunday, December 24, 2023

To The Stars

I hope you are all well this holiday season. Other than been fighting a case of bronchitis for almost a month now, I am great and grateful. Last Christmas wasn't particularly happy for me, but I have much to be thankful for this year and I hope 2023 was good to you also.

I don't believe I have mentioned this before, but I love Star Trek. I have watched all the live acted series all the way through, some more than once.  While the current Strange New Worlds is wonderful, my favorite series is Deep Space Nine.  I like it for several reasons. First because there are multi-season story arcs.  Not just end of season cliff hangers that are resolved in the next season.  But real, substantive storylines that carry through the entire run off the show. Second, it is grittier than most other Trek series. While most Star Trek ships and stations are antiseptically clean, the DS9 space station isn't. It has a nice patina of wear and is generally gives the impression of being held together with spit and bailing wire. But, that grit has a second, deeper level.  Most Trek is built on a firm ethical foundation to the extent that it can often come across as preachy. DS9 didn't shy away from moral ambiguity.  I appreciate that as a more realistic portrayal of human complexity.  So, while I have watched the entirety of most Trek series once, I have seen DS9 all the way through 3 times and am about to start my fourth trip.

Anyways, with that as prologue, I just got back from a trip to Ohio with my wife to visit our families for the holidays. While there we visited a Star Trek store in Sandusky. While there, I bought a Morn action figure (my favorite DS9 character) and a reasonably priced hobby box of DS9: Memories From the Future.

This card represents my favorite DS9 episode ("The Visitor") and, honestly, my favorite episode of any TV series ever.  It is a compelling story even for non-science fiction fans and features an outstanding performance by actor Tony Todd as the adult Jake Sisko.  Watch this scene to see what I mean.

Anyways, the box contained 36 nine card packs through which I needed to complete a 100 card base set. The base set highlights 99 different episodes with one checklist card. The front includes a picture from the episode and a phrase to summarize a key aspect.    The back includes a summary of the episode and a quote from it next to a washed out cropped part of the front picture. How did I do?  Not great. I only got 94 of the 100 cards.  With 324 cards inside the box, I should have been able to finish at least one, if not two, complete base set. Pretty lousy collation, right?


This card is part of the 9 card Greatest Alien Races insert set that was in 1 of 4 packs. I managed to get exactly 9 of these out of the 36 packs and, get this, I got the entire insert set with no duplication. 

This card is from the 9 card Greatest Legends insert set that features various main characters. It had 1:6 odds per pack. I got exactly 6 with, again, no duplication, I chose O'Brien because I am an engineer. Well, I was for the first 5 years of my professional career.  I have been in various management roles ever since.  But, if you ask my wife, I still act like an engineer.  To be clear, she doesn't intend that to be complementary.

This card is from the 9 card Greatest Space Battles insert set and had 1:12 odds. I got exactly 3 with no duplication. I realize that front is pretty dark, but I chose it because it features the character Enabran Tain, who was the head of the Cardassian Obsidian order and father to Garak. He was played by the wonderful actor Paul Dooley who has had a long and successful Hollywood career, including voicing Sarge in the Cars movies and several turns in Christopher Guest mockumentaries and is still (minimally) active at the age of 95.

This is the box guaranteed autograph hit (1:36 packs) and features actor Aron Eisenberg who played the character Nog who had one of the more compelling character arcs in the series. Eisenberg was born with health issues and died 4 years ago at only 50 years of age. There are a total of 20 different autographed cards and I would like to build that set, but a quick look at  EBay shows that there aren't that many listed and the prices are ridiculous.  So, I may just pick up a few here and there. I would like the Odo (RenĂ© Auberjonois) and Kai Winn (Louise Fletcher) cards because both were such wonderful actors. In fact, I think Fletcher's Winn is one of the all-time great TV villains in any genre.

So, that is it. I intend to finish this up set and all the inserts (except the autographs) and probably will also see about starting other DS9 sets since there are a few others.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and I'll see you on the other side.

What I Am Listening To: Them Shoes by Patrick Sweany


  1. DS9 really is a great show. While perhaps some of the TNG episodes are more iconic, DS9 was much more consistent, and as you say the long-term storytelling was terrific. Wonderful supporting cast, too.

  2. Merry Christmas! I cancelled my Paramount+ subscription a couple of months ago, but I'm tempted to sign up again. I never finished Discovery... and never watched DS9. I loved TNG though.

    Sorry to hear about the poor collation on the base cards. Sportlots now has non-sports cards, so maybe you can complete your set for a few bucks. And sad to hear about Eisenberg. He sure has a great looking signature.

  3. I only ever watched the original series. I've tried to get into the Next Generation a couple of times over the years, but I just don't like it. And because of that, I've never tried any of the series' after it.